KPCC: SoCal, don't light that fire

Multimedia reporter Lauren M. Whaley's story on wood smoke pollution from fireplaces aired on KPCC's The Madeleine Brand Show on Monday. The South Coast Air Quality Management District rolled out a voluntary no-burn program this season for the Southland, asking fireplace owners not to light wood fires on days when air pollution is already high. Dare we say, the issue is heated.

Last year, the Center spearheaded a project on pollutants from woodstove smoke. Senior writer Deborah Schoch partnered with the Chico Enterprise-Record and the Oroville Mercury-Register to produce the Burning Issue: Gasping for Breath in May 2010.

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Lauren M. Whaley

Freelance journalist Lauren M. Whaley is a photographer, radio producer and print reporter specializing in topics related to mental illness, reproductive health care and health disparities. She is also a childbirth photographer.This year, She is working on a series about how low-income parents access care for perinatal mental illnesses. The project is funded in part by the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.She was a 2016-17 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.Her work has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) STEM story project. She has contributed radio, video, photography and written stories to KQED Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, the San Jose Mercury News, the New York Times and other media outlets. For six years, she worked as the Center for Health Reporting's multimedia journalist. She is a past president of the national organizationJournalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) and spent her early 20s leading canoe expeditions for young women, including a solo-led 45-trip in the Canadian Arctic. She is based in Los Angeles.

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