Current Environmental Contaminants News and Events

Current Environmental Contaminants News and Events, Environmental Contaminants News Articles.
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Global study of 48 cities finds nature sanitizes 41.7 million tons of human waste a year
Researchers found that nature provides at least 18% of sanitation services in 48 cities worldwide, according to researchers in the United Kingdom and India. The study, published February 19 in the journal One Earth, estimates that more than 2 million cubic meters of the cities' human waste is processed each year without engineered infrastructure. This includes pit latrine waste that gradually filters through the soil--a natural process that cleans it before it reaches groundwater. (2021-02-19)

Plastic recycling results in rare metals being found in children's toys and food packaging
Scientists from the University of Plymouth and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a range of new and used products - including children's toys, office equipment and cosmetic containers - and found they contained quantities of rare earth elements. (2021-02-17)

Scientists develop blood test to predict environmental harms to children
Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health developed a method using a DNA biomarker to easily screen pregnant women for harmful prenatal environmental contaminants like air pollution linked to childhood illness and developmental disorders. This approach has the potential to prevent childhood developmental disorders and chronic illness through the early identification of children at risk. (2021-02-17)

Links between pollution and cancer in wild animals: what can we learn?
This recent review combines the information available on cancer occurrences in aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Cancer is one of the pollution-induced diseases that should be at the centre of attention in ecological and evolutionary research. Authors suggest physiological mechanisms that link pollution and cancer, determine which types of aquatic animals are more vulnerable to pollution-induced cancer, which types of pollution are mainly associated with cancer in aquatic ecosystems, and which types of cancer pollution causes. (2021-02-10)

Long-term environmental damage from transportation projects in Kenya, scientists warn
The construction of a major railway through Kenya will have long-term environmental impacts on the area, suggesting more work needs to be done to limit the damage on future infrastructure projects, a major study reveals. (2021-02-09)

Some food contamination starts in the soil
Rice husk residue can prevent uptake of harmful elements in rice. (2021-02-03)

An origami-inspired medical patch for sealing internal injuries
MIT engineers have designed an origami-inspired medical patch for minimally invasive sealing of internal injuries, which could also be used in robotic surgery for remote repair of damaged tissues and organs. (2021-02-02)

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)

New tool removes chemotherapy drugs from water systems
'What goes in, must come out' is a familiar refrain. It is especially pertinent to the challenges facing UBC researchers who are investigating methods to remove chemicals and pharmaceuticals from public water systems. Cleaning products, organic dyes and pharmaceuticals are finding their ways into water bodies with wide-ranging negative implications to health and the environment, explains Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan. (2021-01-18)

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)

Benefits of renewable energy vary from place to place
A new study finds the environmental benefits of renewable power generation vary significantly, depending on the nature of the conventional power generation that the renewable energy is offsetting. The researchers hope the work will help target future renewable energy investments in places where they can do the most good. (2020-12-14)

Silica the best environmental alternative to plastic microbeads, finds study
Following bans on plastic microbeads in wash-off cosmetics, a new study weighs up the environmental costs of alternatives. (2020-12-14)

Marine pollution: How do plastic additives dilute in water and how risky are they?
New research by scientists from Korea shows that additives in plastic materials deployed or thrown in coastal environments diffuse into the environment at different rates. Their findings demonstrate how assessments of exposure risk based on the composition of the source plastic waste will be inaccurate, because this composition varies as plastics break down and additives dilute into the environment at different rates. A new evaluation method is needed, and these scientists have just the solution! (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)

Roly polies transfer environmental toxins to threatened fish populations in California
New research finds steelhead trout in a stream on the California coast accumulate mercury in their bodies when the fish eat roly polies and similar terrestrial bugs that fall into local waterways. The new study corroborates earlier findings that mercury can make its way to the top of the food chain in coastal California. (2020-12-02)

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)

Increasing diversity and community participation in environmental engineering
Black, Hispanic, and Native American students and faculty are largely underrepresented in environmental engineering programs in the ) States. A pathway for increasing diversity and community participation in the environmental engineering discipline (2020-11-19)

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)

Dartmouth study examines well water testing promotion in pediatric primary care
Findings from a new study conducted by a team of researchers at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine and published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, show that involving pediatric practices in the promotion of private well water testing can influence parental compliance. (2020-10-26)

Does classroom indoor environmental quality affect teaching and learning?
What impact does a classroom's indoor environment have on teaching, learning, and students' academic achievement in colleges and universities? This is the question researchers set out to answer in their analysis of all relevant published studies. (2020-10-21)

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)

Removal of synthetic estrogen from water
Synthetic estrogens from pharmaceuticals contaminate rivers and threaten the health of humans and fish. An effective and cost-efficient method for removing synthetic estrogen from bodies of water (2020-10-20)

Researchers step toward understanding how toxic PFAS chemicals spread from release sites
New lab studies are helping researchers to better understand how so called ''forever chemicals'' behave in soil and water, which can help in understanding how these contaminants spread. (2020-10-15)

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)

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