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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

VIDEO: Extracting gold with mercury exacts a lethal toll.

In Indonesia, the use of mercury in small-scale gold mining has tragic health consequences for those living near mining operations. Toxic plumes and other forms of exposure cause neurological problems, bone deformities, vision loss, deafness and even death.

Railroad agency to detail new rail-track standards.

Federal authorities detailed new rail-track standards on Friday after finding that a broken rail caused an oil train to derail this year in West Virginia.

Standing up for science.

Smear campaigns against those speaking out against scaremongering on genetically modified (GM) crops highlight why support for scientists involved in public outreach is so important.

Selling out the Hudson River.

You would expect a polluter like General Electric to favor its interests over those of a damaged environment. But you should not expect similar behavior from the governor of New York.

Southeast Asia, choking on haze, struggles for a solution.

Thick haze from forest fires set in neighboring Indonesia to clear land for agriculture has blanketed Singapore for weeks, and has spread to Malaysia and southern Thailand.

Vietnam's 'black gold' fueling growth but raising health concerns.

Despite serious health concerns, authorities say Vietnam’s ‘black gold’ - its burgeoning coal mining industry - is the only solution for the developing country’s growing need for energy.

EPA draft plan would perpetuate environmental racism, critics say.

While touting the importance of environmental justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pushing a draft “framework” for tackling the problem that lacks substance, residents of polluted communities, advocates and agency employees say.

Flint, Michigan, water tests suggest statewide lead issues.

State and local officials hope switching Flint back to Detroit's water system, announced Thursday, will solve lead contamination issues there in the short run, but the situation exposed a health issue that may be happening in other parts of the state.

DuPont found liable in Teflon trial.

After less than one full day of deliberation, a jury in Columbus, Ohio, found DuPont liable for $1.6 million in a personal injury claim over C8 contamination.

Toxic dilemma.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory, built at the start of the Cold War in 1947, helped launch the nation into the space age. Now, with cleanup underway and more neighboring residents reporting cancer diagnoses and other major health problems, it has become a subject of intense public scrutiny.

Wildlife federation files suit over pipeline spills.

The National Wildlife Federation announced Thursday it is suing the federal government over its failure to ensure adequate regulatory oversight of the nation's oil pipelines.

Decades-long Hanford downwinder lawsuit settles.

As many as 5,000 people claimed their health was harmed by past radioactive releases from the Hanford nuclear reservation. All have either reached settlement agreements or dropped their claims.

Unsafe tractors, rising risks.

Safety upgrades to farm equipment can save lives, but many improvements are expensive – and there are no incentives or rules to enforce them (Part 2 of 4)

Drought is a global problem - we need a global solution.

An international system could save lives but a recent UN climate event in New York passed without anyone putting up funding or accepting responsibility.

Helping Kalimantan at the heart of the haze.

Every year, a haze spreads across South East Asia - at the heart is Indonesia's Central Kalimantan, where raging forest fires cause the hazardous air pollution. Several provinces of Kalimantan often experience the direct wrath of the fires, with hundreds of hotspots detected.

Studies say 1/3 of young men in China to die from smoking.

Research published in the medical journal The Lancet says one in three of all the young men in China are likely to die from tobacco, but that the number can fall if the men quit smoking.

Elephants: Large, long-living and less prone to cancer.

The animals appear to be exceptional cancer fighters, using a special set of proteins, a new study reports, but it’s unclear how to apply that to humans.

Twenty nations vulnerable to climate change pool resources, form V-20 to fight problem.

The group, which includes some of the world’s smallest and poorest countries, is a counterpoint to the Group of 20 (G-20) leading industrialized and emerging economies.

Regulators investigating 2nd VW computer program on emissions.

Volkswagen and regulators declined to say whether the software in diesel cars, newly disclosed during congressional testimony, was intended to defeat emissions control tests.

The fight for clean water in Flint, Michigan.

It’s not the government but private citizens and researchers who have been battling to reveal dangerous lead levels.

Michigan city to change water source after studies showed lead increase.

After months of resisting complaints from residents in the city of Flint, Michigan, over the discolored and odorous water that was flowing into their homes, city and state officials announced a plan Thursday to change their water source.

Flint will return to Detroit water system due to lead concerns.

Flint will resume getting water from Detroit, officials said on Thursday, a week after the Michigan city confirmed that children were showing elevated levels of lead since it began using water from a nearby river.

Flint will return to using Detroit's water after findings of lead in local supply.

More than a year after the Michigan city switched its water supply, officials reversed course after blood tests showed increased lead levels in some children.

VW needs to come clean, now.

Nobody believes that only a handful of managers knew about the elaborate scheme to cheat on emissions tests.

First Nations health crisis is a Canadian problem.

Here we are – once again in the middle of a national election and once again the federal campaigns are ignoring what is Canada’s most urgent issue: the health of our indigenous communities, families and individuals.

Welcome to a new planet.

If planetary tipping points are in our future, an incremental approach to the problem will not measure up.  It’s time to start thinking instead in terms of civilizational survival.

The VW scandal exposes the high tech control of engine emissions.

Emissions tests are not representative of normal driving conditions, and aftermarket modification of engine management computers is widespread. Just one modified vehicle could emit enough NOx for a thousand unmodified vehicles.

Whole milk is okay. Butter and eggs too. What’s next — bacon?

Probably the most articulate and persuasive writer on the dangers of nutritionism is Michael Pollan.

Store-receipt chemicals taint blood and urine.

Handling cash-register receipts may cost extra — at least in terms of health risks, a new study suggests.

Ozone, mercury, ash, CO2: Regulations take on coal’s dirty underside.

The industry complains about the constant stream of regulations, but others say the Obama administration’s focus on public health is long overdue.