News Snippets

Published: Monday 15 March 2004

A study in Buenos Aires, Argentina, showed that over 50 per cent of the children living near a petrochemical centre have more than 10 microgrammes of lead per decilitre of blood in their bodies. This is the maximum limit permitted by the World Health Organization. Investigations for the source are on.

Every blueprint for a building in Kerala must now include a plan for a rooftop rainwater harvesting structure. The state's minister for local self-government, Cherkalam Abdullah, said this was being made mandatory by amending the Kerala Municipality Building Rules, 1999.

Experts have warned that China's largest city and its commercial hub, Shanghai, could entirely submerge if sea levels continue to rise. Global warming and a spate of construction activity in the past decade have contributed to this trend, they said. Between 1921 and 1965, Shanghai had reportedly sunk as much as 2.63 metres due to excessive extraction of groundwater.

Mayan village in Guatemala received over US $25,000 for its efforts at achieving greenhouse gas mitigation through a community-owned micro-hydro power system. The EnerGreen Foundation, a Canadian organisation that campaigns for renewable energy, donated the funds to the Chel Hydroelectric Association in Guatemala to support the project. It is believed to be the first time that an indigenous people's body has profited from the nascent greenhouse emissions market.

Industrial production in the US has bounced back to health with a 0.8 per cent rise, showing that the manufacturing sector is getting back on track. The weaker US dollar has been helping exports, making domestic goods less expensive and more competitive in overseas markets. Analysts see the increase in industrial output during 2003 as a significant improvement, considering that there was a 0.6 per cent decline in 2002.

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