Toxic - Snap #222

Did you ever feel less than pure?  Like maybe there’s something in the water? Or maybe the food doesn’t taste quite right... And why are you itching? Snap Judgment, from PRX and NPR, proudly presents “Toxic."


Radioactive Boy Scout

David was a high school kid who thought that he could change the world by pioneering the development of nuclear energy. But he didn’t want to wait until graduation -- David figured he'd start his nuclear reactor at the age of 15.

Ken Silverstein is an investigative journalist based in D.C.  He wrote the book, The Radioactive Boy Scout, upon which this story is based.  Thanks also to Harper’s Magazine and Emile Klein for this story.

Producer: Stephanie Foo

Citizen Doper

Andrew Tilin was an amateur bike racer and professional journalist living in northern California when one day his passions for racing and storytelling collided.

You can check out Andrew's book, The Doper Next Door, here.

Producer: Anna Sussman


What happens when a young girl faces a fatal illness?  Listen to writer and performer Jaylee Alde.

Producer: Jamie DeWolf

Toxic Triangle

Diana Lopez’s dream was to become a pilot, and in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives, the best way to get into aviation was to join the Air Force. But her choices were called into question when she began to find out that her community was suffering from an epidemic of mysterious illnesses.

Thank you so much to Lindsay Patterson, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Wilma Subra for their help on this piece. Learn a little more about the Toxic Triangle by checking out Steve Lerner’s book, Sacrifice Zones, or this LA Times article.

Producers: Stephanie Foo and Renzo Gorrio


A blues- and jazz-soaked journey down the bloodlines between a drug-dealing father and the next generation.  Performed by emcee and slam champion Ner City. He runs the Golden Gate Slam in Oakland. Ner City is a member of the Slam Poetry Supergroup, "The Blackson 5."

More of his work can be found here.

Producers: Jamie DeWolf and Pat Mesiti-Miller

Scorpion Sting

Mr. Lakshminaryanan discovers that poisonous scorpion stings are a very real danger in India. But, thankfully, he lives next door to a faith healer with some mad skills.

Thanks to Dhaya Lakshminarayanan for her help on this story.

Producers: Rita Daniels, Stephanie Foo and Renzo Gorrio

Good Night, Furry

Mark Ristich needed space to create. He found his toxic Bohemia in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. And some unwanted roommates to come with it...

Producer: Mark Ristich

Original Music: Dirk Schwarzhoff