Originally posted on Evolution in a toxic world:
Dear Mr. Pruitt, I hope you can help me out here. I’ve been having trouble explaining your recent decision in favor of the pesticide chlorpyrifos while dismissing years of work by EPA scientists to my environmental toxicology students. This is a chemical that interferes with the normal processes…

[Cover photo courtesy of Boredpanda.] Happy Halloween to those who indulge and welcome to Toxic Tuesdays (OK, so this is Thursday!) What better way to begin the week of fright? With this once monthly news brief I aim to round up a few stories from both popular press and the scientific literature with a little bit […]

A few nights ago, I invited friends and neighbors for a potluck and viewing of the new movie Food Evolution narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Its tagline: “Amongst all this conflict and confusion around food, how do we make the best decisions about how we feed ourselves?” It’s been making its way around the country, showing […]

Sreebin’s ginger leaves are dying, Tanmay asks about rice pathogens, Leka’s tomato leaves are wilting and Adrienne’s fruits are disfigured. They gather at PlantVillage.org asking how to maintain their crops while fending off mites and blights. Most answers come within hours, or days. The site aspires to become a free comprehensive digital library of plant disease images […]

[From 2008, sadly still relevant, maybe even more so today.]  In her 1962 publication, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote about a spring in the near future potentially silenced by “indiscriminate use of pesticides,” with names like DDT, lindane, aldrin and mirex. What she didn’t write about back then, are the now infamous perfluorinated chemicals used in nonstick […]

[Featured image: Debris from Hurricane Katrina] Wind, water and structural damage from one hurricane after the other are headline news. While the damage to homes, water systems, electrical grids and food outlets are an immediate concern for survivors, what happens when the water recedes and the clean-up begins? Depending on the location, along with the […]

With over 80,000 chemicals on the market, we live in an increasingly synthetic chemical world. So it’s easy to forget the handful of toxic naturally occurring chemicals; particularly elemental chemicals like lead. Nestled into the earth’s crust, sequestered away as life took shape, and eventually discovered by ever-innovative humans.   Fascinated by the pliability of the […]