Results will help pathologists diagnose a new, more aggressive form of the disease.
In a new podcast, now-retired NPR correspondent Howard Berkes recounts his groundbreaking work on the resurgence of the deadly disease among coal miners.
Access to affordable health care can mean the difference between managing diabetes well or suffering its most debilitating outcomes. The risks rise where diabetes and uninsured rates are high.
Read the rest of our series, “The Holdouts”, on the 10 states that have declined to expand Medicaid.
Salt Lake City’s west side has worse air quality than the east side — for reasons that range from a mistake made in the 1890s and decades of redlining.
Worker advocates say the state has prioritized development over safety.
Your Weekly Roundup of Public Health News
Toxic Texas Air
Ken Paxton and 18 other state attorneys general are fighting a Biden administration plan to crack down on the pollutant, linked to heart disease, breast and lung cancer and other ailments
Bexar County’s medical examiner blames lack of data for the decision not to list heat as a cause on any summer deaths.
A Prison Journalism Project contributing writer shares the experiences of mentally ill incarcerated patients, and the staff who oversee them.
Everyone agrees it’s time to change the Clean Air act’s exceptional events rule, but has different solutions
Across the US, local governments, lobbyists and industry have spent millions to get wildfire pollution excluded from the record. People like Robert Shobe pay the price.
Impact: Federal Mine Safety Agency Considers Tougher Response to Silica Dust After Public Health Watch Report
A proposed rule to protect coal miners from severe black lung acknowledges just a fraction of thousands of cases of disease.
Although both shots have proven to be safe and effective, many people insist they don’t need them or have fallen victim to disinformation.
PHW and collaborators LAist and Univision garner top honors in prestigious Barlett and Steele competition for silicosis investigation
Impact: OSHA Announces Enforcement Initiative After Public Health Watch Reveals Silicosis Cluster in California
At least 77 fabricators of engineered-stone countertops in the state have been diagnosed with an accelerated form of the fatal lung disease since January 2016
New Tool Says Dallas-Fort Worth Ranks Third in the World for Transportation-Related Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
Dallas-Fort Worth’s obsession with highways has made it the world’s third biggest source of greenhouse gases from transportation, according to a model called ClimateTrace.
Planned Parenthood, which provides essential health-care services to low-income women, has weathered relentless attacks by conservative politicians in Texas and could go bankrupt if the state prevails in a lawsuit.
In a Small French Town Where Houston-Based LyondellBasell Is a Fixture, Residents Complain of Unending Pollution
Houston-based LyondellBasell, one of the world’s biggest chemical manufacturers, has had several major chemical releases in Harris County, Texas, in the past few years. Its environmental record in the industrial enclave of Berre-l’Étang, France, isn’t so great, either.
Federal Fix for Silica Dust Understates What We Found: Thousands of Coal Miners Still Sick and Dying
Coal miners have been exposed to toxic amounts of silica dust for decades. Now, federal mine safety regulators are proposing tough new rules to protect them. But the proposal fails to mention the biggest cost so far, perhaps undercutting the case for urgent action now: more than 4,000 miners sick and dying since 2010.
‘This stuff is killing me’: After decades of delay, new black lung protections come too late for some West Virginia coal miners
For decades, coal operators, federal regulators and politicians have come up short in preventing miners from getting the disease. For miners with black lung, the inaction has been deadly.
Miners, regulators and advocates have known about the threat of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis for decades. How does silica dust cause black lung disease, what are regulators finally doing about it — and will it change anything?
Texas children have a hard time accessing mental health care, but a state program is helping pediatricians and primary care doctors fill the gap.
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High levels of manganese in drinking water could harm infants and children, research shows. But industries that use or produce the metal are downplaying the risks in a fight against tighter controls by the EPA, including hiring consulting firms whose studies conflict with independent research.
In this heavily drilled North Texas city, a UK-based investigative reporter finds echoes of TotalEnergie’s oil exploitation of Nigeria, Iraq, and Kurdistan.
About 12% of older Texans live in poverty, and the numbers are even higher for Hispanic and Black populations.
More doctors are retiring early, changing careers or cutting back hours due to feelings of guilt that occur when they know what their patients need but can’t provide it.
Silicosis Cases Are Mounting Among Countertop Fabricators in California. An Emergency Standard Is Coming.
The deadly lung disease is caused by the inhalation of silica dust, released by the cutting or grinding of artificial-stone countertop slabs. A new study offers details on its victims.
Last July, the cumbersome 10-digit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline became 988. At the one-year mark, there’s some success to report: Texts to the lifeline increased dramatically and average wait times across the line plummeted from 2 minutes 39 seconds to 41 seconds.
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board found that the ITC tank farm lacked crucial equipment to warn workers about the failure that led to the three-day fire.
After a massive fire at a Texas petrochemical storage facility, Public Health Watch and The Texas Tribune worked to shed light on who was responsible and what health threats had been hidden from the public. This behind-the-scenes report looks at the challenges the team faced and how they overcame them.
Teenage girls in America are under extraordinary stress, for a variety of reasons. Our columnist, Lisa Doggett, and her 15-year-old daughter, Clara Williams, offer insight.
Texas Lawmakers Raised Pollution Fines for the First Time in More Than a Decade. But Regulatory Concerns Remain
The Texas Legislature raised the maximum daily fine for polluters from $25,000 to $40,000. But it also gave environmental regulators more latitude to avoid investigating citizen complaints.
Texas lawmakers set aside $14.2 million for the 2024-2025 biennium to help victims of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, a $4.2 million increase over the current two-year budget. Advocates for the state’s 400,000 dementia patients say it’s not enough.
The Texas Legislature is wrapping up another session without addressing the state’s high rate of residents without health insurance. For a physician, meeting these patients’ needs can be impossible.
A recent investigation by Public Health Watch and The Texas Tribune revealed government negligence before and during a devastating 2019 fire at a tank farm in the Houston suburb of Deer Park. Earlier this month, a public hearing was held for that facility. The next day, another big fire broke out at a plant down the road.
Toxic texas air: Part 1 of 2
For Years, the EPA and Texas Ignored Warning Signs at a Chemical Storage Site. Then an Inferno Erupted.
Regulators repeatedly documented — but did little to address — problems at a Houston-area tank farm before a disastrous fire struck in March 2019. The fire released toxic chemicals into nearby communities for weeks.
Toxic texas air: part 2 of 2
Cases of silicosis are mounting among fabricators of artificial-stone countertops in the state. Two agencies are working to address the epidemic.
medicaid expansion project: ‘the holdouts’
Thousands in Georgia — one of 10 states without Medicaid expansion — are at risk of losing coverage during the unwinding, and advocates say some outreach efforts aren’t reaching vulnerable communities.
Texarkana is split into twin cities — one in Arkansas with Medicaid expansion, one in Texas without it. More than a decade after the Affordable Care Act was signed, differences have emerged.
Auditors say the EPA’s response to wildfire smoke is “poorly resourced and muddled by a lack of coordination with other agencies.”
A stretch of South Texas is struggling with a crisis many parts of the nation could someday face: the increase in cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The state’s response has been uneven at best.
Texas, con un superávit presupuestario de 33,000 millones de dólares, gasta mucho menos en esta devastadora forma de demencia que otros grandes estados.
Residents around existing LNG facilities in Louisiana already notice the smell and irritants from nearby terminals. With more under construction, air quality is poised to worsen.
After she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Lisa Doggett received first-rate care because she had health insurance and a good job. But what if she hadn’t?
Two-Part Series: Firefighters and cancer
State Laws Favor Workers’ Comp Benefits for Firefighters With Cancer. Cities and Counties Keep Denying Them.
The denials are happening even though all 50 states have laws or programs that presume at least some cancers in firefighters are work-related, in theory making it easier for them to qualify for benefits.
The evidence continues to mount that a widely used firefighting foam may be linked to high rates of cancer among U.S. firefighters. Why is the foam still in firehouses?
Infrastructure Law Raises Hopes of Alaskan Tribal Villages Without Running Water. But Will the Effort Fall Short?
The federal Infrastructure Law set aside funds to improve clean-water delivery systems for Alaska’s rural tribal communities. But barriers loom, from construction challenges to lack of funding for operations.
The story of Ashley Brandt underscores the impact state abortion bans can have on patients confronted with severe fetal abnormalities.
An inside look at how pediatric hospitals are being overwhelmed with victims of respiratory illness.
OSHA said 22 workers had died in trench cave-ins during the first six months of this year, compared to 15 in all of 2021.
Climate change has caused more intense wildfires, floods, hurricanes and inflicted other forms of tangible harm. But an oft-overlooked consequence is worsening mental health.
toxic texas air
In some cases, these “emissions events” aren’t illegal. In others, state regulators give polluters the benefit of the doubt.
President Biden is in the kingdom this week to strengthen ties, consistent with ‘American values.’ Meanwhile, a US-Saudi joint venture on the Texas coast is pumping out toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases.
Residents of eastern Harris County have grown tired of almost-daily chemical leaks and the occasional catastrophe. A new generation of county officials is trying to help them, even as state leaders undercut their authority and restrict voting access.
Pennsylvania becomes the newest sacrifice zone for America’s plastic addiction.
To keep our cool in this record hot summer, most of us are probably choosing to spend more time in air-conditioned spaces. For many people in Georgia prisons, that simply is not an option.
The green economy creates a tug-of-war in Northeast Minnesota, where companies seeking mining rights for critical minerals challenge those trying to protect pristine waterways.
After the state’s strictest-in-the-nation abortion ban went into effect last year, the president promised a ‘whole-of-government’ response that experts say has not materialized.
Thanks to a loophole in the Clean Air Act, William Koch’s Oxbow plant in Port Arthur, Texas, puts out 10 times as much lung-damaging sulfur dioxide as its industrial neighbors. People who live nearby have asked the state for help, to no avail.
A clean energy company that once operated at William Koch’s Oxbow plant in Port Arthur, Texas, claimed in a lawsuit that Oxbow manipulated sulfur dioxide emissions to avoid spending millions on pollution controls. Oxbow said it complies with the law.
The same day ExxonMobil announced its ambition to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, word spread that its mammoth plastics manufacturing complex in Texas had begun production. The plant could pump more than 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year.
Environmental advocates fear that Gulf Coast residents are poised to suffer from new energy projects expected to add 50 million tons of greenhouse-gas pollution in coming years.
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A joint investigation by Military.com and Public Health Watch found that glioblastoma, while rare, has struck hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Many must fight for health care and compensation.
While death rates for childhood cancer victims are going down, incidence rates are going up. Are environmental exposures at fault?
Iowa copes with the climate-chemical reaction that can play havoc with drinking water.