It’s a category of more than 4,000 industrial chemicals that affect our lives nearly every day — and many of which are toxic. So what do journalists need to know to report on the emerging contaminants known as PFAS? Our most recent Issue Backgrounder offers a detailed primer on what PFAS are, where they come from, what their health effects are and how they might be cleaned up.
Millions of people across the United States are believed to be drinking PFAS-contaminated water. And a growing database could prove an invaluable resource for environmental journalists trying to get a handle on that public health risk. Our latest biweekly Reporter’s Toolbox, recently refocused on data journalism tools and techniques, explains how to tap the expanding PFAS data.
"The United States and Japan joined 18 other countries yesterday in backing the creation of a new international "framework" to curb ocean plastics after rejecting a stronger Canadian proposal on the same topic last year."
"Take a walk through the grocery story; the packages are talking to you, proclaiming their moral virtue, appealing to your ideals: organic, cage-free, fair trade. When I dug into the world of eco-labels recently, I was surprised to find that some of the people who know these labels best are ambivalent about them."
"Canada plans to ban some single-use plastics like straws, bags and cutlery by early 2021 to reduce non-recyclable waste and protect the world’s oceans, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday."
A revamped Reporter’s Toolbox begins today with a new focus on data resources for environmental journalists. The now biweekly column starts with a look at a massive database designed for federal land managers that reporters can use to scan dozens of pollution data sets about air quality and more in parks, forests and other federal lands.
"While other states are embracing renewable energy, Ohio is heading in the opposite direction. A bill passed this week by the Ohio House would subsidize nuclear and coal power while cutting state support for renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the utilities' customers footing the bill."
"Oregon will ban restaurants from automatically offering single-use plastic straws under a measure passed by lawmakers, making it the second state to enact restrictions on plastic straws."
The rise of the modern environmental and food movements has shifted urban farming into high gear. For environmental journalists, that could yield a bumper crop of local stories. The latest TipSheet has more, along with questions to ask, story angles to follow and reporting resources to tap.