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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Report: Toxic chemicals stealing kids’ future potential

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Monday, November 6, 2023   

Children of color and from low-income families in Colorado and across the nation are not only exposed to more dangerous toxic chemicals - including lead, tailpipe and other air pollution, plastics and pesticides - they also experience disproportionate harm to brain development compared to their white and higher income peers, according to a new report.

Co-author Devon Payne-Sturges - an associate professor at the University of Maryland - said five decades of data shows that poverty exacerbates these impacts.

"Studies have found that the combined experience, say, of exposure to lead in the environment - and being from an impoverished community, or a low-income family," said Payne-Sturges, "actually worsened the negative cognitive impacts."

Americans of all ages are exposed to some level of toxins in the air, water and soil, but children are especially vulnerable to exposures that can make it harder for them to thrive as adults.

Kids whose brains are damaged by these chemicals find it harder to concentrate in class, to recall lessons learned, and are more likely to fail and repeat grades.

Payne-Sturges said interventions, such as replacing lead pipes that bring drinking water into homes, are important.

But she said counting on people to avoid exposure at the individual level won't work, because toxins are found in so many places and products people use every day.

Policies are needed at the national level to address the cumulative public health impacts.

"If you really want to ensure that kids grow up in a healthy environment that is also good for their brain development," said Payne-Sturges, "we need a strategy that addresses these contaminants all together."

Payne-Sturges said it's also important to look at how pollutants end up where children live. She said communities of color are not simply making bad decisions about where to raise families.

Unhealthy environments are a result of decisions made by industry leaders, and government policies.

"And have a long history related to discriminatory practices, residential segregation that forced people only to live in certain places," said Payne-Sturges, "that often happened to be places where polluting industries would site."




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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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