Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mercury Converted to Its Most Toxic Form in Ocean Waters

University of Alberta-led research has confirmed that a relatively harmless inorganic form of mercury found worldwide in ocean water is transformed into a potent neurotoxin in the seawater itself.

After two years of testing water samples across the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found that relatively harmless inorganic mercury, released from human activities like industry and coal burning, undergoes a process called methylation and becomes deadly monomethylmercury.

Unlike inorganic mercury, monomethylmercury is bio-accumulative, meaning its toxic effects are amplified as it progresses through the food chain from small sea creatures to humans. The greatest exposure for humans to monomethylmercury is through seafood. The researchers believe the methylation process happens in oceans all over the world and that the conversion is carried out by microbial life forms in the ocean.

The research team, led by recent U of A biological sciences PhD graduate Igor Lehnherr, incubated seawater samples collected from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Lehnherr says conversion of inorganic mercury to monomethylmercury accounts for approximately 50 per cent of this neurotoxin present in polar marine waters and could account for a significant amount of the mercury found in Arctic marine organisms. The researchers say this is the first direct evidence that inorganic mercury is methylated in seawater.

The research was published earlier this month online in Nature Geoscience.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't be scared by Toxics this Halloween!

Halloween is only one week away. Get ready for the scary fun in your neighborhood but don't get scared by toxics in your costumes.

Three of our coalition partners have great tips on ways to make this Halloween safe for you and your whole family.

Check them out and share the info with friends and family! PVC, the most toxic plastic for children’s health and the environment, has scared its way into some of our beloved children’s costumes. Even scarier is that many vinyl products are laden with harmful phthalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals banned in toys but widespread in many other vinyl products children come in contact with. Read more..

Mom' "In the grand scheme of holidays, Halloween can be costly, complicated, and not traditionally eco-friendly. Luckily, it is also incredibly, ridiculously easy to makeover. Costumes can be found, faces can be painted, and tricks and treats can be dispensed, all at a low-cost, in a green way. Here’s a Tips Tuesday breakdown on how to detox your Halloween: Read more.. "Looking for ways to have a green & healthy Halloween? Just apply this equation: 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) + 3Gs (good for people, good for planet, good for community) = a green and healthy Halloween!Read more...


We believe everyone should be able to enjoy a safer Halloween this year and every year. ALL consumer products should be free from dangerous toxic chemicals, and we need to grow our community of people who are talking about it.

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HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles