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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(4)
Plague/Virus:()
Climate Chaos:(9)
Resource Depletion: (7)
Biology Breach:(13)
Recovery:(6)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
toxic water  ~ water issues  ~ climate impacts  ~ soil issues  ~ toxic buildup  ~ melting glaciers  ~ rising sea level  ~ overfishing  ~ dead zones  ~ governmental corruption  ~ food crisis  



ApocaDocuments (13) for the "Biology Breach" scenario from this week
[see full week] ~ [see full Biology Breach scenario and stories]
Sun, Aug 24, 2008
from London Independent:
Nuclear waste containers likely to fail, warns 'devastating' report
"Thousands of containers of lethal nuclear waste are likely to fail before being safely sealed away underground, a devastating official report concludes. The unpublicised report is by the Environment Agency, which has to approve any proposals for getting rid of the waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years. The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power." ...


Has anyone considered using Tupperware?

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Sat, Aug 23, 2008
from New Scientist:
Superfood rice bran contains arsenic
"Rice bran a so-called "superfood" might contain dangerous amounts of a natural poison. A new study suggests that rice bran, the shavings left over after brown rice is polished to produce white rice grains, contains "inappropriate" levels of arsenic. Andrew Meharg at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and colleagues found that the levels of arsenic in rice bran products available on the internet and used in food-aid programmes funded by the US government would be illegal in China the only country in the world to have standards for how much arsenic is permissible in food." ...


'Bout time we're getting back at the Chinese for all that lead in our kids' toys!

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Sat, Aug 23, 2008
from Chemistry World:
Chinese sewage plant study raises concerns
Many water treatment facilities in China are failing to remove toxic organic chemicals and levels of some chemicals are actually increasing during treatment, according to researchers from Nankai University, Tianjin.... One of the chemicals monitored by Sun's team is nonylphenol, released during the breakdown of nonylphenol polyethoxylate detergents. Nonylphenol is an endocrine disrupter... [T]he sewage treatment works only removed 60-70 per cent of nonylphenol polyethoxylate from water... To make matters worse, nonylphenol polyethoxylate degrades into smaller metabolites, such as nonylphenol, which could be 70 times more toxic than their precursors. ...


"To make matters worse," indeed.

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Sat, Aug 23, 2008
from WiredPRnews:
Where no cruise ship will ever go: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
In the North Pacific Ocean, in a remote area known as the North Pacific Gyre, are two giant floating "islands," each the size of Texas. They are not made of organic materials. They are made of plastic. The "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" or "Trash Vortex" is at least 20 years of accumulated junk cast off by humans, 90 percent of it plastics. Only 20 percent comes from ships and oil platforms at sea; 80 percent comes from land. Ocean currents carry debris from the east coast of Asia to the center of the gyre in a year or less, and debris from the west coast of North America in about five years. ...


Who knows, this could work out:
We may end up with a "garbage bridge" between California and Asia!

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Fri, Aug 22, 2008
from Cape Cod Times:
Man-made chemicals tied to sick lobsters
A Woods Hole scientist believes he may have found a key culprit behind a mysterious disease linked to a dramatic drop in lobster populations from Buzzards Bay to Long Island. In research conducted this summer, Hans Laufer found that common man-made chemicals used in plastics, detergents and cosmetics had infiltrated the blood and tissue of lobsters, making them more vulnerable to a particularly virulent strain of shell disease." ...


Bet the buzzards don't mind.

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Fri, Aug 22, 2008
from New Scientist:
Penguins dumping arsenic in Antarctica
"Penguin guano isn't usually considered an environmental hazard. Yet, according to new research, it is the main source of arsenic accumulation in Antarctic soil. Zhouqing Xie of the Institute of Polar Environment at the University of Science and Technology of China and colleagues looked at how much arsenic was found in the droppings of three bird species and two seal species that live on Ardley Island, off the Antarctic peninsular. The droppings of the gentoo penguin contained far more than those of the other species - nearly twice as much as the droppings of the southern giant petrel and up to three times more than the local seals." ...


Just don't step in it with your happy feet!

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Fri, Aug 22, 2008
from The Capital, Annapolis, MD:
Fish kill hits Magothy
Thousands of dead fish and crabs floated to the surface of the Magothy River this week, suffocated by low oxygen levels in the water..... To Paul Spadaro of Severna Park, president of the Magothy River Association, the fish kill is yet another sign that we need to do more to clean up area waterways. Rapid development, overuse of fertilizers and leaky septic systems all take their toll on the water, and in turn, the aquatic life. "What the poor fish have to deal with is our doing," he said. ...


Yeah, but what a boon to maggots and microbes!

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Wed, Aug 20, 2008
from Edmonton Journal:
Fish with double jaw sparks eco interest
"CALGARY - A northern First Nations band which displayed a deformed, two-jawed fish at a weekend water conference says the grotesque specimen has spurred efforts to collect evidence to show that Alberta's oilsands are poisoning both wildlife and people. George Poitras, a spokesman for the Mikisew Cree, said the band is determining what to do with the large goldeye, which was found last week by children playing in the waters of Lake Athabasca, downstream from the oilsands." ...


Those kids better not've made fun of it!

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Wed, Aug 20, 2008
from Christian Science Monitor:
New sea change forecasts present a slimy picture
Earth's oceans are on the brink of massive change. You see it in such details as the hordes of Pacific mollusks that researchers have identified as ready to invade the North Atlantic as a thawing Arctic Ocean opens the way. You also see it in broad trends: A new overview warns that such relentless human impacts as overfishing or agricultural pollution -- as well as global warming -- threaten mass extinctions of marine life. Jeremy Jackson at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who made that overview, notes that this is "not a happy picture." He says that "the only way to keep one's sanity and try to achieve real success is to carve out sectors of the problem that can be addressed in effective terms and get on with it as quickly as possible." ...


Other ways to keep one's sanity:
denial, rose colored glasses, blaming the victim, changing the subject.

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Tue, Aug 19, 2008
from Indiana University, via EurekAlert:
Chronic lead poisoning from urban soils
While acute lead poisoning from toys and direct ingestion of interior paint has received more publicity, these cases account for only a portion of children with lead poisoning. Many health officials are increasingly concerned with chronic lead poisoning, which occurs at lower levels of lead in the blood and are harder to diagnose. Babies and young children may develop chronic lead poisoning when playing in dirt yards or playgrounds or in areas with blowing dry soil tainted with the lead, which is ubiquitous in older urban areas.... As their neurons develop, the nervous system tries to use lead in place of calcium and the child's neural systems fail to form correctly. This impairs neural function leading to irreversibly decreased IQ and increased attention deficient issues. ...


I dont beleeve led is making us stoopid.
do you.

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Tue, Aug 19, 2008
from Science News:
Carcinogens from car exhaust can linger
"The daily exposure to free radicals from car exhaust, smokestacks and even your neighbors' barbecue could be as harmful as smoking, according to a new study. Many combustion processes, such as those in a car, create tiny particles that may act as brewing pots and carriers for free radicals -- chemicals believed to cause lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases." ...


I'm just gonna climb into my Chevy Marlboro and drive on out of here!

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Mon, Aug 18, 2008
from London Independent:
Jellyfish invasion: Britain to fight them on the beaches
"The growing threat from swarms of jellyfish around Britain's coast is to be investigated for the first time by British and Irish scientists. Using the latest technology, researchers are planning to tag jellyfish to explore their life cycles and movement in a project known as Ecojel." ...


They'll tag the jellyfish, yell "you're it!" then run away before they get stung.

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Mon, Aug 18, 2008
from Reuters India:
"Toxic" Indian festivals poison waterways
"MUMBAI (Reuters) - Toxic chemicals from thousands of idols of Hindu gods immersed in rivers and lakes across India are causing pollution which is killing fish and contaminating food crops, experts and environmentalists said on Monday... Elaborately painted and decorated idols are worshipped before they are taken during mass processions to rivers, lakes and the sea, where they are immersed in accordance with Hindu faith. Environmentalists say the idols are often made from non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, cement and plaster of Paris and painted with toxic dyes." ...


And here I thought only in America were idols screwing everything up!

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