The alumina dust that coats a Texas Gulf Coast town is a sign of risks like those in the Hungarian villages recently buried in a spill of toxic red sludge.
"A high-priority Obama administration push to unclog a backlog of contested mine safety citations is backfiring. After a West Virginia coal mine explosion in April exposed a weak link in a system designed to identify safety violations, the government has spent $23 million to reform the system. ... Instead, the list of unresolved safety appeals has grown to 18,100 cases, from 16,600 at the time of the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine."
"A coalition of elected officials and unions called on Thursday for faster action from the city and federal government to monitor and, if necessary, remove hazardous chemicals known as PCBs from as many as 700 city schools, calling the problem a 'serious health threat.'"
"Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state of Ohio's ban on labels that identify milk as rBST- or rBGH-free, meaning produced without the use of artificial bovine growth hormone. Consumer and organic food groups were jubilant at the Ohio news, which may have far-reaching repercussions not only for all milk, but for genetically engineered foods."
"As recently as late December, Monsanto was named 'company of the year' by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. 'This may be the worst stock of 2010,' he proclaimed."
"More than 2 million cases of malaria are expected in Pakistan in the coming months in the wake of the country's devastating floods, aid workers have warned."
"The Federal Communications Commission has changed its guidance to cellphone users worried about the health effects of wireless devices, dropping a long-standing recommendation that concerned consumers purchase phones with lower levels of radiation emissions."
"The Environmental Protection Agency wants to regulate a toxic chemical used in rocket fuel that has contaminated drinking water supplies, reversing a decision made under the Bush administration."
The USGS study used data from thousands of locations to analyze trends from 1992 to 2004. You can probably find many local and regional stories as these pollutants contribute to various environmental and human health problems.
"The world's most deadly form of human malaria, a parasite known as Plasmodium falciparum, is of gorilla origin, and not chimpanzee, bonobo or ancient human origin as scientists previously thought."