Current Contaminants News and Events

Current Contaminants News and Events, Contaminants News Articles.
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Some food contamination starts in the soil
Rice husk residue can prevent uptake of harmful elements in rice. (2021-02-03)

Soil health is as environmentally important as air and water quality, say microbiologists
Healthy, sustainably managed soil is a critical ecosystem for continuous sustenance of plants, animals and humans globally. While the concept of 'soil health' still continues to evolve, the versatility of the concept allows its adoption by many stakeholders. (2021-01-26)

Dramatic increase in microplastics in seagrass soil since the 1970s
Large-scale production of vegetables and fruit in Spain with intensive plastic consumption in its greenhouse industry is believed to have leaked microplastic contaminants since the 1970s into the surrounding Mediterranean seagrass beds. This is shown in a new study where researchers have succeeded in tracing plastic pollution since the 1930s and 1940s by analyzing seagrass sediments. (2021-01-25)

Researchers develop new graphene nanochannel water filters
Brown University researchers have shown that tiny channels between graphene sheets can be aligned in a way that makes them ideal for water filtration. (2021-01-21)

Stanford: forecasting coastal water quality
Using water samples and environmental data gathered over 48 hours or less, Stanford engineers develop a new predictive technique for forecasting coastal water quality, a critical step in protecting public health and the ocean economy. (2021-01-21)

The cancer microbiome reveals which bacteria live in tumors
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised an algorithm to remove contaminated microbial genetic information from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). With a clearer picture of the microbiota living in various organs in both healthy and cancerous states, researchers will now be able to find new biomarkers of disease and better understand how numerous cancers affect the human body. (2021-01-13)

Disposable helmet retains cough droplets, minimizes transmission to dentists
Dentists and otolaryngologists are at particular risk of infection of COVID-19, since they need direct access to the mouth, nose, and throat of patients. The current solutions are expensive, not highly effective, and not very accessible. In Physics of Fluids, researchers discuss their design of an open-faced helmet that is connected to a medical-grade air filtration pump from the top that creates a reverse flow of air to prevent cough droplets from exiting the helmet. (2021-01-12)

Electron-producing microbes power sustainable wastewater treatment
WSU researchers have developed a sustainable wastewater treatment system that relies on electron-producing microbial communities to clean the water. The work could someday lead to reduced reliance on the energy-intensive processes that are used to move and treat wastewater, which accounts for as much as two percent of the total electrical energy consumption in the United States. (2020-12-17)

Drinking water significant source of microplastics in human diet
In an effort to understand the potential risks associated with exposure to micro/nanoplastics, the?Emerging Risks of Micro/nanoplastics: Perspectives From Diverse Sectors symposia at the 2020 Society for Risk Analysis virtual Annual Meeting, December 13-17, 2020,?aims to highlight the current state of knowledge associated with physical and chemical transformation, hazard characterization, environmental effects, social implications and policy limitations.? (2020-12-17)

Applying compost to landfills could have environmental benefits
Many people think of composting organic matter as a way of keeping solid waste out of landfills, but a new study finds there can be significant environmental benefits associated with using compost at landfills. (2020-12-14)

Let the sunshine in: self-cleaning membrane under visible light treatment
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) reported that the research team led by Dr. Jeehye Byun and Director Seok Won Hong from Water Cycle Research Center developed a membrane material that self-cleans biological contaminants through irradiation of sunlight. According to the team, the newly developed membrane material is expected to significantly reduce the cost of membrane management as the membrane can be reused after just 10 minutes of sunlight irradiation. (2020-12-09)

Toxic pollutants can impact wildlife disease spread
Exposure to toxic pollutants associated with human activities may be influencing the spread of infectious diseases in wildlife, according to a new study from the University of Georgia. (2020-12-09)

New study allows regional prediction of uranium in groundwater
Stanford researchers can predict where and when uranium is released into aquifers and suggest an easy fix to keep this naturally occurring toxin from contaminating water sources. (2020-12-08)

Plastic contaminants harm sea urchins
Plastics in the ocean can release chemicals that cause deformities in sea urchin larvae, new research shows. (2020-11-30)

TPU scientists develop eco-friendly hydrogel for agriculture
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University, in cooperation with the Czech colleagues have developed a new hydrogel for agriculture. It is meant to retain moisture and fertilizers in soil. The difference of the new hydrogel from other formulations is that it is made entirely of natural components and degrades in soil into nontoxic products to humans, animals, and plants. The research results are published in the Journal of Cleaner Production (IF: 7, 246; Q1). (2020-11-29)

Study finds health trade-offs for wildlife as urbanization expands
City living appears to improve reproductive success for migratory tree swallows compared to breeding in more environmentally protected areas, a new five-year study suggests. But urban life comes with a big trade-off - health hazards linked to poorer water quality. (2020-11-18)

Microbial remedies target chemical threats in the environment
In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology explores new ways to rid the environment of co-occurring toxic chemicals, TCE and perchlorate. To accomplish this, Fe0 in combination with microbial cultures containing an unusual microbe known as Dehalococcoides mccartyi were added to soil and groundwater samples from a contaminated Superfund site in Goodyear, Arizona. The contaminated site had formerly been involved in defense and aerospace manufacturing. (2020-11-17)

Biochar from agricultural waste products can adsorb contaminants in wastewater
Biochar -- a charcoal-like substance made primarily from agricultural waste products -- holds promise for removing emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals from treated wastewater. That's the conclusion of a team of researchers that conducted a novel study that evaluated and compared the ability of biochar derived from two common leftover agricultural materials -- cotton gin waste and guayule bagasse -- to adsorb three common pharmaceutical compounds from an aqueous solution. (2020-11-16)

Water-energy nanogrid provides solution for rural communities lacking basic amenities
Researchers at Texas A&M University have come up with an economical, green solution that can help underprivileged communities with their water and electricity needs. (2020-11-04)

Researchers devise new method to get the lead out
Researchers in the lab of Daniel Giammar, in McKelvey School of Engineering have devised a simple, quick and inexpensive way to quantify how much lead is trapped by a water filter. (2020-10-30)

Copolymer helps remove pervasive PFAS toxins from environment
Researchers have demonstrated that they can attract, capture and destroy PFAS - a group of federally regulated substances found in everything from nonstick coatings to shampoo and nicknamed ''the forever chemicals'' due to their persistence in the natural environment. (2020-10-29)

Making biodiesel from dirty old cooking oil just got way easier
Researchers develop a new sponge-like catalyst that is so tough it can make biodiesel from low-grade ingredients containing up to 50% contaminants. And it's so efficient it could double the productivity of manufacturing processes for transforming food scraps, microplastics and old tyres into high-value commodity chemicals. (2020-10-26)

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)

Researchers find consistent mercury levels in arctic seals
Ringed seals and other Arctic marine mammals are important in the diet of Arctic Indigenous peoples. A study spanning 45 years of testing indicates that mercury concentrations in ringed seals from the Canadian Arctic have remained stable, showing very limited declines over time. (2020-10-07)

Many ventilation systems may increase risk of COVID-19 exposure, study suggests
Ventilation systems in many modern office buildings, which are designed to keep temperatures comfortable and increase energy efficiency, may increase the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, particularly during the coming winter, according to research published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. (2020-09-29)

Spin clean-up method brings practical quantum computers closer to reality
Researchers at Osaka City University create a quantum algorithm that removes spin contaminants while making chemical calculations on quantum computers. This allows for predictions of electronic and molecular behavior with degrees of precision not achievable with classical computers and paves the way for practical quantum computers to become a reality. (2020-09-25)

Mobile e-shredding may pose risks for workers: bu study
A new Boston University School of Public Health study published in Annals of Work Exposure and Health is the first to evaluate the exposures faced by workers in mobile e-shredding, a new service to securely destroy hard drives, laptops, and other electronics containing confidential information on site. (2020-09-01)

Trapping of acetylene
Ethylene, a key feedstock in the chemical industry, often includes traces of acetylene contaminants, which need to be removed. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers describe a robust and regenerable porous metal-organic framework that captures acetylene with extraordinary efficiency and selectively. Its synergistic combination of tailor-made pore sizes and chemical docking sites makes the material especially efficient, the study says. (2020-08-27)

Sea-level rise linked to higher water tables along California coast
Researchers modeled the effects of rising sea levels along the California coast. While results varied with local topography, the study indicates an increased threat to populated areas already at risk from rising water tables, and the possibility of flooding in unexpected inland areas. (2020-08-21)

Contaminants from Mount Polley tailings spill continue to affect Quesnel lake
Natural mixing of lake waters may resuspend contaminants deposited in a catastrophic mine spill six years ago, according to a new paper led by a University of Alberta scientist. (2020-08-13)

Mix of contaminants in Fukushima wastewater, risks of ocean dumping
Nearly 10 years after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power, radiation levels have fallen to safe levels in all but the waters closest to the shuttered power plant. An article published August 8 in the journal Science looks at the many radioactive elements contained in the tanks and suggests that more needs to be done to understand the potential risks of releasing wastewater from the tanks into the ocean. (2020-08-06)

Tracking humanity's latest toxins in stranded whales and dolphins
As humanity develops new types of plastics and chemicals, researchers are constantly trying to keep up with understanding how these contaminants affect the environment and wildlife. A new study gives a first look at the presence and potential effects of these pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales along the coast of the southeastern United States. (2020-08-05)

Herbicide harming marsupial health and development, research finds
Researchers exposed the adult female tammar wallabies to atrazine contaminated water throughout pregnancy, birth and lactation to help establish the extent of harm being caused by the chemical. They then examined the reproductive development of their young by assessing their growth and development to establish that the herbicide is causing major abnormalities in the male reproductive system in many animals. (2020-08-05)

Plastics, pathogens and baby formula: What's in your shellfish?
The first landmark study using next-generation technology to comprehensively examine contaminants in oysters in Myanmar reveals alarming findings: the widespread presence of human bacterial pathogens and human-derived microdebris materials, including plastics, kerosene, paint, talc and milk supplement powders. (2020-07-30)

Plastics found in sea-bed sharks
Microplastics have been found in the guts of sharks that live near the seabed off the UK coast. (2020-07-22)

Everything you ever wanted to know about leech sex but were afraid to ask
New research, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, sheds light on the effects the synthetic estrogens commonly found in birth control pills have on leeches. (2020-07-21)

Honeybees reveal environmental pollution in their surroundings
The University of Cordoba is collaborating on a new project by the University of Almeria to test APIStrip, a new tool for sampling environmental pollutants by means of bee colonies (2020-07-17)

Wireless aquatic robot could clean water and transport cells
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology developed a tiny plastic robot, made of responsive polymers, which moves under the influence of light and magnetism. In the future this 'wireless aquatic polyp' should be able to attract and capture contaminant particles from the surrounding liquid or pick up and transport cells for analysis in diagnostic devices. The researchers published their results in the journal PNAS. (2020-07-14)

New solar material could clean drinking water
Providing clean water to Soldiers in the field and citizens around the world is essential, and yet one of the world's greatest challenges. Now a new super-wicking and super-light-absorbing aluminum material developed with Army funding could change that. With funding from the Army Research Office, researchers at the University of Rochester have developed a new aluminum panel that more efficiently concentrates solar energy to evaporate and purify contaminated water. (2020-07-13)

Lasers etch an efficient way to address global water crisis
University of Rochester researchers use sunlight and a laser-etched metal surface to evaporate and purify water for safe drinking at greater than 100 percent efficiency, as described in a paper in Nature Sustainability. ''This is a simple, durable, inexpensive way to address the global water crisis, especially in developing nations,'' says Chunlei Guo, professor optics. It also could help relieve water shortages in drought-stricken areas and be helpful in water desalinization projects. (2020-07-13)

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