Memorial to the Kyshtym accidentSept. 29, 1957: A tank containing liquid nuclear waste explodes at the Soviet Union’s Mayak nuclear reprocessing complex. Hundreds of square miles of downwind terrain receive fallout radiation, and hundreds of thousands of people are evacuated. At right, a memorial to the accident.

Sept. 29, 1995: The U.S. Congress abolishes the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). In its 23-year history, OTA provided science-based, nonpartisan evaluation, including the health and environmental impacts, of new inventions and technological advances.

Sept. 29, 2010: A study by the U.K. Royal Botanic Gardens, Britain’s Natural History Museum and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that one-fifth of the world’s plant species and one-fifth of all mammal species are threatened with extinction.

Sept. 29, 2010: Nine years after the Sept. 11 attacks, The U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation that would guarantee health care for the estimated 20,000 workers, first responders, and New York- and Washington-area residents suffering long-term environmental illnesses related to the attacks.

Photo: Ecodefense/Heinrich Boell Stiftung Russia/Slapovskaya/Nikulina/Wikimedia Commons

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.