The state of California approved mercury thermostat regulations that will set aggressive targets for the collection and recycling of out-of-service mercury thermostats, according to a state news release.
“This is the first example of a take back program with measurable performance goals that will increase the number of mercury thermostats that are collected,” said Deborah Raphael, director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, in a statement. “I’m very proud of the fact that California is again leading the way, and will be a model for other take back programs.”
A state law banned the sale of new mercury-added thermostats in 2006. Though no longer sold in the state, up to 10 million mercury-added thermostats are still in California businesses and homes, according to the report. Read the rest of this entry »
More than half of companies say sustainability reporting leads to higher cash flows and helps improve firm reputation, according to a report from the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Ernst & Young.
Researchers have found a low-grade cotton from West Texas that might be able to clean oil spills more effectively and more eco-friendly than other methods currently in use. According to the study, one pound of the cotton can soak up more than 30 pounds of oil.
In a new study, researchers used unprocessed raw cottons to soak up oil, becoming one of the first studies to collect data on cotton and oil spills. Seshadri Ramkumar, the lead author of the study, said that he and his colleagues found that low-micronaine cotton is the most effective type of cotton at soaking up oil. Because this type of cotton is low-quality, it could also prove to be a cheaper option for cleaning up oil spills.
“In this region, about 10 percent of the cotton grown in West Texas is low micronaire,” said Ramkumar. “It doesn’t take a dye well, so it gets discounted. However, because low-micronaire cotton is less mature, it shrinks, and you are able to pack more fiber into a given area. The strength here is that the low-micronaire cotton absorbs the most crude oil. The oil is not only stuck to surface, the oil gets absorbed into the fiber.”
Barley straw and polypropylene wool have also been tested by other scientists for oil spills, but Ramkumar said those fibers still left big gaps in research, leaving room for improvements. This low-grade cotton proves to be significant in oil cleanup because it picks up oil by both absorption and adsorption, which makes the oil stick to the outer surface of the cotton.
A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them. We cannot escape it in our cars. It is in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there’s a reason why you have never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name – and no antidote.
The culprit behind this silent killer is lead. And vinyl. And formaldehyde. And asbestos. And Bisphenol A. And polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). And thousands more innovations brought to us by the industries that once promised ” better living through chemistry “, but instead produced a toxic stew that has made every American a guinea pig and has turned the US into one grand unnatural experiment.
Today, we are all unwitting subjects in the largest set of drug trials ever. Without our knowledge or consent, we are testing thousands of suspected toxic chemicals and compounds, as well as new substances whose safety is largely unproven and whose effects on human beings are all but unknown. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) itself has begun monitoring our bodies for 151 potentially dangerous chemicals, detailing the variety of pollutants we store in our bones, muscle, blood and fat. None of the companies introducing these new chemicals has even bothered to tell us we are part of their experiment. Read the rest of this entry »
Paintbooths are costly and complicated purchases, and even the thought of making this large-scale purchase can intimidate a shop owner who doesn’t have all the right research in front of them. That’s why Col-Met Auto Direct has published “Paintbooths 101: How to Purchase A Paintbooth.”
This free buyer’s guide includes sections on paintbooth manufacturers, laws and regulations, safety, warranties, airflow configurations, installation and best practices.
“Col-Met has been selling paintbooths since 1997,” said Steve Russell, director of sales for Col-Met Auto Direct. “We know that a large expense like this can be difficult for body shop owners, so we created this guide to help you understand exactly what you’re purchasing, and what you’re can expect when you purchase a paintbooth.”
Click here to download “Paintbooths 101: How to Purchase A Paintbooth.”
Old mining sites, contaminated farmlands and closed chemical facilities don’t offer much more than an eyesore. That was until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) saw the potential for redeveloping these brownfield sites into renewable energy facilities. The estimated 15 million acres of potentially contaminated lands can house an unfathomable amount of photovoltaic (PV) arrays, generating energy on land that is otherwise unusable. A solar power plant on an old landfill seems like a win-win situation. But it’s easier said than done.
Cleaning up a contaminated site improves the environmental quality of the area, while restoring community pride with an aesthetically pleasing and productive piece of land. Faced with liability uncertainties, permitting challenges and land-use ordinances, developers haven’t been overly anxious to construct clean energy facilities on brownfield sites. To encourage the reuse of contaminated lands for renewable energy projects, the EPA launched its RE-Powering America’s Lands Initiative in 2008. By offering incentives, technical advice, and assistance to local communities to identify potential sites through mapping and screening tools, the EPA has facilitated installations in 26 states. Read the rest of this entry »
Pro-Spray Automotive Finishes has launched its branded YouTube channel to help users improve the quality and efficiency of their jobs.
Visitors can view a library of resourceful, high quality videos featuring veteran Pro-Spray technical trainer and instructor Bill Warner. The channel’s current playlist includes:
Pro-Spray in Action: Awesome rides with Pro-Spray paint
Basecoat Tips and How-Tos: Best practices to improve your paint job and bottom line
Bumper Repair and Refinishing: Review of the six simple steps
Spray Gun Essentials and Tips: Simplifying the process
Tech Tips and How-Tos: Application tips from the pros
“Pro-Spray’s passion for our industry, product and people drives our content decisions,” said Laura Yerkey, Pro-Spray marketing manager. “With the Pro-Spray YouTube channel in place, we now have the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with refinishers around the world.”
Future plans for the Pro-Spray YouTube channel include regularly delivered original content focused on tech tips, how-tos and FAQs, as well as introductions to new Pro-Spray products and discussions of industry events and trends.
As more cities adopt citywide composting programs to divert food waste from landfills, the market for compostable products continues to expand.
But with so many companies in the market making unverified claims about their products, the meaning of the term “compostable” has become muddled for consumers.
“There’s a lot of confusion with what’s compostable and what’s not,” said Doug Hill, general manager of EcoSafe Zero Waste, a compostable product manufacturer.
In the absence of a federally mandated certification process for compostable products, manufacturers can label their products as “compostable” or “biodegradable” without any scientific verification that the product will break down.
Agencies like the Federal Trade Commission attempt to regulate deceptive “greenwash” marketing techniques, but it’s not always easy to prove a product’s label is misleading. Read the rest of this entry »
Federal agency finds innovative avenues to reduce energy consumption
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announces today it has selected the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 office based in Vallejo, Calif. to receive a Federal Green Challenge honorable mention award for innovation in its energy conservation efforts.
“EPA is pleased to recognize the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 for its outstanding leadership to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By taking the initiative to reduce waste and conserve water and energy, this agency will not only help motivate other federal agencies and organizations to follow suit, but save the government money as well.” Read the rest of this entry »