Current Contamination News and Events

Current Contamination News and Events, Contamination News Articles.
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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)

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 via pork meat unlikely according to current state of knowledge
State media in China have claimed that a worker has become infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) from a knuckle of pork imported from Germany. The infection is reported to have taken place in a cold store. Traces of SARS-CoV-2 were detected on packaging as well as on a door knob. (2020-11-19)

Antibiotic resistance genes in three Puerto Rican watersheds after Hurricane Maria
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane that made landfall in September 2017, flooding and power outages caused some wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to discharge raw sewage into waterways in Puerto Rico. Six months later, researchers monitored antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in three Puerto Rican watersheds, finding that the abundance and diversity of ARGs were highest downstream of WWTPs. They report their results in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology. (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)

Dairy cows exposed to heavy metals worsen antibiotic-resistant pathogen crisis
Dairy cows, exposed for a few years to drinking water contaminated with heavy metals, carry more pathogens loaded with antimicrobial-resistance genes able to tolerate and survive various antibiotics. That's the finding of a team of researchers that conducted a study of two dairy herds in Brazil four years after a dam holding mining waste ruptured, and it spotlights a threat to human health, the researchers contend. (2020-11-16)

Pesticides commonly used as flea treatments for pets are contaminating English rivers
Researchers at the University of Sussex have found widespread contamination of English rivers with two neurotoxic pesticides commonly used in veterinary flea products: fipronil and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. (2020-11-16)

Metal pollution in British waters may be threatening scallops, study reveals
Research, led by an interdisciplinary team at the University of York, suggests that the contamination of Isle of Man seabed sediments with zinc, lead and copper from the mining of these metals, which peaked on the island in the late 19th century, is causing the shells of king scallops to become significantly more brittle (2020-11-05)

Earwax sampling could measure stress hormone
A novel method to sample earwax could be a cheap and effective way to measure the hormone cortisol, according to a study led by researchers at UCL and King's College London, published in the academic journal Heliyon. (2020-11-03)

Analyzing biological and chemical damage on 20th-century construction materials
The UPV/EHU's IBeA research group has accurately determined the deterioration undergone by synthetic construction materials and its origin. Portable, high-resolution spectroscopic techniques were used to analyze the impact of the environment and surrounding biological conditions. The results obtained show that lichens play an active role in this deterioration, and a new method has been developed based on them to measure the degree of environmental contamination. (2020-11-02)

Hospital floors are hotspot for bacteria, creating route of transfer to patients
The floors of hospital rooms are frequently contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria within hours of patient admission, creating a route of transfer of potentially dangerous organisms to patients, according to a study published today as part of the proceedings from Decennial 2020: The Sixth International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections. Decennial 2020, an initiative of the CDC and SHEA, was cancelled in March due to the pandemic. (2020-10-30)

New 'green' engine for lorries ahead of the demanding anti-contamination regulation
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) have designed a new engine to decrease the environmental impact of the most common type of lorries that travel on European roads - those that weigh between 18 and 25 tonnes. From their laboratories at the CMT-Thermal Engines of the UPV, they propose a new configuration that unites all the benefits of hybrid and dual-fuel combustion engines. (2020-10-19)

Astrophysics team lights the way for more accurate model of the universe
In a study first published Aug. 5 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, University of Texas at Dallas scientists demonstrated the first use of a method called self-calibration to remove contamination from gravitational lensing signals. The results should lead to more accurate cosmological models of the universe. (2020-10-19)

Study: More than 200 million Americans could have toxic PFAS in their drinking water
A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 200 million Americans could have the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water at a concentration of 1 part per trillion, or ppt, or higher. Independent scientific studies have recommended a safe level for PFAS in drinking water of 1 ppt, a standard that is endorsed by EWG. (2020-10-16)

Does science have a plastic problem? Microbiologists take steps to reducing plastic waste
A research group based at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, developed an approach to reduce plastic waste produced by their lab. They have shared their approach in the journal Access Microbiology, with the hope that other labs will follow suit. (2020-10-15)

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)

Study describes COVID-19 transmission pattern
Model developed by Brazilian researchers predicts spatial and temporal evolution of epidemic diseases and can help plan more effective social isolation programs with less socio-economic impact. (2020-10-08)

How speech propels pathogens
Speech and singing spread saliva droplets, a phenomenon that has attracted much attention in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Scientists from the CNRS, l'université de Montpellier, and Princeton University sought to shed light on what takes place during conversations. (2020-10-02)

Clinician survey reveals significant variation in ultrasound-guided PIV insertion
A new survey among vascular access (VA) and emergency department (ED) clinicians has revealed significant levels of variation in ultrasound-guided peripheral IV (UGPIV) practices and supply use across hospitals and alternate care settings. Published in the September issue of the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access, the findings carry critical implications for patient safety. (2020-10-01)

Analysis shows high level of SARS-CoV-2 contamination in patient toilets, staff and public areas in hosptials
A systematic review of evidence being presented at this week's ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease shows that air around patients with COVID-19, as well as patients toilets, and staff and public areas in hospitals are all show significant levels of contamination with SARS-CoV-2. (2020-09-22)

There's no place like home: Cleaning toxic tobacco smoke residue in our homes
Researchers tested different cleaning methods for thirdhand smoke in homes. They recommend keeping household dust as low as possible, and cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently. (2020-09-15)

Skin creams, make-up and shampoos should be free from Pluralibacter
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has assessed the health risks associated with cosmetic products contaminated with P. gergoviae. Only externally applied products - such as skin creams, make-up or shampoos - were considered. (2020-09-10)

Velcro-like food sensor detects spoilage and contamination
MIT engineers have designed a Velcro-like food sensor, made from an array of silk microneedles, that pierces through plastic packaging to sample food for signs of spoilage and bacterial contamination. (2020-09-09)

Common sunscreen ingredients prove dangerous for freshwater ecosystems
The results show that long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) filters--including avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene--is lethal for some organisms living in freshwater environments. One of the largest sources of UV-filter contamination in both marine and freshwater environments is from sunscreen leaching off of the skin while swimming. (2020-09-02)

Researchers warn of food-web threats from common insecticides
In an opinion in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University argued for curbing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. (2020-09-02)

Tungsten isotope helps study how to armor future fusion reactors
A team of ORNL researchers working with tungsten to armor the inside of future fusion reactors had some surprising results when looking at the probability of contamination. (2020-08-28)

New device can measure toxic lead within minutes
Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes -- far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal. (2020-08-26)

Heavy metals make soil enzymes 3 times weaker, says a soil scientist from RUDN University
Heavy metals suppress enzyme activity in the soil by 3-3.5 times and have especially prominent effect on the enzymes that support carbon and sulfur circulation. This was discovered by a soil scientist from RUDN University together with his colleagues from Chile, Germany, the UK and Venezuela. The data obtained by the team can lead to more efficient use and fertilization of agricultural lands. (2020-08-26)

USDA says current poultry food safety guidelines do not stop salmonella outbreaks
Current poultry food safety guidelines for Salmonella, the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks, are inadequate. A new study conducted by Thomas Oscar, USDA Agricultural Research Service, ''Salmonella prevalence alone is not a good indicator of poultry food safety,'' published in Risk Analysis, explores additional factors that must be considered in order to identify poultry products that are truly safe for human consumption. (2020-08-26)

There is at least 10 times more plastic in the Atlantic than previously thought
Scientists measured 12-21 million tonnes of three of the most common types of plastic in the top 200 metres of the Atlantic. By assuming the concentration of plastic in the whole Atlantic is the same as that measured at 200 metres deep, the scientists estimated there is around 200 million tonnes of three of the most common types of plastic alone. Compare this to the previously estimated figure of 17 million. (2020-08-18)

Technology can help speed soil recovery after oil spills
Researchers use spectroscopy to quickly and cheaply analyze soils samples. (2020-08-12)

New guidelines say breastfeeding is safe after anaesthesia
New guidelines published by the Association of Anaesthetists in the journal Anaesthesia, to coincide with the start of World Breast Feeding Week (1-7 August) say that breastfeeding is safe after the mother has had anaesthesia, as soon as she is alert and able to feed. (2020-07-31)

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)

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)

Avoiding food contamination with a durable coating for hard surfaces
A new study from a team of University of Missouri engineers and food scientists demonstrates that a durable coating, made from titanium dioxide, is capable of eliminating foodborne germs, such as salmonella and E. coli, and provides a preventative layer of protection against future cross-contamination on stainless steel food-contact surfaces. (2020-07-16)

Pasteurizing breast milk inactivates SARS-CoV-2
Pasteurizing breast milk using a common technique inactivates severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) making it safe for use, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). ttps://www.cmaj.ca/content/cmaj/early/2020/07/09/cmaj.201309.full.pdf (2020-07-09)

Bad E. coli we know, but good E. coli?
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine say E. coli Nissle may protect human cells against other more pathogenic strains of E. coli such as E. coli 0157:H7, which is commonly associated with contaminated hamburger meat. (2020-07-07)

Gear treated with 'forever chemicals' poses risk to firefighters
Graham Peaslee's team tested more than 30 samples of used and unused PPE from six specialty textile manufacturers in the United States and found them to be treated extensively with PFAS or constructed with fluoropolymers, a type of PFAS used to make textiles oil and water resistant. (2020-06-23)

Milkweed, only food source for monarch caterpillars, ubiquitously contaminated
New evidence identifies 64 pesticide residues in milkweed, the main food for monarch butterflies in the west. Milkweed samples from all of the locations studied in California's Central Valley were contaminated with pesticides, sometimes at levels harmful to monarchs and other insects. 32% of the samples contained pesticide levels known to be lethal to monarchs, according to a study released today in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. (2020-06-08)

PFAS present throughout the Yadkin-Pee Dee river food chain
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in every step of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River food chain, even though the river does not have a known industrial input of these compounds. (2020-06-05)

Using genetically engineered, barcoded microbes to track food contamination and more
Synthetic spores programmed with DNA barcodes provide a highly flexible, high-resolution system for tagging and tracking the provenance of an object. (2020-06-04)

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