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Institute of Environmental Sciences

Transition from fossil to clean energy will reduce global mining activities

A wide range of metals need to be mined for solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. Leiden environmental scientists have shown that this ‘concerning’ increase in mining will turn out to be positive in the end: the overall mining activity is set to decrease as clean energy replaces fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. ‘Recycling would cause global mining activity to drop by more than half.’

How polluting buildings and machinery make rich countries ever richer

Rich countries are getting richer because of environmentally polluting (construction) investments from the past, largely at the expense of poor countries. This was shown by long-term economic and environmental data by Leiden environmental scientists and international colleagues. ‘The gap between poor and rich countries is widening.’

Improving the safety assessment of nanoparticles

‘We expect that microbes can protect organisms from the inflammatory effects of certain nanoparticles.’

How safe are the nanoparticles in transparent sunscreen, anti-odour socks and bacteria-resistant plasters? Although microbes are present on all organisms, the tools that estimate the safety of nanomaterials still hardly take them into account. Bregje Brinkmann explored the role of these microbes. Do they have a protective or a negative effect?

Microbes on a zebrafish egg. Brinkmann looked at the difference in response to nanoparticles between zebrafish with and without microbes.
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