Bottled water from several brands contaminated by plastic particles (study)

The bottled water of many major brands around the world is contaminated by tiny plastic particles whose health hazards are unknown, says a study published Wednesday.

Researchers have tested the water of more than 250 bottles in nine countries including Lebanon, India and the United States, led by Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, according to a summary of the published study on the media platform Orb Media

Plastic was found in 93% of these bottled water samples from several brands such as Aqua, Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Nestle Pure Life or San Pellegrino.

These included polypropylene, nylon and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). On average, the researchers found, in each liter of water, 10.4 particles with a surrounding size of 0.10 millimeters

"I think this comes from the bottling process." I think most of plastic comes from the bottle itself, from its cork, from the industrial bottling process, "Sherri Mason told AFP

" Water in glass bottles also contained microplastics ", reports

A previous study published by Orb Media had shown that plastic particles were also present in smaller quantities in tap water.

The extent of the risks posed by these particles on human health is unknown.

Jacqueline Savitz, North America leader for Oceana, an NGO that fights against pollution of the oceans, said the study provided one more reason to limit the production of water bottles plastic.

"It is more urgent than ever to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past, "said the NGO representative who did not participate in the study.

China wins war on pollution, says US study

China, the world's leading polluter, "is winning the war against pollution", to the point of sketching an increase in life expectancy of more than two years, according to a US study released Tuesday

From data collected by 200 receivers across the country, the University of Chicago calculated that the rate of fine particles, which were very harmful to health, had dropped by 32% between 2013 and 2017.

] If this trend continues, the average life expectancy of the Chinese would increase by 2.4 years, according to the study. Fine particles (PM 2.5) play a role in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancer

"There is no example of a country achieving such a rapid reduction in air pollution This is remarkable, "says Michael Greenstone, who led the study at the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago.

By contrast, it took more than a dozen years in the United States to achieve a comparable improvement after the adoption of an air law in 1970.

"What the past four years have proved is that things can change, and even quickly, with political will, "Greenstone observes.

Under pressure from public opinion, the communist regime launched in 2013 a plan against pollution to reduce by a quarter the concentration of fine particles in some key areas like around Beijing and Shanghai.

"China is not considered a democratic country and yet it is found that the government has had to take measures that the public demanded, "notes Mr. Greenstone.

The anti-pollution policy was, however, accompanied by an economic cost and the authorities ordering the closure of thousands of factories too close to the city center.

They also decreed at the end of 2017 the end of coal heating, the main source of energy in China, in northern parts of the country. country, even before gas heating systems could be installed. Schools in Hebei Province (north) had to make up their minds to classify in the courtyard, where the temperature was colder than inside …

Winter, traditionally very polluted in the north of China, was relatively pure this year, but a peak of pollution hit Beijing on Tuesday, with a fine particle rate higher than 300 micrograms per m3, more than 12 times the standard recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO ).

Silicon Valley threatened by soil subsidence (study)

Silicon Valley, the US capital of new technologies located near San Francisco, is threatened by soil subsidence that could worsen floods in the future, according to a study released on Wednesday.

This subsidence, in 'adding to the rising sea levels due to climate change doubles the risk of flooding in this region by 2100, according to the report of the work published by Science Advances.

'the ocean level is rising and the floods are more inland than any of the phenomena,' commented Manoochehr Shirzaei, a professor at the Earth and Space University of Arizona.

The majority of the coastline of San Francisco Bay sinks a little less than two millimeters a year but "in several areas we discovered a subsidence of ten millimeters per year or even dava

The most exposed infrastructure is that built on areas of the sea that are squeezed together, such as the San Francisco International Airport.

"When the subsidence of the land is added to predictions of rising sea levels, the water will cover nearly half of the runways and tarmac of the airport by 2100 ", noted the study.

Other areas at risk: Foster City, polder between San Francisco and San Jose, which rises two meters above the ocean, or Treasure Island, between San Francisco and Oakland, sinking 12 to 20 millimeters a year.

Previous studies , which did not take into account subsidence, estimated that at least 50 square kilometers of the San Francisco Bay coast were at risk of flooding by the end of the century because of rising sea levels

Adding the consequences of the affair the risk area increases to at least 125 km2. In the worst-case scenario, which includes an acceleration of ice melt and thus rising sea levels, it climbs to 413 km2 at the same horizon.

These new estimates are based on data collected between 2007 and 2011 with InSAR radar installed on board a satellite

"There are many predictions and models of rising sea levels, but they are all wrong because they do not take into account the evolution of the ocean. the elevation of land, "said Shirzaei.

USA: wind and solar can provide 80% of electricity demand (study)

Wind and solar resources could provide 80% of the electricity demand in the United States, provided improvements are made in transmission and storage, scientists said Tuesday.

These renewable energies were considered only a few years ago, being able to meet only 20 to 30% of American electrical needs, according to a study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

The United States currently generates about two-thirds of their electricity with fossil resources – natural gas, coal, oil – which contributes to the rise in global temperature by releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. And a fifth comes from nuclear power plants.

Renewable energies account for only 15% of the energy mix: wind contributes 7%, solar 1% and other sources such as hydraulics bring the balance, According to the US Energy Information Authority

To determine the potential contribution of sustainable energy in the future, researchers analyzed US weather, hour by hour, between 1980 and 2015. [19659002] "We observed the variation of solar and wind energy both in time and space and compared it to US demand for electricity," said Steven Davis, professor of system science. at the University of California-Irvine

"We have determined that we could reliably obtain about 80% of our electricity from these (renewable) sources by building a continent-wide transmission network. u facilities that can maintain the equivalent of twelve hours of national electricity consumption, "he continued.

These requirements would require an investment" very important, but not inconceivable, "noted the researchers, also from California Institute of Technology and the Carnegie Institution for Science.

They called for the United States, the second largest polluter behind China, to consider developing low-carbon energy sources while waiting for these facilities to be built.

" Options could include nuclear and hydroelectric power generation as well as demand management, "said Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science.