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22 Freaky Facts about Plastic Pollution | Care2 Healthy Living

We can’t seem to escape plastic… it’s everywhere. And we can’t escape plastic pollution, either. Plastic is literally at my fingertips all day long. Plastic keyboard. Plastic framed computer monitor. Plastic mouse. The amount of plastic I encounter daily doesn’t end there. Chances are, you can relate. Plastic is an epidemic. But where does all this plastic go? We ship some of it overseas to be recycled. Quite a bit ends up in landfills. And more than you can imagine ends up on the loose as plastic pollution, eventually making its way into our waterways. Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes have even been found in our Great Lakes—the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world! Giant garbage patches (one twice the size of Texas) can be found floating around in the oceans. And all this plastic pollution is not only a problem for the earth, it’s bad for our health. Green Diva Meg and I chatted about the plastic in our oceans on the recent Green Divas myEARTH360 Report podcast, which inspired me to uncover more facts about plastic in all of our lives and how it ends up in our precious water. Have a listen… [4/3/2014 1:30:48 PM] megan mcwilliams: Plastic Taking Over Our Oceans & More Earth News (10:27) Download the MP3 By: Green Diva Meg Description: Green Divas myEARTH360 report with news about the oceans and why we need to still save the whales. Some encouraging news and of course how you can take action to benefit the earth and some of her creatures. 22 Freaky Facts about Plastic Pollution. 1. In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottle—are carried into the Pacific Oceanevery day. 2. Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 3. 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw it away. 4. Enough plastic is thrown away each year tocircle the earth four times. 5. We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/22-freaky-facts-about-plastic-pollution.html Read more...

[health] More Fukushima radiation revelations: Amy Goodman | OregonLive.com

Three years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The tsunami’s immediate death toll was more than 15,000, with close to 3,000 still missing. Casualties are still mounting, though, both in Japan and much farther away. The impact of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on health and the environment is severe, compounded daily as radioactive pollution continues to pour from the site, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO. In an unusual development, more than 100 U.S. Marines and Navy sailors have joined a class action suit, charging TEPCO with lying about the severity of the disaster as they were rushing to the scene to provide humanitarian assistance. They were aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other vessels traveling with the Reagan, engaged in humanitarian response to the disaster. The response was dubbed “Operation Tomodachi,” meaning “Operation Friendship.” More oregonlive.com Read more...

[health] Fetal Exposure to BPA Linked to Prostate Cancer | Care2 Healthy Living

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, 15 percent of U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. A new study published in January 2014 attempts to pinpoint why these numbers are so high and they have come up with this explanation: Early fetal exposure to low levels of bisphenol A (BPA) may make men more susceptible to prostate cancer later in life. BPA is known to be a gender-bending endocrine disrupter that acts as an estrogen. It is used to make polycarbonate plastics and can be found in aluminum beverage cans, most food cans, infant formula that comes in cans, dental sealants, paper receipts, and epoxy-lined beer cans. An estimated 90+ percent of Americans carry traces of BPA in their bodies, so that there is almost “universal fetal exposure” to BPA. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/fetal-exposure-to-bpa-linked-to-prostate-cancer.html Read more...

The ‘silent epidemic’ of chemical toxins hurting our children

Two of the world’s top toxicology experts are calling on governments around the globe to crack down hard on the widespread use of industrial chemicals which they say are hurting the development of children’s brains. Read more...

Post-Fukushima Report: Concern over Plutonium and Uranium being deposited and re-concentrating far away

House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee (pdf), Volume II Additional written evidence, Sixth Report of Session 2012–13: Recommendations for post event marine monitoring programmes [...] At Fukushima the monitoring authorities chose to focus on those isotopes (iodine and Caesium) [and] failed to investigate the presence, concentration and radiological significance of “hot” particles of reactor fuel, used fuel from cooling ponds and/or pieces of reactor of cooling pond structure released into coolant and ECW [Emergency Cooling Water] flows as a result of explosion, meltdown, containment breach, washout of coolant and through flow of ECW. […] Such a programme should identify near, mid and far field end fate deposition environments (seabed and inter tidal fine sediment deposits) where very long lived, non-soluble isotopes of Plutonium, Americium, Uranium and Curium might be expected to deposit out and re-concentrate relative to ambient water column concentrations. […] scientifically attested work [...] has demonstrated the ability of several isotopes […] to re-concentrate in marine micro layers, marine sea sprays and marine aerosols and hence to transfer from the sea to the land [with] potential human exposure via inhalation, contact etc. More http://enenews.com/govt-report-concern-plutonium-uranium-being-deposited-concentrating-away-isotopes-transfer-sea-land-sea-spray-aerosols-flooding-human-exposure-inhalation-food-contact Post-Fukushima Report: Concern over Plutonium and Uranium being deposited and re-concentrating far away — Isotopes transfer to land via sea spray, aerosols, flooding — Human exposure by inhalation, food, contact House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee (pdf), Volume II Additional written evidence, Sixth Report of Session 2012–13: Recommendations for post event marine monitoring programmes [...] At Fukushima the monitoring authorities chose to focus on those isotopes (iodine and Caesium) [and] failed to investigate the presence, concentration and radiological significance of “hot” particles of reactor fuel, used fuel from cooling ponds and/or pieces of reactor of cooling pond structure released into coolant and ECW [Emergency Cooling Water] flows as a result of explosion, meltdown, containment breach, washout of coolant and through flow of ECW. […] Such a programme should identify near, mid and far field end fate deposition environments (seabed and inter tidal fine sediment deposits) where very long lived, non-soluble isotopes of Plutonium, Americium, Uranium and Curium might be expected to deposit out and re-concentrate relative to ambient water column concentrations. […] scientifically attested work [...] has demonstrated the ability of several isotopes […] to re-concentrate in marine micro layers, marine sea sprays and marine aerosols and hence to transfer from the sea to the land [with] potential human exposure via inhalation, contact etc. […] such isotopes […] have been shown to transfer from the sea to the land (via sea spray, aerosols, flooding) and to contaminate terrestrial foodstuffs and thus enter terrestrial dietary chains. […] radioactivity deposited in inter tidal sedimentary environments has been shown to be susceptible to re-suspension (in drying conditions) and blowing ashore adsorbed to fine sediment particles to contaminate house dust and perhaps terrestrial foodstuffs [...] Read more...

What, If Anything, Will the US Learn From Fukushima?

With climate change concerns on the table, proponents push nuclear power as a “clean” energy. But the aftermath of the Fukushima meltdown provides one of many reasons why nuclear energy should be examined more closely. It’s been nearly three years since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, but its effects are still being felt in Japan and elsewhere in the world. Three hundred thousand Japanese refugees still live in makeshift camps, and on the other side of the Pacific, a forthcoming study quantifies the effects of “low” doses of traveling radioactive contamination on children’s health in California. According to some experts, Japan is incapable of safely decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear plant alone. Every day, hundreds of tons of radioactively contaminated water leak out of the damaged reactors, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has suggested dumping the toxic water into the Pacific Oceanonce the water has been partially decontaminated. But it has been estimated that the process of even partially decontaminating the water already stored will take at least seven years. In a Climate Reality Check Coalition conference call in December 2013, political activist Ralph Nader and radioactive waste watchdog atBeyond Nuclear Kevin Kamps discussed the problems they’ve identified with nuclear power and the powerful forces behind the industry. More http://truth-out.org/news/item/20715-what-if-anything-will-us-learn-from-fukushima What, If Anything, Will the US Learn From Fukushima? Read more...

The Fukushima catastrophe and what you can do | The Salinas Californian | thecalifornian.com

The Fukushima catastrophe is worsening, and we can panic or take action. “How serious this accident is? Very, very serious, of course … Still not under control … We’re still in the stage of accident,” Dr. Tatsujiro Suzuki, vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, said as recently as Oct. 12. The initial explosions in March 2011 spread radiation worldwide; airborne radiation reached the West Coast in three days. Read more...

5 Reasons Why Music Is the Real Fountain of Youth | Care2 Healthy Living

Society is obsessed with youth — so much so that one of the largest technology companies in the world, Google, recently acquired a new company, called Calico, devoted to tackling the issues of aging. But can science really turn back the clock’s hands, or is humanity still searching for Herodotus’ magical “waters of life”? One key to re-connecting with our youth may be closer than it seems. A series of recent studies lend credence to the idea that music could be the next best thing to finding the real “Fountain of Youth.” Here are 5 incredible ways music helps us stay young and healthy: Improves immunity: Listening to upbeat music for less than an hour is enough to decrease immunity-suppressing stress hormones and increase the number of antibodies in the blood, according to a study conducted by Sussex University and the Max Planck Institute. Researchers only tested the effects of lively music, and theorize that personal preferences and exposure to other genres might impact an individual’s response; “We’d expect that different kinds of music might show different physiological and immunological effects,” says Ronny Enk, study author and neurocognition expert at Max Planck. “Not only the music itself is important but probably the personal appraisal of the listener will also be important.” Combats cognitive decline: McGill University researchers found that the human brain releases dopamine—a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of reward and pleasure, and facilitates the creation of long-term memories—both during, and in anticipation of, jamming out to good tunes. Natural decreases in the number of dopamine-producing cells is thought to contribute to age-related decline in memory and cognition. But studies have shown that artificially increasing the supply of dopamine in an elderly individual’s brain can help them form stronger memories. Keeps depression at bay: People with major depressive order age faster than their non-depressed counterparts. But a review of 17 different studies on music and depression led analysts from the National University of Singapore to conclude that jamming out just once a week may reduce symptoms of depression. More http://www.care2.com/greenliving/5-reasons-why-music-is-the-real-fountain-of-youth.html Read more...

[Health] Lessons from Fukushima

More than two and a half years have passed since the “meltdown” at Fukushima nuclear power plant but the exact extent of the damage remains uncertain. Worse, it has been left unrepaired. Thus, experts and citizens worry about the catastrophic impacts on health and safety. But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power, its management authority, haven’t really expressed serious concern. Kim Ik-joong, a biology professor from Dongguk University, said that radiation at Fukushima nuclear power plant was at least seven times as much as that at Chernobyl. The Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986. After 23 years, experts reported a few studies on Chernobyl. “Chernobyl — catastrophic result on human beings and environments” by ecologist Alexey Yablocov, a former advisor for the environment to then Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, said that it caused 985,000 deaths or injuries. These included various types of cancers, gastric ulcers, chronic lung diseases, diabetes, eye infections, thyroid-related diseases and cardiovascular illnesses. In addition, the birthrate between boy and girl babies, which is usually 105:100, was 105:95 in Belarus and Russia which were exposed to radiation. Experts said that the Chernobyl disaster polluted 40 percent of Europe and most of the northern hemisphere. Then, it makes me shudder to expect the damage from the Fukushima meltdown. More http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2013/12/162_147256.html Read more...

Scientists discover another cause of bee deaths, and it’s really bad news

So what is with all the dying bees? Scientists have been trying to discover this for years. Meanwhile, bees keep dropping like… well, you know. Read more...