Tagged With pollution

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.

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.

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.

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.