Environmental Groups Say California’s Climate Program Has Not Helped Them

Read the full story from NPR.

In the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, residential streets dead end at oil refineries. Diesel trucks crawl through, carrying containers from nearby ports. Longtime resident Magali Sanchez Hall says the pollution from all that has taken a toll, right on the street where she lives.

“The people that live here, the mother died of cancer,” she says, pointing to a modest one-story home. “The people that live here, three people died of cancer.”

The state’s own research finds people in Wilmington are about twice as likely to get cancer as the average person in greater Los Angeles. That’s mostly due to diesel fumes, but also the toxic chemicals that mix with the greenhouse gas emissions of refineries.

Sanchez Hall wipes her finger across the hood of a car and holds it up. “Black dust,” she says.

Given all this, you might think Sanchez Hall would be excited about California’s so-called cap-and-trade program, which aims to get polluting companies, like the refineries here, to reduce emissions. But she and others say the state’s signature climate change program is failing them.

How untreated water is making our kids sick: FSU researcher explores possible climate change link

Read the full story from Florida State University.

A Florida State University researcher has drawn a link between the impact of climate change and untreated drinking water on the rate of gastrointestinal illness in children.

Assistant Professor of Geography Chris Uejio has published a first-of-its-kind study, “Drinking-water treatment, climate change, and childhood gastrointestinal illness projections for northern Wisconsin (USA) communities drinking untreated groundwater,” in the Hydrogeology Journal. The study explores the benefits of additional drinking water treatment compared to the risks created by climate change. 

Nearly 8,000 U.S. public schools are plagued by toxic air

Read the full story at Grist.

Nearly 8,000 U.S. public schools lie within 500 feet of highways, truck routes, and other roads with significant traffic, according to a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. That’s about one in every 11 public schools, serving roughly 4.4 million students and spread across every state in the nation. Thousands more private schools and Head Start centers are in the same fix.

Air Pollution Causes 4.2 Million Premature Deaths Around The World

Read the full story in Fast Company.

If smoking, a cholesterol-filled diet, and high blood pressure doesn’t kill you, then the polluted air might. In 2015, ambient pollution was the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, according to a major new report. More than 4.2 million people died prematurely because of particulates and ozone in the air, mostly from coal burning, power plants, and home heating.

Pollution Prevention of Cadmium and Other Heavy Metals

Read more about the project from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center.

Like many heavy metals, cadmium is detrimental to human health. Cadmium can cause serious effects to renal function, bones, and the pulmonary system. It is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 1 known human carcinogen. Many people consume far more cadmium than than they are aware of; almost all humans carry a significant body burden of the metal.

Where does cadmium come from? How are we exposed? And how can we prevent harmful exposures? These are the questions PPRC and lead scientist, Marjorie MartzEmerson, are seeking to answer.

As part of this effort, we have published an initial report, Cadmium: Human Exposure and Potential Effects. This report represents a starting point to framing and assessing the risks associated with cadmium exposure, as well as exposure to other heavy metals. The report offers preliminary answers to the following questions:

  • How prevalent is cadmium?
  • What do we know about its health effects?
  • How are humans exposed?
  • How can we mitigate risk?

PPRC’s lead scientist, Marjorie MartzEmerson, has also given two presentations on assessing cadmium risks at our 2015 and 2016 Regional Roundtables. Presentations can be found here:

EPA Publishes 2017 Annual Report on Chemical Risk Evaluation

The Agency is meeting another requirement of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemicals Safety for the 21 Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), by publishing an annual report on risk evaluation.  The reformed TSCA requires that EPA identify the chemical substances that will undergo risk evaluation during that year, those for which risk evaluation will be initiated and those for which risk evaluation will be completed, including status and schedules.  This report must also identify the resources necessary to complete these tasks.  Read the report.