Series: Poisoned Places

11:18am

Fri May 31, 2013
Research News

Gizmo Uses Lung Cells To Sniff Out Health Hazards In Urban Air

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 7:23 pm

Adam Cole NPR

Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe?

That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.

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6:33pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities

Baton Rouge's Corroded, Overpolluting Neighbor: Exxon Mobil

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 7:50 am

An evening view of the Exxon Mobil oil refinery complex in Baton Rouge, La.
John W. Poole NPR

If you stand in front of Almena and Sidney Poray's house in Baton Rouge, La., and look straight down the street, past the other houses and the shade trees, you see more than a dozen plumes of exhaust in various hues of gray and white.

"That's something you see every day, the same thing if not more," says Almena Poray. "Sometimes it's a darker gray; sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

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