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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Environmental Protection Agency is targeting four key pollutants in its effort to clean up toxics in the Columbia River.

The agency has released a draft report focusing attention on four toxic contaminants which are found in the river basin at levels that could harm people, fish and wildlife.

The contaminants include PCBs and the pesticide DDT, which persist in the environment despite being banned since the 1970s. The two others are mercury and a flame retardant commonly found in mattresses, furniture and electronics.

Mary Lou Soscia, the EPA’s cleanup coordinator in Portland, Ore., told The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash., that the four are among the most toxic to humans and representative of other substances entering the river.

Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

Benefits of ‘point-of-use’ systems increasingly touted

LISLE, Ill., Oct 22, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — As consumers become more aware of contaminants in their drinking water, independent organizations are recommending home-based treatment systems as a solution.
Recently, ABC News with Charles Gibson reported on the issue of pharmaceuticals in water supplies. According to the outlet’s Web site, “ABC News asked researchers to test a widely available water filter for the home. They found it greatly reduced the traces of drugs in the water.”
The National Resources Defense Council now provides a guide on choosing home treatment, available at http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/gfilters.asp.
According to the NRDC, “As a general rule, look for filters labeled as meeting NSF/ANSI Standard 53 and that are certified to remove the contaminant(s) of concern in your water.” Under its Gold Seal program, WQA certifies products to NSF/ANSI standards.
NRDC is one of the nation’s most effective environmental action organizations, boasting 1.2 million members and online activists.
The issue of pharmaceuticals in water emerged last spring, following the first of several Associated Press studies. Just last month, AP reported that almost one in six Americans may be affected by pharmaceuticals in their household water.
Filtering systems in the home provide the highest technology available for treatment of drinking water, according to Joseph Harrison, PE, CWS-VI, technical director of WQA. Less than two percent of all water consumed is ingested by humans, making these “point-of-use” systems the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly treatments.
“While utilities are required to meet safety standards set by the US EPA, home filtering systems act as a final contaminant barrier and can further purify water for drinking,” Harrison said. Specific product performance standards have not yet been developed for pharmaceuticals, but many point-of- use technologies have proven effective for some of these emerging contaminants.
With more than 2,500 members, WQA is a not-for-profit alliance of water treatment companies and has become a resource for consumers and public policy makers seeking information about the issue.
WQA offers an online fact sheet with answers to the issue of pharmaceuticals in water, available at wqa.org. WQA has also joined a task force to develop independent testing standards that will be able to tell consumers what devices are successful at removing many of these newly discovered contaminants.
WQA provides WQA Gold Seal certification for products that remove a variety of contaminants. Consumers can learn about different treatment systems and find locally certified dealers by visiting the WQA Web site’s Gold Seal and “Find A Water Professional” features. Among contaminants that products are certified to remove are arsenic, radium, lead, and other elements.
David Loveday
630-505-0160
dloveday@wqa.org
SOURCE Water Quality Association
http://www.wqa.org

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Author: dorothy smith

World Environment Day, which is commemorated each year on June 5th, is one of the most significant mode through which the United Nations stimulates the global awareness of the environment. It is by this way that the United Nations attract political attention and enhances action to shape a better global environment. Each year the World Environment Day is celebrated in recognition of unique theme. Norway was honored to host International World Environment Day 2007 celebrations in recognition of the theme — ‘Melting Ice – The Hot Topic’. Over a hundred nations across the globe celebrates the World Environment Day with highly relevant theme each year.

The slogan for World Environment Day 2008 is ‘Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy’. With an understanding of the fact that the change in climatic condition is gradually becoming one of the most defining issue of the age, UNEP is requesting the nations, companies and communities to put special focus on the greenhouse gas emissions and to put spare thought over how to reduce them. The World Environment Day 2008 is going to highlight resources and focuses on promoting low carbon economies with a view to shape a better and healthier future. Promoting a low carbon economy involves steps towards improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption. The chief international celebration of the World Environment Day 2008 is going to be held in New Zealand.

The Heads of State, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Environment deliver statements and commit themselves to care for this only green planet of the universe. Serious pledges establish sound and non-transitory governmental policies related to environmental management and economic planning. bicycle parades, tree planting , recycling campaigns, clean-up campaigns, street rallies, school level essay and poster competitions etc. are organized all over the world on June 5th to celebrate the World Environment Day.

Here are some information on World Environment Day for the last ten years regarding where the WED celebration was held at and what were the respective themes each year:

Places of celebration:
World Environment Day 2007 – Tromsø, Norway
World Environment Day 2006 – Algiers, Algeria
World Environment Day 2005 – San Francisco, U.S.
World Environment Day 2004 – Barcelona, Spain
World Environment Day 2003 – Beirut, Lebanon
World Environment Day 2002 – Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
World Environment Day 2001 – Torino, Italy and Havana, Cuba
World Environment Day 2000 – Adelaide, Australia
World Environment Day 1999 – Tokyo, Japan
World Environment Day 1998 – Moscow, Russian Federation

Themes of celebration:
World Environment Day 2007 – Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?
World Environment Day 2006 – Deserts and Desertification – Don’t Desert Drylands!
World Environment Day 2005 – Green Cities – Plan for the Planet!
World Environment Day 2004 – Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive?
World Environment Day 2003 – Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It!
World Environment Day 2002 – Give Earth a Chance
World Environment Day 2001 – Connect with the World Wide Web of Life
World Environment Day 2000 – The Environment Millennium – Time to Act
World Environment Day 1999 – Our Earth – Our Future – Just Save It!
World Environment Day 1998 – For Life on Earth – Save Our Seas

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/world-environment-day-2008-kick-the-habit-towards-a-low-carbon-economy-433386.html

About the Author:

Dorothy Smith, the author of this article, writes about the events & special occasions. Want to know more about world environment day or world environment day ecards ? Celebrate world environment day 2008 by sending free ecards and check some other resources .