Americans consume 70,000 particles of microplastics per year

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

Since the mass production of plastics began in the 1940s, the versatile polymers have spread rapidly across the globe. Although plastics have made life easier in many ways, disposing of the materials is a growing problem. Now, researchers estimate that the average American consumes more than 70,000 particles of microplastics per year, though the health effects of that consumption are unclear.

NIEHS seeks new Editor-in-Chief for science journal

NIEHS seeks a scientific leader in the field of environmental health research to serve as the next editor in chief (editor) of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a monthly online scholarly journal of environmental health research and news. The position involves a four-year, part-time commitment.

With support from NIEHS, EHP publishes high-quality original research, reviews, and commentaries on all established and emerging disciplines that examine the relationship between the environment and human health.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for an environmental health scientist, from either the federal or nonfederal sectors,” said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program. “Unlike the past, the new format for the position adds the flexibility for the individual to choose to remain at their current institution and continue their research while providing strategic leadership for one of the premier journals in a rapidly evolving field.”

Editorial independence

The editor has editorial independence to provide the high level, strategic direction, and leadership necessary to sustain and enhance EHP’s high standards and stature in the environmental health research community, consistent with the mission and vision of NIEHS.

The editor will be accountable to NIEHS leadership and the broader scientific community for ensuring content is of high integrity, advances the state of environmental health knowledge, and promotes translation of knowledge into environmental health action. The individual will determine the journal’s scope and types of articles published, while ensuring the relevance, scientific quality, and balance of all content across the broad field of environmental health sciences.

The position also involves representing the journal to the global environmental health sciences community at large through strategic outreach activities, speaking engagements, and editorials.

With consultation and support from professional operational and scientific editing teams, the editor will oversee peer-reviewed policies and practices to ensure an efficient and high-quality review process. This includes recruiting and evaluating volunteer associate editors and Editorial Review Board members.


NIEHS encourages exceptionally qualified candidates, in either the academic or federal sectors, to apply for this position, which will involve a commitment of four years and up to 50% part time. Candidates will have the option to maintain their competitive research program and physically remain at their home institution while fulfilling the duties of the position.

The ideal candidate will have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent doctoral degree in a field of biological or health sciences or a related scientific discipline, along with experience conducting original research related to environmental health sciences.

Appropriate compensation will be negotiated with the candidate. The successful candidate is subject to a background investigation and public financial disclosure requirements.

NIEHS, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services are Equal Opportunity Employers and encourage applications from women and minorities.


Starting June 4, applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a curriculum vitae, bibliography, and full contact details for three references.

In addition, applicants are asked to include a vision statement for the journal that specifically includes their view on the scientific scope of the journal, the efficient management and timelines for manuscript processing and peer review, and how to best engage and manage associate editors.

Send application materials and any specific questions regarding recruitment to

Chicago winter without a furnace or gas bill: Passive houses make it possible and are slowly catching on

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

In the 1970s, long before the Prius and Green New Deal, a small group of engineers and architects at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was already going green.

As the U.S. government encouraged energy conservation during the oil crisis, the Small Homes Council applied the approach to home building.

The passive house was born (although it was dubbed “low calorie” at the time).

Marching for climate change may sway people’s beliefs and actions

Read the full story from Penn State.

Americans have a long tradition of taking to the streets to protest or to advocate for things they believe in. New research suggests that when it comes to climate change, these marches may indeed have a positive effect on the public.

Carnival Cruise Lines Hit With $20 Million Penalty For Environmental Crimes

Read the full story from NPR.

The cruise line giant Carnival Corporation and its Princess subsidiary have agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $20 million for environmental violations such as dumping plastic waste into the ocean. Princess Cruise Lines has already paid $40 million over other deliberate acts of pollution.

Chemicals in biodegradable food containers can leach into compost

Read the full story in Science News.

Composting biodegradable food containers cuts the amount of trash that gets sent to a landfill. But the practice may serve up some unintended consequences for human health.

That’s because the items often contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, to help repel water and oil. These persistent chemicals can leach out of the packaging and end up in compost, researchers report May 29 in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. When that compost is used, PFAS could be taken up by plants and ultimately accumulate in the bodies of people, though the health effects are still unclear.

Measuring methane from coal and gas in Pennsylvania informative

Read the full story from Penn State.

While methane pollution caused by natural gas production in Pennsylvania is underestimated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, natural gas still has half the carbon footprint of underground coal mining, according to an international team of researchers.

DEQ finds 20 types of PFAS in compost headed for gardens, farms and playgrounds

Read the full post from NC Policy Watch.

Twenty types of perfluorinated compounds, commonly known as PFAS, were detected in compost produced at the McGill facility in Sampson County, but the sources of the contamination have not been identified.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality sampled the compost, as well as wastewater residuals — sludge — from DAK Americas, a plastics manufacturing plant, after a Policy Watch investigation found high levels of a different toxic compound, 1,4-Dioxane, in the sludge entering the McGill facility.

TRASHED: Leftovers in the landfill lead to food-waste problem for DC region

Read the full story from WTOP.

When you think about the trash that sits in a landfill, what comes to mind? Broken furniture? Empty chip bags? Plastic for days?

You’ll find those things. But you’ll also find a whole lot of food.

States take up PFAS fight: ‘Is this the next asbestos?’

Read the full story at E&E News.

State lawyers are lining up in court to fight PFAS, the vexing group of chemicals linked to cancer but used broadly in cookware, firefighting foam and other materials.

Litigation has increased as research and public awareness of potential impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances has grown in recent years. Now, state lawsuits against chemical manufacturers are piling up, raising the stakes for all involved.