Day: September 17, 2020

Children Are Born Scientists. What If School Encouraged That?

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

A unique elementary-school science lab in Michigan lets kids’ curiosity fuel their learning.

5 Q’s for Adam Szymanski, Software Engineer at Argonne National Laboratory

Read the full story from the Center for Data Innovation.

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Adam Szymanski, a software engineer at the Argonne National Laboratory who is using AI cameras to monitor how birds interact with solar infrastructure. Szymanski discussed how this data can help explain why avian mortality near solar facilities is so high, how AI cameras can increase the types of avian data collected, and the challenges neural networks face in detecting birds.

Prof, student earn patent to help remove drugs from drinking water

Read the full story from Youngstown State University.

A new material patented by a Youngstown State University professor and student could lead to a process to help remove the increasingly dangerous amounts of pharmaceuticals in the tap water coming into our homes.

EPA Announces Opportunities for Public Engagement and Outreach on Risk Management Under TSCA

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a broad public engagement and outreach effort to discuss how the agency will approach the rulemaking process to address unreasonable risks found in the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations. After issuing the first two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, EPA is moving into the risk management phase and is hosting a robust process to gain important feedback from stakeholders on the options for managing those risks.

“All stakeholders can expect transparent, proactive and meaningful outreach and engagement as we move through the risk management rulemaking process,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn.

EPA is holding two public webinars in September 2020 to kick off this outreach effort. Each will provide an overview of the TSCA risk management process and the tools available to manage the unreasonable risks. The first webinar, scheduled for September 16, 2020, will feature a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. The second webinar, scheduled for September 30, 2020, will include a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane. Additional public webinars will be scheduled as EPA begins the risk management process for chemicals with unreasonable risks.

Additionally, EPA will begin one-on-one meetings with stakeholders and formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, environmental justice communities, and small businesses. There will also be an open public comment period on any draft risk management regulation.

Under TSCA, there are several actions EPA can take to address unreasonable risks including banning a chemical, restricting the manufacturing, processing, distribution or use, warning labels /testing, and requiring manufacturers to notify distributors of any unreasonable risks. EPA has up to one year after issuing a final risk evaluation to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.

Find registration information for the September webinars and more information on EPA’s risk management outreach https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-existing-chemicals-under-tsca

Background

Under TSCA, EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science before taking action to address any unreasonable risks. The agency has issued two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride in June 2020 and 1-bromopropane in August 2020, both showing unreasonable risks to workers and consumers under certain conditions of use. EPA is now moving to risk managment for these chemicals, the next step in the process required by TSCA. EPA plans to issue final risk evaluations for the remaining eight of the first 10 chemicals by the end of 2020.

Learn more about the risk evaluation process required by TSCA.

The case for never buying new clothes again

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Mending has baggage. Patched clothing speaks of shame and poverty and drudgery, even of slavery. But mending is a big word. It’s about repairing more than clothes. History, for example, which must be unpicked and remade, healing systemic injustice, making reparations, exposing scars. Clothes historians do this via what we wear, which turns out to be more important than we realized. Visible menders do it literally, by stitching new stories onto the worn fabric of our lives. They’re just clothes, but if enough people adopted more creative ways of sourcing, tending, and mending them, we’d fix much that’s wrong with the world.

Case Study in Review Integrity: Abuse of Power

Read the full story from the National Institutes of Health.

What would you do if, as the Dean of Research at a major university, a group of students, postdocs, and junior faculty reported that they had been pressured into writing reviewer critiques for a senior faculty member?

We were so impressed by the careful handling of just such a situation by an institutional official recently that we wanted to share this story with you (we’ve changed details and fictionalized names).

Asbestos Removal Is a Hard Job, but Covid-19 Makes It Harder

Read the full story in Wired.

Getting rid of asbestos is good for public health, but it’s risky for abatement workers, whose occupational risks make them vulnerable to Covid-19 complications.

States Are Doing What Big Government Won’t to Stop Climate Change, and Want Stimulus Funds to Help

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Officials hope the federal money, aimed at rebuilding economies ravaged by Covid-19, will support clean energy and carbon-cutting programs.

Calling out racism, Black scientists say they face discrimination while doing fieldwork

Read the full story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Researchers in the environmental sciences are raising issues of discrimination, marginalization and say a lack of diversity among scientists can lead to flawed research.

The Arctic is burning like never before — and that’s bad news for climate change

Read the full story in Nature.

Fires are releasing record levels of carbon dioxide, partly because they are burning ancient peatlands that have been a carbon sink.

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