Pollution

Flame retardants can turn a burning room into a gas chamber

You know brominated and chlorinated flame retardants are bad when when even Walmart bans them from its products. Unfortunately, some fire codes require them.

Pollution

Fungi can eat pollution right out of the soil

Fungi are freaking amazing: Give them enough time and they will eat anything, even the toxins spread over polluted sites around the world. Mohamed Hijri, a professor at the University of Montreal, figured — why wait for nature to take its time neutralizing the damage we’ve done to the planet? Why not urge it along? And so he started identifying the fungi and microorganisms that do the best job at cleaning up toxins.

Climate Policy

What’s the deal with EPA carbon rules for existing power plants?

EPA's latest rule applies only to new power plants. But rest assured, rules for existing power plants are in the works.

Pollution

Raging hormone disruptors: Common chemicals cause trouble even in small amounts

BPA in water bottles and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals in everyday products pose big risks, according to a major new paper.

Food

McDonald’s ditches Styrofoam … maybe

McDonald’s may be getting a little less evil … maybe … I guess … if consumers really, really want it to. The fast food behemoth recently announced plans to swap out Styrofoam cups for paper ones at 2,000 of its stores. If customers respond well to drinking their bargain coffee out of greener vessels, the Golden Arches will start using paper cups at all of its 13,000+ restaurants. In the stores where the paper cups are being used, customers who order a hot beverage will now get it in a double-walled fiber hot cup. McDonald’s will be looking at “consumer …

Cities

David Lynch would like you to stop littering OR ELSE

Perhaps to make up for the bad rap he gave to woods, owls, sycamore trees, and the little pine weasel in Twin Peaks, David Lynch apparently also directed a 1991 PSA about littering. It’s almost exactly what you would expect from a David Lynch PSA about littering — there’s even weird jerky dancing AND coffee! — except there should probably be scarier lighting and at least one torch song.

Climate Policy

Does cap-and-trade produce technological innovation?

A carbon cap-and-trade system might not spur major innovation on its own, a new study suggests. So add focused innovation policy to the mix.

Pollution

Get the lead out: Have we already forgotten this lesson?

The new federal budget decimates funding for lead-poisoning prevention programs, even though we know they're wildly successful and hugely cost-effective.

Pollution

Why less arctic ice means more mercury in your babies

Thin sea ice leads to a "bromine explosion" that turns gaseous mercury in the atmosphere into a toxic pollutant that falls on snow, land and ice and can accumulate in fish.

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