Can soil help remove antibiotics from wastewater effluent?

Antibiotics are finding their way into surface waters via wastewater effluent where they pose a threat to the environment and organisms including humans. Many wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove antibiotics. This study explores the use of soil to reduce the amount of antibiotics that enter the environment.

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Microplastics may be hitching a ride from water to land in mosquitos

Microplastics are now found all over, even in freshwater environments such as ponds, rivers and lakes. Young mosquitos live in these freshwater environments and move to land as they mature. Scientists in this study wanted to find out if young mosquitos ingest microplastics found in freshwater environments and carry the microplastics with them to air and land as adults.

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Biking – When and where you ride could affect your health

Trading your car for a bike to get around can help reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions, which is why many major cities have started to install bike lanes along roads. This study looks at the potential exposure to airborne black carbon, an indicator of fossil fuel combustion, that a bicyclist could experience during their commute in a major Brazilian city.

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Ornamental Plants Don’t Dye

Wastewater from textile factories contains chemicals, such as synthetic dyes, that can threaten both the environment and human health. Discharging wastewater to constructed wetlands is a common method for wastewater treatment. Recently, researchers investigated the viability of cultivating constructed wetlands with ornamental plants for the treatment of textile effluent in the hopes of discovering an aesthetically pleasing option for treatment.

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How air pollutants hurt wheat

Air pollutants like ozone can cause damage to plants. Wheat currently provides 20% of dietary protein and caloric intake for the world’s growing population. A recent analysis led by Gina Mills and scientists from across the globe reports that increased levels of ozone will decrease global production of wheat by 85 million tons. Furthermore, the negative effects of ozone may counteract the positive effects of irrigation in wheat fields.

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Why coastal flood maps are wrong: the tale of compound hazards

Coastal flooding is expected to increase in frequency due to future sea level rise and more extreme weather, but most coastal flood hazards maps do not portray the increase risk. We dive deeper into how these maps are made and uncover why the current flood hazard maps may be misleading.

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The science behind the pesticide that was almost banned

Last year, there was considerable news coverage on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to not ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide which is believed to cause negative effects on brain development in children. While a lot of the media coverage focused on the nature of the decision, little was reported on the science itself. Thus, I have summarized below EPA’s assessment on the health effects of the pesticide on humans.

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It’s getting hotter in here: outlining strategies for protecting public health during heat waves

Heat waves, or prolonged periods of abnormally warm temperatures, have become increasingly common throughout the globe as a result of climate change. Since heat waves pose a risk to public health they have become a growing concern, particularly in urban environments. A recent analysis led by Gertrud Hatvani-Kovacs at the University of South Australia, outlines strategies for protecting public health during heat waves and mitigating the impacts of heat waves by instituting new policies. Among the suggestions of Hatvani-Kovacs and her colleagues are increasing the dissemination of information to the public regarding heat waves, providing guidelines for heat stress resistant building design, building public cool spaces, and introducing tariffs on water and electricity usage during peak demand.

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Drug resistance in one of the remote regions of the world

Drug resistance is a common problem due to the human activities. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has resulted in the development of resistance in disease-causing bacteria (microorganisms) found in soil. But, scientists have also found this resistance even in the soil from remote regions far away from human influence.

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