Tag Archive: Air pollution


Millions of asthmatics unable to breathe as giant cloud of Saharan sand and toxic air covers Britain in layer of smog

  • Air pollution set to hit 10/10 due to dust from Sahara mixing with local pollution and toxic air from Europe
  • Parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales are worst affected by the problem
  • Dust has been generated from two source areas – one in central Algeria and another in southern Morocco
  • Meteorologists say it’s ‘particularly bad with weather conditions creating “perfect storm” for air pollution’
  • Those in affected areas advised to reduce strenuous outdoor exercise, especially if they get a sore throat
  • Adults and children with lung problems, heart problems and pensioners should avoid vigorous activity
  • Asthma sufferers may have to use inhalers more frequently for a few days until levels drop on Friday
  • But the dust does have positive aspects for fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Brazilian rainforest

By Mark Duell and Fiona Macrae and Ted Thornhill

Published: 18:13 EST, 1 April 2014 | Updated: 10:56 EST, 2 April 2014

 

Millions of asthmatics were today having trouble breathing as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sat over Britain.

One sufferer said she felt like she had ‘a baby elephant sitting on my chest’, while another said her lungs felt like they had ‘cobwebs’ inside them.

Even those without health difficulties have been told by experts to reduce outdoor exercise, with air pollution set to hit 10 out of 10 in some areas.

Britons are being warned they may suffer breathing problems, with parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales worst affected.

Those in affected areas are advised to reduce the strenuous outdoor exercise they do, especially if they start to suffer from a cough or sore throat.

 

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird's eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird’s eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

 

 

 

 

Pollution graphic from Press Association

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I  have gone  through the Oil Sands Fact   Check site and  honestly  all I  can  find is boasting as  to  the boon in the  US  economy, jobs and the fact that  activists  are  using the  pipeline and  tar sands oil as a   scapegoat. Not once  in all the  supposed  facts they  have there do they  address the  real concerns, simply   twisting  the  facts to their advantage.  Painting themselves  as  responsible entities.  Never  once addressing that this substance  is way  more dangerous  than oil to  the  environment and  the  water, especially.  The tap dance over  the  fact by  stating that   tar  sands  oil has  been  transported into the US for decades. 

What they  fail to miss is  this:  Instead  of  reporting  the  factual analysis of the  toxic substances that this tar sand emits they  skirt  over the  fact  claiming their emissions testing results.  Now  please correct  me if I  am  wrong , but the  major concern  of environmentalists  and activist is  not the emissions once it is  in the  car.  In  fact the  concern is of the  damage  the  unrefined substance will do  to the  environment  and the  water shed if a spill were to take  place.  As we can  see in  Arkansas the substance is so toxic that   the  residents  are  already  suffering  from it’s effects .

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They  call themselves  responsible entities, so  then my   question is this :  

what  is  Exxon doing  to  make this right? 

Exxon  has  stated  that the   water   quality was  within  safe  limits. 

So what  exactly  does that  mean ? 

Are  we to  accept  the  status  quo with  regards to safety limits just  as  we  are  to  accept that  GMO’s are  good for us  even  though there   are more and more opponents  coming out  stating  that   it is  in fact  detrimental to human  health?

What about  the air quality?  Or does  that not  matter? 

Children are   getting  sick.  People are  becoming  ill due to the  toxic  conditions.

Are we to believe  this is acceptable ?

Or will this also be  kept from the  people and the sick treated like insignificant data as  the  people of the  gulf  were?

Good health  once it has been compromised cannot be replaced. 

Will your  tar sands oil paycheck take care  of it?

There  is no amount of compensation that will replace good health.  Nor erase catastrophic  illness.

Or does it  not  matter  because  it isn’t your family?

I am sorry to break it to you  , but  unless  you  have a crystal ball that tells  you otherwise .  It could  very well be  you  and  your  family that suffers  next!  Do not  delude  yourself  by  detaching from the reality  of things entertaining the belief that  it  won’t happen to you .  I am sure the  people  of Mayflower , Arkansas never  imagined they would now  be mired  in this  poison.  Their children getting sick and  their  homes surrounded, helpless waiting  for some  heartless  oil company to decide  whether the clean up is worth the expense.  Not the  lives  of the people affected by their poison, but their bottomline.

Don’t kid yourself!

With  the   lack of responsibility  and  lack of corrective  action  taken  by   oil companies in  Africa.  With  leaking pipelines and  toxic sludge where lakes had once been.  Dead  soil where crops were once  grown. 

How can  anyone  in their  right  mind take the  word of these companies as to their integrity and responsibility? 

We  have  seen  what  BP did  in the  Gulf Of Mexico.

Do you  truly  consider what  was done in the  gulf an adequate job  of cleaning up the mess  made by their incompetence  and lust  for profits? 

The sea life  dying  as  a result and scientists complaining  that they  have  been  legally gagged  from making their findings available to the  public. 

Restrained by  whom? 

The oil companies?

No restrained by the  government   that  is supposed to  be looking  out  for our   benefit.  Instead  they are  protecting the Oil Companies interests. 

Is this the kind of safety  measure   you  want?  

The  reins handed over to a company  who’s  haste  for fattening up their bottom line poisons our earth , our  air and our water so  that they  can  police themselves? 

How many  journalists  were   kept away  from  the  Gulf  to keep them from reporting  what they   saw  there?

How many  reporters  were  kept from Mayflower, Arkansas for the  same reason?   

Everyone is crowing about  the jobs the  tar  sands oil will bring to the  US.

  Are  you truly  understanding  what  you are   asking  for? 

Do you  even understand that   Mayflower  Arkansas could be anywhere   in the heartland? 

Do  you  realize  what   would happen if  that   pipeline leaked into the  water  shed.?

It  would not  be someone else’s problem , it  would be  everyone’s problem . You are looking for  jobs, yes  we  understand.  We  all live  here in the   States and we are all going  through  the  same hard  times.  We  all need to  work and  we all  need  to  pay  our  bills. 

Where  do  we   draw the line  at  what  is admissible and what  is  over the  not? 

There  is only  one   Earth and when  she is   completely  trashed   where  will you  go ? 

Will your  job with  tars sands oil help you  bring  her  back ? 

Will you  be  able to remove  the  horrible toxins  deposited by   your  tars  sands  oil from the  earth,the rivers, the  water?

Are  you  not paying attention to what  is  happening around  you?

I want  you  to  understand one very  important thing.  The responsibility   for the  destruction of  our environment  is not just  on the  oil companies.  It is  on  everyone of  you   who  don’t  give it  a second thought.  On  everyone of you that  takes  clean  air ,and water  for  granted.  On everyone of you that  places  a  job  over  the  well  being  of  your  children and your fellow  American’s children.  This is not a  game this is a very   hazardous  situation  that  has   grave   consequences and until all of  you realize  that , we  are  lost.

Money  has become the  denominating factor in our lives. 

What  happened to principal , responsibility and honor.

What  happened to doing  what is  right ?

  Where is  the  concern for our   children’s well being?

   I  see  my  fellow citizens on a collision course with destruction,  hell bent on  ignoring  the  warning   signs.  Their eyes on the prize of money and material things. 

One wonders how much that  money  and those materials possessions  will help when  you  can  no longer   give  your   child a cup of clean , safe  water to  drink?

 

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Excerpts  taken  from  Oils Sands  Fact Check

Top 5 Things You Should Know About Transporting Oil Sands Crude

On March 29, an oil pipeline running through Mayflower, Arkansas experienced a leak that resulted in the evacuation of 22 homes and immediate clean up efforts from the pipeline’s operator, ExxonMobil. According to reports, the Pegasus line was carrying Wabasca Heavy crude oil – a blend of crude produced in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta.

Of course, in the minds of oil sands opponents, all pipelines are made alike and are uniformly threatened by oil sands crudes. In fact, following the news of the incident, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) stated:

“This latest pipeline incident is a troubling reminder that oil companies still have not proven that they can safely transport Canadian tar sands oil across the United States without creating risks to our citizens and our environment.”

We have the top five reasons why that’s not the case.

1)     Oil sands crudes have been transported safely in the U.S. for more than 40 years. Accident reports from the Pipeline & Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) from 2002 through mid-2012 show zero internal corrosion-related releases from pipelines carrying diluted bitumen.

 2)     Oil sands crudes are not more corrosive than other crude oils. In a 2011 report, Canadian research group Alberta Innovates found that acid and sulfur compounds found in oil sands crudes “are too stable to be corrosive and some may even decrease corrosion.” Recent testing and studies by ASTM International and Penspen support this conclusion.

 3)     Oil sands crudes are transported at comparable pipeline pressures as other heavy crude oils. All U.S. pipelines must operate under Maximum Operating Pressure limitations administered by PHMSA. In other words, pipelines are constructed to specifications that ensure they can handle the intended operating pressure and the type of liquid that flows through them.

 4)     Oil sands crudes are not heated for transportation in pipelines above the temperature of other crude oils. The range of temperatures for all crude oils from Canada is 40-135 degrees Fahrenheit. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code for Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons and Other Liquids does not consider pipeline temperatures to be elevated unless they exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

5)     Keystone XL would “have a degree of safety over any other.” As mentioned in point #3, pipelines must meet certain specifications before transporting any type of crude, no matter if it’s heavy or light. Keystone XL, which will also carry heavy oil from Alberta, is going above and beyond those requirements by adopting 57 extra safety measures, leading the State Department to declare that the project would “have a degree of safety over any other.”

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I challenge  you to watch this  video and  tell me  a  paycheck is worth all this destruction and misery! 

           …………………………….The True Cost Of Oil…………………………………

             If  you  have a  conscience you  would have  to admit  it  is not  worth it.                    Unless this is how you  want  to see  America  when they are done

                                                                             with   her

 photo Nowenteringamericavulturesign_zps13093b1f.jpg
~Desert Rose~

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Citizen group sees ‘toxic’ oil soup in Arkansas

UPI
Published: April 30, 2013 at 7:34 AM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 30 (UPI) — There’s been a “toxic soup” hanging over residents in Mayflower, Ark., as a result of an Exxon Mobil oil pipeline accident, a citizen’s group said.

Exxon said about 5,000 barrels of oil was released last month from a 22-foot rupture on its Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower. The pipeline, built in the 1940s, was carrying a diluted form of Canadian crude oil, dubbed oil sands, at the time of the spill.

Air samples taken March 30, the day after the incident, indicated high levels of compounds considered harmful to human health. The samples were conducted by a student activist trained by the Faulkner County (Ark.) Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor.

“Total toxic hydrocarbons were detected at more than 88,000 parts per billion in the ambient air and present a complex airborne mixture or soup of toxic chemicals that residents may have been exposed to from the Mayflower tar sands bitumen spill,” Neil Carman, a representative from the Texas chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

Exxon admitted to finding levels of benzene and other harmful chemicals in early samples taken at Mayflower. It said air and water quality was within safe limits in the weeks following the spill, however.

The report, published by the activist groups, said residents are showing signs of exposure to chemicals ranging from benzene, a carcinogen, to toluene, a central nervous system depressant, more than four weeks after the spill.

There was no response from Exxon on the report.

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Study Reveals 30 Toxic Chemicals at High Levels at Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Site

An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.

But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.

The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.

All of these chemicals are hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), “regulated under the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act amendments as the most toxic of all known airborne chemicals,” as explained in the press release summarzing the study.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

These plants show leaf damage from ozone.
USDA

As people in Beijing and northern China struggle with severe air pollution this winter, the toxic air is also making life hard for plants and even food crops of China, say researchers who have been looking at how China’s plants are affected by air pollution.

Beijing’s extreme smog event this week has made headlines, with the American Embassy calling the pollution levels “hazardous” and Beijing writer Zheng Yuanjie blogging that “the air smells like sulfur perfume, as the capital city currently looks like a poisonous huge gas can,” according to a report on Al Jazeera.

BLOG: 7 of 10 Most Air-Polluted Cities Are in China

“In the last 50 years there has been a 16-fold increase in ozone pollution” in the Beijing area, said Hanqin Tian of Auburn University in Alabama, who studies the effects of China’s pollution and climate change on plants. He said the soup of pollutants, including harmful sulfur and nitrogen compounds “is definitely expanding into new areas; into the countryside.”

 

Read Full Article Here

Earth Watch Report  –  Environmental Pollution

Palaces in the Forbidden City are seen during the heavy haze in Beijing, China, 14 January 2013. Photograph: Imaginechina via AP Images

3 15.01.2013 Environment Pollution China Capital City, Beijing Damage level Details

Environment Pollution in China on Sunday, 13 January, 2013 at 04:57 (04:57 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Tuesday, 15 January, 2013 at 09:27 UTC
Description
One of Beijing’s worst rounds of air pollution kept schoolchildren indoors and sent coughing residents to hospitals, but this time something was different about the murky haze: the government’s transparency in talking about it. While welcomed by residents and environmentalists, Beijing’s new openness about smog also put more pressure on the government to address underlying causes, including a lag in efforts to expand Western-style emissions limits to all of the vehicles in Beijing’s notoriously thick traffic. “Really awful. Extremely awful,” Beijing office worker Cindy Lu said of Monday’s haze as she walked along a downtown sidewalk. But she added: “Now that we have better information, we know how bad things really are and can protect ourselves and decide whether we want to go out.” “Before, you just saw the air was bad but didn’t know how bad it really was,” she said. Even state-run media gave the smog remarkably critical and prominent play. “More suffocating than the haze is the weakness in response,” read the headline of a front-page commentary by the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily.Government officials — who have played down past periods of heavy smog — held news conferences and posted messages on microblogs discussing the pollution. The wave of pollution peaked Saturday with off-the-charts levels that shrouded Beijing’s skyscrapers in thick grey haze. Expected to last through Tuesday, it was the severest smog since the government began releasing figures on PM2.5 particles — among the worst pollutants — early last year in response to a public outcry. A growing Chinese middle class has become increasingly vocal about the quality of the environment, and the public demands for more air quality information were prompted in part by a Twitter feed from the U.S. Embassy that gave hourly PM2.5 readings from the building’s roof. The Chinese government now issues hourly air quality updates online for more than 70 cities.”I think there’s been a very big change,” prominent Beijing environmental campaigner Ma Jun said, adding that the government knows it no longer has a monopoly on information about the environment. “Given the public’s ability to spread this information, especially on social media, the government itself has to make adjustments.” Air pollution is a major problem in China due to the country’s rapid pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power, explosive growth in vehicle ownership and disregard for environmental laws, with development often taking priority over health. The pollution typically gets worse in the winter because of an increase in coal burning.

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Environmental  :  Chemicals – Pollution – Bioethics – Medical Research – Health

Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles to be Placed in Clothes to ‘Eat’ Pollution

Lisa Garber
NaturalSociety

clothesinwasher 235x147 Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles to be Placed in Clothes to ‘Eat’ PollutionEffortlessly clean up your town’s polluted air with your favorite pair of jeans – that is what is trying to be done. If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

“CatClo,” a liquid laundry additive with titanium dioxide nanoparticles, is the collaborative work of the University of Sheffield and the London College of Fashion. All your clothes would need is one cycle with this additive—because the nanoparticles very stubbornly stick to the fabrics—to remove pollutants like nitrogen oxide in the air and oxidize them in the fabric.

The University of Sheffield website firmly says that the pollutants treated thusly in the presence of daylight do not produce other pollution hazards and are “harmlessly” removed when the clothes return to the wash—“if they haven’t already been dissipated harmlessly in sweat.”

Possible Carcinogen

“Harmlessly” may be a stretch, if not a lie. Titanium dioxide dust has been linked by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a possible carcinogen. Because it would be in nanoparticle form attached to fabric, titanium dioxide may be able to breach the blood-brain barrier, especially if absorbed through skin via sustained wear or sweat. One also wonders what possibly carcinogenic nanoparticles may be floating around the laundry room and the closet.

Water Pollution

The clothing industry has already seen the introduction of antimicrobial clothes, wherein antimicrobial compounds are added to kill germs and odors instead of the safer (and simpler) solution of soap and water.  In 2011, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) published their findings that triclosan and triclocarban—known disruptors of fetal development and thyroid and heart function—were removed from clothing in as little as ten washes. These compounds are toxic to aquatic creatures as well as the water itself, and are being found in increasing amounts in human urine, breast milk, and umbilical cord blood.

Long-Term Solutions Needed

“Nitrogen oxides produced by road vehicle exhausts are a major source of ground-level air pollution in towns and cities, aggravating asthma and other respiratory diseases. Asthma currently affects one in 12 adults and one in 11 children in the UK.”

While the universities in question may have good intentions—air pollution is a dire problem—wearing possibly carcinogenic air purifiers on our skin without long-term testing may not be a healthy choice. Instead, we can join as a community to critically inquire and solve collective problems with long-term health and the environment in mind.

Additional Sources:

The University of Sheffield

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Explore More:

  1. Widely Popular Nanoparticles Could Be Giving You Cancer, Nutritional Deficiencies
  2. Causes of Water Pollution – GMO Farming, Glyphosate Big Contributors
  3. FDA Targets Nanoparticles in Food, Appliances Over Health Risks
  4. Indoor Air Pollution Could Cause 50 Percent of Illnesses Globally
  5. Are Your Clothes Making You Sick?
  6. Lung Association Says Air Pollution Kills, Ranks Best & Worst U.S. Cities, Counties

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/titanium-dioxide-nanoparticles-clothes-eat-pollution/#ixzz28749I1E7

Green plants reduce city street pollution up to eight times more than previously believed

by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX)

FROTH AND BUBBLE

File image.

Trees, bushes and other greenery growing in the concrete-and-glass canyons of cities can reduce levels of two of the most worrisome air pollutants by eight times more than previously believed, a new study has found. A report on the research appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Thomas Pugh and colleagues explain that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM) – both of which can be harmful to human health – exceed safe levels on the streets of many cities.

Past research suggested that trees and other green plants can improve urban air quality by removing those pollutants from the air.

However, the improvement seemed to be small, a reduction of less than 5 percent. The new study sought a better understanding of the effects of green plants in the sometimes stagnant air of city streets, which the authors term “urban street canyons.”

The study concluded that judicious placement of grass, climbing ivy and other plants in urban canyons can reduce the concentration at street level of NO2 by as much as 40 percent and PM by 60 percent, much more than previously believed.

The authors even suggest building plant-covered “green billboards” in these urban canyons to increase the amount of foliage. Trees were also shown to be effective, but only if care is taken to avoid trapping pollutants beneath their crowns.

The authors acknowledge funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Sustainable Urban Environment program.

 

Related Links
American Chemical Society
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up