This Week's Must Reads: Deep Dives into Health and Student Loans


Our favorite articles and stories from the week, including reporting by ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting

In case you missed it, Annie Snider of Politico published a great piece of reporting on a potentially scary national health threat: the contamination of drinking-water supplies near military bases and chemical plants that make non-stick products like Teflon, firefighting foam and the foam used in combat training exercises.

Her story, based on emails she got through freedom of information requests, cites a federal study that the EPA has refused to release about the impact of these pollutants, known as PFOA and PFOS, which the Defense Department found at unsafe levels at 126 water source sites across the country. 

Among the health threats: increased risks of cancer, thyroid defects, problems in pregnancy and immune function.

And if you're interested in the larger issue of autoimmune disease, we recommend this story in IFL Science, which serves as a primer on one of the nation's most challenging illnesses, as well as offering a ray of hope.

Among the issues that voters might have with the Trump administration is its reversing of course on the nation's growing student debt crisis. This analysis, published by the Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal site, chronicles what appears to be the dismantling of the student loan office at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This after Trump suggested he would support loan reform during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Having published our own piece about how police handle violent crimes against transgender victims, we noted with alarm this ProPublica story, which looks into the mislabeling of gender-based hate crimes as "anti-heterosexual." 

If you love books like we do, here's a bit of encouraging news: Reading on the regular is good for your health, according to scientific studies. Sadly, Inc. also reports that 26 percent of American adults have not read even a portion of a book in the last year.

If you've ever wondered if you could help yourself while choking on food and there's no one around, check out this useful bit of instruction, which notes that choking is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.