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Category Archives: nyc

Exposure to above average levels of common air pollutants can lower IQ levels in un-born babies.  Scientists as Columbia University have been studying 400 pregnant women in New York City and Krakow, Poland to determine the cognitive effects of pre-natal life.   After a decade of tracking children they found a 4 point IQ deficit in children living in air polluted areas. The pollutants stunt brain development in the womb are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. These compounds, created by burning fossil fuels, are prevalent in urban areas where traffic is thick.

Read more at Environmental Health News.

Photo by andy in ny

The Bronx River has had many lives.  The pristine feature north of the Big Apple lent its name to the entire burrough.  But for the better part of the 19th and 20th century that jewel of the burrough became polluted by industrial waste, appliances and approximatley 30,000 tires.  For the last 40 years concerned Bronxities like Ruth Andergerg in the 1970s and Majora Carter in the 2000s have been trying to restore the River to its former grandeur.  And in 2010 the water lovers of the Bronx have just begun to enjoy the fruits of their labor. 

But recently the fun and water games turned tragic. Two teenagers drowned this weekend swimming in an off-limits part of the river just outside the Bronx Zoo, near 180th  St.  Check out the story and the histroy of the river in the NYTimes.  And check back with Planet Harmony on the swimming proficiency gap between black and white kids.    

Photo April from 1984, Bronx, New York, New York, USA — An abandoned, wrecked car sits partly submerged in the Bronx River below a bridge in New York. — Image by © Bob Krist/CORBIS