Medicines do an excellent job of increasing the quality of life for humans around the world, but the drugs don’t stay with us forever, and are eventually flushed out into our wastewater. Now, new research suggests that not only are a staggering range of pharmaceutical products getting into the environment and accumulating in animals, they’re ascending up the food chain.
Tagged With pollution
The red tide that's plagued Florida's Gulf Coast for a year and made a rare jump east earlier this month wasn't vanquished by Hurricane Michael. Instead the toxic algae bloom has continued to move up the state's Atlantic coast, befouling beaches and raising fears of a new ecological crisis should it become widespread in the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most biodiverse estuaries in North America.
New reports of microplastics turning up in just about everything from our bottled water to our beer pop up often to remind us just how widespread plastic pollution has become. New research now reports finding microplastics in over 90 per cent of table salts, with sea salt unsurprisingly serving up the highest levels of microplastics when compared to lake and rock salts.
The Dutch nonprofit Ocean Cleanup deployed a 609.60m-long, $US20 million unmanned boom designed to gather some of the Pacific Ocean’s massive amounts of plastic garbage from San Francisco Bay on Saturday. But it’s not clear the plan will work, the New York Times wrote.
There are now enough pigs in Spain that technically everyone could have one, and there’d be pigs to spare. Spanish environmental ministry figures reveal that the country now has 50 million oinking piggies, which is about 3.5 million more than the number of humans. That’s the first recorded time the nation has had more pigs than people.
Rivers and streams cover much more of the planet than geologists previously estimated, according to a new study published in Science. In total, this new estimate shows that, excluding land with glaciers, Earth is covered by just under 300,000 square miles (773,000 square kilometers) of rivers and streams. That's as much as 44 per cent higher than previous counts.
The first paper straw factory in the "last several decades" in Britain is planning to launch in Wales as fast-food chains prepare for a planned ban on single-use plastic products throughout the UK, the Guardian reported, with some chains already preparing their own plans to phase out plastic in favour of paper.
Plastic bags have become a scourge on the environment, finding their way into Earth's every nook and cranny. If you ever needed a reminder of just how insidious they can be, look no further than Japan's Deep-sea Debris Database. Not only does it contain plastic bag almost 10,900m deep, but a photo of the bloody thing.
Smoking has been banned in most public indoor spaces in Australia for years now - and for the better - but that doesn't necessarily mean nonsmokers are free from toxic cigarette chemicals. New research published this week in Science Advances suggests that not only can the chemical residue left behind by cigarette smoking find its way into "smoke-free" buildings, but it can then attach itself to aerosol particles suspended in the air that are easily inhaled by our lungs.
A couple of years ago, scientists discovered an enzyme in a waste recycling centre in Japan that digests plastic. During a recent experiment to understand how this enzyme works, scientists accidentally created a mutated version that breaks down plastic even better than the one found in nature. The discovery could go a long way in reducing plastic waste, particularly from water bottles.
For years, scientists have been tracking a large accumulation of floating trash, mostly bits of plastic, in the north Pacific ocean called the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," or the "trash vortex." This region, according to the latest research, has more lost and discarded plastic inside it than previous surveys suggested - like, a lot more. And it's still growing.
Testing of 259 plastic water bottles from nine counties revealed microplastic particles in water from 242 of the bottles, according to a new report. The test has prompted the World Health Organisation to review the issue, though there is no firm evidence that the presence of microplastics would make bottled water unsafe to drink.
You're familiar with the food chain: Little fish eats plankton, bigger fish eats the little fish, then a seal eats the bigger fish, thus consuming the energy from all three smaller animals. But what if the little fish had also eaten an indigestible piece of plastic? New evidence demonstrates the plastic could make it all the way up the food chain into the seal.