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Study reveals cancer-causing chemicals in La. worse than expected; causes and impacts behind new ‘10 commandments law’

Louisiana’s 85-mile industrial corridor along the Mississippi River is one of the country’s largest hotspots for a cancer-causing chemical called ethylene oxide. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that much of the region is exposed to unsafe levels of the carcinogen, but a new study out of Johns Hopkins University found that in some areas, the exposure was even worse than estimated.

The Coastal Desk’s Halle Parker sat down with the study’s authors, Ellis Robinson and Peter DeCarlo, to talk about their real-time air monitoring work and what it says about how well we know what’s in the air.

On June 19, Governor Jeff Landry signed a bill into law that requires all Louisiana classrooms to display the 10 commandments, provoking a national debate over the separation of church and state.

The bill has also resulted in lawsuits, with a handful of civil rights groups teaming up to target this law they believe violates the constitution.

Rachel Laser, CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the groups to file a lawsuit, tells us how this bill represents a rise in Christian nationalism. Then, we hear from Anna Gimilaro, a 4th grade teacher at Morris Jeff Community School in New Orleans, about how this bill may impact students in the classroom.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber; our contributing producers are Matt Bloom and Adam Vos; we receive production and technical support from Garrett Pittman and our assistant producer, Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Bob Pavlovich, a long-time fill-in host for New Orleans Public Radio, joined the station full-time in 2023. He hosts "All Things Considered" and "Louisiana Considered" on Thursdays.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.