People & Population

Lead Wars

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Lead Wars: The Politics of Science and the Fate of America ’s Children

By Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
University of California Press, $34.95

Reviewed by BILL KOVARIK

Metallic lead is, historically, humanity’s oldest known poison, and yet Americans are still trying to deal with its pernicious effects on public health, especially on the most susceptible low income and racial minorities.

"Japan’s Nuclear Refugees, Still Stuck in Limbo"

"While the continuing environmental disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has grabbed world headlines — with hundreds of tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily — a human crisis has been quietly unfolding. Two and a half years after the plant belched plumes of radioactive materials over northeast Japan, the almost 83,000 nuclear refugees evacuated from the worst-hit areas are still unable to go home."

Source: NY Times, 10/02/2013

"The Wound That Won’t Heal: Idaho’s Phosphate Problem"

"An elemental phosphorus plant owned by the FMC Corp., on the Shoshone-Bannock homelands in Idaho, has been abandoned for more than a decade. But its legacy of pollution remains -- and it’s jeopardizing economic progress, public and environmental health on the reservation and in surrounding communities."

Source: Indian Country Today, 09/26/2013

"Governor, Chippewas Battle Over Mine"

"ODANAH, WIS. -- While laughing children bob in kayaks along the sandy shores of Lake Superior, their somber parents hunch over picnic tables talking about their wild rice, their water, their fish and their way of life. Members of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians worry about what is to become of their lake, a life source for their people."

Source: USA TODAY, 09/09/2013

"Descendants of Slaves Hold Out Against Coal Mining"

"DIRGIN, Texas -- Ida Finley smiles wistfully, recalling how she used to cook for an entire East Texas community -- nearly all descendants of slaves. The children would grab cornbread, greens and cookies from her kitchen while their parents grew vegetables in a tiny creekside village hidden among pine forests."

Source: AP, 09/02/2013

Florida Farm Workers Think Pesticide Exposure Is Giving Them Cancer

"Marta Cruz left Michoacán, Mexico with her husband and 1-year-old son a decade and a half ago to work in the fields of Homestead, Florida, picking lemons and tomatoes as farm workers. A couple of years ago, she began suffering from headaches but figured it was from the long hours working under the sweltering sun or the stress of figuring out how to pay bills."

Source: Latino Fox, 09/02/2013

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