Environmental News – March 24 – 31, 2013

Popular Insecticides May be Killing Bees, Green Walls Reduce Air Contaminants, Arctic Ice Reduction Linked to Extreme Weather, Extinct Species Revival, and Lead Based Paint all in this week’s Environmental News 

Exxon Mobil Oil Spill in Arkansas

  The Exxon Mobil Pegasus pipeline ruptured on Friday, leaking an estimated 4500 barrels (189,000 gallons) of oil into a subdivision in Mayflower, Arkansas – less than 30 minutes from Little Rock. There are conflicting reports on the source and type of oil that was spilled, with some environmentalists claiming this to be a Canadian […]

Weekly Environmental News – March 17 – 23, 2013

World Water Day and the International Year of Water Cooperation March 22nd is the United Nations World Water Day, a day to call attention to water issues around the globe. 2013 is also the International Year of Water Cooperation, highlighting the importance of water as a global resource. Check out this list of worldwide events […]

Weekly Environmental News – March 17, 2013

Compulsory Integration and Hydraulic Fracturing in New York New Yorkers that oppose Hydraulic Fracturing beneath their property may not have a choice based on 2005 legislation.  The so-called “compulsory integration” rules, which exist in 39 states across the country, essentially force property owners to sell the oil or gas beneath their property.  The rules allow […]

CFL Bulbs and Mercury: What You Need to Know

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain an average of 4 milligrams of mercury, about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. This is much less than the amount contained in those old mercury thermometers, or even the amount deemed safe to consume in our diet from fish. But make no mistake, mercury is a neurological toxin. The EPA uses 0.1 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day as the accepted exposure level for oral consumption without recognized adverse effects. Inhaling mercury vapor in significant amounts (greater than 0.025 mg/m3) can cause deficits in cognitive functioning, tremors, kidney damage and even death in cases of high exposure. If mercury is so toxic, why is it in a common household item such as a lightbulb?

What’s in a label? Organic, fresh, and all natural ingredients

As I opened a can of soup this week I noticed the “all natural” label on a can with an expiration date several months out. This got me wondering about product labels like “all natural,” “fresh,” and “organic.” Who is policing them and what do the labels really mean?

Weekly Environmental News – March 10, 2013

Game Changer: Whole Foods Market to require GMO labels Despite the blessings of FDA and WHO that food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is safe, consumer are exercising their “right to know” and have made great strides in the fight to see labeling on grocery store shelves.Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada […]

Weekly Environmental News – March 3, 2013

Shell Oil to suspend drilling for 2013 Big news this week as Shell Oil Company announced the decision to suspend drilling in the Arctic Ocean for 2013. Give them some applause, if you’d like, for taking safety precautions, but hold off on the standing-ovation; they plan to resume drilling in 2014.

Waste Not, Want Not? Recycling in Your Area and Around the Nation

recycling bins

Article by Shannon Gray and Carolyn Anthon. Recycling means different things to different people. For some, it is second nature to separate every paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum item from regular trash. Others simply don’t bother. While many are familiar with the outcome of not recycling (haven’t we all seen images of the tortured waterbirds and […]

A Really Tough Class: Studying Geology in the Bahamas

Beach on Andros Island, Bahamas

Which course offers sun, sand, and a clear turquoise sea — in January? It’s the “Coral Reefs and Caves: The Geology of The Bahamas” course in the Environmental Sciences & Policy program. I took it this year and can confirm it’s just as good as it sounds, although it’s not all fun and games (we […]