recycling symbol

When does recycling your plastic make sense? The answer isn’t so simple

‘Plastic Wars’ preview: “Plastic Wars,” which examines the crisis in plastic waste, airs on PBS nationwide on March 31, 2020, and online with additional stories online and on-air in the coming weeks. The program is co-produced by PBS FRONTLINE and NPR in collaboration with the Investigative Reporting Workshop.  When you throw away a plastic container, …

Warning sign + vaccines

From bogus vaccine kits to ‘Silver Solution,’ coronavirus cons begin

This story was produced by FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues.  Vaccine kits. “Silver Solution” treatment. Even coronavirus-fighting toothpaste. The swindles have begun. As Americans struggle to cope with the spread of COVID-19, they will also need to brace themselves for “disaster fraud” …

Oil refinery on fire

Closed Philadelphia refinery continues to leak toxic fumes

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery continued to emit concentrations of benzene far above EPA’s limit for the carcinogenic gas even half a year after a June 2019 catastrophic fire shut down the 150-year-old oil processing facility, newly released data shows. The previously unreported benzene data, posted online by EPA last week, raises fresh questions about …

Pharmaceutical machine and pills

Concerns raised over FDA’s capacity to inspect overseas drug makers

With the U.S. increasingly dependent on foreign manufacturers for prescription and generic drugs, the Food and Drug Administration’s problem-plagued efforts to inspect overseas plants is under growing scrutiny. The number of inspections performed by the agency has been falling since 2016.

Oil refinery on fire

The Refinery Disaster

Our latest news on PES is here. PHILADELPHIA — Last May, an air monitor on the border of the East Coast’s largest oil refinery recorded a level of cancer-causing gas more than 21 times the federal limit. In June, an explosive early-morning fire rocked the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, terrifying nearby residents. Weeks after the …

U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan

‘We were right’

They experienced the war in Afghanistan on the ground. Here’s what they had to say.

Dollar Tree storefront

Boxed in: Dollar Tree cited for job safety violations at dozens of stores

This story was produced by FairWarning, a nonprofit news organization based in Southern California that focuses on public health, consumer and environmental issues.  There are so many boxes at Dollar Tree stores that workers are always running out of room. The boxes form unstable piles that block aisles, reach precarious heights and, most seriously, block …

opioid pills piled up

‘Sell Baby Sell!’

A dozen years ago, the federal government came down hard on Purdue Pharma, fining the drugmaker and three of its executives a record $634 million for misbranding its blockbuster OxyContin pill as safer and less addictive than other painkillers. In the decade leading up to the 2007 fine, Purdue helped change the culture of prescribing …

MaryBeth Moore Zocco and son Ryan

Her son died of an overdose. Now she sends hundreds of cards to parents like her, hoping to ease the stigma.

MaryBeth Moore Zocco used to send her son, Ryan Moore, care packages. Last December, days before Moore, 25, died from an overdose, his mom mailed him a box with fun winter-themed items: hot chocolate ingredients, an ornament and a red plush blanket. Moore, who struggled with addiction on and off for at least seven years, …