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Articles on Pollution

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Firefighting foam left after a fire in Pennsylvania. These foams often contain PFAS chemicals that can contaminate water supplies. Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.
A red hazy sunset over Indiana caused by wildfire smoke from the Western U.S. SOPA Images/LightRocket va Getty Images

How can smoke from West Coast fires cause red sunsets in New York?

Last week, much of the Midwest and eastern US experienced hazy skies and red sunsets. The cause was smoke transported from the Western US by the jet stream and spread as far as Boston and even Europe.
The health impact of wildfire exposure depends in part on the fire itself and how much smoke a person breathes in, how often and for how long. AP Photos/Noah Berger

What’s in wildfire smoke, and why is it so bad for your lungs?

Wildfires blanketing several Western cities are creating hazardous health conditions. Don't count on cloth masks to protect your lungs.
New research found a significantly higher risk of preterm births near gas flaring in Texas, particularly among Latinas. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The risk of preterm birth rises near gas flaring, reflecting deep-rooted environmental injustices in rural America

A study shows that low-income communities and communities of color are bearing the brunt of the energy industry's pollution in the region. The risks also extend to the unborn.
Plastic bottles, containers and other waste washed up from the Lagos lagoon at one of the waterfront jetties Stefan Harris/AFP via Getty Images

How we learnt more about dangerous pollutants in Lagos lagoon

Pollutants from industrial and domestic sources in the Lagos lagoon represent a cocktail of environmental contaminants.
Much of India experiences both extreme heat and extreme air pollution, as seen in this photo of the Akshardham Hindu temple. Days with both are going to increase. Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Days with both extreme heat and extreme air pollution are becoming more common – which can’t be a good thing for global health

In South Asia, days with both extreme heat and extreme pollution are expected to increase 175% by 2050. Separately, the health effects are bad; together they will likely be worse.
Phil / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

Australia has failed to ratify an international treaty to reduce harmful mercury emissions. Mercury exposure can cause kidney damage and brain impairment, especially in children.
Investing in natural assets like ponds can help prevent cities from flooding — and save municipalities money. (Shutterstock)

How investing in green infrastructure can jump-start the post-coronavirus economy

Natural assets produce important city services and complement engineered infrastructure. Investing in natural assets can help protect our environment, reduce municipal service costs and create jobs.

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