COMMENTARY

» Shorter fibers: key to safer carbon nanotubes?

A chemical redesign of carbon nanotubes has reduced their harmful effects on lungs, an issue that has hindered their widespread use. The nanomaterial holds promise for medicine and electronics but also poses a health threat because the skeletal fibers resemble asbestos. The animal study found less lung irritation and no sign of cancer with shorter fibers.


» New Tools to Design Safer Chemicals

New Paper by 23 scientists from multiple disciplines have designed a testing tool to create chemicals to be free of potential endocrine disrupting effects.


» New stain repellent chemical doubling in blood every 6 years.

As the phased-out stain repellent PFOS steadily decreases in people, its replacement is rising rapidly at levels that are doubling every six years, a Swedish study shows. Levels of perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) in the women’s blood rose 11 percent per year between 1996 and 2010. Whether there are any potential health effects of these exposures — which are still far lower than PFOS levels — is unknown.


» Designing the next generation of sustainable chemicals.

Designing Endocrine Disruption out of the next generation of chemicals.


» Teaching Green Chemistry and Toxicology.

The Green Chemistry Commitment Initiative encourages faster uptake of green chemistry and toxicology in the undergraduate curriculum.


» Building Links Between Green Chemists and Business in Education.

A Former Science Communication Fellow reports on an innovative new way of approaching Green Chemistry education in Canada: a course for both MBA and chemistry students.


» A switch to nature-based catalyst raises efficiency, reduces waste.

Inspired by the natural world, green chemists take a different approach to make go-between chemicals that are heavily used by pharmaceutical makers. The highly efficient process uses three available ingredients and produces only water as a waste product.


» No more butts: biodegradable filters a step to boot litter problem.

Cigarette filters made to degrade quickly may offer a unique solution to the persistent problem of cigarette butts that litter beaches, parks and waterways. The design relies on small tablets of food-grade chemicals inside the filters that burst when they get wet, releasing acid that spurs the filter to break down in months instead of years. The results are an important step toward solving a global problem that impacts people and wildlife. The researchers used principles of green chemistry including designing for degradation, minimizing waste and choosing safer chemicals to ensure that their research would improve the existing technology.


» Mother Nature shows how to improve solar technology.

Inspired by plant leaves, researchers have designed a solar cell that boosts electrical output by twentyfold. [Editor's note 8/6/2012: This summary incorrectly reported 20 percent originally.] The cells are more efficient because their materials are layered like a leaf. The research aims to develop sustainable solar power. More improvements are needed before it might hit the market.


» “Don’t put that junk on your junk”

I recently said this to my favorite cyclist when discussing that he may not want to apply chamois cream containing parabens (the junk) to his junk. Male cyclists are repeatedly applying (maybe daily, for 5-7 hours at a time) these paraben containing creams to their reproductive parts. Research is showing that maybe they should reconsider. […]