Health, Science, Environment

Smoking in Missouri
5:18 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Study: Fewer smokers in the Show-Me state

(via Flickr/shnnn)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

A decade ago, more than one in four Missourians smoked. Now, only about one in five smoke, and those who do smoke are doing so less often.

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West Nile virus
10:20 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Ill. reports first human cases of West Nile virus

Two men in Illinois are the first people in the state to test positive for West Nile virus. Missouri has no reported human cases.
(via Flickr/James Jordan)

Two men in Illinois are the first human cases of West Nile virus in the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a Cook County man in his 80s got sick earlier this month. A 30-year-old from south-central Illinois became ill in July. In 2010, the first human case was reported on Aug. 31 - 61 people eventually tested positive.

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EPA / Missouri Water Quality Standards
6:15 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

EPA issues decision on Mo. water quality standards

The River Des Peres near St. Louis.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

The EPA today issued its decision on Missouri's water quality standards, approving how the state categorized 244 streams, rivers and lakes.

That decision means water bodies newly designated for high contact uses like swimming will need more protection.

Some sewage treatment plants, municipalities and others will need to start treating their wastewater discharges.

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Flu Vaccine / Children's Medicine
4:40 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

SLU study: shot-spray combination may protect best for children's first flu vaccine

Children can receive their flu vaccinations via injection, as shown, or through a nasal spray.
(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

A new study out of Saint Louis University suggests that a child’s first doses of flu vaccine can be given as either two shots or two nasal sprays, but that giving one shot and one nasal spray may be most protective.

Lead researcher Dr. Dan Hoft says the nasal spray – which is a live vaccine – can cause wheezing. But it’s more effective than an inactivated vaccine, which is injected.

Hoft says this initial study suggests giving children one injection and one nasal spray may provide better protection against the flu, without the respiratory side effects.

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Environment / Illinois
12:50 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

New Ill. law creates environmental justice commission

An interior look at the dome of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation creating a commission to ensure minorities and the poor aren't disproportionately affected by environmental pollution.

The Environmental Justice Act was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Chicago Heights and Rep. Will Davis of East Hazel Crest.

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Science
11:49 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

EPA says north St. Louis residents near Carter Carburetor plant are safe from pollutants

The Carter Carburetor plant spans an entire city block and has been vacant since 1984.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency says testing near the old Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis shows offsite contamination is too low to cause health problems.

The EPA tested air, soil, and sediments in a one-block radius around the plant for PCBs, dioxins, and other industrial pollutants.

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Nitrate Pollution / Mississippi River Basin
3:09 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Nitrate pollution in Mississippi River Basin remains at 1980s levels, despite reduction efforts

A map showing each of the sites involved in the U.S. Geological Survey's study on nitrate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.
(Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

A new study shows that despite decades of effort to reduce nitrate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, concentrations remain as high today as they were in the 1980s.

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted the study, which looked at nitrate levels at eight sites on the Mississippi, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio rivers.

USGS hydrologist and study lead Lori Sprague said the next step will be to figure out where the pollution is coming from.

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Gateway Arch - Emerald Ash Borer
3:12 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Public asked to comment on proposal to replace hundreds of trees near Gateway Arch

An adult emerald ash borer.
(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

The National Park Service is bracing for the possible loss of more than 900 trees near the Gateway Arch. That’s what could happen if the emerald ash borer makes it to the St. Louis area.

The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees since it was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

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Science Blogging
6:35 am
Mon August 1, 2011

St. Louis blogger helps inner city youth find "on-ramp" to science

Danielle Lee has been blogging about science since 2006.
(Alecia Hoyt Photography - www.aleciahoyt.com)

The text that follows is a condensed version of a longer interview, which you can listen to above.

Science blogger Danielle Lee is on a roll.

The Memphis native recently got her Ph.D. in animal behavior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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Joplin Tornado / Fungus
4:32 pm
Fri July 29, 2011

CDC: Fungus cluster after Joplin tornado a first

An image of a slide showing changes seen in a heart valve due to zygomycosis.
(via Wikimedia Commons/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a dangerous fungus found in 13 people injured in the Joplin tornado was the first known cluster occurring after a tornado.

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