News Stories

News Stories relating to "pollution"

Gas Gobbling Trees

Scientists have invented fake trees that can clean up carbon dioxide emissions. Now Brazilian botanist Marcos Buckeridge has found a living tree that's a CO2 gas gobbler. The Jatoba is a rainforest tree that grows much faster in atmospheres with high levels of carbon dioxide.

"We took seeds and grew them in normal air, which has 360...

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Fake Trees Could Clean Up

If we can't prevent air pollution from happening, why not install air cleaners instead? Trees are natural air scrubbers, taking in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen, so Klaus Lackner invented an artificial tree. It's not very pretty, however. "It looks like a goal post with Venetian blinds," he admits. But one synthetic...

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We're Living a Toxic Life

Recent studies show that Americans are absorbing toxic chemicals in their bodies as part of everyday life. We're ingesting low levels of chemicals simply by eating, drinking, breathing and touching things. There are more than 70,000 chemicals used in the U.S., with 2,000 new compounds introduced every year. Almost everything we use, from...

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Global Warming Makes Mercury Pollution Worse

The UN Environment Program (UNEP) says pollution from everything from gold mining to burning coal in power stations has tripled mercury levels in the air. Mercury gets into the food chain, and can cause brain and nerve damage resulting in impaired coordination, blurred vision, tremors, irritability and memory loss. Klaus Toepfer of UNEP says, "...

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Environmental Tests are Worthless

We rely on environmental testing to tell us if our water and soil is safe. Now it turns out test results are being manipulated to the extent that they are almost totally worthless. The Bush administration is putting people on scientific advisory committees who won't insist on spending a lot of money on testing and regulation. And both private...

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Pollution Causes Teenage Crime

Low-level lead poisoning may be one cause of juvenile crime. A study of 194 young offenders tried in a Pennsylvania court found that the concentrations of lead in their bones was much higher than in non-delinquent teenagers. Researchers don't know if the lead was the cause of the crimes, or if it's just a symptom of the poor living conditions...

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Toxic Metals Getting into our Food

Heavy metals from industrial pollution and sewage sludge may poison the food we eat. Scientists used to think that living organisms, such as snails and worms, could only ingest heavy metals and other pollutants in the soil if they were dissolved in water, but now they know this isn't true, meaning they could affect us too. Much of the heavy...

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U.S. Moving Backwards on Environment

Conservation and environmental groups think there will be an unprecedented assault on environmental laws in the congress, now that they have a Republican majority. Greg Wetstone, of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), says, "In the absence of any clear, aggressive Congressional oversight we will see a more vigorous, escalated attack...

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Pollution Damage Passed on to Kids

Air pollution can cause genetic damage that is passed on by fathers to their children. Tests on mice show that those who breathed air near a smoke-belching steel mill had fewer babies and the ones they did have had more genetic mutations than normal. Almost all the extra mouse mutations were inherited from the fathers, suggesting that steel...

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Gender Bender Pollution

Tiny amounts of chemicals found in food and the environment are affecting the gender behavior of preschool children. A new study by doctors and scientists in the Netherlands shows that normal levels of PCBs and dioxins are "gender-benders" that affect human and animal sexuality. Wildlife species, from seagulls and alligators to fish and turtles...

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Don't Breathe, Baby

A two-week-old baby in Los Angeles has already been exposed to more toxic air pollution than the U.S. government says is an acceptable cancer risk over a lifetime. A study of California air pollution by the National Environmental Trust says that even if a child moves away from California, or if the air has been cleaned up by the time he or she...

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Brown Haze Clouds Asia

Pollution in southern Asia produces a brown haze made up ofsoot, particles, aerosols and other pollutants that affectsrainfall and farming, and causes respiratory disease inhundreds of thousands of people. "The haze is the result offorest fires, the burning of agricultural wastes, dramaticincreases in the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles,...

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Toxic Sludge is Good for Fish

The Army Corps of Engineers' is dumping toxic sludge into the Potomac River, which is a designated American Heritage river. According to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document, fish are not being harmed because the sludge causes them to flee the area. That way, they escape fishermen too, so, according to the EPA, toxic sludge is...

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First World Pollution Causes African Starvation

We?re accustomed to seeing the faces of pitiful, starving African children staring out at us from advertisements. They?re emaciated, standing on parched and cracked earth, and appealing to us for aid. Now it turns out we may be the cause of their problem.

Emissions spewed out by power stations and factories in North America and Europe...

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Smog Protects India from Global Warming

Black smog is reversing the effects of global warming in India, according to Veerabhadi Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. Pollution across the Indian subcontinent is shielding the sun and lowering the winter temperature several degrees.

Scientists say the smog particles are cooling the land by absorbing...

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Half of U.S. Breathes Dangerous Air

More than half of all Americans breathe polluted air that can damage their health because the government doesn't fully enforce clean air laws, according to the American Lung Association. Standards are in place to cut back pollution, but since they are not being enforced, nearly 400 counties in the United States have smog levels above the legal...

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Southern Cites Becoming More Polluted

Uncontrolled growth and lack of access to technology are driving the cities of the southern half of the Earth to the verge of environmental collapse. At the recent conference of the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS), with delegates from universities in Tokyo, Sweden, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Federal Swiss...

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Now It's Dangerous to Breathe

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says long-term exposure to the air pollution in some of America?s biggest cities significantly raises the risk of dying from lung cancer and is as dangerous as living with a smoker. The danger comes from combustion-related fine particulate matter, which is soot emitted by cars and...

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Computer Pollution

Old computers are being dumped in Asia where they are releasing toxic materials into the environment. The report ?Exporting Harm: The Hi-Tech Trashing Of Asia? describes a group of villages in China where computers from America are picked apart with the remains littered along rivers and fields. ?I?ve seen a lot of dirty operations in Third...

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Careful What You Eat & Breathe

Traces of the airplane engine degreaser TCE, that has contaminated the groundwater around a Utah air base since 1987, have been found in fruit grown nearby. TCE causes cancer in laboratory rats, but has not been linked to cancer in humans.

Utah State University researchers found trichloroethylene in about 90 percent of fruit grown in...

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Surprise Finding: Auto Emission Kill More than Wrecks

Pollution from cars and trucks kills more people than traffic crashes. Researchers, in a study in the journal Science, say cutting greenhouse gases in four cities they studied -- Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City; Santiago, Chile; and New York City -- could save 64,000 lives over the next 20 years.

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Catalytic Converters May Cause Pollution

Catalytic converters are supposed to clean up car exhaust and prevent air pollution, but new research shows that they are polluting the atmosphere instead. Italian and French researchers have found dangerous heavy metals from converters far away from their sources, in remote regions of Greenland.

"The fact that we found the metals in...

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