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Study finds flame retardant pollutants at far-flung locations
Chemicals used as flame retardants are present as environmental pollutants at locations around the globe, including remote sites in Indonesia, Nepal and Tasmania, according to a study by researchers from the Indiana University. (2013-01-08)

Autistic features linked to prenatal exposure to fire retardants, phthalates
Exposure during pregnancy to a combination of fire retardant chemicals and phthalate chemicals--both present in the average home--can contribute to autistic-like behaviors in the offspring, according to an animal study to be presented Thursday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego. (2015-03-05)

Flame retardants -- from plants
Flame retardants are present in thousands of everyday items, from clothing to furniture to electronics. Although these substances can help prevent fire-related injuries and deaths, they could have harmful effects on human health and the environment. Today, scientists report potentially less toxic, biodegradable flame retardants from an unlikely source: plants. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. (2019-08-26)

Cell splits water via sunlight to produce hydrogen
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a unique photocatlytic cell that splits water to produce hydrogen and oxygen in water using sunlight and the power of a nanostructured catalyst. The group is developing novel methodologies for synthesis of nanostructured films with superior opto-electronic properties. (2007-05-02)

Flameproof falcons and hawks
A Cooper's hawk, found in Greater Vancouver, is the most polluted wild bird that has been found anywhere in the world. (2015-04-22)

Debate on banning organohalogen flame retardants heats up
Hundreds of everyday household items, from laptop computers to babies' high chairs, contain flame retardants to prevent the objects from catching fire. Recently, several groups petitioned a U.S. agency to ban flame retardants known as organohalogens, some of which can migrate out of household items. Others argue against blacklisting an entire class of compounds without further study, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. (2018-09-26)

Engineer receives $2.2 million DOE grant to develop electric vehicle battery technology
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently awarded a grant to a University of Missouri engineering researcher to develop manufacturing technology that will help produce materials necessary for lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The DOE's $2.2 million award will allow Yangchuan Xing, a professor of chemical engineering in the MU College of Engineering, to develop his proposed manufacturing technology over the course of the next three years. (2015-11-04)

Research shows microplastics are damaging to coral ecosystems
Coral endosymbionts exposed to microplastics experience significant reduction in population size as well as cell size. (2020-03-05)

CASCADE researchers call for open discussions about EU chemicals legislation
Scientists studying chemicals in food call for joint discussions with consumers and industry on the proposed EU chemicals legislation. At the Annual Meeting of the EU supported research Network CASCADE, March 28-31, in St Malo France, over 90 scientists from Europe, Japan and USA meet to discuss the latest scientific results in the field. (2006-03-24)

Up in flames: Patented technology makes valuable nanoparicles
A researcher at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a patented technology that makes nanoparticles smaller, faster, cleaner, and cheaper than existing commercial processes. Richard L. Axelbaum, Ph.D., Washington University professor of mechanical engineering, is the first person to patent a flame technique that makes materials in the nanoparticle range. The technology is licensed to AP Materials, Inc., St. Louis. (2001-02-25)

Study finds bacteria in marine sponge produce toxic flame retardant-like compounds
A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego-led research team discovered for the first time that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that specialize in the production of toxic compounds nearly identical to man-made fire retardants. (2017-05-11)

Environmental contaminants alter gut microbiome, health
The microbes that inhabit our bodies are influenced by what we eat, drink, breathe and absorb through our skin, and most of us are chronically exposed to natural and human-made environmental contaminants. In a new paper, scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign review the research linking dozens of environmental chemicals to changes in the gut microbiome and associated health challenges. (2020-05-21)

Flame-retardant exposure increases anxiety, affects social behaviors in prairie vole
New research shows that early life exposure to a commonly used flame-retardant mixture increases anxiety and affects socioemotional behaviors in prairie voles, particularly in females. (2019-11-12)

Occupational textile dust exposure linked to rheumatoid arthritis
Occupational exposure to textile dust is associated with a more than doubling in the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, finds research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. (2016-01-14)

Study reveals birth defects caused by flame retardant
A new study from the University of Georgia has shown that exposure to a now-banned flame retardant can alter the genetic code in sperm, leading to major health defects in children of exposed parents. (2020-06-09)

Study finds metal foam handles heat better than steel
A new study finds that novel light-weight composite metal foams are significantly more effective at insulating against high heat than the conventional base metals and alloys that they're made of, such as steel. The finding means the CMF is especially promising for use in storing and transporting nuclear material, hazardous materials, explosives and other heat-sensitive materials, as well as for space exploration. (2016-03-28)

UMD researchers identify structure of blue whirls
'Blue whirls' -- small, spinning blue flames that produce almost no soot when they burn -- have attracted great interest since their discovery in 2016, in part because they represent a potential new avenue for low-emission combustion. Now, a team of researchers has identified how these intriguing whirls are structured. (2020-08-13)

Scientists concerned about environmental impact of recycling of e-waste
Much of the world's electronic waste is being shipped to China for recycling and the cottage industry that has sprung up there to recover usable materials from computers, cell phones, televisions and other goods may be creating significant health and environmental hazards. (2010-08-26)

College students exposed to toxic flame retardants in dust from dormitory furnishings
A new study shows that students living in college dormitories are exposed to high levels of toxic flame retardants in dust. In the analysis, led by Silent Spring Institute, scientists measured dozens of flame retardants in dorm dust samples, including carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and chemicals that affect brain function. The results also included some of the highest levels ever reported. (2017-04-25)

Composite PVC materials with enhanced thermal stability on the basis of nanofillings
Researchers at the Public University of Navarre are working on a project to design and manufacture composite PVC materials based on nanofillings and intended for multi-sectoral applications. The ultimate aim of the Vinilclay project is to control and optimize the properties of the plastic material; specifically, its photostability, thermal resistance and gas permeation. (2012-03-21)

Crib mattresses emit potentially harmful chemicals, Cockrell School engineers find
In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep. The research team analyzed the foam padding in crib mattresses to gain knowledge about the chemical composition of the mattresses, the rate at which volatile organic compounds are released into the air and the emission levels that sleeping infants are exposed to. (2014-04-02)

Graphene and other carbon nanomaterials can replace scarce metals
Scarce metals are found in a wide range of everyday objects around us. They are complicated to extract, difficult to recycle and so rare that several of them have become (2017-09-19)

Mattresses could emit higher levels of VOCs during sleep
Hundreds of household items, including furniture, paint and electronics, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which at high levels can pose health risks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have measured the emission rates of the gaseous compounds released by several types of polyurethane mattresses under simulated sleeping conditions, finding levels of some VOCs that could be worrisome for children and infants. However, so far there is no evidence of adverse health effects. (2019-07-10)

'Grand Challenge' review stresses global impact of microplastics
'Grand Challenge' review, commissioned to mark AGU's 100th anniversary, stresses that microplastics are not just an ocean problem. (2020-02-24)

Plastics pose threat to human health
Plastics contain and leach hazardous chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that threaten human health. An authoritative new report, Plastics, EDCs, & Health, from the Endocrine Society and the IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network), presents a summary of international research on the health impacts of EDCs and describes the alarming health effects of widespread contamination from EDCs in plastics. (2020-12-15)

Household dust is main source of flame retardants in humans
Household dust is the main route of exposure to flame retardants for people, followed by eating animal and dairy products, according to a report in the July 15 issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology. The study is based on a computer model developed by Canadian researchers. (2005-07-06)

Electronic nose could spell the end of landfill pongs
Scientists at the University of Manchester have invented a new device which remotely monitors bad odours and methane gases at waste landfill and water treatment sites. (2006-01-05)

House dust spurs growth of fat cells in lab tests
Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are major contributors to the world's obesity epidemic, but researchers have also identified common environmental pollutants that could play a role. Now one team reports in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology that small amounts of house dust containing many of these compounds can spur fat cells to accumulate more triglycerides, or fat, in a lab dish. (2017-07-12)

New process discovered to completely degrade flame retardant in the environment
A team of environmental scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and China has for the first time used a dynamic, two-step process to completely degrade a common flame-retardant chemical, rendering the persistent global pollutant nontoxic. (2019-08-08)

Preserving arson evidence with triclosan
A preservative in toothpastes, hand soaps, underarm deodorants and other everyday products is getting a second life, helping crime scene investigators preserve evidence of arson, scientists reported here today at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. (2012-03-25)

'FLARE' For Fire Research Leads To New Detector
Purdue University engineers have developed a new type of fire detector that senses temperature to detect flames, and that has several advantages over conventional smoke detectors. (1997-08-21)

Legacy pollutants found in migratory terns in Great Lakes region
Chemicals that haven't been manufactured in the U.S. for years or even decades are still turning up in the bodies of migratory terns in the Great Lakes region, a new study finds. The research focused on three types of compounds: PBDEs, PCBs, and the breakdown products, called metabolites, of DDT. (2020-10-21)

Chemical found in computer can cause allergy, sickness
New research suggests that emissions from the plastic of your computer's video monitor may be affecting your health, according to a Swedish study presented in the current (Sept. 15) edition of Environmental Science & Technology, a peer- reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. (2000-09-17)

Loyola warns lower temps mean greater risk of fire from space heaters
The Burn Center at Loyola University Medical Center is warning the public about the dangers of space heaters and other electrical appliances used to keep warm during winter cold snaps. (2004-11-04)

Kaiser Permanente to examine role of environmental factors in childhood obesity
Kaiser Permanente researchers have received a major new grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how exposures to environmental chemicals during pregnancy may influence the risk of obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. (2016-11-15)

Fish-flavored cat food could contribute to feline hyperthyroidism
Over the past three decades, the number of cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism has increased. According to research reports, many factors such as exposure to flame retardants could be responsible, and now a new study in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology points in another direction. It suggests that fish-flavored cat food could be among the culprits. (2016-01-06)

Flame protection for the jet set
A new coating protects business jet interiors against fire. Not only is the agent more environmentally friendly than before; it can also be applied more quickly. Empa is thus helping the Swiss company Jet Aviation to leave its competitors in the dust. This new coating could also be used in textiles and wood-based furnishing and architectural systems. (2015-01-09)

Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean
Crustaceans from the deepest ocean trenches found to contain ten times the level of industrial pollution than the average earthworm, scientists have shown. (2017-02-13)

Study finds flame retardant exposure higher in infants than adults
In October, Macy's joined a growing list of major retail stores that have pledged to stop selling furniture containing flame retardants, which research suggests could cause developmental problems. Despite the trend, however, it could take years before widespread exposure declines. And now, a study in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology has revealed more bad news: Infants could potentially be affected the most. The report also looks at potential exposure routes. (2015-12-02)

Single-step hydrogen peroxide production could be cleaner, more efficient
Chemical and biological engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have uncovered new insight into how the compound hydrogen peroxide decomposes. This advance, published this spring in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could inform efficient and cost-effective single-step strategies for producing hydrogen peroxide. (2016-05-24)

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