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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

29.11.2013
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Silver nanoparticles in sewage sludge harmful to soil microorganisms
Recent research has found that silver nanoparticles in sewage sludge, which is used on agricultural land as a fertiliser, can be toxic to soil microorganisms. The researchers calculated that a maximum of 30mg of silver nanoparticles per kilogram of sludge can be applied to land before harm occurs, based on typical application rates in Germany of five tons per hectare of farmland every three years.
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Toxicity tests improve the assessment of harbour sediment quality
Harbour sediments should be tested for their toxic effects on living organisms in addition to being subject to the chemical, physical and biological tests usually conducted to assess water quality, according to recent research from Portugal. This would provide a better environmental assessment of dredged material to help guide port authorities' decisions on its disposal.
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Policy settings key to debate over Dutch Wadden Sea
There is an ongoing debate over exploitation of the Dutch Wadden Sea, over issues including gas extraction and cockle fishing. According to a review analysing interactions between scientists and policymakers during these debates, the productivity of such discussions is substantially influenced by the policy setting, i.e. the level of government involved and the key decision-makers.
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E-waste re-use: success factors and barriers identified
Two of the biggest barriers for organisations refurbishing waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) for re-use are the availability of sufficient quantities of good quality used equipment and a lack of legislation that encourages or enforces re-use. These, and other barriers as well as success factors, were identified in a recent survey of re-use organisations in Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe.
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Do warming and drought have lasting effects on soil ecosystems?
Despite the substantial impacts warming and drought can have on soil bacteria and fungi, these are not sustained if external conditions re-stabilise, a new study suggests. Small-scale experiements in five countries across Europe to show that even if warming and droughts continued for over a decade, there were no lasting effects on key properties of soils, such as growth rates, when the soils were allowed to re-stabilise in a laboratory over seven days.
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