Sitting Out Smog Pollution, Recycling Cars and More

Learn about smog pollution, recycling cars and more.

| November/December 1983

  • City Smog
    This is what smog pollution in a huge city looks like.

  • City Smog

Selling U.S. Land to Build Dams

The Reagan Administration is claiming that the sale of public lands will help reduce the national debt, but — by law — 76 percent of the revenue from such sales must be put toward the Bureau of Reclamation's water projects. The National Wildlife Federation warns that this could mean hundreds of millions of dollars more being funneled into ecologically risky dam-building projects.

Cancer-Causing Substances in Baby-Bottle Nipples

Cornell University scientists have detected carcinogens in rubber nursing nipples, but believe the amount is too small to produce immediate health hazards. The scientists have further stated that the technology exists to reduce any possible risks, but that manufacturers are not bothering to use it.

Hazardous Waste Piles Up

A new Environmental Protection Agency study that admits that the U.S. is generating almost four times more hazardous waste than was predicted claims that most of it is being properly disposed of. The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, however, recently warned that injection wells (perhaps the means most commonly used for disposing of the waste) can eventually leak their contents into the environment.

Yellowstone National Dump?

The Hazardous Waste News has reported that, in a search for more places to bury all of this harmful refuse, the Cabinet Council on National Resources (of which James Watt is a member) has begun to investigate using federal lands to process and store industrial waste.

A Bartering Community

In Grants Pass, Oregon, swaps such as a roof repair for a bicycle are commonplace, thanks to Jo Co Skills Exchange. The nonprofit organization's motto, "Trade what you have, what you know, or what you do for what you need", has involved the entire town, from low-income residents to doctors and lawyers . . . and even the police department. For more information on how the program works, send 50 cents to Skills Exchange Booklet, Dept. TMEN, P.O. Box 1673, Grants Pass, Oregon 97526.

Foraging Livestock's Milk Could Cause Birth Defects

A pregnant California woman, who drank the milk of a goat allowed to forage in an area where lupines grew, gave birth to a son with a defect very similar to crooked-calf disease . . . which strikes the offspring of cows that graze on that plant. While the doctor involved in the case has noted that evidence linking the milk and the birth defect is circumstantial, dairy animals should always be kept in restricted grazing areas.

Recycling Cars

A small company in northern New Jersey (Automotive Import Recycling, Inc.) actually remanufactures BMW's and Volvos. Its 30 employees take the old vehicles completely apart . . . replace any worn parts with new ones . . . and then (at the rate of 20 automobiles per month) turn out shiny, new vehicles!

Battaling Gypsy Moths

A free booklet about battling gypsy moths is available from the American Forestry Association. Although the publication does mention the aerial spraying of pesticides (a practice MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not generally condone), it also presents a good bit of constructive information covering the life cycle of the moths, preventive tree care, and environmentally sound ways of combating this pest. Write to American Forestry Association, Dept. P-TMEN, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, D.C. 20013.

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