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Drug Use at Large Gathering Causes Spike in Water Contaminants

January 15, 2015 5:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.in | News | Comments

Research shows a large music festival in Taiwan resulted in a spike in a slew of chemical contaminants — both over-the-counter and illicit — in nearby waterways. The findings underscore the potential impact of pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs on the environment — along with the lack of regulations needed to address those threats.

Judge: Dairy Pollution Threatens Washington Valley's Water

January 15, 2015 5:03 pm | by NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

A federal judge has ruled that a large industrial dairy in eastern Washington has polluted drinking water through its application, storage and management of manure, in a case that could set precedents across the nation.

California Unveils Strictest Rules on Pesticide

January 15, 2015 9:56 am | by SCOTT SMITH, Associated Press | News | Comments

The restrictions announced Wednesday target chloropicrin, a pesticide injected into the ground before planting crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and almond orchards. In recent years, the chemical has caused hundreds of people to suffer from irritated eyes, coughing fits and headaches, state officials said.

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Researcher Uses Crustaceans to Make Bio-Food Packaging

January 14, 2015 3:53 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Articles | Comments

It can take 100 to 400 years for petroleum-based plastic bottles and films to biodegrade. It’s an issue that is known to be clogging our water ways — one study estimates that there could be 270,000 tons of everyday plastics floating in the world’s oceans — and has helped accelerate a push towards more eco-friendly alternatives. 

What Can Reaction Calorimetry Teach Us?

January 14, 2015 11:32 am | by Urs Groth, Product Manager, Reaction Calorimetry, and Market Manager, Reaction Engineering | Blogs | Comments

Developing new compounds and transferring them to production requires an understanding of the chemical route, process and parameters—the sooner, the better. Reaction calorimetry is helping researchers adapt, giving them an ability to meet their goal of safer scale-up at the speed of modern manufacturing.

Surfactants Not as Harmful For The Environment as Many Thought

January 14, 2015 10:09 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Videos | Comments

You don’t have to search far to find someone claiming that surfactants — chemicals used in soaps, shampoos and detergents to help wash dirt away — are dangerous toxins that are harmful for the environment. But after conducting what this researcher says was the biggest study on the environmental impacts of surfactants, the evidence shows otherwise.

Indian State Targets Toxic Liquor Sales as Deaths Hit 38

January 13, 2015 5:08 pm | by BISWAJEET BANERJEE, Associated Press | News | Comments

Authorities in a north Indian state suspended 23 officials Wednesday in a crackdown on illegal liquor sales, as the death toll among villagers who drank from a bad batch of cheap alcohol climbed to 38. Doctors say the victims' symptoms indicate the drinks contained methyl alcohol, which despite being toxic is sometimes mixed with ethyl alcohol to make a cheaper brew.

Harvard Researchers Bolster Chemical Production by Bacteria

January 13, 2015 4:56 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Articles | Comments

Harvard University researchers have pioneered a method to produce dramatically larger amounts of chemicals from genetically engineered bacteria. Donald Ingber, founding director of Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, said the research could substantially impact pharmaceutical, chemical and energy production.

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Recycling Plant Owner Admits Illegal Chemical Dumping

January 13, 2015 9:53 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of an El Dorado plastics recycling company will be sentenced March 30 for dumping hazardous waste chemicals. Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Brian Riley, of Andover, also was ordered to pay $118,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Riley pleaded guilty Monday to negligent exposure to a hazardous air pollutant.

DuPont Workers May Have Been Exposed to Toxic Gas For Years

January 13, 2015 9:47 am | by Houston Chronicle | News | Comments

State records indicate that employees at a Houston-area pesticide plant where a poisonous gas leak killed four workers in November may have been periodically exposed to the dangerous fumes for years. Four employees at the DuPont plant died after being exposed to methyl mercaptan on Nov. 15. Federal officials and the state agency are investigating the deaths.

Air Force Personnel May Have Been Exposed to Agent Orange After Vietnam

January 12, 2015 5:08 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

A generation of American service personnel continues to deal with the effects of Agent Orange more than 40 years after the military ceased spraying the powerful herbicide during the Vietnam War. According to a recent federal report, military personnel working on Vietnam-era aircraft years after that campaign ended may have been exposed to dangerous levels of the harmful chemicals.

EPA Proposes Limits to Chemicals Used in Consumer Products

January 12, 2015 9:54 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | News | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced steps allowing it to limit the use of toluene diisocyanate, a common chemical in commercial products which the agency said can cause asthma and lung damage. The EPA's move would require manufacturers and importers to notify the agency at least 90 days prior to starting or resuming use of TDI at certain levels.

Obama Administration Sued Over Gulf of Mexico Fracking Info

January 9, 2015 12:25 pm | by JASON DEAREN, Associated Press | News | Comments

An environmental advocacy group sued the Obama administration in federal court on Thursday for refusing to release documents detailing the extent of fracking in the Gulf of Mexico. Samantha Joye, a marine sciences professor at the University of Georgia who studies effects of oil spills on the sea environment, said there have been no scientific studies looking at fracking chemicals in the ocean.

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Activist Investor Intensifies Fight Over DuPont's Future

January 9, 2015 9:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A fight for control of DuPont Co. is intensifying after the hedge fund led by activist investor Nelson Peltz announced plans to nominate its own slate of four directors to the industry titan's board. Its shares edged higher in premarket trading.

After 2 Workers Injured, 1 Fatally, OSHA Cites MFG Chemical Inc.

January 9, 2015 9:42 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Articles | Comments

OSHA has issued MFG Chemical Inc. citations following an incident involving the release of chemical vapors from an over-pressurized reactor, which left one worker hospitalized and another dead from burns in his respiratory system. OSHA’s proposed penalties total $87,780.

Photo of The Day: NY to Ban Plastic Food Containers From Restaurants

January 8, 2015 4:30 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | News | Comments

Starting this summer, New York City will join the environmental sustainability trend by banning restaurants and other food establishments from using plastic foam containers. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday morning that he will fulfill an initiative that was first suggested by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

Scientists Make a Sweet Discovery in Efforts to Produce All-Natural Vanilla

January 8, 2015 10:26 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Videos | Comments

Not-so-fun fact: 99 percent of vanilian, a compound used to create vanilla's distinct flavor, is synthetic. The process to produce it relies on using fossil fuels or burning wood with acid — which scientists say is both inefficient and polluting.

MeadWestvaco Plans to Spin Off Specialty Chemicals Business

January 8, 2015 9:20 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

"The separation of specialty chemicals will establish two strong companies that are better positioned to compete and profitably grow in their targeted markets," Chairman and CEO John A. Luke Jr. said in a statement on Thursday.

Inspectors Confident Chlorine Gas Used in Syrian Villages

January 7, 2015 10:34 am | by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press | News | Comments

Chemical weapons investigators concluded "with a high degree of confidence" that chlorine gas was used as a weapon against three opposition-controlled villages in Syria last year, affecting between 350 and 500 people and killing 13.

Monsanto Earnings Fall 34 Percent on Lower Corn Seed Sales

January 7, 2015 10:12 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Monsanto said Wednesday that its earnings fell 34 percent in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers cut back on planting corn, reducing demand for the company's biotech-enhanced seeds.U.S. farmers harvested record crops of soybeans and corn last year, sending prices on those food staples to their lowest levels in years.

Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Could Taint Swimming Pools

January 7, 2015 9:22 am | by Purdue University | News | Comments

A new study suggests pharmaceuticals and chemicals from personal care products end up in swimming pools, possibly interacting with chlorine to produce disinfection byproducts with unknown properties and health effects. A research group led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, has developed an analytical technique that identifies and quantifies 32 pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water.

Popping The Cork on Champagne Chemistry

December 29, 2014 4:39 pm | by Reactions | Videos | Comments

More bottles of Champagne are popped during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. But what sends that cork flying? Find out what chemically separates a Champagne from just another white wine and gives it those trademark bubbles. Happy New Year!

Is Your Chemical Company Operating Effectively?

December 29, 2014 4:14 pm | by Barry van Bergen, director of strategy group for chemicals, KPMG | Blogs | Comments

What should you be thinking about when making changes to your business and wanting to ensure your company remains effective and nimble in response to market needs? Start with the business case and how you will generate your returns, then move to how you’ll deliver it.

New Lab Flask Turns CO2 Into Medicine

December 29, 2014 9:39 am | by Reuters Plus | Videos | Comments

The traditional round-bottom glass used by chemists for generations could be under threat after Danish scientists invent a new two-chamber flask that can change CO2 into medicine, while protecting against contact with dangerous chemicals. Jim Drury went to see how it worked.

On Lead Bullets, Judges Rule Against Environmentalists

December 23, 2014 1:59 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal appeals court has ruled against environmentalists who are trying to force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate spent lead bullets and lead shot used in hunting and shooting sports.  The Toxic Substances Control Act exempts cartridges and shells from regulation.

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