Apr 28, 2006

Ever wonder where toxic waste goes?

"Hazardous Waste Injection Wells Injection of hazardous waste into deep wells began in the United States in the 1960s. At that time, the chemical industry was looking for a safe, relatively inexpensive method for disposing of high volumes of waste that could be considered toxic. Technology was borrowed from the oil and gas industry to develop this new form of disposal. "
  • There are 163 Class I hazardous waste injection wells located at 51 facilities. Most are found in Texas (78) and Louisiana (18). Eleven of the facilities are commercial hazardous waste injection facilities. These are the only facilities that can accept hazardous waste generated offsite for injection. Ten of them are located in the Gulf Coast region while one is located in the Great Lakes region.

  • Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments to RCRA made UIC regulations (1988) more stringent for Class I hazardous wells.
I couldn't make this stuff up.

Sink fixtures considered source of child lead exposure

Clif McLellan, director of toxicology services at NSF International (previously known as the National Sanitation Foundation), a nonprofit organization, says that the voluntary standards developed by his group are tough and that most national name-brand faucets adhere to them.

But regulators say that the Safe Drinking Water Act, which specifies the NSF protocol as a voluntary standard for leachability, contains a big loophole. Because the NSF standard is voluntary, it is almost impossible to enforce the law by bringing suit against contractors or suppliers who use devices that don’t meet the standard. “Our enforcement lawyers consider the problem with faucets and other endpoint devices to be so impossible to win that they don’t even try,” says another regulator who spoke off the record.

In 2001, chemist David Kimbrough with the Castaic Lake Water Agency, a California water wholesaler, reported that corrosion of brass fixtures and fittings can sometimes be a significant source of lead. He is currently investigating a development of several hundred homes that use PVC water pipes but still have lead problems. “The fixtures and fittings are the only possible source,” he says.

Kimbrough notes that when plumbing fixtures leach lead, water systems engineers may be forced to install complicated and expensive corrosion-control treatment at the plant, and this in turn can conflict with regulations that govern levels of disinfection chemicals and disinfection byproducts. The D.C. lead crisis also revealed such conflicts.

Last summer, the U.S. EPA held a workshop that covered some of these issues. But for the most part, the problem seems to be caught in a catch-22. “Right now, all we can do is cajole and coerce states to get tough with their codes,” says an EPA scientist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Popular antibacterial soap ingredient’s presence in environment could be cause for concern

New research suggests that large quantities of a popular ingredient in antibacterial soap could be entering the environment through recycled sewage sludge.

Researchers looking for emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) face a formidable challenge—to “find the needle in the haystack,” says Rolf Halden, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In a study posted today to ES&T’s Research ASAP website (DOI: 10.1021/es052245n), Halden and his coauthors report that approximately 75% of the mass of a popular antiseptic called triclocarban that enters a typical WWTP persists in the treated sludge.
Researchers sampling sludge
Rolf Halden
Researchers sample sludge in a wastewater treatment plant. They have discovered that a common antiseptic additive, triclocarban, persists in sewage sludge at elevated levels.

Their work is the first peer-reviewed field study of triclocarban in sewage sludge and one of the few reports of the compound’s fate during wastewater treatment. The findings suggest that—given the high rate of sewage sludge reuse as fertilizer—a single WWTP can return more than 1 metric ton of triclocarban to the environment. The authors agree that their findings also raise the question of whether triclocarban could be promoting antibiotic resistance in bacteria in the sludge or elsewhere in the environment.

Triclocarban, commercially known as TCC, is a pesticide used extensively as an antimicrobial additive in soaps and body washes; one survey of commercial products found it in 30% of bar soaps. With annual production estimated at 1 million pounds or more, triclocarban is classified as a high-production-volume chemical by the U.S. EPA."

Apr 24, 2006

Is God an environmentalist? - Yahoo! News

'Every day is Earth Day if you are a landowner.'

But Earth Day 2006, this past Saturday, marked the greatest erosion in environmental protections in modern U.S. history."

'What Would Jesus Drive?'
Employing the language of stewardship rather than dominion, they talk about "Responsible Creation Care" and ask, "What Would Jesus Drive?" They turn down thermostats and install solar heating in their churches; they collect rain runoff to water organic community gardens. They publish study guides leading groups through questions such as, "Does God care about the natural world? ... What is our connection with the rest of creation? What is the appropriate way for humans to carry out our responsibilities toward nature?"

According to Peter Illyn, founder and executive director of the Christian environmental stewardship group Restoring Eden, they "have a sense of a God that's bigger than just an angry white man who tends to vote Republican."

Apr 22, 2006

Yahoo's and the "Daily Shows" answers to EartDay

Yahoo's and the "Daily Shows" answers to EartDay
"Daily Show: Global Warming"

EarthDay top 10 list....

New Page 1

EarthDay top 10 list....

BELIEVE IT! You can continue
to make a difference...

Contributing to a clean environment should be everyone's responsibility.  By
working together to reduce pollution sources, we can limit the harmful effects
on our children and families.


But traditionally, Earth Day is utilized by finger pointing alarmists who scare
the pants off the public with stories of impending disaster and eco destruction
that are wrecking our fragile environment (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/).


This constant doom and gloom information discourages many individuals from
making even the slightest change, as they perceive that individually they can
have no impact on this global problem.

That couldn’t be further from the truth… The fact is that if just a
of the US made better choices in their daily lives to conserve and
preserve there is a good chance of eliminating many of these problems.


BELIEVE IT! If a third of us agree to stand
against the gravest threat in human history and do our part collectively, we can
make a huge impact.


What's more, many of the ideas that protect the environment also save money.
That helps the economy and dependence on outside energy sources.


So what can you do? Quite literally, YOU
can stop “Tons” of emissions and waste from entering the environment
by following some good and practical ideas. I have included a list below of
little things you can do today and every day to make a difference.


Earth Day should be a celebration of our individual commitment to protect the
environment and how each one of us continues to make a difference. Celebrate
the fact that releases of toxic chemicals dropped 42% from 1998 to 2003*!



Pass this email on to anyone who cares to make a difference!


Thanks for caring,



Christopher Haase

Director of Environmental, Health and Safety

Winner of the "Excellence in Environmental Performance Award"

Email: haase@neutralsolution.com

Voice (262) 238-5576

Web: www.neutralcleaner.com




1. Donate your old phone

2. Recycle your old computer

3. Convert your light bulbs

4. Driving differently and get hybrid results!

5. Turn down the refrigerator and air conditioning

6. Plant a tree, bush or plant in your backyard

7. Properly dispose of hazardous household waste

8. Recycle batteries for free or even make $

9. Remove hazardous cleaners

10. We have already made a difference...



1. Donate your old phone?

HopeLine(SM) phone has recycled more than 600,000 phones since 2001. In 2005
alone, nearly 150,000 pounds of batteries were recycled through the national
HopeLine(SM) service!

Possible tax benefits…



2. Recycle, but don’t donate your old computer?

According to the U.S. EPA, nearly 250 million computers will become obsolete in
the next five years. As more companies, organizations, and individuals find
reasons to upgrade their computer equipment, the problem of disposing of old
equipment grows.

Don’t give away your problems! Contact the refurbisher or recycler before

Out-of-date computer systems can be more of a burden than a blessing to schools
and nonprofits, as it can cost them up to $400 to bring a pre-Pentium computer
up to today's standards. Donate computers to a recycler or refurbisher, rather
than directly to these other groups.

Computer Recycling Resources

There are approximately 400 nonprofit and school-based refurbishers in the U.S.
A Large listing of non-commercial refurbishers in the country can be found at:

• Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) Program Web site (http://www.techsoup.org/mar/mars.asp).

• The National Cristina Foundation (http://www.cristina.org/)
lists a network of refurbishers online and at 203-863-9100.

• Computers for Schools also operates a network of non-commercial refurbishers
online and at 800-939-6000 (http://www.pcsforschools.org/).



3. Convert your light bulbs!

When your light bulb burns out, swap it with a fluorescent or LED bulb ($3 to
$6). If every U.S. household replaced a burned-out bulb with ENERGY STAR bulbs,
the cumulative effect would prevent more than 13 billion pounds of CO2 from
entering the atmosphere – which is like taking more than a million cars off the
road for an entire year. Other light saving conservation includes turning off
unneeded lights, open the curtains and bring natural sunlight into your home
when feasible.



4. Just driving differently and maintaining your car
can save TONs

Paying attention to the fuel efficiency in your car may be the single best thing
you can do to prevent pollution. All of the things on this list save on gas
(saving you money) and can provide near “hybrid” results during normal driving:

• Use your cruise! It cuts down on other unnecessary speed
changes which can eat up gas. An Edmunds.com's test, got almost 14% better
mileage using cruise control.

• Drive less or share a ride – once a week saves 1 ton of CO2 a year!

• Keep your car tuned up. It can double fuel efficiency and add to another ton
of CO2 a year!

• Slow down and watch your braking.

• Using “lighter” viscosity oil can save 2-3 mpg in cold weather.

• Keep starts and stops smooth.  “jackrabbit” starts and abrupt stops waste gas
and cause extra wear.

• Maintain tires and keep wheels aligned. Low tire air pressure is dangerous -
and costly. It creates a drag on the engine, prematurely wears out tires and
burns more gas. Misaligned wheels, worn wheel bearings or dragging brakes also
can reduce fuel economy by 10%

• Use your air conditioner wisely. Running your air conditioner can waste gas.
Use fresh air at low speeds. On hot days, park in the shade and open the windows
a few minutes to let hot air escape.

• Lighten the load. Added weight lowers fuel economy. Removing extra “stuff” in
the back and trunk can make a difference.

• Avoid traffic. Stop-and-go traffic takes a drastic toll on fuel usage. If at
all possible, plan your trips to avoid periods of peak traffic congestion.

• CAR POOL – It is more fun to drive with a friend than no one at all

• Plan your errands. Try to combine short trips with your daily commute on the
way home from work.

• Fill up in the morning. You’ll get slightly more fuel for your dollar if you
fill up when it’s cooler outside. (Cooler gasoline is more compact.) Over time,
the savings can add up.

• Perform routine car care. Dirty air filters and oil filters, worn spark plugs,
neglected oil changes and problems with the emission-control system can reduce
fuel economy.



5. Turn down refrigerator and air conditioning!

Your refrigerator and air conditioning may be responsible for 15-25% of your
electric bill.

• Don't set the thermostats too high. Even 1 degree will make a
big difference.

• Clean the condenser coils with a vacuum. This one, very simple thing can
improve the efficiency of your refrigerator & air conditioning unit by a third!


The other big users of energy in your household are your hot water heater, your
washer and dryer, and your dishwasher. Each, in its own way, can be inefficient.
Here are some things to try:

• Either turn the hot water heater down a couple of degrees, or turn on the
"energy conservation" setting.

• Buy insulation for your hot water heater at a local store and insulate the
pipes as well.

• Install a timer on your electric water heater to turn off at night and just
before you wake up.

• When possible, hand wash dishes by using a “low foaming” cleaner (http://www.neutralcleaning.com/Low%20Foaming.htm).
Over time, that will save a few loads in the dishwasher, conserving energy &

• Use a good dishsoap that does not require heat boost or wasteful pre-rinsing
of dishes.

• Wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher.

• Wash clothes in warm water, not hot. The clothes will be just as clean, and
cut energy use by 50%.

• Don't over-dry your clothes. That will save 15%.



6. Plant a tree, bush or plant in your backyard

Yes, it’s the oldest trick in the book but trees clean air, break winds to save
energy and add shade to lower cooling costs. While plants and bushes can also
help, think of ways to use less water with them. And make sure you water your
lawn sparingly. All of these will conserve water & energy.


Consider this… According to the “American Forests'” I would have to plant 60
trees to offset my family’s negative impact on the environment. Find out what
you can do using the CO2 calculator at:




7. Properly dispose of hazardous household waste

Every spring the average household has countless bottles, cans and other
containers full of hazardous chemicals that can ALL be disposed of properly or
even better, recycled! Contact your trash collection service to find out where
you community household waste drop off center is. Or visit:
http://www.p2rx.org to find a collection spot
in your area.


Here is a short list of hazardous household waste (Full list:


• Batteries (see recycling article)

• Aerosols

• Paint

• Cleaners

• Air fresheners

• Automotive products

• Drain cleaners

• Polishes and pesticides.



8. Recycle batteries… free or even make $$$

There's little argument that lead is extremely toxic. Scientific studies show
that long-term exposure to even tiny amounts of lead can cause brain and kidney
damage, hearing impairment, and learning problems in children. But still more
than 40,000 metric tons of lead is lost to landfills every year. According to
the federal Toxic Release Inventory, another 70,000 metric tons are released in
the lead mining and manufacturing process.


What can you do? Simple. Drop off used batteries for recycling.

• All rechargeables should be recycled. Many retail stores accept them.

• Buy rechargeable batteries and equipment with rechargeable batteries whenever

• Many recyclers PAY YOU for your used batteries.

Check out www.rbrc.org or call 1-(800)
822-8837 for a drop-off location near you.



9. Remove hazardous cleaners...

The hazardous chemicals in common cleaners can not only be harmful to your
family, but they can have detrimental consequences to indoor air quality,
aquatic life and the environment. There are no excuses to use these traditional
hazardous cleaners with a variety of safer cleaners available. (www.neuhomecare.com)



10. We have already made a difference...

*According to the EPA, the U.S. is already getting cleaner. Releases of toxic
chemicals dropped 42% from 1998 to 2003, even though more chemicals are being
counted. But, don’t kid yourself we all see the looming global environmental
problems, and need to continue change now before we reach the environmental
point of “no return”. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sun/)




Pass this email on to anyone who cares to make a difference.


Apr 20, 2006

TOYOTA Conclusions of Reformulated Gasoline (CaRFG3)

TOYOTA Conclusions
The use of ethanol will cause:
• Evaporative emissions to increase in comparison to MTBE.
• Significant increases of in-use vehicle evaporative emissions.
• Tailpipe emissions of NOx to increase.

Subject Top Page: California Phase 3 Reformulated Gasoline (CaRFG3): "# Toyota Study: Effects of Ethanol on Emissions of Gasoline LDVs.
* Toyota Presentation (PDF-40k)
* Toyota Tests Data (XLS-40k)"

Apr 18, 2006

Ultra-efficient Organic LED Outshines Lightbulb

The incandescent lightbulb is a miracle of modern engineering. It requires a vacuum inside, blown glass and special filaments to work. Yet despite more than a century of refinements, an average bulb emits just 15 lumens of light for every watt of electricity it consumes. As a result, simple lighting accounts for 22 percent of the electricity used by buildings in the U.S. Now a team of engineers and chemists has created a carbon-based series of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that operate at the pinnacle of efficiency while emitting a strong white light.

Electrical engineer Stephen Forrest of the University of Michigan, chemist Mark Thompson of the University of Southern California and their colleagues created the so-called organic LED by combining two layers of phosphorescent diodes--to release green and red wavelength light--and one layer of a fluorescent diode to supply blue wavelength light. Together, they produce white light much more efficiently than current incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. 'A 100-watt bulb is about 15 lumens per watt and we're at about 25 lumens per watt just on the lab bench,' Forrest says.

The diode also requires a lower voltage than purely phosphorescent devices do thanks to its fluorescent component, the researchers note in the paper presenting the finding in today's Nature. Furthermore, because the organic layers are only 10 nanometers thick, and transparent when turned off, they can be built into walls, furniture or even windows.

Challenges remain before light-emitting ceilings can become common. Among other things, scientists will need to find a material to encase the sensitive diodes. 'This doesn't need a vacuum but it does need a moisture barrier and that can be expensive,' Forrest explains. 'The biggest barrier to large scale production is simply cost. It costs very little"

Read on here:
Scientific American: Ultra-efficient Organic LED Outshines Lightbulb

Apr 12, 2006

Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae

"example Chrysler's Dodge Intrepid ESX3 PNGV program - a full-size diesel electric hybrid sedan that averaged 72 mpg in mixed driving" http://www.allpar.com/model/intrepid-esx3.html

Bio-diesel, Unleaded & Ethanol is the key

New Page 1

Apparently I'm not
the only one blending "bio-diesel" and gas.

To bad they don't know the correct
oxygenated carrier(s) to boost it another 15%....

Unleaded with 10% ethanol denatured with iso-pentane and bio-diesel "The three
vehicles averaged 1.5% lower mileage with E10, 2.2% lower mileage with E20, 5.1%
lower mileage with E30, and miles per gallon actually increased by an average of
1.7% when using E10AK made with the specially denatured ethanol. E10AK was the
highest mileage fuel in two of three cars."

Read and study all that you want...

However, the added BTU boost that Bio-diesel gives Ethanol makes it somewhat

See below: Ethanol Is Cheaper?

“On Headline News’ on CNN, one of the bits of advice for fuel efficiency was to
not buy gasoline with ethanol,“ Jennings said, speaking to the group at its
first program day on Aug. 17. “We’ve got to get the word out and the facts

Kasperson compared results with five fuel regimens, showing lower average gasoline mileage, compared with unleaded:

E10--1.5 percent poorer mileage
(compared with unleaded).

E20, 2.2 percent lower; (compared
with unleaded).

E30-- 5.1 percent lower; (compared
with unleaded).

10AK (10 percent ethanol denatured with iso-pentane and biodiesel).

Average results were:

unleaded, 7.08 cents per mile;

E10, 7.0 cents per mile;

E20, 6.85 cents per mile;

E30, 6.88 cents per mile;

E10AK, 6.79 percent per mile.

Put another way, $20 in fuel would allow driving 282 miles using unleaded;
288 miles with E10; 292 miles with E20, 291 with E30 and 295 with E10AK.

--2005 Chevrolet Impala with a 3.4 liter engine:
Showed just over 1 percent lower mpg on E10 and E20, but actually gained over 5 percent on the E10AK blend.


Apr 11, 2006

Ethanol vs Biodiesel vs Gasoline - Sustaining Our Environment Forum - GardenWeb

"Pimentel found that one acre of U.S. corn field yields about 7,110 pounds of corn, which in turn produces 328 gallons of ethanol. Setting aside the environmental implications (which are substantial), the financial costs already begin to mount. To plant, grow, and harvest the corn takes about 140 gallons of fossil fuel and costs about $347 per acre. According to Pimentel's analysis, even before the corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock alone costs $0.69 per gallon of ethanol.

More damning, however, is that converting corn to ethanol requires about 99,119 BTUs to make one gallon, which has 77,000 BTUs of available energy. So about 29 percent more energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than is stored in that gallon in the first place. 'That helps explain why fossil fuels (not ethanol) are used to produce ethanol,' Pimentel says. 'The growers and processors can't afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn't afford it, either, if it weren't for government subsidies that artificially lower the price.' All told, a gallon of ethanol costs $2.24 to produce, compared to $0.63 for a gallon of gasoline.

So, if we were to switch entirely to ethanol use, we'd run out of petroleum four times as fast."

Loremo debuts 150 mpg concept car in Geneva - Autoblog

Loremo debuts 150 mpg concept car in Geneva - Autoblog: "According to Loremo, the LS will be priced at about $13,100, while the GT will sell for less than $18,000. The company calculates the all-in operating costs (depreciation, maintenance, insurance, fuel) of the LS model over six years to be a parsimonious 23 cents per mile. Unfortunately, the Loremo isn't scheduled for production until 2009."

The Hydrogen-Boosted Gasoline Engine

An Alternative to Diesels, Hybrids, and Fuel Cells?

The Hydrogen-Boosted Gasoline Engine: "There's a new technology that utilizes a fast-response on-board reformer to generate a small amount of hydrogen from gasoline. This hydrogen is added to the engine's normal air/fuel mixture. Engines designed to run on a mix of hydrogen/gasoline can see a fuel-economy gain of 20 to 30 percent with no requirement for control of harmful NOx emissions, oxides of nitrogen."

Hybrid Talk: Big Auto Bandies the H Word

"Every quasi-hybrid under the sun is being labeled as a hybrid for public relations benefits." Mark thinks that hybrid technology should be put to better uses than turning a 16-mpg vehicle into an 18-mpg vehicle. "The point is not to turn extreme gas-guzzlers into moderate gas guzzlers."

Hybrid Talk: Big Auto Bandies the H Word:
Despite the buzz that they'll save money and the environment, many of today's hybrids aren't as fuel efficient as they pretend to be... Hybrids used to be the environmentalists' great shining hope for combating auto pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and gas guzzling. Those were the romance days for hybrids, the first two or three years following their introduction in 2000. But the honeymoon is over. With the emergence of performance-oriented hybrids and ultra-mild hybrid systems, environmentalists now see the technology as one more example of how Big Auto has hoodwinked consumers into believing their products are as green as they can possibly get."

You thought coffee was bad for you? Actually, it seems to protect against all sorts of ills, from diabetes to liver cancer

"Enjoy! You thought coffee was bad for you? Actually, it seems to protect against all sorts of ills, from diabetes to liver cancer"

Nutrition experts like Willett point out that, like tea, coffee is rich in antioxidants--substances in vegetables and fruits that deactivate disease-causing byproducts of the body's metabolism. "Coffee is by far the largest source of antioxidants in our diet," says Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. That's not just because we drink so much. In tests conducted at Vinson's lab, coffee topped the list of foods that are densest in antioxidants, surpassing blueberries, broccoli, and most other produce. Only chocolate, dried fruits, and dried beans ranked higher.


Apr 10, 2006

In 2002, New York City stopped recycling plastic and glass,

NRDC: New York City's Residential Recycling Program:
In 2002, facing a severe budget crisis, New York City stopped recycling plastic and glass, while continuing to collect paper and metal. But big savings failed to materialize, and now this earth-friendly practice is back in full force. The plastic recycling program resumed in July 2003 and glass recycling, as well as weekly pickups, started again on April 1, 2004. Confused? We'll clear things up..."''


Apr 6, 2006

EPA to close library

EPA to close library: "“By putting its research collections into indefinite storage, EPA might as well start burning books because these works are not likely to see the light of day again,” said Jeff Ruch, PEER executive director, adding that the agency has not allocated funds for moving collections to other libraries or digitizing the holdings to post online."

Apr 3, 2006

Green building to fail in Philly

Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/19/2006 | Of urinals, plumbers and a backseat to N.Y.: "Once again, New York wins. And all because it has better toilets.

Edward Keenan, the head of Local 690, which represents plumbers in Philadelphia and its suburbs, did not return phone calls for this story. But those involved in the urinal debate say the plumbers object to the waterless devices because they require less labor to install than the traditional kind."