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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

Kids exposed in the womb to plasticizers more likely to have asthma.

New York City children exposed in the womb to moderate levels of two plasticizers had a 72 to 78 percent higher chance of developing asthma, according to a new study published today. The study is the first to link prenatal exposure to phthalates to childhood asthma, which has been increasing in recent decades.

A flood of energy projects clash with Mexican communities.

Since January, villagers and townspeople near the Los Pescados river in southeast Mexico have been blocking the construction of a dam, part of a multi-purpose project to supply potable water to Xalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz.

Obama presses leaders to speed Ebola response.

President Obama on Tuesday challenged world powers to accelerate the global response to the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa, warning that unless health care workers, medical equipment and treatment centers were swiftly deployed, the disease could take hundreds of thousands of lives.

Obama ramping up US response in Ebola outbreak.

President Obama on Tuesday called the Ebola virus an epidemic unlike any the world has seen, and he pledged to ramp up the U.S. response while calling on other countries and charities to join in and act urgently.

Asthma risk from exposure to chemicals in the womb.

Exposure in the womb to common household chemicals used in vinyl floors and food containers could increase the risk of childhood asthma by more than 70 per cent, new research suggests.

US lawmakers want to curb antibiotic use on farms.

Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for action to rein in antibiotic use in livestock in response to a Reuters investigation showing how top U.S. poultry firms have been administering drugs to their flocks.

Disease threatens as Kashmir flood waters turn fetid.

Indian emergency workers on Monday battled to prevent waterborne diseases like cholera from spreading as fetid water swilled around the Kashmir valley more than a week after the worst flooding in more than a century.

Foul floodwaters sicken people in Kashmir.

Doctors in the flood-ravaged Himalayan region of Kashmir said Wednesday that they were seeing outbreaks of gastroenteritis among people crowded into shelters after their homes were inundated two weeks ago.

Attorney files objection to Whirlpool pollution settlement.

An announced settlement in a class action lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation related to property damages from trichloroethylene contamination has hit a snag following an objection filed by attorneys representing residents affected by the contamination.

Fracking boom increases 'triple tragedies' on Texas highways.

All across Texas, the drilling and fracking boom has boosted fatal accidents for oil and gas workers, and for those who share the urban and rural roads that serve as important oil patch connectors.

Cowlitz County proceeds with coal dust exposure study.

An amendment signed by Cowlitz County,Washington, commissioners Tuesday will allow monitoring for coal dust exposure to begin as early as next week.

Poultry firms systematically feed low-dose antibiotics to flocks.

Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.

Severe black lung returns to 1970s levels.

Coal miners in Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia are contracting serious cases of black lung disease at rates not seen since the early 1970s — just after preventive regulations were enacted, according to a study published Monday.

Taking a health hazard home.

A new study of a small group of workers at industrial hog farms in North Carolina has found that they continued to carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria over several days, raising new questions for public health officials struggling to contain the spread of such pathogens.

Black Lung disease makes comeback, study shows.

The prevalence of severe black lung disease among coal miners in Central Appalachia has hit levels not seen since coal dust was first regulated in mines about 40 years ago, according to federal researchers.

'Water lady' on front lines in campaign against arsenic in Georgia wells.

Starting in 2008, Janet McMahan had skin cancers erupting all over her body, including parts “where the sun don’t shine.” Her two dogs had also developed cancer. She told her husband, Dr. Howard McMahan, an Ocilla family physician, “I know what is wrong with me.” The water.

Black lung disease rates skyrocket to highest levels since 1970s.

The proportion of coal miners who suffer from an advanced form of black lung disease has skyrocketed in central Appalachia in recent years, according to experts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The deadliest environmental problem today is indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year.

About 3 billion people around the world still cook and heat their homes by burning coal, charcoal, dung, wood, or plant residue in their homes. These homes often have poor ventilation, and the smoke can cause all sorts of respiratory diseases.

India’s nuclear nightmare: The village of birth defects.

Children with birth deformities live on almost every street in Jadugora, as well as in neighboring villages. With uranium at the core of India’s energy ambitions, an Indian court is trying to unravel the mystery of sick and disabled children, miscarriages and fatal cancers around the country's first uranium mine.

Chemical reform bill faces uphill battle in Senate.

Efforts to come up with a new chemical regulation bill face an uphill battle in the Senate.

New York Senator Charles Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants in kids products.

Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing legislation to ban 10 flame retardants from upholstered furniture and children’s products, saying the chemicals have been linked to developmental delays and cancer.

ER visits and hospitalizations for asthma on the rise.

The most recent numbers show that the situation is getting worse — especially for minorities and people living in urban areas.

Disease threatens as Kashmir flood waters turn fetid.

Indian emergency workers battled on Monday to prevent waterborne diseases from spreading, as fetid water swilled around the Kashmir valley more than a week after the region's worst flooding in more than a century.

Where the wildfires are: if there's smoke, there are costly health problems.

Scientists fear that climate change could lead to more wildfires and to lingering, expensive, public health crises as smoke spreads thousands of miles away from the actual fire sites.

Traffic fume particles aren’t asthma triggers, study finds.

Laboratory experiments by an Australian university have found that “fine” particles from traffic fumes do not cause the type of damage to the cells lining the airways that is normally associated with asthma. But “coarse” particles do.

The San Jacinto River in peril.

Jackie Young, a former resident of Highlands, Texas, and 2013 Houston Rodeo Queen, suffered many mysterious illnesses at a very young age. It started with seizures in her early 20s. Jackie suspected the San Jacinto River waste pits as a primary source of contamination that made her ill. (Part 1 of 3).

China's environmental awakening.

The Chinese are beginning to wonder, just as Americans did in the late 1960s, whether “industrial progress” has come at too high a cost to the environment. Attitudes in China are changing.

The San Jacinto River in peril.

Most Houstonians are probably unaware that when they cross over the San Jacinto River on I-10, they are crossing one of the most toxic sites in the US. The responsible companies were pressured into installing a temporary cap over the site in 2010, which is essentially a tarp with rocks on top of it. (Part 2 of 3).

The San Jacinto River in peril: A conspiracy of silence.

Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson spent months researching the San Jacinto River waste pits and how they affect the residents of the immediate area and the entire Houston community. The result is equal parts editorial cartoon, investigative journalism and graphic narrative. (Part 3 of 3.)

Crude-by-rail: One federal inspector oversees all California's railroad bridges, no state oversight.

As concerns grow over aging rail infrastructure, earthquake readiness and a dramatic increase in crude oil shipments by train, state railroad regulators are scrambling to hire their first-ever railroad bridge inspectors -- two of them.