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 "public health" ...

  • Unequal Risk

    The Center for Public Integrity’s “Unequal Risk” series highlights a long-neglected public health crisis: The deaths of some 50,000 people a year from work-related illnesses and the shamefully weak regulations governing toxic exposures on the job. Academics and advocates are pointing to our work to call attention to this grossly overlooked problem.
  • Undrinkable

    Imagine if you turned on the tap and the water that poured out was undrinkable. That's the reality facing an estimated 100,000 Texans — many of them impoverished Latinos living along the Mexican border. The Texas Tribune exposed this public health crisis in a five-part series in March — a crucial reporting project that revealed the malfeasance, red tape, environmental woes, political infighting and cultural barriers that stood in the way of getting clean, safe water to the neediest parts of the state.
  • Restaurant Inspections

    The publicizing of restaurant inspections across the United States is a common practice. But the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Diistrict - until January 2014 - would only release the results of a restaurant inspection if a member of the public submitted a Freedom of Information request. So after a Hepatitis A outbreak from at a local restaurant, CU-CitizenAccess.org decided it was time to make public the results of inspections of restaurants that failed to meet public health standards. For four years, reporters and student reporters at CU-CitizenAccess.org relentessly filed monthly requests for the inspections of failed restaurant, painstakingly downloading data, and wrote story after story - and last year, public health department finally went public with its restaurant inspections.
  • Home Care Crisis

    The Columbus Dispatch examined Ohio’s preparedness for the shift to in-home care, which is rapidly replacing nursing homes and institutions as the preferred form of long-term care. They documented the industry’s tremendous, almost unchecked, growth in central Ohio, and showed how fraud, low wages and scant regulation jeopardize care and waste public health funds.
  • Buck Fever: Trophy deer, national risk

    An 18-month investigation into the little known captive-deer industry. The investigation revealed that the $1 billion industry contributes to the spread of wildlife diseases, undermines the government’s multibillion-dollar efforts to protect the food supply, costs taxpayers millions and potentially compromises public health.
  • Restaurant Inspections

    The publicizing of restaurant inspections across the United States is a common practice. But the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Diistrict - until January 2014 - would only release the results of a restaurant inspection if a member of the public submitted a Freedom of Information request. So after a Hepatitis A outbreak from at a local restaurant, CU-CitizenAccess.org decided it was time to make public the results of inspections of restaurants that failed to meet public health standards. For four years, reporters and student reporters at CU-CitizenAccess.org relentessly filed monthly requests for the inspections of failed restaurant, painstakingly downloading data, and wrote story after story - and last year, public health department finally went public with its restaurant inspections.
  • Surgeon General's Warning: How Politics Crippled the Nation's Doctor

    "Surgeon General's Warning: How Politics Crippled the Nation's Doctor" details the decades of political machinations that sidelined and silenced the surgeon general, and explains the sad implications it has for the U.S. public.
  • National Household Survey: What we know about what we don't know

    How do you measure the flaws in a voluntary census replacement? We stacked Canada's new, controversial National Household Survey up against more reliable population data to see who hadn't filled it out - what sectors of Canadian society were missing from the country's biggest database. What we found was news to politicians, public health workers and will have implications for readers going forward.
  • Haves and Have-Nots: Uganda's drug-trial business is booming - but is it fair?

    Drug trials in developing nations around the world are growing exponentially. They are cheap. Rules are more lax. Uganda is one of the leading places in the world where this trend is taking place. In one of the world’s AIDS epicenters, in Gulu, northern Uganda, children are given a choice: be part of a drug trial involving risky treatment and at least get regular medications. Or rely on public health programs that often mean regularly missing required dosages of life-saving pharmaceuticals. The result is emblematic of a system where the ethics of drug trials face a grim reality. “The problem is that inadequate medical care creates a strong impetus for parents to agree to have their kids in research,” said Elizabeth Woeckner, president of Citizens for Responsible Care and Research, an organization that works to protect people who are the subjects of scientific research. “What should be voluntary is not quite so.” In the last five years, drug trials in Uganda have nearly doubled. There have been more than 100 trials in the last five years there. Drug companies such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Novartis, as well as American agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, work in places like Uganda because of the low cost and the number of patients who will sign up quickly for tests. At the same time, public funding for global health is diminishing. Despite safeguards, since the late 1990s a number of well-publicized cases have highlighted tests that appeared to violate ethical standards and regulations. While signing up for a trial is voluntary, that doesn’t make the decision easier – especially for parents who must decide what is best for their children, and knowing that the alternative means. This in-depth investigation goes beyond the surface to show the tough choices that arise from even the best intentioned drug trials, the vast sums of money at stake, and the seismic shift that has happened in the past decade for how the world tests drugs on humans.
  • Failures in the Golden State

    The Department of Toxic Substances Control oversees or has some part in regulating everything from nail polish ingredients to oil refineries, radioactive waste to metal recycling in California. At the heart of our series is the story of a department that’s divided, dysfunctional, and ineffective in fulfilling its mission to protect public health and the environment of the Golden State. We sifted through hundreds of pages of reports, memos, reviews, manifests and legal claims. We also analyzed thousands of records in the department’s hazardous waste tracking system to find out that more than 40% of the hazardous waste manifests in the DTSC’s database contain inaccurate information or are missing key details. Our reporting has held leaders accountable at the DTSC and compelled state lawmakers to call for an investigation of the department, including a legislative hearing this month (January 2014). Through a series of public records requests, we found out some of the department’s top leaders were investing in companies the DTSC oversees. Our reporting into the potential financial conflicts of interest prompted an investigation into deputy director Odette Madriago by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). Ms. Madriago resigned from her position six weeks after our report aired. The FPPC investigation remains ongoing.