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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

Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage

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water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

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Environment

Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism

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When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

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