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Research brief: New insight on the impacts of Earth's biosphere on air quality
A new study provides the first global satellite measurements of one of the most important chemicals affecting Earth's atmosphere. (2020-09-09)

More nutrient reduction still needed to save lakes in China
Chinese people have been paying more and more attention to water safety, especially since the Wuxi 'water crisis' in Lake Taihu in 2007. However, more than 10 years after the crisis, how healthy are Chinese lakes now? (2020-09-02)

Asphalt adds to air pollution, especially on hot, sunny days
Asphalt is a near-ubiquitous substance -- it's found in roads, on roofs and in driveways -- but its chemical emissions rarely figure into urban air quality management plans. A new study finds that asphalt is a significant source of air pollutants in urban areas, especially on hot and sunny days. (2020-09-02)

Pollution exposure at work may be associated with heart abnormalities among Latinx community
Hispanic/Latinx adults exposed to burning wood, vehicle exhaust, pesticides or metals while at work may have abnormal heart structure and function. The longer workers are exposed at their jobs, the more likely they are to have heart structure and function abnormalities. (2020-08-26)

NTU Singapore scientists use fruit peel to turn old batteries into new
Scientists led by NTU Singapore have developed a novel method of using fruit peel waste to extract and reuse precious metals from spent lithium-ion batteries in order to create new batteries. The scientists say that their waste-to-resource approach tackles both food waste and electronics waste, supporting the development of a circular economy with zero waste (2020-08-26)

Widespread electric vehicle adoption would save billions of dollars, thousands of lives
A new study found that if EVs replaced 25% of combustion-engine cars currently on the road, the United States would save approximately $17 billion annually by avoiding damages from climate change and air pollution. In more aggressive scenarios -- replacing 75% of cars with EVs and increasing renewable energy generation -- savings could reach as much as $70 billion annually. (2020-08-17)

How climate change affects allergies, immune response and autism
Climate change and disruption of the ecosystem have the potential to profoundly impact the human body. Xue Ming, professor of neurology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, who recently published a paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on the effects of climate change on allergies, autoimmunity and the microbiome -- the beneficial microorganisms that live on and inside the human body -- discusses how the delicate balance of the environment affects conditions such as allergies, autism and immune disorders. (2020-08-05)

Pesticides can protect crops from hydrophobic pollutants
Researchers have revealed that commercial pesticides can be applied to crops in the Cucurbitaceae family to decrease their accumulation of hydrophobic pollutants, thereby improving crop safety. The team developed two approaches to control the functions of plant proteins related to the transport of hydrophobic pollutants. These findings will lead to these new functions of pesticides being utilized in agriculture, enabling safer crops to be produced. (2020-07-27)

Cell death in porpoises caused by environmental pollutants
Environmental pollutants threaten the health of marine mammals. This study established a novel cell-based assay using the fibroblasts of a finless porpoise stranded along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, Japan, to better understand the cytotoxicity and the impacts of environmental pollutants on the porpoise population. The results revealed that the concentrations of PCBs and DDTs which accumulated in the porpoise are likely to have an adverse effect at the cellular level. (2020-07-20)

What silicone wristbands say about chemical exposure in Uruguayan children
Researchers used silicone wristbands to examine the extent of chemical exposure among a small group of children in Montevideo, Uruguay. The 6- to 8-year-olds wore the bands for seven days. After analyzing the wristbands, researchers found an average of 13 pollutants in each one collected. Some of the wristbands showed exposure to DDT, a harmful pesticide that has been banned for use in many countries, including the U.S., since the 1970s. (2020-07-20)

Data assimilation significantly improves forecasts of aerosol and gaseous pollutants across China
Air quality is one of the most concerns among the public, and great progress has been achieved in improving the prediction of air quality and atmospheric pollutants. A chemical data assimilation system has been developed and implemented by Chinese researchers, aiming to improve forecasts of particulate matter and gaseous pollutants across China. Simultaneous assimilation of concentration observations of both PM2.5, PM10 and gaseous pollutant SO2, NO2, CO, O3 significantly improved individual forecasts. (2020-07-20)

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)

Pesticides speed the spread of deadly waterborne pathogens
Widespread use of pesticides can speed the transmission of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis, while also upsetting the ecological balances in aquatic environments that prevent infections, finds a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. The infection, which can trigger lifelong liver and kidney damage, affects hundreds of millions of people every year and is second only to malaria among parasitic diseases, in terms of its global impact on human health. (2020-07-17)

ENSO influences trans-Pacific ozone transport from vegetation fires in Southeast Asia
Ding and colleagues revealed that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-modulated vegetation fires in Southeast Asia, rather than fossil fuel plumes from China, dominate the springtime trans-Pacific transport of ozone across the entire North Pacific Ocean. The study expanded the understanding of the roles of variability in emissions and meteorology on tropospheric ozone. It proves once more how complex the interactions in the climate system are. (2020-07-16)

Using electricity to break down pollutants left over after wastewater treatment
Pesticides, pharmaceutical products, and endocrine disruptors are some of the emerging contaminants often found in treated domestic wastewater, even after secondary treatment. Professor Patrick Drogui of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and his team have tested the effectiveness of a tertiary treatment process using electricity in partnership with the European Membrane Institute in Montpellier (IEM) and Université Paris-Est. (2020-07-09)

Engineers use electricity to clean up toxic water
Powerful electrochemical process destroys water contaminants, such as pesticides. Wastewater is a significant environment issue. Researchers say the technology could be readily applied to the wine industry, paper processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. (2020-07-07)

A chemical cocktail of air pollution in Beijing, China during COVID-19 outbreak
Air pollution during the COVID-19 lockdown in Beijing was mainly due to different chemical responses of primary and secondary aerosols to changes in anthropogenic emissions. (2020-07-07)

Air pollution, smoking and built environment are associated with an increase risk of childhood obesity
173 exposures analysed in first major study to assess risk of obesity in childhood using an exposome-wide approach. (2020-06-24)

New data reveals even low levels of air pollution triggers gene expression
New data from a landmark study by Monash University researchers raises concerns that even short-term exposure to low level air pollution can affect gene expression, leaving us at risk of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. (2020-06-24)

Childhood obesity linked to multiple environmental factors in first-of-its-kind study
Childhood obesity is a health threat that is becoming more and more common worldwide. A new study led by USC and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is the first to comprehensively profile environmental factors linked to childhood obesity. The research showed that a higher body mass index (BMI) during childhood is associated with exposure to smoking as well as air pollution and certain characteristics seen in some urban areas. (2020-06-24)

New process could safeguard water quality, environment and health
Swansea University researchers have developed a new way to quickly find and remove wastewater pollutants, which can reduce their impact on the environment. (2020-06-24)

During the COVID-19 outbreak in China, marked emission reductions, but unexpected air pollution
Using a combination of satellite and ground-based observations to study air pollution changes in China during COVID-19 lockdowns, researchers report up to 90% reductions of certain emissions, but also an unexpected increase in particulate matter pollution. (2020-06-17)

Exposure to air pollution impairs cellular energy metabolism
Exposure to air particulate matter impairs the metabolism of olfactory mucosal cells, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland. The results can contribute to a better understanding of how air pollutants may harm brain health, as the olfactory mucosa can act as a key pathway to the brain. (2020-06-15)

Considering health when switching to cleaner electricity
Power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels emit not only planet-warming carbon dioxide, but also pollutants linked to breathing problems and premature death. Policies proposed to mitigate climate change, however, often fail to fully account for the health benefit of switching to cleaner technologies. In a new study published in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology, researchers show that emphasizing health concerns in such policies can alter the optimal locations of these upgrades.  (2020-06-10)

Titanium oxide-based hybrid materials promising for detoxifying dyes
Photoactive materials have become extremely popular in a large variety of applications in the fields of photocatalytic degradation of pollutants, water splitting, organic synthesis, photoreduction of carbon dioxide, and others. Elza Sultanova, co-author of the paper, is engaged in researching catalytic properties of photoactive materials based on macrocycles. (2020-06-08)

Study demonstrates association between exposure to air pollution and vascular damage
Researchers who analysed data from more than 3,000 people in India found gender-specific differences in sources of exposure and health outcomes. (2020-06-03)

Smart sponge could clean up oil spills
Researchers have developed a highly porous smart sponge that selectively soaks up oil in water. It can absorb more than 30 times its weight and be reused many dozens of times. (2020-05-28)

These tiny, self-assembling traps capture PFAS
A study shows that self-assembling molecular traps can be used to capture PFAS -- dangerous pollutants that have contaminated drinking water supplies around the world. (2020-05-27)

MS risk 29% higher for people living in urban areas, new research reveals
The research, due to be presented at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, detected a reduced risk for MS in individuals residing in rural areas that have lower levels of air pollutants known as particulate matter (PM). It showed that the MS risk, adjusted for urbanisation and deprivation, was 29% higher among those residing in more urbanised areas. (2020-05-22)

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)

Climate change threatens progress in cancer control
Climate change threatens prospects for further progress in cancer prevention and control, increasing exposure to cancer risk factors and impacting access to cancer care, according to a new commentary by scientists from the American Cancer Society and Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. (2020-05-18)

How particulate matter arises from pollutant gases
When winter smog takes over Asian mega-cities, more particulate matter is measured in the streets than expected. An international team has now discovered that nitric acid and ammonia contribute to the formation of additional particulate matter. Nitric acid and ammonia arise in city centres predominantly from car exhaust. Experiments show that the high local concentration of the vapours in narrow and enclosed city streets accelerates the growth of tiny nanoparticles into stabile aerosol particles. (2020-05-14)

CFC replacements are a source of persistent organic pollution in the Arctic
Substances used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) may be just as problematic as their predecessors, a new study shows. (2020-05-14)

Superoxide produces hydroxyl radicals that break down dissolved organic matter in water
According to a study published in Water Research in April 2020, superoxide produces hydroxyl radicals in lake water. Hydroxyl radicals break down poorly biodegradable organic matter such as humic substances and anthropogenic pollutants. (2020-04-29)

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is associated with growth delays
A new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found an association between exposure to air pollution during pregnancy and delays in physical growth in the early years after birth. (2020-04-22)

Corona and air pollution: How does nitrogen dioxide impact fatalities?
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air may be associated with a high number of deaths from COVID-19. A new study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) provides concrete data that back this assumption for the first time. The paper combines satellite data on air pollution and air currents with confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 and reveals that regions with permanently high levels of pollution have significantly more deaths than other regions. (2020-04-20)

Eco-friendly Oxy-CFBC technology to implement stackless power plant
Coal-fired power plants in Korea have been considered as one of the main sources of air pollutants, CO2 and the other precursor materials to ultra fine dusts such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide. Therefore, FEPCRC is developing key technologies for eco-friendly coal-fired stackless power generation without emissions in flue gas. (2020-04-16)

New data reveals even low levels of air pollution impacts gene expression
New data from a landmark study done by Monash University researchers in Australia raises significant concerns that even short-term exposure to low level air pollution can affect gene expression, leaving us at risk of other diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Research, published in the journal Environment International, provides the first evidence that exposure to even very low levels of air pollution can change gene expression that are the hallmark of diseases such as cancer. (2020-04-08)

Babies in popular low-riding pushchairs are exposed to alarming levels of toxic air pollutants
Parents who are using popular low-riding pushchairs could be exposing their babies to alarming levels of air pollution, finds a new study from the University of Surrey. (2020-04-08)

Does long-term exposure to air pollution lead to a steeper rate of cognitive decline?
People who live in urban areas with higher levels of air pollution may score lower on thinking and memory tests and may also lose cognitive skills faster over time, or it is possible they also may not, according to a study published in the April 8, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (2020-04-08)

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