Vishal is working as a Content Editor at Enviro360. He covers a wide range of topics, including media, energy, weather, industry news, daily news, climate, etc. Apart from this, Vishal is a sports enthusiast and loves to play cricket. Also, he is an avid moviegoer and spends his free time watching Web series and Hollywood Movies.
Despite the growing popularity of electric vehicles, some motorists are still hesitant to make the conversion to a fuel-free car or truck due to range anxiety, or the worry that their EV’s battery won’t have enough juice to reach another charging station. Nevertheless, scientists have discovered a method that might give EV batteries a very significant boost, boosting the range of the car by more than ten times.
Researchers from Sogang University and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) worked together on a study that was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. Instead of traditional anodes comprised of graphite or other materials, the team created a polymeric binder for a stable, dependable, high-capacity anode material.
By switching from standard anodes to high-capacity anode materials like silicon, the volume of the battery may expand as a result of the reaction with lithium. The researchers used charged polymer binders to reduce volume expansion in order to address this issue.
According to Soojin Park, professor of the Department of Chemistry at POSTECH, the study has the potential to considerably boost the energy density of lithium-ion batteries by the introduction of high-capacity anode materials, hence expanding the range of electric vehicles. Potentially ten times or more driving range could be achieved with silicon-based anode materials.
Research from the past has employed chemical crosslinking to produce both covalent and hydrogen bonds between the molecules of the binder. Chemical crosslinking bonds cannot be reversed once broken, which has made developing more dependable batteries difficult. The weakness of hydrogen bonding is the next problem.
So, the scientists created a polymer that combined the advantages of hydrogen bonding—namely, that the connections can be broken and restored—with Coulomb force, which indicates that the force of attraction between dissimilar charges (positive and negative) strengthens bonds.
The outcome? An alternating positive and negative charge layered polymer with strong, reversible bonds that can better control volume expansion has the potential to provide more durable, dependable EV batteries.
Although drivers often worry about EV range, especially in light of the general need for more charging stations, past research has shown that EV batteries often offer more than enough range for the majority of individuals, from daily commuters to weekend travelers.
Up to 37% of drivers could, according to a recent study, satisfy their regular driving requirements with EVs that had lower batteries and ranges, but even those who wanted to travel further distances could do so just well with EVs that had larger batteries.
The average motorist only travels up to 30 miles each day, while many drivers can now ride an EV for about 250 miles before needing to recharge. Many gas-powered vehicles have a range of between 250 and 300 miles, according to EverCharge. Range anxiety could soon be a thing of the past with EVs that potentially have longer ranges than conventional vehicles thanks to continued research and development into EV batteries.
James Blaine Smith, a Black man, was fortunate in purchasing 600 acres of land close to Sparta, Georgia, in 1926. He then started a prosperous farming enterprise.
About a century later, his grandson, his family, and their neighbors are battling to keep that land from being taken over by a railway business that would increase the amount of noise and pollution in the predominantly Black neighborhood where one in three people live below the poverty line.
We are burdened by enough. 64-year-old The Guardian was informed by Janet Smith, the wife of Mark, the grandson of Blaine Smith. Environmental injustice exists here.
The 1,300 people of Sparta already have to deal with the Hanson quarry’s noise and dust.
Kenneth Clayton, a local, told WGXA that the incessant hammering and booming reminded him of Iraq.
Then, as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported, Sandersville Railroad Company started writing letters to Sparta residents in April 2022 informing them that it needed their land to build a spur connecting the main CSX rail tracks to the quarry to ship out the gravel and sand on train cars.
The 4.5-mile spur, according to The Railway, would enable the quarry to raise production by almost 500,000 tons annually and will generate millions of dollars for the local economy in addition to creating 12 permanent, well-paying employment and 20 temporary construction positions.
The Sandersville Railroad is stepping in to help the Hanson quarry in Hancock County enhance output as demands for building and infrastructure repair increase throughout the Southeast, particularly in the coastline region, according to the company website.
The firm, according to The Guardian, intends to pass the spur close to many additional homes and through eight of them to do this. Noise and pollution levels would rise as a result of the increased manufacturing.
There will be no compromise because our neighborhood already functions as a garbage dump, Smith told The Guardian. Due to our poverty and race, they didn’t anticipate us to fight back. But the contempt of it all is all we have to leave our sons—this property.
Residents have resisted the ideas despite several messages to the contrary. The company, in the meantime, claims that if locals refuse to sell, it will turn to Georgia’s eminent domain laws, which date back to the 19th century when expanding railways was the only way to move goods, as the SPLC explained. These laws permit private rail companies to seize property for the public good.
According to railway owner Ben Tarbutton, the proposed route was determined to be the most effective and least disruptive after a land assessment. Although we don’t want to employ eminent domain, we are confident in our ability to do so legally if necessary.
The initiative responds to an urgent demand for reasonably priced raw materials in our state, region, and country to achieve the objectives of President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Hancock County has a chance to significantly gain from the United States’ historic initiative to repair, rebuild, and reinvest in essential roads and bridges.
However, SPLC claimed that it would be difficult for the corporation to demonstrate that the spur was intended for public rather than private usage. There is nothing preventing it from doing so in the interim, and Jessica Lynn Stewart, assistant professor of African American studies at Emory University in Atlanta, claims that this strategy is as American as apple pie.
This narrative seems to be a common one, Stewart told the SPLC. There is typically a dark side to how transportation projects are pursued in the name of economic progress, and typically that dark side has to do with the exploitation of underprivileged people, starting with the construction of railroads in the 19th century and later with highways in the 20th. It is an American custom to evict people of color in the name of economic growth.
Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) team deployed to East Palestine, Ohio in the wake of the train crash and release of dangerous chemicals in February fell ill, which is another indication that something is wrong.
The CDC confirmed to CNN on Thursday that seven members of a 15-person team visiting homes close to the derailment site reported symptoms like sore throats, headaches, coughing, and nausea. These are the same symptoms that locals claim they also experienced after the incident, which released more than one million pounds of hazardous chemicals into the air, soil, and water.
According to David Michaels, professor and chief of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from 2009 to 2017, the evidence strengthens the case that the symptoms experienced by East Palestine residents are real and linked to environmental exposures from the derailment and chemical fire, according to CNN. Michaels is not a part of the investigation.
East Palestine residents have reported health issues ever since a Norfolk Southern train derailed on February 3, forcing evacuations and releasing contaminants like the chemical that produces carcinogenic plastic, vinyl chloride. According to a study conducted by the Ohio Department of Health on March 3, 74 percent of respondents in the area reported headaches, 64 percent anxiety, 61 percent coughing, 58 percent weariness, and 52 percent said they felt pain, burning, or irritation.
The Columbiana, Ohio, staff at QUIC Kmed Urgent Care reported to WKBN in late February that they had observed numerous patients complaining of rashes, weakness, and a burning sensation when breathing. As the patients left their houses, these symptoms would frequently get worse and get better.
There are many possible causes for this, but if you leave your home and your symptoms go better, then you return and they worsen, Deb Weese of QUICKmed said at the time. “I’m not thinking that’s allergies or that it’s a cold,” she added. I believe it has to do with the substances you’re breathing in there.
According to CNN, the CDC staff member event took place on March 6. While canvassing nearby residents for information about their symptoms as part of the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, team members started to exhibit symptoms themselves and alerted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safety officer who was on the scene at the time.
The officer instructed the team’s seven ailing members to check back into their hotel room in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, that evening. The following day, they likewise operated from their bedrooms.
The majority of the team members’ symptoms subsided later that afternoon, and within 24 hours everyone was back to work collecting survey data. A CDC spokeswoman told CNN that no affected team members have reported persistent health issues.
The CDC event came after a second, comparable incident in February in which two EPA contractors reported to the site safety officer that they had symptoms after being exposed to strong scents. They felt better and went back to work that day after the police instructed them to leave the area for a while.
The derailment and the government’s and railroad’s response are still being questioned. The EPA’s internal inspector has opened an investigation into how the agency handled the matter in response to complaints from the public, particularly in light of the delays and ambiguity surrounding the dioxin testing.
According to The Hill, the state of Ohio and the Department of Justice have both filed charges against Norfolk Southern, and the community has also filed a class action lawsuit against the company.
On Sunday, a vote to allow or forbid the rental of electric scooters in Paris was conducted at the city level. Even though only 8% of eligible voters actually cast ballots, nearly 90% of respondents chose to impose the ban.
E-scooters can be a sustainable form of transportation for some people when traveling short distances. However, there are also several problems with these scooters. According to Reuters, they can be risky due to an increase in crashes and 24 fatalities linked to e-scooters in 2021. David Belliard, the Paris deputy for transportation, pointed out that there have been hundreds of additional non-fatal accidents involving rented e-scooters.
In particular for the most vulnerable individuals—I’m thinking about elderly or disabled people—the scooters foster a sense of general uneasiness in the public area, Belliard told The Associated Press. There are a few advantages, but from what I can see right now, the costs are higher.
The vote was launched in January by Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, who also declared her desire to outlaw e-scooters.
According to Hidalgo, the e-scooter industry is quite expensive—five euros ($4.40; $5.40) for ten minutes—not particularly viable, and, most importantly, a major contributor to accidents.
Only rental electric scooters will be subject to the restriction; privately owned scooters will not.
According to The BBC: Paris was one of the first places to introduce e-scooters. But, the safety of both the riders and pedestrians was put at risk by inexperienced users and visitors who were unfamiliar with local traffic regulations and drove dangerously fast across streets and sidewalks.
E-scooter users in Paris and elsewhere have also come under fire for improperly parking their vehicles, which results in obstructions on sidewalks and other walking areas. Despite the city’s ban and fines on parking scooters on sidewalks, many users nevertheless returned rental scooters inappropriately after using them.
E-scooters are also littered by some users. After finding scooters dumped into rivers, residents of Paris’ Swans Island gave it the moniker “Scooters Island,” according to Euronews.
Local magnet fisher Raphael told Euronews that over around three years, we had removed at least 170. I’m not sure what they want to do with them, but I don’t understand the purpose of plunging them into the ocean.
While producing fewer emissions than vehicles, e-scooters emit more emissions per passenger mile than other forms of transportation, such as diesel buses (which carry a lot of people), cycles or e-bikes, or walking.
Critics countered that for those who don’t live close to a metro stop, the rental e-scooters can offer more accessible, sustainable transportation options. The e-scooters can be a safer option for people who need to travel late at night, according to Garance Lef vre, director of public policy for the e-scooter business Lime.
Licenses for three rental e-scooter businesses, Lime, Dott, and Tier, are in effect in the city but are set to expire in August. E-scooters will be prohibited starting on September 1. Instead of going ahead with the outright ban, the rental businesses for e-scooters indicated an interest in collaborating with the city to establish stronger rules on the vehicles.
The first-ever lawsuits on the climate issue were heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Wednesday.
The claimants contend that the governments of France and Switzerland committed human rights violations by failing to take sufficient action to minimize greenhouse gas emissions that are principally responsible for global warming and are produced by burning fossil fuels. According to Bastien Duyck, human rights and climate campaign manager at the Center for International Environmental Law, the hearings represent a turning point in the legal battle for more aggressive climate action.
According to Duyck, they have the potential to establish a significant legal precedent that would support the idea that nations are required by their commitments under the United Nations Convention on Human Rights to take stronger action against climate change.
Senior Women Unite
The ECHR heard its first climate case on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France, and it was brought by a group of elderly ladies who wanted to defend themselves against escalating heat waves. Senior Women for Climate Protection Switzerland (KlimaSeniorinnen) claims that older people, particularly women, are more likely to die during times of extreme heat and that Switzerland should take more action to prevent this. There are 2,038 members of KlimaSeniorinnen.
In a statement published by Greenpeace, which is backing the women’s complaint, Senior Women for Climate Protection Swiss Co-President Anne Mahrers said, “We have launched a lawsuit because Switzerland is doing far too little to limit the global crisis.” Our physical and emotional health are already being negatively impacted by rising temperatures. We, elderly women, are getting unwell from the significant increase in heat waves.
According to Cordelia B Esser, one of the women’s attorneys, the Swiss government is required by Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights to protect older women’s right to life, health, and well-being because of the unique risk they confront.
According to a document given by the plaintiffs, the group initially presented their case before Swiss courts, who rejected it, in part because everyone in Switzerland is affected by climate change and women’s rights were not sufficiently threatened to warrant bringing a lawsuit. According to Climate Home News, the government’s attorneys asserted on Wednesday that Switzerland was making every effort possible to tackle climate change. Jessica Simor, another plaintiffs’ attorney, pointed out that Climate Action Tracker assessed Switzerland’s policy as inadequate.
According to the plaintiffs, if every nation adopted Switzerland’s policies, temperatures could rise by up to three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, which would be twice the 1.5 degrees of warming that scientists say is necessary to prevent ever-worsening climate impacts. The plaintiffs, in particular, demand that Switzerland seeks to reduce emissions overseas and reduce emissions domestically by more than 60% by 2030 as opposed to just 34%.
Mayor on A Mission
According to The Guardian, the second complaint on Wednesday was made by the former mayor of Grande-Synthe in northern France who is currently a member of the European Parliament. Damien Carme claims that France’s inadequate climate measures personally harm him since rising temperatures put his Calais property in danger of floods and potential submersion by 2030. According to Car Pio, this also infringes on his Articles 2 and 8 rights to life and to a private and family life. Greenpeace expressed this.
According to The Guardian, a French court heard his case in 2021 and agreed that the government needed to take all additional measures necessary to fulfill climate goals, but disagreed that Car mi was personally affected by inaction. According to Climate Home News, France’s legal team stated in Strasbourg on Wednesday that the nation has changed its approach to reducing emissions and that national courts were already keeping track of the government’s efforts.
The ECHR is not anticipated to rule on either matter before next year. The court will hear a third climate liability case in the fall from six young Portuguese persons, aged 11 to 23, who make a similar argument that the EU’s inaction on climate change threatens human life in general and the rights of young people in particular.
If the ECHR rules in favor of any of these claimants, it would spark a spate of further lawsuits with identical claims, which would reinforce EU emissions reduction efforts.
Could 3D printing be the way to cook in the future? In a project that involves 3D-printing a vegan cheesecake with seven layers and only seven ingredients, researchers at Columbia University sought to learn more about this. The goal of the study is to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of using 3D printing to prepare food.
The experiment, which was reported in the journal npj Science of Food, entailed printing a cheesecake with layers using edible food inks. Seven components were used in the experiment, including frosting, graham crackers, cherry dripping, banana puree, peanut butter, strawberry jam, and Nutella.
Every layer of the cheesecake in the cheesecake test that was the most successful had a graham cracker base, and the best toppings for the supporting layers were Nutella and soft-yet-sturdy peanut butter. Softer ingredients like strawberry jam and banana puree performed best when nested within those structural layers.
a. The final printed food product (V7). b. A cross-sectional cut of the final-printed slice showing internal ingredients. c. A 3D model rendering of the final food product. d. A cross-sectional view of the cake showing how each of the ingredients is layered.
The Ingredients that Were Used Are as Follows:
(1) Graham Cracker Paste. (2) Peanut Butter. (3) Strawberry Jam. (4) Nutella. (5) Banana Puree. (6) Cherry Drizzle. (7) Frosting.
The Researchers Tested the Capabilities and Restrictions of 3-D Printing by Manufacturing a Multi-Layered Cheesecake. This Method of Cooking Could Become More Customizable Because of Multi-Layered Printing, Which Could Also Increase Food Safety.
Food Printing Has Been Practiced Since the Early 2000s, However, It Is only Permitted with Raw Materials and Generally Results in Unappealing Meals. yet The Authors of The Study Think the Technology Has a Lot of Potential, Particularly for Making Plant-Based Foods that Resemble Goods Made from Animal Sources. by Incorporating Laser to Fry Components During the Printing Process, They Improved upon Current Technologies.
As a Relatively New Technology, 3 D Food Printing Requires an Ecosystem of Ancillary Businesses, Such as Those Producing Food Cartridges, Downloadable Recipe Files, and A Platform for Creating and Exchanging These Recipes,
According to Research Main Author Jonathan Blutinger. Its Capacity to Be Customized Makes It Especially Useful for The Market for Plant-Based Meats, Where Texture and Flavor Must Be Meticulously Crafted to Closely Resemble Actual Meats.
The Study Stated that Processed Foods, Which 3 D-Printed Foods Would Fall Under, Are No Longer the Preferred Type of Food. but For Persons with Swallowing and Other Digestive Difficulties, the Increasingly Exact Technique and Customization of Foods Prepared in This Manner Could Offer Nourishing Options and Offer More Palatable Food Options.
By Combining Laser Cooking and 3-D Printing, Chefs May Be Able to Create More Inventive Foods that May Even Be Created to Satisfy the Individual Dietary Requirements of A Wide Range of People. Also, This Technique May Increase the Sustainability and Affordability of Cooking and Food.
According to The Study’s Authors, Ingredients Might Be Sourced and Prepared Locally for Consumption, Supporting Regional Farmers and Food Producers. Proponents Also Highlight how This Technology Might Be Used to Manufacture Goods for Customers Like Plant-Based Meat, Algae, and Less Expensive Novel Proteins.
as The Heat, Light, and Oxygen Used in The Process Can Be Controlled on A Millimeter Scale, and Printed and Laser-Cooked Food Also Presents Chances for Producers to Increase Shelf-Life. Last but Not Least, Since Customers Would only Be Printing the Components They Want to Eat, Food Waste Might Be Decreased.
The Authors Also Mentioned that 3-D Printing Might Be Promoted to Households as A Means to Cut Down on Food Waste and Cooking Energy Use.
To Make 3-D-Printed Food More Available, However, These Techniques Would Need Further Study and Development, Especially Since the Devices Would Be Pricey for Early Consumers. There Is No Database of Recipes, and Current Technology Can only Handle a Small Number of Ingredients at Once. Yet, the Experts Believe that Food 3-D Printing Has Promise.
It’s possible that when software-controlled kitchen aides proliferate, humanity will realize the benefits and drawbacks of having them in the kitchen. The authors of the study concluded that 3D food printing has the potential to be the next step in cooking.
An industry centered on this technology may emerge in the near future, bringing with it a fresh perspective on better nutrition, increased food safety, and the addition of art and cutting-edge science to the most fundamental human need for feeding.
Ten days after the United States was warned that world leaders must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2035 to have a 50 percent chance of keeping global warming to degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and preventing more severe climate impacts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report summarizing the findings of its Sixth Assessment Cycle. A bill to promote the combustion of fossil fuels was approved by the House of Representatives.
The so-called Reduce Energy Costs Act, or H.R. 1, would, among other things, lower the charge on methane emissions from oil and gas operations, loosen the rules for approving energy projects, and increase the amount of fossil fuel leasing on public lands.
Opponents contend that reliance on fossil fuels in the first place is what causes energy prices to be so volatile, in contrast to the majority of Republican supporters who claim that it will increase U.S. energy independence and reduce domestic energy costs.
Right now, none of it [the GOP energy agenda] makes sense, Rep. According to Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. They fail to acknowledge that the main cause of inflation was the high cost of fossil fuels. Many back homes tell me they don’t want to be subject to sudden increases in gas and oil prices. They hope that the clean energy economy will give them more financial security and independence.
With four Democrats voting in favor and one Republican voting against it, the bill was approved from 225 to 204. It serves in part as the Republican Party’s response to the President’s main climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). According to Politico and The New York Times, it would eliminate important provisions including the methane fee, the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and funding for energy-efficient building improvements.
It also advances the cause of permitting reform by shortening the National Environmental Policy Act’s two-year review period for new projects and making it more difficult for environmental organizations to file legal claims to stop projects like pipelines.
Supporters of the proposal contend that it will reduce energy costs and ensure that the United States is independent of other countries.
Critical infrastructure projects have been interminably delayed by the Biden administration, which has crippled US energy output. According to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) website, Democrats’ misguided policies have increased costs for every American, compromised our national security, and increased global dependence on dirtier energy from Russia and China.
We need to get the federal government out of the way to reduce expenses for Consumers and expand our economy. The Reduced Energy Costs Act provides extensive permitting reforms that will expedite the construction of everything from pipelines to transmission to water infrastructure, accelerating American energy production. Additionally, it guarantees that America, not China, will supply the vital minerals required for new technology.
The New York Times noted that it would increase taxpayer costs since it would lower the royalties that oil and gas corporations must pay for drilling on public lands.
Meanwhile, proponents of environmental justice caution about the consequences of hurrying through filthy energy projects.
WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s senior director of strategy and federal policy Dana Johnson said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch that developers and other parties trying to cut corners on environmental impact assessments have a long history of locating environmentally harmful developments in communities of color, downplaying or even failing to disclose dangers to the communities.
During the past 50 years, communities have used NEPA’s environmental impact assessment criteria to identify impacts, take steps to reduce them, and, most significantly, take into account public input. The communities most impacted will thus suffer from any attempts to weaken NEPA.
The law has been called the Polluters Over People Act by Democrats, who will probably succeed in stopping it for the time being, according to The New York Times. It was “dead on arrival,” according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Biden has vowed to veto it.
This administration is making unheard-of strides toward safeguarding America’s energy security and bringing down costs for consumers at the pump and in their homes. H.R. 1 would do the exact opposite, substituting a barely disguised license to pollute for pro-consumer legislation.
By eliminating household energy rebates and undoing historic expenditures to expand access to price-competitive clean energy technologies, it will increase expenses for American families. According to a Statement of Administration Policy released on Monday, rather than defending American consumers, it would boost oil and gas corporation profits, which are already at record highs, and harm our environment and public health. This bill is highly opposed by the Administration.
According to Reuters, the bill represents a type of victory for McCarthy because it demonstrates his ability to mobilize his party’s slim majority for a vote. Politico observed that it might also turn into a significant talking issue for Republicans as they prepare for the 2024 race.
Finally, it might be used as a negotiating chip in the congressional effort for permitting reform, which is a top objective for Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), a coal supporter, and is favored by some Democrats to make it easier to install renewable energy sources.\
According to Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “by demonstrating our strong support, we give some of our Senate Democratic friends a notion that okay, we have a place to work the permitting space specifically.”
These are smart policies, even if they don’t cover everything, whether you’re attempting to connect offshore wind or build a gas pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois.
One-of-a-kind research has revealed that plastics are harmful to human health at every stage of life.
The Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health, which published its findings on March 21 in the Annals of Global Health, demonstrated the extent to which plastics harm those who come into contact with them, from coal miners who suffer from specific lung diseases to recycling plant employees who are more likely to develop heart disease, toxic metal poisoning, neuropathy, and lung cancer.
According to a press release from study co-author and Minderroo Foundation Head of Plastics and Human Health Professor Sarah Dunlop, “these findings put us on an unequivocal path to demand the banning or severely restricting of unnecessary, avoidable, and problematic plastic items, many of which contain hazardous chemicals with links to horrific harm to people and the planet.”
Experts from the Minderoo Foundation, the Boston College Observatory on Planetary Health, and the Centre Scientifique de Monaco were in charge of the ambitious report. It adopted a comprehensive approach to understanding the effects of plastics, concentrating on human health, ocean plastic pollution, and the financial and social justice consequences of the extensively used materials.
The lead author, director of the Program on Global Public Health and the Common Good and the Boston College Observation Center, claims that this is the first analysis to look at risks to human health caused by plastics across their entire life cycle, from the extraction of the coal, oil, and gas from which nearly all plastics are made, through production and use, and on to the point where plastic wastes are thrown into landfills, dumped into the ocean, or shipped overseas. According to Philip Landrigans’ press statement.
Every step of the manufacture and disposal of plastics, from mining the fossil fuels from which they are made to creating plastics or plastic fabrics to recycling them after use, puts employees’ health at risk. Making plastic fabrics, for instance, increases the risk of dying from interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, bladder cancer, and mesothelioma.
Due to the hazardous compounds added to plastics as additives, consumers as well as members of so-called fenceline communities that live close to plastic production or disposal facilities, such as those in Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, are at risk from plastics. Children and newborns are especially susceptible to the impacts of plastic additives, which include endocrine disruption, premature births, neurodevelopmental abnormalities, male reproductive birth defects, infertility, obesity, heart disease, renal disease, and cancer.
The costs of disease and impairment associated with just three prevalent plastic chemicals—PBDE, BPA, and DEHP—were projected by the study’s authors to exceed $920 billion in the United States in 2015.
The increase of microplastic and nano plastic particles (MNPs) in the environment and human bodies poses another potential concern to human health from plastics.
MNPs may be hazardous due to their physical and toxicological impacts as well as by acting as vectors that deliver toxic chemicals and bacterial infections into tissues and cells, according to emerging, albeit still insufficient data, the study’s authors.
There Is Not an Equal Distribution of These Health Risks.
The study’s authors noted that these problems disproportionately affect low-income, disenfranchised, and marginalized groups, including workers, racial and ethnic minorities, fenceline communities, Indigenous groups, women, and children. These groups all played minor roles in the current plastics crisis and lack the political clout or the financial means to address it.
The commission demanded a robust Global Plastics Treaty, a legally enforceable international agreement that is presently being developed, in response to its conclusions, and one that contained a global cap on plastic output. Also, it backed the 2040 deadline for eliminating plastic pollution.
To do this, it’s critical to make a distinction between plastics that must be manufactured because they are absolutely necessary and plastics that can be securely disposed of and that must be phased out.
According to Landrigan, using a lot of plastic, especially single-use plastic like product packaging, is not necessary. That is not by chance. As the globe becomes more environmentally friendly, the fossil fuel sector sees a decline in the demand for gasoline and other fuels, therefore they are diverting more and more coal, oil, and gas towards the production of plastic and developing new markets for plastic. The Global Plastics Pact aims to curtail this out-of-control production while protecting crucial applications for plastic.
Americans have come under fire from East Palestine, Ohio, residents. EPA for its response to the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train, which discharged contaminants into the town’s environment, including vinyl chloride, a plastic manufacture chemical related to liver cancer.
The EPA’s internal watchdog has since announced that it will look into how the agency handled the disaster.
The EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated in a statement on Monday that as part of the investigation, we will conduct interviews, acquire information, and examine some concerns, including risk communication, soil and sediment sampling, hazardous waste disposal, and air and water monitoring.
An agency spokeswoman declined to explain to The Guardian why it decided to look into the matter. The EPA, however, has come under fire for the tests it carried out after the incident to ensure that the derailment site and the area around it were safe for inhabitants.
According to Kyla Bennett of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a former EPA scientist, there are too many unanswered issues and contradictory pieces of evidence. The IG can investigate the reasoning behind the choices made on how the testing was conducted and determine whether those choices were adequate.
Testing for dioxins was one of the most contentious issues regarding the government’s response to the derailment. Stephen Lester of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice explained this type of harmful and persistent chemical in an opinion piece for The Guardian.
Dioxin is not produced on purpose. According to Lester, it is an accidental result of industrial processes that use or burn chlorine.
But why didn’t the EPA conduct a dioxin test right after burning five cars’ worth of vinyl chloride and other chemicals under controlled conditions in the days following the derailment? Instead, it didn’t declare that Norfolk Southern had been told to test for dioxins until March 2, or nearly a month later. More than 100 organizations responded by writing a letter to the agency on March 13 with suggestions for how the testing should go, suggesting that EPA should undertake the testing itself and set up a thorough, transparent process open to public participation.
The letter stated that the neighboring and downwind communities have a right to know whether the fire led to elevated dioxin concentrations. The testing process must be open and thorough. This would serve as evidence of the EPA’s dedication to a thorough response to this catastrophe, the advancement of environmental justice, and the restoration of confidence with East Palestine and other afflicted communities.
Instead, the EPA gave Norfolk Southern permission to continue the testing. Dioxin levels were initially found to be hundreds of times the level at which EPA scientists discovered they could cause cancer in 2010, but they were still below the federal action trigger, which was never updated after the findings, according to The Guardian, whose landfill is storing East Palestine soil.
According to NBC News, the EPA has maintained that current levels are comparable to average background levels but has withheld its data, stating the final study won’t be available for several weeks.
I think it absurd that the EPA makes claims like this without offering any supporting evidence. Lester told NBC News that this approach is completely opaque.
According to the creator of Beyond Plastics, Judith Enck, a former regional administrator for the EPA, the organization made two critical errors: postponing the test and placing Norfolk Southern in charge.
She remarked, “I am aware of what the EPA is capable of. Without a doubt, they ought to have handled this themselves rather than delegating it to the business’s contractor given the community’s already high level of mistrust. The EPA has to acknowledge that.
Advocates and residents are now hoping that the OIG inquiry may offer some solutions.
According to Ohio River Valley Organizing Director Amanda Kiger, they are not performing their duties, and everyone is aware of it. It’s all a clusterfuck, for lack of a better word, but I hope it’s a decent, in-depth investigation.
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue the first-ever advisory opinion on climate change and human rights. This was a significant diplomatic victory for a Pacific nation that is particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis.
The resolution, supported by Vanuatu, will ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to specify for the world’s governments what they are required to do in accordance with international law to safeguard the environment and human rights from the effects of destroying forests and burning fossil fuels.
Ishmael Kalsakau, the prime minister of Vanuatu, declared in a video statement that “today we have witnessed a win for climate justice of epic proportions.”
A new era in multilateral climate cooperation, one that is more fully focused on upholding international law and one that prioritizes intergenerational equality and human rights, is seen as beginning with today’s historic agreement, according to Vanuatu.
Vanuatu is already dealing with the effects of the climate issue because it is an island country. Two Category 4 tropical cyclones struck the nation just this month, five days apart, according to a statement the Vanuatu government shared with EcoWatch. More than half of the nation’s annual GDP will likely be spent on responding to the extreme weather event.
Nonetheless, its government and people have taken the initiative to press for strong climate action, as well as to support a call for a treaty on the non-proliferation of fossil fuels. According to a statement from the Climate Action Network (CAN), Pacific Island Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC), a group of students who first spoke in a Vanuatu law school classroom, had the idea for the ICJ resolution.
According to the organization’s website, the PISFCC was founded in March 2019 by 27 USP [University of South Pacific] law students from 8 Pacific Island nations who came together to launch a campaign to persuade the Pacific Island Forum’s leaders to bring the issue of climate change and human rights before the International Court of Justice.
Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Germany, Liechtenstein, Federated States of Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Uganda, and Vietnam joined Vanuatu in appealing in September 2021. Before its unanimous passage on Wednesday, the resolution had the support of more than 120 other nations, according to CAN. The judgment will be the first time the ICJ has taken climate catastrophe into account.
PISFCC tweeted in response to the announcement, “Thank you to everyone who joined us on our quest to take the world’s worst problem from a classroom in the Pacific to the world’s highest court.
The resolution, Request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the responsibility of States in relation to climate change, requests clarification on two important issues from the court:
What does international law obligate nations to do to protect the climate and environment from human-caused greenhouse gas emissions?
What would the consequences be under international law for nations that harm the climate and therefore also harm either vulnerable countries or individuals now and in the future?
The advisory opinion would not be legally enforceable, but it might give international climate negotiations more clout and help those suing countries or corporations for climate-related damages.
CAN Europe climate governance and human rights policy expert Romain Didi says in a statement provided to EcoWatch that the number of climate lawsuits is surging in Europe right now and that an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice could lead to even more cases as well as carry weight and aid national and European courts’ deliberations when deciding on climate change cases?