pollution

The Best Way To Map Radiation? Bento Boxes Stuffed With Geiger Counters

Back in 2011, a team of volunteers crammed Geiger counters into bento-shaped boxes to map the radiation following the Fukushima meltdown. It turned into the biggest collection of radiation data in history. Next up: tackling air pollution.


India's Air Pollution Is So Bad It's Causing Lung Damage In Kids

The deadly heatwave that swept through India this week has melted streets with its searing 47°C temperatures. But it’s also making life even worse for its cities’ most vulnerable residents — the millions of Indian children suffering from lung damage due to the toxic urban air.


This Painter Can Even Make Toxic Sludge Look Beautiful

If you didn’t think anything beautiful could come from toxic waste, well, think again. Ohio University art professor John Sabraw and civil engineer Guy Riefler have joined forces and devised a method for extracting iron oxide metals from industrial waste. The extracts can then be turned into vibrant pigments and used to create stunning works of art.


Our Chemicals Are Falling On Remote Parts Of Antarctica In Snow

You probably haven’t heard of “cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes”, but you’ve almost certainly rubbed them into your skin. They’re widely used in lotions and cosmetics to create that smooth, satisfying feel. And now scientists are finding — to their surprise — these chemicals in remote parts of Antarctica.


We're Dumping Eight Million Tonnes Of Plastic Into The Ocean Every Year 

Garbage in the ocean is a big problem, but we never really knew how big. A study published today in Science drops a rough but still astounding estimate: eight million tonnes per year, 20 to 2000 times what we originally thought.


All The Reasons Why You Need To Purify Drinking Water

You know you need to filter, treat or boil water you find in the wilderness. But why? Well, there’s a number of answers, starting with words like E. Coli, Hepatitis A, Giardia and Cryptosporidiosis.


Why Does Smoke Cover So Much Of South-East Asia?

A haze has periodically wafted over South-East Asia for 20 years. But despite rising public health concern, the problem remains as opaque as the smoke itself, Mike Ives reports.


4 Ideas To Fix Beijing's Smog Airpocalypse, And One That Will Work 

The worst smog of the year so far swept into Beijing this week, coating the city in a grainy, deep grey murk on par with what the city endured in 2013, pictured above (though you’ll see it’s popping up again today). China is trying, hard, to get its air quality problem under control, and is considering some seriously wacky ways to do it. Unfortunately, the only one that will work is also the most difficult.


Wearable Air Quality Sensors Could Help Us All Breathe Easier

Imagine if you could locate the healthiest route for your afternoon jog, the fresh airiest one that would keep you from breathing the pollutants that cars barf out into the atmosphere. It might change every day as these pollutants move around. But you’d be ready, because you’d be wearing an air quality sensor.


Some Of Canada's Lakes Are Turning Into Jelly Thanks To Acid Rain

It’s a real bummer to hear that 150 years of industrialisation wrecked the Earth so bad that it will take thousands to recover. It’s a much bigger bummer to see the situation in real life. That’s exactly what’s happening in a large number of Canada’s lakes, which are turning into jelly thanks to acid rain.