Most polluted cities of the world’s biggest economies

Smog in Beijing

Beijing, China is frequently shrouded in dense, yellowish smog so thick that the other side of the road is obscured. But over the past weekend the deadly smog that enveloped the city was so bad that air-quality readings from a monitor on the roof of the American Embassy said simply: “Beyond Index”. (Chart)

 

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Is Your Meat Made With Meat Glue?

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If you see “composite meat product” on the label, it might be fish slurry slapped together with an enzyme from cow’s blood.

Almost every country in the EU last week approved the use of Meat Glue in food. Technically called thrombian, or transglutaminase (TG), it is an enzyme that food processors use to hold different kinds of meat together.

Imitation crab meat is one of the more common applications: it’s made from surimi, a “fish-based food product” made by pulverizing white fish like pollock or hake into a paste, which is then mixed with meat glue so that the shreds stick together and hold the shape wanted for it by its creator…

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Living Within 100 Yards of Gas Stations Can be Bad for Your Health

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Experts say that a ‘minimum’ distance of 50 yards should be maintained between petrol stations and housing.

Living within 100 yards of petrol stations can damage your health, according to a new study. Researchers found that air in the immediate vicinity of garages is often polluted and can harm local residents.

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Polar Bears the Most Contaminated Creatures on Earth

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Polar bears full of more toxins than any creature on the planet.

As their native habitat melts, polar bears have been forced into close contact with grizzly bears and humans—both of which have limited the iconic carnivore’s ability to obtain food. This, however, is not the only problem the bears face.

 

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The Chemical Unknown: Americans Exposed to Thousands of Untested Chemicals

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Only a tiny fraction of the compounds around us have been tested for safety.

Under current U.S. law, chemicals are, as Sanjay Gupta said, “innocent until proven guilty.”

“And the only way they are proven guilty is by health effects turning up in people who have been exposed, often years later. That makes us all guinea pigs,” Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said at the Oct. 26 field hearing of the U.S. Senate subcommittee on environmental health held in Newark, NJ.

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Wildfires in Russia and Canada Create Poisonous Cloud of Pollutants Around Planet

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The concentration and global transport of carbon monoxide pollution from fires burning in Russia, Siberia and Canada.

Raging forest fires in central Russia, Siberia and western Canada have created an enormous cloud of pollutants covering the northern hemisphere, according to NASA.

 

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Will Dolphins and Whales Be Able to Adapt to the Oily Gulf?

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NASA satellite image shows oil reaching Alabama beaches and the Florida panhandle.

The dead sperm whale found this week in the Gulf of Mexico puts the spotlight on how the BP oil spill will affect this endangered mammal, along with other cetaceans, such as dolphins, that must break the oil-slicked surface to breathe.

 

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China’s Indoor Air Pollution Kills 2.2 Million Children Every Year

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Indoor pollution levels can often be 5-10 times higher than those measured in China’s bad outdoor air.

More than two million Chinese youths die each year from health problems related to indoor air pollution, with nearly half of them under five years of age, state media cited a government study as saying.

 

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Scientists Develop Hyper-Sensitive Nanotube Sensors to Detect Toxins

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Researchers at Stanford have created a kind of inexpensive sensor based on carbon nanotubes (these things are so useful!) that can detect traces of TNT and the nerve agent Sarin in water. This can be useful to detect terrorist attacks on the water supply or leaching from munition making or storage facilities, but I bet this type of sensor could also be used to detect other kinds of toxins and help us track down polluters.

 

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How Megacities Mimic Life

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Smog in Cairo, Egypt, one of the world’s megacities

A scientific trend to view the world’s biggest cities as analogous to living, breathing organisms is fostering a deep new understanding of how poor air quality in megacities can harm residents, people living far downwind, and also play a major role in global climate change. That’s the conclusion of a report on the “urban metabolism” model of megacities presented here today at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

 

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The Dustbot: Robot Trash Collector

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Co-funded by the European Commission, the $3.9 million (USD) Dustbot project aims to build a moderately-sized robot to navigate the narrow streets that garbage trucks can’t reach.  The pictures were taken from Dustbot’s trial run in Peccioli, Italy. (Pics)

 

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