Featured this week
1,1-dichloroethylene, also called 1,1-Dichloroethene, vinylidene chloride or 1,1-DCE, is an organochloride with the molecular formula C2H2Cl2. It is a colourless liquid with a sharp odour.  1,1-Dichloroethylene turns into a vapour quickly at room temperature and burns fast. 1,1-Dichloroethylene is a manmade chemical and is not found naturally in the environment.  Like most chlorocarbons, it is poorly soluble in water, but soluble in organic solvents. 1,1-dichloroethylene was the precursor to the original cling-wrap for food, but this application has been phased out. 
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has proposed to remove all remaining uses of the insecticide chlorpyrifos in domestic and home garden settings, and certain public spaces. APVMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, said the Proposed Regulatory Decision (PRD) to suspend all domestic and home garden products with chlorpyrifos after 28 days is the result of a comprehensive review of the chemical’s environmental and health impacts. “We make decisions based on credible scientific evidence and have been taking progressive action on chlorpyrifos for many years. “In our assessments, we have considered all populations and factored in exposure to uses in home garden and domestic settings, as well as certain public spaces. “As a result of our regulatory decision today, it is proposed that no chlorpyrifos products used in domestic and home garden situations will be available for sale in Australia after 28 days.” The APVMA is currently consulting on agricultural, biosecurity, and permitted use patterns, and chlorpyrifos products can continue to be used in agricultural settings or under permit only if used according to label instructions. More information about the PRD, including the list of affected products, disposal advice, alternatives, and consultation details, can be found on the APVMA website.
Is it possible to create textiles from old bread? Akram Zamani, senior lecturer in resource recycling at the University of Borås, wants to find out. And she has already come a long way. "We have seen that much of the food waste from grocery stores is from bread and therefore we wanted to see how we could turn it into a new product," says Akram Zamani. Filamentous fungi will be grown on bread waste in bioreactors, and will then be used in two different processes to create yarn and to produce nonwoven textiles. "When the bread has become a biomass of fungi, we remove the protein which in turn can be used as food or animal feed. We use the cell wall fibres that remain of the fungi partly to spin a yarn, and partly to create nonwoven fabrics." "We have done a large part of the cultivation already, and it has worked well, so now we are working on a wet spinning process to create yarn, and test different methods to improve the yarn's properties," she says. It is hoped that the fungus will be able to be transformed and used for clothing, medical applications, or furniture textiles. During the first two years, the product will be made on a smaller scale, in order to be scaled up during the third and fourth years. "There is no previous research on this; therefore it is difficult to know what to expect," says Akram Zamani and continues: "We get the bread from a local grocery store, and we are able to collect as much as we need, which gives us the opportunity to test different things and make sure it becomes a good product."