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Tag: pollution

Trump's rollback of pollution rules to hit coal country hard

Trump's rollback of pollution rules to hit coal country hard

Health
It's coal people like miner Steve Knotts, 62, who make West Virginia Trump Country. So it was no surprise that President Donald Trump picked the state to announce his plan rolling back Obama-era pollution controls on coal-fired power plants. Trump left one thing out of his remarks, though: northern West Virginia coal country will be ground zero for increased deaths and illnesses from the rollback on regulation of harmful emission from the nation's coal power plants. An analysis done by his own Environmental Protection Agency concludes that the plan would lead to a greater number of people here dying prematurely, and suffering health problems that they otherwise would not have, than elsewhere in the country, when compared to health impacts of the Obama plan. Knotts, a coal miner for 35 ye...
Plastic pollution: 'Stop flushing contact lenses down the loo'

Plastic pollution: 'Stop flushing contact lenses down the loo'

Science
Researchers in the US have been investigating the final journeys taken by disposable contact lenses. They found 15-20% of US users simply flick these fiddly lenses down the drain via the bathroom sink or toilet. The Arizona State University study suggests that much of the plastic material then ends up in waste water treatment plants.The lenses are consequently spread on farmland as sewage sludge, increasing plastic pollution in the environment.Around 45m people wear contacts in the US, while rates in other countries vary, with between 5 and 15% of the population in Europe using them. Over the last decade, the use of softer plastic contact lenses has grown rapidly with people using daily, weekly or monthly disposables in greater numbers than ever before. T...
Low levels of air pollution linked to changes in the heart

Low levels of air pollution linked to changes in the heart

Health
Regular exposure to even low levels of air pollution may cause changes to the heart similar to those in the early stages of heart failure, experts say.A study of 4,000 people in the UK found those who lived by loud, busy roads had larger hearts on average than those living in less polluted areas.This was despite the fact people in the study were exposed to pollution levels below the UK guidelines.Researchers called on the government to reduce air pollution more quickly. A team of scientists, led from Queen Mary University of London, analysed health data of people who had no underlying heart problems and were part of the UK Biobank study, including the size, weight and function of their hearts.You can see what air quality is like in your area by entering your postcode in the search below. T...
Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Scientists try to measure impact of pollution on animal behavior

Science
July 27 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Plymouth are developing experiments and standards for quantifying the effects of pollution exposure on animal behavior. Researchers know animals are regularly exposed to toxic chemicals. They also know pollution exposure can alter behaviors related to survivability -- feeding, finding mates and avoiding predators. But measuring changes in behavior isn't easy. In a series of new experiments, scientists at Plymouth revealed potential flaws in traditional ways of measuring animal behavior. In a previous experiment, researchers showed amphipods, small crustaceans, swim away from pulses of light. They also found the animals like to swim near the tank wall in the lab. But as part of their most recent study, scientists showed the shape and size o...
Sentinel satellite exposes sulphur dioxide pollution

Sentinel satellite exposes sulphur dioxide pollution

Science
What must it be like to live in the Siberian town of Norilsk on a "bad air day"? They say the local smelting industry produces 1% of all the sulphur dioxide (SO₂) going into the air globally, something close to two million tonnes a year. SO₂ is particularly unpleasant if breathed in; but it also washes out of the sky as "acid rain", damaging plant-life and denuding the quality of water in streams and rivers. The extent of Norilsk's pollution problem is captured in remarkable new maps from Europe's Sentinel-5P satellite. The spacecraft was put up last year to track the gases responsible for dirty air - with SO₂ being one of the prime culprits. Assembled in the UK and carrying the Dutch-led Tropomi instrument, S5P...