Groundbreaking study confirms neonicotinoids are toxic to songbirds

November 10, 2017 by  
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The controversial insecticides known as neonicotinoids don’t just harm bees – according to new research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan , they are also toxic to songbirds. The study shows that the chemicals can directly skew songbird migration . The research was led by Margaret Eng, a post-doctoral fellow. She worked alongside Christy Morrissey, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan . Reportedly, this is the first study to show that imidacloprid ( neonicotinoid ) and chlorpyrifos (organophosphate) — which are two of the most widely-used insecticides — are toxic to seed-eating songbirds. Said Morrissey, “Studies on the risks of neonicotinoids have often focused on bees that have been experiencing population declines. However, it is not just bees that are being affected by these insecticides.” Eng added, “These chemicals are having a strong impact on songbirds. We are seeing significant weight loss and the birds’ migratory orientation being significantly altered. Effects were seen from eating the equivalent of just three to four imidacloprid treated canola seeds or eight chlorpyrifos granules a day for three days.” In the past, farmers sprayed their crops with neonicotinoids. Today, many seeds are already coated with the chemicals. Said Morrissey, “Birds that stop on migration are potentially eating these seeds , but can also mistakenly ingest the chlorpyrifos pellets for grit, something they normally eat to aid in the digestion of seeds.” For the study, Morrissey and Eng captured sparrows which were migrating during the spring. The birds were then fed daily for three days with either a low or a high dose of imidacloprid or chlorpyrifos. At the end of the experiment, they learned that neonicotinoids changed the birds’ migratory orientation and resulted in them losing up to 25 percent of their fat stores and body mass. Related: Neonicotinoid insecticides kill honeybee sperm York University biology researcher Bridget Stutchbury said, “Many small migratory songbirds use agricultural land as a stopover to refuel on long flights. These neurotoxic insecticides are widely used in North America but their effects on migratory ability in birds have not been tested before. Although neonicotinoids were thought to have a lower toxicity to vertebrates, it actually proved to be more harmful to these songbirds than the older organophosphate chemicals.” Following the cessation of dosing, most of the birds survived. But Eng is still concerned about their well-being. “The effects we saw were severe enough that the birds would likely experience migratory delays or changes in their flight routes that could reduce their chance of survival, or cause a missed breeding opportunity,” she said. Morrissey concluded that the research is likely to “have major implications for regulation decisions of these pesticides . Imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos are highly controversial for their safety to the environment or to humans and a decision on a proposed imidacloprid ban in Canada is being considered, with the federal government expected to make a decision on imidacloprid and its use in Canada sometime in December.” + University of Saskatchewan Via Phys Images via PxHere, Pixabay

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Groundbreaking study confirms neonicotinoids are toxic to songbirds

This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter

October 17, 2017 by  
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Did you know that cigarettes take twelve years to decompose on average? That’s a big problem, as they are the most littered item on Earth – every year, approximately 4.5 trillion cigarettes are discarded with little regard for the environment. The new startup Crowded Cities has a plan to rid streets of this type of pollution – and it involves training crows to exchange cigarette butts for food. It’s a well-established fact that crows are one of the smartest animals in the world. Not only are they skilled problem solvers, they can create and use tools . Dutch startup Crowded Cities is developing a device that trains crows to collect discarded cigarettes . In exchange, the crows receive peanuts. The CrowBar is based on a design created by an American inventor . The device has a large funnel where cigarette butts can be deposited, and a dispenser for releasing peanuts . The hope is that crows get busy cleaning up the streets in exchange for some easy food. The task isn’t impossible, considering Crowded Cities has a four-step plan to train the crows. Related: Meet Cig, the sea turtle made of over 1,000 cigarette butts strewn on a Florida beach First, the machine offers a piece of food next to a cigarette butt on a small platform. This trains the bird to expect food from the machine . Second, the machine begins dispensing food only after the crow arrives at the machine. This teaches the crow how to operate the CrowBar. Third, the machine presents only the cigarette butt with no food. Confused, the crow will begin pecking and looking around. When he/she inadvertently drops the butt into the dispenser, food will be released. The fourth step is to remove the cigarette butt entirely, leaving only a couple scattered on the crowd in the nearby area. The crow will begin collecting butts from the surrounding area, bringing them to the CrowBar, then dropping them into the dispenser for food . At this stage, the training is complete. The startup is in the process of building a prototype to test whether or not the design will work. Because cigarettes are filled with toxic chemicals, Crowded Cities will monitor the crows’ health and behavior. If the method proves successful and the birds aren’t adversely affected by the cigarette butts, you may see a CrowBar in your city in the near future. + Crowded Cities Via Popular Mechanics Images via Crowded Cities , Pixabay

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This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter

Researchers find sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine

June 30, 2017 by  
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Most of us are quick to reach for our sunscreen before heading outdoors in the summer , but that might not be a great idea – especially for swimmers. New research reveals that sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine, sometimes resulting in kidney and liver dysfunctions, as well as nervous system disorders. The study, conducted by Lomonosov Moscow State University, was published in the journal Chemosphere . The researchers were reportedly stunned to discover that chlorine — a chemical commonly used in the US and UK to disinfect water by killing bacteria — breaks down suncream into other potentially-hazardous chemicals. Specifically, the ingredient Avobenzone is what breaks down into hazardous components when mixed with chlorinated water. As Phys.org reports , Avobenzone was approved by the FDA in 1988 due to its ability to absorb ultraviolet light by converting the energy of the light into thermal energy . Every year, it is regularly applied by millions of people worldwide — a fact which makes this finding so concerning. Related: Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens Dr. Albert Lebedev, the study’s author, said, “On the basis of the experiments one could make a conclusion that a generally safe compound transforms in the water and forms more dangerous products. In spite of the fact that there are no precise toxicological profiles for the most established products, it’s known that acetyl benzenes and phenols, especially chlorinated ones, are quite toxic .” Scientists are now looking into a suitable alternative for avobenzone that won’t break down when exposed to chlorination or bromination of fresh and sea water. “Studying the products of transformation of any popular cosmetics is very important as very often they turn out to be much more toxic and dangerous than their predecessors,” said Lebedeve. “In principle, basing on such researches, one could obtain results, which could restrict or even put under a ban the usage of one or another product, and preserve health of millions of people.” Via Express.co.uk , Phys Images via Pixabay , SheKnows

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Researchers find sunscreen becomes toxic when exposed to chlorine

Gorgeous light-filled Nike headquarters opens in New York City

June 30, 2017 by  
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Sports giant Nike just unveiled its stunning new headquarters in New York City —complete with a 4,000-square-foot, full-size indoor basketball court. Drenched in natural light and surrounded by enviable floor-to-ceiling views of the city, the Nike NYHQ offers creative open-plan workspaces across six floors at 855 Avenue of the Americas. The new office is studded with site-specific art, recycled materials, and a giant rooftop planter shaped into the iconic Nike swoosh that’s visible from the Empire State Building. Though Beaverton, Oregon is Nike’s main headquarters, the company has been forging strong bonds with New York City for decades, including in its recent campaign #NewYorkMade. Creativity and collaborative workspaces abound in the nearly 150,000-square-foot New York HQ. Local artists were commissioned to produce Nike-themed, NYC-related art on multiple floors, while meeting spaces are diverse and varied, and include the inside of a VW van , a tribute to the original van that the founders used to distribute Nike shoes in the company’s early days. Related: Nike makes Air Max shoebox from recycled milk jugs and coffee lids Recycled materials were used in the furnishings, such as the outdoor benches made from reclaimed timber posts and the custom ceiling tiles produced by Miniwiz . The 4,000-square-foot indoor basketball court on the second floor doubles as an event space with seating for 400 and will host local leagues, high school teams, and community partners. The roof terrace serves as an outdoor events space with food served from an indoor food truck. The HQ also includes a media room, market showroom, maker’s space, and library. + Nike

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Gorgeous light-filled Nike headquarters opens in New York City

What the new Chemical Safety law means for business

June 22, 2016 by  
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The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law Wednesday, replacing the Toxic Substances Control Act which left Americans exposed to many toxic chemicals.

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What the new Chemical Safety law means for business

What the new Chemical Safety law means for business

June 22, 2016 by  
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The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was signed into law Wednesday, replacing the Toxic Substances Control Act which left Americans exposed to many toxic chemicals.

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What the new Chemical Safety law means for business

Researchers discover toxic heavy metals in Portland’s trees and air

April 6, 2016 by  
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We don’t often think about whether there are toxins in the trees around us, but researchers in Portland, Oregon recently made a very unsettling discovery. Common tree moss in the area contains dangerous  heavy metals  like arsenic, and it isn’t just in the trees – it’s in the air, too. Read the rest of Researchers discover toxic heavy metals in Portland’s trees and air

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Researchers discover toxic heavy metals in Portland’s trees and air

This windproof glass lets you savor wine in the great outdoors

April 6, 2016 by  
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Spring is here and we all know what that means — it’s picnic season ! You may have your picnic basket with all the appropriate accoutrements, but what about wine glasses? Behold, the world’s first windproof wine glass that allows you to enjoy wine in the great outdoors without any fear of tipping over at first wind’s blow. The POINTER wine glass pins right in the ground, so you can enjoy a classy beverage anytime, anywhere. Great for a picnic, beach outing, or a little R&R in the garden, this elegant yet practical Dutch-designed glass lets you skip the plastic cups altogether. + POINTER The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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This windproof glass lets you savor wine in the great outdoors

Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam, and 23 Others Arrested in Cove Point Civil Disobedience

August 25, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam, and 23 Others Arrested in Cove Point Civil Disobedience Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Atlantic Sunrise , Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project , Cabot , cabot oil and gas , Climate Change , climate chaos , climate justice , Cove Point , destruction , dirty energy , drilling violations , earth , energy industry , Energy Justice Network , Energy Justice Summer , engineering , Environment , environmental engineering , environmental justice , extraction , FERC , Fossil Free , fossil fuels , fracked gas , fracked gas exports , fracking , fracking well violations , Future , gag orders , gas exports , green jobs , industry , inhabitat , livable future , Maryland , methane , natural gas , pennsylvania , pipelines , renewable energy , renewables , Susquehanna , susquehanna county , toxic , Williams , Williams companies

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Lady Liberty, Uncle Sam, and 23 Others Arrested in Cove Point Civil Disobedience

Dept. of Public Health Deliberately Silenced Citizens Calling about Fracking

August 12, 2014 by  
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NPR recently covered a story about two former Pennsylvania Department of Public Health employees who said they were told to keep their mouths shut when people called in about fracking and related development. Former employee Tammi Stuck said, “we were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,” regarding people who called in insisting that fracking and related processes caused nosebleeds, migraines, skin rashes, and a bunch of other problems common to carcinogen exposure. The concerns mirror public health advocates who say that Pennsylvania hasn’t funded enough research to examine health impacts of blasting apart the Marcellus Shale. Read the rest of Dept. of Public Health Deliberately Silenced Citizens Calling about Fracking Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , Atlantic Sunrise , Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Project , Cabot , cabot oil and gas , Climate Change , climate justice , corporations , destruction , dirty energy , drilling violations , energy industry , Energy Justice Network , Energy Justice Summer , Environment , environmental justice , extraction , FERC , fossil fuels , fracking , fracking well violations , gag orders , government , industry , methane , natural gas , pennsylvania , pipelines , politics , renewable energy , renewables , Susquehanna , susquehanna county , toxic , Vera Scroggins , Williams , Williams companies

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