Chicago Tribune: Hidden costs of coal generation.

Pollution from Chicago’s two coal-fired power plants costs neighboring communities $127 million a year in hidden health damages, according to a report released Wednesday that relied on research from the nation’s leading scientific organization. Environmental groups and Chicago aldermen have been fighting for years to force the aging Fisk plant in Pilsen and the Crawford plant in Little Village to either clean up or shut down. The former ComEd plants, now owned by Midwest Generation, also are tangled in anti-pollution lawsuits filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. While pollution problems at the two plants have been well-documented — both are major sources of lung-damaging soot and other noxious chemicals — this is the first time anyone has tried to calculate the economic costs of the steady stream of coal smoke that churns out of the smokestacks. Read more here.

Crookston Daily Times: Study shows mineral on ND roads can affect lungs.

An asbestos-like mineral used on western North Dakota gravel roads can cause changes in workers’ lungs consistent with commercial asbestos exposure that could lead to breathing problems, a study has found. Read more here.

Scientific American: Sequencing the ‘exposome’: Researchers take a cue from genomics to decipher environmental exposure’s links to disease.

Anxious about BPA? Petrified of pesticides? More than half of disease risks – and possibly as much as 90 percent – likely stem from environmental factors, according to recent epidemiological research.  And although genetics can predispose a person to many ills, more than half of disease risks—and possibly as much as 90 percent—likely stem from environmental factors, according to recent epidemiological research.  Read more here.