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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Thousands of Lead-Poisoned Communities

 

Flint, Michigan became a flashpoint for excess blood lead levels in children, putting their brains and social development at risk. But a Reuters report has found over 3,800 neighborhoods around the country with child with blood levels of the toxic metal double those in Flint.

 

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Flint, Michigan became a flashpoint for excess blood lead levels in children, putting their brains and social development at risk. But a Reuters report has found over 3,800 neighborhoods around the country with child with blood levels of the toxic metal double those in Flint.

Rx Park

 

Getting outside is a prescription for better health, says pediatrician Robert Zarr. Dr. Zarr, who founded and directs the nonprofit Park Rx America, prescribes going outdoors, because, he says, seeing trees and hearing birds can help treat childhood maladies such as obesity, depression and disruptive behavior.

 

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Spinning Arctic Waters

 

In the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and Canada, a massive, 60-mile-diameter pool of cold, fresh water and sea ice spins clockwise to the tune of the Arctic winds. The Beaufort Gyre is a natural phenomenon, but something has gone awry with the way it operates, putting Northern Europe at Risk for a period of brutal winters– and climate disruption is likely the culprit.

 

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Federal Land Conservation Under Fire

 

Despite the skepticism of legal scholars, the Trump Administration claims it can reverse national monument land protections by drastically shrinking the Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante monuments in Utah. Conservation and Native American groups have sued, saying only Congress can change National Monuments and not the President.

 

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Dog Lovers Live Longer

 

Having a dog in your household can help you feel loved and valued, and new research from Sweden shows that there can be measurable cardiovascular health benefits as well. And single people appear to benefit most.

 

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The Inner Lives of Fish

 

Aquatic creatures seem so different from us it is easy to think they don’t think. But some fish are actually pretty smart, exhibiting complex social behaviors, navigation skills, and even tool use. Pharmaceutical companies are using zebra fish to develop antidepressants, and fish owners can take steps to keep the fish in their home aquariums happy and healthy.

 

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Nuclear Storage Crisis

 

The meltdown at Fukushima in Japan may be grabbing all the headlines, but with the Yucca Mountain project in perpetual limbo the United States has a nuclear storage problem on its hands as well.

 

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Hummingbirds in the Canyon

 

Watching hummingbirds in Arizona's Madera Canyon gave Mark Seth Lender an up close view of their interactions, and a chance to take spectacular photos.

 

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Hummingbirds Citizen Science Project

 

The Rufous hummingbird follows the Rocky Mountains to migrate from Alaska to Mexico (Photo: Diana Douglas for Hummingbirds at Home).

 

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Thousands of Lead-Poisoned Communities

Flint, Michigan became a flashpoint for excess blood lead levels in children, putting their brains and social development at risk. But a Reuters report has found over 3,800 neighborhoods around the country with child with blood levels of the toxic metal double those in Flint.

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Rx Park

Getting outside is a prescription for better health, says pediatrician Robert Zarr. Dr. Zarr, who founded and directs the nonprofit Park Rx America, prescribes going outdoors, because, he says, seeing trees and hearing birds can help treat childhood maladies such as obesity, depression and disruptive behavior.

picture

Spinning Arctic Waters

In the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and Canada, a massive, 60-mile-diameter pool of cold, fresh water and sea ice spins clockwise to the tune of the Arctic winds. The Beaufort Gyre is a natural phenomenon, but something has gone awry with the way it operates, putting Northern Europe at Risk for a period of brutal winters– and climate disruption is likely the culprit.

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This Week’s Show
December 15, 2017
listen / download


Thousands of Lead-Poisoned Communities

listen / download
Flint, Michigan became a flashpoint for excess blood lead levels in children, putting their brains and social development at risk. But a Reuters report has found over 3,800 neighborhoods around the country with child with blood levels of the toxic metal double those in Flint.

Sunshine Heals Hearts

listen / download
Heart attacks cut off the supply of oxygen, often due to blocked arteries. New research from Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania reveals photosynthesis that generates oxygen could help damaged hearts recover.

Rx Park

listen / download
Getting outside is a prescription for better health, says pediatrician Robert Zarr. Dr. Zarr, who founded and directs the nonprofit Park Rx America, prescribes going outdoors, because, he says, seeing trees and hearing birds can help treat childhood maladies such as obesity, depression and disruptive behavior.

Beyond The Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, we discuss government smog standards, and the political pressures that stoked President Trump’s decision to reduce two National Monuments. Then, we remember three decades ago when the troubling underwater phenomenon known as coral bleaching was first noticed.

Spinning Arctic Waters

listen / download
In the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and Canada, a massive, 60-mile-diameter pool of cold, fresh water and sea ice spins clockwise to the tune of the Arctic winds. The Beaufort Gyre is a natural phenomenon, but something has gone awry with the way it operates, putting Northern Europe at Risk for a period of brutal winters– and climate disruption is likely the culprit.

BirdNote®: Spruce Grouse in the Boreal Forest

listen / download
The Spruce Grouse, a plump, chicken-like bird, is perfectly adapted to the harsh landscape of the boreal forest. In this week’s BirdNote®, Michael Stein explains how the Spruce Grouse survives on an exclusive diet of pine needles.


Special Features

Field Note: Big White Dog Wants to Play!
Living on Earth's Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender describes how plastic is common even in the Arctic, where he met a playful polar bear.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Close Encounter with a Tabular Iceberg: Mark Seth Lender
Living on Earth's Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender describes an encounter with a tabular iceberg similar (though much smaller) to the one that recently broke off of the Larsen C ice sheet.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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