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Articles by Vanessa Kerr

Vanessa Kerr is an editorial intern at Grist.

Featured Article

From Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to current headlines in the news, there’s long been mounting evidence that we’re being poisoned by everyday items in our lives. I was crushed by the revelation that my trusty Nalgene bottle was leaching bisphenol A into my Brita-filtered water. The first time I had to purchase my own housecleaning supplies, I found myself torn between a well-marketed fear of germs and a wholly legitimate fear of toxic compounds. Like it or not, the unnatural creations of the chemical industry are everywhere.

The facts of our chemical-laden reality are at once alarming and overwhelming. Philip and Alice Shabecoff’s Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children casts environmental contamination in the context of kids, connecting the dots between the toxification of the young and a slew of once rare, now devastatingly commonplace childhood diseases. The authors — Philip Shabecoff, formerly chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times, and his wife Alice, freelance journalist and former executive director of the National Consumers League — report that childhood cancer rates have risen about 67 percent in ... Read more

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  • Our addiction to cheap stuff has become very expensive, new book argues

    American retail is riddled with cheap, fall-apart merchandise. We know this. Sales are a ploy to get a shopper to spend, as opposed to a boon for penny pinchers. Right. And how much mileage do we get from that old, overused adage, “You get what you pay for”? More than we’d like to admit. So […]

  • 10 green royals

    What comes to mind when you think of royalty? Luxurious palaces, the Queen of England, and overused puns on Marie Antoinette’s infamous one-liner? How about chemical-free gardens, recycling, and sustainable seafood? Ruling families from around the globe are using their media magnetism and sovereign sway to draw attention to a variety of eco-causes, fighting climate […]

  • Disposable-bag restrictions around the U.S. and the world

    Seattle voters will decide on Aug. 18 whether to impose a 20-cent fee on all paper and plastic bags from grocery, drug, and convenience stores. But it’s not the first U.S. city to restrict disposable bags — nor even the first in Washington state. In Edmonds, Wash., north of Seattle, the city council voted in […]

  • Terrorism laws are wrongly being used to round up eco-activists, says author Dean Kuipers

    Rod Coronado.“Rod Coronado is not a terrorist,” says Dean Kuipers, author of Operation Bite Back: Rod Coronado’s War to Save American Wilderness and a longtime writer about the world of eco-activism. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, during Rodney Coronado’s radical sabotage campaigns on behalf of animals and the environment, terrorism was generally considered to […]