Health » Page 2

The Importance of New York City’s Water Infrastructure

New York City has a magnificent system of water supply. It is an example of farsighted long-term leadership and investment without which the modern city of New York could never have been built.

by |April 11, 2016
Jhohora Akhter, 30, of Iruain village, draws water from the family well, which is contaminated with arsenic. Jhohora’s mother Jahanara Begum died of arsenic-related health conditions. Her father suffers from diabetes, an illness associated with chronic arsenic exposure. Her brother Ruhul Amin also suffers arsenic-related health conditions. Photo: © 2016 Atish Saha for Human Rights Watch

Report Charges ‘Nepotism and Neglect’ on Bangladesh Arsenic Poisoning

Two decades after arsenic was found to be contaminating drinking water across Bangladesh, tens of millions of people are still exposed to the deadly chemical. Now a new report from the group Human Rights Watch charges that the Bangladesh government “is failing to adequately respond” to the issue, and that political favoritism and neglect have corrupted the government’s efforts.

by |April 7, 2016
The melting toe of the Athabasca Glacier in Canada Photo: Wing-Chi Poon

The Damaging Effects of Black Carbon

Air pollution, both outdoors and indoors, causes millions of premature deaths each year. The deaths are mainly caused by the inhalation of particulate matter, especially black carbon. But black carbon not only has impacts on human health, it also affects visibility, harms ecosystems, reduces agricultural productivity and exacerbates global warming.

by |March 22, 2016
Aedes aegypti. Photo: Centers for Disease Control

Are Zika Virus and the Climate Related?

Madeleine Thomson, a scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, studies the relationship between diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria and others and changes in climate. She spoke at length recently with the Wellcome Trust, a health-focused charity, about the connection.

by |March 7, 2016

Protecting Our Drinking Water

The reason we have federal water quality standards is to ensure that local economic issues, politics, racism or other factors do not control decisions about water supply. But in Flint, decisions on water supply were not subject to effective federal review.

by |February 29, 2016

Federal Environmental Policy Can’t Find the 21st Century

The issue comes down to willingness to pay upfront for improved systems, rather than pay to address environmental emergencies later on, when pieces of the system fall apart. Both water and energy systems carry user charges, but weak, ideologically-bound politicians refuse to allow these fees to grow to pay the capital cost of modern infrastructure.

by |February 15, 2016

There’s Plenty of Blame for Flint, Michigan’s Water Crisis

The federal government sets the drinking water standards in America, even though monitoring and administration is delegated to the states. The federal EPA had the authority and responsibility to intervene. The failure in Flint belongs to all of us and it should lead to some hard thinking about the causes of this completely avoidable environmental disaster.

by |January 19, 2016

The Not in My Backyard Syndrome and Sustainability Infrastructure

As we make the transition to a more sustainable, renewable resource based economy, we will need to build new smart-grid electrical systems, new water infrastructure, coastal resiliency projects, mass transit, public charging stations, and other types of development. This will require innovative efforts to plan, design, build, manage and communicate if it is to succeed.

by |January 4, 2016
Fires on the island of Borneo are visible from space. (Photo: NASA)

Peat Fires Choking Southeast Asia Pose a New Threat to Global Climate

The Indonesian peat fires that have been choking cities across Southeast Asia with a yellow haze are creating more than a local menace—burning peat releases immense stores of CO2, contributing to global warming.

by |November 19, 2015
Map showing exposure to fine-particulate matter from 1999-2011

The Changing Face of Air Quality

Looking at regional differences in PM2.5 concentrations gives us a sense of the changing face of air quality throughout the world.