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Physical sciences/Chemistry/Chemical compounds/Biomolecules/Toxins

A training session at AAAS for experts working on human rights in Asia described tools, including satellite imagery and GPS devices, for documenting human rights violations.

When asked what has surprised them most during their careers investigating lead poisoning in the United States and beyond, experts at the AAAS annual meeting echoed the same sentiment: the misconception that we’ve gotten rid of it.

While efforts to reduce the blood lead levels in children in the United States have been largely successful with the elimination of leaded gasoline and restrictions on lead paint, lead pollution internationally remains a pressing issue.

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2013 Interior/Environment appropriations bill, which now awaits floor action. The bill includes R&D funding for the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Forest Service, and would cut research at all three agencies significantly.

Nathan Rabideaux peers into the small plastic cups filled with water and topped with the pink slick of an oil additive. It’s meant to simulate an oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and his high school students are using sand, hay, kitty litter, vermiculite, absorption pads, and a chemical dispersant to see how each affects the floating toxin.