ES&T News Feed

August 19, 2008 at 5:05 am 1 comment

Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) is the American Chemical Society’s leading journal on environmental issues. One of its features is a news feed that sends subscribers regular updates on news stories connected with environmental chemistry. (The journal also publishes a number of important research articles and reviews on environmental chemistry, but these aren’t the kind of thing that you read with your breakfast cereal unless you’re really serious about these matters.)

Anyway, here are two recent stories that caught my eye:

New flame retardants detected in indoor and outdoor environments: New research suggests that a flame retardant marketed as a replacement for a banned and discontinued PBDE retardant can be found in people’s homes and the outdoor environment. For many years, manufacturers of all sorts (computer, furniture, carpeting, clothing, etc.) added pentabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE) to their products to make them fire-resistant. This seemed like a good thing until this hazardous chemical began turning up in the milk of nursing mothers (and in their offspring). This led to a search for greener flame retardants, and as the ES&T story reveals, a satisfactory substance has yet to be discovered. (Do you know what’s inside your pillow?)

Sunlight on mirrors: A technology that uses mirrors to concentrate solar power could provide millions of homes with clean energy. We often hear that wind power is useless on a calm day and solar power can’t get you through the night. Not true. Molten salt materials allow energy to be stored when the sun shines (or the wind blows) and retrieved later. So what is keeping power companies from connecting lots of concentrated solar power (CSP) to the grid? Political deadlock over solar tax credits.


Entry filed under: In the News.

SODIS – Solar Water Purification The Greening of Chemistry

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alan  |  August 19, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    For a longer take on the “sunlight on mirrors”, check out this article from the San Francisco Chronicle (Friday, Aug 15, 2008, page D-1): PG&E plans big investment in solar power


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