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Deep concerns: gas wells at a fracking site in the US state of Pennsylvania. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Wikimedia Commons.

Health alert - fracking’s chemical cocktails

Tim Radford

21st August 2014

Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors. more...
William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination

Oliver Tickell

20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back. more...
Crop-spraying in the USA. Photo: CFS.

Last chance to stop USDA approval of 2,4-D GMO crops

The Ecologist

14th August 2014

The US is poised to 'deregulate' GMO corn, soybean and cotton varieties resistant to the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. The result will be a big increase in the use of those herbicides, as high as 600%. Only a huge public outcry can now stop the GMO-herbicide juggernaut. more...
Mmmm, sushi ... but watch out for rising mercury levels in seafoodin the future, fallout from burning fossil fuels, coal in particular.

Fossil fuels raising mercury levels in oceans, and fish

Chris Rose

13th August 2013

Coal burning in particular is responsible for releasing the toxic heavy metal mercury to the oceans, writes Chris Rose, where it accumulates in fish. In future levels will rise, as processes that carry mercury to deep waters weaken. more...
A still from YouTube video by SputnikTV allegedly shows remains of a shell near the facilities of Gorlovka chemical plant in eastern Ukraine.

Toxic risk as missiles strike Ukraine's biggest chemical plant

The Ecologist

11th August 2014

As the warring parties fight for control for Donetsk, the country's biggest chemical plant has come under fire, with missiles landing close to pipelines and storage tanks. If released, toxic nitrochlorobenzene could cause widespread death. more...
José Manuel Barroso - whatever's on his mind, it's not the environment. Photo: European Parliament via Flickr.

Exposed: Barroso's EU anti-environment crusade

EuroActiv

5th August 2014

Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and his secretary-general Catherine Day - while undermining action on climate, renewables and energy efficiency. more...
Fishing for plastic in the open ocean on the Rozalia in the 2013 Gaia to Gyre expedition. Photo: Ceri Lewis via Flickr.

Microplastic ocean pollution - will you join our research voyage?

Kate Rawles

5th August 2014

Plastic pollution in the oceans is impacting every level of marine life, writes Kate Rawles, from micro-plankton to whales. And here is your chance to do something about it - join a research expedition to the Azores next month to study the problem and develop solutions! more...
Aglogbloshie - burning off plastic to get to valuable metals. Photo: qamp.net via Flickr.

E-waste in Ghana: where death is the price of living another day

Nele Goutier

7th August 2014

Attempts to recycle E-waste and donations of old electronic devices are harming poor people's health and devastating the environment, writes Nele Goutier. Agbogbloshie, once an idyllic landscape of wetlands and small farms, is now the most toxic place in the world ... more...
Aerial view of the Jonah gas field in western Wyoming's upper Green River valley. Photo: Bruce Gordon / EcoFlight via John Amos / Flickr.

Fracking - US companies and regulators must disclose environmental data

Kimberly Terrell, Morgan Tingley & Sara Souther

4th August 2014

Among the risks of fracking are fragmentation of wildlife habitats, groundwater depletion, surface water pollution. The risks are compounded by a failure among companies and regulators to record or disclose essential information - from the chemicals used, to the time and place of toxic spills. more...
After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying? Photo: John Severns via The Conversation.

Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies

Christopher N Connolly

30th July 2014

Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products, writes Christopher N Connolly - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published. more...
Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr.

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...
Even if they survive the war, these children in Homs face a toxic future for many years to come from the release of industrial toxins and residues from munitions, propellants and explosives. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr.

Syria - the toxic footprint of war

Pieter Both & Wim Zwijnenburg

13th July 2014

The devastating human impact of Syria's civil war may persist for decades to come as heavy metals and carcinogens in munitions end up in the environment, along with chemicals from destroyed industrial plants and stores. A long-term public health crisis is in the making. more...

toxics: 1/25 of 27
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Wildfowl hunting in California, where a state-wide ban on lead will come into force. Photo: Diana via Flickr.

Hunting for Truth - we respond to the NRA's retraction demand

The Ecologist

11th July 2014

The National Rifle Association has demanded that The Ecologist retract important elements of a story we ran about the threat to condors from ingesting spent lead ammunition, and the NRA's opposition to a lead ban. We publish our response. more...
Bee gathering nectar. Photo: Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Victory! Syngenta pulls 'bee-killer' pesticide application

The Ecologist

4th July 2014

Blaming 'lack of time', Syngenta withdraws its emergency application to use a seed treatment blamed for killing bees. Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees claim victory - but Syngenta warns: we'll be back! more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Scientists write: EPA, ban 'agent orange' herbicide mix and GMO crops!

The undersigned

3rd July 2014

Thirty-five distinguished scientists urge the US-EPA not to register new mixtures of the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate, intended for use on herbicide-tolerant GMO crops. Approval of the herbicide mixtures would endanger both human and environmental health. more...
Condors at the Grand Canyon. Photo: Derek Bruff via Flickr.

Eat lead! Condor survival versus National Rifle Association

Dawn Starin

7th July 2014

Ample peer-reviewed science says that the number one threat to condor survival is lead poisoning from eating bullets and pellets in carcasses, reports Dawn Starin. But the powerful NRA is fighting hard against bans on lead ammunition. more...
Neonicotinoid insecticides are killing more than just bees - entire farmland ecosystems are being poisoned. Photo: honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California, by Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Neonicotinoids are poisoning entire farmland ecosystems

Damian Carrington / The Guardian

2nd July 2014

The widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides is causing a neurotoxic overload afflicting entire farm ecosystems from earthworms to bees, other pollinators and birds, writes Damian Carrington. A collapse in food production may inevitably follow. more...
The front cover of Poisoned Planet by Julian Cribb, published by Allen & Unwin.

Poisoned Planet - the chemical attack on our Earth

Tony McMichael

15th August 2014

An invisible cloud of man-made chemical toxins is sweeping the globe, writes Tony McMichael - disrupting ecosystems, damaging human health and shortening our lives. Our response so far has been utterly inadequate, as Julian Cribb reveals in his new book. But there are solutions - and it's up to us to get them implemented. more...
Flame retardants are frequently found in mattresses and other soft furnishings, including those for use by children. Photo: © Copyright Aaron Moraes / Greh Fox via Flickr.

Flame retardants are the new lead - our children must be protected

Pat Thomas

13th June 2014

Flame retardant chemicals lower children's IQs, disrupt hormone function and cause a host of other health problems, writes Pat Thomas. Yet they are ubiquitous in homes and offices, even in bedding and accessories for babies and young children. more...
Blacks and Hispanics in the US are more likely to get reproductive cancers - could this be the result of Atrazine poisoning? Photo: A Black family picking cotton, 1937. By Louise Boyle via Kheel Center / Flickr.

Atrazine: Syngenta's herbicide doesn't just poison frogs - it could give you cancer

F William Engdahl

2nd June 2014

Tyrone Hayes has fought a 15-year battle with Syngenta following his discovery that its herbicide Atrazine scrambles sex in frogs, writes F William Engdahl. Now he wants to know - is Atrazine the cause of the US's 2-fold reproductive cancer excess among Blacks and Hispanics? more...
Marching against Monsanto in Washington DC. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr.

Why we are Marching against Monsanto

Dr Mae Wan Ho

28th May 2014

A huge turnout was recorded for the 2014 March Against Monsanto, with protests in over 400 cities in 52 countries and 47 US states. Dr Mae Wan Ho says this worldwide movement will keep on growing, until Monsanto and its toxic products are defeated. more...

Keep these toxic herbicides out of our food!

Pat Thomas

10th May 2014

GM crops that resist herbicides are bringing ever higher levels of toxic chemical residues to our food, even mothers' milk, writes Pat Thomas. As the 'endocrine disrupting' effects take place at minute concentrations, there is only one answer - to keep the herbicides off all food crops. more...
The use of 2,4D - a toxic herbicide developed in WW2 as a weapon to destroy enemy crops, and a key ingredient of Agent Orange - will greatly increase if a new generation of GM crops is approved.

Coming to your table? GMO crops resistant to 'war herbicide' 2,4D

Helena Paul

8th May 2014

The US looks set to approve GM crops that resist the 'Agent Orange' pesticide 2,4-D as well as glyphosate, writes Helena Paul. If it does, the toxic chemical - created in WW2 to destroy enemy food supplies - will soon end up in animal feeds, and the food we eat. more...
European Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) near a waterfall in the Carpathian mountains. Photo: Irene Mei via Flickr.

Meet the dipper - our canary in the coal mine for polluted rivers

Steve Ormerod

21st May 2014

Hormone-disrupting pollutants in the urban rivers of South Wales are having adverse effects on the health and development of wild birds such as dippers, writes Steve Ormerod. Could this humble bird be the 'new canary' for environmental toxins? more...
Roundup Ultra destroys down to the roots. That's not to mention what glyphosate, the main active ingredient of Roundup, does to our health. Photo: David Reverchon via Flickr.com

Glyphosate is a disaster for human health

Dr Mae Wan Ho

30th April 2014

Extensive, long running evidence for the cancer-causing effects of glyphosate, and other toxic impacts, have been ignored by regulators. Indeed as the evidence has built up, permitted levels in food have been hugely increased, writes Dr Mae Wan Ho. more...

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