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Toxic Air Pollution Nanoparticles Discovered In Human Brains Are Not Being Monitored

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pollution by LEONARDO DASILVA via flickr

Energydesk have learned that these poisonous particles are not being monitored by Government Authorities.

Last month new research was published that revealed magnetite particles, derived from iron oxide, were present in the brain tissue of 37 people. Other studies have linked such particles to Alzheimer’s disease, although scientists say the research field is at too early a stage to prove causality.

But Prof Barbara Maher at Lancaster University, who led the research, said that magnetite should start to be monitored on a wide-scale if this is found to be the case.

“If magnetite in airborne particulate matter proves to be a significant risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease or other diseases, then it will be important to measure it in its own right across urban areas,” Maher told Energydesk.

Although particulate matter, which magnetite contributes to, is monitored across the UK according to EU rules, magnetite is not monitored separately.

The news comes as a case in the High Court in London opens for its second day to assess whether the government’s plans to cut national pollution are adequate under EU law.

Greenpeace air pollution campaigner, Areeba Hamid said:

“It is clear that along with illegal levels of N02 from diesel cars, particulate matter and its components are serving up a cocktail of toxic air that people across the UK are forced to breathe.

Monitoring these toxins is the first step to wining this toxic battle, but it would be a meaningless effort if the government keeps failing to take concrete action and continues putting car companies’ profits and political comfort before people’s health. It is not only about the future generations, it’s about the children that are now at risk”.

Magnetite

Maher’s team had previously measured airborne magnetite pollution particles by magnetically examining pumped air samples and also tree leaves next to roadsides across Lancaster and found greater concentrations in heavy traffic areas.

These same types of magnetite particles were found in “abundant” quantities in the brains of people from Manchester, in the UK, and Mexico.

Magnetite particles in air pollution could be measured on a wide-scale using filters or through leaf collection, Maher added.

Leonardo Sagnotti, senior principal research fellow at the paleomagnetism laboratory at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) has used a similar methodology using leaves to measure magnetite pollution in Rome.

He told Energydesk: “There is no established service using tree leaves to monitor pollution, only research studies. The automatic sampling stations in Italy don’t monitor any magnetic properties. It’s not surprising because this is a novel approach and eventually we should adopt this approach for monitoring in the future.”

His research notes that such a service would be “relatively rapid and inexpensive, [and] may be used in addition to the classical air quality monitoring systems to identify and delineate high-polluted areas in urban environments.”

Air pollution is a global killer, responsible for 3 million premature deaths every year, according to a recent analysis by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Research has shown that particulate pollution, created by industry, traffic and natural sources can exacerbate lung cancer, heart disease, asthma and strokes.

But while WHO compiles a database of levels of PM pollution from 3,000 cities around the world, one billion people live in countries where there is no monitoring at all.

WHO told Energydesk that they do not issue guidance on pollutants smaller than PM2.5, but that they may be addressed in the next edition of their air quality guidelines.

“WHO is not aware of magnetite being monitored in any country, and since countries are already not engaged in monitoring PM10 and PM2.5, it is unlikely that they monitor smaller particles,” a spokesperson said.

“WHO relies on the scientific community and the evidence synthesis through the air quality guidelines to issue recommendations on various pollutants. The air quality guidelines are currently being revised, and we will have to wait to see if or how smaller particles will be addressed in the next version.”

Maher’s paper also notes: “Although PM mass has conventionally been used for setting of legislative airborne PM concentration limits, it is possible that ultrafine particle size and number are of greater significance in terms of mortality and health impacts”.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs did not comment on magnetite monitoring but a government spokesperson said: “The government is firmly committed to improving the UK’s air quality and cutting harmful emissions”.

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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