Chemicals May Be Another Food-Safety Concern

The Food Safety Modernization Act reflects a growing national concern about bacterial contamination of foods. But while it would go a long way toward dealing with pathogens in our food supply, the bill largely ignores hazardous man-made chemicals.

The Lazy Person's Guide to Being Ecofriendly

There are things individuals can do to be green without breaking a sweat. If you happen to be on the fence about whether you can easily be a greener guy or gal, we'd like to respond with a resounding "yes, you can." We offer seven ways to get started.

Weird Science

The program designed to assess the environmental effects of the BP spill may be skewed by the legal process, say scientists struggling to get funding for independent research.

How to Avoid 'Blood Gadgets'

In Congo, a vicious war is financed in part by the mining of tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold—metals that make their way into phones, cameras, and computers.

BP Oil Leak Halted During Test

For the first time since the accident nearly three months ago, no oil from the Deepwater Horizon well is escaping into the Gulf of Mexico. Officials cautioned that testing is continuing.

Cap Leak Delayed Pressure Test of Oil Well

In the latest setback in efforts to end the spill, pressure testing of the well was delayed after a hydraulic leak in the new cap prevented BP from fully closing it. The test was originally scheduled to start midday Tuesday but was pushed back to late Wednesday, and will now begin "as soon as we can," the company said.

With New Cap in Place, What Now?

Now that the sealing cap has been installed, all eyes turn to the well-integrity test, which BP is starting today. The test will involve completely "shutting in" the well so the full pressure of the oil gusher can be measured, giving the scientists and engineers a read on the structural stability of the piping that lines the 13,000-foot-long well.

BP Installs New Well Cap

After days of preparation, BP's effort to replace the loose-fitting cap that has been collecting oil for the last few weeks with a sealing cap appears to have gone successfully.

Did Oil Kill the Animals Washing Up in the Gulf?

Determining an oil spill's toll on wildlife is never an easy feat—and the challenging conditions of the current gulf spill make it all the more complicated. While most of the animals collected alive have been visibly covered in oil, the majority of those that have been found dead have had no oil visible on their bodies, making the cause of death difficult to ascertain.

Gulf Oil Spill by the Numbers

The massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is already making history. The well has been hemorrhaging oil for more than two months and is without a doubt the largest offshore spill the U.S. has ever faced. Here's a numerical look at the magnitude of the disaster and the enormous response that has been staged.

Why Wasn't There a Better Plan?

By law, BP was required to plan for the worst-case scenario if it wanted to drill the gulf. But the report that it filed—and that the government approved—is alarmingly short on solutions.

The Oil Spill's Effects on Deep-Sea Ecology

The deep water of the ocean is the largest habitat on earth but it's also the least understood, making the effects of this deep-sea spill without precedent. As a result, scientists say, the impacts of this spill are likely to go far beyond oiled birds and dead sea turtles.

EPA Tells BP to Use Less-Toxic Dispersants

Today, the EPA directed BP to choose a less-toxic (but equally effective) dispersant for use in combating both the oil slick on the surface and the oil plume gushing from the broken riser on the sea floor.

BP Abandons 'Top Hat'—For Now

BP's diagram of the riser insertion tube plan for containing the leaking oil. After reevaluating its options to contain the oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon well, BP is abandoning—at least for now—plans to use to the "top hat" containment dome to curtail the spill.

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