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Articles on Environmental health

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A burned ‘Caution: Children at play’ sign remained after a wildfire devastated the town of Berry Creek, Calif., in 2020. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

US Climate risks are rising – a scientist looks at the dangers her children will have to adapt to, from wildfires to water scarcity

The author’s 9-year-old son will likely face about four times as many extreme events in his lifetime as older adults today. An international report explains the impacts already being felt.
Chlorpyrifos is widely used on crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, corn and soybeans. AP Photo/John Raoux

The EPA is banning chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used on food crops, after 14 years of pressure from environmental and labor groups

What kind of evidence does it require to get a widely used chemical banned? A professor of medicine and former state regulator explains how the case for chlorpyrifos as a threat to public health developed.
Containers of the herbicide glyphosate at a farm supply store in northeast Thailand in 2019. AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

While debate rages over glyphosate-based herbicides, farmers are spraying them all over the world

Roundup may be taking a beating in the US, where three juries have concluded that it gave plaintiffs cancer, but it’s still widely used around the globe.
Residents of the Jacob Riis Settlement in New York City hold photographs of leaks, mold, peeling paint and other issues during a community town hall meeting on March 7, 2019. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

How to improve public health, the environment and racial equity all at once: Upgrade low-income housing

Building retrofits are no joke: They make dwellings healthier and more energy-efficient. And when they’re done in low-income housing, they also reduce inequality.
Sampling wildfire smoke sometimes means sticking a tube out the window of an airplane. Brett Palm/University of Washington

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.
Heat-damaged plastic pipes can continue to leach chemicals into water over time. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

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.

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