Environmental Safety and Health

​A two-month composite of nighttime views from a NASA/NOAA satellite shows lights in the Bakken formation burning almost as brightly as those in Minneapolis and Chicago. Part of the light from the Bakken is from gas flares, though most is from electric lighting on drilling and fracking equipment. (Image courtesy NASA/NOAA, Ceres) FairWarining Reports

Crying Foul Over Flaring

Burning Off Natural Gas Called 'Environmental Travesty'

The drilling companies rushing to capture North Dakota’s rich oil reserves often wind up with unwanted natural gas. In other words, they literally have surplus energy to burn. So they do just that, torching vast amounts of the cheap gas — a practice that critics say is tremendously wasteful and a threat to the environment […]

(iStockphoto) FairWarining Reports

Stunning Loss for Lead Paint Makers in Lawsuit by California Cities and Counties

Lead paint makers suffered a landmark defeat Monday when a state court judge in San Jose ordered the industry to create a $1.1 billion fund to eliminate lead hazards to children in hundreds of thousands of California homes.

Contractors clean up lead paint in a contaminated building in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki) FairWarining Investigates

After Flicking Away Lawsuits, Lead Industry Goes for a Final Knockout

Despite powerful evidence showing that paint makers knew for decades about the risks of household use of lead paint, the companies have scored dozens of courtroom victories and could be on the verge of a final victory in a California trial.

A hog confinement farm in Missouri. (Socially Responsible Agriculture Project) FairWarining Investigates

As Factory Farms Spread, Government Efforts to Curb Threat From Livestock Waste Bog Down

Large livestock farms, which can generate as much waste as people in a large city, have been growing in size and number for the last 30 years. In many areas, they pose a serious threat to water supplies.


Lead Exposure in Older Homes Means Children “Pay With Their Lives”

Q&A: Authors Say Toll From the Toxic Metal Still Plagues U.S.

U.S. health authorities estimate that about 535,000 children are still at risk of developmental problems due to elevated levels of lead in their blood. In an interview, public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner discuss the history and scope of the lead problem.

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse

One of the puzzles of the modern world is why we humans are growing so tubby. Maybe these two mice offer a clue. They’re genetically the same, raised in the same lab and given the same food and chance to exercise. Yet the bottom one is svelte, while the other looks like, well, an American. […]

Rescuers work at the scene of three boys trapped in a grain bin at Consolidated Grain and Barge in Mt. Carroll, Ill. (Sauk Valley Media) FairWarining Reports

Obama Election-Year Pullbacks on Safety, Environment Dismay Advocates

Safety and environmental advocates say the Obama administration is sacrificing public health protections to blunt conservative attacks on government regulation. While it is common for presidential candidates to move to the middle before a tough election, the shift has dismayed Obama supporters who had counted on him to push a raft of progressive reforms.

An Earth Day Reminder: It’s Not About Bad People

In a world where so much power is concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few, it’s always tempting to pin the blame for whatever goes wrong on the moral failings of the powerful. Earth Day, coming up this Sunday, offers a useful reminder that the problem—as leftists used to say—is not bad people, but […]

A Punishment BP Can’t Pay Off

Two years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history and the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, no one has been held accountable. Sure, there have been about $8 billion in payouts and, in […]

The Radon Threat Is Still With Us

“I AM really sorry to tell you this, but you have less than a 50 percent chance of living for one year and about a 15 percent chance of living for five years.” This gloomy prognosis is delivered each year to thousands of Americans who have been given a diagnosis of lung cancer caused by […]