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If you live in the gas patch, you might have a dirty mind

By Sharon Wilson

May 20, 2011

It is well known that breathing toxic gas patch air is hard on our hearts and lungs now a new study shows it also gives us dirty minds.

 

Children who live in areas with air pollution show brain lesions in the prefrontal cortex of their brains that are similar to people who have dementia and Alzheimer s. They also show signs of cognitive impairments in memory, problem solving and judgment and deficiencies in their sense of smell.

 

In Mexico City, an 11-year-old girl named Ana who has an IQ of 113, which is above-average, also has persistent, growing brain lesions. Ana was one of 54 children who participated in the Mexico City study. Autopsies of healthy children who died in accidents showed proteins that are known hallmarks of Alzheimer s and Parkinson s diseases.

 

Another study of 200 10-year- olds in Boston found that higher airborne concentrations of soot meant lower IQs and poorer memories.

 

Researchers believe nonoparticles--tiny particles in smog, carbon, metals, solvents and other reactive gases-travel through the nose and into the brain where they cause inflammation.

 

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Tagged with: public health, greenhouse gas emissions, vocs, dirty drilling


Costco should say no to dirty gold

By Nick Magel

May 18, 2011

CostcoCostco, one of the largest US retailers, is the kind of company that can transform the industry with its purchasing decisions. With that power comes a responsibility to provide its customers with products that come from ethical sources. This summer, tens of thousands of nervous grooms-to-be will be heading to Costco--, one of the top 10 jewelry retailers in the United States--to buy their gold wedding rings. What should they know about Costco s gold sourcing?

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Tagged with: dirty gold, jewelry retailers, costco


Strength in numbers

By Nadia Steinzor

May 12, 2011

For decades, gas and oil companies have enjoyed seemingly unshakeable influence over policy and politicians. So it s nice to think that they might be paying attention to recent events, in which citizens have spoken so loudly and clearly that decisionmakers have been forced to listen.

Yesterday, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted unanimously to temporarily table a request by XTO Energy (ExxonMobil Corp.) to withdraw 250,000 gallons of water a day from a stream in Broome County, NY known for its unique trout habitat. It wasn t a full meeting agenda that did it but the receipt of over 7,000 emails and hundreds of letters in just over a week from residents and organizations across the region, thanks to an outreach push by Delaware Riverkeeper Network and its allies.

The key argument made was that issuing the permit would be premature and risky given the current moratorium on drilling permits in the Basin and work now underway to assess the impacts of gas development, including water withdrawal. Hopefully the commissioners will ultimately heed this logic; they'll certainly have another chance to hear it from more residents because they did agree to another citizen ask: to hold a public hearing on the application in the area that would be most impacted by the withdrawal.

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Tagged with: natural gas, marcellus shale, pennsylvania, drbc


HB 3328 TX disclosure bill all bark no bite

By Sharon Wilson

May 11, 2011

Industry claims they can water down the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals in frack fluid until they are harmless.

I guess the Texas Legislature thinks watering down also works with disclosure bills. The much touted HB 3328 Texas Disclosure bill that was supposed to set some kind of national standard is now so watered down that no one but industry will mistake it for setting any kind of national precedent.

There is a lot of hype going through the internet today with calls from some environmental groups asking members to call in support of this bill. but, an Inside EPA article by Bridget DiCosmo calls it a gutting (subscription required, excerpts follow).

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Tagged with: hydraulic fracturing, texas, disclosure


Report from the field: Tailings dam fails at silver mine in Turkey

By Payal Sampat

May 11, 2011


Google Earth image of the Kutahya area BEFORE the tailings dam breach. The tailings impoundment with three interior walls is at left.


Closeup of the Kutahya tailings impoundment after the breaches. Credit: Hasan G kvardar.

KUTAHYA, Turkey, May 10 Experts are urging residents near a silver mine in Western Turkey to evacuate after the failure of a dam holding back 15 million cubic meters of cyanide-laced mining waste. Heavy rain expected for the next three days could cause the dam to collapse, sending a river of deadly waste toward drinking water supplies and the Black Sea.

The dam, part of the mine operated by Eti Silver Corporation, failed Saturday, once again underscoring the inherent danger in dumping toxic mining waste in pools held back by dams. Hasan G kvardar, a mining engineer who is working with non-government organizations in the region to assess the situation, provided this firsthand report and accompanying photos:

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Tagged with: cyanide, tailings dam, silver, failure, kutayha, turkey


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