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Environment

The Leonard Lopate Show

Toxin Detox: Protecting Against 80,000 Chemicals

Friday, May 16, 2014

Our bodies absorb chemicals found in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we come in contact with every day. How do we reduce our exposure and improve our health?

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Organic Produce Is A Tough Sell In The Gaza Strip

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A group of Gazan farmers has gone organic. While their produce should fetch a premium price, most of it ends up in the public market, mixed in with regular produce and sold for the same price.

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Science Friday

Is Graphene the New 'Wonder' Material?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Graphene is stronger than steel and more conductive than copper—a look at the applications and limitations of this ‘wonder’ material.

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Science Friday

Remembering Nereus, Explorer of Ocean Depths

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The robotic deep-sea submersible Nereus was destroyed while diving over six miles beneath the surface in the Kermadec Trench.

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Science Friday

Antarctic Ice Sheet Slipping Into the Sea

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scientists confirmed a West Antarctic ice sheet the size of the Dakotas is melting.

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Science Friday

Can’t Read This Headline? It’s Written in Invisible Ink

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Prisoners, Lovers, & Spies tells the story of invisible writing, from lemon juice to microdots.

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Science Friday

Should the Last Samples of Smallpox Virus Be Saved?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

World health experts will meet to discuss whether or not to destroy the last live samples of smallpox virus.

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Science Friday

Listening In on Seizures

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A “brain stethoscope” turns seizure patients’ brainwaves into music.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Irreversible Melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Two studies released this week confirmed that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is collapsing and there is very little that can be done to stop or slow it. The melting ice could ultimately mean a 10-foot sea level rise. Thomas Wagner, Cryospere Program Scientist with NASA, explains why the ice sheet is melting and what it means for the planet's future.

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Tropical Storms Hitting Peak Strength Nearer Poles, Study Says

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A new NOAA-led study has found that hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones are at their most destructive about 90 miles farther north or south of the equator than three decades ago.

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All Things Considered

Out There On The Ice: An Intimate View Of The Melting Antarctic Sheet

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Two groups of scientists have reported that the melting of the giant West Antarctica Ice Sheet appears to be unstoppable. Oceans could rise several feet in the coming centuries because of its melting.

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Gardeners' Gems: Designer Crops That Will Wow The Neighbors

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

For the fashion-conscious gardener, here are the most colorful and flavorful new edibles. This year's picks include the indigo tomato, wasabi and a pineapple-flavored berry.

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The Takeaway

Using Innovation to Fight Environmental Catastrophe

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not everyone believes that we're doomed when it comes to climate change, and one of those hopeful few is Robert Bryce. He says that innovation is the key to future global prosperity, and eventually a cleaner environment for everybody.

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The Takeaway

Sleepy New Mexico Towns See Oil Boom

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The oil boom of the southwestern United States has rapidly transformed Hobbs, New Mexico and other once-sleepy towns into the stereotypical boom towns. But the environmental impacts are acute in one of the most water-stressed regions of New Mexico.

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Book News: Each Page Of 'A Drinkable Book' Kills Bacteria In Drinking Water

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A "Drinkable Book" can be used to treat drinking water. Also: a new book claims to know the identity of the Zodiac Killer; why all books about Africa use the same cover image.

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Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable

Monday, May 12, 2014

A new study examined 40 years of data collected by ground, air and satellite stations and found that sea level could rise by more than 10 feet in coming centuries.

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All Things Considered

'Past The Point Of No Return:' An Antarctic Ice Sheet's Slow Collapse

Monday, May 12, 2014

NASA held a press conference to discuss the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and its potential contribution to future sea level rise. The researchers announced that the ice sheet's collapse is both underway and unstoppable.

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All Things Considered

Ahead Of Wildfire Season, Scientists Study What Fuels Fires

Friday, May 09, 2014

The federal fire scientists hope to hand off their findings to fire managers, who have to make the quick decisions on where to deploy resources that could protect lives and property.

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Morning Edition

Former Commando Turns Conservationist To Save Elephants Of Dzanga Bai

Friday, May 09, 2014

Nir Kalron was once an Israeli commando, then private security consultant to African leaders, and a dealer of legal arms. Today he's working with African locals to hunt ivory poachers via satellite.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Most Radioactive Place in New York Is Now a Superfund Site

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The former location of the Wolff-Alport Chemical Company in Ridgewood, Queens is the most radioactive spot in New York City. Today the EPA added the property to the list of federal Superfund sites. The other two superfund sites in the city are Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal. Nate Lavey video producer for The New Yorker talks about the history of the property and the risks to people who work there now.

Work began at the site nearly 100 years ago, with the production of rare earth metals as additives to steel and lighter flints. One of the byproducts of that industrial process is thorium – a radioactive element. “At that time they took their thorium byproduct and dumped it into the city’s sewer system,” said Lavey. “[The owners] would have known that thorium was radioactive…but they probably didn’t have a good idea of how dangerous the chemicals they were handling were.” The contamination is fairly localized to the site, but Lavey noted that the EPA is looking at nearby blocks as well.

Currently the site (at 1125-1129 Irving Avenue) houses an auto-body shop, a deli and a construction company. “The amount of residual radiation is pretty low, especially when you compare it to nuclear disasters we’re all familiar with” said Lavey. While radiation levels are low, they are still elevated. Working on the site is equivalent to getting about 30 chest x-rays a year, which is well below the amount of radiation exposure deemed safe for nuclear power plant workers. The risk to customers is minimal. The EPA has already installed some shielding at the site.

Although the site is now designated for Superfund remediation, it’s unclear how the cleanup will proceed and who will pay for it. 

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