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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, August 22, 2014
Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant. Source: University of Hawai'i Manoa, 8/18/14

Antibacterial Soap Exposes Health Workers to High Triclosan Levels
Handwashing with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan, a widely-used chemical currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a study led by researchers from UC San Francisco. Source: University of California San-Francisco, 8/19/14

BPA-Free Plastic Containers May Be Just as Hazardous
Animal studies find that a replacement compound for the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A may also be harmful to human health. Source: Scientific American, 8/11/14

Scientists Discover 56 Active Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Plants
Scientists have identified 56 active pharmaceutical ingredients in effluent samples from 50 large wastewater treatment plants across the USA, according to a report published in Environmental Pollution. Source: Elsevier, 8/22/14

Can Urban Agriculture Work on a Commercial Scale?
An urban farm in Montreal is scaling the industry "with more software than farmers." Source: CityLab, 8/22/14

Understanding the origin of products is key to ending supply chain scandals
Knowing the ingredients in, and origin of, a product is not just ethically right, it makes business sense too Source: The Guardian, 8/22/14

Just too many toxic tubes
Thinking about recycling that old behemoth television or computer monitor gathering dust in the basement? You might want to hold off for a while. A glut of now-obsolete technology -- the glass cathode ray tube used in multiple millions of televisions and computer monitors -- has turned into a toxic millstone threatening to drag down the state's four-year-old consumer electronics recycling law. Source: Albany Times-Union, 8/9/14

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Conflict minerals reports are filed, but what do they say?
Most filers in this initial disclosure year were unable to determine the origin of conflict minerals (tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, known collectively as 3TG) in their products. They described their conflict minerals status as "undeterminable" or made no declaration. While some stakeholders were anxious to see what companies had to say, those participating in efforts to comply with the SEC's new conflict mineral rule know well the challenges of completing these first-year filings. The complexity of supply chains created challenges for most companies. And there is still a long way to go. Ernst & Young's recent study of conflict minerals filings -- which may help serve as an early guide to the 3TG disclosure landscape and help facilitate an assessment of how companies compare -- found data about reporting across all SEC reporting companies. Source: GreenBiz.com, 8/19/14

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Upcoming report tracks P2 results at U.S. public agencies
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange collaborate on an ambitious effort to grow and maintain a national database of P2 Results. The database focuses on a variety of measures with a goal to document the efforts of some 90 U.S. government agencies and technical assistance providers to improve environmental performance. Such efforts include activities by government and technical assistance providers; behavior changes by industry; reductions in waste, energy consumption and water usage; and economic gains achieved through these activities. The tri-annual NPPR report of these results is to be released next month during National P2 week. Source: GreenBiz, 8/20/14

Water Utilities Are Starting to Take Their Own Conservation Advice
Wastewater treatment plants are often the biggest consumers of electricity in their areas. Gresham, Ore., and Washington, D.C., are making moves to change that. Source: Governing, August 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Illinois coal plant owners say they've done their part
Owners of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants in Illinois told regulators Monday that they should look to other generators to reduce the state's carbon footprint. Source: Chicago Tribune, 8/19/14

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Ohio farmers point to algae law loophole
Ohio farmers caught in the headlights of the recent Toledo water crisis are defending their voluntary efforts to reduce phosphorus run-off to Lake Erie. That runoff is the primary source of toxic algae blooms. But Ohio farm groups and environmentalists say a new state law that will certify fertilizer use doesn't go far -- or fast -- enough. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 8/13/14

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