Category: Sharing Our Stories

Aflatoxin in Kenya: Finding Our Way Through the Maize

In April 2004, illness and death plagued rural Kenya. No one knew what the source could be. At the core of this mystery, however, was an outbreak— jaundice with a high rate of fatality in the districts of Makueni and Kitui, Eastern Province. Officials were at a loss for answers. Stumped, they were catapulted into Read More >

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Folic Acid

January 6-12, 2013 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week. The following blog post explains the importance of folic acid in the diet of a pregnant woman and her unborn child and the significance of folic acid research and biomonitoring by NCEH’s Environmental Health Laboratory. A couple of decades ago, about 4,000 babies were born each Read More >

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If These Brownfields Could Talk

For more than 100 years, the American Brass Company operated a brass and copper foundry in the center of Kenosha, Wisconsin. When the factory closed in 2000, a wasteland of contaminants was left behind. Kenosha city officials knew about the closing and had their eyes on the land—a sprawling 29 acres—for redevelopment even before the Read More >

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International Disease Detectives Discover Cause of Disease in Ethiopia

Mystery Illness in Ethiopia A strange new illness was spreading throughout Tigray, the northern region of Ethiopia. People living in remote homes and villages developed swollen, painful abdomens and then lost weight. Some of them had trouble breathing as the fluid in their abdomens crowded their lungs. Three or four family members in one household Read More >

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ATSDR saves Super Bowl party in an Ohio community

“The stench was so bad that when I would bake a turkey in my kitchen, the only thing you could smell was the dump,” said Roger Pound. Now, thanks to an Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) intervention, Mr. Pound can once again smell the mouth-watering aromas coming from his kitchen. Mr. Pound Read More >

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EHTER Preparation Comes in Handy in Alabama Tornado Response

On April 27, 2011, Director Tim Hatch began his day at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) thinking, “My schedule is finally clear.” It wasn’t long before he realized he should “never, ever say that.” On that day, disaster struck. Tornadoes ripped through the state, causing death and destruction in Tuscaloosa, Cullman, and Birmingham Read More >

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Adventures in Public Health Part 1: Destination, India!

After an arduous 24-hour journey, I arrived in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India on August 21, 2011 at 10 pm to discuss ongoing and planned collaborations with multiple Indian government agencies on environmental health issues. The ride from the airport to the hotel was only a few kilometers, but we went down back alleys and when we got to the hotel, there was serious security with a search of the car and x-ray machines.  Read More >

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