Color Research, Leaf Baler, Contaminated Vegetables, and Other News Items

News items on color research on the effects of pink, a municipality that converted a hay baler into a leaf baler, and chemically contaminated vegetables from Mexico were among those covered in this regular feature.

| May/June 1981

PINKO PLOT? There may be more to the custom of dressing little girls in pink than meets the eye. Color research from the Institute of Bio-social Research in Tacoma, Washington's shows that the color pink rapidly saps anger, aggression, and physical strength!

LEAF BALER: City workers in Batavia, New York—using an adapted tractor and a converted hay-baling machine—bundle up tons of autumn leaves into convenient 35-pound bales, which are then "stolen" from curbsides overnight by residents who use them as mulch and animal bedding. These attractive (and practical) packages have cut the city's leaf-clearing bill from about $26,000 to $13,000 per year.

CONTAMINATED VEGETABLES: Seventeen percent of the winter vegetables that were shipped into this country last year from Mexico were said to contain residues of more than 200 chemicals—including some banned from use in the United States—that exceeded acceptable tolerances. The produce was put on the market anyway.

  ABOUT ONE-QUARTER OF 123 MALE STUDENTS examined by Florida State University researchers were found to have the flame-retardant chemical Fyrol FR-2 (used in some polyurethane foam mattresses) in their seminal fluid. Furthermore, although the tests can't yet be considered conclusive, a correlation was found between high levels of Fyrol and low sperm counts.

"USING AIR-RAID SHELTERS IN PEACETIME," say the Chinese, "is a means of keeping the structures in good condition, so that if war comes, they can be quickly reconverted to their original purpose." Thus, the vast networks of tunnels under most Chinese cities are now utilized as warehouses, workshops, and storage places for meat, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

A MODERN "DEATH VALLEY": The 80,000 people in Cubatao, Brazil—where Du Pont, Union Carbide, and other multinational companies maintain chemical plants—are showered with a constant barrage of some 1,200 different particulates. Currently, 40 out of every 1,000 Cubatao babies are stillborn, another 40 die within a week, and "untold dozens" come into the world deformed.

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