10-27: Critical condition; Cape Town's crisis

10-27: Critical condition; Cape Town's crisis

News that drives the discussion, hand-picked by our journalists and researchers

Top news of the day for Friday, Oct. 27, 2017


1. Today's top read: We're in a "critical period"

When health researchers say "critical period" it usually refers to time frames when people are most vulnerable to toxic exposures. But, in a new commentary, a group of experts say, amid rollbacks and increased industry influence at the EPA, our society is in a critical period of its own when it comes to our health and hormones.

"The times we're living in are forcing us to take step back, look at the world around us and figure out how our science can inform policy," Emily Barrett, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health, told me.

See our full story on their commentary, their concerns and some silver linings.

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2. Water: Cape Town crisis; Military mess

What happens if a major city, of 4 million people, has no running water? For Cape Town, South Africa's second largest city, that day could come in March, writes Brett Walton for Circle of Blue.

"In order to avoid this disruption, everyone in the city will have to endure some discomfort and inconvenience, but this will be better than the alternative, which is extensive disruption at a later point," Richard Bosman, executive director of Safety and Security, wrote in the city's disaster plan.

See the full story at Circle of Blue.

In Arizona, the Hualapai Tribe are inching closer to a massive water rights settlement with the state and feds. The bill would provide the tribe with 4,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water, and $173 million to build a 70-mile pipeline from the Colorado River to Peach Springs, Arizona in Mohave County, the Hualapai tribal capital, according to Water Deeply.

See the full story at Water Deeply.

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4. Food & the farm

This week EU lawmakers demanded a 5-year phaseout of the widely used, controversial pesticide glyphosate.

What would a ban mean for farm labor, weed control, and the economy?

"A ban would mean a competitive disadvantage for European farmers compared to farmers in, let's say, South America who are still allowed to use it," Michael Lohse, a spokesman of the German Farming Association, told Deutsche Welle.

See the full story: Farming without glyphosate — how would that work?

More on food and farms:

5. #Goodnews! Grease, greener dry cleaning

  1. California cars are running on restaurant grease (Source: Bloomberg Technology)
  2. Is dry cleaning about to get wetter, safer and greener? (Source: Capital & Main)
  3. Costco develops new safer chemicals policy (Source: Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families)

6. Climate change, home runs and health

In Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night the Dodgers and Astros combined for 8 home runs.

While home runs in the game have been up in general, Andrew Freedman of Mashable says it may be, at least in part, a climate phenomenon.

Extreme heat may have led to record number of home runs in Game 2 of the World Series (Source: Mashable)

In other climate news:

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Climate pollution from plastics to outpace coal emissions in US by 2030, report finds

The petrochemical industry has found a new market for fossil fuels: Plastics.

Californians living within miles of oil and gas wells have toxic air

"For many years, communities have been complaining about how oil drilling in their neighborhoods is harmful. Now we have numbers to back that up."

LISTEN: Carlos Gould on global energy poverty and indoor air pollution

"Air pollution affects a number of health outcomes, but for children in particular those impacts are so severe."

Ocean plastic pollution

Too much plastic is ending up in the ocean — and making its way back onto our dinner plates.

Diesel trucks are causing environmental injustice across US cities

Using satellite data, researchers found that poor communities of color are highly exposed to toxic nitrogen dioxide pollution, largely due to diesel truck traffic.

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