How does the Cyanide heap leaching process work and what are the potential impacts to the environment?

Answered by Bonnie Gestring – Northwest Program Director for EARTHWORKS Cyanide leach mining is a type of gold mining that uses cyanide to extract gold from the surrounding rock. First, the rock that contains gold (the ore) is dug out of the ground, leaving behind a large open pit. Then, the ore is crushed into…

I heard the first bear was spotted at Yellowstone! Does the length or severity of the winter change the hibernation length, especially for bears?

Answered by Gregg Losinski – ESER Education Specialist and Human/Bear Conflict Expert Hibernation is a fascinating adaptation that many animals use to survive when harsh extremes are part of their environment. We think of hibernation in relation to cold, but there is a parallel process called estivation that occurs during very hot temperatures and allows…

Why don’t microwave ovens get moldy?

Asked by Kirk Hings of Idaho Falls Answered by Nathan Taylor, Eastern Idaho Public Health, REHS Environmental Health Supervisor Mold needs three things to grow: A food source, water, and oxygen. The most common forms of mold we see are found on bread, cheese, or any other food that has been left too long in…

I just found out I have pretty high levels of radon in my basement. What are the effects of radon? Where does it come from?

Question Answered by Arthur Rood, President K-Spar Inc. Radon-222 is a tasteless, odorless gas formed by the decay of radium-226. Radium-226 is a naturally occurring radioactive element that is present in most soils and masonry building materials in small quantities. Typical radium-226 concentrations in soil range from 0.5 to 2 picocuries per gram, but in…