Wildfire smoke changes dramatically as it ages, and that matters for downwind air quality – here's what we learned flying through smoke plumes

Thousands of chemical compounds in wildfire smoke are interacting with each other and sunlight as the smoke travels. For people downwind, it can become more toxic over time.

Brett B. Palm, Postdoctoral Researcher in Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Washington • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~8 min

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Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires - it's a risk in urban fires, too

A new study shows how toxic chemicals like benzene are leaching into water systems after nearby fires. The pipes don't have to burn – they just have to heat up.

Kristofer P. Isaacson, Ph.D. Student, Purdue University • conversation
Dec. 14, 2020 ~9 min

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Fracking takes a toll on mental health as drilling and truck traffic rattle neighborhoods

Living near oil and gas production can affect mental health, driving stress and feelings of depression.

Stephanie Malin, Associate Professor of Sociology; Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Center for Environmental Justice at CSU, Colorado State University • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~8 min

health mental-health psychology stress oil environmental-health sociology natural-gas colorado fracking hydraulic-fracturing

When fracking moves into the neighborhood, mental health risks rise

Living near oil and gas production can affect mental health, driving stress and feelings of depression.

Stephanie Malin, Associate Professor of Sociology; Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Center for Environmental Justice at CSU, Colorado State University • conversation
Oct. 22, 2020 ~8 min

health mental-health psychology stress oil environmental-health sociology natural-gas colorado fracking hydraulic-fracturing

PFAS 'forever chemicals' are widespread and threaten human health – here's a strategy for protecting the public

PFAS chemicals are toxic, widespread and persistent in the environment, and the federal government has been slow to regulate them. A scientist explains why evaluating them one by one isn't working.

Carol Kwiatkowski, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University • conversation
Oct. 9, 2020 ~9 min

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How chemicals like PFAS can increase your risk of severe COVID-19

Endocrine-disrupting compounds are pervasive in modern life, from food packaging to shampoo. Research is connecting their effects on humans to risk of severe illness or death from the coronavirus.

Kathryn Crawford, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health, Middlebury • conversation
Aug. 31, 2020 ~7 min

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Fine-particle air pollution has decreased across the US, but poor and minority communities are still the most polluted

A new study shows that while fine particle air pollution has declined nationwide over the past 40 years, the health and environmental benefits haven't been shared evenly.

Jay Shimshack, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Virginia • conversation
July 30, 2020 ~9 min

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Routine gas flaring is wasteful, polluting and undermeasured

Flaring, or burning, waste gas from energy production has sharply increased over the past decade. It wastes usable fuel, pollutes the air, and helps drive climate change.

Gunnar W. Schade, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University • conversation
July 29, 2020 ~9 min

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Living near active oil and gas wells in California tied to low birth weight and smaller babies

A new study finds an association between living near active oil and gas wells in California and low birth-weight infants, adding to findings elsewhere on health risks from oil and gas production.

Lara Cushing, Assistant Professor of Health Education, San Francisco State University • conversation
June 18, 2020 ~8 min

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Native American tribes' pandemic response is hamstrung by many inequities

Many Native American tribes are reporting high COVID-19 infection rates. State and federal agencies are impeding tribes' efforts to handle the pandemic themselves.

Stephanie Malin, Associate Professor of Sociology; Co-Founder and Steering Committee Member, Center for Environmental Justice at CSU, Colorado State University • conversation
June 1, 2020 ~10 min

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