More sharks endangered—IUCN Red List

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2019   •   2458

Shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) | Courtesy: Mark Conlin, SWFSC Large Pelagics Program

More sharks are now endangered according to the updated Red List Assessments of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

According to the Shark Specialist Group (SSG) of the (IUCN), 17 out of the 58 species of sharks and rays are already classified as threatened of extinction.

“Our results are alarming and yet not surprising, as we find the sharks that are especially slow-growing, sought-after, and unprotected from overfishing tend to be the most threatened,” said Professor Nicholas Dulvy, SSG Co-chair based at Simon Fraser University.

Among the species of sharks listed as endangered includes the Shortfin Mako Shark, Longfin Mako Shark, and the Greeneye Spurdog.

“The threats to sharks and rays continue to mount and yet countries around the world are still falling far short of their conservation commitments, particularly with respect to basic limits on catch,” according to Sonja Fordham, SSG Deputy Chair based at Shark Advocates International.—Aileen Cerrudo

EcoWaste urges youth not to light firecrackers for safe, non-toxic new year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

Environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition urged the youth not to light any firecrackers and fireworks for a safe and non-toxic new year.

In a statement released on Thursday (December 12), the eco-group said they launched ‘Iwas Paputoxic’ to encourage families and communities to turn away from the dangerous and polluting tradition of detonating firecrackers and fireworks to welcome the New Year.

“The misuse of firecrackers and fireworks can cause blast injuries or burns that may require amputation, eye damage that may lead to blindness, tetanus, poisoning and even death with children as the most affected” Thony Dizon said, the Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

The EcoWaste Coalition further urged the public not to burn used tires on New Year’s eve which can generate loads of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other toxic chemicals that are harmful to a person’s health and to the environment.—AAC

Health, environmental advocates urge not to burn trash in cemeteries

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2019

Health and environmental advocates urge the public not to burn trash especially in cemeteries during the observance of Undas.

In a joint statement, public health expert Dr. Maricar Limpin and zero waste campaigner Jove Mendoza said there are health and environmental dangers in burning trash.

Exposure to these pollutants can cause breathing difficulties and trigger asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, especially among children, the elderly and those already suffering from weakened immune systems,” Limpin said.

Meanwhile, Benosa reiterated that burning trash in public is prohibited. He said among the laws banning and penalizing open burning are Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and Republic Act 8749, or the Clean Air Act.

“Instead of burning discards, we appeal to cemetery administrators and visitors to follow the provisions of RA 9003, which requires the segregation of discards at source and their ecological management such as by composting the biodegradables and recycling the recyclables,” said Benosa.—AAC

EcoWaste: Hazardous levels of lead discovered in public playgrounds across PHL

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019

The EcoWaste Coalition has raised concerns over the dangerous amount of lead found in several playground equipment in the country.

Based on the report of the eco-group, 50 out of 55 play equipment have total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm) which is the limit set by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Their report also added that around 42 lead-coated playground equipment have dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.

Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition Thony Dizon has raised the dangers of the lead-coated playground equipment.

“The paint will deteriorate with repeated use and exposure to sun and rain. This will cause the paint to peel and get into the dust and soil, which can be ingested by children through common hand-to-mouth behavior,” he said.

EcoWaste is also supporting United Nations’ campaign, the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action which is observed from October 20-26.—AAC

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