A new study led by researchers from MIT finds that burning ammonia for maritime fuel could worsen air quality further and lead to devastating public health impacts, unless it is adopted alongside strengthened emissions regulations. It has been estimated that maritime shipping accounts for almost 3% of global carbon dioxide... Read more →

Study finds Li-ion batteries a growing source of PFAS sub-class pollution in air and water

An open-access published in Nature Communications reports that the use of a novel sub-class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in lithium-ion batteries is a growing source of pollution in air and water. Testing by the research team further found these PFAS, called bis-perfluoroalkyl sulfonimides (bis-FASIs), demonstrate environmental persistence and... Read more →

New State of Global Air report finds air pollution is second leading risk factor for death worldwide

Air pollution now ranks as the second leading risk factor for death, accounting for 8.1 million deaths globally according to HEI’s new State of Global Air 2024 report. The new report provides a comprehensive analysis of data for air quality and health impacts for countries around the world in 2021.... Read more →

EPA finalizes ban on most uses of methylene chloride

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized a ban under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on most uses of methylene chloride (CH2Cl2). (Earlier post.) Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane and DCM, is a volatile chemical used in a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications such... Read more →

EPA seeking input on lead exposure from lead wheel weights

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking the public for information on the potential ways in which people might be exposed to lead through the use of wheel weights. Lead exposure can have devastating impacts to human health and can be especially harmful to developing children. The Advance Notice... Read more →

UNC researchers find increase in inflammation triggered by diesel exposure during respiratory infection

Exposure to diesel exhaust particles triggers higher levels of inflammation, especially during a respiratory infection, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Researchers found that diesel exhaust exposure impedes a process that boosts immune responses and modifies the body’s protective response to tissue-damaging immune cells.... Read more →

Korean study finds long-term air pollution exposure associated with higher indicence of ST-elevation myocardial infarction and in-hospital cardiogenic shock

A study by a team of researchers in South Korea has found that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with increased incidence of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) compared with non-STEMI (NSTEMI). STEMI is a type of heart attack that occurs due to a prolonged blockage in one of the... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tightened the annual health-based national ambient air quality standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from a level of 12 micrograms per cubic meter to 9 micrograms per cubic meter. Along with strengthening the primary annual PM2.5 standard, EPA is modifying the PM2.5 monitoring network... Read more →

Plastic microparticles released into the environment from common road tires should be treated as a “high concern” pollutant, that may exceed chronic safety limits in some heavily contaminated environments, new research has shown. A team of researchers from the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter in the UK... Read more →

The Belgian Provincial Institute of Hygiene (PIH) announced the results of six-monthly blood lead measurements among children living near the Umicore metals recycling site in Hoboken, Belgium. Until earlier this year, the blood tests were carried out on children living in the adjacent neighborhoods of Moretusburg and Hertogvelden. Now for... Read more →

EPA proposes ban on all uses of trichloroethylene

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a ban on all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical known to cause serious health risks including cancer, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity. TCE is a solvent used in cleaning and furniture care products, degreasers, and for automotive care such as tire repair... Read more →

A new study by an international team of researchers estimates that 23 million people may be affected by potentially dangerous concentrations of toxic waste from metal mining contamination on rivers and floodplains across the world. A paper on the study is published in the journal Science. Firefighters from Minas Gerais... Read more →

EPA initiates new review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA Administrator Michael Regan reached this decision after considering advice provided by the independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). EPA established the current standards at a level of 70 parts per... Read more →

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a method that can reduce the levels of mercury in sulfuric acid by more than 90%, even from low levels. An open-access paper on the method is published in ACS ES&T Engineering. Sulfuric acid is an important reagent used in many... Read more →

Stellantis N.V. and NioCorp Developments Ltd. have signed a rare earth offtake term sheet. The objective is to enter into a definitive rare earth supply agreement to support Stellantis’ commitment to build resilient supply chains and reach carbon net zero by 2038 and to help accelerate NioCorp’s path to commercial... Read more →

Emissions Analytics, VERT call for Euro 7 to expand to cover particle mass, particle number and VOCs released from tires

In an open letter, Nick Molden, CEO, Emissions Analytics and Dr Andreas Mayer, Chairman of the Scientific Committee, VERT Association, call on European regulators to apply the same approach they have applied to the tailpipe to the growing issue of tire emissions. The authors urge the inclusion of particle mass,... Read more →

EPA proposes rules for chemicals and fuels made from plastic waste-based feedstocks

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 18 chemicals made from plastic waste-derived feedstocks that would ensure they are free from unsafe contaminants before they can be used to make transportation fuels. The proposed Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) would... Read more →

Study shows that airborne nanoparticles trigger autophagy in lung cells

New research from the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows that air pollution particles activate a cellular defense mechanism known as autophagy, which may reduce the ability of cells to fight off other harms. The findings were published in the journal Autophagy Reports. We know that diseases, especially lung... Read more →

Coal trains and terminal operations add a significant amount of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution to urban areas—more so than other freight or passenger trains—according to a study conducted in Richmond, California, by the University of California, Davis. The open-access paper, published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health,... Read more →

Surrey study investigates effect of group cycling on exposure to pollutants

In an open access paper in the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) have investigated the effect of group riding on cyclists’ exposure to vehicle pollutants. For major cycle lanes cutting thorough many large cities, cars and bicycles share the same stretch... Read more →

EPA proposes ban on all consumer, most industrial and commercial uses of methylene chloride

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a ban under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on most uses of methylene chloride (CH2Cl2). Methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane and DCM, is a volatile chemical used in a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications such as adhesives,... Read more →

Study finds that replacing older, highly polluting school buses could lead to 1.3 million fewer daily absences annually

Replacing all of the oldest, highly polluting school buses in the US could lead to 1.3 million fewer daily absences annually, according to a University of Michigan study. The suspected cause of these preventable absences is exposure to high levels of diesel exhaust fumes, which can leak into school bus... Read more →

GHSA estimates US pedestrian deaths rise yet again in first half of 2022

Drivers in the United States struck and killed 3,434 people in the first half of 2022—up 5%, or 168 more deaths, from the same period the year before, according to a new analysis from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). This projection follows a 40-year high in pedestrian deaths in... Read more →

A new briefing paper from Imperial College London estimates that in 2021, 52% of all small particle pollution from road transport came from tires and brakes. The researchers, from Imperial College London’s Transition to Zero Pollution (TZP) initiative, warn that even though electric vehicles remove the problem of fuel emissions,... Read more →

German team examines risk factors and injury patterns of e-scooter injuries

A team from University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany examined the various aspects of e-scooter associated injuries using one of the largest cohorts to date, and reported their findings and recommendations in an open-access paper in Scientific Reports. E-scooter rentals became widely available in Hamburg starting in June 2019;... Read more →

HEI launches two new non-tailpipe particulate emission studies

The Health Effects Institute (HEI) has launched two new studies funded under RFA 21-1, Quantifying Real-World Impacts of Non-Tailpipe Particulate Matter Emissions. Emissions from automobile exhaust systems have decreased in recent years due to the introduction of cleaner fuels and new control technologies on internal combustion engines, as well as... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to to revise the primary (health-based) annual PM2.5 standard from its current level of 12.0 µg/m3 to within the range of 9.0 to 10.0 µg/m3. EPA is taking comment on the full range (between 8 and 11 10 µg/m3) included in... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Vienna (Austria) have demonstrated that tire wear particle (TWP)-derived compounds are readily taken up by lettuce with measured maximum leaf concentrations between ∼0.75 for N-phenyl-N′-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-p-phenylenediamine (6PPD) and 20 μg g–1 for hexamethoxymethyl melamine (HMMM). In an open-access paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science &... Read more →

EPA finds NMP and 1-BP present unreasonable risks to human health

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk determinations for n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and 1-bromopropane (1-BP). The EPA determined that NMP and 1-BP, as whole chemical substances, present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health when evaluated under their conditions of use.... Read more →

EPA proposes endangerment finding for lead emissions from aircraft engines that operate on leaded fuel

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed determination that emissions of lead from aircraft that operate on leaded fuel cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA reviews information on air pollutants and... Read more →

EPA trying to streamline toxic risk assessment for new mixed metal oxides with applications in batteries, EVs

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new effort under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to implement a streamlined and efficient process under the New Chemicals Program to assess risk and apply mitigation measures, as appropriate, for new chemicals with applications in batteries, electric vehicles, semiconductors and renewable... Read more →

The California Air Resources Board today approved a statewide plan for attaining the federal health-based standard for ozone, typically experienced as smog. The 2022 State Implementation Plan Strategy identifies the state’s control strategy for meeting the federal 70 parts per billion, 8-hour ozone standard over the next 15 years. The... Read more →

Nissan Motor has jointly developed a technology with Tohoku University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences that inactivates viruses using catalyst active species for aerobic oxidation. The technology has potential applications for inactivating viruses by oxidizing, denaturing and degrading proteins and other substances on the virus surface. With oxygen in the air... Read more →

An anti-pollution helmet developed by a Delhi-based startup can help 2-wheeler riders breathe cleaner air. The helmet developed by Shellios Technolabs has a Bluetooth-enabled app that lets the rider know when the helmet requires cleaning. The helmet titled PUROS is integrated with air purifying accessories which include the patented innovations... Read more →

The world’s biggest cities and urban areas face some of the worst air quality on the planet, according to a new report published by HEI (Health Effects Institute). The report, Air Quality and Health in Cities, released by HEI’s State of Global Air Initiative, provides a comprehensive and detailed analysis... Read more →

Chile is the world’s top copper producer (27% of global production) and exporter. In Chile, copper is mostly found in sulfide ores, especially in chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), bornite (Cu5FeS4) and chalcocite (Cu2S). The continual exploitation of ore reserves leads to the necessity of mining ores from deeper parts of deposits, often... Read more →

Lancet Series: Improving road safety measures could save half a million lives every year worldwide

Improving road safety by adopting proven interventions targeting four key risk factors for road injuries (speeding, drunk driving, lack of helmet, and seatbelt use) in 185 countries could save between 347,000 and 540,000 lives worldwide every year, and offers enormous potential to improve the health and development of individuals and... Read more →

The health of residents living alongside a bus route in Gothenburg, Sweden, improved when hybrid buses were replaced by buses fully powered by electricity. Accompanying the lower noise levels from bus traffic was a reduction of fatigue, day time sleepiness and low mood, a study at the University of Gothenburg... Read more →

BASF has launched UpCore, a new service providing a cost-effective and sustainable technology upgrade from a standard ozone converter to an ozone-VOC (volatile organic compounds) converter for cleaner and healthier aircraft cabin air. UpCore replaces the catalyst core of an ozone-only converter with an ozone-VOC catalyst, a sustainable solution as... Read more →

Toyochem Co., Ltd., the polymers and coatings arm of Japan’s Toyo Ink Group, launched a new low-odor, low-VOC acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA), the Oribain EXK 21-046, for use in enclosed spaces such as vehicles and building interiors. EXK 21-046 PSAs not only demonstrate good bonds to metals, plastics, textiles and... Read more →

Small particles from tires inhibit the growth and cause adverse behavioral changes in organisms found in freshwater and coastal estuary ecosystems, according to two new Oregon State University studies. The findings are part of a continued effort by scientists to unravel the impacts of microplastics and nanoplastics on aquatic ecosystems... Read more →

Every time it rains, fish living downstream of storm drains are exposed to pollutants, including the tire-derived compound 6PPD-quinone, in the runoff. Recently, this substance has been linked to massive die-offs of coho salmon across the US West Coast. Now, researchers in Canada report that exposure to 6PPD-quinone at environmentally... Read more →

Manufacturers add synthetic antioxidants to plastics, rubbers and other polymers to make them last longer. However, the health effects of these compounds, and how readily they migrate into the environment, are largely unknown. Now, researchers have detected a broad range of emerging synthetic antioxidants, called hindered phenol and sulfur antioxidants,... Read more →

PPG to supply Cellforce Group with new NMP-free cathode binder

Cellforce Group (CFG)—the joint venture between Porsche and CUSTOMCELLS (earlier post)—has partnered with PPG, a global supplier of paints, coatings, and specialty materials. PPG will supply cathode binder systems which are free of N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent, to the Cellforce Group. NMP, which is widely used in electrode manufacturing, has been... Read more →

EPA to evaluate whether lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft endanger human health and welfare

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will evaluate whether emissions from piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded fuel contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare. The agency plans to issue a proposal for public review and comment in 2022 and take final action in 2023. EPA has been... Read more →

A new modeling study led by researchers from George Washington Universit (GWU) finds that 86% of people living in cities worldwide (~2.5 billion people) are exposed to annual average levels of fine particulate matter exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline from 2005, leading to 1.8 million excess deaths in... Read more →

Researchers find ammonium concentration in PM2.5 leading to higher risk of death

Ammonium is one of the specific components of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that has been linked to a higher risk of death compared to other chemicals found in it, according to a new study in the journal Epidemiology. This finding stems from the largest global analysis of its kind, led... Read more →

Fossil fuel combustion, a major source of air pollution, contributed to more than one million deaths globally in 2017, more than 27% of all deaths from outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), according to a new report published by the Health Effects Institute (HEI). Coal combustion alone was responsible for half... Read more →

Study links increased black carbon pollution to increase in cases of lung adenocarcinoma worldwide

An international team of scientists, led by NTU Singapore, has linked increased air pollution to an uptick in cases of lung adenocarcinoma (LADC) worldwide. Lung adenocarcinoma—an aggressive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)—is a type of cancer for which research strongly suggests that genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors play a part.... Read more →

Air pollution was responsible for 1.1 million deaths across Africa in 2019, with household air pollution—driven largely by indoor cookstoves—accounting for 697,000 fatalities (64%), while increased outdoor air pollution claimed 394,000 lives (36%), a team of researchers led by Boston College and the UN Environment Programme report in an open-access... Read more →