Health, Science, Environment

Air pollution
1:42 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Report Puts St. Louis Near The Bottom In Ozone Pollution

A high-ozone day in St. Louis
Credit Missouri Department of Natural Resources

A new report by the American Lung Association finds that the St. Louis metro area still

has high levels of ozone pollution, the main ingredient in smog.

The annual State of the Air report ranked St. Louis 13th out of 217 metro areas in the country for ozone pollution. That’s worse than St. Louis performed in last year’s report, although the trend over recent decades has been gradual improvement.

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Peabody Protest
5:57 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Washington U Students Object To Energy Firm Executive's Seat as Trustee

Students at Washington University protest outside a Board of Trustees meeting on Friday. Seven students who tried to enter the building were arrested.
(Washington University Students Against Peabody)

Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested Friday after attempting to enter an administration building on the Danforth campus where a board of trustees meeting was being held. The students were among a group of 100 protestors rallying against the school’s connection to Peabody Energy.

Caroline Burney, a Washington University senior, said the protestors were trying to deliver a letter of resignation to Peabody's chief executive officer Greg Boyce, who is also a university trustee.

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Sen. Eric Schmitt
9:39 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Eric Schmitt Shares Son's Medical Saga In Support Of Bill Allowing Hemp Oil Use In Missouri

State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, talks about his son Stephen, who suffers from epilepsy, while supporting legislation that would allow CBD oil to be used in Missouri to treat epilepsy patients when conventional treatments fail to help.
Credit Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate

Stephen Schmitt is the 9-year-old son of Mo. State Senator Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale.  Stephen suffers from epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis, and has also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is unable to speak and requires near-constant care.

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Agriculture
10:19 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Mysterious Kidney Disease Slays Farmworkers In Central America

Loved ones express their grief at the burial of Ramon Romero Ramirez in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, January 2013. The 36-year-old died of chronic kidney disease after working in the sugar cane fields for 12 years. Ramirez is part of a steady procession of deaths among cane workers.
Ed Kashi VII

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:32 am

Manuel Antonio Tejarino used to be a lean, fit field hand. During the sugar cane harvest, he'd swing a machete for hours, hacking at the thick, towering stalks.

Now Tejarino is slumped in a faded, cloth deck chair outside his sister's house on the outskirts of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.

Tejarino's kidneys are failing. He's grown gaunt. His arms droop by his side. In the tropical midday heat, he alternates between wiping sweat off his brow and pulling a sweatshirt up over his bare chest.

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Childhood asthma
11:43 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

House Proposal Could Put Spotlight On Asthma Care In Rural Missouri

Approximately 11 percent of children in Missouri suffer from asthma.
Credit Flickr: NIAID

Missouri is on the verge of breaking new ground in asthma care by extending more services to needy children in rural parts of the state. 

The additional services would include specialists to inspect more homes to pinpoint asthma triggers. They would also supply educators to show families and health providers how to identify and reduce the triggers, and to help asthmatic children manage their condition.

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Missouri Legislature
9:38 pm
Sun April 27, 2014

Commentary: Health And The Least Of Your Sisters And Brothers

Credit Missouri Secretary of State website

I realize that in many quarters there is a feeling that all federal spending, even for vital human services, must be cut. However, if we can put that aside for the moment and look at the reality of life in Missouri, I would offer these considerations.

“The poor you will always have with you and you can help them when you will.” Mark 14:7.

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Drug Take-Back Event
9:49 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Got Unwanted Prescription Drugs? Get Rid Of Them On Saturday

Credit Flickr/e-MagineArt.com

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Saturday is sponsoring a nationwide prescription drug take-back event.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., anyone can turn in their expired or unwanted medications at thousands of police stations, pharmacies, and other sites across the country, including here in St. Louis.

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Wildlife Conservation
3:54 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

New St. Louis Initiative Encourages Residents To Plant "Milkweeds For Monarchs"

A female monarch collects nectar from a milkweed flower.
Lincoln Brower

The City of St. Louis and several partners are launching a project to help monarch butterflies.

It involves encouraging area residents to plant milkweeds -- a plant with large fruit pods that release fluffy seeds in the fall.

The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the partners in the “Milkweeds for Monarchs” initiative, along with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The zoo's curator of invertebrates, Edward Spevak, says milkweeds are critical to the monarch’s survival.

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Combating food deserts
9:54 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

To Offset Loss Of Grocery Stores, City Tries Alternate Tactics

After the Schnucks on North Grand closes, there will be just one Schucks serving the north side of the city.
Credit (via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

Last week, Schnucks announced it was closing its store on Grand Boulevard in north St. Louis. The closure adds to the "food desert" in that part of the city. However, there are several programs in St. Louis that are attempting to make it easier for people to have access to fresh, healthy food. The map above shows some of the full-service grocery stores in St. Louis. The Schnucks that is closing is the large circle.

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The Rundown
9:53 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Health & Science Rundown: Salamanders And The Delicate Balance

The fire salamander wasn't a part of any of the studies mentioned in this article. But it's very photogenic.
Credit (Flickr/William Warby)

The humble salamander kicks off this week’s summary of science, health and environmental news.

Actually, the salamander may not be so humble. Or at least, not woodland salamanders. It turns out, those little critters are hugely helpful in decreasing the amount of carbon gas released into the atmosphere. And they do it because they are very good eaters.

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