Posts Tagged ‘pollution’

Abandoned pipelines could release poisons into North Sea

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Decaying oil and gas pipelines left to fall apart in the North Sea could release large volumes of poisons such as mercury, radioactive lead and polonium-210, notorious for its part in the poisoning of Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko, scientists told Watershed Investigations.

Mersey suffers from major PFAS pollution

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Watershed’s article in The Times reports that cancer-causing chemical loads flowing through the River Mersey catchment are among the largest recorded in the world and most of it is coming from sewage works. 

Compared with a number of river basins across the world, only the Tokyo basin carries more PFOA per square kilometre of land. For PFOS, the Mersey catchment is the third worst, after the Tokyo basin and Cape Fear in the US. The discovery was made by hydrologist Dr Patrick Byrne from Liverpool John Moores University, who monitored the Mersey for a year and calculated the forever chemical load travelling through the catchment.  

Watershed releases new documentary ‘TOXIC’

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Watershed has worked with the ENDS Report to produce a new film ‘TOXIC: Britain’s forever poisoned rivers and seas’. The film can be viewed at endsreport.com/toxic and reveals PFAS pollution hotspots across England, particularly in the Mersey and Wyre. Featuring Feargal Sharkey, Dame Natalie Bennett, Clare Cavers, Dr Patrick Byrne, Dr Tom Miller and Lizzie Carr, it tells the worrying story of widespread carcinogen contamination.

 

‘Forever chemicals’ found in drinking water sources across England

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Potentially toxic “forever chemicals” have been detected in the drinking water sources at 17 of 18 England’s water companies, with 11,853 samples testing positive, something experts say they are “extremely alarmed” by.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a group of 10,000 or so human-made chemicals widely used in industrial processes, firefighting foams and consumer products – were found in samples of raw and treated water tested by water companies last year, according to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), the Guardian and Watershed Investigations has found.

Scientists call on ministers to cut limits for ‘forever chemicals’ in UK tap water

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Acceptable levels of “forever chemicals” in drinking water should be reduced tenfold and a new national chemicals agency created to protect public health, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has told the UK government.

The RSC has produced a map using data published in the Guardian with Watershed Investigations in February, revealing that a “third of the watercourses tested contain medium- or high-risk levels of PFAS, according to the DWI’s own classification system”.

Watershed at Labour Party Conference 2023

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Rachel Salvidge gave a speech on chemical threats to rivers and seas at the Labour Party Conference, alongside shadow environment minister Ruth Jones and Francesca Ginley from the Marine Conservation Society at an event hosted by Labour’s environment campaign, SERA.

Unmonitored toxic road runoff polluting rivers

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A toxic cocktail of damaging chemicals created by road pollution is flowing into England’s rivers and no regulator is monitoring the scale of its impact on wildlife or public health.

More than 18,000 outfalls, such as pipes, and about 7,700 soakaways managed by National Highways discharge rainwater potentially contaminated with heavy metals, hydrocarbons, microplastics and other chemicals from the main road network into rivers and on to land.

Government slammed over sewage pollution

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Watershed appeared on BBC News to discuss fresh reports that water companies appear to be dumping raw sewage into rivers in breach of their permits. Separately, Watershed was also asked to explain to BBC News viewers why the Office for Environmental Protection has announced that Defra, the Environment Agency and Ofwat may have all failed to comply with the law over their regulation of sewage pollution.

Farm pollution blocks new homes across country

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Pollution from farms has prevented housing developments being approved by 35 councils, analysis of Environment Agency data by The Times and Watershed reveals.

Of the known reasons rivers failed to meet standards, 44% were reported to be due to farm pollution and 21% a result of the water sector.

The Independent and the Evening Standard used Watershed’s analysis to bolster their stories about the abolition of water protection rules.

Sewage spills blamed as E coli forces Cornish shellfish sites to close

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Watershed worked with the Guardian and ITV News to expose high levels of E coli in oysters around the country. “Very high” levels of E coli found in oysters and mussels have led to the closure of 11 shellfish production zones in Cornwall. In an email seen by Watershed Investigations, the Cornwall Port Health Authority told food business operators they “must not collect the affected animals from this area”.

Watershed - Investigative Journalism