California's long-running campaign to reduce air pollution has indirectly helped create a new problem: its oil refineries now produce more greenhouse gas emissions than refineries anywhere else in the country.
In some of California’s top strawberry-growing counties, levels of banned methyl bromide — a chemical known to cause reproductive harm — remain nearly as high as they were a decade ago, despite a mandated phaseout in 2005. Concentration remains nearly as high as in 1999, resulting in treacherous working conditions on farms and danger to residents in surrounding areas.
Cheap doesn't necessarily mean safe when it comes to powerful cleaning products. New America Media environmental editor Ngoc Nguyen reports on efforts by environmental justice advocates to educate low-income consumers about how to stay healthy while keeping clean.
When Esther Gress walks down the aisles at the grocery or drug store, she surveys the wall of cleaning products critically: disinfectant sprays, bottles of bleach, the all-purpose stuff. The 34-year-old, who has cleaned homes for a living for the past five years, used to use toxic chemicals on the job. Now, she bypasses these products for cleaners she mixes up herself.