Kristina Marusic - Pollution's Mental Toll

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On our last podcast, Mad in the Family covered the effect of climate change and extreme weather events on children’s and mothers’ mental health. This one continues the conversation on environmental links to emotional distress: emerging research showing that pollution in the air and water can affect our minds and emotions, and that children are especially vulnerable, both while they are young and later in life.

Kristina Marusic is a Pittsburgh-based investigative reporter for Environmental Health News, an award-winning, non-partisan organization dedicated to driving science into public discussion and policy. Last fall, EHN collaborated with Allegheny Front on a five-part series, “Pollution’s Mental Toll: How Air, Water, and Climate Pollution Shape Our Mental Health.” They found that residents throughout western Pennsylvania were likely suffering changes to their brains due to pollution in the surrounding environment, even at levels below federal limits.

Prior to joining EHN in 2018, Kristina covered issues related to environmental and social justice as a freelancer for a wide range of digital media outlets including The Washington Post, Slate, Vice, Women’s Health, and MTV News, among others. Her reporting on environmental health for Public Source won first place in the Keystone Society of Professional Journalists’ Spotlight contest in 2017. Kristina holds an MFA in Non-Fiction Writing from the University of San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Hofstra University. She is the co-founder and chair of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Association of LGBT Journalists.

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