Poisoning

Jack Rodolico

Shaghaf Mohammed has seen too much in her 11 years. Her family fled Iraq in 2013. And when they left, they never could have guessed the battle they’d face in their new home in Manchester. Shaghaf’s four-year-old sister, Aleel, is sick with lead poisoning.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

A new state law aims to boost the number of children screened for lead poisoning. There's good reason New Hampshire is aiming for that goal.

Children aged 0-6 are the most likely to suffer permanent health and cognitive damage from lead exposure. Yet in 2013, New Hampshire tested a mere 16.5 percent of children in this age group for elevated blood lead levels. That's concerning because 62 percent of New Hampshire's houses were built before 1978 - the year the federal government cracked down on lead paint.

ctinawholesale on Flickr

Reptiles are not the only source of poison in the real and imagined universe.  Fascination with administering deadly serums, gases, and even fungi has infected pop culture, from episodes of science fiction drama to comedy classics and beyond. It affects alien and human alike in Doctor Who, awaits unleashing from a vial in The Princess Bride, and its natural effects on ants are documented by BBC's Planet Earth. Whether your poison is light-hearted, clever, or downright deadly, there's something for you here. Just don't bother with the antidote; this post is abound with enough poison to keep you captivated.

Perfect Hue, EnvironmentBlog, & Jarrod Carruthers via flickr Creative Commons

It’s been called “gold for nerds,” and “heaven for speculators.” The media love it, criminals have been buying illegal goods with it, and investors are lining up to buy it. But is Bitcoin the next great thing? Today on Word of Mouth: the prospects and pitfalls of bitcoins. Plus, we look at a new exhibit on the paradoxical power of poison in myth, murder, medicine, and history. And while we’re on the subject of snakes, Producer Taylor Quimby visited the New England Pet Reptile show in Manchester this past weekend and found some warm blooded mammals cuddling their cold blooded pets. Listen to the whole show below or click Read More to listen to individual segments.

Shane Torgerson

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: The recent explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant that killed many people really alarmed me. Places like this must exist near many communities around the country. How do I know if my own community might be at risk of a similar disaster?    – Mary Cyr, Sarasota, FL

Sam Evans-Brown

About 40 percent of New Hampshire residents get their drinking water from private wells. The Department of Environmental Services is encouraging well owners to test their water for arsenic, but unlike municipal water supplies, testing isn’t mandatory. And colorless, odorless contaminants abound in the Granite State.