5 episodes

In 2018, environmental activists partnered with University of California-Irvine and conducted a study of 1,500 soil samples across the city of Santa Ana (CA). The results: Half of the soil samples showed concentrations of lead that were toxic for children.
Lead poisoning is an epidemic that has been ravaging communities of color across the country (and the world) for a hundred years. The story of how it spread to our own backyards has little to do with the individual responsibility of homeowners and parents. This is a story about capitalism, the politics of science, and the subtle (and overt) workings of environmental racism.
This audio documentary follows a group of activists and researchers as they try to unearth decades of neglect, discrimination, and toxic practices in Santa Ana, CA. You will be an active participant in solving the mystery behind pollution maps: Was it lead-based paint, car emissions, farming practices, or metal factories? Each episode will interrogate these usual suspects while also narrating the history of lead and lead poisoning in the United States. You will hear about lead in paint and how its deleterious effects connected to the issue of affordable housing and redlining. You will also learn about the emblematic citrus groves in Orange County and how the use of the automobile resulted in widespread lead poisoning among American children. Find out more: http://historianrubio.com/airmetalandearth/

Air, Metal, and Earth Juan M. Rubio

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

In 2018, environmental activists partnered with University of California-Irvine and conducted a study of 1,500 soil samples across the city of Santa Ana (CA). The results: Half of the soil samples showed concentrations of lead that were toxic for children.
Lead poisoning is an epidemic that has been ravaging communities of color across the country (and the world) for a hundred years. The story of how it spread to our own backyards has little to do with the individual responsibility of homeowners and parents. This is a story about capitalism, the politics of science, and the subtle (and overt) workings of environmental racism.
This audio documentary follows a group of activists and researchers as they try to unearth decades of neglect, discrimination, and toxic practices in Santa Ana, CA. You will be an active participant in solving the mystery behind pollution maps: Was it lead-based paint, car emissions, farming practices, or metal factories? Each episode will interrogate these usual suspects while also narrating the history of lead and lead poisoning in the United States. You will hear about lead in paint and how its deleterious effects connected to the issue of affordable housing and redlining. You will also learn about the emblematic citrus groves in Orange County and how the use of the automobile resulted in widespread lead poisoning among American children. Find out more: http://historianrubio.com/airmetalandearth/

    History, Science, and Community come together in Santa Ana

    History, Science, and Community come together in Santa Ana

    Ok, this is it. In this episode we find out what happened in Santa Ana. Well, at least we’ll find out the evidence that our study produced after careful research over several years. At the end of the episode you will learn how we went about testing different hypotheses, such as “the lead came from the peeling paint on buildings,” or “maybe it came from vehicles using leaded gasoline.” These are questions that required a creative approach that brought together history and environmental science to understand the soil pollution crisis in Santa Ana. I will not give you specific data points here, but you can find detailed charts, regressions, and so on in our published study linked in the episode’s notes. You will also notice that I am not the only one moving the story forward today. For this episode I worked with students with an Environmental Justice Organizing Academy and they helped me design the episode and explain the study by asking me questions. We worked hard to make this one fun and informative, so I hope you enjoy it! As always you can find me at historianrubio.comMentioned in the episode: - Published study about the sources of lead contamination in Santa Ana (URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.113478) - Video about our study that won 1st place in an EPA competition: https://youtu.be/IE-ax71ClaI - Full description of our community-based science project: http://historianrubio.com/soilleadhistory/ - More about the fight for a lead-free Santa Ana: https://www.ocej.org/ Music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com): - Bass Walker- Just as Soon - Night at the Docks - Covert Affair  All licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/Music by Purple Planet: - Hep Cat Jive. https://www.purple-planet.com

    • 23 min
    Gasoline

    Gasoline

    Most of the lead that is in our environment today traveled as thin particles through the air that we breathe, here in Southern California, and in any major city in the world. In this episode we will find out what cars, motels, and the state of Minnesota have to do with a history of lead. We will also hear about a few scientists that, against all odds, were trying to change the story about where lead was coming from and what it meant for our society

    • 27 min
    Agriculture

    Agriculture

    In this episode, we will look at the history of the citrus industry in Orange County. We will ask how agriculture related to the presence of toxic substances in the county's soil. But we will not stop there. With the help of Dr. Sackman, we will explain how oranges changed not only the natural landscape in Southern California, but also our core ideas about what this place represented.

    • 24 min
    Lead Paint

    Lead Paint

    In today's episode we look at the contentious history of lead paint. We will see how the widespread use of this deadly product was shaped by mining companies and capitalist forces. We will also find out how the struggles to get rid of it were once connected to the fight for affordable housing and racial justice during the civil rights era.

    • 39 min
    A Community against Lead

    A Community against Lead

    Lead poisoning is an epidemic that has been ravaging communities of color across the country (and the world) for a hundred years. The story of how it spread to our own backyards has little to do with the individual responsibility of homeowners and parents. This is a story about capitalism, the politics of science, and the subtle (and overt) workings of environmental racism.Mentioned in this Episode:- OCEJ: www.ocej.org- History of Lead Project: http://historianrubio.com/soilleadhistory/- For complete list of references: http://historianrubio.com/episode-one-a-community-against-lead/Music by Kevin McLeod: - Truth in the Stones- Ave Marimba- Soaring- Late NightKevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 Licensehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/Music by Weapons of Mass Creation: - Manzana Venenosa

    • 28 min

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