Category Archives: Science

North Carolina Commission on Fracking

Recently, North Carolina approved the bill to allow fracking (or hydraulic fracturing). In 2013, members of North Carolina's Mining and Energy Commission (NCMEC) are developing regulations for drilling. Drilling could begin as early as 2014.


Scientist looking at flask
NCMEC's chairman, Jim Womack, believes North Carolina will require "stringent disclosure laws." Many critics of fracking have shown that natural gas drilling causes earthquakes and water contamination. If North Carolina can obtain full disclosure of all chemicals used in fracking, including the "proprietary" chemicals, it would be a first nation wide.


In some situations, environmental regulators may know what chemicals are used in fracking, but there is a question as to allow emergency first responders and medical personnel know the types of chemicals used. Read More

Is Your Tap Water Making You Sick?

We know that tap water in America is some of the best drinking water in the world. Many people in the world don't have easy access to any water, let alone have drinkable, healthy water coming from three or more faucets in their home at any time. While we are extremely fortunate, recent research indicates our wonderful water may be making us sick.



In the last twenty-five years, the number of children and adults with food allergies has sky rocketed. This is a growing concern for the general population, but only recently did researchers look into the link between the high use of environmental pesticides and water purifying chemicals. Read More

Food Allergies and Pesticides- Is There a Link?

By Megan Vick

You may have noticed lately that the number of people, especially children, with food allergies is increasing. With common allergens such as wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk (and milk products), fish, and shellfish, you may wonder why so many people have allergies.


On December 3, 2012, the results of a study were released which tested the hypothesis that chemicals, specifically pesticides, in our drinking water may increase food allergies. The study did not find the two were linked. However, this same study did find (to no surprise) that both environmental pollution and food allergies are increasing in the USA. Read More

What a Wonderful, Watery World

This article is
adapted from the original.

By Megan


Similar to Howard Wolowitz from TV’s The Big Bang Theory, former NASA employee and environmental
engineer, John Feighery, designed the bathroom for the International Space
Station. Feighery and his team needed to focus on efficiency, waste management,
and air and water quality to have a successful system aboard the ISS.

Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz

In 2003, Feighery changed his focus to helping the global
water crisis. When he spoke to AlertNet, he said, “I’d been working on supplying
clean water to three or four people in space, and meanwhile there are a billion
here on Earth that don’t have it.” This profound change in thought led him to
work in Bangladesh with a group from the US Health and Human Services Department testing
well water. Read More

Rocket Fuel in My Water?!

By Megan Vick

That’s right.  You may have heard about it on the news or seen it online- 26 states have found perchlorate (rocket fuel) in their public water supply. Now the EPA is investigating setting a standard for allowable levels of this chemical in the water supply.

What is Perchlorate?
Perchlorate is derived from perchloric acid and can be both natural and artificial. The most common perchlorate is ammonium perchlorate which is used in pyrotechnics, as well as a component of rocket fuel. Perchlorate can cause numerous health problems both in children and adults.

Rocket Launch

Is Perchlorate in Other Things? Read More

Water Filters: A Boiled Down History


14,00,000,000 B.C.E.    The first molecules of water form in space after an early star explodes in a supernova (try filming that, Michael Bay.)



4,000,000,000 B.C.E.    Liquid water on planet Earth–IN YOUR FACE, NEPTUNE AND MARS!

2000 B.C.E.    Egyptians boil water and use crude sand and charcoal filters like, you know, Egyptians.




400 B.C.E.       Hippocrates designs a sleeve-like cloth filter. He uses his "water cure" to treat many diseases but sadly does not cure his baldness. 




500-1500 A.D.        Beer is the staple beverage of Europeans because the fermentation process naturally purifies water and they need more excuses to day-drink. 

1627    Sir Francis Bacon attempts seawater filtration. Read More

GE unleashes the URT system to recycle fridges

RAD logo

What’s 40-feet tall and can devour 150,000 refrigerators a year? The new GE UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT) system. According to reports from GE The URT reduces landfill waste by 85% and allows them to recover around 95% of the insulating foam used in their fridges. The URT was designed as part of GE’s participation in the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program (RAD). Instead of throwing out those clunky old fridges and having them take up space in a landfill, GE is reusing the parts to make brand new appliances.

I love the idea that steps are being taken to recycle appliances, unfortunately the service is only available in a few states right now.

Read More

Independent Investigation of Bottled Water finds unsavory results

Bottled water

I came across this article from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where they tested 10 major brands of bottled water and found common chemical pollutants present in some samples. The report claims that bottled water from the Walmart brand (Sam’s Choice) and Giant Foods’ Acadia brand contained trihalomethanes, a disinfectant byproduct, in levels that exceed California standards for safe drinking water. The bottles tested came from manufacturing plants from several states, but some states tested far better than others. So what does it all mean?

First, you should know that the state of California has stricter standards for public drinking water than the rest of the country. Read More

The Seven Foot Knoll

I was visiting my sister in Baltimore over the weekend when I saw this really cool lighthouse known as the Seven Foot Knoll. Obviously, it is not in use anymore and has been moved to shore to preserve it as a historical sight, but it used to sit out in the water at the mouth of the Patapsco River. When the lighthouse was in use the light keeper and his family had to live inside of it for long periods of time because there wasn’t any easy access to land. They would take everything they needed out with them, including livestock and food supplies. Read More

A little respect for water please

Water system new pump

Or as Aretha Franklin would say “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to”…water? Yes, especially when it comes to water. In developed nations our expectation for water is that it will always be available and it should always be cheap. While I agree wholeheartedly with these ideas the situation is a little more complicated than that.

In this article written by Kit Roane for CNN about Charles Fishman’s new book The Big Thirst – The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water he discusses the author’s views on respecting our water supply. Fishman believes that our expectations for cheap water are causing problems that will endanger the future of our water system. Read More