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Harmful Harmonics Whales Under Siege by Seismic Surveys


The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is intensifying global efforts to safeguard whales and other marine species from the harm caused by powerful noises generated by seismic seafloor surveys by the oil and gas indus- try and others. In seismic surveys, air guns towed behind ships repeat powerful bursts of sound; sen- sors measure the return echo to reveal details of the sea floor and the underlying geologic structure to a depth of several kilometers.


Whales rely on sound for communication, navi- gation and foraging. Exposure to loud noise from seismic surveys can result in stress and behavior


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changes, affect foraging and nursing or cause direct physical damage. In a study published in the journal Aquatic Mammals, the authors present the most thorough, robust and practical approach to minimizing and monitoring the risk of harm to vulnerable marine species when intense sounds are used. A step-by-step guide to reducing effects on whales and other marine species during seismic sea floor surveys is available from the IUCN Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (Tinyurl.com/WhaleSavingGuide).


Dangerous Additive FDA Finally Regulates Triclosan


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, under a new court agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council, has agreed to issue a new rule governing the use of Triclosan, a con- troversial antimicrobial agent used widely in consumer prod- ucts, by 2016. The action was first proposed in 1978. Triclosan, a possible endocrine-disrupting chemical, has been found in three-quarters of people from whom blood, urine or tissue has been analyzed as part of bio-monitoring studies; it is also found in the environment after having passed through sewage treatment plants.


Source: TheDailyGreen.com


Information Overload Organic Food Labeling Causes Confusion


A recent Harris Poll of 2,276 U.S. adults showed that concern for the environment is growing, but Americans may not be ready to spend more for organic food. More than half think that labeling food or other products as organic is just an excuse to charge more. Yet more than half of respondents also believe that organic foods are healthier than non-organic. At the same time, only 23 percent know what the term “dirty dozen” means in regard to organic food; it’s the Environmental Work- ing Group’s annual list of foods consumers should always buy in organic form due to high pesticide levels in conventional farming.


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