At Home: Northern Lights
Whether visible or not, chemical fogs often hang over heavily populated areas, polluting the air and causing unknown damage to human beings as well as to plant and animal life. However, what we may not realize is that the chemicals may also be seeping north to sully some of the last untainted air in North America.
As the CBC reports, scientists from Environment Canada have found that ?flame retardants . . . are drifting from the south all the way up to the High Arctic.?
The chemicals are ?often sprayed onto products like furniture, computer equipment or children’s clothing? and ?keep flames from spreading.? Previously they have only been found near populated areas, but the recent reports showed their presence at a remote monitoring station in Nunavut.
Scientists are still researching how long they will remain in the environment, but concern has been raised because the chemicals ?can take a long time to break down, and . . . accumulate in plants and animals.?
As one US researcher told reporters, ?You can’t take it back once It’s out there. And if we keep on putting them out there, then sooner or later we may have a serious problem.?
Around the World: All for an ?I?
We all want to own the latest electronic toys. But just how far would we go to get one? For one Chinese teen, the answer was extreme.
As the Toronto Star reports, the 17-year-old high school student sold one of his kidneys to finance the purchase of a new iPhone and iPad.
Five people, including a surgeon and ?brokers who looked for donors online and leased an operating room to conduct the procedure? have been indicted and charged with ?intentional injury for organizing the removal and transplant of a kidney.?
The illegal trade in organs in China is in part fuelled by the organ shortage; while ?about 1.5 million people in China need organ transplants . . . only about 10,000 transplants are performed each year.?
So-called donors participate to gain funds for everything from smart phones to debt repayment to medical services.