Brisbane Times SMH Peter Hannam October 29, 2014
The Abbott government appears poised to fast-track the approval of plans to dump millions of tonnes of dredge from a coal port expansion onto internationally significant wetlands.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt plans to assess the dumping of spoil from the proposed Abbot Point port expansion on the nearby Caley Valley wetlands under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act using “preliminary documentation”.
An onshore site was needed after international uproar over the original plans, which proposed moving spoil – about 3 million tonnes in total – to a site within the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
(Swedish Research Council 29 October 2014) The first study to examine prenatal exposure to the phthalate DiNP finds it is associated with a shorter anogenital distance (AGD) in Swedish boys at the age of 21 months. These findings raise concern since animal research has linked DiNP exposure to a shorter AGD, and studies on humans have related shorter AGD to male genital birth defects as well as impaired reproductive function in adult males, and the levels of DiNP metabolites in humans are increasing globally.
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(Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) 29 October 2014) Empa toxicologist Harald Krug has lambasted his colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. He evaluated several thousand studies on the risks associated with nanoparticles and discovered no end of shortcomings: poorly prepared experiments and results that don’t carry any clout. Instead of merely leveling criticism, however, Empa is also developing new standards for such experiments within an international network.
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The Conversation Ian Musgrave 23 October 2014
Bisphenol A is in the news again. A paper just published in the Public Library of Science with the alarming title of “Holding Thermal Receipt Paper and Eating Food after Using Hand Sanitizer Results in High Serum Bioactive and Urine Total Levels of Bisphenol A (BPA)” is bound to ratchet up anxiety levels about this chemical yet again.
Yet this paper shows once again that being able to measure something is no guarantee that the measurement is meaningful.
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ScienceAlert Australia Neha Karl 22 October 2014
Researchers have found a cheap way to remove the salt from the wastewater produced by fracking, helping to make the practice more environmentally friendly.
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ABC News | 7.30 Qld Allyson Horn 25 October 2014
Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young has warned of serious complications from acid tattoo removal and says new laws may be needed to regulate the technique. Dr Young said she was aware there had been people who developed severe burns and scarring.