Scientists discover hazardous chemicals accumulate in household dust

September 15, 2016 by  
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Scientists have found an array of hazardous chemicals inside everyday household dust , putting the health of families at serious risk. The toxic cocktail accumulates over time from a variety of household products, including cleaners, electronics, furniture, and flooring. Families are warned that infants are more at risk, as they tend to crawl on the floor and frequently touch their mouths. An analysis of 26 studies and one unpublished set of data reviewed findings covering a range of indoor settings, including homes, gymnasiums, and schools. They discovered a disturbing trend of at least 45 different chemicals present in dust, 10 of which were found in at least 90 percent of the samples taken. Related: What kind of toxins are lurking in your mattress? Known carcinogen TDCIPP, a flame retardant found in furniture foam, carpet padding, and some baby products, was at the top of the list. Another flame retardant present, TPHP, has been linked to adverse effects on reproductive and nervous systems. Phthalates , an ingredient in vinyl flooring as well as food and personal care packaging that can interfere with hormones and infant development were also found in abundance. “It is really important for companies and regulators to get the message that people care about this and want and need safer products for their families,” expressed study co-author Veena Singla to The Guardian . She noted that consumer demands will help with future risks, but many of the products contaminating homes do not get replaced often, such as flooring. By frequently vacuuming, dusting with a wet cloth, and washing hands before meals, families can reduce their risk of ingesting or inhaling these toxic elements. Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Scientists discover hazardous chemicals accumulate in household dust

Denmark is building the "Silicon Valley of agriculture" near Aarhus

September 15, 2016 by  
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According to William McDonough + Partners , the agricultural food park first opened in 2009. It is owned by The Danish Agriculture & Food Council and currently hosts 75 companies and 1,000 employees. Now spanning 44,000m2, the park will grow an additional 280,000m2 in multiple phases over the next 30 years. William McDonough + Partners said it is expected to “create synergies among the many existing tenants while building an ecosystem inviting new entities to further strengthen products and expertise developed within the hub.” McDonough later told Inhabitat, “This is a place, literally, where people could be engaging in the business of feeding the world safe, healthy food. That, to us, is very exciting.” William McDonough + Partners and GXN are specifically focusing on five particular areas that will define the AFP (and potentially future, similar developments) and creative an inspiring space that gives rise to innovation; they include healthy materials, clean energy , increased biodiversity, healthy air, and clean water. Related: Interview with William McDonough, green architect and Cradle to Cradle founder “Embracing Agro-Urban Ecosystem Design, the AFP treats urban and agricultural development together as a unified, productive and restorative ecosystem,” said William McDonough + Partners. “By integrating the carbon cycle and other ecological processes into large scale urban systems and their surroundings – buildings and energy flows, water cycles and wastewater treatment, land use and food production – the AFP creates economic value within the urban and agricultural infrastructure.” The master plan comprises three main sections – the Lawn, a central communal green space that will become a “showroom” for experimental food production, the Strip, the main street with “active” ground floor facades to ensure a lively atmosphere throughout the day, and five Plazas that “bind” clusters of buildings together, creating individual neighborhoods with distinct identities. “Innovation occurs best when knowledge is concentrated in clusters and cross-pollinated,” said Kasper Guldager Jensen, Director of GXN. “By linking food production to urban life, we have tried to create an environment where people, knowledge and ideas meet. The dream is to create the framework for agriculture’s answer to Silicon Valley.” + William McDonough + Partners

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Denmark is building the "Silicon Valley of agriculture" near Aarhus

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