June 30, 2009

Effect of Air pollution in women health

Women exposed to air pollution in urban areas during pregnancy have smaller fetuses than those in areas with cleaner air according to the study by researchers at Queensland University in Brisbane, Australia.

The air pollution of concern is from urban areas, which tends to be mainly caused by automobile emissions, especially sulphur dioxide (s20)from diesel engines. Nitrogen dioxide(n20) and particulate matter from automobile engines are also included.

Dr. Adrian Barnett suggests that women seriously consider reducing their exposure to this form of air pollution during pregnancy. Those who live near major roads are most at risk.

The study compared fetus sizes of 15,000+ ultrasound scans to levels of air pollution in different areas within a 14 km radius of downtown Brisbane. The fetuses were between the 13th and 26th weeks of development.If the pollution levels were high, the size of the fetus decreased significantly.

Nitrogen dioxide has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by University of California, San Diego researchers in a 2005 study. SIDS is characterized by the sudden and unexplainable death of a seemingly healthy infant aged one month to one year.

Furthermore, a 2004 study by researchers from Sao Paulo University in Brazil found that fewer boys were born in polluted areas. Female fetuses tend to be more apt at surviving harsh conditions in the womb and during birth. In areas with the least pollution, 51.7% of the babies born between January 2001 and December 2003 were male. In the most polluted areas, 50.7% were male.

The researchers in Brazil did another study with male rats in filtered and unfiltered ambient air. After four months of these conditions, the male rates were mated with female rats not exposed to pollution. Males from the filtered air produced young of a 1.34 male/female ratio. Males from unfiltered air produced young of a 0.86 male/female ratio. Some hypotheses that can be drawn from these results are that pollution increases the ratio of female/male sperm produced, pollution damages male sperm more than female sperm, or that both are damaged the same amount but males are less able to withstand the damage. The exact mechanism is unknown.
Thanks: naturenews

June 28, 2009

Energy and climate change

Human consume energy by burning organic sources (oil, coal, gas, biomass) and other human activities have changed the chemical composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, which in turn will influence the behavior of global climate patterns such as:
  • Wetter winters and drier summers with longer, hotter and more frequent heat waves.
  • Weather and climate changes that could require farmers to raise different crops.
  • Dairy cattle with heat exhaustion and growing pest populations.
  • Poor air quality and higher concentrations of ground-level ozone, an air pollutant that causes severe health problems.

June 27, 2009

Plastic pollution in the sea and land

The plastic bags you bring home from the supermarket probably end up in a landfill. Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are distributed, and less than 3% of those bags are recycled. They are typically made of polyethylene and can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills that emit harmful greenhouse gases. Reducing your contribution to plastic-bag pollution is as simple as using a cloth bag (or one made of biodegradable plant-based materials) instead of wasting plastic ones.

A lot of plastic products are produced annually. Obviously quite a lot of that material goes into landfill and small quantities are recycled. However quite substantial amounts do enter the environment as litter or debris. It's estimated that about eight million items of litter go into the sea every day, and much of that is plastic.Most of this plastic in sea found floating on the surface.A lots of plastic on the deep sea bed as well now. As plastics stay in the sea, they become fouled by marine organisms and this alters the overall density of the plastic object so that plastics that floated when they first entered the sea become negatively buoyant and sink to the seabed.

It's a big problem not only with animals in the sea but animals in general.

Way to combat climate change

“Your planet needs you-Unite to combat climate change”

The planet is ours and we need to combat climate change together. Then how to combat? According to the UNEP, there is 12 ways to do this...................

1. Make a commitment : Reducing the carbon footprint is no different from any other task. Only telling people to reduce carbon emissions may seem simplistic, but even simple actions like announcing a commitment to going carbon neutral can be effective, while the simple act of asking for ideas can lead to creative and innovative solutions. In recent months, several countries have indicated that they will go carbon neutral, led by Costa Rica, New Zealand and Norway.

2.Assess where you stand: It is likely that carbon will eventually be judged as an atmospheric pollutant and regulated accordingly, with consequent costs and opportunities for all sectors of society. Knowing where and how we generate greenhouse gases is the first step to reducing them. For individuals and small businesses, online calculators and internal assessments can help start the process. Larger organizations may need specialised advice and tools.

3. Decide and plan where you want to go : Based on the assessment of climate-related risks and opportunities, a strategy and action plan can be developed. Targets help focused efforts and also provide a benchmark for measuring success. Most homes or businesses can reduce energy use by 10 per cent which almost always results in a 10 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

4. De-carbon your life: There is a broader way to think about carbon and climate. Everything an individual, organization, business or government does or uses embodies some form of carbon, either in products themselves or in the energy and materials it takes to make them. Buildings, fittings and equipment are all proxies for carbon. Integrating climate friendly criteria into decision making can trigger a ripple effect.

5. Get energy efficient : Improving the efficiency of our buildings, computers, cars etc. is the fastest and most lucrative way to save money, energy and carbon emission. While conventional buildings can account for almost 40 per cent of CO2 emissions, high performance, environmentally accountable, energy efficient and productive facilities are now economically possible.

6. Switch to low carbon energy : We can switch to energy sources that emit less carbon and can reduce costs and emissions. Since the lowest carbon energy source the hydro power generation -- has long-term negative impact and in here, we don't have enough wind power, we can switch over largely to solar power that is very much available round the year in this tropical country. In many parts of the world customers can choose to have a percentage of their electricity supplied from a renewable energy source. These 'green choice' programmes are maturing and proving to be a powerful stimulus for growth in renewable energy supply.

7. Invest in offsets and cleaner alternatives : There is a limit to how much efficiency we can squeeze from our lifestyle or our organization's operations, or how much renewable energy we can employ. The choice for those who wish to compensate for their remaining emissions is to fund an activity by another party that reduces emissions. This is commonly called a 'carbon offset' or 'carbon credit'.

8. Get efficient : Looking at our life or business through a carbon neutral lens can help us in other ways by increasing the efficiency of resource use, avoiding and reducing waste and ultimately improving the overall performance. After all, carbon is generally the waste product of producing energy, and reducing waste and becoming more efficient is always a good idea.

9. Offer or buy low carbon products and services : The market for climate friendly products and services is growing rapidly, from energy efficient products to new renewable energy systems. To offer such products, however, it's important to begin at the design stage. Actions as simple as adding energy efficient specifications into the design process, for example, can produce a design that minimizes energy consumption during its use and saves customers the time and energy from making adjustments to a product after a purchase.

10.Buy green, sell green : The market for green products and services is growing rapidly. In many countries consumer surveys report that growing numbers of consumers are willing to buy green products if given the choice. For businesses, innovative product design and presentation combined with responsible marketing and communication can help ensure that this consumer interest translates into purchasing.

11.Team up : Many private sector companies are increasingly working with non-governmental organizations, cities or governments to identify and implement best practice solutions to reduce emissions. The Carbon Disclosure Project, for example, is an independent non-profit organization providing information for institutional investors with a combined US$41 trillion of assets under management.

12.Talk : The increasing importance of climate change means that companies and organizations will need to communicate. Transparency is critical. The internet and other new media mean that companies, organizations and governments cannot hide behind green wash. This is where tools for verification and reporting guidelines with recognized indicators are critical.

At last you be the one who can help to Save this World.

June 25, 2009

Cause of Land pollution

Contaminating the land surface of the Earth through dumping urban waste matter indiscriminately, dumping of industrial waste, mineral exploitation, and misusing the soil by harmful agricultural practices causes Land pollution.

Land Pollution Comprises Of Solid Waste and Soil Pollution.

Solid Waste:

Some of the sources of solid waste that cause land pollution are:

1.Wastes from Agriculture

2.Wastes from Mining

3.Wastes from Industries

4.Solids from Sewage Treatment



Soil Pollution:

Soil pollution is mainly due to chemicals in herbicides (weed killers) and pesticides (poisons which kill insects and other invertebrate pests). Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, at bus stops and near shops.soil pollution results from:

* Unhealthy methods of soil management.
* Harmful practices of irrigation methods.

Land pollution is caused by farms because they allow manure to collect, which leaches into the nearby land areas. Chemicals that are used for purposes like sheep dipping also cause serious land pollution as do diesel oil spillages.

Air pollution due to Carbon Monoxide(co)

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas produced by incomplete, or inefficient, combustion of fuel causes air pollution.
It forms during the incomplete combustion of fuels that contain carbon. Vehicle exhaust makes up more than 60% of all CO emissions nationwide, and is one of the most dominant pollutants in cities. CO can also come from forest fires, and its concentrations are the highest during cold weather.

This gas prevents the normal transport of oxygen by the blood. This can lead to a significant reduction in the supply of oxygen to the heart, particularly in people suffering from heart disease.The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu. They include fatigue, dizziness, irregular breathing, cherry red lips, nausea, headache, paleness, and coughing.The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, 1,500 Americans die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. About 900 of these deaths occur in homes and are preventable .

Any fuel-burning appliance that is not adequately vented and maintained can be a potential source of CO, including:

* gas appliances (furnaces, ranges, ovens, water heaters, clothes dryers, etc.)
* fireplaces, wood and coal stoves, space heaters, charcoal grills, automobile exhaust fumes, camp stoves, gas-powered lawn mowers, and power tools


June 22, 2009

Ozone risks life

Scientific concern about the future of man's fragile environment has ranged from pollution of the oceans and the air to radioactive contamination in a nuclear war. Now researchers are turning their attention to the atmosphere's ozone layer, which protects all life below from a lethal overdose of the sun's ultraviolet light. Their ominous findings: the vital blanket of gas is so fragile that it might well be severely damaged or destroyed by large-scale atmospheric nuclear tests, to say nothing of military and civilian supersonic aircraft, and even the widespread use of aerosol sprays.

Ozone is a form of oxygen that has three instead of the usual two atoms of oxygen in each molecule of gas. It is formed when ordinary molecules of oxygen are ripped apart by radiation or discharges of electricity, and is most noticeable after a lightning storm, when it can be detected by its pungent smell. 

Environment friendly Solar power

Renewable energy technologies like wind and solar were the fastest growing new sources of electricity in the World.Electricity may be generated from solar power in two way:
  1. silicon panels
  2. solar thermal
In silicon panels technique ray is direct converted to electricity and in Solar thermal process mirrors used to focus the heat of the sun, creating steam that can drive electric turbines.
The advantages of concentrated solar power (or solar thermal, as it's also known) is that utilities can build commercial-scale plants that could potentially replace fossil fuel-powered plants for a lot less money than what it would take to install thousands of distributed solar photovoltaic panels.

June 21, 2009

Toxic waste kill Dolphins

Toxic waste in the Mekong River is a factor pushing an endangered dolphin species to extinction, the WWF warned on Thursday, estimating there were less than 80 left in a stretch of water between Cambodia and Laos.
Conservation group the World Wildlife for Nature (WWF) said high levels of mercury and other pollutants had caused the deaths of 88 Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins since 2003, over 60 percent of them calves under two weeks old.
The WWF said limited genetic diversity due to inbreeding was another factor in the deaths of the Mekong dolphins, which were isolated from other members of the species.

However, one Cambodian specialist, Touch Seang Tana, who heads a group called Mekong River Dolphins Conservation, denied the animal was in danger of extinction and estimated there were 150 in Cambodia,1,000 lived in Asia, including in India, Myanmar and Thailand.

The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The WWF researchers also warned that pollutants found in the Mekong water could affect the health of millions of humans who rely on resources from the river.

Global warming braked less than expected by haze

Air pollution, dust and other tiny particles that can bounce sunlight back into space are braking global warming less than previously believed, a Norwegian study said.

The report, which helps understand how climate change works, said scientific estimates of light-reflecting airborne particles had underestimated a fast build-up of black airborne soot, which has the opposite effect by soaking up heat.

"The black carbon, or soot, emissions have increased fastest," said Gunnar Myhre of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo (Cicero) of the report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

China promote solar systems

China, the world's top greenhouse gas polluter, is trying to catch up in a global race to find alternatives to fossil fuels, blamed for carbon emissions affecting the planet's climate.
Although China supplies half the world's solar panels, it contributes very little to demand as the cost of tapping solar energy to generate electricity remains steep and investors find little economic sense in pursuing solar projects in China where incentives are few.

China's government said in March it will offer to pay 20 yuan ($2.90) per watt of solar systems fixed to roofs and which have a capacity of more than 50 kilowatt peak (kwp).

The subsidy, which could cover half the cost of installing the system, was popular among developers, attracting applications equivalent to the building of 1 gigawatt of solar power.
One GW, or 1 billion watts, is enough electricity to power a million homes.

June 20, 2009

The Canadian government band Chemicals

(Reuters) - The Canadian government proposed on Friday to ban the use of chemicals known as phthalates in soft vinyl toys, dolls, inflatable toys and vinyl bibs that could cause problems if sucked or chewed by a child for extended periods.
But the chemical industry said there was no scientific basis for such a ban.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said studies showed the phthalates, which help make vinyl plastic soft and flexible, may cause liver and kidney failure in young children if it is in their mouths for a long time.
"This is part of our overall efforts to ensure that families have confidence in the quality and safety of what they buy," she said as she announced the proposed regulations.
The American Chemistry Council said
"There is no scientific basis to believe that Health Canada's decision to restrict certain phthalates in children's products will improve public health or meet the stated objective of protecting the health and safety of Canadian children."

Environment friendly plastic bottle

Coca-Cola Co. is developing a new type of bottle that could replace at least some of the
environmentally harmful plastic.It and other beverage-makers now use with more Earth-friendly material made from sugar cane and molasses. They call this project "PlantBottle".
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said
"the PlantBottle is one of many methods the company is exploring to make its packaging greener."
Lisa Manley said
"We're interested in developing the packaging of the future, which we think is going to be in some ways derived from either plants or something else that is a naturally occurring resource that's not under stress like petroleum."

Coke's new type of bottle would be made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials. It's initially being made with sugar cane and molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, but other plant materials are being explored.
The blend could make the recycling process easier and cheaper, and reduce the time discarded bottles sit in landfills.
Plastic bottles today are made from a petroleum-based resin known as polyethylene terephthalate. PET bottles are recyclable, but the process can be relatively expensive and complex. PET bottles that aren't recycled can take years to decompose.
Coke is one of the biggest producers of plastic bottles, which are a bane of environmentalists. Consumers drain about a billion PET bottles every week, and only 18 percent to 23 percent are recycled, says the Container Recycling Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington.

June 19, 2009

Save energy by hang up a clothes line

A recent study by Cambridge University's Institute of Manufacturing found that 60% of the energy associated with a piece of clothing is spent in washing and drying it. Over its lifetime, a T shirt can send up to 9 lbs. of carbon dioxide into the air.Steps that may interested you:

  1. wash your clothes in warm water instead of hot
  2. save up to launder a few big loads instead of many smaller ones.
  3. Use the most efficient machine you can find—newer ones can use as little as one-fourth the energy of older machines.
  4. Dry your clean clothes in the natural way, by hanging them on a line rather than loading them in a dryer.
Altogether you can reduce the CO2 created by your laundry up to 90%.

Reduce carbon emissions around the world

To reduce the use of carbon.Carbone taxes may be applied in Bangladesh.
Carbon taxes are a of set tax rate that placed on the consumption of carbon in any form—fossil-fuel electricity, gasoline—with the idea that raising the price will encourage industries and individuals to consume less.

A 10% flat carbon tax might reduce the demand for carbon about 5% or less, according to an analysis by the Carbon Tax Center, an environmental advocacy group. That may not be enough. Businesses and governments haven't figured out how the two competing regimes can work together, but in the end, the world may need both.

Save energy by change your lightbulb

Household energy may save by using compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL) rather than using ordinary Bulb.CFLs cost is 3 to 5 time larger then conventional incandescent bulbs but it use one-quarter the electricity with longer life time. A 7-watt CFLs are comparable to a regular 40-watt bulb, 26 watts is the typical CFL equivalent of 100 watts and so on. Another energy saving light source is LED(Light Emitting Diode) which is now under test in house hold .It is energy efficient and cost effective then any other light source.

Save energy save world

By using low -tech and pragmatic techniques we can maximize your new home's efficiency. Oru Bose, a sustainable-design architect in Santa Fe, N.M. says

“Doing simple things could drastically reduce your energy costs, by 40%."

For example, control heat, air and moisture leakage by sealing windows and doors. Insulate the garage, attic and basement with natural, nontoxic materials like reclaimed blue jeans. Protect windows from sunrays with large overhangs and double-pane glass.
Next, consider renewable energy sources like solar electric systems, compact wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps to help power your home.
GreenHomeGuide.com will help you find bamboo flooring, cork tiles, and countertops made from recycled wastepaper.


June 18, 2009

Cause of Arsenic Pollution

Arsenic is an element found in geological formations, particularly in granites also containing copper and tin. As long as the arsenic remains bound in the granite, it causes no problems to people. But in certain conditions, natural weathering of the granite occurs and the arsenic is released into the ground water. Hydrogeologist say that in Bangladesh, the weathering occurs deep in the ground where no oxygen is present and where the sediments contain high concentrations of arsenic-rich iron hydroxides.

To provide microbiologically safe drinking water to 97% of the population more than 3 million tube wells used in Bangladesh.
But now tubewells have generated a new health problem. Arsenic poisoning now noticed on the tube wells. . One tubewell may contain high levels of arsenic while a nearby tubewell in the same village may be free of arsenic. . According to the experience of Taiwan, people in Bangladesh are at higher risk of cancers of the skin and internal organs.

Possible cause of Arsenic Pollution:

1. Arsenic-based pesticides used in agriculture.
2. Natural weathering.
3. Mining, smelting, pesticide spraying and coal burning.

Table of contents

June 17, 2009

Power crisis in Bangladesh and Solar Plant

Bangladesh is an agrarian country.To become a industrial country Bangladesh have to develop its power sector.According to the Report of the Task Forces on Bangladesh Development Strategies for the 1990s, as s of 1991, 73.1% of the total energy consumption comes from biomass fuel, such as agricultural residues, tree residues, fuel wood, and dung. The use of biomass is not only an ineffective means of energy generation, it is also extremely detrimental to the environment. For instance, the forest cover in Bangladesh has been reduced from 15.6% to 13.4% between 1973 and 1987. According to some reports, the present forest cover is less than 9%. The decrease in forest cover contributes, among other adverse affects on the environment, to the increase in flooding propensity.

To meet the energy demand in the future, further research and development of the nuclear energy will continue throughout the world. Many countries in North America and Europe heavily rely on nuclear energy. For example, France uses up to 75% of nuclear energy to meet the national demand. Canada, Germany, UK, Sweden, USA, and Japan also use a significant amount of energy generated by nuclear reactors. According to the Energy Information Administration, the USA produces about 15% of its electricity (477 billion kilowatt-hour) supply from 132 nuclear reactors. India produces about 2% of its electricity (5.5 billion kilowatt-hours) from nine nuclear reactors.

Although nuclear energy is very efficient, it is relatively costly. Also, there are some risks involved in safety procedures and disposal of waste materials generated in nuclear power plants. Occasional accidents can be dangerous.

Another solve of energy crisis is Solar energy.The energy resource in Bangladesh is not unlimited.Solar energy may be the best solution in this situation in Bangladesh.Solar Power Plants - indirectly generate electricity when the heat from solar thermal collectors is used to heat a fluid which produces steam that is used to power generator.The advantage of solar plant is that it is environment friendly and disadvantage is it is costly then any other power system.But solar power is unlimited. Solar energy production needs no fuel, high durability and reliability and being able to operate for prolonged periods without maintenance make it economical for all types of remote applications.

June 16, 2009

Two million people a year killed by air pollution

According to new research examined by the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution in cities around the world causes roughly 2 million premature deaths each year.

The WHO warned that in order for some cities to meet its recommendations, levels of pollution would need to be cut by as much as three fold. Because many countries currently lack any air pollution standards and many countries are still developing, the WHO acknowledged its guidelines could be difficult to follow.

Traffic Pollution could cause Asthma

Traffic pollution could cause asthma in children, rather than simply trigger attacks.Scientists at the University of California at Davis studied the effect of repeated exposure to ozone - a constituent of traffic smog - on rhesus monkeys.They found that after living in an environment described as "similar to Mexico City" for only a few months, the young animals had developed symptoms of borderline asthma.These included reduced lung capacity, and an apparently increased sensitivity to the dust mite allergen, wheezing when exposed to it for short periods.Monkeys exposed on a regular basis to both ozone and dust mite allergen had more severe reactions, including decreased blood oxygen levels.

June 15, 2009

Ship Breaking in Bangladesh causes pollution

The demolition of ships is a dirty and dangerous occupation.The feasibility of ship-breaking is largely determined by the price of scrap metal.

The Beaches where ship breaking is undertaken become polluted with chemicals and toxic substances and are littered with small, sharp, iron splinters that can cause injury to workers who are usually barefoot. Accidents are not reported or recorded and workers who are affected by occupational disease or accident lose their jobs. Employers usually conceal information when a worker dies as a result of an occupational accident. In most cases, victims' families are not informed as contractors do not use proper names and addresses of their workers.

Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project and Bangladesh

The Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project is being constructed near the confluence of Barak and Tuivai rivers, in Manipur, India and within 100km of Bangladesh border. The 164 meter high dam will have a firm generation capacity of 401.25MW of electricity.
According to international laws, without the consent of the downstream river nation and causing environmental damage no one country can control the multi-nation rivers alone. But nobody cares for these international laws. The people of Manipur have been fighting legally to stop the project but have so far been unsuccessful. The Indian government is going ahead with the plan. The Sinlung Indigenous People Human Rights Organisation (SIPHRO) of India said that “the process for choosing it (the project premises) ignored both the indigenous people and the recommendations of the WCD (World Commission on Dams)”.
The proposed dam is only 100 km away from Bangladesh border and even at the construction phase will have an impact on Bangladesh, let alone after its completion.Although the dam is designed to generate electricity and not to divert water from the river, the fact is that India by constructing it is to change or modify the traditional flow and use of the Barak river, that constitutes the source of two rivers, Surma and Kushiara, in Sylhet, which in turn feed the mighty Meghna river of Bangladesh.The anxiety for Bangladesh is that India has not taken Bangladesh into confidence on the details of the dam and therefore Bangladesh cannot properly assess as to how the dam will affect Bangladesh.

Tipaimukh Dam and its effects on Bangladesh:

The use of water of rivers is of two kinds:
(a) Non-consumptive (does not reduce the flow of water of the river)
(b) Consumptive( reduce the flow of water of the river)

For example, dam for hydro-electric power (Kaptai Dam) may be called non-consumptive use, while diversion of water through barrage and feeder canal (Farakka Barrage) is for consumptive use.

Although Tipaimukh Dam may not reduce water, it certainly changes the traditional flow of water that has been running since time immemorial.. The change of river flow of water through construction of a dam would have many ramifications on the lower riparian country, Bangladesh.


So what you think about this article please let me know.Give comment.

June 14, 2009

Nuclear plant in Bangladesh

The word "nuclear" invokes, power plants that depend on atomic energy don't operate that differently from a typical coal-burning power plant. Both heat water into pressurized steam, which drives a turbine generator.Nuclear plants depend on the heat that occurs during nuclear fission, when one atom splits into two.
Nuclear plant provide about 15 % of the world electricity in 2007.In 2008 there are more than 430 operating nuclear power plant.
Now question is what is the problem about Nuclear plant?
Answer is Nuclear Waste.Nuclear waste is the radioactive waste left over from nuclear reactors, nuclear research projects, and nuclear bomb production. Nuclear waste is divided into low, medium, and high-level waste by the amount of radioactivity the waste produces.
In the United States alone "millions of gallons of radioactive waste" as well as "thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and material" and also "huge quantities of contaminated soil and water."In the U.S. alone, fossil fuel waste kills 20,000 people each year.Some nuclear waste has very long life time { Tc-99 (half-life 220,000 years) and I-129 (half-life 17 million years) } which dominate spent fuel radioactivity after a few thousand years. The most troublesome transuranic elements in spent fuel are Np-237 (half-life two million years) and Pu-239 (half life 24,000 years).[21] Nuclear waste requires sophisticated treatment and management in order to successfully isolate it from interacting with the biosphere. This usually necessitates treatment, followed by a long-term management strategy involving storage, disposal or transformation of the waste into a non-toxic form.On average, a nuclear power plant annually generates 20 metric tons of used nuclear fuel, classified as high-level radioactive waste. Taking every nuclear plant on Earth into account , the combined total climbs to roughly 2,000 metric tons yearly. All of this waste emits radiation and heat, meaning that it will eventually corrode any container and can prove lethal to nearby life forms.

The approval given to Bangladesh by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set up nuclear reactors for power generation is an opportunity that the country should seize in order to cope with the ever-growing demand for electricity. It's also a recognition of the fact that Bangladesh is now considered a stable country where nuclear reactors can be built to meet its development needs through power generation.
However, successful use of nuclear technology will depend on a number of factors.

1. A team of experts has to be appointed to study the issue in detail. We have qualified professionals in this field who will get an opportunity to prove themselves once a nuclear reactor is put in place.
2.The memories of Chernobyl are still fresh in our mind.So its doubly necessary to take the precautions and safety measures to prevent mishaps. Even in the United States and the former Soviet Union nuclear plant accidents took place with disastrous consequences.
3. We have to upgrade our maintenance and supervision methods to internationally acceptable levels to be able to safely run nuclear plants.

So what you think, power generation through nuclear reactors is ideal for Bangladesh ? In the shake of high demand of electricity it is essential for Bangladesh.But it can cause serious damage to the environment due to mismanagement.

What you think about this Article. Please let me know.Comment on this Article.

June 13, 2009

Oil pollution kill Seabirds

Oil pollution is a great threat to marine birds, particularly for those that spend a lot of time on the surface of the water such as loons, alcids (puffins, murres, razorbills, etc.), and waterfowl.
Chronic oil pollution can be even more insidious, and in some areas, are likely to kill more seabirds than single large scale spills. Oil and contaminants from illegal dumping of bilge wastes continue to pose an enormous threat to seabirds. For example, in Newfoundland, regular beached bird surveys have resulted in estimates of chronic oiling mortality at at least 300,000 birds each year.

June 12, 2009

Pollution with BPA(Bisphenoal A)

Hormone experts said , they are becoming worried by a chemical called bisphenol A.They said they have gathered a growing body evidence to show the compound, also known as BPA, might damage human health. The Endocrine Society issued a scientific statement on Wednesday calling for better studies into its effects.

BPA can affect the hearts of women, can permanently damage the DNA of mice, and appear to be pouring into the human body from a variety of unknown sources which some politicians say they want taken out of products and which consumers are increasingly shunning.
BPA, used to stiffen plastic bottles, line cans and make smooth paper receipts, belongs to a broad class of compounds called endocrine disruptors.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is examining their safety but there has not been much evidence to show that they are any threat to human health.

"We present evidence that endocrine disruptors do have effects on male and female development, prostate cancer, thyroid disease, cardiovascular disease," Dr. Robert Carey of the University of Virginia, who is president of the Endocrine Society, told a news conference."

Dr. Hugh Taylor of Yale University in Connecticut found evidence in mice that the compounds could affect unborn pups.

"We exposed some mice to bisphenol A and then we looked at their offspring," Taylor told the news conference.

"We found that even when a they had a brief exposure during pregnancy ... mice exposed to these chemicals as a fetus carried these changes throughout their lives."

The BPA did not directly change DNA through mutations, but rather through a process called epigenetics -- when chemicals attach to the DNA and change its function.

Taylor noted studies have shown that most people have some BPA in their blood, although the effects of these levels are not clear.

Dr. Frederick Vom Saal of the University of Missouri, who has long studied endocrine disruptors, said tests on monkeys showed the body quickly clears BPA -- which may at first sound reassuring.

But he said when tests show most people have high levels, this suggests they are being repeatedly exposed to BPA.

"We are really concerned that there is a very large amount of bisphenol A that must be coming from other sources," Vom Saal said.

Dr. Scott Belcher of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and colleagues will tell the meeting they found BPA could affect the heart cells of female mice, sending them into an uneven beating pattern called an arrhythmia.

"These effects are specific on the female heart. The male heart does not respond in this way and we understand why," Belcher said. He said BPA interacts with estrogen and said the findings may help explain why young women are more likely to die when they have a heart attack than men of the same age.

U.S. government toxicologists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences expressed concern last year that BPA may hurt development of the prostate and brain.

A 2008 study by British researchers linked high levels of BPA to heart disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2009 (Reuters)

June 11, 2009

Devices for detecting Toxins

Electrical Engineers Develop Microplasma Device to Detect Toxins

Electrical engineers have developed a new, portable lab that identifies chemicals by their unique color signatures. It is the first such device to be portable, allowing scientists to recognize potentially deadly chemicals right on the scene of crime, terrorist attacks, or industrial accidents.

Jeffrey Hopwood, an electrical engineer at Plasma Science and Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston, invented a portable microplasma device to detect deadly toxins in the air. He says,
"So when I hold this to the fluorescent light, you can see mercury in the spectrum and the plasma source is only about the size of a human hair."

This portable microplasma device is extraordinary because of its size. It can be taken anywhere. It uses a spectrometer to measure the unique set of colors or wavelengths emitted by dangerous chemicals. "Any time you excite a sample gas it will emit a unique signature of color or wavelengths," Hopwood says.

Depending on the color, researchers can determine the type and amount of contamination. For example, sulfur dioxide is released from burning coal and causes acid rain. The device would give off a blue-green color, indicating sulfur.

The device is lightweight and cheaper than all the other detection devices. Currently desktop-size machines tests for contaminants but samples cannot be analyzed on scene.
The microplasma device is currently used for industrial purposes.

Northeastern University researchers have built a portable, cell-phone-sized device that can quickly detect tiny amounts of contaminants in the air from natural disasters, industrial accidents, or terrorist attacks. Slated to become commercially available in the next year, the device uses some of the same technology used in cell phones and plasma televisions to create a smaller, cheaper, and lighter portable unit for performing chemical analysis, instead of bulky lab equipment requiring thousands of watts of power.

HOW IT WORKS: The microplasma device converts samples taken from the air into very small plasmas and then measures the unique set of light colors (wavelengths) that are subsequently emitted by the electrically charged atoms and molecules. A cell-phone chip supplies the radio-wave energy needed to create the microplasma. Instead of beaming those radio waves to the outside world, that energy is concentrated inside the unit, in a microscopic gap -- about one-half the width of a human hair -- within a thin ring of gold. All that energy in so small an area causes the collected gases in the gap to become what scientists call 'ionized': the electrons are stripped from the gas atoms. The device watches the light emission from the plasma to determine if there are any contaminants in the air. It can do this because every chemical element has a distinct "signature" in the form of what kind of light it will emit under those circumstances.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and AVS -- the Science and Technology Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

Pollution and pollutants remove process

Pollutants that enter the air can be removed in several different ways.

Particulates:Particulates are very small pieces of solids, mainly carbon, that are released into the air during incomplete combustion. Since they are solids, they will stick to other solid materials that they come into contact with.
Sulfur dioxide:Sulfur dioxide is formed when fuels containing sulfur compounds are burned. Sulfur dioxide reacts with water and oxygen in the air to produce acid rain. This removes sulfur dioxide from the air, but the acid rain corrodes buildings and kills plants.
Nitrogen dioxide:Nitrogen dioxide also reacts with water and oxygen in the air to produce acid rain.
Carbon dioxide:Carbon dioxide is produced by burning fossil fuels, such as like coal, oil, petrol and natural gas.

Plants remove some of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because they use it in photosynthesis. Here is the word equation for photosynthesis:

carbon dioxide + water → glucose + oxygen

This process uses energy from sunlight. The energy has been absorbed into the plant by the green pigment chlorophyll.

Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere when it dissolves in both rain water and sea water. As a result rain water becomes slightly acidic, and the oceans are a huge reservoir of dissolved carbon dioxide.

Not all the carbon dioxide we produce is removed from the atmosphere. The level of CO2 is steadily increasing, and this contributes to global warming.

Noise pollution cause serious health damage

Noise pollution is one kind of energy pollution. It occurs when the exposure of people or animals to levels of sound that are annoying, stressful, or damaging to the ears.Normally the sound that affect wildlife, human activity, or are capable of damaging physical structures on a regular, repeating basis may term as sound pollution.
In rural areas, train and airplane noise can disturb wildlife habits, thereby affecting the manner in which animals in areas around train tracks and airports hunt and mate.
On city streets noise pollution can be caused by hydraulic horns of vehicles (the most harmful offenders), microphones and cassette players. The hydraulic horns used by buses, trucks and scooters in the crowded city streets are dangerous for human being.
Noise intensity is measured in decibel (dB) units. At 45 dB of noise the average person generally cannot sleep. At 120 dB the ear registers pain; hearing damage begins at a much lower level, about 85 dB.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), generally 60 dB sound can make a man deaf temporarily and 100 dB sound can cause complete deafness.The DOE (Department of Environment) states that noise causes mental and physical illness among the people. It causes high blood pressure, headache, indigestion, tachycardia, peptic ulcer, and also affects sound sleep. Anyone may become deaf for the time being if 100 dB or more noise pollution occurs for half an hour or more in any place.

Steps that can be taken to prevent it :

(1) Implementation of the Noise Control Rules.
(2) Complete banning of the vehicular hydraulic horns in any place of the country.
(3) Expanding the monitoring programs at the main traffic points to determine whether the
vehicles follow the orders or not.
(4) Improving traffic control.
(5) To be relocated the bus/truck terminals at the out side of city.
(6) Banning the loudspeakers from processions and meetings, high volume of audio players
from roadside small business enterprises.
(7) Banning industrial activity in residential areas.
(8) To be established underground and overhead transportation system in the city.
(9) Growing public awareness on sound pollution.

June 8, 2009

Pollution due to Plastic

Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semi synthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs.

plastics are composed of polymers of carbon and hydrogen alone or with oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine or sulfur in the backbone.

June 7, 2009

Karnafully River Water of Bangladesh is under pollution

The Karnafully is one of the most important River of Bangladesh. It is called the mother of Chittagong city because it feeding the city in many ways and also contents the all kinds of garbage of that city and it play an important role in the communication system of the whole region. From the beginning the importance of the river was very much and increasing day by day. But at present that river is under pollution.
In a recent study show that due to industrial wastes, municipality sewage and agricultural runoff on the river water she is nearly facing Biological death. Standard temperature for sustaining aquatic life is 20-30 (0C) where as current temperature is 230C.

Traffic pollution problem in Dhaka city

In Dhaka city the daily total emissions of NOx, HC, CO, PM, and SOx are estimated whish is equivalent to: 42, 39, 314, 14, and 42 tons/day, respectively. Daily average concentration of NOx (NO2, NO) were measured at 28 street locations in Dhaka city during November, 1996.
Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), photochemical oxidants e.g., ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and lead (Pb) are the pollutant species. In spite of great improvements in most developed countries due to reduced use of leaded fuels, highway emissions of lead remain a persistent air quality problem. Recent studies indicate that motor vehicles are also a major or primary source of other toxic air pollutants including 1.3-butadiene, benzene and a number of carcinogens, associated with particulate matter.

June 6, 2009

Environment activists demand pollution free Kirtonkhola River

The environment activists of Barisal demanded pollution free Kirtonkhola River for which they formed a human chain in front of Aswani Kumar Hall on the eve of World Environment Day on Wednesday afternoon. The programme was organized by district committee of Institute for Environment and Development (IED) and Barisal Social Advancement Society (BSAS).
Journalist Gopal Sarkar, child organizer Jibon Krishna Dey, environment activists Khorshed Alam, Tapan Sarkar, Bandana Nath and others, addressed the gathering to make the participants aware of the evils of the river going polluted.
They said that continuing pollution of the water of the river has been threatening the existence of

aqua in the river and endangering the riverside people, who depend on river water sources reportedly contacting skin and water-borne diseases.
The speakers said that the Kirtonkhola River, which were 45 feet deep and more than two kilometers wide 30 years ago, has recently been reduced to 4-10 feet deep and to half a kilometer wide at many points.
The encroacher's are filling the riverside every day while the BIWTA is helping them by depositing dredged earths and sands in the river bed. The filths so deposited in the bed of rivers also made the water polluted, considerably decreasing the depth. Moreover, there is no sewage or industrial waste treatment plant in Barisal. Besides, the pollution problem has been further compounded due to the spilling of various pollutants, including used oil and other wastes created by motorized boats, river launches and ships.
Pharmaceutical, cement factories, ship building dockyards and water transports discharge their toxic liquid and solid waste into the rivers without prior treatment causing serious pollution in the river water, destroying aqua life and threatening public health. Bad smell of polluted water caused by hundreds of makeshift latrines of the nearby slums, water transports, floating body of animals and dumping of waste into the water are common, they said.
Garbage from hospitals, clinics, poultry farms, kitchen and fish markets and houses of the riverside families also found their destination in the rivers, said the speakers.
On the other hand, the people living by the rivers, which are mostly poor and use river water for household works and bathing, were suffering from various skin and water-borne diseases, the speakers added. The participants finally asked all concerned and the people to become conscious in this regards in the interest of the future.

June 5, 2009

Air pollution and its effect on health

Air is 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. Air supplies us with oxygen which is essential for our bodies to live.
There are several main types of air pollution
1. Smog
2. Acid rain
3. The greenhouse effect
4."holes" in the ozone layer
Each of these problems has serious implications for our health and well-being as well as for the whole environment.
Another type of air pollution is the presence of particles into the air .Generally this is for the burning of fuel for energy. Diesel smoke is a example of this particulate matter . The particles are very small pieces of matter measuring about 2.5 microns or about .0001 inches.The exhaust from burning fuels in automobiles, homes, and industries is a major source of pollution in the air.

June 4, 2009

Source of Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water in Bangladesh

Arsenic is a deadly poison with a history of use in intrigue and assassination.But the element and its derivatives are also used in many industries, such as metal smelting and as a component in products ranging from insecticide to micro-chips.And unfortunately, it is also found in abundance in the soil and rock in Bangladesh. It's leached up through the water table in tens of millions of water wells across the country.The source of arsenic in soil water is still a controversial issue and yet to be resolved.So what is the cause of Arsenic Pollution in Bangladesh?
  • Scientists say that sedimentation with arsenic laden soils began in this region about 25,000-80,000 years back in the Quaternary era which was most popularly known as the Younger Deltaic Deposition or YDD.


In Bangladesh over 18 millions people are drinking arsenic poisoned water daily
Arsenic is a slow killer that accumulates in the body resulting in nails rotting, dark spots, bleeding sores, swelling, large warts and a form of gangrene. It is carcinogen increasing the risk of skin cancer and tumors of the bladder, kidney, liver and lungs.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in pyrite bedrock underlying much of West Bengal. The poisoning began to occur as millions of kiloliters of water was being pumped out from deep within underground reservoirs. As a result the water level dropped and exposed the arsenic-bearing pyrite to air leading to oxidisation, a reaction which flushed arsenic into the remaining water.

Villagers in Jampukkur, first noticed something was wrong in the 1970’s when dark spots spread across their bodies. They finally learned they were drinking arsenic contaminated water in 1993 when official tests showed 95% of the village wells were contaminated.

Pollution and waste management in Dhaka

A study recently conducted by the Institute of Water Modeling, with the support of the World Bank, has revealed that the water being supplied in certain points of Dhaka has “extremely high organic pollution.” The same report also mentions the high concentration of dissolved solidschlorides, sulphates, ammonia, cadmium and the heavy metal chromium. It has also been pointed out that in some localities like Hazaribagh and Tarabo, near the Buriganga, the concentration of some chemicals is higher than elsewhere. The tanneries in these areas have been identified as the polluters.
Some Wasa officials, on condition of anonymity, have admitted that the water in these rivers are so polluted that, even after treatment with required chemicals, it is not completely free of ammonia. The presence of other elements reduces the transparency of the water and sometimes gives it an undesirable smell. Experts have indicated that drinking such polluted water for a long time increases the risk of different diseases, and definitely affects the liver. There is also heightened possibility of jaundice.

Industrial pollution chokes people, crops alike

Ammonia mixed toxic gas and urea dust emitted from Jamuna Fertiliser Factory (JFF) in Jamalpur have allegedly been wreaking havoc on the local environment and causing debilitating illnesses among the locals.

The toxic gas of the largest urea producing factory, at Tarandani of Sarishabari upazila in Tangail, has also been harming crops, trees, livestock, poultry and fish resources for the last 17 years. Many trees around the factory do not have a single leaf.

Locals held protest programmes--forming human chains, barricading the factory gate, submitting memorandums to the JFF authorities--but nothing was achieved. A number of locals have started moving out of their villages near the factory. Locals alleged that the factory officials paid no heed to their complaints over the years.

The JFF authorities claimed that they are releasing ammonia at a much lower level than the government set standards. However, officials concerned at the department of environment said they in the recent past did not conduct any test of ammonia concentration in the gas emitting from the JFF.

Since its inception the JFF has been producing 1,700 tonnes of urea per day, 5,60,000 tonnes a year. Urea is produced from ammonia and carbon dioxide gas. Chemical formaldehyde is also mixed with the urea to make it hard. Formaldehyde acts as a disinfectant and it kills most bacteria and fungi (including their spores).

Sources working in the factory said ammonia-mixed toxic inert gas is released into the environment through the vent stake. This has been going on every day since 1991, when the factory started its operation.

The factory has been releasing a large amount of urea dust that look like smoke through the blowers of the JFF plant, they said.

Locals told The Daily Star that crops, trees, poultry, livestock and fish in the adjacent Kandarpara, Tarakandi, Charpara and Dhuriarbhita villages have been dying due to the emissions of the factory. Croplands in the area have become infertile due to the pollution over the years, they claimed.

Jahirul Hassan, general manager (production) of JFF, told The Daily Star that emission of the inert gas and urea dust is a "normal matter" for all fertiliser factories in the world.

"We are trying to keep the design-based problems low and under the allowable percentage," he said.

During a visit to Kandapara village, The Daily Star correspondent had difficulty breathing as the smell of the urea dust and ammonia-mixed gas was overwhelming. The correspondent's eyes started to burn.

Most of the trees in the villages have already died and the water of the ponds there has become discoloured and fish cannot live in them.

Locals alleged that many have been suffering from diseases like asthma, bronchitis, different kinds of skin diseases and in some cases loss of sight.

Rina Begum, a housewife of Kandarpara village, said her three children have constantly been suffering from diseases over the years.

Marfat Ali of the same village said three of his six brothers and their families have already left the village unable to bear the pollution. "I will also leave the village as soon as possible with my wife and children," he said.

Shamsher Ali of the village said, "I am only 40 but I cannot see clearly anymore. My hair has fallen off due to the pollution."

Azizul Haque, 50, of Kandapara said last year taking loans from Krishi Bank he started a fish farm in his three ponds but fish worth around Tk 1 lakh died due to the toxic water.

"I went to the factory authorities, including high officials of the factory, and showed them dead fish but they would not even listen to me," he said.

The farmers in the area are the worst affected.

Razzak Ali, a farmer of Kandarpara village, said during the last boro season he cultivated boro rice on 35 bighas of land by taking advance payments from buyers. His entire yield was wasted, the grains of paddy contained no rice.

"I invested Tk 36,000. Now I do not know how I am going to repay," he said.

Most farmers in the village--Tota Miah, Joinal Abedin, Shamsher Ali, Khanu Miah, Badal Miah, Abdul Aziz, Marfat Ali and Suruj Ali--are in similar troubles.

Mir Mozaffar Ali, former managing director (MD) of JFF who recently retired, told The Daily Star that the government-run urea factory has been releasing a small amount of ammonia-mixed inert gas and urea dust into the local environment. The allowable emission of inert gas is 50ppm (particles per microgram) and the JFF usually emits only 10ppm, he said.

"Local residents are exaggerating the problem," he claimed.

Md Shahjahan, managing director (MD) of JFF, yesterday said only a small amount of ammonia gas is being discharged from the factory which is very normal. The claims of locals are over exaggerated, he added.

An official at the department of environment said they do not have enough staff to conduct such tests away from the capital.

"We have only three inspectors to cover 17 districts. The government does not provide any regular vehicles for inspections. How can we conduct regular tests of such industries," said the official requesting anonymity.

"Maybe the industry is emitting toxic gas more than the set standard," the official said.

The situation is so grave that Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) decided to compensate a number of the locals for their sufferings and allocated Tk 20 lakh for the purpose. The upazila administration has already made a list of 168 people eligible for compensation but many have been left out, locals alleged.

Upazila administration sources, however, said they are yet to receive any complaint regarding affected people being left out.

Asked why the upazila administration is giving compensation despite his claims, Md Shahjahan yesterday said due to unavoidable circumstances the factory was closed for a while and ammonia gas discharge increases when the factory is closed. People were compensated for damages done by the excessive discharge of gas.

He said the factory is now fully functional and there should not be any problem of excessive gas emission.


Heightened concern over river pollution

We are gratified to see that when it comes to the issue of combating river pollution, the pressure does not seem to be letting up, and that the issue continues to dominate the people's agenda.
This is as it should be, as there is no more pressing concern for the government of the day, and if it does not act swiftly and with efficiency and effectiveness, then soon the damage to our environment might become irreversible.
This issue has long been one that environmental organisations such as BELA and BPA have attempted to bring to the fore-front of people's consciousness, and of late, The Daily Star has led the charge on the issue with serialised front page coverage of the toxic river pollution.

Polluted rivers and risky water in Bangladesh

The water of Buriganga, Balu, Sitalakhya and Turag are severely polluted. No biological survival can occur there as oxygen is depleted and might have reached nearly O level! Oxygen level in fresh river water is 9mg/l at 20ºc and 7.6mg/l at 30ºc (Summer).
BOD5 (consumption of oxygen for decomposition of microbs) indicates organic pollution. River Buriganga receives the following types of sewage.
Nature of Sewage BOD5, mg/l
Strong Sewage 450-550
Average Sewage 350-400
The sewage of 400 mg/l, and higher BODs shows mixing of industrial effluent with domestic sewage. Untreated industrial effluent is discharged from the dispersed and cluster of industries. Most industries do not have in-house treatment plants, and even if some of them had it, they would not use it perhaps to save operation cost in blatant violation of environmental rules without any concern for pollution of the rivers.
Industrial waste should not be allowed to enter the domestic sewage network as it interferers with treatment plants. In fact there is only one sewage treatment plant at Pagla for treating domestic wastes, operated by WASA with capacity of 0.12x106m3/d. Industries should be responsible for treating their own waste in-house. The city may have up to a dozen or more such domestic sewage treatment plants.