Toxic metals are seeping into human bones; new technology may make it worse
Researchers in Israel have discovered lead contamination in the bones of humans as far back as 12,000 years ago. They warn that modern technology may only make the problem worse.
Despite global regulations banning many harmful toxins from use, study authors say even the “cleanest” products today may increase human exposure to toxic metals. The team specifically notes that electronic devices, batteries, solar panels, and even wind turbines are in high demand and can increase global metal pollution levels. Lead exposure takes place in all sorts of ways, from our diets, to air pollution, to soil absorption.
“Any expanded use of metals should go hand in hand with industrial hygiene, ideally safe metal recycling and increased environmental and toxicological consideration in the selection of metals for industrial use,” according to the study
The study appears in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
EPA proposes stronger-than-expected vehicle emission rules
The fuel economy and emissions requirements proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation would mandate fleet-wide vehicle mileage of 52 mpg by 2026, up from 40 mpg this year. The EPA said its proposal would result in a 10 percent reduction in vehicle emissions in model year 2023 and then a 5 percent greater emissions reduction improvement each year after through 2026.
The mandates are a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s climate plans and mark his administration’s first major effort to use regulation to stem planet-warming greenhouse gases. Federal regulators are developing additional rules targeting methane emissions from oil wells and carbon dioxide releases from power plants, after the Trump administration relaxed requirements.
EPA releases preliminary 2020 Toxics Release Inventory data
The data covers activities that occurred at nearly 21,000 federal and industrial facilities across the U.S. and includes the first-ever reporting on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to the TRI by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The PFAS-related data includes a total of 89 TRI reporting forms for 44 discrete PFAS chemicals filed by 38 individual facilities. The data indicate facilities managed over 700,000 pounds of production-related waste of PFAS during 2020, according to the EPA.