Environment

Southern Company Puts $100K into Program for Saving Bat Populations in The U.S.

Southern Company has partnered with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and others in the Bats for the Future Fund (BFF)’s cause for combating White-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that could bring some North American bat species close to extinction.

The WNS fungus targets hibernating bats and is considered to have killed over six million bats in the last decade. In some areas of the country. The fungus has killed almost all the bat population. Southern Company and its subsidiaries has pledged $100,000 to the BFF.

The program is expected to test different treatments for the disease, including a vaccine, anti-fungal disinfectants, a probiotic mixture, and ultraviolet light treatments. Southern Company’s pledge is part of a $3.6 million grant for the program.

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Chemicals, Home

Federal Policy: CPSC Warns Pregnant Women and Children Against Toxic Flame Retardants

In a landmark recommendation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has asked consumers, particularly those who are pregnant or with young children, to ask retailers if their children’s products, electronics casings, furniture, and mattresses are free from organohalogen flame retardants. The recommendation further asks manufacturers to eliminate the use of these chemicals. Ninety seven percent of Americans have toxic flame retardants in their bodies.

This is a clear shift from the “one chemical at a time” policy. According to Commissioner Elliot Kaye,”As a policy maker, and more importantly, as a parent, I am horrified and outraged at how chemicals are addressed in this country.” He further said, “Waiting to assess the safety of chemicals after they are already in consumers’ homes and our children’s bloodstreams is totally irrational public policy.”

 

Environment, Gas

“HI-LIGHT” Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor Wins Grand Prize at Create The Future

Cornell University and Dimensional Energy (Ithaca, NY) have received a  $20k grand prize in the 2017 “Create the Future” Design Contest for their “HI-LIGHT” Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor. One of 1,150 ideas competing for the prize, the application cost-efficiently converts waste CO2 into clean liquid fuel using a process that mimics plant photosynthesis.

Team leader Elvis Cao, a Ph.D. Student at Cornell University, stated “I would like to express our greatest gratitude to the judges for choosing our team as the Grand Prize Winner.”

According to Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing of event sponsor COMSOL, Inc.,”Whether it’s a start-up or Fortune 500 company, only bold design innovation can provide an atmosphere where individuals and businesses thrive.”