Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 3:57 pm
Nitrate air pollution is higher in the Yakima Valley than many other places in Washington. The state Department of Ecology noticed the pocket of unusually high amounts of nitrate air pollution and commissioned researchers at Washington State University and Central Washington University to determine its source.
These fine particulates are so tiny that you can't see them, but if you breathe them in at high concentrations, they can cause heart and respiratory problems.
Pete Knutson and his son Dylan sell wild salmon at farmers markets around Seattle. "We had people passing on our fish this year. It was directly because they were worried about Fukushima," Pete Knutson said.
Following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, a nuclear reactor released hundreds of millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean. That sparked fear that contaminated water would reach the West Coast, but three years later, scientists say that radiation in our waters isn’t necessarily linked to the nuclear reactor.
Glaciers in the Alps of Europe pose a scientific mystery. They started melting rapidly back in the 1860s. In a span of about 50 years, some of the biggest glaciers had retreated more than half a mile.
But nobody could explain the glacier's rapid decline. Now, a new study from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory uncovers a possible clue to why the glaciers melted before temperatures started rising: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.
For almost 20 years Washington's Department of Ecology has known that the state's water pollution limits have meant some Washingtonians regularly consume dangerous amounts of toxic chemicals in seafood from local waterways.
The Environmental Protection Agency has urged the state to fix the problem. The Department of Ecology was close last year when Boeing and other business interests began lobbying against the changes. Robert McClure from Investigate West uncovered the story through interviews and government document requests and he gives an update to Ross Reynolds.
Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday. The 300-page report compared emissions of diesel particulates, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in five Puget Sound ports from 2005 to 2011. Overall, emissions have gone down.