Meet SEJ member Sharon Lerner! Sharon covers health and the environment, often focusing on corporate malfeasance. She has been a reporter at ProPublica since September and, before that, was an investigative reporter at The Intercept for seven years. She has written extensively about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plastics recycling and PFAS, detailing how manufacturers of the chemicals covered up the danger for decades. She also broke the news that firefighting foam used by the military contained PFAS and that GenX, a PFAS compound that DuPont created to replace the cancer-causing compound PFOA, also causes cancer. With colleagues at The Intercept, Lerner obtained grant materials that revealed that the U.S. had funded risky virus research in Wuhan, China. Whatever she's covering, she tries to put people at the center of the stories.
Newswomen's Club of New York named Sharon its journalist of the year in 2021. Her work has been honored by SEJ 10 times, most recently as the Nina Mason Pulliam grand prize winner of the 2022 SEJ Awards for two stories — "The Department of Yes: How Pesticide Companies Corrupted the EPA and Poisoned America" and "EPA Exposed."
Sharon recommends SEJ membership and said, "SEJ can give you a sense that you're not alone in trying to make a dent in huge and daunting problems. Nothing like a SEJ conference to make you realize you're actually part of a huge team." Join Sharon at SEJ today!
Check out some of Sharon's work:
- "Why the U.S. Is Losing the Fight To Ban Toxic Chemicals," ProPublica, December 14, 2022.
- "As Workers Battle Cancer, the Government Admits Its Limit for a Deadly Chemical Is Too High," ProPublica, December 15, 2022.
- "Bad Chemistry," The Intercept, 2021-2022.
- "EPA Exposed," The Intercept, 2021-2022.
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