In “Chemical Fallout: A Journal Sentinel Watchdog Report,” Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger, reporters at this metro newspaper, explored in depth the evidence that long-term health effects may be caused by the release of chemicals found in the packaging, on the surfaces or in the contents of common household plastic products. They investigated, too, whether government fulfilled its promise to fully test the safety of chemicals that go into the manufacture of plastic items, such as baby bottles. Health effects they examined include cancers of the breast, brain and testicles, lowered sperm counts, early puberty, other reproductive system defects, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, asthma and autism. In February, their six-part investigative series was awarded a George Polk Award in Journalism.

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