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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

US revisiting 'broken' workplace chemicals regulation process.

The U.S. government will soon begin receiving public suggestions on how federal regulators should update their oversight of toxic chemicals in the workplace.

S.F. Fire Department joins study into breast cancer risks.

When San Francisco firefighters rush out the firehouse doors,they put their lives on the line in more ways than one. In responding to roughly 28,000 fire calls a year, firefighters are routinely exposed to flame retardants, diesel exhaust and other toxic chemicals.

Pollution choking China's inbound tourism industry.

China's inbound tourism market is still struggling to bounce back in the midst of rising concerns about issues such as air pollution, according to a new report from the China Tourism Academy.

'That stuff can get you so fast' - deadly gas on the rise in Texas oil fields.

Living with "sour gas" is an old story in West Texas, but it's beginning to happen in more oil-producing regions as the boom in onshore drilling pushes oil production into new places.

Republicans would target EPA power plant, ozone, water rules if Senate changes hands.

With fall elections just two weeks away, Republicans may be on the verge of wresting control of the Senate from Democrats who have blocked efforts to roll back environmental rules on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, ozone and expanded Clean Water Act jurisdiction over U.S. waterways.

US public is jittery over possible Ebola exposure.

A wave of fear over Ebola that has prompted schools to close, a university to delay a speech by a West African journalist and flight crew to reportedly panic over a sick passenger could have a damaging impact across the U.S. if it escalates, public-health experts say.

Living with a smoker is dangerous, study finds.

Sharing a home with a smoker is the equivalent of living in a heavily polluted city and could cause long-term respiratory illness and heart disease, research suggests.

Komen is supposed to be curing breast cancer. So why is its pink ribbon on so many carcinogenic products?

The hard truth is that we cannot end the breast cancer epidemic by teaming up with corporations whose toxic practices are fueling it.

Texas fights air-quality standards because lower ozone levels can kill people.

Here's the good news: Dallas-Fort Worth ozone levels for the first this year dropped below the federal standard of 84 parts per billion. The bad news: the 84-ppb standard the area has just now met for the first time is from 1997.

Swearing off lead shot and its deadly legacy.

We crouched by the slough, shotguns forgotten, our heads tipped skyward as the two pintails spiraled in, wings locked, through the morning fog. The birds touched down, fluffed their feathers and began to swim toward our hiding spot.

How soon we forget: Mine safety in West Virginia.

West Virginia lawmakers seem to like to avoid taking stronger action on important public health and safety issues is to put off much-needed reforms until someone does a study or a report on the issue.

Will the US go to "war" against Ebola?

The ease with which non-medical authorities seem to be falling into a familiar war on terror-style response to the disease should be examined – and quickly. If it becomes the default template for Ebola and the country ends up marching down the road to "war" against a disease, matters could be made so much worse.

Loaded with lead: How gun ranges poison workers and shooters.

The youngsters knew their sport could be dangerous, even deadly. But for the junior team at the Vancouver, Washington, Rifle and Pistol Club, the peril that emerged from their sport didn’t come from a stray bullet. It came from lead (Part 3 of 3).

Inside the Ebola wars.

As Ebola enters a deepening relationship with the human species, the question of how it is mutating has significance for every person on earth.

The malaria fighter.

Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, head of the strikingly successful President’s Malaria Initiative, has been quietly fighting the disease, cutting yearly malaria deaths to about 600,000 from one million.

Plastic found in cleaning products could be destroying your sex life.

Chemicals found in food packaging, cleaning products and shower curtains could be lowering women’s sex drives, scientists have said.

Coal seam gas, or clean drinking water. It can’t be both.

There are few things more fundamental to our health and wellbeing than access to clean air and water. Australia is lucky enough to have some of the highest quality drinking water in the world, due in no small part to the protection of our drinking water catchments.

Toxic dirt dumped in Ontario’s prime farmland.

Toronto’s construction boom is unearthing massive volumes of soil contaminated with dangerous heavy metals and petroleum, but it’s nearly impossible to know where the dirt is going because Ontario doesn’t track it.

State studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents.

Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants.

Ebola: Is bushmeat behind the outbreak?

Bushmeat is believed to be the origin of the current Ebola outbreak. The first victim's family hunted bats, which carry the virus. Could the practice of eating bushmeat, which is popular across Africa, be responsible for the current crisis?

Deep sea bugs inspire new method of destroying pollutants.

A researcher at the University of Manchester has spent 15 years studying deep sea microbes which use the vitamin B12 to reduce the toxicity of polychlorinated biphenyals (PCBs), dioxins and other dangerous substances.

Detroit groups discuss water shutoffs with UN experts.

Advocacy groups and Detroit residents testified Sunday about city water shutoffs as United Nations human rights experts arrived to observe the impact on low-income residents.

West Nile cases surging in California, Bay Area.

In the midst of a historic drought, public health officials are searching for clues as to why cases of West Nile virus have exploded statewide since last year, making this season the worst for human infections in California since 2005.

Dozens declared free of Ebola risk in Texas.

At least one chapter of the Ebola saga neared a close Sunday, as most of the dozens of people who had direct or indirect contact here with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola, had been told by officials that they were no longer at risk of contracting the disease.

Cuba’s impressive role on Ebola.

Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus. The contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated.

To battle sugar, New York doesn’t need a big-soda ban.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ran on promises to steer the city away from many of the policies and priorities of Michael Bloomberg, has been wise to embrace his predecessor’s strong commitment to public health.

The Ebola scare.

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it, but I did: While flying from D.C. to Dallas last week, just after the news came out that an Ebola-infected nurse had been allowed to fly while running a fever, I went back and read the opening pages of Stephen King’s “The Stand.”

Loaded with lead: How gun ranges poison workers and shooters (Part 2 of 3).

An invisible assailant had invaded the bodies of Manny Romo, a 34-year-old ironworker, and his two kids, attacking their bones, brains and nerves. They were contaminated with lead. And it came from an unexpected place. Romo brought lead home from his construction work at a gun range, unwittingly poisoning his daughter, Serenity. Part 2 of 3.

Humble spud poised to launch a world food revolution.

Here, on one of the Netherlands’ northernmost islands, windswept Texel, surrounded by encroaching ocean and salt marshes that seep sea water under its dykes and into ditches and canals, an enterprising farmer has taken the radical step of embracing salt water instead of fighting to keep it out. And now he thinks he might just help feed the world.

Study seeks to track asbestos legacy in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

Although the last asbestos factory in Ambler closed decades ago, the piles of asbestos waste have remained in what are now two Superfund sites. Now researchers are studying those in the community and their risk for mesothelioma.