‘America’s real criminal element’

1960s image of automobiles and air pollutionThere’s an interesting story in the latest Mother Jones about research linking lead exposure and violent crime rates. “Fixing the problem is a lot cheaper than doing nothing,” the subheadline says. We’ve previously looked at one CFAES scientist’s research on this front: Nick Basta, who’s developed an innovative, low-cost way to treat lead in soils in cities. There’s a video interview with him here (2:14).

Testing if microbes can treat fracking waste

Can the microbes in fracking wastewater actually be put to use treating that wastewater? Angela Hartsock of the National Energy Technology Lab discusses her work this Friday (March 30). Her talk: “Microbes in Water Used for Hydraulic Fracturing of Deep Shale for Natural Gas Extraction.” It’s a free public seminar sponsored by the Environmental Science Graduate Program. 244 Kottman Hall, 2120 Fyffe Road, on our Columbus campus. Video link to 121 Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., at OARDC in Wooster. Info: 614-292-9762.

New way to treat lead in soil: Save $22,500 per acre

Nick Basta, a scientist in our college, has developed a new, much cheaper way to treat lead in soil (video, 2:14). Using compost and other material, it costs 75 percent less than the next-cheapest option ($7,500 an acre vs. $30,000) and can benefit cash-strapped cities. Lead in soil is a health risk to kids, especially in cities, and a snag for urban farming. Basta is shown here working in Cleveland, which SmartPlanet calls one of the most progressive cities in the U.S. for urban farming.