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10-30: Roundup reaction; Vanishing vaquitas

Former CDC official and colleague call for more glyphosate scrutiny from feds.

Top news for Monday, Oct. 30: Public health officials keep ringing alarm on pesticides; porpoise population plummeting


1. Today's top read: A plea on pesticides

UCLA's Dr. Richard J. Jackson, former director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, and Charles Benbrook, a visiting scholar in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, have an analysis today arguing that a glyphosate monitoring study last week bolsters the need for more testing of the controversial herbicide.

"Despite a 20-fold increase in use over the last two decades, there has been no systematic effort by U.S. research or public health agencies to answer lingering questions," they write.

See the full analysis here: Glyphosate exposure trends demand a public health driven response.

Related:

The NY Times' Nicholas Kristof over the weekend had an eye-opening op-ed on how the Trump Administration's legacy will be "damaged brains" due to an overturning of a planned ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

See the full story here: Trump's Legacy: Damaged Brains

2. Vanishing vaquita

The world may be down to only 30 of the rare porpoise, the vaquita, according to a story in Smithsonian Magazine's November edition. Due to dams and reduced flows on the Colorado River and gill nets targeting totoaba fish, the vaquita population has plummeted by more than 90 percent in the past five years alone.

Read the full story: There are possibly only 30 of these rare porpoises left on the planet

In other biodiversity news:

3. Toxics roundup

A community in West Michigan is the latest to discover per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances polluting its water. The chemicals, from 3M's Scotchgard, are linked to cancer, thyroid problems and other diseases.

Worried residents filled a local high school last week to get answers, which, they're learning, are hard to come by.

See the full story: No silver bullet for solving Wolverine PFAS plume (Source: MLive)

Other toxics news:

4. DAPL timeline, energy justice

Irina Groushevaia/flickr

A year after DAPL protester were forced out of their resistance camp, The Intercept has a story on how "leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline." — The battle of treaty camp (Source: The Intercept)

As California is praised for its progressive energy and climate policies, refineries are sickening low-income communities: 'The fear of dying' pervades Southern California's oil-polluted enclaves' (Source: Center for Public Integrity)

In Tennessee, court records show the man tasked with protecting workers at the nation's largest coal ash spill destroyed evidence of dangerous toxic chemicals.

Safety manager at Kingston disaster destroyed proof of fly ash danger to workers (Source: USA Today)

6. Mental health

California National Guard

The Atlantic reports a troubling rise in suicides among firefighters fighting wildfires:

A quiet rise in wildland-firefighter suicides

Survivors of Hurricane Sandy are "still haunted," reports The Guardian.

Hurricane Sandy, five years later: 'No one was ready for what happened after.'

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