Tag Archives: contaminated

Some help with the challenges of tracking down lead data

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Lead contamination continues to make headlines more than a year after the Flint municipal lead crisis in Michigan hit the national news. The public outcry over the government’s response to dealing with the Detroit suburb’s lead-contaminated water spurred reporters across the country to revisit lead issues for their audiences.

The problem goes beyond lead-tainted pipes that were contamination source in Flint. Continue reading

Review of EPA data leads USA Today to towns with contaminated water

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Ryan Garza, USA Today NetworkLee Anne Walters of Flint, Mich., pours gallons of bottled water into a bucket and pan to warm up for her twin sons to take a weekly bath. Her son, Gavin, 4, looking on, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. The photograph ran as part of USA Today’s investigation into lead levels nationwide, beyond the crisis in the Detroit suburb.

Photo: Ryan Garza, USA Today NetworkLee Anne Walters of Flint, Mich., pours gallons of bottled water into a bucket and pan to warm up for her twin sons to take a weekly bath. Her son, Gavin, 4, looking on, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. The photograph ran as part of USA Today’s investigation into lead levels nationwide, beyond the crisis in the Detroit suburb.

Yes, database websites can seem clunky, and government data can seem hopelessly riddled with errors.

But searching, downloading and analyzing it – specifically EPA records on drinking water – led USA Today to a blockbuster front-page story that not only drew attention to the threat of lead contamination beyond the crisis in Flint, Mich., but also stirred residents to action.

Mark Nichols, who shared the byline with Alison Young at the paper, was the force behind the number crunching. Continue reading

Calculating the multiple costs of Flint’s water crisis

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Bottle Heaven via photopin (license)

Photo: Bottle Heaven via photopin (license)As federal, state and local health officials work to resolve Flint’s water crisis, cost has become a central issue in addition to grappling with the long-term effects of lead contamination.

About $7.50 a gallon. That’s how much bottled water can cost when purchased in typical 17-ounce (500 milliliter) containers, according to Business Insider. On average, the publication reported, it costs $1.22 a gallon compared with about 4 cents per gallon for tap water.

In Flint, Mich., responding to the city’s ongoing water contamination crisis is showing the health divide in sharp relief – not just in health impacts, but also economic ones. Continue reading

VA centers in 30 states, D.C. used recalled wipes

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

JoNel Aleccia of MSNBC.com continues her reporting on tainted and recalled alcohol prep pads, finding that “A quarter of the nation’s Veterans Health Administration medical centers and the agency’s outpatient mail-order pharmacy used recalled alcohol prep pads and other products …”

The FDA has identified problems with contamination and sterilization at the plant where the products were manufactured and hundreds of millions of products were recalled because of the threat of bacterial contamination.

The VA says “38 of the country’s 152 major veterans medical centers in 30 states and the District of Columbia removed recalled wipes, pads and other products from use” and “products were removed from the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy, which provides more than 97.4 million prescriptions a year to veterans.”

Previously, the FDA the company that manufactured the wipes refused to identify which hospitals used the products, but Aleccia has obtained and published a list of the affected VA facilities.

Recalled povidone iodine prep pads from the same company also have been included in first aid kits intended for animals, such as this equine first-aid kit.

Previous coverage: