A view of the Tonawanda Coke plant in Tonawanda, N.Y., which was found to have emitted carcinogens at levels many times higher than the state's limit. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

Xiang Zhengming plants rice seedlings in a field in southeast China's Fujian Province earlier this month. A newly released report says nearly 20 percent of the country's farmland is contaminated. Lin Shanchuan/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Lin Shanchuan/Xinhua/Landov

Exhausts rises from a truck in California last September. Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Blake/Reuters/Landov

Researchers have found that the oft-maligned banana peel can grab heavy metals out of polluted water. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Actor Jessica Alba, accompanied by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), reacts when a buzzer calling for a vote goes off during a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday about chemical regulation. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Evan Vucci/AP

Are BPA-free bottles really safer than the ones that are chock-full of bisphenol A? Good luck trying to find out. David McNew/Getty hide caption

itoggle caption David McNew/Getty