Oct 20, 2014

Turning up the heat to make kelp a viable source of biofuel

GizMagBiofuels may indeed offer a greener alternative to fossil fuels, but they do raise at least one concern – crops grown as biofuel feedstock could take up farmland and use water that would otherwise be used to grow crops for much-needed food. That's why some scientists have looked to seaweed as a feedstock. Kelp is particularly attractive, in that it's abundant and grows extremely quickly, although its fuel yields haven't been particularly impressive. That could be about to change, however, thanks to a newly-developed hydrothermal process. .. Continue Reading Turning up the heat to make kelp a viable source of biofuel 

Oct 17, 2014

Developing an Incident Management System to Support Ebola Response -- Liberia, July-August 2014

On October 14, 2014, this report was posted as an MMWR Early Release on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr).

Satish K. Pillai, MD1, Tolbert Nyenswah, LLB2, Edward Rouse, MPA3, M. Allison Arwady, MD4, Joseph D. Forrester, MD4, Jennifer C. Hunter, DrPH4,5, Almea Matanock, MD4, Patrick Ayscue, DVM4, Benjamin Monroe, MPH6, Ilana J. Schafer, DVM7, Luis Poblano, AS3, John Neatherlin, MPH8,9, Joel M. Montgomery, PhD8,9, Kevin M. De Cock, MD8,10 (Author affiliations at end of text)

The ongoing Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most sustained Ebola epidemic recorded, with 6,574 cases (1). Among the five affected countries of West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal), Liberia has had the highest number cases (3,458) (1). This epidemic has severely strained the public health and health care infrastructure of Liberia, has resulted in restrictions in civil liberties, and has disrupted international travel (2). As part of the initial response, the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) developed a national task force and technical expert committee to oversee the management of the Ebola-related activities. During the third week of July 2014, CDC deployed a team of epidemiologists, data management specialists, emergency management specialists, and health communicators to assist MOHSW in its response to the growing Ebola epidemic. One aspect of CDC's response was to work with MOHSW in instituting incident management system (IMS) principles to enhance the organization of the response. This report describes MOHSW's Ebola response structure as of mid-July, the plans made during the initial assessment of the response structure, the implementation of interventions aimed at improving the system, and plans for further development of the response structure for the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

A clearly defined chain of command and organizational structure, effective resource management, and advanced planning are important aspects of an emergency response. An IMS is a standard structure based on these principles that is used in large and small-scale incidents throughout the United States at the federal, state, and local level (3). CDC has adapted IMS principles in managing their responses to public health emergencies, which in addition to the command, operations, logistics, planning, and finance/administrative functions, also includes scientific/public health response roles (4).

Initial Ebola Response Structure and Efforts to Improve Response Structure

The national response system that was initially established by MOHSW employed several IMS elements. For example, a national coordinator for the Ebola response was identified. This position was held by MOHSW's deputy health minister/chief medical officer. Additionally, daily meetings were held that were attended by the heads of each technical committee deemed important for the operational response to the epidemic: epidemiology/surveillance, social mobilization (responsible for communication of key messages), psychosocial (responsible for ensuring adequate social and mental health support for patients and families affected by Ebola infection), contact tracing, case management, and laboratory. MOHSW leadership recognized that this organizational structure (Figure 1) and the overall response could be further optimized and sought to implement improvements with technical support from CDC.

Several areas were identified where the response structure might benefit from adjustment. The initial response structure implemented by MOHSW represented what would be recognized as the scientific response section of a public health response (4). The deputy health minister was responsible for not only MOHSW's Ebola response framework as the national coordinator but also for other, non–Ebola-related public health responsibilities as the country's chief medical officer (e.g., overseeing the county-level delivery of health care in outpatient and inpatient settings and overseeing prevention and control programs, including those related to immunization, human immunodeficiency virus, tuberculosis, and malaria) (5). The national coordinator did not have a deputy to serve as an alternate decision-maker when the national coordinator was unavailable (e.g., when attending higher level meetings). In addition to overseeing the national response, MOHSW's span of control over the response was stretched because it also provided direct support for many activities in the counties surrounding the capital (e.g., assisting with case management and coordinating ambulance and burial transport). Regarding meetings, each morning the national coordinator presided over a national task force meeting, during which presentations were made by technical committee heads. The meeting included numerous partner organizations working in Liberia on the Ebola response (e.g., representatives of the World Health Organization [WHO], public health agencies from other countries, and nongovernmental organizations), with attendance exceeding 50 persons. The numerous comments and input from this large group made it difficult to develop clearly articulated action items. Furthermore, when logistics challenges were identified (e.g., lack of fuel or vehicles to transport teams to investigate potential cases, or to transport a burial team), there was not a single point of contact among the large assembled group to provide the logistical and administrative support to respond to these needs.

Improvements to the Ebola Response Structure

MOHSW developed plans to further refine the command and control structure; develop an IMS general staff section to support the scientific response section with logistical, administrative, and planning components; identify how best to link the national IMS to the county-level response and external partners; and improve the organization of IMS meetings to ensure response objectives had clearly identified action items and that these action items were acted upon. Where possible, efforts were made to work within the existing MOHSW framework to facilitate implementation of the changes (Figure 2).

Regarding command and control, on August 10, 2014, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare appointed an incident manager (IM) responsible for only the Ebola response, chairing a 9:00 am incident management meeting, and establishing, following-up, and adjusting the response priorities and objectives. This allowed the deputy health minister/chief medical officer to focus on other pressing, non–Ebola-related public health activities. In terms of organizational structure, a deputy IM, operations chief, and planning chief were identified. The deputy IM had the authority to step in and function as the IM, to ensure the response continued to have command and control when the IM was in higher level coordination meetings related to the response. The deputy IM also convened and guided a regular logistics meeting attended by MOHSW and partners with logistical interests or resources and chaired a subcommittee to address county level issues. This county-specific subcommittee served as the forum where technical, administrative, and logistical needs for the county responses could be raised. The deputy IM and all technical and general staff committees reported directly to the IM. With respect to IM meetings, each key Ebola response committee was instructed to have the chair (or an alternate with decision-making authority) attend. An agenda was implemented that focused meeting discussions on the key actions completed during the previous 24 hours, actions to be completed during the next 24 hours, and major challenges being faced. The meetings also included a representative from the logistics and finance section (responsible for keeping track of the financial resources available to MOHSW for the managing the response). These changes allowed for more regular reporting of key logistical items to the IM, such as availability of personal protective equipment and regular budget status reports. A task listing was implemented assigning responsibility and due dates for action items as they were identified, and more detailed meeting minutes were prepared and issued the same day as the meeting. The addition of logistical and financial/administrative general staff facilitated completion of the objectives identified by the IM. When expertise did not exist within MOHSW, assistance was sought from other response partners (e.g., logistics support was sought from the United Nations Mission in Liberia, given the mission is a well-resourced organization in Liberia with a track record of timely and efficient movement of personnel and equipment across the country). To facilitate the ability of MOHSW to reach out to external partners, the IMS included liaisons with key external stakeholders involved in the coordination of international partners and provision of essential supplies and technical expertise, such as WHO, CDC, Medécins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (Figure 2).

The revised IMS structure did not replace the national task force, which consists of a higher-level interministerial coordination group and key external partners. Thus, ongoing work is need to integrate the MOHSW response structure into this overarching national Ebola response framework. Also, the current "planning horizon" is about 24 hours. Continued development of a planning section in the IMS, to look beyond this limited timeframe, is required to anticipate potential problems and develop contingency plans.

Next Steps

The changes described represent work done during mid-July through mid-August. MOHSW colleagues, with technical assistance from CDC, will continue refining the IMS during the next 6–9 months. During this period, there are several anticipated objectives, the first of which is to ensure the IM designates all priorities for the subsequent 24–48-hour operational periods. Development of a robust planning section to look beyond this 24–48-hour timeframe also will occur. Because much of the operational component of the response (case identification and contact tracing) resides at the county level, there needs to be ongoing information exchange with the counties and MOHSW through the subcommittee chaired by the deputy IM. This information exchange will need to focus on ensuring sufficient logistical support for these county-level operations. Finally, a permanent emergency operations center at MOHSW is planned to serve as a location to receive calls and reports, to replace the current model of direct reporting of information to the scientific response section chairs and IM leadership.

Conclusion

MOHSW has readily adopted the concept of IMS during the early months of this response to align their national response structure with well-recognized emergency management principles. Clearly, the institution of an IMS in Liberia for the management of the Ebola response will be an evolutionary process, not only because the concepts are new to MOHSW, but because these concepts are also new to the other ministries with which MOHSW coordinates and to the political structure to which MOHSW reports. It is hoped that by instituting an organized response framework, which IMS provides, MOHSW will be able to more rapidly and effectively deal with the burgeoning Ebola outbreak in Liberia. The findings in this report might also be useful in other settings where IMS has not been used previously and is being considered for the first time.

Read full at:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6341a4.htm

Ebola USA: 132 People May Be Affected After Flying with Patient

The 132 passengers who flew with Amber Joy Vinson from Cleveland to Dallas onboard a Frontier Airlines flight on October 13 may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been reaching out to all 132 passengers of Flight 1143 that flew with Vinson as part of the agency's "extra margins of safety," reports CNN.

Source: http://www.latinospost.com/articles/39505/20141017/ebola-virus-outbreak-in-usa-132-people-may-have-disease-after-flying-with-patient.htm

Apart From Ebola (And Inflation), These Are The Greatest Dangers To The World

zero hedge - With 80% of Americans concerned about Ebola, and Europe's most worrisome 'factor' is rising prices (yes, rising, despite central banks' deflation ogre fears), we thought it might be useful to remember just what other concerns the world has. From 'inequality' to 'religious hatred' and from 'nuclear weapons' to 'pollution', there is a lot of diverse fears around the world.

Americans are focused on Ebola (for now)...nearly 80 percent were concerned about the Ebola outbreak, with 41 percent saying they were "very concerned" and 36 percent "somewhat concerned."

*  *  *

Europe's biggest fears - rising prices!

So, paradoxically to "fix" Europe, Mario Draghi is desperately trying to make Europe's biggest problem even worse.

 

*  *  *

Let's see what the rest of the world is worried about... (via The Washington Post)

As panic over the spread of Ebola persists, a new report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project offers a bit of perspective. It explores the larger threats people in different regions of the world fear. Unsurprisingly, concerns vary across continents.

 

Respondents to the poll were asked to cite what they believed was the top global threat out of five categories. The 48,643 respondents came from 44 countries.

 

 

Source: The Washington Post

CBS » Why No Protective Gear For Man With Dallas Ebola Patient?

CBSAs the world watched the loading of Ebola patient Amber Joy Vinson onto a CDC plane Wednesday, something seemed odd to us, and a lot of you as well. On social media, and on the CBS 11 News phone lines, the biggest question became – who was the guy not wearing protective hazmat gear? CBS 11 News did some digging and got answers.

A news crew spoke with a number of different agencies that were involved in Vinson's transport. Officials with AMR, the ambulance company that transported Vinson from Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas to Dallas Love Field Airport, said it wasn't one of their guys.

From the CBS 11 Chopper video (seen at the top of this post) it looks like the man left with Vinson on the plane.

A spokesperson with Emory University Hospital in Atlanta said that, to her knowledge, none of their people were on the plane.

That pretty much leaves a worker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Composting For Entrepreneurs via @Sustainablog

SustainablogAccording to the EPA, Americans dump over 36 million tons of food waste every year. Not only is that horrendously wasteful in a world where billions of people are starving, but decomposing food also creates methane, which is ten times more harmful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Entrepreneurs know that every problem creates a potential for profit. According to Fredricksburg.comMelissa Tashjian of Milwaukee took the money she had saved for a new kitchen and used it to buy a 25 year old dump truck earlier this year. So far she had signed up 7 area restaurants who pay her to haul away their food scraps. They put waste vegetables, fruit, eggshells, and cheese into a container lined with a compostable bag made of plant material and leave it for Tashjian to collect. She is now carting 25,000 pounds of wasted food to a local composting facility and expects to have 100 or more customers by the end of 2015.

In Boston, Andy Brooks, a former journalist, started a business in 2011 picking up food waste from local restaurants using a bicycle. Now his business has eight employees and three trucks and gathers organic waste from 750 homes and 50 businesses. Residential service costs $8 a week. Commercial accounts start at $18 a week. "I realized pretty quickly that there was a pretty big demand for this," Brooks says.

In Philadelphia, Tim Bennett started Bennett Compost. He and his crew service more than 1,000 homes and 15 to 20 small businesses, hauling their food scraps and yard waste to five different farms for composting. CompostNow in Raleigh, North Carolina has 350 residential customers. In Washington DC, Compost Cab counts about 500 homes and a few dozen businesses as clients. "What we're really talking about is building a more sustainable citizenry, one bag of food scraps at a time," Compost Cab founder Jeremy Brosowsky says.

Can Entrepreneurs Handle All of Our Composting Needs?

However, a growing number of communities are planning citywide or regional organics recycling programs. They are already up and running in hundreds of communities, especially large West Coast cities and their suburbs says Jerry Powell, executive editor of Resource Recycling magazine. He says one-man-and-a-truck operations can't handle large scale operations.

Powell believes municipalities can do it cheaper and more efficiently by doing it themselves or contracting with large commercial haulers. "At which point our business goes away," said CompostNow founder Justin Senkbeil. "So this model, nationwide, is probably a 10 to 15 year business model."

So is now a good time for you to quit your day job, buy a truck and get into the waste hauling business? Maybe. Or maybe not. A few decades ago, video stores were the business of choice for entrepreneurs but they have gone the way of the horse drawn carriage today. Still, a lot of people made a lot of money renting videos. Entrepreneurs have to be quick on their feet and know how to adapt to changing market trends.

In Milwaukee, Melissa Tashjian isn't worried. She sees plenty of near-term potential. "One thing there is not a lack thereof is waste," she said. "It happens every day, all year. It doesn't matter what the weather's like. It doesn't stop."

The post Composting For Entrepreneurs appeared first on Sustainablog.

Oct 16, 2014

Ebola nurse Am​ber Vinson called CDC several times before flying - CBS News

CBS News...In the case of Amber Vinson, the Dallas nurse who flew commercially as she was becoming ill with Ebola, one health official said "somebody dropped the ball."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Vinson called the agency several times before flying, saying that she had a fever with a temperature of 99.5 degrees. But because her fever wasn't 100.4 degrees or higher, she didn't officially fall into the group of "high risk" and was allowed to fly.

Officials in the U.S. have been trying to calm fears over the Ebola crisis, but time and again events have overtaken their assurances.

In August, before the first U.S. infection, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said: "We're confident that we have the facilities here to isolate patients, not only at the highly advanced ones like the one at Emory, but really at virtually every major hospital in the U.S."

Please continue reading from: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ebola-nurse-called-cdc-several-times/

Earth's magnetic field could reverse in just one lifetime

Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine

The direction of magnetic north suddenly reversed about 786,000 years ago, with new resear...

A new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the Earth's magnetic field could change polarity in less than 100 years. The last magnetic reversal occurred some 786,000 years ago and was previously thought to have taken several thousand years but, if the researchers are right, the real time it may take for the flip to occur could actually be closer to the span of a human life... Continue Reading Earth's magnetic field could reverse in just one lifetime 

Section: Science 

Nature Study Says that a lot of cheap natural gas will not reduce overall global CO2 emissions

Nature - Limited impact on decadal-scale climate change from increased use of natural gas

The most important energy development of the past decade has been the wide deployment of hydraulic fracturing technologies that enable the production of previously uneconomic shale gas resources in North America. If these advanced gas production technologies were to be deployed globally, the energy market could see a large influx of economically competitive unconventional gas resources. The climate implications of such abundant natural gas have been hotly debated. Some researchers have observed that abundant natural gas substituting for coal could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Others have reported that the non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions associated with shale gas production make its lifecycle emissions higher than those of coal. Assessment of the full impact of abundant gas on climate change requires an integrated approach to the global energy–economy–climate systems, but the literature has been limited in either its geographic scope or its coverage of greenhouse gases. Here we show that market-driven increases in global supplies of unconventional natural gas do not discernibly reduce the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions or climate forcing. Our results, based on simulations from five state-of-the-art integrated assessment models of energy–economy–climate systems independently forced by an abundant gas scenario, project large additional natural gas consumption of up to +170 per cent by 2050. The impact on CO2 emissions, however, is found to be much smaller (from −2 per cent to +11 per cent), and a majority of the models reported a small increase in climate forcing (from −0.3 per cent to +7 per cent) associated with the increased use of abundant gas. Our results show that although market penetration of globally abundant gas may substantially change the future energy system, it is not necessarily an effective substitute for climate change mitigation policy


Global Natural Gas supply curves. The current natural gas supply curves provided by Global Energy Assessment. Future cost reduction assumptions are documented in the Methods. These supply costs are not the actual prices in the market place

Read more » at Next Big Future

Oct 15, 2014

Medical Research Org CIDRAP: Ebola Transmittable by Air?

BREITBART; The highly respected Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota just advised the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that “there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles,” including exhaled breath. 

CIDRAP is warning that surgical facemasks do not prevent transmission of Ebola, and healthcare professionals (HCP) must immediately be outfitted with full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators.

CIDRAP since 2001 has been a global leader in addressing public health preparedness regarding emerging infectious diseases and bio-security responses. CIDRAP’s opinion on Ebola virus is there are “No proven pre- or post-exposure treatment modalities;” “A high case-fatality rate;” and “Unclear modes of transmission.”

In April of 2014, CIDRAP published a commentary on Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) that confirmed the disease “could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, especially in healthcare settings,” similar to the known aerosol transmission capability of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). 

Although CIDRAP acknowledges that they were “first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease,” they are “now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings.” 

CDC’s published “Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals” states: “HCP should wear gloves, a gown, disposable shoe covers, and either a face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face or goggles, and respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a NIOSH certified fit-tested N95 filtering facepiece respirator.”

N95 filters look like surgical masks and are defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as “disposable respirator” with a workplace protection factor (WPF) of 10. A 3M “qualified” N95 respirators rated to block 95% of airborne particles with a size greater in diameter than 5 microns is can cost as little as $.65 each.  

However, the US National Institutes of Health reported in 2005 that 50% of bio-aerosols were found to be less than 5 microns in diameter. The NIH calculated that after correcting for dead space and lung deposition, “N95 filtering facepiece respirators seem inadequate against microorganisms.” 

CIDRAP warns in regards to N95 respirators, “Healthcare workers have experienced very high rates of morbidity and mortality in the past and current Ebola virus outbreaks. A facemask, or surgical mask, offers no or very minimal protection from infectious aerosol particles.” 


Please read full at:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/10/14/CIDRAP-Confirms-Ebola-Transmittable-by-Air

Ebloa question? A Comparison of Commonly Used Surface Disinfectants - CDC, OSHA & EPA

OSHA/EPA - Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/disinfection_sterilization/3_2contaminateddevices.html
In December 1991, OSHA promulgated a standard entitled "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens" to eliminate or minimize occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens 214. One component of this requirement is that all equipment and environmental and working surfaces be cleaned and decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant after contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials. Even though the OSHA standard does not specify the type of disinfectant or procedure, the OSHA original compliance document 269 suggested that a germicide must be tuberculocidal to kill the HBV.   To follow the OSHA compliance document a tuberculocidal disinfectant (e.g., phenolic, and chlorine) would be needed to clean a blood spill.  However, in February 1997, OSHA amended its policy and stated that EPA-registered disinfectants labeled as effective against HIV and HBV would be considered as appropriate disinfectants ". . . provided such surfaces have not become contaminated with agent(s) or volumes of or concentrations of agent(s) for which higher level disinfection is recommended." When bloodborne pathogens other than HBV or HIV are of concern, OSHA continues to require use of EPA-registered tuberculocidal disinfectants or hypochlorite solution (diluted 1:10 or 1:100 with water) 215, 228.  Studies demonstrate that, in the presence of large blood spills, a 1:10 final dilution of EPA-registered hypochlorite solution initially should be used to inactivate bloodborne viruses 63, 235 to minimize risk for infection to health-care personnel from percutaneous injury during cleanup.

Alcohol-, Phenol-, Chlorine-, and Quaternary Amine-Based Disinfectants

http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/articles/2000/11/a-comparison-of-commonly-used-surface-disinfectan.aspx
By Lauren Crawford, BS; Zhi-Jian Yu, PhD; Erin Keegan, BS; and Tina Yu, MS

Using proper surface disinfection can prevent infections that develop during hospitalization that are neither present nor incubating at the time of a patient's admission. There are important factors to consider when selecting a surface disinfectant. This paper discusses a comparison of the product types on the basis of the health-related issues of infection prevention, compatibility with equipment and gloves, as well as the safety of the disinfectant to hospital personnel.

Some ideal characteristics of disinfectants used on environmental surfaces include rapid action in a broad antimicrobial spectrum, maintained efficacy in the presence of protein or blood, low toxicity, user safety, and material compatibility. Some disinfectants have limited use because they do not meet all of these criteria. Table 1 shows a list of 10 disinfectants, the active ingredients, manufacturer, characteristics of the disinfectant, and a recommendation of the types of gloves that can be used with the product for up to one hour.
Spectrum and Rapidity of Antimicrobial Activity

The spectrum refers to the range of recommended product usage and the sphere of microbial kill tested, as well as the contact time and temperature, according to the manufacturer and the EPA-approved label. The 10 products that are mentioned in Table 1 are similar in antimicrobial activity because they all claim to be bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal. However, not all disinfectants claim to be tuberculocidal. Envirosafe, Coverage HB, Coverage Spray, and Ascend are all low-level disinfectants and they do not kill the tubercule bacillus (i.e., M. Bovis). Based on the disinfectant class, the range of antimicrobial activity is discussed in further detail below.

High concentration alcohol-based

Lysol I.C. Disinfectant Spray has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity with 79% ethyl alcohol and has a recommended surface contact time of 10 minutes. High concentration alcohol products are generally not advocated for instrument immersion since the high alcohol content volatilizes easily, and thus diminishes antimicrobial activity. Additionally, alcohols cannot be used as cleaners, which then requires the user to purchase a separate cleaner.

Chlorine-based
Dispatch can be used as a cleaner due to the presence of added surfactants and a deodorizer. It has a broad range of efficacy with a label claim contact time of two minutes at 20°. Both Babb and Alvarado et al. do not recommend chlorine-based compounds, such as the sodium hypochlorite contained in Dispatch, for disinfection of instruments and equipment. Robison et al. reported that a commercial disinfectant containing 0.55% sodium hypochlorite with a 2-minute contact time at room temperature displayed poor tuberculocidal activity. According to Robison's study, the average time required for a 6-log10 reduction was in excess of three hours. However, the CDC recommends that 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) diluted to a concentration of 0.05% can be used for the decontamination of a blood spill.

Phenol-based
Wex-cide, ProSpray, and Birex are germicidal, fungicidal, virucidal, and tuberculocidal in 10 minutes at 20°. Birex is a cleaner and deodorizer. Birex is not sold at the use-dilution, and therefore, diluting Birex involves an extra step. Surface disinfectants that require dilution can result in preparation errors, and incomplete disinfection due to an inappropriate disinfectant concentration.

Quaternary amine-based
Envirosafe, Coverage HB, Coverage Spray, and Ascend are all low-level quaternary amine-based disinfectants, and have a more prominently restricted efficacy range than the other products discussed herein. These product spectrums do not include tuberculocidal activity. With the exception of Coverage HB concentrate, they do not kill HBV (Hepatitis B Virus). Additionally, Envirosafe, Coverage HB, and Ascend are not sold at the optimum concentration and dilution is required. Envirosafe, Coverage HB, Coverage Spray, and Ascend can be used for ultrasonic cleaning and as general cleaners. The four quaternary amine products can also be used for (limited) instrument immersion for the allotted time to kill microorganisms. However, surface disinfectants in general are not recommended as permanent holding solutions.

Quaternary amine / low concentration alcohol-based

The synergistic mechanism of quaternary amines in the presence of alcohols involves the breakdown of the lipoprotein complexes by the quaternary amines in the cell membrane of microorganisms. The opening of the membrane thereby allows the alcohol, which is a protein denaturant, to penetrate the cell membrane and cause irreversible damage inside the cell. Cavicide has a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity with a recommended surface contact time of 10 minutes at 20°. It can be used as a cleaner, as an ultrasonic cleaning solution, and for instrument immersion.
Resistance to Organics (Soils)

Including blood in all active ingredient efficacy testing is important because clinicians rarely deal with pure cultures of microorganisms. Clinically, microorganisms are usually contained within proteinaceous material such as blood, plaque, saliva, etc. Inclusion of these proteins in tests is important since these proteins interfere with the antimicrobial activity of disinfectants. For this reason, it is a good clinical practice--and a mandated labeling requirement from the EPA--to clean surfaces of gross debris prior to disinfection.

Read full By Lauren Crawford, BS; Zhi-Jian Yu, PhD; Erin Keegan, BS; and Tina Yu, MS at:  http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/articles/2000/11/a-comparison-of-commonly-used-surface-disinfectan.aspx

Total global solar heads for 200GW, 50GW in 2014

Peak EnergyRNE has a look at the global solar power market - Total global solar heads for 200GW, 50GW in 2014.
Total global solar installations are well on the way to the 200GW mark, with the amount of PV added in the fourth quarter of 2014 forecast to fall just short of 20 gigawatts at 19.5GW, according to new data.

According to findings in the latest NPD Solarbuzz Quarterly, the amount of solar PV deployed worldwide in QSB_Q4 Solar PV Demand and Year-End Cumulative Installed PV_1410064 is forecast to be equivalent to the energy supplied by five large-scale nuclear power plants and will surpass the total annual solar PV deployed in 2010.


OSHA “Launches” Rulemaking to Significantly Update and Massively Increase the Number of Chemicals with Permissible Exposure Limits

Environmental & Safety Law Update

By James L. Curtis and Craig B. Simonsen

Through a fifty-five page proposed rule in the form of a Request for Information (RFI), 79 Fed. Reg. 61384 (October 10, 2014), OSHA has re-opened a "national dialogue on hazardous chemical exposures and permissible exposure limits" (PELs) in the workplace.

The OSHA's PELs are the regulatory limits on the amount or concentration of a chemical substance in the air in the workplace. The PELs are intended to protect workers against the adverse health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. According to OSHA, approximately ninety-five percent of the current nearly 500 PELs have not been updated since their adoption in 1971. More importantly, OSHA's current PELs cover only a "small fraction of the tens of thousands of chemicals used in commerce, many of which are suspected of being harmful."

OSHA had previously acted in 1989 to update the PELS. In a challenge to that rulemaking the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the final rule, finding that "OSHA has not sufficiently explained or supported its threshold determination that exposure to these substances at previous levels posed a significant risk of these material health impairments or that the new standard eliminates or reduces that risk to the extent feasible." AFL-CIO v. OSHA, 965 F. 2d 962 (11th Cir. 1992).

In its announcement concerning this rulemaking, Dr. David Michaels, the OSHA Administrator, said "many of our chemical exposure standards are dangerously out of date and do not adequately protect workers." "While we will continue to work on updating our workplace exposure limits, we are asking public health experts, chemical manufacturers, employers, unions and others committed to preventing workplace illnesses to help us identify new approaches to address chemical hazards."

In particular, OSHA's stated purpose in promulgating the RFI is to:

  • Review OSHA's current approach to chemical regulation;
  • Describe and explore other possible approaches that may be relevant to future strategies to reduce and control exposure to chemicals in the workplace; and
  • Inform the public and obtain public input on the best methods to advance the development and implementation of approaches to reduce or eliminate harmful chemical exposures in the workplace.

In a public statement Dr. Michaels stated that "we are particularly interested in ideas about possible streamlined approaches for risk assessment and feasibility analyses, and alternative approaches for managing chemical exposures. Among the approaches we ask about are control banding, task-based approaches, and informed substitution." It is the lack of risk assessments and feasibility analyses that tripped up OSHA in its 1989 PELs rulemaking. OSHA is now seeking a "work-a-round" to enable the massive revision and update to the PELs, without the trouble and expense associated with  risk assessments and feasibility analyses for every chemical on the to be expanded list.

This rulemaking is important to manufacturers and businesses that make, use, distribute, or handle chemical substances.  

Public comments on the RFI, Docket No. OSHA-FRDOC-0001-0595, are due on April 8, 2015.


Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

SlashdotAccording to Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU), they have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only two minutes and have a 20-year lifespan (10,000 charges). The impact of this is potentially a game changer for a lot of industries reliant on lithium ion batteries. In the car industry, for example, consumers would save on costs for battery replacement and manufacturers would save on material construction (the researchers are using a nanotube structure of Titanium dioxide, which is an abundant, cheap, and safe material found in soil). Titanium dioxide is commonly used as a food additive or in sunscreen lotions to absorb harmful ultraviolet rays. It is believed that charging an electric car can be done in as little as 5 minutes, making it comparable to filling up a tank of gasoline.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to Make Biogas in 5 Easy Steps – #Renewable #Energy

MOTHER EARTH NEWS...The microscopic organisms that produce biogas, known as Archaea, are among the oldest life forms on Earth. They predate the planet's oxygen atmosphere — much less oxygen-breathing and CO2-absorbing plant life — by a cool 3.5 billion years. That's billion with a "B." Archaea are not bacteria, they are genetically closer to humans and other animals (eukaryotes), and form their own animal kingdom. As the Earth's atmosphere became predominantly oxygen about 500 million years ago, archaea became isolated in the few remaining airless places, such as stagnant swamps, deep oceans, caves and hot springs, and of course the stomachs of vertebrates. To create biogas, we must recreate the conditions in which Archaea thrive in nature.

5 Steps to Making Homemade Biogas

The following table outlines the five steps to creating flammable biogas and I will get into further detail with each one. Biogas is reproduced in a special airtight tank called an anaerobic digester. The design of the anaerobic digester determines the first three steps.

How To Make Homemade Biogas 

Step 1. Airtight Environment. A Ziploc baggie can be used for an anaerobic digester. The difficulty arises from trying to add fresh material without allowing oxygen into the system. The most common method of creating a continuous flow digester is the "teapot" or "P-trap" shape. Most biogas digesters are some variation of this teapot shape.

Homemade Biogas Gas Storage 

Step 2. Archaea love water. When loading a digester, the water content in the material put in it should be taken into consideration. A head of lettuce, for example, looks very solid to us, however, it is 98% water. Dried rice is only 14% water. Regardless of the size of your digester, the "40-50-10 Rule" is simple rule of thumb to follow to get the correct volume: Forty percent material, fill the rest of the digester with water except for 10% headspace.

Home Biogas Digester Contents 

Step 3. A good analogy to think about regarding temperature and anaerobic digestion is your temperature is like the gas pedal of your car. The more you step on it, the faster your digester will convert waste into gas. However, also just like stepping on the gas pedal, there are consequences for it. The warmer your digester is, the archaea that decompose your waste get more fragile and susceptible to an unexpected crash.

Home Biogas Generator Chart 

Temperature can be controlled a few different ways. In China, digesters are typically buried underground and built much larger than they need to be. This way they can be overloaded in winter months to maintain consistent gas production. Other designs employ a greenhouses or hoop house over them. More advanced systems integrate some kind of heat exchanger, which can be heated with solar collectors. Regardless of your design, avoid using biogas or any other fuel to heat your digester. Make sure energy you use is excess energy on its way to being wasted.

Step 4. Neutral pH is an important parameter in anaerobic digestion, just as it is for aerobic composting. If pH is measured at the inlet, it will be slightly lower than neutral — usually around 5.5 — as fresh material is converted into acids. The pH will neutralize as these acids are converted into methane gas. By the time the liquid biofertilizer comes out the digester, it should be 7. If the pH of the biofertilizer is lower than this, it is an indicator the digester has been over-fed and is at risk to "sour," or stop working due to low pH. If the pH at the inlet goes below 5.5, it is necessary to add some wood ashes or lime to buffer the digester. A soured digester has no bubble activity and instead of producing gas, instead it draws air into it. The top will be sucked in tightly against the surface of the liquid and if a brewer's airlock is being used, the water in the airlock will be sucked into the digester. Restarting a soured digester is time consuming, and in most cases it is simpler to dump it out and start over. 

Step 5. Biogas production is best at the same 25:1 C:N ratio as aerobic composting. The reason cattle manure is far and away the most common feedstock for biogas is cattle manure is naturally the perfect 25:1 carbon-to-nitrogen ratio. Cattle manure makes an excellent feedstock to begin experimenting with biogas with. Other wastes need to be combined as a compost pile is.

Best Biogas Materials Chart

After these five steps, it is important to know that for the first 48 hours for a small digester or up to a couple of weeks for a larger system, the digester will only produce carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon dioxide is of course used in fire extinguishers. When you put a match to the gas to test for flammability, it will be blown out with an audible "hiss" and a wisp of black smoke. As the biogas begins to come on, the hiss and black smoke will be gone and you will smell the distinct "rotten eggs" scent of the hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This odor is the signal to begin capturing your gas, as it is either flammable or soon will be. This "CO2 Phase" has caused many people to abandon DIY projects that might have been flammable if they had waited a short time longer.

Please read full and follow at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/how-to-make-biogas-in-5-easy-steps-zbcz1410.aspx

China's energy plan to reduce coal to 60% and use more Russian natural gas

Next Big FutureChina's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is talking about prospective national carbon market formation by 2016, with potential coverage upwards of 4 billion MTCO2. According to official NDRC estimates, a national carbon market in China could reach an aggregate value of $65 billion by 2020. 

In March 2016, China is expected to announce its next five year energy plan. The fundamental levels of China's coal consumption will continue along absolute increases, China's National Energy Administration (NEA) Planning Board Division nonetheless recommended that the 13th Five Year Plan contain a 60% coal consumption target by 2020—a sizable decrease from 67% in 2013.



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Oct 14, 2014

Birth Control Pills Threaten Fish Stocks

SlashdotExperimental research has shown that small amounts of estrogen in waste water can lead to rapid large-scale changes in fish populations. From the article: "The lead researcher of a new study is calling for improvements to some of Canada's waste water treatment facilities after finding that introducing the birth control pill in waterways created a chain reaction in a lake ecosystem that nearly wiped out a freshwater fish. 'Right away, the male fish started to respond to the estrogen exposure by producing egg yolk proteins and shortly after that they started to develop eggs,' she said in an interview from Saint John, N.B. 'They were being feminized.' Kidd said shortly after introducing the estrogen, the number of fathead minnow crashed, reducing numbers to just one per cent of the population. 'It was really unexpected that they would react so quickly and so dramatically,' she said. 'The crash in the population was very evident and very dramatic and very rapid and related directly to the estrogen addition.'"
Estrogen pollution in waterways has been an issue for over a decade now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

23,000 dead per year, Antibiotic resistance Threat Report from CDC

Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013

This report, Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 gives a first-ever snapshot of the burden and threats posed by the antibiotic-resistant germs having the most impact on human health.

Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.

Antibiotic-resistant infections can happen anywhere. Data show that most happen in the general community; however, most deaths related to antibiotic resistance happen in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.

Please read full and follow at: 
Threat Report 2013 | Antimicrobial Resistance | CDC
http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/threat-report-2013/index.html

Pentagon Unveils Plan For Military's Response To Climate Change

SlashdotRising sea levels and other effects of climate change will create major problems for America's military, including more and worse natural disasters and food and water shortages that could fuel disputes around the world, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday. From the article: "The Pentagon's2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap (PDF) describes how global warming will bring new demands on the military. Among the report's conclusions: Coastal military installations that are vulnerable to flooding will need to be altered; humanitarian assistance missions will be more frequent in the face of more intense natural disasters; weapons and other critical military equipment will need to work under more severe weather conditions. 'This road map shows how we are identifying — with tangible and specific metrics, and using the best available science — the effects of climate change on the department's missions and responsibilities,' Hagel said. 'Drawing on these assessments, we will integrate climate change considerations into our planning, operations, and training.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wind Power Is Cheaper Than Coal, Leaked Report Shows

SlashdotA leaked report shows wind is the cheapest energy source in Europe, beating the presumably dirt-cheap coal and gas by a mile. Conventional wisdom holds that clean energy is more expensive than its fossil-fueled counterparts. Yet cost comparisons show that renewable energy sources are often cheaper than their carbon-heavy competition. The report (PDF) demonstrates that if you were to take into account mining, pollution, and adverse health impacts of coal and gas, wind power would be the cheapest source of energy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oct 12, 2014

New Spheromak Fusion reactor concept called a Dynomak could be cheaper than coal

University of Washington engineers have designed a concept for a fusion reactor that, when scaled up to the size of a large electrical power plant, would rival costs for a new coal-fired plant with similar electrical output.

UPDATE- the technical details and proposed timeline are provided in the next nextbigfuture article

The team published its reactor design and cost-analysis findings last spring and will present results Oct. 17 at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Fusion Energy Conference in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The UW's design is known as a spheromak, meaning it generates the majority of magnetic fields by driving electrical currents into the plasma itself. This reduces the amount of required materials and actually allows researchers to shrink the overall size of the reactor.

New Energy and Fuel reports the concept entails a recently discovered imposed-dynamo current drive (IDCD) and a molten salt (FLiBe) blanket system for first wall cooling, neutron moderation and tritium breeding. The feasibility of the energy generating system is made possible from newly available materials and an ITER-developed cryogenic pumping system - See more at: 

The Dynomak will have very high neutron wall loading and FLiBe blanket which offers most attractive blanket power density, which is also an economic metric for power plant considerations. Imposed-Dynamo Current Drive (IDCD) perturbs and sustains a stable spheromak equilibrium, avoiding severe confinement quality limitations apparent in previous dynamo-driven experiments. IDCD enables energy efficient current drive when compared to conventional current drive methods, further reducing the recirculating power fraction

Fusion Engineering and Design - The dynomak: An advanced spheromak reactor concept with imposed-dynamo current drive and next-generation nuclear power technologies

Read more » at Next Big Future

Germany Reaches 74% Renewable Energy During May Weekend

Inhabitat has a look at Germany's increasing takeup of renewable energy - Germany Was Powered by 74% Renewable Energy Last Weekend.
According to think tank Agora Energiewende, Germany's renewable usage set a new record on Sunday when wind, solar, biomass, and hydro energy supplied a bulk of the country's energy. Information supplied by the group shows that the combined contribution of renewables reached 43.54 gigawatts between noon and 1 p.m. That equates to almost three quarters of the country's demand.

Agora Energiewende has noted, however, that the inability of some baseload generators to switch themselves off meant that a record level of more than 10 gigawatts of surplus capacity at its peak was exported to neighboring markets.

Germany has always been among Europe's leaders when it comes to solar energy, and this weekend was no exception with its output at 15.2 gigawatts at its peak. That said, the output is just half its rated peak capacity—which is more than 33 gigawatts—but then most of the northern part of the country was covered in cloud.

Please read full and follow at: Peak Energy

Drought is putting California hydroelectric power in danger

Think Progress - California's ability to produce renewable energy from hydroelectric dams has been significantly hampered over the last few years because of an increasingly severe and widespread drought, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said

The drought, which began in 2011 and is now covering 100 percent of the state, is drying up the reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams. The reservoirs create power when the force of the water in them is released onto turbines. When there is less water, there is also less pressure to spin those turbines, thereby decreasing the amount of renewable electricity that can be produced. 

Hydroelectric power used to account for 20 percent of California's in-state electricity generation for the first six months of each year from 2004 until 2013, the EIA said. But during the first six months of 2014, hydropower generation was halved, making up only 10 percent of California's in-state electricity generation. 
Please continue reading from:  

Oct 11, 2014

Cold fusion reactor verified by third-party researchers, seems to have 1 million times the energy density of gasoline

ExtremeTech: Andrea Rossi's E-Cat — the device that purports to use cold fusion to generate massive amounts of cheap, green energy – has been verified by third-party researchers, according to a new 54-page report. The researchers observed a small E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours, or "far more than can be obtained from any known chemical sources in the small reactor volume." The researchers were also allowed to analyze the fuel before and after the 32-day run, noting that the isotopes in the spent fuel could only have been obtained by "nuclear reactions" — a conclusion that boggles the researchers: "… It is of course very hard to comprehend how these fusion processes can take place in the fuel compound at low energies."

How Oil & Gas Waste Became Exempt From Federal Regulation

In the small town of Nordheim, Texas, residents are trying to stop a commercial oil and gas waste facility proposed for a large plot of land less than a mile away. They worry that the Texas wind will carry toxic air emissions into the town and across the campus of the local school. The residents' effort is hampered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision in 1988 to classify most oil and gas waste as "non hazardous," even though it contains chemicals, including benzene, that are known to cause health problems. The industry lobbied hard for the non-hazardous classification, arguing that the cost of treating the waste as hazardous would be exorbitant. Here's a look at how the exemption came about, and a recent effort to repeal it. 

Why Is The World Bank Failing On Energy Poverty?

World Bank energy investments are categorically failing to end energy poverty. That's the stark finding of a new report released by Sierra Club and Oil Change International which measures how multilateral development banks (MDB) fare on their efforts to end energy poverty. The report benchmarked recent MDB investments in clean energy access against the breakdown of needed investment called for in the International Energy Agency's (IEA) "Energy for All" scenario. In that scenario, universal energy access is achieved by 2030. As it stands, if the "Energy for All" scenario is going to succeed, it will require 64 percent of all new investments be used to fund the fastest, cheapest, and most effective source of energy that will help energy poor populations get on to the energy ladder. That source of energy? Distributed off-grid and mini-grid clean energy systems for those living Beyond the Grid.  Please continue reading from: Why Is The World Bank Failing On Energy Poverty?

Methane emissions in Four Corners 80 percent higher than EPA estimates, study says

study by NASA and the University of Michigan published on Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters says that levels of methane in the Four Corners area where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona connect are 80 percent higher than Environmental Protection Agency estimates, Seth Borenstein reports for the San Francisco Chronicle(NASA photo: Four Corners is a major hot spot for methane emissions)

The high level of methane "is likely leakage from pumping methane out of coal mines," Borenstein writes. Data taken from 2003 to 2009 "found atmospheric methane concentrations equivalent to emissions of about 1.3 million pounds a year."

"The amount of methane in the Four Corners—an area covering about 2,500 square miles—would trap more heat in the atmosphere than all the carbon dioxide produced yearly in Sweden," Borenstein writes. "That's because methane is 86 times more potent for trapping heat in the short-term than carbon dioxide." (Read more

Canada will have pipeline 50% bigger than Keystone XL running oilsand oil to the eastcoast by 2018

Next Big FutureEnergy East is an improbable pipeline that has a high probability of being built. It will cost C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) and could be up and running by 2018. Its 4,600-kilometer (2,858-mile) path, taking advantage of a vast length of existing and underused natural gas pipeline, would wend through six provinces and four time zones. It would be Keystone on steroids, more than twice as long and carrying a third more crude. 

The natural gas pipeline is underused because of the shale gas boom in the United States.

Its end point, a refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, operated by a reclusive Canadian billionaire family, would give Canada's oil-sands crude supertanker access to the same Louisiana and Texas refineries Keystone was meant to supply. 

Canada wants more than one pipeline out of the oilsands in Alberta. Having a major pipeline in the bag and large rail facilities provides leverage in other pipeline negotiations.


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Oct 10, 2014

The ominous math of the Ebola epidemic and What it would take to Contain

​When the experts describe the Ebola disaster, they do so with numbers. The statistics include not just the obvious ones, such as caseloads, deaths and the rate of infection, but also the ones that describe the speed of the global response.

Right now, the math still favors the virus.

Global health officials are looking closely at the "reproduction number," which estimates how many people, on average, will catch the virus from each person stricken with Ebola. The epidemic will begin to decline when that number falls below one. A recent analysis estimated the number at 1.5 to 2.

The number of Ebola cases in West Africa has been doubling about every three weeks. There is little evidence so far that the epidemic is losing momentum.

"The speed at which things are moving on the ground, it's hard for people to get their minds around. People don't understand the concept of exponential growth," said Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Exponential growth in the context of three weeks means: 'If I know that X needs to be done, and I work my butt off and get it done in three weeks, it's now half as good as it needs to be.' "

Frieden warned Thursday that without immediate, concerted, bold action, the Ebola virus could become a global calamity on the scale of HIV. He spoke at a gathering of global health officials and government leaders at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. The president of Guinea was at the table, and the presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone joined by video link. Amid much bureaucratic talk and table-thumping was an emerging theme: The virus is still outpacing the efforts to contain it.

"The situation is worse than it was 12 days ago. It's entrenched in the capitals. Seventy percent of the people [who become infected] are definitely dying from this disease, and it is accelerating in almost all settings," Bruce Aylward, assistant director general of the World Health Organization, told the group.

Please read full at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-ominous-math-of-the-ebola-epidemic/2014/10/09/3cad9e76-4fb2-11e4-8c24-487e92bc997b_story.html


13th Report on Carcinogens released, 243 new listings

This month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the 13th Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The RoC is a science-based, public health document prepared by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) that identifies substances in our environment considered to be cancer hazards. Four substances are newly reviewed for this edition of the RoC, bringing the cumulative report total to 243 listings.

“Identifying substances in our environment that can make people vulnerable to cancer will help in prevention efforts,” said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). “This report provides a valuable resource for health regulatory and research agencies, and it empowers the public with information people can use to reduce exposure to cancer causing substances.”

The Report on Carcinogens is a congressionally mandated report prepared for the HHS Secretary by NTP. The report identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures in two categories: known to be a human carcinogen and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. The new report is available at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/roc13 .

A listing in the report indicates a cancer hazard, but does not by itself mean that a substance will cause cancer. Many factors, including the amount and duration of exposure, and an individual’s susceptibility to a substance, can affect whether a person will develop cancer.

Why natural foods may not be natural

Environmental News Network - A wide variety of packaged food that carry the label "natural" on US supermarket shelves were found to contain substantial amounts of genetically modified organisms, according to Consumer Reports.

Tests on dozens of common food products including breakfast cereals, crisps and infant formula found almost all of them contained recognizable levels of GMOs.

The research results has led to Consumer Reports to now call for the mandatory labeling of GMOs in food and a ban on the "natural" label, which suggest products don't contain the controversial ingredients.

A recent survey of 1,000 American adults conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center showed that a majority of people — 64 percent — mistakenly equate "natural" with no GMOs. The same survey also showed that nearly three-quarters of all Americans are seeking foods produced without genetically modified organisms. 

Greening deserts are very bad for the fish in the oceans

Next Big Future interviewed Jason McNamee, former Director and Operations Officer of the Haida Salmon Restoration project and now Scientific Advisor to the World Aquarium and Conservation for the Oceans Foundation. Jason provided a lot of information and I will provide a series of articles related to his information. He educated me about processes in the deep ocean (100 miles from the coast) and how more still needs to be learned. Nextbigfuture covered how the 120 ton iron fertilization in 2012 increased salmon catches in 2013 and 2014.

Most people have been hearing warnings about desertification and how the deserts are increasing. Actually the deserts are becoming more green and are producing less dust. This is driving the steady reduction of iron into the oceans by about 1% per year. 42% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means that plants in the desert need to breathe less and keep more water. Less dust from the desert means less iron into the ocean. Iron shortage in the ocean is the key factor that is reducing algae and plankton in the ocean. There is plenty of nitrogen and phosphorous. Less algae and plankton causes reduction in the amount and size of fish.

China has massive projects to spray the desert with bacteria and carpet bomb the desert with seedling plants.

Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface

About 3% is icecap and ice sheets.

Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world's protein consumed by humans.

Deserts cover about one fifth of the Earth's land area and occur where rainfall is less than 50 cm/year.

Sahara desert supplying the Atlantic with dust and iron

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[University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded $3.3 million for project that produces chemicals from biomass.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been awarded up to $3.3 million for a project that would produce chemicals from biomass.

The grant was one of five announced Thursday by the U.S. Energy Department. The agency awarded a total of $13.4 million for projects that aim to help develop advanced biofuels as well as biioproducts, the agency said.

"These products not only will help reduce carbon emissions, but also advanced the department's work to enable the production of clean, renewable and cost-competitive drop-in biofuel at $3 per gallon by 2022," the agency said.


Please read full and follow at: 
http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/278694571.html?ipad=y

Ampy converts a half-hour jog into three hours of battery life

Gizmag 

Oct 9, 2014

Occupational Health and Safety Guide for small employers

The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH)  has developed an occupational health and safety guide for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries.

Dr. Tee Guidotti of ICOH’s Scientific Committee on Occupational Health and Development, who led development of the guide, encourages WHWB members and partners to use the guide in our work and distribute it widely to the target audience. “All we ask,” says Dr. Guidotti, “is that 1) the content of the document not be changed (except for translation), 2)  it be made available free or for very low cost, 3) ICOH be kept informed on how it was used and the outcome, and 4) however it is distributed, full credit be given to ICOH and to the authors as listed in the Guide.”

The OH Guide is designed to be a practical introduction to the basics of worker health protection for SMEs.  It is also intended for multinational employers to use in promoting worker health protection among their vendors and contractors. French, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, and Chinese versions are in the works.

You can access the Guide, evaluation survey, an Executive Summary and project description at this link.
https://app.box.com/s/f4urnjs6hkuxrlfy56pm

Source: Workplace Health Without Borders