- Chinese State-Run Media Embarrasses Itself by Proclaiming “Unexpected Benefits of Smog” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Dec 11, 2013):
In case you weren’t aware, several of China’s major cities have experienced record-breaking, extremely dangerous levels of smog in recent days. For example, here is a shocking picture of Lianyungang, China:
So how did China’s state-run media decide to respond to this environmental and public health disaster? With ridiculous propaganda about the “unexpected benefits” of smog of course. You have to see this to believe it.
From The Guardian:
China’s noxious air pollution has made people smarter, funnier and impervious to missile attacks, the country’s official media reported this week, as a toxic cloud covering half of the country began to lift.
On Monday the website of the state broadcaster CCTV published a list of five “unexpected benefits” brought by the smog.
It said the haze had unified Chinese people, as they found solidarity in their complaints; equalised them, as both rich and poor people were vulnerable to its effects; enlightened them, as they realised the cost of rapid growth; and “made Chinese people more humorous”, as smog-related jokes proliferated on the internet. Continue reading »
- Shanghai’s Record Pollution Is Creeping Inside Buildings (ZeroHedge, Dec 7, 2013):
As we noted earlier, pollution in Shanghai has reached record levels causing the government to ban cars and cut production across factories. The images below are not photoshopped or edited… this is the day–to-day life in that bustling city looks like… and in case you thought moving inside was ‘safe’, “the fog” is creeping into the buildings too now… All we are waiting for now is the rotting corpses of over-capacity Chinese industries to come out of the dark…
- People Who Live Downwind Of Alberta’s Oil And Tar Sands Operations Are Getting Blood Cancer (Climate Progress, Oct 28, 2013):
A new study has found that levels of air pollution downwind of the largest tar sands, oil and gas producing region in Canada rival levels found in the world’s most polluted cities. And that pollution isn’t just dirtying the air — it also could be tied increased incidence of blood cancers in men that live in the area.The study, published last week by researchers from University of California Irvine and the University of Michigan, found levels of carcinogenic air pollutants 1,3-butadiene and benzene spiked in the Fort Saskatchewan area, which is downwind of the oil and tar sands-rich “Industrial Heartland” of Alberta. Airborne levels of 1,3-butadiene were 322 times greater downwind of the Industrial Heartland — which houses more than 40 major chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas facilities — than upwind, while downwind levels of benzene were 51 times greater. Levels of some volatile organic compounds — which, depending on the compound, have been linked to liver, kidney and central nervous system damage as well as cancer — were 6,000 times higher than normal. The area saw concentrations of some chemicals that were higher than levels in Mexico City during the 1990s, when it was the most polluted city on the planet.
- China smog emergency shuts city of 11 million people (Reuters, Oct 21, 2013):
Choking smog all but shut down one of northeastern China’s largest cities on Monday, forcing schools to suspended classes, snarling traffic and closing the airport, in the country’s first major air pollution crisis of the winter.
An index measuring PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin, the gritty capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province and home to some 11 million people.
A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20.
The smog not only forced all primary and middle schools to suspend classes, but shut the airport and some public bus routes, the official Xinhua news agency reported, blaming the emergency on the first day of the heating being turned on in the city for winter. Visibility was reportedly reduced to 10 meters.
- The Pitfalls Of Politburo Planning: Pollution Produces Cancer (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2013):
While the choking pollution in China, that we have discussed time and again – most recently here and here, has previously been linked with health concerns, academic studies released this week have now shown a direct link between higher cancer-rates in Central China and the level of pollution. The study published on June 25th is the first to scientifically prove the correlation between water pollution and cancer mortality in an area of China that is home to more than 160 million people. Despite government efforts to clean the water, it remains well below safety standards but local villagers continue to have no choice but to use it: “The river was black, poisonous fumes, and dead fish everywhere… the well water was also contaminated.. and during this period many died of cancer.” Despite spending millions to try and prevent pollution, as one local villager exclaimed “we should re-consider the country’s industrialization.” What cost a 7% GDP growth print?
YouTube Added: 23.07.2013
- 100 percent of children are found to be exposed to excessive arsenic, dioxins and pesticides in latest study (Natural News, July 21, 2013):
A new study on dietary toxin exposure found that all the participating children exceeded the cancer benchmark levels for arsenic, dioxins, dieldrin, and DDE, while 95 percent of preschoolers exceeded the non-cancer benchmark for acrylamide. More worrying was that the cancer risk ratios were exceeded 100-fold for arsenic and dioxins.
Children and adults exceed cancer benchmark levels for six toxins
- Exposed: Pesticide Industry to Receive Pollution Privileges in Farm Bill H.R. 1947 (REALfarmacy, June 14, 2013):
One need only do a quick search on the website InfluenceExplorer.com to see the reality that is special interest influence over lawmakers. The literal millions of dollars given to lawmakers should shed light on the fact that Washington D.C. does not represent your interests.CropLife America is a lobbying group for the giant chemical producers like Monsanto and DuPont. From 2011-2012 CropLife America has spent $4,929,594.00 lobbying on behalf of companies that think it is just fine to spray pesticides over waterways. But what about the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts? Shouldn’t these acts of legislation prevent the discharge of pesticides over waterways? Well if you have enough money, you can write laws that exempt your company from the CA/CW Acts, and that is exactly what CropLife America has done in SEC. 10013. USE AND DISCHARGES OF AUTHORIZED PESTICIDES. Of H.R. 1947: Continue reading »
The news comes as the toll of dead pigs pulled from Shanghai’s Huangpu river passed 16,000.
Food, water, herbs … everything in (and coming from) China is totally contaminated …
- China grows its rice on land contaminated with industrial waste (Natural News, June 8, 2013):
The news regarding the abysmal conditions in which China produces its food continues to go from bad to worse as new information reveals the absolute failure of the Communist Party’s ability to create an environment of self-sustainability.
Reuters reported May 22 that yet another food scandal has arisen with the discovery of dangerous levels of toxic cadmium in rice that was being sold in the southern city of Guangzhou. It was the late CP Chairman Mao Zedong’s goal to make China self-sufficient, but with such a poor record of ensuring a safe food supply, that goal has, so far, been unattainable.
The ruling Communist Party has long staked its legitimacy on its ability to guarantee domestic staple food supplies, and has pledged to be at least 95 percent self-sufficient even as demand increases and the fastest and biggest urbanization process in history swallows up arable land.
That has led to a drive for quantity rather than quality – securing bumper harvests even from land contaminated by high levels of industrial waste and irrigated with water unfit for human consumption.
Growing industrialization literally killing Chinese with tainted food
- Not even good enough for dog food: Imported food from China loaded with chemicals, dyes, pesticides and fake ingredients (Natural News, May 10, 2013):
Do you really know what’s in all the food you’re eating that’s imported from China? If you don’t, you’re actually in good company: The FDA only inspects 1% – 2% of all the food imported from China, so they don’t know either. Even when they inspect a shipment, they rarely test it for heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs or other toxic contaminants.
Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, added emphasis to this point as he testified this week in The House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, saying, “We don’t trust, for good reason, the Chinese to supply ingredients for our dog and cat food. Why should we trust Chinese exporters for the food that we are feeding our children and families?”
It’s a good question. Especially when, as Kastel adds, Chinese food is being routinely found to contain “unapproved chemicals, dyes, pesticides and outright fraud (fake food).”
Heavily contaminated food from China
Food, water, herbs … everything in (and coming from) China is totally contaminated …
- In China, Breathing Becomes a Childhood Risk (New York Times, April 22, 2013):
BEIJING — The boy’s chronic cough and stuffy nose began last year at the age of 3. His symptoms worsened this winter, when smog across northern China surged to record levels. Now he needs his sinuses cleared every night with saltwater piped through a machine’s tubes.The boy’s mother, Zhang Zixuan, said she almost never lets him go outside, and when she does she usually makes him wear a face mask. The difference between Britain, where she once studied, and China is “heaven and hell,” she said.
Levels of deadly pollutants up to 40 times the recommended exposure limit in Beijing and other cities have struck fear into parents and led them to take steps that are radically altering the nature of urban life for their children.
Parents are confining sons and daughters to their homes, even if it means keeping them away from friends. Schools are canceling outdoor activities and field trips. Parents with means are choosing schools based on air-filtration systems, and some international schools have built gigantic, futuristic-looking domes over sports fields to ensure healthy breathing.
“I hope in the future we’ll move to a foreign country,” Ms. Zhang, a lawyer, said as her ailing son, Wu Xiaotian, played on a mat in their apartment, near a new air purifier. “Otherwise we’ll choke to death.”
She is not alone in looking to leave. Some middle- and upper-class Chinese parents and expatriates have already begun leaving China, a trend that executives say could result in a huge loss of talent and experience. Foreign parents are also turning down prestigious jobs or negotiating for hardship pay from their employers, citing the pollution.
- In China, public anger over secrecy on environment (Reuters, March 10, 2013):
When China’s environment ministry told attorney Dong Zhengwei he couldn’t have access to two-year old data about soil pollution because it was a “state secret”, it added to mounting public outrage over the worsening environment.
Microbloggers, state media and even delegates to this week’s session of the National People’s Congress, the largely rubber-stamp parliament, were already critical of the government for poor air and water quality. Now they are also expressing disquiet over the scarcity of information about the environment available to them.
- 30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet (Economic Collapse, March 4, 2013):
The world is rapidly running out of clean water. Some of the largest lakes and rivers on the globe are being depleted at a very frightening pace, and many of the most important underground aquifers that we depend on to irrigate our crops will soon be gone. At this point, approximately 40 percent of the entire population of the planet has little or no access to clean water, and it is being projected that by 2025 two-thirds of humanity will live in “water-stressed” areas. But most Americans are not too concerned about all of this because they assume that North America has more fresh water than anyone else does. And actually they would be right about that, but the truth is that even North America is rapidly running out of water and it is going to change all of our lives. Today, the most important underground water source in America, the Ogallala Aquifer, is rapidly running dry. The most important lake in the western United States, Lake Mead, is rapidly running dry. The most important river in the western United States, the Colorado River, is rapidly running dry. Putting our heads in the sand and pretending that we are not on the verge of an absolutely horrific water crisis is not going to make it go away. Without water, you cannot grow crops, you cannot raise livestock and you cannot support modern cities. As this global water crisis gets worse, it is going to affect every single man, woman and child on the planet. I encourage you to keep reading and learn more.
The U.S. intelligence community understands what is happening. According to one shocking government report that was released last year, the global need for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030… Continue reading »
- China admits pollution has caused ‘cancer villages’ (Telegraph, Feb 22, 2013):
The Chinese government has admitted for the first time that decades of reckless pollution have spawned a string of toxic “cancer villages”.
The admission by China’s Environment ministry came in a five-year plan on tackling pollution.
“In recent years, toxic and hazardous chemical pollution has caused many environmental disasters, cutting off drinking water supplies, and even leading to severe health and social problems such as ‘cancer villages’” the document says.
Environmentalists have long campaigned for the government to recognise and help the hundreds of cancer clusters caused by poisoned soil, water or air. In 2009, Deng Fei, an investigative journalist helped to plot some of the worst-hit villages on a Google map.
- China’s Creeping Toxic Smog Cloud Blankets Japan (ZeroHedge, Feb 4, 2013):
These days one has to laugh with the Japanese, as the temptation to laugh at them is just so high.
Because, sadly, the endless barrage of negative developments surrounding the “Land of the Rising Sun” may soon require a constitutional amendment replacing that key adjective to “Setting.” And while everyone knows that Japan’s economy is the Keynesian voodoo religion’s event horizon laughing stock, caught between a 30 year deflationary implosion which is the only permissive factor allowing it to sustain interest payments on a 235% debt/GDP mountain, and a banking, debt and funding crisis should the government “succeed” in generating inflation, it is the intangibles that will be the proverbial straw that breaks this particular camel’s back. Intangibles, such as 2011′s tsunami and Fukushima explosion, which have made sure that every piece of domestic sushi will be pre self-cooked for generations.
Yet glowing in the dark may have just been the beginning: now Japan also has a toxic, photochemical smog problem to boot.
It is true that we were confused why China had not retaliated too aggressively in the ongoing spat over some meaningless islands in the China Sea. At least not yet. It turns out that China was merely biding its time in deciding on how to most Geneva Unconventionally punish its militant island neighbor to the east. Turns out that the punishment will come in the form of an export that Japan will hardly be happy with: the unprecedented smog that until recently was blanketing China. The same toxic smog is now over Japan. Continue reading »
What can you say?
- Rogue Penguin Resurfaces in Tokyo Bay (ABC News, May 17, 2012):
A Humboldt penguin that made a daring escape from a Tokyo aquarium has resurfaced two months later.
The year-old feathered creature was spotted in a Japanese Coast Guard video, swimming in Tokyo Bay and looking healthy, even though it had been on its own for an extended period.
The bird, known only as Penguin Number 337, escaped Tokyo Sea Life Park in March by scaling a 13-foot rock wall and squeezing through a barbed wire fence. Keepers at Tokyo Sea Life Park launched a daily penguin-hunt, fearing the bird could get sick from the pollution in Tokyo Bay. They appealed to residents to look out for the rogue penguin. There were dozens of sightings reported, but none turned out to be true.
Earlier this month, Penguin 337 appeared near Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge. The clip by the Coast Guard shows the bird happily splashing around in the waters, showing no signs of weakness. Directors at the Tokyo Sea Life Park confirmed it was theirs after they saw its facial patterns and a unique ring around its flipper.
The young creature remains in Tokyo Bay waters for now, but there are concerns about its long-term safety. People are worried about radiation levels in the bay, a year after the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
- China in lead poisoning ‘cover-up’ – Human Rights Watch (BBC NEWS, 15 June, 2011):
China has been accused of trying to cover up the extent of lead poisoning among children, and of blocking effective testing and treatment.
A report by Human Rights Watch says local authorities in heavily-polluted industrial areas have been sending sick children back to contaminated homes.
It says that in these areas – Henan, Yunnan, Shaanxi and Hunan provinces – anyone who complains is being harassed.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has unveiled details of its plan to process radioactive wastewater at its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The wastewater has been hampering efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling systems.
Tokyo Electric announced on Wednesday it would start building early next month, together with US and French firms, a storage and processing facility for nearly 70,000 tons of highly radioactive water. The utility firm aims to begin operating the system in June of this year.
The contaminated water is believed to be pooled inside turbine buildings and utility tunnels at the plant’s 1, 2 and 3 reactors.
Tokyo Electric had earlier said it aims to set up by July of this year a system to remove radioactive substances from the water and reuse it to cool the reactors.
Contaminated water will be put through an oil filter, and the density of radioactive material would be lowered using a mineral called zeolite.
Salt would then be removed from the water so that it could be used to cool the reactors again.
Radioactive waste from this process would be stored inside the nuclear complex, but the utility has yet to consider methods for its final disposal.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 19:02 +0900 (JST)
The process a French firm will use to clean Fukushima’s radioactive water has been blamed for a leukemia cluster in France and for polluted beaches and irradiated waters from the English Channel to the Arctic Sea.
Areva SA has promised to remove up to 99.99 percent of the radioactive contaminants in 67,500 tons of water flooding the crippled Fukushima-Dai-ichi nuclear plant. It will use a co-precipitation method employed at its La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Normandy.
That process has been documented in detail by a French nuclear expert and by the U.S. government, which has shunned France’s fuel reprocessing method because of “a nonproliferation concern and environmental concerns,” in the words of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko.
The water treatment process has been deplored by environmental groups including Greenpeace and Physicians for Social Responsibility in part because of the quality of cleaned water it produces:
France reprocesses reactor fuel at the vast La Hague facility on the Normandy coast. The so-called low-level liquid wastes from reprocessing are discharged into the English Channel and into the air. However, these “low-level” wastes still contain highly radioactive and often long-lived isotopes. Dumping these same wastes into the sea in containers would violate the 1970 London Dumping Convention.”
Areva treats contaminated water from reactor cooling systems by injecting chemicals that bind to radioactive isotopes and settle out.
Areva has not revealed which chemicals it will use at Fukushima, but a 1995 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (pdf) details the process it uses at La Hague. According to DOE, Areva uses:
- nickel and potassium ferrocyanide to capture cesium
- barium sulfate to capture strontium
- cobalt sulfide for ruthenium
- titanium sulfate for antimony and other emitters of alpha radiation
Areva also uses hydroxides of sodium, manganese, titanium, and iron, according to other sources. The chemicals and radionuclides are removed from the water in a highly radioactive chemical sludge.
Those criminals destroy and contaminate everything for profit.
The American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century’s gold rush — for natural gas.
The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles, like frozen spills of seltzer water between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for heating buildings, generating electricity and powering vehicles for up to a hundred years.
So energy companies are clamoring to drill. And they are getting rare support from their usual sparring partners. Environmentalists say using natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal and oil. Lawmakers hail the gas as a source of jobs. They also see it as a way to wean the United States from its dependency on other countries for oil.
But the relatively new drilling method — known as high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking — carries significant environmental risks. It involves injecting huge amounts of water, mixed with sand and chemicals, at high pressures to break up rock formations and release the gas.
With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.
Yale 360: The ecologist David Skelly has found that pollution is leading to limb deformities and the creation of “intersex” frogs
For the last two decades, strange things have been happening to frogs. Some frog populations have high rates of limb deformities, while others have high incidences of what is known as “intersex” — traits associated with both males and females, such as male frogs whose testes contain eggs.
David K. Skelly, professor of ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, set out to discover what was causing these deformities, which some researchers were attributing to the use of an agricultural pesticide called atrazine. Skelly launched an experiment in ponds throughout Connecticut, studying frogs in four landscapes: forests, agricultural areas, suburbs, and cities. And what he found was surprising — the highest rates of deformities were not occurring in and around farmlands, but in cities and suburbs.
Those light bulbs also severely affect your brain waves. If you want to have a functioning brain don’t use them.
Learn from Germany:
Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.
Added: 26. Juni 2008
Dec. 22 — BP and the government famously declared that most of the oil had disappeared.
But as I’ve noted, as much as 98% of the oil is still in the ocean.
I have repeatedly pointed out that BP and the government applied massive amounts of dispersant to the Gulf Oil Spill in an effort to sink and hide the oil. Many others said the same thing.
BP and the government denied this, of course.
But the oil is not remaining hidden.
Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal noted on December 9th:
A university scientist and the federal government say they have found persuasive evidence that oil from the massive Gulf of Mexico spill is settling on the ocean floor.
The new findings, from scientists at the University of South Florida and from a broad government effort, mark the latest indication that environmental damage from the blowout of a BP PLC well could be significant where it’s hardest to find: deep under the Gulf’s surface.
Scientists who have been on research cruises in the Gulf in recent days report finding layers of residue up to several centimeters thick from what they suspect is BP oil.
The material appears in spots across several thousand square miles of seafloor, they said. In many of those spots, they said, worms and other marine life that crawl along the sediment appear dead, though many organisms that can swim appear healthy.
Tests now have started to link some oil in the sediment to the BP well could add to the amount of money BP ends up paying to compensate for the spill’s damage.
The test results also raise questions about the possible downsides of the government’s use of chemical dispersants to fight the spill.
Under federal direction, about 1.8 million gallons of dispersants were sprayed on the spilled oil in an effort to break it up into tiny droplets that natural ocean microbes could eat up. At the time, officials said the dispersants shouldn’t cause oil from the spill to sink to the seafloor. However, more recently, a federal report said dispersants may have helped some spilled oil sink to the sediment.
Scientific teams have reported in recent months finding a strange substance on the Gulf floor, in some cases as far as about 80 miles from BP’s ill-fated Macondo well, which blew out in April and spilled an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf before it was capped.
***”The chemical signatures are identical,” said Mr. Hollander, who found the contaminated samples in an area of the Gulf floor off the Florida Panhandle. Although it’s conceivable the tests could show a false match with the BP oil, “the statistical probability of something like that is unimaginable,” Mr. Hollander said.
The federal government also has found oil matching Macondo oil in Gulf sediment, Steve Murawski, a top National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist, said in an interview. He declined to disclose how much sediment contamination the government found, or exactly where in the Gulf it was, saying experts still are analyzing the test results.
***Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia oceanographer, also has found what she believes to be evidence of BP oil in Gulf sediment. She is awaiting lab results tracing the chemical fingerprints of sediment samples she took.
On a research cruise in the Gulf that ended Friday, she saw worms that crawl along the Gulf floor “just decimated,” she said. But eels and fish, which can swim away, often appeared fine, she said.
The Journal noted on December 18th:
Oil from BP PLC’s blown-out well has lodged in the sediment of the Gulf of Mexico at levels that may threaten marine life, according to a federal report released Friday.
There is no practical way to clean up the spilled oil that has settled deep in the Gulf, officials said, adding that microbes in the water could eventually eat it up.
The massive application of dispersants to hide the amount of oil spilled has caused major problems to the Gulf: Continue reading »
In is scientifically proven that chromium VI causes cancer in animals.
An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Bethesda and Washington, found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a
probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich.”
The study, which will be released Monday by the Environmental Working Group, is the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water to be made public.
It comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. The agency is reviewing the chemical after the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, deemed it a “probable carcinogen” in 2008.
The federal government restricts the amount of “total chromium” in drinking water and requires water utilities to test for it, but that includes both trivalent chromium, a mineral that humans need to metabolize glucose, and hexavalent chromium, the metal that has caused cancer in laboratory animals.
Last year, California took the first step in limiting the amount of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by proposing a “public health goal” for safe levels of 0.06 parts per billion. If California does set a limit, it would be the first in the nation.
Hexavalent chromium was a commonly used industrial chemical until the early 1990s. It is still used in some industries, such as in chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. The chemical can also leach into groundwater from natural ores.
The new study found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California.
The highest levels were found in Norman, Okla., where the water contained more than 200 times the California goal. Locally, Bethesda and Washington each had levels of 0.19 parts per billion, more than three times the California goal.
YouTube removed the video. I’ve found a replacement.
YouTube Added: 18.02.2011
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Vaccines and amalgam fillings that are loaded with mercury, fluorinated drinking water like in the Russian gulags and the Nazi concentration camps to make people docile and infertile and anti-depressants like Prozac, whose main ingredient is also fluoride, …
The list of intentional contamination of the people goes on and on.
And now …
It’s called methyl iodide, and even some chemists won’t go near it. It’s such a powerful and reliable carcinogen that researchers use it to induce cancer in lab animals.
Water pollution is posing a threat to bird populations by causing males to mate with each other.
Scientists believe poisonous metal compounds entering the food chain can affect sexuality, causing a reduction in offspring.
They found that even relatively low levels of methylmercury in the diet of male white ibises caused the birds to pair up with each other, snubbing females.
As a result fewer females breed and fewer chicks are produced.
Methylmercury is a form of mercury – the metal which is liquid at room temperature and is better known as quicksilver. It has been seeping into groundwater from industry for years.
This is the first scientific study to show how the pollutant appears to alter sexual preference.
U.S. researcher Peter Frederick captured 160 young white ibises – a coastal wading bird – and gave them food laced with methylmercury.
The birds were split into four groups. One group ate food with 0.3 parts per million (ppm) methylmercury, which most U.S. states would regard as too high for human consumption.
A second group was fed 0.1 ppm, and the third 0.05 ppm, a low dose that wild birds would be exposed to frequently. The fourth group received food clear of the poison.
All three dosed groups had significantly more homosexual males than the control group. Male-male pairs courted, built nests together and paired off for several weeks.
Higher doses increased the effect, with 55 per cent of males in the 0.3 ppm group affected.
Overall, male-male mating was blamed for 81 per cent of unproductive nests in the dosed groups.
‘We knew mercury could depress their testosterone levels,’ explained Dr Frederick.
‘But we didn’t expect this. In the worst-case scenario, the production of young would fall by 50 per cent.’ Other birds would probably be similarly affected, he said.
However, Dr Frederick, of the Florida University, and fellow researcher Nilmini Jayasena, of the Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka, admitted it was far from clear if methylmercury could be linked to similar effects in mammals.
A man walks on a pedestrian overpass on a hazy day at Beijing’s Central Business District, China, Friday, Nov. 19, 2010. Beijing’s air, notorious for its pollution, soared above 500 on the air quality index on Friday, considered hazardous for all populations by U.S. standards. (AP)
BEIJING – Pollution in Beijing was so bad Friday the U.S. Embassy, which has been independently monitoring air quality, ran out of conventional adjectives to describe it, at one point saying it was “crazy bad.”
The embassy later deleted the phrase, saying it was an “incorrect” description and it would revise the language to use when the air quality index goes above 500, its highest point and a level considered hazardous for all people by U.S. standards.
The hazardous haze has forced schools to stop outdoor exercises, and health experts asked residents, especially those with respiratory problems, the elderly and children, to stay indoors.
“We’ve canceled 10 days worth of games since August,” said David Niven, chief operating officer of China ClubFootball, which runs extensive youth and adult football leagues in Beijing. “If the air is above 240, some of the schools will ask us to move football games indoors or cancel them altogether. Because of the bad air this year, we’ve had to cancel more games than ever before.”
- Fluoride: A Chronological History (Must-read!)
Cities all over the US purchase hundreds of thousands of gallons of fresh pollution concentrate from Florida – fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) – to fluoridate water.
Fluorosilicic acid is composed of tetrafluorosiliciate gas and other species of fluorine gases captured in pollution scrubbers and concentrated into a 23% solution during wet process phosphate fertilizer manufacture. Generally, the acid is stored in outdoor cooling ponds before being shipped to US cities to artificially fluoridate drinking water.
Fluoridating drinking water with recovered pollution is a cost-effective means of disposing of toxic waste. The fluorosilicic acid would otherwise be classified as a hazardous toxic waste on the Superfund Priorities List of toxic substances that pose the most significant risk to human health and the greatest potential liability for manufacturers.
Phosphate fertilizer suppliers have more than $10 billion invested in production and mining facilities in Florida. Phosphate fertilizer production accounts for $800 million in wages per year. Florida’s mines produce 30% of the world supply and 75% of the US supply of phosphate fertilizers. Much of the country’s supply of fluoro-silicic acid for water fluoridation is also produced in Florida.
Phosphate fertilizer manufacturing and mining are not environment friendly operations. Fluorides and radionuclides are the primary toxic pollutants from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer in Central Florida. People living near the fertilizer plants and mines, experience lung cancer and leukemia rates that are double the state average. Much of West Central Florida has become a toxic waste dump for phosphate fertilizer manufacturers. Federal and state pollution regulations have been modified to accommodate phosphate fertilizer production and use: These regulations have included using recovered pollution for water fluoridation.
Radium wastes from filtration systems at phosphate fertilizer facilities are among the most radioactive types of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) wastes. The radium wastes are so concentrated, they cannot be disposed of at the one US landfill licensed to accept NORM wastes, so manufacturers dump the radioactive wastes in acidic ponds atop 200-foot-high gypsum stacks. The federal government has no rules for its disposal.
BEIJING (Reuters) – Almost a quarter of China’s surface water remains so polluted that it is unfit even for industrial use, while less than half of total supplies are drinkable, data from the environment watchdog showed on Monday.
(NaturalNews) The vast majority of the world’s rivers are threatened by pollution, pesticide runoff and destructive species, say researchers from The City College (CCNY) of The City University of New York (CUNY), the University of Wisconsin and seven other institutions. And not only is the integrity of the world’s water at heightened risk, but so are countless aquatic species that rely on the threatened habitats for survival.
Published in the journal Nature, the study explains that the threats come from a multitude of different sources, and that an independent, reactive approach to dealing with them is not going to work. A more holistic approach is required, say scientists, if the problems have any chance of ever being remediated.
“We can no longer look at human water security and biodiversity threats independently,” said Dr. Charles Vorosmarty, director of the CUNY Environmental CrossRoads Initiative and professor of civil engineering at The Grove School of Engineering at CCNY. “We need to link the two.”