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Articles on Contamination

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Volunteers gather at a beach, to clean up plastic litter at a Lagos beach. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Pan-African research networks are needed to manage continent’s plastic pollution threat

African government and international funding partners should focus on building laboratories in different parts of Africa to support plastic pollution research.
Some of North America’s groundwater is so old, it fell as rain before humans arrived here thousands of years ago. Maria Fuchs via Getty Images

Ancient groundwater: Why the water you’re drinking may be thousands of years old

As surface water diminishes in the Western US, people are drilling deeper wells – and tapping into older groundwater that can take thousands of years to replenish naturally.
One study found that 95% of baby foods tested contained at least one heavy metal. Plume Creative via Getty Images

How safe is your baby food?

Reports from baby food companies show questionable levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. Here’s what parents need to know.
Homemade masks will not filter the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but may prevent transmission of droplets and spray between individuals. Nikola Stojadinovic/Getty Images

Making masks at home – what you need to know about how to reduce the transmission of coronavirus

At-home mask makers should carefully consider fit and fabric variables when designing face coverings to help prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
The guidance on masks appears to be shifting, but social distancing is still the key step people can take. Muhammad Fayyaz Rub/Shutterstock.com

Should we wear masks or not? An expert sorts through the confusion

The CDC is reconsidering its policy about the widespread public’s use of masks, as is the World Health Organization. Here are the facts about when it’s appropriate to wear a mask – and what kind.
Bacteria cultured from a sample of air in a public building. Khamkhlai Thanet/Shutterstock.com

Bacterial baggage: how humans are spreading germs all over the globe

When jetting off on holiday, we rarely give a second thought to what microbes we might be taking with us. But humans spread trillions of bacteria around the globe, potentially harming ecosystems’ balance.
As many people have had to wade through floodwaters, they need to be aware of the risk of infection and disease from contaminated waters. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Flooding from Hurricane Harvey causes a host of public health concerns

As Houston continues to rescue residents whose homes were ruined, it also begins to deal with issues related to contaminated floodwaters and overflowing reservoirs. It won’t be easy.

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