May 21, 2009 | 7
Carbon dioxide emissions went the way of the U.S. economy last year—which, in this case, is good news. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that U.S. emissions of the greenhouse gas dropped the most last year since at least 1990, when it began keeping tabs. The EIA says the overall 2.8 percent dip in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is likely linked to a combo of the slumping economy and high fuel prices.
ScientificAmerican.com in December reported a 2.3 percent worldwide increase in greenhouse gas emissions from 2000 to 2006 (the last year for which information was available from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). But perhaps a decline in CO2 emissions could become a convenient truth of a continued recession.
Oct 17, 2008
For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tightened limits on lead emissions, a move that will require states to crack down on polluters that spew more than 1,300 tons of the metal annually.
The new standards, announced by the agency yesterday, limit emissions to 0.15 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (ug/m3). The previous standard, set in 1978, was 1.5 ug/m3.
"America's air is cleaner than a generation ago," EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said in a statement. "With these stronger standards, a new generation of Americans are being protected from harmful lead emissions."
Ingestion of lead can cause brain damage, especially in young children. While the 1980 phase-out of lead in gasoline has curbed lead emissions by nearly 97 percent, according to the EPA, there are still as many as 16,000 industrial facilities, including iron and steel foundries and smelters that melt used batteries, which continue to expel the metal, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says. Lead is also in airplane fuel.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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