Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Chemicals" ...

  • Something is Killing our Police

    Utah police in the 1980's and 1990's were trained to bust meth labs and handle chemicals without using any safety equipment. Now, the officers who were exposed to the hazardous materials are suffering severe illness and even dying much earlier than they should be.
  • Radon in Schools: A Lesson to Learn

    The radon levels in Ohio schools are almost three times the national average; this means that a lot of school children are put at greater risk for lung cancer through daily exposure to the radioactive gas. Reporters found that, of all of Ohio's public schools, only eleven percent even tested for radon. Of those that did tests, many did not fix the problems. The investigation found that this was particularly true for Columbus, where 78 public school buildings had excessive radon levels, but only one took the recommended corrective action.
  • What's buried at Hercules?

    This investigation of a Hercules Inc. chemical plant showed a history of questionable environmental practices extending back decades, including the burial of drums of chemicals in the company's landfill, an EPA report noting more than 37 acres of contaminated soil, and a host of complaints from residents who feared their health had been compromised from the smoke and chemicals. Company officials say there is no evidence toxic chemicals pose a health threat and any contamination is confined to the plant's site.
  • Unnecessary epidemic

    This extensive investigation showed that Congress and the Drug Enforcement Administration could have stopped methamphetamine growth across the West during the 1990s and still can. The newspaper explained how the drug is able to be controlled because it relies on chemical ingredients produced by only a handful of factories worldwide. Two clampdowns on the legal trade of the chemicals caused meth shortages, prompting users to quit and meth-related property crime to fall. But the drug trade survived because of loopholes and lax enforcement. The scope of this story includes examinations of DEA drug seizures, DEA-registered sellers of the drug, ephedrine drug shipments, ephedrine seizures, congressional records, the federal budget, federal audits, property tax records, patents, academic studies and public policy.
  • Erasing the rules; (Mostly) White House

    This Newsday investigation finds nearly half of the Bush administration appointees come from corporations, law or lobbyists. This put them in a position where they could use the system to pass laws that helped their industries and in turn help their businesses. One of the instances that this story talks about is the regulations regarding pollution have been eased by the Bush administration. The administration turned over the federal environmental agencies to lobbyists that launched an effort to rewrite pollutions rules, ease curbs on the development of natural areas, and allow more drilling.
  • B.C. Smelter dumped tons of mercury

    "This story, using previously unavailable Canadian documents, established for the first time that a major Canadian company operating the world's largest combined lead-zinc smelter at Trail, B.C., has significantly polluted the Columbia River in the United states with toxic mercury."
  • Report Lists State's Toxic - Waste Figures

    According to the Toxic - Release Inventory, Ohio is the fifth most polluted state in America. Toxic pollution levels actually went up in some counties from 1989 to 1990. In some cases, residents say the pollution is so bad they sometimes don't leave their houses. Other residents blame the pollution for the higher rate of respiratory problems and illness in their children. But in Marysville, where the pollution is at its worst, people don't often complain about it. The reporters speculate that this is because the pollution is caused by Honda of America, which brought thousands of jobs to central Ohio in the early 1980s.
  • Industries clean up act -- and OC

    The Orange County Register analyzed EPA records for 221 businesses to find an overall decrease in toxic pollution, though emission of one particular suspected carcinogen increased. Lists the newspaper compiled show the biggest toxic sources in California, a ranking of toxic emissions by zip code, and the biggest toxic sources in Orange County. One story in the package discusses the limitations to the federal law that requires businesses that use one of 310 toxic chemicals to report any releases.
  • OC Helps Fuel the Toxic Waste Pipeline

    This article investigates how polluting companies, like National Cement Co, are not careful about eliminating toxic waste. Consequently, people who live near these companies suffer from headaches, nosebleeds and other symptoms. One of the major problems is burning solvents, because they are hard to destroy completely. Representatives from the companies say that burning chemicals and hazardous waste is a safer solution that using landfills -- this article shows that they might be wrong..and suggests reforms that might improve the situation.
  • 362 Million Pounds of Trouble

    Analysis shows that about one-quarter of the state of Ohio's waste in 1989 included toxic chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer and birth defects. That's the equivalent of seven and a half pounds for every man, woman, and child in the state. Steel Mills are among the state's biggest generators of toxic waste. Ohio's industries generated 362 million pounds of toxic waste, a figure that should rank Ohio as one of the most polluted states in the nation.