Miscanthus, a fast-growing grass often grown as a biofuel, is now planted on six military sites, from Kansas to Kazakhstan, in a three-year NATO-run effort to clean up contaminated soil. At a conference earlier this month at Kansas State University, researchers reported that the grass stabilizes contaminants in the soil, preventing them from escaping into the air and water, and then gradually absorbs them.
Sea salt from around the world is often contaminated with microplastics, according to several studies that examined sea salt in the UK, France, Spain, China and the U.S. “Researchers believe the majority of the contamination comes from microfibres and single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of plastic waste,” says The Guardian, adding that the United Nations estimates that one garbage truck’s worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute.
Since 2013, nearly 233,000 tons of radioactive waste, much of it from the Bakken oilfields in North Dakota, has been disposed of at a site near Glendive, Montana. Now, after years of prodding, the state has finally proposed a rule for handling oilfield waste, but area ranchers and farmers think the plan leaves them deeply vulnerable.
Roughly 20 percent of baby food samples showed detectable levels of lead, says a report out by the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund.
The Mariana trench in the northern Pacific is one of the most remote places on earth, but scientists say that the organisms that live there are heavily contaminated with industrial pollutants.