Niara Savage is a reporting fellow with NPR Midwest Newsroom and The Missouri Independent. Formerly an intern with St. Louis Public Radio, she’s especially interested in race, education and criminal justice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fisk University.
Kansas, Nebraska researchers use plants to limit exposure to toxic lead in soil
By: Niara Savage - August 8, 2022
In parts of the Midwest where lead mining and smelting lasted for over a century, communities are still dealing with toxic waste left behind by the industry. Lead, a dangerous neurotoxin, persists in the environment, including in water and soil, where it can pose a threat to the health of people living nearby. The risk […]
Items with lead are easy to find at antique shops, discount stores. They’re also toxic.
By: Niara Savage and Samantha Horton - July 25, 2022
A vintage military-style trunk she bought at an eastern Michigan flea market when she was a teenager became a staple of Jennifer Poupard’s life. Poupard, now 37, originally bought it to store her CDs. Over the years the trunk — styled with leather handles and metal buckles — served as a container for shoes, a […]
How the lead industry misled the public about its toxic problem for decades
By: Niara Savage - May 31, 2022
Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin. Researchers have known that for decades. But the substance stuck around in everyday products like paint and gasoline for decades. One big reason: The lead industry spent years using racial bias to divert public attention away from the dangers of the toxin and minimized the impact of mounting evidence indicating […]
Known to be toxic for a century, lead still poisons thousands of Midwestern kids
By: Allison Kite and Niara Savage - April 11, 2022
CLARKSON VALLEY, Mo. — When the pediatrician recommended Lisa Pascoe have her then-toddler tested for lead poisoning, she thought there was no way he could be at risk. Everything in her South St. Louis home had been remodeled. But then the nurse called to say her son’s blood lead level was dangerously high — five […]
Missouri House bill would cut down on poisonous lead in school drinking water
By: Niara Savage and Allison Kite - March 29, 2022
Missouri children would be better protected from lead poisoning under a state legislative bill to require schools to nearly rid their drinking water of the dangerous toxin. The bill, heard Monday by the House Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, would require schools to test drinking water, remove old coolers and filter water where lead is […]