Breathing Pollution During Pregnancy Raises Child’s Risk of Autism

It should come as no surprise that if an expecting mother breathes air of poor quality, her child might suffer for it. Lung development trouble, premature births, and other complications have all been associated with severe air pollution. However, a new study has now linked air pollution with autism as well.

This is not the first time risk of autism development has been tied to maternal air pollution exposure. However, according to researcher Marc Weisskopf, the senior author of the new study, the specificity of these latest findings make the study of particular importance, as it “rules out many other possible explanation” for the results.

The study was published yesterday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and details how Weisskopf and his colleagues asessed a cohort of more than 116,000 US mothers whose pregnancies began as early as 1989. The researchers collected data on where participants lived during their pregnancies, as well as data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other sources on localized levels of fine particulate matter air pollution.

The environmental impact of oysters, in one photo

The water in both tanks came from the same source. The one on the right has bivalves. Not only do oysters naturally filter the waters in which they live, they can even protect humans from destructive hurricanes. For more, read about New York’s efforts to bring back oyster populations in the once-toxic Hudson River.

Delicious AND helpful. Who knew?

(photo via Steve Vilnit on Twitter)

The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Scaling to 46 years, humans have been here 4 hours, the industrial revolution began 1 minute ago, and in that time we’ve destroyed more than half the world’s forests.
—  Greenpeace

Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.

“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”

If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”

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#health #science

*According to scientists at the World Bank, animal agriculture produces 51% of all man-made greenhouses gases, which is more than all forms of transportation combined and tripled.
*Animal agriculture uses 1/3 of all raw materials and 1/3 of all fossil fuels worldwide.
*Animal agriculture is the world’s leading driver of deforestation, the number one cause of water scarcity, and is directly linked 70% of all human illnesses.
*Animal agriculture uses 70% of all agricultural land on the planet, but produces only 6-11% of the world’s food.

For sources and more information, please visithttp://www.veganfuturenow.com/why-vegan/

DANG. That’ll get the message across. The movement is gaining momentum!

Well, this is depressing

Plastic in our oceans might not present the immediate danger to humanity that toxic waste or fracking does, but the problem has officially reached terrifying proportions. An alarming new study released Wednesday reveals that the ocean is cluttered with 270,000 tons of plastic that is broken up to more than five trillion pieces. 

And it’s having a lethal effect on the world’s oceans.

Pollution linked to lethal sea turtle tumors

Pollution in urban and farm runoff in Hawaii is causing tumors in endangered sea turtles, a new study finds.

The study, published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PeerJ, shows that nitrogen in the runoff ends up in algae that the turtles eat, promoting the formation of tumors on the animals’ eyes, flippers and internal organs.

Scientists at Duke University, the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the study to better understand the causes behind the tumor-forming disease Fibropapillomatosis, which is the leading known cause of death in green turtles, said Kyle Van Houtan, adjunct associate professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

"We’re drawing direct lines from human nutrient inputs to the reef ecosystem, and how it affects wildlife," said Van Houtan, who is also a scientist in NOAA’s Turtle Research Program.

Caption: This image shows a sea turtle with tumors caused by fibropapillomatosis.Credit: Chris Stankis

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Photos Highlight Massive Island of Plastic Trash in the Maldives

Alison Teal walking through “Trash Island,” a giant landfill in the Maldives that gets up to 400 tons of trash per day. (All photos: Sarah Lee) 

Filmmaker Alison Teal was in the process of literally exposing herself to a national TV audience when she found new inspiration: exposing the serious and complex trash-pollution issues affecting the Maldives, and turning plastic garbage into something useful.

Teal’s photo shoot of the landfill called “Trash Island” and other islands in the Maldives are head-turning in their contrast to the usual postcard-perfect photos associated with the archipelago. Seeing her walk amid mountains of empty water bottles and other trash with her surfboard, it’s almost apocalyptic.  

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Vogmask

The next great fashion accessory of the near future? How about a stylish face mask that protects you against air pollution. Yes … this is real …

Here is the infomercial:

Vogmask is a superior product for now and the future, rendered modern to awaken public hope, to express the public self, and to emerge from the trance of accepting an inherited future.

Our vision is simple: make the most beautiful, highest efficiency, most comfortable and best manufactured reusable consumer masks on the market.

You are always breathing.  Masks are the most convenient and effective way to protect your lungs from airborne comtaminants. 

Conceived on the Black Rock Desert where blowing playa dust poses a threat to respiratory health, Vogmask has become the stylie, high filtering, mask of choice for every time you think, “I shouldn’t be breathing this.” 

Vogmask Styles: How to choose what mask is best for you.

You can find out more (and buy one) here

Full scale of plastic in the world’s oceans revealed for first time

More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found.

Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm.

The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans.

Large pieces of plastic can strangle animals such as seals, while smaller pieces are ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.

This is problematic due to the chemicals contained within plastics, as well as the pollutants that plastic attract once they are in the marine environment.

Plastic pieces in the ocean damage wildlife and enter the food chain when ingested by fish. Photograph: Bryce Groark/Alamy