Nanosunscreens threaten your health

Nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not safe-

This is very important for outdoor enthusiasts.

There has always been controversy over sunscreens — about their effectiveness, screening UVA versus UVB, and migration of sunscreen chemicals into your body.  Two you could always count on for safety, however, were the mineral oxides (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), bright white and inert.

However, people didn’t like the white film they left on their skin.

In recent years very small particles over many elements and chemicals have been developed.  The physical and chemical properties of these tiny particles are amazing, useful, and sometimes dangerous. Nano-sized particles of a chemical often behave very differently than powders of a larger size. With zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the white film and somewhat greasy feel disappears.  They are invisible soon after application. They still reflect UV rays. However, they sink deep into your skin. This allows the reflected rays to bounce sideways into your skin. Much worse, some of the oxide sinks right through your skin into your blood. From there they are distributed throughout your body.

These are very hard powders, even nanosized.  Your body cannot expel them. They stick in your organs and they provide a surface for many kinds of chemical reactions. Almost all sunscreens with these oxides today are nanosized, and they don’t have to tell you.

Friends of the Earth just put out an alert on them, but I have rejected their use for about three years now.  You can still get the effective, safe, old-fashioned oxides, but it usually means ordering online. You won’t find them at the grocery or drug store. I ordered some at

Big-head clover (Trifolium macrocephalum) II

It’s that season (again) ! Bighead clover in Artemisia rigida sites (click for larger picture).

Bighead Clover

Photograph © Katie Fite, WWP 2010

Photograph © Katie Fite, WWP 2010

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BP oil spill could spread to Atlantic Ocean

As the slick is posed to hit western Florida coast, a model predicts a much wider spread-

BP oil spill could spread to Atlantic Ocean. Christian Science Monitor.

This comes amid predictions that the gusher won’t be stopped until relief wells intersect the oil reservoir in August.  Even then, relief wells sometimes fail to work.

– – – –

Update  June 4. BP finally captures some oil from leaking well. MSNBC
Update June 4.
Scientists Warn Oil May Spread Up Atlantic Coast (good graphics and video). AP/Huffington Post

Idaho April Wolf Report released

IDFG/Wildlife Services’ war on wolves has begun. 42 wolves killed for 23 depredations.

The monthly update from IDFG, which contains little useful or timely information, has been released for the month of April. It appears from the numbers that Wildlife Services has been given the permission to conduct extensive revenge killings on behalf of livestock producers.

I wonder how much the number has risen in the last month as there have been reports of Wildlife Services planes in the Wood River Valley, Salmon area, and the Boise Foothills this month. I have been told that Wildlife Services has put orange collars on wolves in an attempt to make them easier to spot from the air, in turn, making it easier to avoid killing the “Judas” wolf. In one instance they accidentally shot this wolf so the remaining wolves will be harder to “control”. I guess the lazy, expensive way of managing wolves didn’t work out so well 😉

Idaho Wolf Management Progress Report April 2010

YEAR Depredations1 Wolf Mortality
Cattle Sheep Dogs Total WS2 10j / 36-11073 Other 4 Hunter Harvest Total
2003 7 130 3 140 7 0 8 15
2004 19 176 4 199 17 0 21 38
2005 29 166 12 207 24 3 16 43
2006 41 237 4 282 35 7 19 61
2007 57 211 10 278 43 7 27 77
2008 104 215 14 333 94 14 45 153
2009 76 295 14 385 87 6 45 135 273
2010 (1/1 – 4/30) 17 6 0 23 36 6 5 46 93

1 Includes only confirmed wolf depredations of cattle, sheep, and dogs that resulted in death or injury.
2 Wolves taken by USDA Wildlife Services in response to depredation on livestock.
3 Authorized take under 10j, or legal take after delisting under state law for protection of stock and dogs (Idaho Code 361107).
4 Other includes of mortalities of unknown cause, documented natural mortality, collisions with automobiles, and illegal

Have you seen any interesting wildife news? May 23

Note that this replaces the 9th edition. That edition can be found slowly moving down into the depths of the blog.

Lewis' woodpecker © Ken Cole

Lewis' woodpecker © Ken Cole

Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.

Mountain lion management plan angers conservationists

Rare lions are to be killed to protect rare bighorn sheep.

Ron Kearns, a frequent commentator on this site and retired wildlife biologist of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, was recently interviewed for a story about mountain lion management on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. The refuge has set a policy which requires mountain lions which have killed more than two bighorn sheep in a 6-month period be lethally removed. Meanwhile bighorn hunting is allowed on the refuge.

Mountain lion management plan angers conservationists.