Hey Musicians, This Company Will Recycle Your Used Up Instrument Strings

Read the full story at Fast Company.

D’Addario, the musical instrument string-making company, will now recycle your guitar, mandolin, bass, or even your strings. And they don’t have to be made by D’Addario, either. The new program, called Playback, will accept metal instrument strings from any manufacturer.

4 solid reasons to reduce power emissions, despite SCOTUS

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

On Feb. 9, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted implementation of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP, which aims to reduce states’ power sector emissions, is being challenged in the D.C. Circuit appeals court by a number of states, corporations and industry groups. Importantly, this “stay” was not a ruling on the merits of the CPP; the D.C. Circuit court will hear arguments on the merits of the case June 2. The stay will last until the case is fully resolved, likely by the Supreme Court in 2017 or 2018.

Despite the stay, EPA is continuing to provide states with tools and support to comply with the CPP and cut emissions from their power sectors. Many states have affirmed (PDF) that their plans to comply with the CPP remain unchanged, and numerous utilities have stated they will continue reducing carbon pollution.

Here are four reasons why states and utilities should continue reducing emissions from their power sectors:

Meeting the Needs for Released Nanomaterials Required for Further Testing—The SUN Approach

Bernd Nowack, Alessio Boldrin, Alejandro Caballero, Steffen Foss Hansen, Fadri Gottschalk, Laura Heggelund, Michael Hennig, Aiga Mackevica, Hanna Maes, Jana Navratilova, Nicole Neubauer, Ruud Peters, Jerome Rose, Andreas Schäffer, Lorette Scifo, Stefan van Leeuwen, Frank von der Kammer, Wendel Wohlleben, Anne Wyrwoll, and Danail Hristozov (2016.) “Meeting the Needs for Released Nanomaterials Required for Further Testing—The SUN Approach.” Environmental Science & Technology Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04472

Abstract: The analysis of the potential risks of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has so far been almost exclusively focused on the pristine, as-produced particles. However, when considering a life-cycle perspective, it is clear that ENM released from genuine products during manufacturing, use, and disposal is far more relevant. Research on the release of materials from nanoproducts is growing and the next necessary step is to investigate the behavior and effects of these released materials in the environment and on humans. Therefore, sufficient amounts of released materials need to be available for further testing. In addition, ENM-free reference materials are needed since many processes not only release ENM but also nanosized fragments from the ENM-containing matrix that may interfere with further tests. The SUN consortium (Project on “Sustainable Nanotechnologies”, EU seventh Framework funding) uses methods to characterize and quantify nanomaterials released from composite samples that are exposed to environmental stressors. Here we describe an approach to provide materials in hundreds of gram quantities mimicking actual released materials from coatings and polymer nanocomposites by producing what is called “fragmented products” (FP). These FP can further be exposed to environmental conditions (e.g., humidity, light) to produce “weathered fragmented products” (WFP) or can be subjected to a further size fractionation to isolate “sieved fragmented products” (SFP) that are representative for inhalation studies. In this perspective we describe the approach, and the used methods to obtain released materials in amounts large enough to be suitable for further fate and (eco)toxicity testing. We present a case study (nanoparticulate organic pigment in polypropylene) to show exemplarily the procedures used to produce the FP. We present some characterization data of the FP and discuss critically the further potential and the usefulness of the approach we developed.

Flint Has A Chance To Improve More Than Its Water

Read the full story at Five Thirty Eight.

As local, state and federal officials work to address the lead leaching into Flint’s water from corroded pipes, some experts say this is an opportunity to deal with another of the city’s tragedies: the high rates of trauma experienced by kids in the city. Poverty, violence, drug use and incarceration are all common here, and a growing body of research shows that exposure to these kinds of trauma in early childhood, while brains and bodies are developing, can have lifelong health effects.

Expert panel agrees with draft NTP reports

Read the full story from the National Toxicology Program.

An expert scientific panel reviewed draft National Toxicology Program (NTP) technical reports on the carcinogenicity and toxicity of the flame retardant antimony trioxide and the metalworking fluid TRIM VX. Jon Mirsalis, Ph.D., from SRI International in Menlo Park, California, chaired the meeting.

NTP conducts mainly rodent studies on agents of public health concern, to identify potential human health hazards. The technical reports describe the methods, results, and NTP conclusions regarding levels of evidence for carcinogenic activity under the specific conditions of each study.

EPA to require chemical companies to consider inherently safer technologies

Read the full story from Chemical & Engineering News.

“Chemical companies and refineries would have to consider inherently safer technologies and, in some cases, undergo third-party, independent safety audits under a new Environmental Protection Agency proposal,” writes Jeff Johnson at C&EN this week.

5 strategies to accelerate green chemistry

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Two years ago, the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) established as its mission the mainstreaming of green chemistry, a point in time where all chemistry — including chemistry and engineering research, education and policy — is considered “green.”

It set about to answer the following questions:

  • What can be done to make all chemistry green chemistry?
  • What are the current barriers and drivers?
  • What partnerships will have to be built, policies put in place, educational needs met and investments made?
  • What role should the GC3 take?

Ninety percent of manufactured goods are in some way linked to the chemical industry. Yet, despite its environmental, public health and economic benefits, green chemistry is still only a small part of the chemical enterprise.

To understand why this is the case and how green chemistry can be accelerated, the GC3 performed literature reviews; conducted a survey of its members; gathered input at its annual Innovators’ Roundtable; and sponsored original published research on barriers to adoption, making the business case and possible metrics that can measure success. An April 2015 GreenBiz article described some findings from this process. 

P2 Impact: How Chicago’s quirkiest companies sprouted a circular economy

In the latest P2 Impact column, John Mulrow explains how pollution prevention in the manufacturing process can be driven by company culture and employee engagement.

Browse past P2 Impact columns at https://www.greenbiz.com/blogs/enterprise/p2-impact.

Cars Can Help Us Understand Voluntary Carbon Prices

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

The price of carbon offsets can be quite perplexing. After all, a ton of carbon reduced is of benefit to the climate, regardless of where that reduction occurs or how it happens. If the benefit is the same, then why do carbon prices range from less than $1 to more than $15 per ton?

There are some striking, and perhaps surprising, similarities between purchasing offsets and purchasing automobiles. In practice, most models will get you from point A to point B, but there is a question of quality in how you want to get there. The following is a “blue book” guide to the inventory that can be found in the carbon market and why it’s priced the way it is.

These experts say Congress is ‘legislating scientific facts’ — and wrong ones, too

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

A group of forest scientists, ecologists and climate researchers has sent a strongly worded letter to the U.S. Senate, arguing that pending bipartisan energy legislation incorrectly claims that burning trees for energy is carbon neutral.