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Stanford University Study Charts Groundwater Arsenic Formation

Groundwater in Southeast Asia commonly contains concentrations of arsenic 20 to 100 times greater than the World Health Organization's recommended limit, resulting in more than 100 million people being poisoned by drinking arsenic-laced water in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. Stanford University scientists have solved an important mystery about where the microbes responsible for releasing the dangerous arsenic levels into groundwater there get their food. The findings, published in the journal Nature Geosciences , could guide future land management and development in the region. Arsenic is bound to iron oxide compounds in rocks from the Himalayas, and gets washed down the major rivers and deposited in the lowland basins and deltas.

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Flood Warning Systems

Chapter Overview: Flood Warning A Real-Time Solution Streamflow Measurements Typical Flood Warning System Monitoring Location Data Management Quality Assurance Recommended Equipment Why Monitoring Matters While some areas are more prone to flooding than others, the establishment of flood warning systems near any major waterway or body of water provides critical information that can protect property and save lives. Of course, the most effective flood warning methods extend beyond the installation of gages and telemetry equipment, and employ qualified staff and carefully designed procedures to provide the earliest warning about whether a flood should be expected, when it will occur, and how severe it will be.

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Zebrafish Study: BPS Plastics More Dangerous Than Thought

Companies advertise BPA-free plastic as a safer version of products ranging from water bottles to sippy cups to toys. Many manufacturers stopped using bisphenol A, a chemical that is used to strengthen plastic, after studies linked it to early puberty and a rise in breast and prostate cancers. But bisphenol S (BPS), a common replacement for BPA in plastics, has also been linked to health risks. A new study out of the University of California, Los Angeles, has dissected some of the mechanisms that make BPS just as harmful as BPA. The study found that BPS speeds up embryonic development and disrupts the reproductive system in zebrafish, a commonly used fish in research that in some ways mimics the effects treatments could have on humans.

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Detecting Airborne Cyanobacteria Toxins

There are many ways to measure the concentrations of cyanobacteria in water, be it with specialized sensors or through discrete sampling and lab analysis. And since water is where the bacteria are produced, this makes sense. But for the toxins that they sometimes make, it’s a different story. For some time, there have been conversations questioning the possibility of these cyanobacterial toxins aerating, or becoming part of the air surrounding their sources in the form of mist or sloshed-up water. Is there a danger of breathing in the toxins, and how would you go about measuring them anyway? A new study led by scientists at the University of New Hampshire sets out to answer those questions.

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