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Study: Carbon Emissions from Chemicals More Common Than Previously Thought

1:11 AM MDT | June 23, 2009 | Vincent Valk

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) has found that the amount of "fossil carbon," or petroleum waste derived from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and food, in the environment may be underestimated. The study, by David R. Griffith of MIT and two colleagues, used carbon isotope dating of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to determine that one-quarter of the DOC dumped into an ecosystem by wastewater is composed of petroleum waste.   The study estimates that the amount of petroleum-derived DOC from...

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