Space & Innovation

London Areas See Pollution Rivaling Beijing's

Two areas in greater London in just seven days pushed air pollution limits over the 2016 legal limit. Continue reading →

It only took a week for London motorists to push air pollution limits over the 2016 legal limit. European Union rules require the limit be exceeded for no more than 18 hours a year, reported the Independent.

Two areas - Putney High Street and Knightsbridge - went over the limit in seven days. Last year, Oxford Street passed the limit in just two days.

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"We've seen pollution limits broken repeatedly in areas such as Oxford Street and Putney High Street over recent years," Dr. Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, told the Independent.

"Given that so little has been done to address the crisis, it is no surprise that London has already reached its air pollution limits."

Policy Exchange, a a U.K. think tank, reported that in 12.5 percent of the city, NO2 emissions rival those in Beijing and Shanghai.

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An estimated 60,000 people in the U.K. die each year from air pollution, according to the UK's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants. A King's College study reported that 9,400 people died from air pollution in London alone in 2010.

Five other areas passed the limits by the first month of last year, reported Global Post.

Each year American Rivers names 10 of the most threatened waterways in the United States. This year the river flowing through one of America's most iconic landmarks tops the list. A current and proposed dam for the Pearl River (pictured), which runs through Louisiana and Mississippi, puts healthy wetlands and wildlife habitat at risk, the group argues.

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The Harpeth River in Tennessee faces sewage pollution and excessive water withdrawals, according to the group.

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A copper-nickel sulfide mine is proposed near Minnesota's St. Louis River, which American Rivers said "threatens drinking water, wildlife, and the treaty-protected hunting, fishing, and gathering rights of the Ojibwe people."

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The Wild and Scenic Illinois Rogue, in Oregon, and the Smith in parts of Oregon and California, are threatened by strip mining, said the group.

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An open-pit coal strip mine is at odds with clean water, the group suggests, and healthy salmon runs in Alaska's Chuitna River.

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South Carolina's Edisto River is a popular recreation spot, but is in high demand for irrigation and agriculture.

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The Smith River in Montana is at risk due to a proposed copper mine, American Rivers said, which could affect water quality and animal habitats.

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The Holston River in Tennessee provides freshwater to residents but the proximity of a Army ammunition plant creates a dangerous situation, American Rivers said.

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Columbia River dams provide clean power and irrigation, but they create barriers to salmon and steelhead runs.

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The Colorado River in the Grand Canyon in Arizona faces a host of threats including radioactive pollution from uranium mining, proposed construction projects and increased groundwater pumping that could deplete freshwater supplies, according to the group.

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