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Industrial Ecology

Industrial ecology is relatively young interdisciplinary field of study that looks at the relationships between industrial operations and the natural world through a “systems” lens.  Rooted in principles of physics, ecology, and systems theory, industrial ecology uses tools such as “life cycle assessments” and “material flow accounting” to track and study the interconnections among natural resources, raw materials, waste, industrial outputs, and related consumption patterns.

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Public Health Statement for 1,1,2-Trichloroethane Last Updated on 2013-09-17 22:09:18 This article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by EoE editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the EoE. December 1989 CAS# 79-00-5 This Public Health Statement is the summary chapter from the Toxicological Profile for 1,1,2-trichloroethane. It is one in a series of Public Health Statements about hazardous substances and their health effects. A shorter version, the ToxFAQs™, is also available. This information is important because this substance may harm you. The effects of exposure to any hazardous substance depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are present. For more information, call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-888-422-8737. 1,1,2-Trichloroethane is a colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that does... More »
Anthropocene Last Updated on 2013-09-03 12:23:40 The Anthropocene defines Earth's most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. The word combines the root "anthropo", meaning "human" with the root "-cene", the standard suffix for "epoch" in geologic time. The Anthropocene is distinguished as a new period either after or within the Holocene, the current epoch, which began approximately 10,000 years ago (about 8000 BC) with the end of the last glacial period. Anthropocene is a new term, proposed in 2000 by Nobel Prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen. A similar term, Anthrocene, was coined by Andrew Revkin in his 1992 book Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, but was not adopted by scientists.... More »
Global human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) Last Updated on 2013-09-03 12:01:37 Humanity’s impact on the biosphere’s structures (e.g., land cover) and functioning (e.g., biogeochemical cycles) is considerable. It exceeds natural variability in many cases. Sanderson and others have classified up to 83% of the global terrestrial biosphere as being under direct human influence, based on geographic proxies such as human population density, settlements, roads, agriculture and the like; another study, by Hannah et al., estimates that about 36% of the Earth’s bioproductive surface is “entirely dominated by man”. HANPP, the “human appropriation of net primary production,” is an aggregated indicator that reflects both the amount of area used by humans and the intensity of land use. NPP is the net amount of biomass produced each year by plants; it is a major indicator for trophic energy flows in ecosystems. HANPP measures to... More »
Food packaging and public health Last Updated on 2012-06-02 00:00:00 It is known that chemical components from packaging can migrate into foods, but questions of how much migration occurs and what the potential health effects may be are gaining more attention from researchers and regulators. Food packaging is a complicated issue. This article, written by Luz Claudio, Ph.D.*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Our Food: Packaging & Public Health Your daily routine has many close encounters with food packaging: For breakfast, cereal from a paperboard box and a can of energy drink.... More »
Wind turbine bird mortality Last Updated on 2011-08-18 00:00:00 Wind turbine bird mortality is a by-product of large scale wind farms, which are increasingly promoted as an alternative to fossil fuel derived energy production. To adequately assess the extent of impact to avian populations, deeper factors than gross mortality by turbine action must be assessed. In particular, one must examine: (a) impacts to threatened bird species, (b) total impacts due to avian habitat loss as well as direct mechanical kill, (c) ecological impacts due to apex predator bird loss and (d) future siting decisions for windfarms, since much of the prior bird mortality is due to poor siting decisions.  Bird mortality from wind turbines is a significant adverse ecological impact, and threatens to expand in scope dramatically with the rush to develop new energy sources. This impact is measured as high due to the loss of threatened species and due to... More »