Cross Winds in Tuscola, and Hazardous Holiday Garland

1 – Ground has been broken on a new wind energy development project in Tuscola County.

Construction of the Cross Winds Energy Park is expected to create about 150 construction jobs. Initial work will focus on building access drives and turbine foundations, weather permitting. Turbine construction is set to begin in the summer.

The park is to be operational in late 2014, with a capacity of 105 megawatts. Cross Winds will be made up of 62 1.7-megawatt wind turbines, made by General Electric.

The project is being developed by Consumers Energy and lead contractor Barton Malow of Southfield. Consumers officials say more than $100 million of the $255 million park will come from services and goods supplied by Michigan companies.

– Via Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)

2 – Happy Holidays may bring hazardous chemicals.

gold holiday garland

Pretty … hazardous. Via HealthyStuff.org

A Michigan study has found that holiday and Mardi Gras beads contain thousands of pounds of hazardous chemicals. Those include lead and flame retardants from recycled plastics that are used as fillers.

The research findings come from the nonprofilt Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, as part of a project called HealthyStuff.org.

Ecology Center researchers tested a total of 106 beaded products, including 19 beaded holiday garlands from national retailers for substances linked to asthma, birth defects, learning disabilities, reproductive problems, liver toxicity, and cancer.

Center researchers say plastic bead products are being used as “a dumping ground for old plastic waste, which is loaded with toxic chemicals.”

HealthyStuff.org recommends common sense when handling these Chinese-made products because they may contain hazardous substances. Wash your hands after trimming the tree, and don’t let kids put the items in their mouths.

The Center says lead has been restricted in children’s products, but it’s poorly regulated in other products.

– Mr. Great Lakes, as heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.

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