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The Los Angeles, CA city skyline on Sept. 18, 2016. prayitnophotography / CC BY 2.0

Air Pollution Linked to Genetic Changes in the Brain

By Jason Daley

There's little question that air pollution is toxic for the human body. Studies have shown that particulate matter in the air can lead to lung disease, heart disease, strokes, and lung cancer. But researchers thought the brain might be protected due to the blood brain barrier—a natural system that filters out foreign substances and certain neurotransmitters before they circulate in the brain. A new study from researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles shows that many heavy metals found in the air may make it into brain tissue, and those pollutants are activating genes that may lead to cancers or neurodegenerative disorders.

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Marco Verch / CC BY 2.0

Dangerous Chemicals From E-Waste Found in Black Plastics From Toys to Drink Stirrers

Recycling is often touted as a universal environmental good, but a new study from the University of Plymouth found that improper recycling of electronic waste means that dangerous chemicals are finding their way into black plastics used in consumer goods, with potentially negative consequences for human health and marine life.

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A pair of Genusee glasses and a Flint-sewn polish bag. Genusee

Michigan Native Develops Visionary Solution for Flint’s Plastic Bottle Problem

When Detroit-area native Ali Rose VanOverBeke came back home in 2016 to volunteer with the Red Cross at the height of the Flint, Michigan water crisis, she probably didn't expect to get a business idea with the potential to change both her and Flint's future.

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Researchers linked Legionnaires' disease patients to drinking water sourced from the Flint River. Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio / NPR

Michigan Says Flint Water Is Safe to Drink, But Residents’ Trust in Government Has Corroded

By Cedric Taylor

On April 6, with little warning, the state of Michigan closed water point of distribution (POD) centers that have provided residents in Flint for the past three years with bottled water to drink, cook and bathe. This move was based on analysis showing that the city's water quality had tested below action levels defined in federal drinking water regulations for nearly two years.

The state's decision to close the PODs signals that with respect to water quality, Flint's water crisis is over. But for thousands of Flint residents, the trauma it inflicted persists.

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The Green Case for Celebrating Screen-Free Week

This week, from April 30 to May 6, communities around the world are celebrating Screen-Free Week. Screen-Free Week is an annual event in which "children, families, entire schools and communities will rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen," according to the website. The week encourages participants to step away from digital sources of entertainment like video games, TVs, smartphones, tablets and computers and focus on other activities like reading, playing and enjoying meals with family and friends.

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8 Ways to Protect Yourself From Lead-Contaminated Water

By Courtney Lindwall

Health experts agree that there is no safe level of exposure to lead. Often making its way into our drinking water supply after leaching from old pipes, the heavy metal can cause serious and irreversible damage to the body—affecting the nervous system, fertility and cognitive ability, among other functions.

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World’s Largest Environmental Prize Honors Historic Number of Women, Including Flint Water Activist

A woman who helped expose the Flint, Michigan water crisis is one of the seven environmental activists and six women to be honored with the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize.

The prize, whose winners were announced Monday, was established by San Francisco philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman in 1989. It is the largest award in the world for environmental activism.

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George Thomas / Flickr

Michigan Gov. Declares Flint Water Safe, Stops Free Bottled Water, But Residents Aren’t So Sure

Declaring Flint's drinking water now safe, the Michigan government announced Friday that it would stop providing free bottled water to the city's residents, Reuters reported.

A statement from the office of Republican Governor Rick Snyder said that tests taken over the past two years had shown the water to be just as safe as or safer than the water of other Michigan cities.

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Environmental groups are suing the EPA over a rule change that could allow major polluters like coal-fired power plants to turn off pollution controls. Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Rule Change That Could Quadruple Toxic Emissions

Seven environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Citizen Action, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit seeks to reverse the agency's January decision to repeal the "once-in always-in" policy, which said that all "major" sources of air pollution, like power plants or factories, would always be regulated according to stricter standards, even if they took steps to reduce pollution.

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