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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

Heart experts warn of air pollution dangers.

Air pollution should be one of the avoidable heart risk factors – just like smoking and excess fat – that doctors warn patients to steer clear of, according to a new statement from 20 heart experts.

Washington D.C. expands do-not-drink advisory; tests reveal petroleum.

D.C. Water expanded the boundaries of a do-not-drink advisory that closed three schools and left residents in part of two neighborhoods without drinkable water for more than 24 hours. Officials also said that some tests came back positive for petroleum in the water there.

Drug pollution risk 'a global responsibility.'

Rich countries should help poorer countries deal with the risk posed by pharmaceutical contamination of the environment, says an Australian expert, following the release of a study – the first to compare the risk of pollution from drugs in high-income and lower-income countries around the world.

Money and time will be needed to clean up an old chemical plant buried in St. Louis, Michigan.

There are a lot of former industrial sites in Michigan that need to be cleaned up, but the Velsicol Superfund sites in St. Louis, Michigan are unusual in their size and in the amount of nasty chemicals lurking in the ground where people live, work and play.

Air pollution exposure in pregnancy linked to autism in study.

Women who are exposed to high levels of air pollution during their third trimester of pregnancy may be twice as likely to have an autistic child, a study found.

Legacy pollution forces Michigan town to look for new drinking water supply.

About 10 years ago, a weird chemical started showing up in the drinking water in St. Louis, Michigan. It was a byproduct of DDT. The insecticide is now banned in the U.S., but DDT was manufactured in St. Louis for 20 years. Now, the city is working to get a new source of drinking water.

Aviation fuel settlement may help phase out lingering source of lead pollution.

Under the settlement, companies that sell or distribute leaded aviation gasoline must sell the lowest lead fuel that is commercially available in sufficient quantities, and warn the public about the danger of lead exposure through signs posted at airports and notices sent to nearby residences.

Airline pilots face sunbed levels of UV radiation in cockpits.

Airline pilots often boast enviable tans, but it may not be from the exotic locations that they travel between, but from spending too much time in the cockpit, research suggests.

Prop plane pilots exposed to tanning-bed radiation levels.

Flying for an hour at 30,000 feet exposes pilots to as much ultraviolet radiation as they would get from 20 minutes in a tanning bed, according to a new study.

The debilitating outbreak sweeping the Americas.

Its name means "bending over in pain." It has no treatment or vaccine. Its symptoms resemble Dengue fever. And it has infected more than 1 million people – 155 of them fatally – since spreading to the Americas one year ago.

Officials finish sweep of federal labs, find handful of misplaced microbes.

Investigators poring through thousands of government labs turned up another two dozen potentially dangerous biological materials that were not properly accounted for, including the toxin ricin and a deadly form of avian flu, during a far-reaching inventory this fall.

Nigeria: Rise in chronic diseases associated with fertilisers, pesticides, preservatives, plastics, crude oil production.

Medical experts have again associated the rising cases of degenerative diseases to the increase in household chemicals and plastics, and the use of fertilisers, pesticides and preservatives in farming and food production and storage.

Federal prosecutors charge 14 in deadly meningitis outbreak.

A co-owner of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy and its supervising pharmacist were indicted on federal charges Wednesday in connection with a multistate meningitis outbreak that killed dozens of patients who had received tainted steroids from the company in 2012.

Crowdsourcing to uncover toxic chemicals.

Because industrial chemical use is minimally regulated, a lab at Duke University is offering free analyses of furniture for potentially hazardous compounds.

Drug-resistant malaria: World's next big health crisis?

Experts say the recent case of Ka Lar Nar could be an indication of drug resistance to malaria, which has been spreading in Myanmar and other countries in the Mekong River basin in what threatens to become the next big global health emergency if it marches on to India and Africa.

Industry's mercury challenge could undermine attack on EPA climate rule.

If coal companies get their way when the Supreme Court reviews U.S. EPA's air standards for mercury and other hazardous emissions, they could undermine their primary legal challenge to another landmark pollution rule: President Obama's greenhouse gas limits for power plants.

Families flee out-of-control natural-gas leak at eastern Ohio fracking well.

About 25 families in eastern Ohio have been unable to live in their houses for the past three days because of a natural-gas leak at a fracking well that crews cannot stop.

Is fracking polluting the air?

Toxic air pollution from fracking causes a wide spectrum of health problems for Americans across the country, an environmental group charged in a report released Tuesday.

NSW Government should buy and demolish 5,300 homes with Mr Fluffy insulation: Report.

More than 5,300 New South Wales homes may be riddled with deadly Mr Fluffy asbestos insulation and the state government should demolish and buy affected properties, a parliamentary report has found.

Eilers on Superfund list.

It's official. The Eilers neighborhood, a mixed-use area near the Arkansas River and Pueblo’s central business district, has officially been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

Inside Beijing's airpocalypse – a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution.

Beijing’s air quality has long been a cause of concern, but the effects of its extreme levels of pollution on daily life can now be seen in physical changes to the architecture of the city.

'Super bacteria' found in Rio's Olympic waters.

A drug-resistant "super bacteria" normally found in hospitals and notoriously difficult to treat have been discovered in the waters where Rio de Janeiro's Olympic sailing events will be held, scientists said Monday.

Detroit residents complain of health effects of breathing in toxics.

According to a 2014 Public Policy Poll, more than three in five DTE customers say they support replacing the state’s coal burning power plants with renewable energy sources and are also very concerned about asthma attacks and other potential health problems from coal-burning power plants.

In Navajo country, coal gives life - and takes it, some say.

Nobody knows whether the power plants are making people sick, but their presence continues to divide tribal members. Some residents blame particulates from Four Corners for high rates of asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis.

A plan to limit cars in Paris collides with French politics.

When the mayor here detailed plans to ban diesel and other vehicles from the center of Paris by 2020, she framed the measures as a public health imperative in a country that has grown increasingly worried about the quality of its air.

Growing use in US, EU of systematic review for safety analyses targets different issues.

Research and regulatory agencies in North America and Europe are increasing their use of systematic review, but they are applying the strategies to different targets.

Kingman, Arizona, ‘downwinders’ seek recognition from US decades after atomic tests.

Despite data showing that Kingman, like the rest of the southern portion of Mohave County, was exposed to double the amount of radiation recorded in other Arizona counties, the health risks are yet to be acknowledged by the federal government.

South Korea cancer victims bring class action against nuclear operator.

A group of South Korean thyroid cancer patients living near nuclear plants have filed the country's first class action suit against the operator, after an October court ruling in favor of a plaintiff claiming a link between radiation and the cancer.

Klity Creek's neglected toxic lead legacy.

To this day, residents of lower Klity Creek continue to be exposed to toxic lead — as they have for decades. Thailand's environmental authorities have studied Klity Creek since 1998. They have repeatedly found high levels of lead. Yet, the main response to these studies has been to do more tests.

MCHM toxic in pregnant rats, new study finds.

MCHM, the coal-cleaning chemical that contaminated the Kanawha Valley’s water supply in January, is toxic in large doses in pregnant rats, according to a new, preliminary study from the National Institutes of Health.