Is Enough Being Done to Make Drinking Water Safe?

There is a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of technologies used to reduce arsenic contamination finds research in BioMed Central’s open access journal Environmental Evidence. More studies assessing the technologies themselves and how they are used in the community are needed to ensure that people have access to safe, clean water.

christopher-saintArsenic is now recognised to be one of the world’s greatest environmental hazards, threatening the lives of several hundred million people. Naturally occurring arsenic leaches into water from surrounding rocks and once in the water supply it is both toxic and carcinogenic to anyone drinking it. It is colourless and odourless and consequently people use it instead of more obviously polluted surface water. Natural arsenic pollution affects 21 countries across the world sometimes reaching a concentration more than ten times the WHO guidelines. Read more

Magic Pond: Green Lake in Tragoess, Austria

Green-Lake-in-Tragoess01These photographs appear to show a spectacular underwater world making it ideal for scuba divers – in central Europe. Twelve metres of water covers trees, footpaths, benches and bridges that are usually accessible throughout the year. Visitors to the Green Lake in Tragoess, Austria, that is normally only one metre deep, can leisurely stroll around the picturesque lagoon. Read more

Washing Laundry in Cold Water is the Same As…

A full 90 percent of the energy used in washing clothes goes toward heating the water, so it stands to reason that using less energy by washing in cold, unheated water would create significant environmental savings. But just how much difference are we really talking about?

washing-machine01We got the TreeHugger HQ math monkeys to crunch some numbers, and came up with some pretty interesting results. It turns out that pressing the cold/cold button (instead of the hot/warm button) on your washing machine has the same impact as… Read more

Size Matters for Creatures of Cold Polar Waters

Scientists at the Universities of Liverpool, Plymouth, and Radboud, Netherlands, have challenged the view that giant animals are found in polar seas because of a superabundance of oxygen in cold water.

Basking-sharkIt is thought that giant insects and other creatures hundreds of millions of years ago evolved due to a superabundance of oxygen and that this could also explain the existence of giant sea creatures today. The new research, published in Functional Ecology, however, suggests that this may not be the case. Read more

The Day the Niagara Falls Froze Over

It’s an amazing snapshot – so amazing that many have been quick to cry fake: North America’s most iconic falls, apparently frozen mid-flow – but what moment in time is frozen in sepia within this frame? One might think the answer would be simple, but with the origins of this photo veiled in a mist of uncertainty like the spray produced by the falls themselves, nothing is guaranteed.

Niagara-Falls-Froze1

It seems claims of Photoshop frolics are misguided in this case; yet while the shot looks authentic, because its photographer is unknown, we can’t be sure precisely when it was taken. 1911 has been the date aired most on the web, but it could just as easily be 1912, when much of the surrounding Niagara River was frozen. The other point here is that in the photo the falls are not entirely frozen over, with several small spouts of water visible gushing out from beneath the crust of ice crystals. Read more