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Wildfires are a yearly occurrence in the Sierra Nevada. Low fuel moisture, high temperatures and human impacts in the wildland-urban interface combine into the ideal conditions for fast-moving fires. At the same time, ozone pollution levels regularly approach unhealthy levels. The area itself does not generate the pollution, but prevailing winds push pollution out of the Bay area and Sacramento corridor against the foothills and peaks of the region. U.S. EPA and the American Lung Association have consistently ranked Nevada County among the dozen most ozone-polluted counties in the nation.

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In Salinas, organic farmers struggle to build businesses in the epicenter of industrial agricuture.

Picture of Laurie  Udesky

The nuclear crisis still playing out in Japan may be happening thousands of miles away, but there are numerous relevant stories that health reporters can unearth in the United States that go beyond breaking news.

Picture of Carol Smith

Contaminated waters mean exposure to 42 chemicals for people who consume fish from the Duwamish River, despite posted warnings. For those who depend on the river as a primary food source, this frightening possibility is not enough of a deterrent.

Picture of Carol Smith

Studies show that residents living in neighborhoods near the Dumawish River are highly susceptible to illness and lower life expectancy, especially compared to those living in other areas of King County.

Picture of Carol Smith

Environmental justice is an old mandate getting a new life under Lisa Jackson, the first African-American head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Despite reassurances from public health officials that, for now, radioactive fallout from Japan’s worsening nuclear crisis will have a negligible impact on U.S. shores, Americans nevertheless are making an ill-considered run on the potassium iodide pills that can prevent radiation-related thyroid cancers.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Here’s the latest in health and health journalism news from Reporting on Health. Our hearts also go out to the people of Japan after today’s catastrophic earthquake – here’s how to help the victims.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Why is the controversial pesticide methyl iodide set to be used in California strawberry fields? Answers and more in our Daily Briefing.

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