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Tag Archive: Polychlorinated biphenyl


 

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Monsanto under investigation for ‘illegal dumping’

by SEAN POULTER

Last updated at 18:04 12 February 2007

 

Monsanto is under investigation amid allegations it sanctioned the dumping of toxic waste on sites across the country despite evidence that it would poison the landscape for generations.

The activities of the US chemical giant, best-known in the UK for its support of GM farming, are being examined by the government’s Environment Agency and public health bodies.

The focus of the investigation is a site in south Wales that has been called ‘one of the most contaminated’ in the country.

It appears that toxic chemicals were dumped in the Brofiscin quarry in the 1960s and 1970s despite the fact there was no licence for these materials and the site was not lined or sealed.

This meant a cocktail of highly poisonous chemicals has been able to escape into the environment and threatens to poison local streams and rivers.

The quarry, which is on the edge of the village of Groesfaen, near Cardiff, first erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area.

Since then surveys have found that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs which could have been made only by Monsanto, are leaking from the site.

The Environment Agency says that if the dumping were to take place today there would be a criminal prosecution and civil action to raise the money needed to clean up the site.

However, it appears that much of the dumping was carried out during years when Britain’s regime for environmental protection was more lax.

Consequently, there are doubts as to how far any legal action can go or which companies should be liable for clean-up costs that are expected to run into tens of millions of pounds.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Our overall aim is to understand the current risks to ground water and surface waters and to determine the most cost-effective way forward to protect the local environment and to recover costs from those liable.”

 

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Ocean Cleanup Array developed by 19-year-old could save millions each year, and impact human health

Saturday, March 30, 2013 by: Antonia

 

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(NaturalNews) Plans were unveiled by Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, for an Ocean Cleanup Array, brought on after launching a school project that analyzed the amount and size of the plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches.

The Ocean Cleanup Array project has the potential to remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic from the world’s oceans; save hundreds of thousands of aquatic life each year; and reduce PCB, DDT, and other pollutants from affecting the food chain, which includes humans.

Besides the potential of the positive environmental and health changes, the Arrays could impact other areas including tourism (which can be lost as a result of ocean waste), and marine vessels (which are prone to damage from the garbage).

Those changes, and other clean-up costs results in millions of dollars spent each year, money that can be saved with this innovation.

What is the Ocean Cleanup Array device?

“The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms.” It would sit stationary and span the array of an existing garbage patch, rather than move freely through the ocean. It would behave like a giant funnel, sucking in and filtering the debris.

The angle of the booms would bring the plastic into the funnel, a filtering process would take place to separate out the plankton, and then store the plastic for later recycling.

The harm of plastic to life and the ecosystem

In Slat’s TEDx talk he discussed how a portion of the 300 million tons of plastic each year ends up in the water ways and ultimately into the ocean.

He mentions how animals mistake the plastic for food and die as a result of the consumption. Also, the chemicals in the plastic poison the food chain, which in result harms the population of sea life, and of humans.

One message Slay hopes to convey is that “we need to stress the importance of recycling, and reducing our consumption of plastic packaging.”

Sources for this article include:

http://inhabitat.com
http://www.boyanslat.com/TEDx/
http://www.boyanslat.com/bio/index.html

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.

Read more: http://rawfoodhealthwatch.com/writers/antonia/

 

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Ocean Array Could Clean Up Tons Of Plastic

Mar 26, 2013 02:02 PM ET // by Tracy Staedter
Discovery.com

Millions of tons of tiny bits of plastic float in giant patches — or gyres — in oceans around the world. There are five large patches of plastic. One of them, the North Pacific Gyre, is roughly twice the size of the United States. All of them are a problem. These bits of plastic look like food to fish and birds and once consumed, end up killing these animals. But the plastic bits also contain chemicals, such as DDTs and PCBs, that once consumed by small sea creatures then enter the food chain to be consumed eventually by people. And because plastic doesn’t break down and dissolve, these gyres are going to be around for hundreds, if not thousands of years, even if we stopped polluting tomorrow.

VIDEO: What’s an Ocean Garbage Patch?

What to do?

Young entrepreneur, Boyan Slat, has an idea. He wants to develop an array of floating devices designed to clean up the more than 7 million tons of plastic bits suspended in the top layer of the gyres — that’s the weight of 1,000 Eiffel Towers. The array would be made of manta-ray-shaped platforms connected in a zig-zagging pattern and affixed to the seabed. Ocean currents would drive plastic debris toward the platforms, which would be powered by the sun and wave action. Long, floating booms — not nets — would be used to sift plastics from the water with very little bycatch. Slat found that zooplankton, microscopic animals important to the bottom of the food chain, can be removed safely from the water using a centrifuge.

NEWS: Pacific Plastic Soup Sees 100-Fold Increase

In a TED talk for TEDxDelft 2012, Slat detailed his plan. Not only would his plan clean up the ocean, save the lives of aquatic animals and reduce the amount of pollutants from entering the food chain but it would also save industry millions per year. Marine vessels are damaged every year from the garbage floating in the ocean, countries lose money when tourists no longer want to visit their polluted beaches. And Slat also thinks that he can make millions of dollars from the plastic he collects, by recycling it.

Credit: Erwin Zwart

via Inhabitat