Technology Offers Promise For Energy Savings In Lighting, Maintenance Costs For Buildings

Read the full article in Environmental Protection magazine.

With five hybrid solar lighting systems already in place and another 20 scheduled to be installed in the next couple of months, the future could be bright for a technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Preliminary data from field units, which collect sunlight and pipe it into buildings using bundles of small optical fibers, show potentially significant energy savings in lighting and maintenance costs.

DOE Publishes Proposed Standards for Distribution Tranformers

Read the full press release.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that proposed standards for distribution transformers were published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2006. The proposed standards for distribution transformers would result in significant energy savings, and underscore the Department’s commitment to meet the rulemaking schedule established in the January 2006 Report to Congress. The proposed standards are now available for public review and comment.

Environment Health Perspectives faces cuts

Read the full story in The Scientist.

Environment Health Perspectives (EHP) appears to be facing hard times. After nixing plans to privatize due to strong public opposition, the publication faces cuts in funding, forcing it to trim the news and commentary sections, and axe translations and free shipping to developing countries.

Study: Inhaled Nanoparticles Take Direct Route to Brain

Read the full article in Occupational Health & Safety.

When rats breathed in nano-sized manganese oxide particles at a concentration routinely inhaled by factory welders, the tiny particles followed a rapid and efficient pathway from the nasal cavity to several regions of the brain, according to a study in the August issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Additional information on the Environmental Health Perspectives article, “Translocation of Inhaled Ultrafine Manganese Oxide Particles to the Central Nervous System,” can be found at

Austin Energy to Reuse Wastewater

Read the full story in Water & Wastes Digest.

Austin Energy, of Austin, Texas, will attempt to save millions of gallons of water, in addition to millions of dollars, by using the city’s treated sewage water at its Sand Hill Energy Center power plant.

Exported mercury returns to haunt U.S.

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Tons of toxic mercury from U.S. recycling programs are funneled each year to loosely regulated industries in developing countries, where much of the hazardous metal is released into the atmosphere.

Scientists say some of that air pollution can drift back to this country and contaminate lakes and rivers, undercutting aggressive efforts to keep mercury out of the environment.