Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

The Pollution Thread


Recommended Posts

Why the government fails to limit many dangerous chemicals in the workplace


Before his shift at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Niagara Falls, N.Y., in May 2021, a worker peed in a cup.


Before he clocked out, he did it again.


Goodyear shipped both specimens to a lab to measure the amount of a chemical called ortho-toluidine. The results, reviewed by ProPublica, showed that the worker had enough of it in his body to put him at an increased risk for bladder cancer — and that was before his shift. After, his levels were nearly five times as high.


It's no secret that the plant's workers are being exposed to poison. Government scientists began testing their urine more than 30 years ago. And Goodyear, which uses ortho-toluidine to make its tires pliable, has been monitoring the air for traces of the chemical since 1976. A major expose even revealed, almost a decade ago, that dozens of the plant's workers had developed bladder cancer since 1974.


What is perhaps most stunning about the trail of sick Goodyear workers is that they have been exposed to levels of the chemical that the United States government says are perfectly safe.


The permissible exposure limit for ortho-toluidine is 5 parts per million in air, a threshold based on research conducted in the 1940s and '50s without any consideration of the chemical's ability to cause cancer. Despite ample evidence that far lower levels can dramatically increase a person's cancer risk, the legal limit has remained the same.


Paralyzed by industry lawsuits from decades ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has all but given up on trying to set a truly protective threshold for ortho-toluidine and thousands of other chemicals. The agency has only updated standards for three chemicals in the past 25 years; each took more than a decade to complete.


Click on the link for the full article


People like George W. Bush were actively part of the problem



The Bush administration is continuing to slowly chip away at the Clinton legacy, withdrawing new rules that sharply limit arsenic in drinking water.

The rules, proposed during President Clinton's final days in office, would lower by 80 percent the amount of poisonous arsenic allowed in public drinking water. But it also would have forced 3,000 communities — largely in mining communities in the West — to spend money to upgrade their water systems to protect against arsenic poisoning.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Corpus Christi oil spill 3.5 times larger than first reported, Flint Hills says


Upward of 14,000 gallons of light crude oil poured into the Corpus Christi Bay during the oil spill late Christmas Eve night near Ingleside. That's 10,000 more gallons than first reported.


The revised estimate Friday from Flint Hills Resources came after the U.S. Coast Guard found more oil Thursday in an area of North Beach.


"Flint Hills has mobilized resources, assessed the area, and is taking steps to recover material from the impacted areas. Crews also remain on site at Ingleside, where those cleanup efforts continue," the company said in a statement.


So far Flint Hills has not determined the cause of the spill, saying that it's still under investigation. The dock where the spill occurred remains offline.


Click on the link for the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

EPA takes charge of Alabama landfill fire after finding carcinogens in air samples


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency arrived in Alabama this week and took charge of battling a landfill fire north of Birmingham after finding evidence of two chemicals that are known to cause cancer.




“Today, we are putting boots on the ground to address the fire so that all impacted can breathe a sigh of relief,” EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman said in a news release Thursday.


EPA officials say they agreed to take over after air samples near the site showed elevated levels of benzene and trichloroethylene, or TCE.


“Based on the results of that data, it was clear that further action was necessary,” Blackman said.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, long-term exposure to benzene can cause leukemia, and there is strong evidence that trichloroethylene can cause kidney cancer as well as other forms of cancer. Both chemicals are considered to be human carcinogens.


The EPA installed air monitors at the site during the first week of January at the request of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Those air monitors were more sophisticated than sensors that only measure particulate matter, and the samples had to be analyzed in a laboratory. Those results were made available Wednesday.


Click on the link for the full article


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

2023’s Dirtiest Cities in America


City living has its advantages, but more residents usually means more pollution, more rats, and more trash. The problem is worse in some cities than in others.


LawnStarter ranked 2023’s Dirtiest Cities in America following one of the trashiest times of the year, the winter holiday season.


We compared over 150 of the biggest U.S. cities across four categories, including pollution, living conditions, infrastructure, and consumer satisfaction. 


Depending on where you live, you may want to buy some air fresheners, mouse traps, or a can of Raid.


1    Houston, TX   
2    Newark, NJ   
3    San Bernardino, CA
4    Detroit, MI    
5    Jersey City, NJ
6    Bakersfield, CA    
7    San Antonio, TX  
8    Fresno, CA 
9    Oklahoma City, OK
10    Yonkers, NY  
11    Shreveport, LA


Click on the link for the full list

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See what was found inside a dead sperm whale's stomach in Hawaii


A 56-foot-long endangered sperm whale that washed ashore in Hawaii on Saturday most likely died after ingesting trash, including at least six hagfish traps, seven types of fishing net, two types of plastic bags, a light protector, fishing line and a float from a net, scientists said on Thursday.




The dead whale was first observed Friday floating on the reef off Lydgate Beach on Kauai’s east shore, SFGATE originally reported. High tide carried it onto the beach on Saturday, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.


Click on the link for the full article

  • Sad 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Utah lawmakers significantly pare down air pollution reduction bill


What started as an aggressive plan to reduce air pollution in Utah has been trimmed down to a study to identify sources of certain emissions in the northern part of the state.


House Bill 220, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Stoddard (D-Midvale), passed out of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee Wednesday morning in a unanimous vote.


The bill, which was significantly changed from its original version, was pared down further by the committee to only mandate that the Utah Division of Air Quality identify sources of halogen emissions in Utah’s air and report back to lawmakers.


Stoddard’s bill initially sought to crack down on wood-burning stoves and ban certain vehicles from being driven on days with poor air quality. But the Democratic lawmaker said he would support even the trimmed-down version of his bill.


Click on the link for the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sea Spray at California Beach Comes with Aerosolized Raw Sewage


There's something sublime about sea spray—the salty mist that drifts from breaking waves and gives beachgoers a kiss of the ocean. But unfortunately, that kiss could be tainted with bacteria, viruses, and chemical compounds from untreated sewage.


A new study led by researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has confirmed that pollution from the coastal waters isn't just a problem for swimmers and surfers, but can transfer to the atmosphere in sea spray aerosol.


To investigate the potential airborne transport of coastal waste pollution, the team took samples from Imperial Beach and the Tijuana River, close to the California-Mexico border. Imperial Beach is notorious for its pollution problem. As Robert Monroe from Scripps explains in a press statement:


"Rainfall in the US-Mexico border region causes complications for wastewater treatment and results in untreated sewage being diverted into the Tijuana River and flowing into the ocean in south Imperial Beach. This input of contaminated water has caused chronic coastal water pollution in Imperial Beach for decades."


Click on the link for the full article



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking Stock of Carbon Dioxide Emissions


A NASA Earth-observing satellite has helped researchers track carbon dioxide emissions for more than 100 countries around the world. The pilot project offers a powerful new look at the carbon dioxide being emitted in these countries and how much of it is removed from the atmosphere by forests and other carbon-absorbing ‘sinks’ within their borders. The findings demonstrate how space-based tools can support insights on Earth as nations work to achieve climate goals.


The international study, conducted by more than 60 researchers, used measurements made by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission, as well as a network of surface-based observations, to quantify increases and decreases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from 2015 to 2020. Using this measurement-based (or ‘top-down’) approach, the researchers were then able to infer the balance of how much carbon dioxide was emitted and removed. The map at the top of this page shows the mean net emissions and removals; countries where more carbon dioxide was removed than emitted appear as green depressions, while countries with higher emissions are tan or red and appear to pop off the page.




Click on the link for the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plastic entering oceans could nearly triple by 2040 if left unchecked: Research


Plastics entering the world's oceans have surged by an "unprecedented" amount since 2005 and could nearly triple by 2040 if no further action is taken, according to research published on Wednesday.


An estimated 171 trillion plastic particles were afloat in the oceans by 2019, according to peer-reviewed research led by the 5 Gyres Institute, a U.S. organisation that campaigns to reduce plastic pollution.


Marine plastic pollution could rise 2.6 fold by 2040 if legally binding global policies are not introduced, it predicted.


The study looked at surface-level plastic pollution data from 11,777 ocean stations in six major marine regions covering the period from 1979 to 2019.


"We've found an alarming trend of exponential growth in microplastics in the global ocean since the millennium," Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of the 5 Gyres Group said in a statement.

"We need a strong legally binding U.N. global treaty on plastic pollution that stops the problem at the source," he added.


Click on the link for the full article

  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...