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.
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:
- The ecological disaster that is Trump's border wall: A visual guide (Source: Vox)
- Sumatran region heats up as forests disappear (Source: Mongabay)
- No salmon return to Canada river, bringing New England fears (Source: AP)
- Tracking an elusive, imperiled seal could reveal threats to the ocean (Source: Oceans Deeply)
- Recent hurricanes pushed rare island species closer to the brink (Source: National Geographic)
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:
- Maryland utility sues chemical makers (Source: C&EN)
- Indiana launches new program to clean up lead-tainted homes (Source: Tribune Star)
- DEQ, after decades of work, taking heat now over Montana Pole cleanup (Source: Montana Standard)
4. DAPL timeline, energy justice
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)
5. Good news - Going organic, less plane pollution & salmon rebound
- Organic or starve: Can Cuba's new farming model provide food security? (Source: The Guardian)
- The Golden Ticket: Farmers go organic in quest to make money again (Source: KCUR)
- Planes across Europe to start running on vegetable oil and animal fat (Source: The Independent)
- Two years after California's biggest dam removal, fish rebound (Source: Water Deeply)
- Californians are keeping dirty energy off the grid via text message (Source: Inside Climate News)
6. Mental health
California National Guard
The Atlantic reports a troubling rise in suicides among firefighters fighting wildfires:
Survivors of Hurricane Sandy are "still haunted," reports The Guardian.