Hemp Plant Found To “Eat” Radiation and Drive Away Toxicity – Hemp Fields Should Be Planted Around Fukushima

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Courtesy of Hemp For Future:

Activists have been shouting they want an end to GMO foods for more than a decade now, and Cannabis Sattiva L. supporters have been at it for even longer, so why has the US government finally given farmers the right to legally grow industrial hemp, the non-hallucinatory, sister plant of medical marijuana?

It is safe to say that industrialized hemp should have been legalized years ago. With THC levels so low, you would have to smoke more of it than Snoop Dogg to get ‘high’ – and that’s a lot of Cannabis, it is ridiculous that it was classified as a drug at all. It has numerous uses and could replace many crops that require heavy irrigation and pesticides, like cotton, for example. Here’s the most interesting fact though – hemp plants ‘eat’ radiation.

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Reactor 4 accident caused severe radioactive contamination in 1986, families within a 30-kilometer area of the site had to be evacuated. Radioactive contamination was later found at 100 kilometers from the accident site, and Fukushima radiation levels are still to be determined, with the Japanese government planning on dumping their overflowing radiated water tanks into the Pacific as we speak.

As with the Chernobyl incident, scientists are finding radioactive emissions and toxic metals–including iodine, cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium–concentrated in the soil, plants, and animals of Japan, but also now throughout the United States and all along the West Coast – from Canada to Mexico. Even the EPA has admitted that any living tissue can be affected by radiation exposure. High levels of thyroid disease and cancer have been reported in Japan, and our ocean is dying by the day. Scientists are also expecting that children born on the US West Coast will suffer a 28% higher incident of hyperthyroidism – a disease that accompanies radiation exposure. Even the livestock that grazed on irradiated grasses grown in contaminated soils developed meat with high concentrations of these unwanted toxins after Chernobyl, and Fukushima is exponentially worse. Continue reading

Fracking Fluid Survey Shows Missing Information

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Fracking has invigorated the US oil and gas industry, but locals communities have concerns over the chemicals used. Credit: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Philip Robinson, Chemistry World and published on Scientific America:

A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking’s environmental impact.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping high-pressure water into shale formations kilometres beneath the ground to break the formations apart, releasing the gas and oil they contain. In the US, fracking operations have regenerated the domestic oil and gas industry, boosting production and driving down energy prices. The US chemical industry has also benefited from cheaper feedstocks, such as ethene, giving it a competitive edge over other regions.

Governments and chemical companies in other countries are hopeful that fracking might be similarly fruitful outside the US. However, the potential environmental costs of fracking have also brought criticism and resistance from campaign groups and the public. In particular, the effects of chemical additives used as part of the fracking process have raised concerns – formulations whose precise ingredients are often protected as proprietary information.

‘Right now, public knowledge is limited,’ says William Stringfellow from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, speaking at the 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco, US. ‘So we want to resolve exactly what chemicals are being used in fracking fluids. And then to examine their hazards and risks.’

Stringfellow examined a list of fracking chemicals drawn largely from information provided by fracking companies to the voluntary registry Fracfocus, and information requested by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Assessing the chemicals based on available toxicity data, ‘we found that a relatively small number of the compounds can be characterised as being a known hazard in terms of mammalian or aquatic toxicology – about 10%’, says Stringfellow. These include biocides, used to prevent bacterial growth, and corrosion inhibitors. ‘They also use a lot of surfactants, which can be harmful to the aquatic environment,’ he adds.

Information deficit Continue reading