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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

'Massive deaths' in seabird colonies blamed on climate, oceanic changes.

Iceland is the Serengeti for seabirds. But nests have gone empty recently, with scientists reporting sobering descriptions of chick die-offs and colonies abandoned. The leading culprit: Profound changes in the world's oceans. Part of an ongoing series.

Would you like your receipt? Maybe not, if it’s coated with BPA.

By now, many people are at least aware of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) and its frequent use in hard plastics that hold food and drink or line metal containers. Less well-known is that BPA is still turning up on cash register receipts.

World Health Organization urges stronger regulation of electronic cigarettes.

Governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and outlaw tactics to lure young users, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Tuesday that calls for some of the toughest measures yet proposed.

Osprey whisperers: Deciphering decades of clues from the sea hawk.

Ospreys tell a story, and the scientists who track them are trying to decipher their messages.

Japan industry fights 'Minamata' costs as mercury trade ban looms.

A year after the Minamata Convention on Mercury was agreed in southwestern Japan, Japanese industries from smelters to cement makers are digging in to fight storage costs and emission curbs the still-pending treaty would impose.

Nine substances of very high concern listed under REACH chemical regulation.

The European Commission has officially designated nine chemicals, including one used to make coated galvanized steel, as substances of very high concern, meaning their uses will have to be authorized.

Congo confirms Ebola outbreak.

Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed a second outbreak of Ebola to the one now raging in West Africa, highlighting how changes in Africa's rural life have turned the virus into a bigger threat.

Nashville filmmaker examines threat of drug resistance.

A Nashville filmmaker has made a documentary that delves into the causes and consequences of antibiotic-resistant infections.

Ticks may transmit disease faster than currently thought.

Brazilian ticks that carry Rocky Mountain spotted fever passed the disease to animal hosts in as little as 10 minutes if they had recently fed on another animal, a new study found.

Health benefits offset costs of climate policies.

Savings due to avoided health problems help offset -- and in some cases greatly outweigh -- the costs of carbon dioxide-cutting policies in the United States, according to a new study.

Natural gas hasn’t lessen Iran’s air pollution plague.

Natural gas, known as clean fossil fuel, shares about 70 percent of the Iran's total energy consumption basket, while about 3 million vehicles in Iran consumes liquid gas, the most in the world. However, Iran's air is one of the most polluted. Conditions have even worsened since 2010.

Taiwan temples stick to burning incense.

Major temples around Taiwan said Aug. 25 they have no intention of following Taipei City’s Hsing Tian Kong and banning incense or votive offering tables, as such a reversal of tradition would cause serious offence to worshippers and deities alike.

Grassy Narrows, New Democratic Party call for action on mercury poisoning.

Grassy Narrows and the New Democratic Party are calling for “real action” on mercury poisoning in the Treaty #3 community. "We’re calling for the government to update the whole (Mercury Disability) Board," said Grassy Narrows Chief Roger Fobister Sr.

NY plans health study of Onondaga Lake fish eaters.

New York's health department plans to study Burmese and Bhutanese refugees who eat a lot of fish from Onondaga Lake to determine their exposure to mercury, pesticides, PCBs and other toxins.

Apartments snuff out smoking.

In Florida, as the number of smokers declines, more apartment complexes are snuffing out tobacco. And many are marketing their clean air as an amenity.

WHO urges stiff regulatory curbs on e-cigarettes.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday called for regulation of electronic cigarettes as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to minors.

Unacceptable levels.

We generate 300 billion pounds of synthetic chemicals each year in the U.S. alone, and an average American uses more than 1,500 pounds of chemical products. Synthetic chemicals are poisoning our bodies from the moment of conception. What are we going to do about it?

The next pandemic won’t erupt from the rainforest.

The next pandemic will erupt, not from the jungle, but from the disease factories of crowded hospitals, enormous refugee camps and cities.

Epidemics and the global village.

The agitating Ebola emergency has captured headlines. There are some who undoubtedly assume that this kind of epidemic is unusual. However, localized epidemic disease has been a part of the biological system of the planet since the origin of life.

Questionable additive okay for toothpaste but not hand soap?

Starting in 2017, the state of Minnesota will ban the use of an antibacterial chemical in consumer products. Triclosan has been found in the waters and fish of the Great Lakes, and a number of health organizations in Canada are urging their government to ban the chemical as well.

Dash of salt does no harm. Extremes are the enemy.

Studies confirm that people who eat too much salt should eat less of it. The problem with the way we respond to such information, though, is that we often run too far and too fast in the other direction.

Asbestos is not just a historical problem.

The Scottish Government has led the way over the last decade in ensuring that people affected by exposure to asbestos receive financial compensation. But it would be so much better if fewer people needed compensation at all.

Winged Warnings: Built for survival, birds are in trouble from pole to pole.

Descendents of the dinosaurs, birds have penetrated nearly every ecosystem on Earth, pollinating, dispersing seeds, controlling bugs, cleaning up carrion. Birds are the planet’s superheroes, built for survival. But for all their powers, they are in trouble. First in a series.

Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima.

The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.

Going fair, whatever the cost.

Many young women in Myanmar dream of having whiter skin, and will go to many lengths to get it, despite the health risks.

A second and different Ebola outbreak hits Congo, the fifth infected African country.

In the last several weeks, a mysterious disease had reportedly riddled 592 victims with symptoms similar to Ebola, killing 70 of them. The WHO originally said the outbreak wasn’t related to Ebola. But that assessment, following the analysis of eight samples, now appears shaky.

Targeting quorum sensing could lead to evolution-proof antibiotics.

No matter how innovative the antibiotic, eventually, bacteria evolve to resist it. But a new study in cells suggests that by targeting certain bacterial networking behaviors, including the chemical communication known as quorum sensing, scientists might slow development of resistance.

Loom bands tested for containing harmful levels of toxins.

Batches of loombands, the popular plastic bands that can be weaved into bracelets and even clothing, are being tested in Wales over fears they carry dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.

Ebola: Research team says migrating fruit bats responsible for outbreak.

The largest-ever outbreak of Ebola was triggered by a toddler's chance contact with a single infected bat, a team of international researchers will reveal, after a major investigation of the origins of the deadly disease now ravaging Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

Drilling begins in Adelaide as authorities test for toxic contamination in southern suburbs.

A drilling and testing program will begin in the southern suburbs of Adelaide this week to test for toxic chemicals on populated land.