Air Pollution Can Impair the Cognitive Abilities of Even the Most Accomplished Chess Players.

Air pollution exposure might cause even the best chess players to make more errors.

That is the alarming finding of a recent study, which was released in Management Science on January 26. Despite the fact that this research may seem specialized, it has significant ramifications for anybody who breathes particulate matter (PM) pollution and their capacity for strategic thought.

According to an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sustainable Urbanization Lab and research co-author Juan Palacios, there are an increasing number of studies demonstrating the financial costs associated with air pollution, which affects an increasing number of individuals.

And this is but one illustration demonstrating that even for these extremely [great] chess players who believe they can defeat everything, it appears that air pollution is an adversary that works against them.

Over 30,000 chess moves from three seven-round tournaments in Germany were examined for the study by Palacios and his co-authors Nico Pestel and Steffen K nn, both associate professors at the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The competitions, which lasted eight weeks each, were held in 2017, 2018, and 2019. A total of 121 players participated.

First, throughout each of the three competitions, the researchers took readings of the venue’s temperature, carbon dioxide, and PM 2.5 levels. To find any mistakes in the players’ games, they next used software programs.

They discovered that errors occurred more frequently when PM2.5 pollution rose. According to the study’s authors, the likelihood that a player would commit a meaningful error increased by 2.1 percent for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter of concentration. After adjusting for additional variables like noise, temperature, or humidity, this was the result.

According to Palacios’ statement in the press release, these people’s performance is being driven by their pure chance exposure to air pollution. Being exposed to various air quality levels affects how well players move and make decisions when playing similar opponents in the same tournament round.

Additionally, air pollution made it more difficult for players to choose wisely when faced with time limits. Each participant in the competition had 110 minutes to complete their first 40 maneuvers. The researchers discovered that for moves 31 to 40, an increase in pollution of 10 micrograms per cubic meter increased the likelihood of an error to 3.2 percent.

The study is not the first to caution that brain damage from PM2.5 pollution is possible. It has been related in studies to issues with dementia and mental health. The chess community is well aware that healthier indoor air could result in more enjoyable matches.

In chess, cognition is undoubtedly crucial, and some of the best players, including Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri, have already realized how crucial air quality is, according to Leon Watson of Chess.com, who spoke to The Guardian.

Players now commonly utilize [air monitors] to track their CO2 and particulate matter levels while participating in major Champions Chess Tour tournaments from home, using the information to create the ideal playing environment. As with any sport, fine margins are crucial.

Although the distinction may be slight, players will unavoidably endeavor to overcome any competitive disadvantages.

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The authors of the study believe that their findings have applications outside of the chessboard, as many companies aspire to have employees who can make wise decisions under pressure.

The findings emphasize the importance of indoor air quality for strategic decision-making, a key component of management in businesses and a crucial element impacting businesses’ ability to survive in environments that are cutthroat. K nn, Pestel, and Palacios all wrote.

Furthermore, our calculations offer convincing proof of the harms caused by inadequate air filtering in office buildings or any other indoor location where people must make strategic judgments.

The authors stated that they observed effects in a city with relatively low outdoor air pollution levels in an indoor setting. Information workers are heavily concentrated in places with far worse pollution, including South East Asia or California, where severe wildfires fuelled by climate change have rolled back improvements in air quality.

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They found that the existence of such environmental risks increases the necessity to protect workers from them using air filters or any other technology to improve indoor air quality where these people make decisions.

Toxic Forever Chemicals Still Found in UK Cosmetics.

Cosmetics made in the UK are still made with toxic chemicals, according to a BBC News investigation that was released on Friday.

The companies Revolution, Inglot, and Urban Decay, all of which are owned by L’Oréal, were revealed to BBC News through a Freedom of Information request to still be selling dozens of products that contain the environmental pollutants known as PFAS (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances).

According to a BBC News report of Professor Miriam Diamond’s words, consumers should be concerned about low-level contamination in items because there is little knowledge about the long-term hazardous effects. Professor Diamond is an environmental chemist at Toronto University.

According to the Independent, PFAS are a class of chemicals that have been present in non-stick, stain-, and water-resistant products since the 1940s. According to the UK’s Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, they have been utilised in cosmetics and makeup to make the products more easily applyable and water resistant (CTPA).

For instance, the CTPA stated that oil and water resistance can result in long-lasting skincare and makeup products that are more comfortable to wear. These qualities can also give hair fibres a sleek, high-gloss finish and frizz prevention.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is growing concern regarding the use of PFAs in the cosmetics and other industries because they have been linked to a number of negative health effects, including cancer, issues with reproduction and development, immune suppression, and cholesterol issues (EPA). Additionally, they don’t degrade in the environment and have been discovered in everything from human blood to rainwater to drinking water. There are worries that this extensive contamination could affect non-human species as well, particularly if they manage to get past wastewater treatment facilities and contaminate waterways.

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Some PFAS have already been linked to health effects in marine animals, such as decreased immune, liver, blood, and kidney function in bottlenose dolphins or thyroid hormone disruption in marine birds. According to Dr. Francesca Bevan, chemicals policy manager for the Marine Conservation Society, it’s likely only a matter of time before other health effects are recognised.

Regulation efforts have increased as worries about the substances have. The U.S. EPA proposed classifying two of the most prevalent PFAS as hazardous compounds under the Superfund rule and established new safety criteria for drinking water for them last year. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden sent a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency to limit PFAS on the same day the BBC story was released.

According to BBC News, the inquiry was made possible by the UK’s efforts to learn more about the chemicals and their effects through an Environment Agency examination of the usage of PFAS in the UK.

Nine PFAS were still being utilised by the industry, according to CPTA, which informed the agency as part of the study; however, their identities were left out of the final report. After obtaining those identities via a Freedom of Information request, the BBC cross-referenced them with the ingredient lists of well-known UK cosmetics.

According to the investigation, PFAS PTFE and Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether were found in a variety of items, including

  • Relove High Key Shadow Palette
  • Revolution Power Shadow Palette 90’S Baby
  • I Heart Revolution Mini Match Palette Fried Egg Fred
  • Urban Decay NAKED Palettes 2
  • Urban Decay NAKED Palettes 3
  • Urban Decay Smoked Palette
  • Inglot X Maura Beautiful Storm Eyeshadow Palette
  • Inglot Evening Kiss Eyeshadow Palette
  • Inglot Complexion Perfection Essentials Palette Deep

L’Or al responded by announcing to BBC News that company has made the decision to phase out PFAS in 2018.

A spokeswoman said, “We have already removed PFASs from the majority of our products and the phase out and replacement plans are well advanced.

Although PFAS were emphasised to be legal in the UK and EU by both Revolution Beauty and Inglot, the former claimed it was phasing out the chemicals while the latter indicated it was looking into the potential.

According to a statement made by CPTA Director General Dr. Emma Meredith and published on the CPTA website, only 1.5% of CTPA member companies acknowledged using PFAS chemicals when polled in 2020. Innovative substitutes that provide consumers with the same benefits as the original product have been created by cosmetic scientists. As the UK government develops an action plan on PFAS, CTPA collaborates closely with the government. The usage of PFAS by all businesses in the future will be guided by science and based on risk, thus we warmly welcome any new research into this diverse set of chemicals.

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A coalition of more than 30 nongovernmental organisations urged the UK government to outlaw all non-essential PFAs in May 2022.

The letter stated that an immediate phase-out of all unneeded usage of all PFAS was necessary in order to successfully avoid PFAS pollution in the UK environment and protect future generations from the effects of the most persistent human-made chemicals known to date.

A report on the health effects of PFAS from the Health and Safety Executive, which should be released soon, is the first step in regulating them in the UK, according to BBC News.

Pennsylvania Is the Eighth State to Set Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water.

The next K-drama focused on getting even features Eun-yong and his nephew Tae-chun, and it’s called Payback. The two become up involved in a massive plot that includes the owner of GMI Bank, Oh Chang-hyun, and Myung In-ju, a well-known loan shark. With Joon-Kyung as the wildcard, a tense game of cat and mouse develops.

Eun-yong is a money dealer who is fed up with persecution and the crooked nature of the authorities and will not keep quiet. Business in this drama will undoubtedly increase!

If you’ve been watching this one, you might be interested in learning when the next episode will air. Then stop wondering!

An SBS original, Payback, will be broadcast globally on Amazon Prime Video. But in Korea, this is an SBS original and is broadcast on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:00 PM (KST).

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On Friday, January 27 at around 2:00 p.m., Episode 7 of Payback will air (GMT). Expect English subtitles to be ready right away because the Amazon subtitle staff is highly responsive.

In keeping with the length of the rest of the series, episode 7 should last approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes.

With two episodes released each week, Payback season 1 is anticipated to contain 12 episodes. With this one, you can anticipate a lot of drama and compelling performances throughout the entire plot.

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With all of this in mind, there are still five episodes left after this one.

Yes, SBS just released the show’s first trailer. Take a look at the trailer below:

What do you anticipate as the series develops? What are you most excited about? Comment below and let us know!

Red Hill Naval Base in Hawaii Suffers from Pfas Firefighting Foam Leaks!

Officials from the Hawaiian state and the U.S. Navy acknowledged the leak on Tuesday at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility in Honolulu, which necessitated cleanup measures and increased soil and water monitoring.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals” due to their propensity to linger in both the human body and the environment, have been linked to a number of health issues. Although there are growing calls to outlaw their usage, it is nevertheless common to find them in cookware, food packaging, water-resistant clothes, and furniture in addition to some firefighting foams.

Approximately 1,100 gallons of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which is used to put out fuel fires, leaked at the underground facility, but according to a Navy statement, “our initial assessment is that it is unlikely to affect the drinking water or the aquifer gave the size of the release and the distance from the nearest active water well.”

The plant is already well-known across the country after a fuel leak in 2021 that sickened hundreds of people and damaged drinking water, leading U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to decide that it needed to be refueled and permanently shut down.

The Joint Task Force-Red Hill, which the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) established to defuel the complex, is aware of the event, despite the Navy’s statement on Tuesday that “the AFFF release is not related to the ongoing refueling activity.”

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Honolulu Civil Beat reports: Officials from the Navy told the reporters during a briefing that the leak happened during maintenance work carried out by engineers and contractors employed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command.

According to Navy Adm. John Wade, the exercise was intended to make sure the system functions, but something went tragically wrong. According to Navy officials, the full 1,100-gallon capacity of the AFFF storage tank was drained during the event. They said that a system pipeline was used to discharge the foam, but they did not say whether it did so through a damaged pipe or an open valve. They stated that they were looking into the leak’s origin.

By 2:00 pm, the leak was “contained,” according to the Navy.

Wade answered, “Whatever happened, it has stopped.

A senior official at the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) said in a statement on Tuesday that the department is looking into the matter and that there are worries about further water contamination.

Kathleen Ho, DOH’s deputy director of environmental health, called this behavior “egregious.” “Groundwater contamination might have disastrous effects on our aquifer because AFFF contains PFAS everlasting chemicals.”

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He continued, “While specifics are currently limited, the Joint Task Force and Navy need to be open about how this occurred. Throughout the refueling and decommissioning process, regulators will keep the Department of Defense responsible and pressure the operator to take any necessary corrective action.

In an interview with Ms. Ho, Wade remarked, “After talking with Ms. Ho, I don’t disagree with what she said.” Wade also acknowledged that the situation is “serious.”

The site added that “the firefighting system at the Red Hill complex has been problematic for years and was even recognized as risky earlier this year”

The spill was referred to as “one more example of the Navy’s negligence” by Ann Wright, an Army veteran and former U.S. diplomat who co-authored the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience and wrote about Red Hill for Common Dreams earlier this year.

United States Department of Justice Has Filed Suit Against the City of Jackson Because of The Ongoing Water Crisis!

In response to a crisis that lasted for months and left 180,000 Jackson, Mississippi citizens without access to clean and safe drinking water, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a proposed order in federal court to appoint a third-party manager to oversee the public drinking water system.

According to a news statement from the Department of Justice, the Interim Third Party Manager would be hired in order to stabilize the water system and foster customer confidence in the system’s ability to deliver safe drinking water.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garlands stated in a statement that the Justice Department is initiating action today in federal court to remedy long-standing shortcomings in the city of Jackson’s public drinking water system, according to E&E News. The American people’s safety and the protection of their civil rights are important to the Department of Justice. We will continue to fight for justice for the citizens of Jackson, Mississippi, along with our colleagues at the EPA. And we’ll keep giving cases in the areas most affected by environmental harm priority.

According to the press release, the Interim Third Party Manager would be able to maintain and operate the city’s drinking water system, implement capital improvements to the system, and correct conditions that present or may present an immediate and significant risk to the health of the city’s residents.

The order was signed by the Mississippi State Department of Health and the City of Jackson. On behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice also lodged a complaint against the city (EPA). The city was accused of violating the Safe Drinking Water Act by failing to supply its consumers with drinking water, according to the complaint.

Chokwe Antar Lumumba told, Mayor of Jackson The city was happy to finally achieve an agreement, which represents an important next step in our efforts to offer both short-term and long-term solutions for Jackson’s water problems, according to a statement to The Guardian.

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The Jackson public drinking water system received a boil-water advisory from the Mississippi State Department of Health on July 29. The next month, torrential rains and flooding combined with the deteriorating infrastructure of Jackson’s water system caused a loss of running water across the city and in certain sections of nearby Hinds County. The EPA declared the water in Jackson to be safe to drink once more on October 31.

According to Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, “every American deserves access to clean, dependable drinking water regardless of where they reside, their income, or the color of their skin.” The residents of Jackson have been living in a state of anxiety regarding the safety of the water that comes from their faucets for a number of years. We have made a significant step in finally providing the Jackson residents with the relief they so well deserve by filing our court documents today.

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