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Sustainability Program

UC San Francisco has a robust sustainability program covering sustainability activities across the entire campus and medical center.  Formal and grassroot efforts are happening in many areas of the organization.  Find out more about these efforts at the Sustainability Dashboard located in the Review Metrics & Annual Report links above.


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Environmental Health News

Toxic chemicals, carcinogens skyrocket near fracking sites.

Oil and gas wells across the U.S. are spewing "dangerous" cancer-causing chemicals into the air, according to a new study that further corroborates reports of health problems around hydraulic fracturing sites.

Asbestos legacy: The families fighting for compensation.

Thousands of families across the U.K. are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses every year. For many of them, it is just the beginning of a long fight for compensation.

Does milk do a body good? Maybe not, a new study suggests.

Got milk? If you’re drinking it to prevent bone fractures or to boost your overall health, you might want to go back to the fridge and opt for a yogurt or a slice of cheese instead. A new study in the journal BMJ casts doubt on the widely held view that milk can help adults ward off hip fractures and broken bones.

Major autism studies identify dozens of contributing genes.

Two new studies exploring the genetic basis of autism tie mutations in hundreds of genes to the disease. Several teams of researchers found that about 60 of the genes are considered “high confidence,” meaning there’s a 90% chance that mutations within those genes contribute to risk for autism.

Ebola is the least of your worries.

While one person in the United States has died from Ebola, the odds favor you being killed by almost every other alternative according to this years' National Safety Council release on Injury Facts.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issues surprising statement.

Many people are now scratching their heads over controversial comments made by one of the top scientists at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Those who help Ebola patients should be honored, not punished.

The political pressure for tougher restrictions is mounting, while the need for volunteers to fight the virus is quickly growing. President Obama should issue a guarantee now that those willing to serve will have that service honored and their right to return home protected.

Plastics chemical linked to changes in boys' genitals.

Boys exposed in the womb to high levels of a chemical found in vinyl products are born with slightly altered genital development, according to research published today. The study of nearly 200 Swedish babies is the first to link the chemical di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP) to changes in the development of the human male reproductive tract.

Former atomic workers overdue on federal benefits.

Rocky Flats, the nation's Cold War nuclear weapons plant just off Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder, no longer stands. But many of the former workers who believe they became ill because of exposure to radiation and toxic materials at the site are still struggling to receive federal benefits.

Texas enviromental regulators question ozone’s impact on health.

The Texas agency that regulates industries that pollute, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is questioning federal research into the health threat posed by breathing ozone and is using its website to publish articles that critics call "provocative" and "misleading."

Ebola puts Ghana's bush meat traders out of work.

Yaa Kyerewaa cuts a lonely figure beside a pile of animal parts: the jaws of a giant rodent, the hooves of wild pigs, snails. This bush meat was once considered a delicacy and fetched premium prices. But Ebola has frightened away customers and Kyerewaa hasn't sold anything in days.

In Liberia, a good or very bad sign: Empty hospital beds.

Around the country, treatment centers, laboratory workers who test for Ebola, and international and national health officials trying to track the epidemic have noticed an unexpected pattern: There are far fewer people being treated for Ebola than anticipated.

Diesels far dirtier than we thought.

While the rush to buy diesel-engined cars has been fuelled by national vehicle taxation regimes that encourage low-carbon motoring, it’s now looking more and more as if diesels are far more polluting than was previously though.

Shipping a serious, but overlooked, source of China’s pollution, report says.

Container ships from China laden with cargo for the rest of the world are a serious, often neglected, emitter of pollution from the cheap fuel allowed under Chinese rules, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

EPA finds toxic vapors in several Riverside Gardens homes near Lees Lane Landfill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency next week will begin a second round of air sampling at eight homes near the long-closed Lees Lane hazardous waste landfill, after discovering 13 homes with elevated levels of toxic vapors in crawl spaces.

Kids in the chemical danger zone.

You might think that the risk of an industrial chemical accident is something only workers in hazardous industries or people who live near chemical plants have to worry about. You would be wrong.

An ultra low emission zone won't clean London's air alone.

Toxic tailpipe fumes are by far the biggest cause of people-killing air pollution in London, so will the ultra low emission zone provide Boris Johnson's ultra low achievement mayoralty with a posthumous upgrade?

Ecological restoration of an indigenous community on the US-Canadian border.

Prior to the American Revolution, the tribal confederation we refer to now as the Iroquois had considerable political power in the Northeastern part of the present-day United States and Southeastern Canada.

A killer plague wouldn't save the planet from us.

It's getting overcrowded here on Earth. More than 7 billion people are taking their toll on the planet, and the number is rising. What would it take to defuse this population time bomb?

A climate history 'thrown out of whack.'

With storms intensifying, sanitation departments throughout the Midwest are racing to keep up with more frequent and intense runoff. A Climate at Your Doorstep story.

Poisoned by the shale? Investigations leave questions in oil tank deaths.

Dustin Bergsing was 21 and six weeks a father when he arrived here at Marathon Oil Corp.'s Buffalo 34-12H well pad, a square of red gravel carved into a low hill. By dawn, he was dead.

EPA adds 23 chemicals, including BPA, to key list for scrutiny, possible action.

The Environmental Protection Agency has added 23 chemicals - including bisphenol A, seven phthalates and two flame retardants - to a key list of chemicals that will have particular uses carefully scrutinized for possible regulation or other controls.

Experts: Workers in danger at Hanford.

A draft report paints a damning picture of worker safety protocols at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington, debunking claims made by the government and a private contractor that workers were not being exposed to toxic chemicals on the job.

Sorry, your gut bacteria are not the answer to all your health problems.

We're told that tweaks to the microbiome can cure everything from allergies to Ebola. Not exactly, say experts.

Seeking unity, US revises Ebola monitoring rules.

The federal government on Monday tried to take charge of an increasingly acrimonious national debate over how to treat people in contact with Ebola patients by announcing guidelines that were carefully devised not to harm the effort to recruit badly needed medical workers to West Africa.

The dangers of quarantines.

Policies that will reduce the chances of recruiting additional volunteers — without actually protecting the public — will only make the Ebola crisis worse.

Could Bhopal happen in America?

On Nov. 7, Martin Sheen’s latest film, “A Prayer for Rain,” will be released in U.S. theaters. It brings to life the story of the tragic chemical disaster 30 years ago in Bhopal, India, and raises the question, Are we safe from a similar tragedy unfolding again? Chemical safety advocates say not very.

Dow Chemical and Monsanto are at it again as EPA and USDA approve "Agent Orange" crops.

In a long overdue effort, the U.S. is currently spending millions of dollars to help the Vietnamese clean up the tragic legacy of our use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Revised nutrition labels still won’t tell whole story.

The epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes show that the goal of a healthier population has yet to be realized. One obstacle is that those most likely to read food labels are health-conscious people who least need to do so. But another problem is the label itself.

Dead babies near oil drilling sites raise questions for researchers.

The smartphone-sized grave marker is nearly hidden in the grass at Rock Point Cemetery. The name printed on plastic-coated paper — Beau Murphy — has been worn away. Only the span of his life remains. "June 18, 2013 - June 18, 2013"