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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Proud of my Friend Dr. A.A.Mohamed Hatha, Environmental Scientist

My Friend and Great Environmental Scientist, Dr.Hatha will be leading the 2nd Indian Arctic Expedition (2009) to Indian Arctic Research Station Himadri on the northern outskirts of Norway.

Himadri ('Mountain top of snow')


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Seven of them(Scientists) from different parts of India are there in the team.

I am praying for their mission to be most successful one.

I am also proud to have him as one of my very close friend and important contributor to our Project.


Article from www.expressbuzz.com - Express Buzz Expedition to study climate change - Sudha Nambudiri
First Published : 08 Jun 2009 10:59:00 PM IST
Last Updated : 08 Jun 2009 08:48:35 AM IST

KOCHI: India’s second Arctic expedition to study climate change and bacterial life, coordinated by the Goabased National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), has a Kochi connection. Leading the team is A A Mohammed Hatha, Reader, Department of Marine Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).

Hatha will lead a team of biologists from different parts of the country to study the impact of climate change on microbial communities of the Arctic region. The team leaves from Mumbai for Oslo, Norway, on June 18. From Oslo they will fly to Ny- Alesund, an island in the Svalbard archipelago of Norway where India’s station Himadri is situated. Other members of the team include Sabu Thomas and Wilson Abraham from the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram, Savita Kerkar of the Goa University, and researchers Om Prakash, Rakesh Mishra and Santanu Ray.

“Savita and I will be working on the recycling of biogases and the levels of sulphur and phosphorus in the regions,’’ said Hatha.

The other scientists will study icebinding proteins in algae and ecological imbalances caused by glacial meltdown. The team will be in Himadri for one month. “We are a team of biologists. The next team will include geologists,’’ he said. Himadri can accommodate only 10 people at a time. Arctic sea ice is a treasure house of information relating to the earth’s climate during the ice ages, and scientists study it to predict future trends in the earth’s climate.

India has access to Svalbard because of a treaty with Norway which has sovereign rights over the area. Currently, Norway, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and China have research stations in the area.

India’s research station Himadri, which is the northern-most permanent human settlement, was set up last year and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Scientists’ interest in the Arctic Circle centres around the fact that it is a huge reservoir of hydrocarbon and mineral reserves. -- kochi@epmltd.com

I pray for the success of this Arctic Expedition.

Photos From Hatha:






Makesh Karuppiah, Ph.D
Environmental Scientist

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS - Stockholm Convention

Hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals that can
kill people, damage the nervous and immune systems,
cause cancer and reproductive disorders
and interfere with normal infant and child development.

The nine new chemicals now listed under the Stockholm Convention are:

Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane to Annex A;
Beta hexachlorocyclohexane to Annex A;


Although the intentional use of alpha- and beta-HCH as an insecticide was phased out years ago,
these chemicals are still produced as an unintentional by-product of lindane.
Approximately 6-10 tons of other isomers including alpha- and beta-HCH result from each ton of lindane produced.

Hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether to Annex A;
Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether to Annex A;


Bromodiphenyl ether congeners are a group of brominated organic substances that inhibit or suppress combustion
in organic material, which are used as additive flame retardants.
Brominated diphenyl ethers are mainly manufactured as commercial mixtures where several isomers, congeners and small amounts of other substances occur.

Chlordecone to Annex A;
Chlordecone is a synthetic chlorinated organic compound, which was mainly used as an agricultural pesticide.
It was first produced in 1951 and introduced commercially in 1958.
Current use or production of the chemical is not reported.

Hexabromobiphenyl to Annex A;
Hexabromobiphenyl (HBB) is an industrial chemical that was used as a flame retardant, mainly in the 1970s.
Based on existing data, HBB is no longer produced and is not used in new or existing products.

Lindane to Annex A;
Lindane was used as a broad-spectrum insecticide for seed and soil treatment,
foliar applications, tree and wood treatment and against ectoparasites in both veterinary and human treatments.
Lindane production has decreased rapidly in recent years and only a few countries still produce it.

Pentachlorobenzene to Annex A and C;
Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) was used in PCB products, dyestuff carriers, as a fungicide,
a flame retardant and a chemical intermediate such as the production of quintozene
and it may still be used for this purpose.
PeCB is also produced unintentionally during combustion in thermal and industrial processes.
It appears as an impurity in products such as solvents or pesticides.

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride to Annex B;
PFOS is both intentionally produced and an unintended degradation product of related anthropogenic chemicals.
The current intentional use of PFOS is widespread and found in products such as in electric and electronic parts,
fire fighting foam, photo imaging, hydraulic fluids and textiles. PFOS are still produced in several countries today.

The 12 initial POPs covered by the Convention include
nine pesticides (
aldrin,
chlordane,
DDT,
dieldrin,
endrin,
heptachlor,
hexachlorobenzene,
mirex
and toxaphene);


two industrial chemicals (
PCBs as well as hexachlorobenzene, also used as a pesticide);
and the unintentional by-products, most importantly dioxins and furans.

Further information is available at www.pops.int

People and government should ban these chemicals and move to Sustainable Natural Agricultural Practices.