Home Vacations, Sulfur Emissions, Environmental Action, and More News Bits

The rising popularity of home vacations, the volume of human-generated sulfur emissions, and a booklet from Environmental Action identifying the location of waste dumps are among the stories covered in this 1980 article.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
July/August 1980
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By 1980, human activity was generating 100 million tons of sulfur emissions each year. 
PHOTO: FOTOLIA/GINO SANTA MARIA


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PROFITABLE HOME VACATIONS: Faced with inflation and rising gasoline prices, 30% of American homeowners say they'll spend more time at home in 1980, and tops among their activities will be lawn care and gardening ... each of which represents a good investment, since realtors say an attractive landscape can add about 6% to the market value of a house.

MORE THAN SIMPLE H20: Case Western Reserve University chemists have demonstrated the existence of the hydronium ion (H3O+) in water, while the University of California reports the discovery of another water component, the bihydroxide ion (H3O2 - ). But, if you were surprised to find that even pure water isn't as simple as you once thought, consider that more than 700 synthetic chemicals have been detected in U.S. drinking supplies.

"HUNT THE DUMP" is a booklet from Environmental Action that shows how to find hazardous waste products in your area and how to force polluters to become accountable for the improper disposition of dangerous substances. 

HOT ROCKS! If it's hot enough, the General Foods candy "Pop Rocks" can reportedly explode in the package .... as, we've learned, a delivery truck driver discovered when his vehicle's doors were blown off.

LESS SPECTACULAR ERUPTIONS: The 1883 Krakatoa eruption was estimated to have spewed nine million tons ... of sulfur into the atmosphere. In comparison, sulfur emission from human activities has been estimated at 100 million tons a year ... or the equivalent of one Krakatoa-sized eruption every 33 days. The result is our ever increasing acid rain problem.

A FIRST! Quick-freezing of the cornea, using ultra-cold copper rods, has been found to restore the eyesight of dogs, cats, horses, and other animals suffering from glaucoma ... and—in tests performed to date—the disease has not returned!

USEFUL DREGS: Louisiana is losing 16.5 square miles of land to the Gulf every year, primarily because of man-made channels that are dredged through the marshes. Meanwhile, DOE's Argonne National Laboratory has discovered that, in many areas, material removed from waterways by dredging can be used to reclaim even the most severely disturbed, acidic strip-mined lands. In the case of Louisiana, unfortunately, such operations can be performed only at the expense of the Pelican State's unique marsh environment.

SHARE A GOOD EXPERIENCE: If you've seen your child's behavior or health improve dramatically as a result of a change in lifestyle or diet, Thom Hartmann of the New England Salem Children's Trust is compiling a manual—to be distributed to children's institutions—on the benefits of a natural foods diet and deinstitutionalized living ... and is planning to use first-person accounts to illustrate the points made.

A NEW PROCESS developed by High Voltage Engineering Corp. uses low doses of electron energy to reduce disease-causing organisms in sewage sludge to harmless levels ... at about half the cost of alternative methods. The company is also under contract to two Israeli firms to treat poultry feed in order to eliminate pathogens that might affect humans consuming chickens fed on the grains.

SOME "IMPROVEMENT!" Despite the fact that over five million United States workers are injured on the job and thousands killed-each year, the so-called "OSHA Improvements Acts of 1980" would exempt 90% of the workplaces in this country from nearly all Occupational Safety and Health Act inspections.

IN THE MEANTIME, a chemist notes that the New York City asbestos workers' union has very few retired members, because "they just don't live long enough to reach retirement." The union's death rate from cancer is now at 83%.

UPDATE YOUR DOG'S DISTEMPER SHOTS! Evidence is mounting that multiple sclerosis may be caused by the same virus that's responsible for canine distemper .... Minnesota had to return the $3.5 million it had received from the EPA to be used to locate new hazardous waste dumps, because the state COULDN'T FIND A SINGLE SITE that local people would allow to be used for that purpose .... In 1947, 40,000 Atlantic ridley sea turtles were seen nesting on a Mexican beach, but now there are probably FEWER THAN 500-1,000 NESTING FEMALES LEFT .... Pediatricians are puzzled over a new illness—called Kawasaki, after the doctor who discovered it—that CAUSES HEART ATTACKS IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN UNDER FIVE .... A daily walk of a mile or two for a pregnant heifer helps her have fewer problems giving birth, and dairy cows that get such exercise will average AN EXTRA THREE QUARTS OF MILK A DAY .... Oregon has become the first state to OUTLAW DISPOSABLE DIAPERS, on the grounds that human wastes should end up in sewage treatment plants and not in garbage dumps .... The Krugerrand Coin Division of International Gold Corporation is offering a free FACTS ABOUT GOLD booklet .... It takes the year-round production of 315 SQUARE MILES OF FOREST to make the throwaway pager items used by our nation's McDonald's franchises!


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