The Stream, January 26: High Lead Levels Found in Water of Second U.S. City

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

As the lead-contaminated drinking water crisis continues in Flint, Michigan, officials shut down schools in an Ohio town after finding high levels of lead in the water of some homes. Operators at a Brazilian iron ore mine received warnings from sensors that tailings dams at the mine were unstable months before they burst, according to a news investigation. Families evicted from floodplain homes in Tanzania are struggling to find new places to live, while pastoralists in Ethiopia continue to suffer under severe drought conditions. A new study found that global sea levels are rising faster than previously thought due to warming water temperatures.

“The bottom line is, there’s just not enough grass out there to support the numbers of animals needed to provide for growing human populations. The pastoralist community will drop in numbers eventually.” –Layne Coppock, a professor of environment and society at Utah State University, on the struggle of pastoral communities in Ethiopia. A severe, El Nino-linked drought in the country has dried up pasture and water sources for herders. (International Business Times)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

21 parts per billion Lead levels found in the water of some homes in Sebring, Ohio, prompting officials to shut down schools as more tests are conducted. Federal guidelines say lead levels in drinking water should not exceed 15 parts per billion. CNN

700 houses Number demolished in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, because they were located in the Msimbazi River flood plain. Many of the families who lived in the homes, however, have nowhere else to go. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

Global sea levels are rising about 1.4 millimeters each year due to thermal expansion, which occurs when waters warm. The rate of increase is about twice as much as previously estimated, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Agence-France Presse

On the Radar

On The Radar

Sensors embedded in the structure of tailings dams at a Brazilian iron ore mine alerted mine operators in 2014 and 2015 that the stability of the dams was at risk, just months before the dams burst, according to a report by Globo TV’s Fantastico magazine. The flood of tailings from the dams killed 17 people and polluted nearby rivers in November. Reuters

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