(INRS 3 December 2013) In a growing number of industries, workers are often unknowingly exposed to nanoparticles (NPs). Could they have an impact on health? Denis Girard from the INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier Research Centre, who’s research is being funded by Institut de recherche Robert-Sauve en sante et en securite du travail, will focus on the effects of NPs on human immune system cells (eosinophils) that play a key role in inflammation.
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The Conversation Renee Bittoun 10 December 2013
As rates of smoking fall in Australia, electronic cigarette manufacturers are moving in. Liberty Flights last week released an (awful) online ad to “create awareness” of electronic or e-cigarettes in the Australian marketplace.
E-cigarettes aren’t available for sale in Australia but can easily be purchased online. So, what are they? And what does the evidence say about the harms and benefits of using them?
With such a wide variety of e-cigarettes on the market, poor regulation and no quality control, it’s difficult to make a clear assessment of their safety.
ABC News 9 December 2013
A former Qantas flight attendant is hoping to be able to sue the Commonwealth, claiming a connection between his Parkinson’s disease and mandated pesticide spraying on long-haul flights.
Brett Vollus, 52, worked with the airline for 27 years and is claiming he developed the disease because of insecticide spraying on international flights arriving in Australia.
Courier Mail Matthew Benns, 9 December 2013
Pesticide practice raises concern as cabin crew hit by Parkinson’s Disease. Flight attendants who spray pesticide in aircraft fear chemicals may cause the disease in workers and passengers.
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ABC News 8 December 2013
The Greens are calling for a permanent end to operations at the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory after a radioactive spill at the site yesterday morning. A tank containing up to a million litres of uranium ore and acid split, damaging the crane that was trying to repair it and surrounding infrastructure at the mine near Kakadu National Park.
ABC News Allyson Horn 3 December 2013
The State Government is reviewing the environmental compliance of billionaire businessman Clive Palmer’s Yabulu Nickel Refinery near Townsville in north Queensland.
The refinery’s operator Queensland Nickel had agreed to address water accumulation issues in its tailings waste dams by the start of this month.
The environment department says the spill risk of the dams does not meet environmental standards.
It says it will monitor the site to minimise the risk of waste spilling into the surrounding Great Barrier Reef.
The department says there is about two metres between the water level and the top of the dam.
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ABC news James Kelly 4 December 2013
A group of North Queensland cane farmers has pledged to improve their use of chemicals to reduce their toxic effects on the Great Barrier Reef.
But environmental group WWF says the deal does not go far enough in reducing nitrogen run-off.
A group of cane growers at Mackay signed up to the initiative known as SmartCane this morning.
Farmer Michael Deguara says the deal means using chemicals more effectively.
BBC News Mark Kinver 2 December 2013
Tiny particles of waste plastic that are ingested by shoreline “eco-engineer” worms may be negatively affecting biodiversity, a study says.
So-called microplastics may be able to transfer toxic pollutants and chemicals into the guts of lugworms, reducing the animals’ functions.
An estimated 150 million tonnes vanishes from the global waste-stream each year.
The findings have been published in the academic journal Current Biology.
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Science Alert University of Western Australia 28 November 2013
Each square kilometre of Australian sea surface water is contaminated by around 4000 pieces of tiny plastics that could affect humans as well as marine life according to researchers from The University of Western Australia and CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship.
Their study published in the international journal Plos One reported the plastic particles were mostly a result of the breakdown of disposable packaging and fishing gear made of polyethylene and polypropylene. These two polymers are commonly used to make everyday items, such as water bottles and plastic cups.
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Brisbane Times Tony Moore 29 November 2013
In January 2013, topsoil blocked the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant after four times the level of the January 2011 floods washed downstream to the bay.
That meant the city of Brisbane was within hours of running out of drinking water.
Healthy Waterways report cards into the condition of greater Brisbane’s rivers, streams and Moreton Bay’s water continually show there is a serious problem emerging