Contest Entries

Perils of the New Pesticides

Entrants: M.B. Pell, Jim Morris and Jillian Olsen

Affiliation: The Center for Public Integrity


Year: 2008

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

An analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data by the Center for Public Integrity shows that the number of reported human health problems, including severe reactions, attributed to pyrethrins and pyrethroids increased by about 300 percent over the past decade. These pesticides are marketed as the safe alternative to older pesticides, but researchers, epidemiologists, and doctors are starting to question the safety of these products.

Judges' comments: Rich, multi-part report of the dangers to pets, people and the environment of pesticides declared "safe" by the EPA. By publishing online, the authors were able to explore the issue in depth and from a variety of perspectives. It humanizes the story by showing how real people [and pets] have been affected. The editors show good judgment by breaking the story into multiple parts, which is very important for presentation on the web. In addition, the project leaders invite users to explore the underlying dataset of adverse reactions to various chemicals and products with a friendly, attractive navigation.

Read "Perils of the New Pesticides."

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.