Category: EHN Originals

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A toxic travelogue

Tis’ the season for summer travel — let’s take a look at four U.S. stops steeped in history and lingering pollution. Summitville gold The first gold rush in Summitville, Colorado, happened just after the Civil War, when claim jumpers overran a mountainside that belonged by treaty (and history) to the Southern Utes. A new treaty...

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My island does not want to be resilient. We want a reclamation.

I come from an island that basks under the watch of a life-giving sun. Her Sunday mornings shake in the wake of a boisterous chinchorreo, or quiver to the rhythmic chants of worship and prayer. It is an island prone to block parties and natural disasters. Summer afternoons are clouded with the ebb and flow...

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Measuring Houston’s environmental injustice from space

Juan Flores is a lifelong resident of Galena Park, an east Houston suburb, who has “smelled all kinds of chemicals” in the air from nearby industrial facilities. “I’m probably gonna get cancer when I get older just because I live out here,” Flores, Community Air Monitoring Program Manager of the non-profit organization, Air Alliance Houston,...

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The real story behind PFAS and Congress’ effort to clean up contamination: Op-ed

When the U.S. House of Representatives takes up the bipartisan PFAS Action Act this week, some members of Congress may contend that the bill would ban some uses of PFAS. In particular, some members of Congress may argue that designating PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability, and Compensation Act,...

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Climate activists pan carbon capture plans

More than 500 environmental and community groups – from the Nassau Hiking & Outdoor Club to Greenpeace USA – have called on United States and Canadian leaders to abandon efforts to capture carbon emissions from fossil fuels and work harder to curb fossil fuel use in the first place. The technology, known as “carbon capture...

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Endocrine disrupting chemicals are an “under-appreciated” diabetes risk factor

We’ve long known that aspects of modern life — eating sugary foods or sitting for long stretches in front of the tv or steering wheel, for example — contribute to diabetes. But evidence is mounting that another facet of contemporary life—routine exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals—could be worsening the diabetes epidemic. In a review article out...

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Green screen: The sequel

Last year, I wrote about some of the worst efforts to incorporate environmental themes into cinema. One of the all-time stinkers celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. On July 24, 1971, Godzilla versus the Smog Monster made its domestic debut to Japanese audiences. Primarily known for stomping Tokyo, the giant reptile switched mid-career to saving...

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Pete Myers: Toward deep structural reform of pesticides

Editor’s note: This is an edited excerpt from the foreword to the new book Herbicides: Chemistry, Efficacy, Toxicology and Environmental Impacts. Despite Rachel Carson’s epic warnings in Silent Spring, total pesticide use, including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other “cides”, around the globe has increased five-fold since she published the book in 1962. The herbicidal properties...

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The “twin crises” of high cancer rates and exposure to toxics in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH—A group of local physicians, researchers, community advocates, and elected officials released a declaration today calling for action on cancer-causing pollutants in southwestern Pennsylvania. The declaration, signed by more than 30 local organizations and 25 individuals so far, explains that rates of several kinds of cancer are “strikingly high” in the region—higher than state and...

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LISTEN: Kartik Amarnath on community empowerment

Kartik Amarnath joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss his work and advocacy in community self-determination and empowerment, and energy justice. Amarnath, the policy specialist for PUSH Buffalo and a MD and MPH candidate – currently on a leave – at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, also talks about how his...