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Story January 3, 2018

E-book: 'Toxic Planet: The Global Health Crisis'

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Pollution is the leading cause of premature deaths around the world, contributing to an estimated...

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Women pluck hair by hand from goat hides soaked in an alkaline solution to loosen the fibers. This woman protects herself with gloves and a sheet of plastic wrapped around her sari as she works at a tannery outside Vaniyambad in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Image by Larry C. Price. India, 2016.
Women pluck hair by hand from goat hides soaked in an alkaline solution to loosen the fibers. This woman protects herself with gloves and a sheet of plastic wrapped around her sari as she works at a tannery outside Vaniyambad in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. Image by Larry C. Price. India, 2016.

It affects the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil that helps produce the food we eat. Pollution is everywhere.

Toxic Planet: The Global Health Crisis, the Pulitzer Center's newest e-book, is now available free on iTunes and Atavist. It is also available on Kindle for $1.99.

Pulitzer Center grantees circumnavigated the globe to study pollution—its risks, the health implications, potential remedies, and means of prevention. Their work has been published in a wide range of outlets: Undark, National Geographic, Yale Environment 360, China Dialogue, PBS NewsHour, Bloomberg Businessweek, TakePart, The Guardian, Verspers, The New York Times, and Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine.

The Pulitzer Center's newest e-book, Toxic Planet: The Global Health Crisis, brings together their stories, brilliant and heart-wrenching photography, and video to form a more complete picture of the challenges the world faces and of the profound impact of toxic chemicals on all humans, most noticeably on babies and children. Many of the portraits of families are intimate and deeply troubling. Profiles of advocates who seek to raise awareness and innovators who create cleaner supply chains are also featured.

Contributors to the e-book include Nathalie Bertrams, Caitlin Cotter, Fred de Sam Lazaro, Yolanda Escobar, Sean Gallagher, Beth Gardiner, Ingrid Gercama, He Guangwei, Makenzie Huber, Lynn Johnson, Michelle Nijhuis, Richard C. Paddock, Debbie M. Price, and Larry C. Price. It features reporting and documentary photography from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, China, Dominican Republic, Malawi, Guatemala, Poland, Ecuador, Zambia, and the United States.

Toxic Planet highlights the health risks and challenges we face as well as possible solutions—change in government policies, better working conditions, waste treatment programs, and river clean-up projects. Innovations include solar ovens, improved cookstoves that are more efficient and also less toxic, the development of genetically modified crops that produce chemicals to kill pests, and more effective effluent treatment plants. New environmental awareness campaigns may well lead to behavior change.

This e-book is beautifully designed by Jordan Roth and includes recommended resources and educational materials. It is edited by Rebecca Kaplan, Kem Knapp Sawyer, and Pulitzer Center staff.

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