Why You're Not Seeing Many Earth Day Parades This Year

In the 43 years since Earth Day was first observed, the number of Americans who view conscious environmentalism as "very important" has dropped by almost a quarter, according to a new poll.

What's the Latest Development?


Released today to coincide with Earth Day, a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll finds that far fewer Americans are concerned about the environment in 2013 than they were 43 years ago when Earth Day was first established. Thirty-nine percent of Americans surveyed labeled caring for the environment as "very important," compared to 63 percent surveyed in 1971, a year after the first Earth Day was celebrated. Also, those in 2013 who said environmentalism was "not too important" totaled 16 percent, an 8-point jump from 1971. The results coincide with a Harris Interactive poll that described an overall decrease in American eco-awareness between 2009 and 2012.

What's the Big Idea?

Writer Husna Haq says it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that Americans have other things on their minds, including terrorism and, more importantly, a failing economy. That economy is the main reason why "among developed nations, the US is dead last in energy productivity, the level of economic output achieved from energy consumed." However, a revived Earth Day and corresponding national eco-awareness could begin if, as Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and National Grid president Tom King wrote in an opinion piece for Politico, "we...get smarter about our governing policies, and create cross-industry standards that support the environment, promote clean energy, and drive economic growth."

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Read it at The Christian Science Monitor

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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