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About Stephen Lester

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So far Stephen Lester has created 123 blog entries.

The Coronavirus Outbreak

This blog was recently published by Hesperian Health Guides. Coronavirus is all over the news and people are looking for how-to, actionable information on surviving the pandemic. But limiting advice and actions to improving individual or community hygiene is only washing our hands of the problem. To successfully defeat the looming epidemic, we have to change [...]

Interpreting Testing Results; The Basis for No Cause for Alarm

Not too long ago, a local leader in a community in Nevada asked if I could review a set of water testing data. The sample was taken from a water storage tank that provides drinking water to the town where she lives. The town had painted the inside of the storage tank, but now the [...]

Partnership Between University and Community finds Airborne Health Risks from PCBs in New Bedford Harbor Sediment

A unique collaboration between university and community led to an important study evaluating the human health risks posed by airborne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) coming from sediment in the New Bedford Harbor in Massachusetts. Researchers from Boston University found that the harbor, the home of one of the largest PCBs Superfund sites in the country, is [...]

Limiting Science in Government

Just before the Thanksgiving Holiday, the New York Times ran a story about EPA’s plan to limit the studies and information that would be used by the agency in evaluating public health risks when setting regulations. The original proposal called, Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, was proposed in April of 2018 and would require scientists [...]

Busting Stereotypes: Outdoor Afro

Earlier this month, the Heinz Foundation honored 5 remarkable people who reflect the accomplishments and spirit the late U.S. Senator John Heinz. These awards recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals in the areas of greatest importance to the late senator. The Environmental Award went to Rue Mapp, founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Outdoor [...]

Youth Climate Leader Sends Powerful Message: How Dare You!

On September 20th more than 4 million people around the world took to the streets to join the global climate strike movement. People of all ages from across the globe came together to share a message: The planet is in a climate emergency, and we will not sit by and do nothing. A recap of many [...]

Changing the Traditional Understanding of How Chemicals Affect Our Health

The way scientists think about how chemicals cause their toxic effects is changing. Recent scientific research tells us that the traditional notion of how chemicals act is being replaced by a better understanding of the actual features of exposures to environmental chemicals. These features include the timing and vulnerability of exposures, exposures to mixtures, effects [...]

Is EPA Stifling Science on Chemical Toxicity Reports?

This is the question that journalist Jim Daley raised recently in an article published in Scientific American. According to the article, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is substantially changing the program that evaluates the toxicity of chemicals by shifting staff and program emphasis from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) to duties related to [...]

Internal emails reveal how the chemical lobby fights regulation

Jayne DePotter spent almost a decade making her Michigan jewelry studio a second home for young artists seeking direction, seniors looking to exercise their hands and minds and new immigrants in search of community. <Read more>.

Opinion: Fix trade secret law to protect precious water from fracking

If the public is going to have a robust debate about the merits of fracking, both sides need to know what's being pumped into the ground. <Read more>.

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