Category: EHN Originals

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How toxic wildfire smoke affects pregnant people

NAPA, Calif.—Sonny, a 10-month old, crawls through the tunnel of a playground surrounded by fresh cedar wood chips as the sun sets in October. His 4-year-old sister, Lenny, climbs the rungs of the jungle gym as their parents, Rebecca and Omar Chowaiki, keep watch. “He is the happiest baby. He is so smiley,” Rebecca Chowaiki...

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Peter Dykstra: Reporters and writers I’m thankful for

Last Thanksgiving, I cited a dozen U.S. environmental journalists that deserve our thanks. Since there are dozens more, let’s make this an annual thing. Ken Ward, Jr One must only watch Joe Manchin’s servility to Big Coal in West Virginia’s politics to know how very, very difficult it must be to stay independent. Ward has...

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Analysis: 7 things the White House should do to limit PFAS pollution

Last month, the White House outlined new and ongoing federal efforts to combat nationwide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution, especially agency actions to address the legacy of PFAS pollution in our water, air, food, and communities. We commend the Biden-Harris Administration for taking these important steps to clean up the mess that has resulted...

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Pete Myers podcast: The Plastics Inferno

The founder and chief scientist at Environmental Health Sciences makes his case for a new set of R’s around plastics: rethink, redesign, reform. We know the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). In this podcast series, Trace Material explores the myth of plastics recycling. Myers has decades of experience in the chemistry of plastics, particularly with...

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Photo Essay: Giving Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante the protection they deserve

Walls of red, walls of gold. Stratified hillsides exposing 270 million years of Earth formation with ribbons of cocoa, caramel, burned orange, and white. Hoodoo rock formations playing tricks on our minds as massive boulders appear to teeter atop eroded, pencil-thin spires. We walked under natural arches that gloriously framed the desertscape. Petrified wood shimmered...

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Peter Dykstra: EPA bosses, the sequel

Movie buffs generally agree: The Godfather, Part Two, is possibly the only cinematic sequel that’s every bit the match of its original. If you don’t believe me, go ask Ron Burgundy. Will Ferrell’s Anchorman character turned out a sequel bomb for the ages. Last week, I profiled some of the most colorful past Interior Department...

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Plastic pollution vs. a sustainable future

Are we just going to keep making plastics and other endocrine-disrupting products until the environment is irreparably compromised and future generations are sterile? Terry Collins, Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and the Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University, recently laid out the case for revolutionary change in Amsterdam, at...

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Pollution’s mental toll: How air, water and climate pollution shape our mental health

An investigation into the mental health impacts of air and water pollution in western Pennsylvania found alarming evidence that residents throughout the region are likely suffering changes to their brains due to pollution in the surrounding environment. Reporting also uncovered the growing gap in mental health care as more people are traumatized by worsening climate...

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Opinion: Tackling toxics in food must be priority for new FDA commissioner

Troubling news about toxics in our food grows daily, with chemicals and metals of concern contaminating popular products from Skittles to Pop Tarts. That’s why President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration should prioritize tackling those risks. Biden last week nominated former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to return to that position,...