Author

Niara Savage

Niara Savage

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.

The lead industry characterized lead poisoning as a problem for poor people and minorities despite mounting evidence of its toxicity. (Illustration by David White)

How the lead industry misled the public about its toxic problem for decades  

By: - 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 […]

Lisa Pascoe with her 2-year-old daughter on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at their home in Clarkson Valley, Missouri. (Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio)

Known to be toxic for a century, lead still poisons thousands of Midwestern kids

By: and - 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: and - 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 […]