Articles Posted in pollution

IMG_0186-300x225According to a new report published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal, Americans ingest between 74,000 to 121,000 microplastic particles each year. However, researchers estimated that these numbers are likely much higher as some forms of microplastics are harder to track. But how does plastic end up in the air we breathe?

Microplastics can make their way into the air in a variety of ways. These small particles typically start out as larger plastic pieces, however eventually break down and become invisible to the human eye. From there they can float through the air and are easily inhaled. Microplastics can also be consumed by landing on food or being ingested by the animals that we eat.

According to the study, substantial data was collected from seafood, beer, water, air, and added sugars, where microplastics were commonly found. However, beef, poultry, vegetables, and grains were found to be free of plastic particles. The highest concentration of microplastics was found in bottled water, air, and seafood. However, researchers of the study note that only a small number of foods were tested, meaning the concentrations of plastic in other types of food that we consume is still unknown.

MV Marguerita
A Czech seaman working aboard a German cargo ship observed an engineer to leak oil into the ocean using extra pipes configured on the boat. When the vessel came into Portlend Maine, he reported this to the authorities which investigated and eventually the U.S. find the German owners $3.5 million for the infraction of international law. Now, a Judge has ordered that the seaman whistleblower be rewarded for his courage and he will receive a percentage of the $3.5 million. Last year, the U.S. government fined ship owners over $50 million for pumping pollution into the oceans. These investigations are on the rise because ocean vessels committing these violations are spiking heavily. Here is more on what happened regarding the MV Marguerita:

Alleged Fraud of Oil Record Books

The German cargo ship MV Marguerita was detained under the impression that it had entered the U.S. waters and the port in Portland at least eight times with falsified oil record books. This was only determined after a thorough investigation by the Coast Guard. They were able to determine that one of the engineers was using extra pipes and hardware to dispose of the oil. The act that alerted the authorities to this crime was the whistleblowing from Czech seaman Jaroslav Hornof who bravely spoke out against this crime and was commended for his courage. In an affidavit, Hornof said he learned that one of the chief engineers on the Marguerita was using extra pipes to discharge oily water into the ocean. When the engineer denied doing so, Hornof made secret videos of the dumping and turned them over to the United States authorities. He gave the authorities his information and they eventually boarded the ship. Under investigation, the Coast Guard was able to determine that they falsified the oil record books and dumped oil directly into the ocean, which is in direct violation of an international treaty.

A federal False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who was an employee at a plant owned by DuPont, says he saw that the company was leaking “potentially tons” of carcinogenic gas. The plant is located next to a residential neighborhood and primary school. Continue reading