Tag Archives: chemical disaster

Pollution over Southeast Asia May Threaten Ozone Health

cooling tower and smokestacks of this steel factory in hebei, china
Water vapor and smoke billow from the cooling tower and smokestacks of this steel factory in Hebei, China, a province dominated by industrial factories. These factories, along with other emission sources, produce chlorocarbon pollutants that may end up further damaging the ozone layer. Credit: Kevin Frayer/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images Plus

Emissions of short-lived chlorine-based chemicals that deplete ozone are increasing worldwide. But over some regions of Asia, these chemicals may be on a fast track to the ozone layer

October 27, 2017 — A rise in the emission of short-lived chlorine-based chemicals over the past decade has created a possible new threat to the health of Earth’s protective, yet fragile, ozone layer. Continue reading Pollution over Southeast Asia May Threaten Ozone Health

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

plastic fibers on drinking water
The average number of fibres found in each 500ml sample ranged from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe. Photograph: Michael Heim/Alamy

Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted

September 6, 2017 — Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health. Continue reading Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

‘Your eyes start itching’: pollution soars in Houston after chemical industry leaks

petrochemical industry in houston
Houston’s petrochemical industry has leaked more than 2,700 tons of extra air pollution in connection with Hurricane Harvey. Photograph: David J. Phillip/AP

Communities face surging toxic fumes and possible water contamination, as refineries and plants report more than 2,700 tons of extra pollution

September 3, 2017 — Hurricane Harvey has resulted in Houston’s petrochemical industry leaking thousands of tons of pollutants, with communities living near plants damaged by the storm exposed to soaring levels of toxic fumes and potential water contamination. Continue reading ‘Your eyes start itching’: pollution soars in Houston after chemical industry leaks

Treaty to curb mercury exposure takes effect

mercury
Mercury. Photo by Wikipedia

The treaty obliges member nations to promote mercury-free gold processing methods, to protect especially vulnerable populations, and to end especially harmful practices

PARIS, France (Aug. 16, 2017) — A 128-nation treaty to curb exposure to the dangerous heavy metal mercury entered into force Wednesday, August 16, the United Nations announced on the convention’s website. Continue reading Treaty to curb mercury exposure takes effect

Fish mistaking plastic debris in ocean for food, study finds

microplastics
Fish eat microplastics driven by their odour. Above, debris found in the stomach of a fish in Portugal. Photograph: Paulo Oliveira/Alamy

Behavioural evidence suggests marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food

August 16, 2017 — Fish may be actively seeking out plastic debris in the oceans as the tiny pieces appear to smell similar to their natural prey, new research suggests. Continue reading Fish mistaking plastic debris in ocean for food, study finds

‘We are jobless because of fish poisoning’: Vietnamese fishermen battle for justice

quang trach, vietnam
A beach in Quang Trach district is strewn with dead fish after the toxic spill in April 2016. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

A year after Vietnam’s worst environmental disaster, lives remain ruined while the government cracks down on protesters seeking compensation

August 14, 2017 — “We used to eat the meat of the pig, but now all we have to eat is the skin” – the Vietnamese saying neatly encapsulates the predicament facing the country’s fishermen, says Nguyen Viet Thieu. Continue reading ‘We are jobless because of fish poisoning’: Vietnamese fishermen battle for justice

Shipping companies urged to stop using dirty fuels in the Arctic

fragile arctic ecosystem
The risks to fragile Arctic ecosystems could soar as more polar sea lanes become accessible because of climate change. Photograph: Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

Shipping companies are under pressure to phase out use of heavy fuels, as world’s first hybrid battery-powered cruise ship set for launch in 2018

July 11, 2017 — Shipping companies are under pressure to phase out use of heavy fuels ahead of a potential ban on their use in the Arctic in the coming years. Continue reading Shipping companies urged to stop using dirty fuels in the Arctic

‘Limitless applications’: the ‘magic powder’ that could prevent future crises

drought
There is a MOF that enables the harvesting of moisture out of the sky. Photograph: kristianbell/Getty Images/RooM RF

Metal organic frameworks could solve everything from water shortages to rotting food. Now Australian scientists have found a way to commercialise it

July 6, 2017 — It sounds like a distant dystopian crisis: a world where global food and water supply chains buckle under the strain of overpopulation and climate change, before being contaminated Continue reading ‘Limitless applications’: the ‘magic powder’ that could prevent future crises

Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don’t see

synthetic fibers
Every time we wash our clothing the synthetic fibers the are comprised of leach into our waterways, rivers and oceans. Photograph: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

The tiny pollutants in our clothes are forcing us to look harder for, and think more carefully about, the ways humans have shaped the environment

June 29, 2017 — Opening my washing machine at the end of a cycle is not something that generally fills me with excitement. But today it did, because doing so – I thought – would finally allow me to see and Continue reading Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don’t see

30 injured in blast at chemical recycling plant in Spain

spain
Image by Rappler.com

The blast in Arganda del Rey sends up a huge column of black smoke, but emergency services say several air quality measuring stations in the area showed normal readings, easing concerns about toxic pollution

MADRID, Spain (May 4, 2017) — At least 30 people were injured Thursday, May 4, three of them seriously, in an explosion at recycling site for hazardous chemical waste near Madrid, forcing the evacuation of nearby schools, authorities said. Continue reading 30 injured in blast at chemical recycling plant in Spain