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Proposed San Mateo County ordinance would require drug companies to pay for disposal program
San Francisco Examiner
San Mateo County in California, is considering a proposed ordinance to transfer the costs associated with its drug take-back program from county coffers to pharmaceutical companies.
"We currently are finalizing the language of the legislation requiring the costs be where they should be," said Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, who initiated the drug take-back program in 2005, believed to be one of the first in the nation.
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High levels of formaldehyde in e-cig vapor
HealthDay News via WebMD
E-cigarette vapor can contain cancer-causing formaldehyde at levels up to 15 times higher than regular cigarettes, a new study finds.
Researchers found that e-cigarettes operated at high voltages produce vapor with large amounts of formaldehyde-containing chemical compounds.
This could pose a risk to users who increase the voltage on their e-cigarette to increase the delivery of vaporized nicotine, said study co-author James Pankow, a professor of chemistry and civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University in Oregon.
EPA breaks pledge to divorce politics from science on toxic chemicals
The Center for Public Integrity
In his first inaugural address, between promising to fix the economy and lower the cost of health care, President Barack Obama made this pledge: "We'll restore science to its rightful place." It might sound arcane as a presidential priority, but it was a big deal at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Widely used chemicals can't be included in new use rule, manufacturers tell EPA
Automakers, aircraft manufacturers, chemical companies and other manufacturers tell the Environmental Protection Agency their ongoing uses of nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates preclude the agency from including the chemicals in a proposed significant new use rule.
“Many of the NP and NPE Chemical Abstracts Service numbers listed in the proposed SNUR are in fact in commerce and have been for decades,” the Alkylphenols & Ethoxylates Research Council told the agency in comments on the proposal.
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Greener routes to polymers
Chemical & Engineering News
Seeking to commercialize more sustainable production routes to plastics, Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Bayer MaterialScience plan to build plants that use new chemistries. The companies, one Japanese and one German, look to use starting materials that are both readily available and either less hazardous or biobased.
BPA exposure linked to changes in stem cells, lower sperm production
Environmental Health News
BPA and other estrogenic compounds hamper development of the stem cells responsible for producing sperm in mice, which suggests such exposure could contribute to declining sperm counts in men, according to a new study.
The study, published in PLoS Genetics, is the first to suggest that low, brief exposures to bisphenol-A, or other estrogens such as those used in birth control but found as water contaminants, early in life can alter the stem cells responsible for producing sperm later in life.
12,000 without water in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, after diesel spill
Charleston Daily Mail
Thousands of Greenbrier County residents and businesses are without water after a diesel spill contaminated the Greenbrier River.
The Lewisburg water treatment plant was shut down shortly after a tanker truck rolled over and spilled its load of diesel fuel into a tributary of the Greenbrier River late on Jan. 23. Mark Carver, Lewisburg’s public works director, said all of the water tanks at the treatment plant had been depleted as of 2 p.m. Jan. 25.
Everything you need to know about nanopesticides
Stacey Harper has never been a farmer. In wooded Alsea, Oregon, Harper is more likely to be found hunting elk than sowing seeds.
Rather, it’s Harper’s work in the laboratory that links her to the soil.
A scientist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Harper is doggedly researching tiny, human-made substances called nanoparticles, with the goal of identifying which will be a boon and which a bane for farmers, consumers and the environment.
80 birds dead, 300 affected as experts try to unravel goo mystery
San Francisco Chronicle
The number of dead and dying aquatic birds on San Francisco Bay soared past 300 recently as animal rescuers expanded their search to the western shoreline after birds covered in a mysterious goo were found in Foster City, California.
At least 80 birds found along the East Bay shoreline died after their feathers were coated with the glue-like compound, and state wildlife officials say they are collecting more carcasses by the hour.
EPA inventory highlights 'toxic' releases; Utah is No. 2 spot in the nation
Utah hosts one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world and deals with an extraordinarily large volume of lead compounds as a result.
A new, annual inventory by the Environmental Protection Agency shows Utah ranks No. 2 out of 56 states and territories nationwide for total toxic releases per square mile.
Nearly 3 million gallons of brine spill; North Dakota oil boom's largest leak
The Associated Press via Lexington Herald-Ledger
Nearly 3 million gallons of saltwater generated by oil drilling have leaked from a North Dakota pipeline, an official said recently, the largest such spill since the state's current oil boom began and nearly three times worse than previous record spills. Two creeks have been affected, but the full environmental effect might not be clear for months.
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