Comet ATLAS may put on quite a show

A comet called Atlas is currently heading toward the sun, and it just might put on a really good show in a couple of months. Discovered last December by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert system in Hawaii (thus the ...

After thousands of years, an iconic whale confronts a new enemy

For millennia, vast expanses of the Arctic Ocean have been untouched by humans, ocean where narwhals and other marine mammals lived undisturbed. Now that climate change is causing sea ice to melt, there has been an uptick ...

About 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far

SpaceX has drawn plenty of praise and criticism with the creation of Starlink, a constellation that will one day provide broadband internet access to the entire world. To date, the company has launched over 800 satellites ...

Ancient Maya cities were dangerously contaminated with mercury

The cities of the ancient Maya in Mesoamerica never fail to impress. But beneath the soil surface, an unexpected danger lurks there: mercury pollution. In a review article in Frontiers in Environmental Science, researchers ...

New process makes 'biodegradable' plastics truly compostable

Biodegradable plastics have been advertised as one solution to the plastic pollution problem bedeviling the world, but today's "compostable" plastic bags, utensils and cup lids don't break down during typical composting and ...

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Pollutant

A pollutant is a waste material that pollutes air, water or soil, and is the cause of pollution.

Three factors determine the severity of a pollutant: its chemical nature, its concentration and its persistence. Some pollutants are biodegradable and therefore will not persist in the environment in the long term. However the degradation products of some pollutants are themselves polluting such as the products DDE and DDD produced from degradation of DDT

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