Factoids, infobits and eco-trivia
How much does it cost to save a life?
A preliminary cost-benefit study by the Harvard School of Public Health
calculated expenses in three main categories: medical intervention, injury
avoidance, and pollution control based on 1200 U.S. government regulatory
impact analyses that contain cost and life-saving information.
Life extending medical intervention came out least expensive,
averaging $19,000 per life-year saved. Injury avoidance controls - from
seatbelts in card to ejection systems in Air Force B-58 bombers cost an
average of $48,000 per life-year saved.
Offering the poorest return on invested dollars, environmental regulation
of radiation, asbestos, lead and other environmental hazards with a median
cost of $2,782,000 per life-year saved.
Some medical procedures, such a prenatal care and childhood
immunization, cost next to nothing, while the cost for regulating asbestos
averages $1.8 million dollars for each life saved. Dr. Tammy Tengs, one
of the study's main authors claims "We could save more years of life
[overall] if we are more attentive to the cost of saving each life."
Oh, say can you CO2
Substitute a compact fluorescent light for a traditional bulb and you'll
keep a half-ton of CO2 (carbon dioxide) out of the atmosphere over the life
of the bulb... and keep it clean - dirt absorbs lights and uses more energy.
(Center for Environmental Education)
Don't be a drip
Fix a small leaky faucet and you save up to 50 gallons of water per day.
(Center for Environmental Education)
2,4-D, the most commonly used herbicide on home lawns, was formerly a component
of the defoliant Agent Orange. It contains traces of toxic dioxins. Skin
exposure has resulted in delayed nervous system damage in humans. Other
possible effects: skin rashes; eye throat, and respiratory tract irritation;
lymphatic cancer. (Save Our Planet)
Recycle one aluminum can and you save enough money to run a personal computer
for three hours. (Center for Environmental Education)
The northward spread of insects and the tropical diseases they can carry
confirm the that global warming is taking place in our time. A Cambridge
University researcher says a sand fly that transmits a parasitic disease
edging north across France, for example. And a mosquito native to North
Africa has been found in Wales. (Inter Press Service, Rome).
About 2,400 dry cleaners in the South Coast (Los Angeles Area)
Air Basin use perchloroethylene, which contributes to smog. Currently, "PERC,"
which leaks into the air when clothes are transferred from washer to dryer,
is produced at the rate of 320 gallons per year at some facilities. (Save
PERC you right up
Don't breathe the
- When smog enveloped London in December, 1991 - the worst for the
city in years - the number of deaths also shot up ten percent, according
to an unpublished report by British epidemiologist Ross Anderson. (New
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has ruled
that whales may not be hunted in the Southern Hemisphere below the 40th
Parallel South. The location was chosen because all whale species except
the rorqual feed there before returning to the tropics to reproduce. Although
"binding" on signatories, Japan and Norway have repeatedly violated
the moratorium on whale hunting passed in 1986 and neither have suffered
sanctions or other significant repercussions apart from adverse publicity.
(Cambio 16, Madrid)
Researchers at Argentina's
Assault on Battery
National Atomic Energy Commission
have developed a method to treat used batteries,
a major source of pollution worldwide, that would allow
them to be safely disposed of in landfills. The process consists
of exposing the batteries to a thermal treatment and mixing
them with ground glass. What comes out is a compact
block that, the researchers say, traps batteries' heavy
metals and will not degrade, even when
exposed to water, for more than
4,000 years. (Clarin, Buenos Aires)
Four in ten adults enjoy looking at, feeding and taking pictures of wild
animals outside of zoos. 76-million Americans age 16 or older participated
in "non consumptive" wildlife-associated recreation according
to a 1991 survey by the Fish and Wildlife Service. (Wall St. Journal)