ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
The Trump administration in recent days took steps toward continuing to allow the use of two popular pesticides linked to developmental issues in children. In both cases, the agency weakened its metrics for assessing human health protections. On Sept. 18, the EPA approved the continued use of atrazine, the second most commonly sprayed herbicide in the United States. Atrazine, whose main manufacturer is Syngenta, is banned in more than 35 countries, including the European Union, because of its links to human health, which include reproductive issues, an increased chance of birth defects, a loss of fertility in men and a potential to cause cancer.
BySamuel Trilling, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Covid-19 could hamper the EPA’s ability to inform communities of health risks, according to a report released this month from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. Specifically, the inspector general’s office worried the EPA might not be able to inform residents who live near facilities with emissions that could cause cancer. In a separate report from late March, the office urged EPA to take “prompt action” to inform communities. As of the March report, the EPA and state agencies had not met with or reached out to residents around 16 of the 25 “high-priority” facilities, which are located primarily around cities in the South and Midwest. The June report detailed other concerns, including personnel shortages and cutbacks to routine inspections.
ByJohnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that soybean farmers in 25 states are now able to spray a pesticide that the agency has determined is likely to cause cancer and drift hundreds of feet from where it is applied.
BySophia Schillinger and Sabine Martin /IowaWatch and the Cedar Falls Tiger Hi-Line |
The rainbow trout released into Prairie Lakes were fine to eat because they came from a hatchery. But trying to distinguish what fish to eat from one Midwest state to the next can be difficult, an IowaWatch/Cedar Falls Tiger Hi-Line investigation showed.
That’s because rules guiding what’s safe to eat vary in each state. Also, despite fish sampling by the states, knowing where to fish is hard because fish from only a few waterways where people fish are tested each year, the investigation showed. Anglers at farm ponds are on their own when it comes to the health of the fish they catch because the state’s natural resources department (DNR) does not sample fish in private water bodies for contamination.
ByChristopher Walljasper and Ramiro Ferrando/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Farmers have been using the weed killer glyphosate – a key ingredient of the product Roundup – at soaring levels even as glyphosate has become increasingly less effective and as health concerns and lawsuits mount.
ByLeah Douglas / Food and Environment Reporting Network |
Communities in Missouri have been fighting the expansion of large-scale livestock operations in the state for years. But a controversial pair of bills moving through the state legislature would make community oversight of those farms even harder.