News In Brief
Insecticide for Termites Deemed Strong Greenhouse Gas
UC Irvine chemists have found that sulfuryl fluoride, the insecticide used to fumigate termite-infested areas, is a strong greenhouse gas that lingers in the atmosphere for a minimum of 30 to 40 years and possibly a maximum of 100 years.
Sulfuryl fluoride is around 4,000 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat that would otherwise easily escape the earth. When the tents covering termite-infested structures are removed, the compound escapes into the atmosphere and produces the same effect on California’s climate as one million vehicles emitting carbon dioxide. Furthermore, California is where 60 percent of the world’s sulfuryl fluoride use occurs.
Sulfuryl fluoride emissions are not regulated and chemists are concerned that emissions will increase as more uses for sulfuryl fluoride are found.
UCI chemists are working on ways to eliminate the compounds from the air in an attempt to think globally rather than locally.
The study was published online in the journal “Environmental Science and Technology.”
Workers Strike on UCI Campus for Disputed Reasons
A group of workers clad in green shirts stormed UC Irvine’s campus on Ring Road around 4 p.m. shaking picket signs and crying, “si se puede!” through bullhorns on Thursday, Jan. 22. Inquiries into the goal of the protest elicited varied responses; the administration deems the demonstration to be a result of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) demand that UCI insource the contract custodial workers. Workers who were actually staging the protest, however, claim to be there for different reasons.
One protestor, who preferred to remain anonymous, claimed that he participated in the demonstration because he wanted to become employed by UCI rather than continue janitorial work for corporate giant ABM Janitorial Services. Meanwhile, a representative from Workers Alliance, asserted that the protest was to demand fair wages for UCI groundskeepers.
At the time of printing, a unified reason for the protest remains unclear.