Dec 31, 2009

Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Found in Water Supply are not regulated

(NaturalNews)  Reports have found that the nation's water supplies contain various antibiotics, phytoestrogens and estrogenic steroids, and pharmaceutical and genotoxic drugs. New York City's water supply is no exception. Since these contaminants have the potential to inflict widespread reproductive harm, neuro-degeneration, endocrine disruption, and cell destruction in humans, EWG is urging that New York City monitor contaminant levels and issue annual water quality reports that outline the results. Since most of these contaminants are currently unregulated, they are typically not disclosed in existing water quality reports.

As it currently stands, pharmaceutical drugs are not regulated in tap water. Drinking water is usually not tested for them and, when it is, the results are usually withheld from the public. Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have failed to set any guidelines for pharmaceutical content in water. Thus any level of pharmaceuticals in water is considered to be legal.

Perhaps the most important call from EWG is for improvements in wastewater treatment facility technology. Current methods work for certain microorganisms and compounds but fail to adequately filter pharmaceutical drugs and other synthetic compounds from water. Ultraviolet treatment, activated carbon treatment, and ozonation are some of EWG's suggestions for updating filter technology.

The goal of EWG is to promote water pollution reduction strategies that include raising public awareness about the issue, gathering and disseminating regular water quality data, and working to implement mitigation strategies both in the short and long terms.

Installing a home reverse osmosis system is a great way to ensure that one's family is receiving clean water. Reverse osmosis is highly effective at purifying water, removing virtually every known particle and contaminant. It also removes chlorine, fluoride, and other toxic substances added to many municipal water supplies that would otherwise pass through most other water filtration systems.

Read more from EWG

Dec 29, 2009

5 detained Americans had map for nuclear power facilities.

Via: Guardian Police are trying to determine whether five Americans detained in Pakistan had planned to attack a complex that houses nuclear power facilities.

The young Muslim men, who are from the Washington DC area, were arrested in Pakistan earlier this month. Pakistani police and government officials have made a series of escalating and, at times, seemingly contradictory claims about the men's intentions. US officials have been far more cautious, but they, too, are looking at charging the men.

A Pakistani government official alleged on Saturday that the men had established contact with Taliban commanders and had planned to attack sites in Pakistan. Earlier, however, local police accused the five of intending to fight in Afghanistan after meeting militant leaders.

The men allegedly had a map of Chashma Barrage, a complex that along with nuclear power facilities houses a water reservoir and other structures, said Javed Islam, a senior police official in the Sargodha area of Punjab province where the men were arrested.  Please read full at Guardian

Picturing the past 10 years

Current Decade Rates as Worst in 50 Years...

VIA Shirl KennedyDocUticker

As the current decade draws to a close, relatively few Americans have positive things to say about it. By roughly two-to-one, more say they have a generally negative (50%) rather than a generally positive (27%) impression of the past 10 years. This stands in stark contrast to the public's recollection of other decades in the past half-century. When asked to look back on the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, positive feelings outweigh negative in all cases.

Happy to put the 2000s behind them, most Americans are optimistic that the 2010s will be better. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they think the next decade will be better than the last for the country as a whole, though roughly a third (32%) think things will be worse.Read more from source

Dec 27, 2009

Lowes and NREL helping make solar a reality for homeowners...

Lowes is First to Offer 175W rectangular Solar Panels to Do-it-Yourselfers at $893 that produce the same AC power that runs in homes and plug directly into a circuit breaker. The home would need a dedicated circuit breaker just as for a washer and dryer. Lowes is offering software that allows the homeowner to monitor the performance of each panel through the Internet. And Lowes will staff a kiosk near the panels that provides information on how to apply for utility rebates and tax credits - Read more at Boston

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has created an online tool called "In my Backyard, " to estimate how much electricity a homeowner can produce through solar and wind power in your own backyard. Once an address has been entered, either solar or wind potential can be analyzed. If solar is selected, the user can draw the planned solar panels directly on the map and then adjust the technical details (kW capacity, tilt angle, etc.). The system then runs a simulation and indicates how much electricity a solar system could generate at that location. See more at

Source David Schaller Sustainable Practices 419

Prescription narcotics cause more deaths than both heroin and cocaine

More people are killed by prescription opioids than all those killed by heroin and cocaine combined. And that probably even includes all the shootings of gang bangers in northern Mexico. Prescription drug abuse is now more common than street drug abuse -- by far! And yet Big Pharma rakes in huge profits from all the patient addictions to their opioids. And by "opioids", what I mean is narcotics. They are, in fact, one and the same.

The people in group #1 (street drugs) are taken to jail where they are given prison sentences. People in group #2 (prescription drugs) are taken to their doctor where they are given prescription refills. It's all really the same narcotics, it's just that one group is legal and the other is illegal. And what really determines whether a particular narcotic is legal or illegal? Whether or not Big Pharma profits from it.

If Big Pharma makes money off the narcotics, they're considered
legal. Big Pharma, you see, earns tens of billions of dollars each year from drug addicts. And just by coincidence, it turns out that their prescription narcotics are extremely addicting, guaranteeing repeat business. The business model is so dang lucrative, you might think they were drug dealers.

According to a new study conducted by physicians at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)
... between the years of 1991 and 2004, oxycodone prescriptions increased by more than 850 percent, and a 500% increase in deaths due to the drugs

So of all the drug addicts in America today, you can divide them into two camps:
1) People addicted to
street drugs.
2) People addicted to prescription drugs.

Read full from NaturalNews

Just 16 Ships Expel as Much Pollution as All the Cars in the World

(NaturalNews) Large shipping vessels have become commonplace in today's global marketplace as goods are imported and exported across the world. While the high levels of pollution they create are something that most people don't think too much about, some scientists are beginning to evaluate their environmental effect. One of the most disturbing facts discovered about these giant ships is that a mere 16 of them emit as much sulfur as do all the cars in the world combined.

Fred Pearce, a science writer and environmental consultant for New Scientist, has been studying the shipping industry for quite some time. He has focused particularly on their use of filthy, toxic fuel that is polluting the air at a staggering pace. According to his assessment, thousands of people die every year from the toxic fumes that are emitted from their smokestacks, lingering in the air as a brown haze for many days. If current practices continue, he estimates that upwards of a million people will die in the next decade due to ship pollution.

The type of fuel typically used in large ocean craft is composed of the dirty leftovers from the refined fuel that is used in cars, trucks, and other land vehicles. It is thicker than land fuel and high in sulfur. It is essentially a cheap, filthy form of fuel that would never be permitted for use on the mainland but that are tolerated on international waters. The chemicals found in the smoke trails of this "bunker fuel" are known to cause severe inflammation, cancer, breathing problems and heart disease.

Sources for this story include naturalnews and

In Related News: EPA Adopts Strong Standards for Large Ships to Curb Air Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule setting tough engine and fuel standards for large U.S.- flagged ships, a major milestone in the agency's coordinated strategy to slash harmful marine diesel emissions. The regulation harmonizes with international standards and will lead to significant air quality improvements throughout the country… Air pollution from large ships, such as oil tankers and cargo ships, is expected to grow rapidly as port traffic increases. By 2030, the domestic and international strategy is expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large marine diesel engines by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by about 143,000 tons. When fully implemented, this coordinated effort will reduce NOX emissions from ships by 80 percent, and PM emissions by 85 percent, compared to current emissions.

The emission reductions from the strategy will yield significant health and welfare benefits that span beyond U.S. ports and along our coasts, reaching inland areas. EPA estimates that in 2030, this effort will prevent between 12,000 and 31,000 premature deaths and 1.4 million work days lost. The estimated annual health benefits in 2030 as a result of reduced air pollution are valued between $110 and $270 billion, which is up to nearly 90 times the projected cost of $3.1 billion to achieve those results.

This rule, under the Clean Air Act, complements a key piece of EPA's strategy to designate an emissions control area (ECA) for thousands of miles of U.S. and Canadian coasts. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, is set to vote in March 2010 on the adoption of the joint U.S.-Canada ECA, which would result in stringent standards for large foreign-flagged and domestic ships operating within the designated area. EPA: Ocean-going Vessels

Microbes That Keep Us Healthy Starting To Die Off

Scientific American: "The human body has some 10 trillion human cells—but 10 times that number of microbial cells. So what happens when such an important part of our bodies goes missing? With rapid changes in sanitation, medicine and lifestyle in the past century, some of these indigenous species are facing decline, displacement and possibly even extinction. In many of the world's larger ecosystems, scientists can predict what might happen when one of the central species is lost, but in the human microbial environment—which is still largely uncharacterized—most of these rapid changes are not yet understood. 'This is the next frontier and has real significance for human health, public health and medicine,' says Betsy Foxman, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, each new generation in developed countries comes into the world with fewer of these native populations. 'They're actually missing some component of their microbiota that they've evolved to have,' Foxman says."

Related? exposure to everyday germs may protect kids from disease as adults
The study, published in the December 9th edition of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, is the first to investigate whether microbial exposures early in life affect inflammatory processes related to diseases in adulthood. Remarkably, the Northwestern study suggests exposure to infectious microbes in childhood may actually protect youngsters from developing serious illnesses, including cardiovascular diseases, when they grow into adults.

"Contrary to assumptions related to earlier studies, our research suggests that ultra-clean, ultra-hygienic environments early in life may contribute to higher levels of inflammation as an adult, which in turn increases risks for a wide range of diseases," Thomas McDade, lead author of the study, said in a statement to the media. McDade is associate professor of anthropology in Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research.

He added that humans have only recently lived in super clean environments and it could well be time to put down the antibacterial soap. That's because the new research suggests that inflammatory systems need a reasonably high level of exposure to common everyday germs and other microbes to develop and work properly in the body.

"In other words, inflammatory networks may need the same type of microbial exposures early in life that have been part of the human environment for all of our evolutionary history to function optimally in adulthood," stated McDade.
Please read full at NaturalNews

Dec 26, 2009

EPA lists 13 pharmaceuticals as candidates for regulation

MSBNC The Associated Press reported last year that the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans contained concentrations of a multitude of drugs. Water utilities, replying to an AP questionnaire, acknowledged the presence of antibiotics, sedatives, sex hormones and dozens of other drugs in their supplies.

The news reports stirred congressional hearings and legislation, more water testing and more disclosure of test results. For example, an Illinois law goes into effect Jan. 1 banning health care institutions from flushing unused medicine into wastewater systems.

The EPA's new study will look for 200 chemical and microbial contaminants at 50 plants that treat drinking water. The list includes 125 pharmaceuticals or related chemicals. This research will help federal water officials decide if regulations are needed.

In the first move toward possible drinking-water standards, the EPA has put 13 pharmaceuticals on what it calls the Contaminant Candidate List. They are mostly sex hormones, but include the antibiotic erythromycin and three chemicals used as drugs but better known for other uses.

They join a list of 104 chemical and 12 microbial contaminants that the EPA is considering as candidates for regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. No pharmaceutical has ever reached the list in its 12-year history, but medicines now make up 13 percent of the target chemicals on the latest list "based on their potential adverse health effects and potential for occurrence in public water systems," the EPA said.

They take a place beside such better-known contaminants as the metal cobalt, formaldehyde, the rocket fuel ingredient perchlorate, and the disease germ E. coli.

'A major public concern'
"I think this does signal a change in the regulatory and research approaches," said Conrad Volz, a University of Pittsburgh scientist whose research raises questions about the risk of eating fish from waters contaminated with sex hormones. "What's happening is pretty amazing."

Several scientists within and outside government tied the stronger focus on human health to the Obama administration and the president's appointment of Lisa Jackson, a highly regarded former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, to run the EPA.

"I think we are trying to be as aggressive as we can. We understand it's a major national issue. We understand it's a major public concern," said Peter Silva, the new water administrator at the EPA.

A recently released EPA study found more than 40 pharmaceuticals — everything from antibiotics to heart medicine to antidepressants — at nine publicly owned wastewater treatment plants. The drugs appeared in concentrations measured in parts per billion and trillion. Many passed right through the plants.

Please read full at MSBNC

Federal Dollars Fuel Local Efficiency: Cities Ready to Lead

Via Shirl Kennedy DocUticker

In a new report released today, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy presented profiles of over 40 municipal energy efficiency programs as a guide for cities and counties preparing to implement federally-funded energy efficiency and conservation plans.
… Cities and counties have long been active developers of successful energy efficiency programs, and with the release of EECBG funds, local governments are poised to further their critical role. ACEEE's new report, Energy Efficiency Program Options for Local Governments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 examines a number of innovative energy efficiency programs implemented by American towns and cities prior to the passage of ARRA. The EECBG program will dispense more than 3 billion dollars to cities and states, creating jobs while improving U.S. energy efficiency through a variety of initiatives, including building retrofits, incentives, and audit programs. Some block grant recipients have already received funding to execute their chosen "shovel-ready" projects; however, many cities and towns are still waiting to put project plans into action. Full Report

Dec 25, 2009

Solar cell uses 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity

Inhabitat-  "Sandia National Laboratories recently announced a new breed of glitter-sized solar cells made from crystalline silicon that use 100 times less material to generate the same amount of electricity as standard solar cells made from 6-inch square solar wafers. Perfect for soaking up the sun's rays on unusual shapes and surfaces, the tiny solar cells are expected to be less expensive, more efficient, and have promising new applications in textiles, clothing, and building facade installations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Self Reliant Energy Storage for Homes from Panasonic

Solar batteries and fuel cells which some of us already use to power up our homes can't actually store energy. That's why a lithium-ion battery that can last for about a week before needing a recharge is something else... making energy sources such as solar and wind power more feasible.

Also, you can buy energy when it is cheapest, and don't need to worry about power outages anymore."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

1899 fuel-cell technology promises to revolutionize access to cheap, clean energy.

The Atlantic Who Needs the Grid?
"If you have clean, affordable energy, you can get clean air and clean water whenever you want," Sridhar says. "You can make recycling affordable. You can turn latent local resources into marketable ones."

But the truly disruptive aspect of Bloom's fuel cells isn't their clean, quiet, affordable efficiency. It's their ability to operate independent of a power grid. That's critical for developing countries, which lack infrastructure. It could also allow Bloom to revolutionize energy-generation in industrialized nations.

"I want to open up access to energy the way that PCs and the Web opened up access to information," Sridhar says. "So people can live where they want, and still be connected, without someone telling them when they can do their laundry." A distributed energy system would also be far less susceptible to attack or natural disaster.

Standing almost reverently before the image, K. R. Sridhar, the CEO of Bloom, points to the dark areas—places where electricity isn't accessible or reliable. "This is my motivation for everything," he says. To improve the lot of the more than 2 billion people living in those dark areas, he says, you have to get them reliable, affordable energy. And if you don't want to doom the environment in the process, you have to make that energy very clean.
Impossible? No more so than creating enough water and oxygen to keep astronauts alive on Mars. And Sridhar's already figured out how to do that. In fact, his research on oxygen generators for NASA laid the technical groundwork for his current venture: highly efficient solid-oxide fuel cells that run on everything from plant waste to natural gas and provide electricity while emitting relatively little carbon dioxide.

Such technology might sound far-fetched, but the basic patent behind Sridhar's cells, which he calls "Bloom boxes," dates to 1899. Fuel cells—which facilitate a chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen or hydrocarbon fuel without burning anything—have been used aboard NASA vehicles and Navy submarines for years. The biggest challenge in adapting them for commercial use was making the technology reliable and affordable. That's where Sridhar's NASA background gave him a breakthrough advantage.

Since the boxes are "fuel agnostic," customers can run them on existing propane, natural gas, or ethanol sources. But they'll also run on plant waste, or almost anything else containing hydrogen and carbon. And the eventual "killer app"? Processing wind- or solar-generated electricity with water to create storable oxygen and hydrogen, then reversing the process to generate electricity at night or in low-wind or cloudy conditions.

That alone gives the technology impressive potential.

Please read full at The Atlantic

Dec 24, 2009

Next Generation Reactors Help Reduce Nuclear Waste

ScienceDaily Advanced technologies offer ways of reducing the quantity of nuclear waste. "New types of nuclear power plants can switch to a closed fuel cycle. It means that nuclear waste wouldn't be buried as such; instead, it would be chemically dissolved and the recyclable component re-processed into new fuel. As a result, many of the most long-lived radioactive substances could be used at new types of facilities," says Professor Riitta Kyrki-Rajamäki of Lappeenranta University of Technology.

Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki heads the New Type Nuclear Reactors project which is part of the Sustainable Energy Research Programme launched by the Academy of Finland. Very much different from the existing light water reactors, the new types of reactors have already attracted worldwide interest.

The New Type Nuclear Reactors project studies what is known as 'fourth-generation nuclear reactors'. The purpose of the project is to improve the analysis capabilities in view of these Gen IV reactors -- in other words, the development and application of new computational and experimental methodologies for studying the reactors. The main fields of science involved are reactor physics, reactor dynamics, materials technology, thermal hydraulics, and computational fluid dynamics.

While the use of nuclear energy does not generate significant emissions of greenhouse gases or fine particles, the inexpensive uranium resources required for light water reactors will only last for the next 200 years. If the number of nuclear power plants increases, the resources will be depleted even faster. Currently, there are some 450 units in operation with around 50 more being built. "The transition to new types of reactors over the next few decades would guarantee that the existing reserves of raw material for nuclear fuel last for thousands of years to come," explains Professor Kyrki-Rajamäki. Please read ful at ScienceDaily

US: Upcoming 2010 New OSHA Regulations

VIA NextReg

OSHA is preparing to release changes to existing standards and new standards related to several subjects that they have been analyzing for the last few years.  I would expect that each one of these new regulations will be part of their emphasis programs next year depending upon release.  Below is a brief review of each area that OSHA will be releasing new standards for with a brief description of what will be addressed.

Crystalline Silica
*  Inhalation of respirable silica dust can cause lung disease, silicosis and lung cancer. Exposure to airborne silica dust occurs in operations involving cutting, sawing, drilling and crushing of concrete, brick, block and other stone products, and in operations using sand products…

Combustible Dust
*  Combustible dust can cause catastrophic explosions like the 2008 disaster at the Imperial Sugar refinery that killed 14 workers and seriously injured dozens more. Deadly combustible dust fires and explosions can be caused by a wide array of materials and processes in a large number of industries. Materials that may form combustible dust include wood, coal, plastics, spice, starch, flour, feed, grain, fertilizer, tobacco, paper, soap, rubber, drugs, dyes, certain textiles, and metals…

Hazard Communication Standard – Global Harmonization System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
*  OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to informing workers about chemical hazards. The result is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA is revising its Hazard Communication Standard to make it consistent with the GHS…

For the full list of proposed areas from Southwest Missouri Safety Company

Including: Occupational Injury and Illness Recording and Reporting Requirements (Musculoskeletal Disorders), Cranes and Derricks, Walking / Working Surfaces – Subparts D & I, Airborne Infectious Diseases. Beryllium, Diacetyl

Dec 23, 2009

The gift that keeps on protecting you and your Friends, Family, Colleagues and Co-Workers,

After testing 100's of anti-virus, spyware, malware and security platforms over the years I am always pleased to find the best things in life are still free for home use.

Thus I have summarized a list of the most effective free software programs to repair, secure and maintain your computer this holiday season.

Best AntiVirus - Avast

Best AntiMalware/SpyWare - Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Best Clutter Cleaner - ccleaner

Best Uninstaller - Revo Uninstaller

Best System Maintainer - Advanced SystemCare

I run them on just about everything from a 10year old win95PC to windows 7.


Merry Christmas!
Wishing you a safer, healthier and more secure 2010!
-Christopher Haase

Dec 22, 2009

Uranium Is So Last Century... Enter Thorium

Little progress in 50 year old theory - reinventing cold war energy
WIRED- Published in 1958 ....what caught Sorensen's eye was the description of Weinberg's experiments producing nuclear power with an element called thorium.
..., during which he became convinced that thorium could solve the nuclear power industry's most intractable problems. After it has been used as fuel for power plants, the element leaves behind minuscule amounts of waste. And that waste needs to be stored for only a few hundred years, not a few hundred thousand like other nuclear byproducts.

Because it's so plentiful in nature, it's virtually inexhaustible. It's also one of only a few substances that acts as a thermal breeder, in theory creating enough new fuel as it breaks down to sustain a high-temperature chain reaction indefinitely. And it would be virtually impossible for the byproducts of a thorium reactor to be used by terrorists or anyone else to make nuclear weapons.

Weinberg and his men proved the efficacy of thorium reactors in hundreds of tests at Oak Ridge from the '50s through the early '70s. But thorium hit a dead end. Locked in a struggle with a nuclear- armed Soviet Union, the US government in the '60s chose to build uranium-fueled reactors — in part because they produce plutonium that can be refined into weapons-grade material. The course of the nuclear industry was set for the next four decades, and thorium power became one of the great what-if technologies of the 20th century.

The concept of nuclear power without waste or proliferation has obvious political appeal in the US, as well. The threat of climate change has created an urgent demand for carbon-free electricity, and the 52,000 tons of spent, toxic material that has piled up around the country makes traditional nuclear power less attractive. President Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, have expressed general support for a nuclear renaissance. Utilities are investigating several next-gen alternatives, including scaled-down conventional plants and "pebble bed" reactors, in which the nuclear fuel is inserted into small graphite balls in a way that reduces the risk of meltdown.

Those technologies are still based on uranium, however, and will be beset by the same problems that have dogged the nuclear industry since the 1960s. It is only thorium, Sorensen and his band of revolutionaries argue, that can move the country toward a new era of safe, clean, affordable energy.

CEO Seth Grae thinks it's better business to convert existing reactors than it is to build new ones. "We're just trying to replace leaded fuel with unleaded," he says. "You don't have to replace engines or build new gas stations."...For Sorensen, putting thorium into a conventional reactor is a half measure, like putting biofuel in a Hummer. But he acknowledges that the seed-and-blanket design has potential to get the country on its way to a greener, safer nuclear future. "The real enemy is coal," he says. "I want to fight it with LFTRs — which are like machine guns — instead of with light-water reactors, which are like bayonets. But when the enemy is spilling into the trench, you affix bayonets and go to work."

The thorium battalion is small, but — as nuclear physics demonstrates — tiny forces can yield powerful effects.

Please read full at WIRED

Dec 20, 2009

Obama's Current Science Adviser Warned in the 1970's of a New Ice Age

From George Washington

Specifically, as New York Times science columnist John Tierney noted in September:

In 1971, long before Dr. Holdren came President Obama's science adviser, in an essay [titled] "Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide," Dr. Holdren and his co-author, the ecologist Paul Ehrlich, warned of a coming ice age.

They certainly weren't the only scientists in the 1970s to warn of a coming ice age, but I can't think of any others who were so creative in their catastrophizing. Although they noted that the greenhouse effect from rising emissions of carbon dioxide emissions could cause future warming of the planet, they concluded from the mid-century cooling trend that the consequences of human activities (like industrial soot, dust from farms, jet exhaust, urbanization and deforestation) were more likely to first cause an ice age. Dr. Holdren and Dr. Ehrlich wrote:

The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.

Shooting Soot into the Upper Atmosphere

And when I wrote that some scientists considered pouring soot over the Arctic in the 1970s to help melt the ice - to prevent an ice age - I didn't realize that soot was still on the table as a way to battle climate change.

Specifically, Dr. Holdren has suggested (as a last resort):

Shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays.

The most common type of man-made "pollution particle" is soot. Indeed, as the American Lung Association points out:

Soot is an old name for particle pollution.
So President Obama's science advisor, Dr. Holdren, is now saying that we might need to use soot to stop runway global warming. (Soot in the upper atmosphere can reflect sunlight and cool temperatures, but soot on the surface of ice helps warm and melt the ice by absorbing sunlight).

What's Wrong with That?
Well, soot is a major cause of ice warming and melting in the Arctic and in the Himalayas. And as NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has shown , soot in the upper atmosphere ends up on the surface of ice sheets and glaciers, such as Arctic ice cap:
South Asia is estimated to have the largest industrial soot emissions in the world, and the meteorology in that region readily sweeps pollution into the upper atmosphere where it is easily transported to the North Pole.
I don't know whether Dr. Holdren was one of the scientists recommending using soot to melt the ice cap in the 1970s, but the fact that he would even consider shooting soot into the upper atmosphere now to cool the planet is very troubling. If scientists had convinced policy-makers to pour soot over the Arctic ice cap in the 1970s, we might have had real problems. If scientists convince them to shoot soot into the upper atmosphere now, we might get the exact same end-game.

First, Do No Harm Read more from George Washington here

Dec 18, 2009

Principles on Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act

In regards to the current overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act a number of state environmental commissioners and directors have signed and released the States' Principles on Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The December 2, 2009 document details what they believe should become of the reformed TSCA, which may include:

-Require Chemical Data Reporting
-Demonstrate Chemicals and Products are Safe
-Prioritize Chemicals of Concern
-Protect the Most Vulnerable
-Promote Safer Chemicals and Products
-Address Emerging Contaminants
-Strengthen Federal Law & Preserve States' Rights
-Fund State Programs

The full version can be found here

VIA Nexreg Compliance

Drinking coffee and beer may reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, two separate studies have revealed.

I'll always skip the beer but never the coffee, Only an Irish Report could conclude Beer and Coffee fight Cancer ;-)

In the first study, scientists recorded the coffee consumption of almost 50,000 men taking part in a major US health study. Over a period of 20 years, 4,975 of the men developed prostate cancer.
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The study found men who drank the most coffee had a 60pc lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than those who drank no coffee.

Study leader Dr Kathryn Wilson, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, US, said: "Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism as well as sex hormone levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer. It was plausible that there may be an association between coffee and prostate cancer."

The results were presented yesterday at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting "Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research" in Houston, Texas.

Helen Rippon, head of research management at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and so it is important that we fully understand any impact drinking it has on health.

"The research evidence so far on the relationship between caffeinated drinks and prostate cancer has been quite mixed, and has largely focused on the risk of developing the disease and the role that drinks like tea and coffee might have in cancer prevention. This large-scale study looked instead at whether coffee drinking might influence the aggressiveness of prostate cancer in men who do develop the disease.
Read Full Via Irish Independent

Link via DannyJoe

Over half highways across the country are congested and 25 percent of bridges are deficient or functionally obsolete.

Since 1984, per-mile total disbursements on state highways have increased by 262 percent. In 2007, U.S. states spent over $109 billion on state-owned highways, a 10 percent increase over 2006. But not everyone is getting their money's worth. Taxpayers in New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Rhode Island and Alaska have the worst-performing highway systems in the nation. North Dakota continues to have the nation's most efficient state-owned highway system...

The Reason Foundation study examines state highway systems in 11 categories, including congestion, pavement condition, fatalities, deficient bridges and total spending -  Read full from source - Reason Foundation

Link via Shirl Kennedy DocUticker 

BIG EHS week at the CBO

As every year 100's of new bills are pushed out of the house in a mad holiday dash and under the radar of the general public before the end of the year.
This week included some very important Environmental, Health, Safety, Conservation and Energy Reports.

As always, gotta take the good with the bad (yet there appears to be a lot of good in these)...

Enjoy and have a good weekend!

The good, bad and ugly...

Waste Reduction & Recycling News in Wisconsin via WasteCap

Wisconsin to require recycling on state projects
Recycling required on state construction projects over $5 million and state demolition projects as of January 1, 2010
Wisconsin should see less construction and demolition (C&D) debris in its landfills come the first of the year. A unique partnership among two state agencies and a nonprofit organization has shown that C&D projects throughout Wisconsin can successfully recycle. Based on these results, the Division of State Facilities will be requiring C&D waste to be recycled rather than put in landfills. This will apply to State of Wisconsin construction projects over $5 million and demolition projects advertised for bid after January 1, 2010. The efforts will reduce waste disposal costs, conserve landfill space and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading….
Solid Waste and Recycling Legislative Update
The Wisconsin Legislature has wrapped up its fall floor session after taking action on several bills related to recycling and solid waste. Most notably the Legislature adopted bills related to used electronics, oil filters & oil absorbents and mercury containing products. Below are some of the bills that have been introduced during the current session that may impact solid waste and recycling programs across the state. Continue reading on SHWEC's blog

Look for Waste Cap - 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' Project a Success
WasteCap spent a week in Buffalo, NY with ABC's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' last month to manage waste for the special project. WasteCap staff worked onsite with New York builder David Homes to manage and document debris reuse and recycling. The project diverted 870 tons of waste from landfills by reusing and recycling, achieving a 93.3% diversion rate; easily surpassing the project goal of 75%!
Tune in to ABC the second week in January to watch this episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

WasteCap in the News

Read more from WasteCap

Dec 16, 2009

Tag Teaming for Pollution Prevention... "P2TagTeam" your it!

Last April the P2 group started a social bookmarking tag campaign "P2Pile" to assist groups in locating Pollution Prevention Resources.

After several months I noticed "P2Pile" reflected nothing in a simple google search and considered it 'DOA'.

I was very happy to hear that this program has since evolved into the "P2TagTeam"
Originally the program had a geek factor I gravitated towards in waste reduction programs dear to my heart.

Thus I am creating a 'motherload' feed tool to bring the "P2TagTeam" tags to my ultra data crowd.

Enjoy watching this as I get time to 'advance it' over the holidays.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays to,, and all those helping on the p2tagteam

Find out more about the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange Network By visiting the national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).

P2RxP2RIC is Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center part of the Resource Exchange - P2Rx.

Dec 12, 2009

Free Workshop Preliminary Draft Cap-and-Trade Regulation

The presentation is now available for the Monday, December 14, 2009 Public Workshop on the Preliminary Draft Regulation for a California Cap-and-Trade Program. The presentation is now available for the public workshop to discuss the Preliminary Draft Regulation for a California Cap-and-Trade Program.

The presentation can be found at:

More information can be found on the California Air Resources Board's Cap-and-Trade website at:

The meeting will be webcast:

Dec 11, 2009

The Facts About Bottled Water (pic)

The Facts About Bottled Water (pic)

EPA Issues 2008 Information on Toxic Chemical Releases

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released today the 2008 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) which provides information on toxic chemicals used and released by utilities, refineries, chemical manufacturers, paper companies, and many other facilities across the nation. The TRI is compiled from data submitted to EPA and the States by industry.

When compared with the 2000 TRI data of 478.0 million pounds released, the 2008 figures represent a 27.0 percent reduction (128.0 million pounds) in toxic pollutants released by facilities in the region. This was accomplished by process modifications, raw material substitution and pollution control equipment.

"The TRI is a valuable resource for citizens and government alike," said Shawn Garvin, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "Communities can use these data to begin dialogues with local facilities to encourage them to reduce emissions or develop pollution prevention plans. Public interest groups use it to educate the public about toxic chemical emissions and potential risk. And EPA and the states use it to set priorities and allocate environmental protection resources to the most pressing problems."

It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and generally do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

TRI information is easily accessible online to the news media and the public at For more detailed information on a specific facility, go to:

How You Can Help In Mere Seconds — Every Day

'Food for animals for free'. This doesn't cost you a thing. The Animal Rescue Site provides a feel-good way to help promote awareness and prevent rescued animal deaths every day — through easy and quick online activities. Please remember to click every day to give help and hope to those most in need. Every click counts in the life of a rescued animal.

The Animal Rescue Site
focuses on providing food for some of the eight million companion animals relinquished to shelters in the U.S. every year. Over four million animals are put to death each year in the U.S. because they are abandoned and unwanted.

Each click on the purple "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Animal Rescue Site provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at the
Fund for Animals' renowned animal sanctuaries (including Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas and the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in California), pet shelters supported by the Petfinder Foundation , North Shore Animal League , and other worthy animal care facilities supported by the foundation.

100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners.

Link provided my Mitch Maloney Via Email