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Lake Erie is sick.

Spring Rain, Then Foul Algae in Ailing Lake Erie: [New York Times]
"A thick and growing coat of toxic algae appears each summer, so vast that in 2011 it covered a sixth of its waters, contributing to an expanding dead zone on its bottom, reducing fish populations, fouling beaches and crippling a tourism industry that generates more than $10 billion in revenue annually."

posted by Fizz on Mar 24, 2013 - 17 comments

A hidden children's health crisis.

A chronic public health disaster. Complex trauma and toxic stress puts children into a state of reflexive fight, flight, or freeze responses to a perpetually threatening world. The traditional authoritative response only serves to reinforce those behaviours and, perhaps worse, has long-term health consequences:
With an ACE score of 4 or more, things start getting serious. The likelihood of chronic pulmonary lung disease increases 390 percent; hepatitis, 240 percent; depression 460 percent; suicide, 1,220 percent.
One doctor describes it as “a chronic public health disaster”. Remediating this problem is going to require listening, kindness, and parachutes.
posted by davidpriest.ca on May 1, 2012 - 53 comments

But do they have any bottlecaps?

"Places like Picher are why Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980—better known as the Superfund bill." - Wired Magazine on the most toxic town in America, Picher, OK , and the people who still live there
posted by The Whelk on Sep 5, 2010 - 21 comments

Your receipt and (sex) change.

Paper receipts - including receipts from McDonald’s, CVS, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Postal Service - are a major source of endocrine-disrupting bisphenol-A. The total amount of BPA on tested receipts was 250 to 1,000 times greater than other, more widely discussed sources of BPA exposure, including canned foods, baby bottles and infant formula. BPA transfers readily from receipts to skin and can penetrate the skin to such a depth that it cannot be washed off.
posted by stbalbach on Jul 27, 2010 - 111 comments

The toxic environment in Washington DC

Hundreds of munitions and beakers with vintage chemical weapons, including "butter of arsenic" and lewisite, the "dew of death," are being dug up in Washington DC -- less than five miles from the White House (around American University). [more inside]
posted by msalt on May 21, 2010 - 32 comments

Purchase risky debt on a massive scale and then place a bet that the debt will fail!

Betting Against the American Dream. In 2005, just as Wall Street started to get cold feet about the housing market, the Magnetar hedge fund helped create a new wave of billion-dollar mortgage-backed securities, pushed bankers to include riskier sub-prime mortgages, and then shorted the securities, making millions when the bubble finally burst. Traders on both sides of the deals pocketed enormous fees even if their banks went under when the securities failed. Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica, This American Life, and NPR's Planet Money track down some of the big winners in the housing/financial crisis. No time to read or listen? It seemed so much like a scheme from The Producers, they even recorded a show tune to explain it all. (Previously, 2, 3)
posted by straight on Apr 15, 2010 - 30 comments

TPWRTD (or) Thanks for Ten Years of Toxic Disappointment

The People Who Ruined The Decade [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Dec 14, 2009 - 148 comments

The Ubiquitous Banana

"Miller produced a memo written in 1978 by Jack DeMent, a senior Dole [Food Company] executive, that reflected a proposed policy that 'people in the areas to be treated will be notified to the effect in the language of the workers involved.' Miller said a comment found on the draft undercut the good intentions. The comment read: 'This is not operationally feasible and does not need to be implemented.'" [more inside]
posted by burnfirewalls on Oct 23, 2009 - 15 comments

Neil Barofsky reviews TARP

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says: If the goal was to increase lending, well we haven't increased lending. ... Banks that were too big to fail are bigger than ever. ... When TARP was announced, the whole purpose was a statement that we're not going to let our large financial instiutions fail. And with that I think we may be in a far more dangerous place today than we were a year ago. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 26, 2009 - 15 comments

Anthropomorphism can be fun!

Slow Loris looking sad. Slow loris looking happy. [more inside]
posted by quin on Aug 17, 2009 - 71 comments

You Know, For Kids

Playing Dirty: Greenpeace vs Nintendo, Microsoft, et al. "The Greenpeace scientific report Playing Dirty states that video games consoles have tested positive for hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine." [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on May 21, 2008 - 31 comments

Beautiful pictures of toxic sea slugs

National Geographic has a really neat photo gallery of nudibranchs. These are very colorful, very cute sea slugs. Enjoy.
posted by phunniemee on May 18, 2008 - 43 comments

Avoiding death by plastic

Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre, as part of their "Toxic Series". Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 22, 2008 - 36 comments

All Our Favorite Toxins

The Drug Addiction Paradox "The plants should never have developed toxins that reward animals for eating them, and humans should never have developed a reward mechanism for toxic plants"... De-evolution or Idiotic Design? [more inside]
posted by wendell on Apr 17, 2008 - 65 comments

My favourite singer is actually really, really good

Israeli-French singer Yael Naim, recently featured in this Macbook Air commercial, might just be the Next Big Thing. A little bit of soul and a little bit of folk have snagged her Album of the Year in World Music at the annual Les Victoires de la Musique French music awards this year. She currently only has two English songs released - one of them an absolutely lovely song entitled New Soul with an equally charming music video, and the other a slow and jazzy rendition of Britney Spears' Toxic, finally somewhat redeeming that song. Official Site.
posted by Phire on Mar 12, 2008 - 45 comments

Toxic Meteorite?

Meteorite landing confirmed in Peru. Some report illness. Could it be the arrival of the anti-Christ Mabus? Here's what one Doubting Thomas has to say about the whole thing. Some have found it funny.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen on Sep 19, 2007 - 58 comments

Saturday Flash fun

Don't you know that I'm toxic? Toxic has you controlling a clean-suit wearing bomberman across destructible platform mazes in search of glowing green canisters, powerups and enemies to bomb the living bejesus out of. The chiptune soundtrack is pretty nice, too.
posted by boo_radley on Sep 8, 2007 - 30 comments

In Soviet Russia, Snow Pees On You.

Don't Eat (or Drink) The Yellow Snow!

note: it is our surmise that that this snow is probably not toxic. trust us. we're russia.
posted by Hat Maui on Feb 2, 2007 - 13 comments

America's Toxic Towns

Tour America’s Toxic Towns. First off is Times Beach, MO. Uncle Sam bought the town for $32 million, disincorporated it, and evacuated its 2000 residents to spare them from levels of dioxin that were possibly 2,000 times higher than the dioxin content in Agent Orange. Next up is Centralia, PA, completely evacuated due to an underground coal fire that is still burning and may burn for the next 100 years. More recently, American Electric Power purchased Cheshire, OH for $20 million. The town, which was plagued by sulfurous clouds, is now completely deserted. And who can forget the granddaddy of toxic towns, Love Canal.
posted by Otis on Jun 2, 2006 - 24 comments

Love Canal-type toxic landfill submerged in New Orleans

A toxic landfill site on which low-income housing was built in central New Orleans is now under floodwaters with the potential to pollute and contaminate portions of the Gulf Coast. In the 1940s and 1950s, the site was routinely sprayed with DDT, but in 1962 some 229,300 cubic metres of excess fill was removed because subsurface toxic fires kept erupting (and got the site known as "Dante's Inferno"). According to the editor of Hazardous Waste magazine, the site -- now under water -- will almost inevitably leach toxic effluent into the floodwaters, with the potential of inflicting unpredictable damage on the coast, and those that live there -- a possible environmental catastrophe. Tests by the EPA in the 1980s and 90s found 149 chemicals - 44 of which are known carcinogens. Among the toxic substances found were arsenic, lead, mercury, barium, and other organic compounds that are associated with pesticides and the burning of waste. Finally, what is the status of the Waterford 3 nuke plant just north of New Orleans, and what is the status of that plant's nuclear waste ? News reports say it sustained damage to 'off-site buildings' but what does that mean? Were those waste containment facilities?
posted by Babylonian on Sep 6, 2005 - 47 comments

Here's more reason to convert to digital photography

Kodak gives more reason to convert to digital photography. Eastman Kodak's "Kodak Park facility" in Rochester, is #1 in New York for releases of suspected toxicants and neurotoxins to endocrine, gastrointestinal, liver, cardiovascular, kidney, respiratory, and reproductive health. Remember dioxin? The stuff of Agent Orange, used in the Vietnam war that caused so much grief to war vets and Vietnamese, well Kodak released more dioxin into New York's environment in 2000 than any other source. In 1996 they were dumping methylene chloride concentrations as high as 3,600,000 parts per billion into area rivers, when the legal level is five parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found Kodak guilty of illegal disposal of hazardous wastes, illegal use of incinerators and waste piles, failing to notify the EPA of groundwater contaminations, making undocumented shipments of hazardous wastes, and for 20 years having leaky underground pipes, among other violations.
posted by giantkicks on Jun 1, 2003 - 30 comments

The pollution in people

BodyBurden: the pollution in people. "Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers, with a total of 167 chemicals found in the group. Like most of us, the people tested do not work with chemicals on the job and do not live near an industrial facility. Scientists refer to this contamination as a person’s body burden. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination has never been studied." This was also the subject of a PBS program by Bill Moyers, Trade Secrets. Moyers himself was found to have 84 chemicals in his blood and urine. [Via This Modern World.]
posted by homunculus on May 26, 2003 - 17 comments

Toxic chemicals dumped in your back yard?

Toxic Chemical Dump report by ZIP code. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has organized information from the EPA on toxic chemical releases. You can get maps of different types of chemicals (carcinogens, reproductive toxins, dioxins, etc.) released by state, download Excel spreadsheets by state organized by ZIP code, or download their complete report. I think this is just for the 2000 calendar year. (via The Wall Street Journal)
posted by meep on Jan 23, 2003 - 12 comments

Toxic House

Toxic House
"This is a site about the hazards of indoor pollution, largely created by the synthetic and organic chemicals that are a part of our daily lives. It might sound like a place you want to stay away from, but really it’s a place intended to help you make informed decisions about the places and spaces in which you live."
posted by theRegent on Oct 22, 2002 - 13 comments

We're exporting toxic technologies

We're exporting toxic technologies to third world countries. We all know computer components contain lots of chemical badness, and it seems that as much as 80 percent of US electronics trash is sent to developing countries, where it is becoming a major health hazard.
posted by brookish on Feb 25, 2002 - 22 comments

A new Darwin Award candidate? "[Henry] Elrod's death certificate lists the cause as multiple organ failure from 'voluntary ingestion of China berries.' Indigenous to Asia, China berry trees produce berries, flowers and bark so toxic that six to eight berries have been known to kill a person." This guy ate them for 19 days while on holiday. He even took some home.
posted by Cuppatea on May 8, 2001 - 19 comments

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