Tackling ozone pollution in Colorado (starts at 3:55): Cooler fall weather might soon bring back the bluebird skies we all love. But last year ozone levels in the Denver metropolitan area were high enough to prompt state health officials to issue ozone action alerts an average of once a week. (This summer has fared somewhat better.) During these ozone alerts, health officials recommend that children, the elderly and people with compromised lungs do not exercise outdoors. Hosts Daniel Glick and Susan Moran interview John Putnam, the environmental programs director for Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, about the science, the sources (the largest being oil and gas operations), the health impacts, and policy approaches to ozone pollution. Governor Jared Polis named Putnam to tackle, among other things, a longstanding problem with the state’s air quality: parts of the state have been out of compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards for more than a decade. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency upped the ante. It declared that parts of Colorado are in “serious” non-compliance of federal air quality standards for ozone, which we all know as “smog.”
For more info on health impacts, read Susan’s article. For info on in intricacies of the state’s oil and gas rules, read this article by Daniel. And the CDPHE features ongoing info on ozone here.
For info on the “climate strike” this Friday and climate activities over the next week, look here.
Hosts: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran Producers: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
We offer two feature interviews on this week’s show:
Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke (start time: 4:22) It’s peak wildfire season. Smoke from forest and grass fires contains particulates that can irritate eyes, throat and lungs — especially in children, the elderly, and people already suffering from asthma, allergies, heart disease. How On Earth host Susan Moran interviews Anthony Gerber, MD/PhD, a pulmonologist and an associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado, Denver, about the medical risks of breathing smokey air and what people can do to minimize the impact. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also offers info and warnings on air quality in Colorado.
Detained Migrant Children Suffer Medically (start time: 17:02) Since April, when the Trump administration’s controversial zero-tolerance policy went into effect to crack down on families crossing the border illegally, more than 2,300 migrant children have been separated from their parents and detained in government detention centers. More recently, about 200 of the children have been reunited with their parents, but bulk of them have not. As a result, many of the children suffer from physical and mental health problems. Colleen Kraft, a pediatrician and president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, talks with host Susan Moran about the medical impacts on migrant children.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
We look at the strange rise in autoimmune diseases, allergies and asthma, with experts from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and with National Jewish Health Immunlogist Andy Liu in Denver. And, we explore whether genetically modified crops might be increasing our chance of getting ill, with Agricultural Scientist, Charles Benbrook of The Organic Center.
In this report, Shelley Schlender takes a look at genetically modified crops and other modern farming techniques, and how they might, or might not be, connected to the dramatic rise in immune disorders. As part of this report, she’ll look into the strange case of a bacteria in GM corn that was NOT supposed to get into human bloodstream. Recent research indicates that it does. And she’ll discuss the hygiene hypothesis with health experts who suggest that our society has become so “clean” that, in some ways, it makes us sick.