Previous Health News 2020

How can we heal a fractured America? This Victorian-era disease detective offers clues. 12-10-20

The U.S. is emerging from a politically divisive election that gave few indications that the country can find the common ground needed to bridge its social differences in service of a common good. Read more at Grist

Study Links Increased COVID-19 Transmission To Poultry Plants Allowed To Operate Faster 11-20-20

Researchers found evidence these plants were drivers of COVID-19 cases in the communities they were located in, with increased coronavirus case rates up to 90 miles away from a plant. Read more at Ohio Valley Resource

Lead poisoning endangers generations of Detroit children, with no end in sight 11-18-20

By the time Tamika Phillips found out what was afflicting her only child, he was 7 years old, frail, and hopelessly behind in school. He struggled with basic vocabulary, had explosive temper tantrums, and was forced to repeat first grade. Phillips thought she had done everything to protect her child. What did I do wrong? she asked herself. Read more at The Detroit Metro Times

Duke researchers: We must protect meat packing workers to combat community spread of COVID-19 08-31-20

By mid-May, counties with or near meat packing plants had almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average. Read more at NC Policy Watch

How Trees Can Help Us Fight a Pandemic 07-26-20

It’s no accident that the most polluted communities are also the most likely to have more severe cases of COVID-19. Read more at Mother Jones 

The Link Between Parkinson’s Disease and Toxic Chemicals 07-20-20

A new book calls the increasing prominence of Parkinson’s “a man-made pandemic.” Read more at The New York Times


The world’s mayors want a pandemic recovery that takes cars off the streets 07-15-20

Some have claimed that dense urban areas are exacerbating the COVID-19 pandemic by their very nature. Read more at Grist

Activists shut down these cancer-causing plants. COVID is bringing them back. 06-30-20

Jeanne Hochhalter has had health problems since she was a teenager. First came the respiratory issues, then the gastrointestinal and endocrine troubles. But the heaviest blow came in 2013 when a doctor diagnosed her with breast cancer. Since then she’s endured 16 surgeries, as well as chemotherapy. Read more at Grist 

“Nature Deficit Disorder” Is Really a Thing 06-23-20

Children’s behavior may suffer from lack of access to outdoor space, a problem heightened by the pandemic. Read more at The New York Times

Living Near Oil and Gas Wells Linked to Low Birthweight in Babies 06-10-20

Living near active oil and gas wells during pregnancy increases the risk of low-birthweight babies, especially in rural areas, according to the largest study of its kind. Read more at EcoWatch 

Coronavirus put millions out of work. A 21st-century climate corps could be the answer 05-29-20

The graduation speeches have been broadcast over Zoom, the final papers submitted digitally, and the diplomas shipped to students’ homes. The next step is less certain.

Read more at Grist 

American Cities Are Built for Cars. The Coronavirus Could Change That. 05-26-20

Wider sidewalks and no-car zones are the new hot commodity. They could even help businesses reopen. Read more at The New Republic

Trump EPA Won’t Regulate Toxic Drinking Water Chemical That Harms Children’s Development 05-14-20

In defiance of a court order, the Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not regulate perchlorate, a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel that contaminates drinking water and harms the development of fetuses and small children. Read more at EcoWatch

Jane Goodall: COVID-19 Is a Product of Our Unhealthy Relationship With Animals and the Environment 05-05-20

At the time of writing, the coronavirus COVID-19 has infected over 3.57 million people globally and as of the 4th of May 250,134 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Read more at EcoWatch

‘It feels like nobody cares’: The Americans living without running water amid COVID-19 05-03-20

Joshua Haynes was raised to work hard and take care of his family without asking for outside help. But when the utility bills arrived last month, he knew there would be trouble. Read more at Grist

Wake-Up Call 05-04-20

As coronavirus ravages Louisiana, ‘cancer alley’ residents haven’t given up the fight against polluters Read more at Grist

Developers Put a Plastics Plant in Ohio on Indefinite Hold, Citing the Covid-19 Pandemic 04-24-20

The announcement was a setback for the Trump administration and local officials, who want to bring petrochemicals to a region heavily invested in fracking. Read more at Inside Climate News

Missouri Pork Plant Workers Say They Can’t Cover Mouths to Cough 04-24-20

A lawsuit filed against a Smithfield Foods plant claims it has created a public nuisance by failing to protect workers from coronavirus infection. Read more at The New York Times

When coal plants decrease pollution or shut down, people have fewer asthma attacks 04-15-20

Inhaler use, ER visits and hospitalizations all decreased after a change in regulations. Read more at The Daily Climate

Study: The tiniest bit of air pollution makes COVID-19 more deadly 04-09-20

Dirty air in the United States is linked to higher death rates from COVID-19, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard’s school of public health. Scientists found that people who lived in counties in with elevated levels of fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5 in the air were more likely to die from the virus. Read more at Grist

Black and Hispanic Americans Suffer Disproportionate Coronavirus Infections 04-09-20

Across the country, the novel coronavirus is severely affecting black people at much higher rates than whites, according to data released by several states, as The New York Times reported. Read more at EcoWatch

Oversight Panel: Trump Admin. Didn’t Distribute Stockpile Supplies Based On States’ Needs 04-08-20

Trump health officials said that 3.5 billion N95 masks were needed to respond to this epidemic but only .33% of that number was distributed to states. Read more at Huff Post

This Won’t End for Anyone Until It Ends for Everyone 04-07-20

And even with Trump in office, other countries will take their cues from America. Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Dr. Fauci Warned In 2017 Of ‘Surprise Outbreak’ During Trump Administration 04-05-20

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease specialist, warned in early 2017 that a “surprise outbreak” would occur during the Trump administration, and he said that more needed to be done to prepare for a pandemic. Read more at Huff Post

Amazon climate strikers demand stronger coronavirus protections for warehouse workers 04-02-20

The country is grinding to a halt, but Amazon warehouses are still churning out packages at a breakneck pace. Amazon employees at 19 different facilities have been hit by the virus. Workers in fulfillment centers and warehouses have been asked to follow new safety protocols, but masks and other protective equipment are in short supply, and the cramped nature of many of those facilities don’t allow for effective social distancing. Read more at Grist

A Dirty Economic Restart Could Kill More People Than The Coronavirus 03-29-20

The coronavirus lockdown hasn’t just slowed the march of COVID-19, it has reduced lethal air pollution and the associated mortality risks we usually take for granted. But when the lockdown lifts, those risks of the status quo might not just return to normal—they might worsen—as governments weaken environmental regulations and pour billions of dollars into polluting industries. Read more at Forbes

Editorial: Keep the community 03-17-20

As COVID-19 upends life across the country, the natural world offers lessons in remaining resilient and emerging stronger Read more at Environmental Health News 

Decades-long project is linking our health to the environment 03-12-20

Findings come from tracking health and habits in three generations of California families. Read more at Science News for Students

How Death and Disaster Followed the Shale Gas Boom in Appalachia 02-27-20

In the past decade, fracking has contributed to the deaths of more than a thousand people and the emission of more than a thousand tons of carbon dioxide in the Appalachian Basin. Read more at Earth and Space Science News

Pittsburgh’s air was unsafe to breathe for 3 months in 2018. 01-28-20

“There’s at least one day a week where just breathing the air in Pittsburgh while you’re just going about your day puts your health at risk Read more at Environmental Health News

The War on the War on Cancer 01-12-20

Trump’s Gutting of Toxics Regulations Will Mean Higher Profits for Polluters and Higher Cancer Rates for the American People. Read more at The Intercept 

Thyroid Cancer Study Re-ignites Debate Over Three Mile Island Accident 01-03-20

A top panel of government-appointed scientists said three of Trump’s most far-reaching and scrutinized proposals to weaken major environmental regulations are at odds with established science. Read more at The Allegheny Front

Youth voices from North Carolina’s hurricanes 01-02-20

NC Health News worked with Coastal Youth Media to hold a workshop this fall with a group of young people from southeastern counties to help them write essays on how they and their families made it through Hurricane Florence. Read more at North Carolina Health News