SETAC MultiBrief
Nov. 27, 2013

CEC issues RFP on emerging flame retardants
Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation is requesting proposals from prospective consultants related to flame retardants and their use in manufactured items. This project will enhance joint country efforts to identify and manage chemicals in manufactured items by yielding information required to support risk assessment and risk management efforts (where warranted) in North American markets. The RFP can be obtained here.More

Rice scientists ID new catalyst for cleanup of nitrites
Rice University via EurekAlert
Chemical engineers at Rice University have found a new catalyst that can rapidly break down nitrites, a common and harmful contaminant in drinking water that often results from overuse of agricultural fertilizers. While it's possible to remove nitrates and nitrites from water with filters and resins, the process can be prohibitively expensive. More

Scientists urge focus on new branch of environmental health
Wildlife Conservation Society via Medical News Today
A new paper from members of the Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages consortium delineates a new branch of environmental health that focuses on the public health risks of human-caused changes to Earth's natural systems. Looking comprehensively at available research to date, the paper's authors highlight repeated correlations between changes in natural systems and existing and potential human health outcomes.More

Tiny flying robot soars like a ... jellyfish?
NBC News
For centuries, humans looking to tame the skies have tried to mimic the movements of birds and insects. But engineers building flying machines have now found an unlikely muse: the ocean-dwelling jellyfish. A tiny flying robot built at a lab in New York University mimics the gently puffing movements of the efficient swimmer's gelatinous bulb — not to paddle through water, but to stay aloft in air.More

Proposed Lake Huron nuclear waste site raises concerns in US, Canada
Gannett Michigan via Port Huron Times Herald
Canadian utility giant Ontario Power Generation say the layers of rock where it proposes a deep underground nuclear waste storage facility are solid, stable and well-suited for the job. But what’s at the surface and less than a mile away — the shores of Lake Huron — has people on the Michigan and Canadian sides of the Great Lake fiercely opposed to the plan.More

Oceanic acidification ruining digestion of sea urchins
Nature World News
Researchers from Sweden and Germany have found that climate change and ocean acidification is ruining the digestive systems of marine animals. They conducted the study on a larval stage of green sea urchins Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. The research shows that marine animals can't digest food in acidic environment.More

5 chemistry tips will make your Thanksgiving even tastier
Business Insider
A few simple chemical processes can actually make your Thanksgiving meal tastier and healthier, and even help you deal with the heartburn that often comes after stuffing yourself. A Bytesize Science video from the American Chemical Society offers some hints.More

Love Canal and its mixed legacy
The New York Times
The legal and medical issues at Love Canal are still playing out. Occidental Petroleum, which ended up with responsibility for the toxic site, reached settlements with 1,300 residents in 1983, New York State in 1994 and the Justice Department one year later. But now some families who bought homes nearby after the cleanup have gone to court, claiming harm from seeping pollutants.More