The US is in a water crisis far worse than most people imagine

A sample of tap water taken in Flint, Michigan. Photograph: Garrett MacLean/The Guardian

Industrial runoff and lax standards have tainted water across the US. Senators and doctors are calling me, asking what to do

When I was a little girl, my father would sing songs to me all the time about water. Sometimes, we would be playing down at the creeks and he would make up little tunes: “See that … [more…]

1 in 3 children worldwide being poisoned by lead from water, air pollution, UN warns

1 in 3 children worldwide being poisoned by lead from water, air pollution, UN warns

The file photo shows children play in water pipes at a construction site on the banks of the Yamuna River in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, India.

Up to 800 million children around the world are being poisoned by lead from water and air pollution, the United Nations warned Thursday in a special report on the "massive and previously unknown" health crisis.

One out of every three children is … [more…]

10 Shocking Facts On Factory Farms Will Make You Rethink That Burger

Graphic: 10 Shocking Facts On Factory Farms and Water Pollution Will Make You Rethink That Burger

Graphic by Hannah Williams

In the United States, around 27 billion animals are raised for food every year. These animals are subjected to lives in extreme confinement where they live in fear and pain. The cruelty that these animals experience is rather well-known and understood, however, the negative environmental impact that raising this many animals causes is less so. One of the most notable ways that factory farming impacts the … [more…]

Single Systems: Great Lakes cities’ sewer designs mean waste in the waters

Single Systems: Great Lakes cities’ sewer designs mean waste in the waters (Lake Ontario)

The video shot in the summer of 2016 is grisly.

In it, Mark Mattson, co-founder of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, displays materials skimmed from the Toronto harbor, which lies along the northwestern end of Lake Ontario.

As his small boat bobs in the water, he lays them on a wooden oar: slimy condoms, tampons and wet naps.

And he points to a likely culprit: the millions of gallons of raw … [more…]

Nanocellulose used to remove microplastics from water

Nanocellulose used to remove microplastics from water

Photo: A scanning electron microscope image shows microplastic particles (measuring 100 nanometers each) attached to the nanocellulose "mesh" VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

While no one likes seeing plastic waste floating in our waterways, tiny unseen "microplastic" particles are also a threat to the aquatic environment – and to human health. A new study now suggests that a material known as nanocellulose could be used to remove them from … [more…]