Shining a Light on Water Disinfection: LEDs aren’t just a Television Upgrade

LED TVs are all the rage, but LEDs can do so much more! Learn how these light emitting diodes (LEDs) can improve energy efficiency in water disinfection, and in your home. Researchers at Arizona State University are designing a system that will enable little LEDs to shine light on a much larger area, improving the ability to disinfect water in a more cost-effective and energy-efficient way, without the use of harsh chemicals.

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What goes around, comes around: Accumulation of PFAS in Marine Critters

PFAS are a family of chemical pollutants of emerging concern. They are extremely useful in processing and manufacturing non-stick and stain-resistant consumer products, as well as foams used in firefighting, but they are also particularly persistent in the environment, and in humans! Efforts are being made to control the spread of these chemicals, and it’s important to understand both where they are coming from and how they move through the environment. In a recent study, researchers show how snails and crabs might be better informants about PFAS contamination sources than fish.

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The Fabric Cycle: Generating Microplastics from our Laundry

Tons of microplastics are entering the oceans each year in the form of microfibers from laundering textiles. Recent research shows fabric type and washing settings can influence the amount of microfibers released into the environment from your home laundry. Read more to find out how you can reduce your footprint.

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Are we accidentally treating fish with anti-depressants? Pharmaceuticals in our surface waters

The ever-growing and expanding pharmaceutical industry is overwhelming wastewater treatment plants, making the release of pharmaceuticals into the environment a big problem. A recent study illustrates that the presence of anti-depressants in streams can change the behavior of mosquitofish. The potential effects of pharmaceutical pollution on wildlife should make us think carefully about how we dispose of our leftover medicines.

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What can sea turtles tell us about the plastics in our oceans?

Some of our best insight into the types of plastic litter in the ocean comes from examining what is ingested by sea turtles. Recent research looks at how the composition of plastic waste changes with ocean depth, as informed by the eating patterns of sea turtles.

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Disposal Method Matters: The Truth Behind Biodegradable Plastics

Biodegradable plastics are being introduced as a solution to the buildup of plastics in the environment, and they are often touted as being an environmentally-friendly option. However, they come with their own complications. Researchers have investigated how specific biodegradable plastics break down (or don’t) in different environments, showing that how they are disposed of makes a big difference in how environmentally-friendly they are.

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