Thursday, September 16, 2021

Play

Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.

Play

Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.

Play

Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

Study Details Health Implications of PA Coke-Plant Fire

Play

Wednesday, July 7, 2021   

PITTSBURGH -- In southwestern Pennsylvania, the health effects of an industrial fire more than two years ago are just now coming to light.

A new study in the journal "Toxics" found asthma-related doctor and emergency-room visits doubled in Clairton, after a fire at the U.S. Steel coke plant there in December 2018.

The fire left the plant's air-pollution control equipment out of commission for three months.

Dr. Deborah Gentile, allergy and asthma specialist and medical director of Community Partners in Asthma Care and the study's senior author, said because U.S. Steel kept the plant running, emissions were 25 to 35 times higher than they were before the fire.

"And what we were able to show with the Clairton Coke Works fire was that, you know, on top of that chronic exposure to pollution, when you have an acute event that raises the air-pollution levels even more, you see these acute effects on asthma," Gentile explained.

The study showed the increase in asthma cases correlated with higher levels of sulfur dioxide surrounding the plant. U.S. Steel announced in April it plans to shut down three of its high-polluting coke batteries in Clairton by 2023.

Community members in the region have expressed frustration that they weren't notified about the fire in the immediate aftermath.

Howard Rieger, a Pittsburgh resident and founder of East End Neighbors Fight Pollution, said it's unacceptable there was no county alert system in place to warn people of environmental and public health hazards.

"How about a text message on our phones?" Rieger suggested. "You know, when we're told we are going to get five inches of snow tomorrow, we get an alert, why couldn't we get an alert about this? So, to a certain extent, I think the county was culpable. To a great extent, the company was culpable."

Rieger added just this year, in April, Allegheny County started sending public air-quality alerts.

Last week, environmental groups requested a federal court require U.S. Steel to confirm allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act more than 12,000 times at its Mon Valley area plants in 2018 and 2019, in connection to a lawsuit.


get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…


Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…


Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…

Environment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021