Grantee documents long-term health effects of toxic industries in Akron, Ohio

The industrial jobs that employed a generation of residents of Akron, Ohio, are mostly gone, but the health effects of the toxins they worked around every day live on. Some illnesses are only now surfacing, and, if the findings of epigenetics and toxic exposure studies are any indication, they could keep doing so for generations. With grants from the Fund, reporter Yanick Rice Lamb, who grew up in Akron, has looked at the long-term effects of chemicals used in the factories, that have been linked to air and water pollution and multiple illnesses. She chronicled how the legacy of industry, especially the rubber and tire companies, continue to shape the lives of people and families in Akron and beyond. The stories are told through the eyes of residents and longtime employees of the factories, whose illnesses were at times overlooked by industry and some local medical professionals. The series was co-published by The Center for Public Integrity and Belt Magazine. Lamb’s work was honored in April 2022 the National Press Foundation’s Thomas L. Stokes award for environmental and energy reporting.