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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

Washington governor weighs tenfold increase in cancer risk for fish eaters.

How much risk of cancer from eating fish is too much? Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has privately advanced a proposal that would likely pass legal muster but that worries Indian tribes and environmentalists. It would allow a tenfold increase in allowable cancer risk under the law.

China seeks solution to providing clean drinking water supplies.

Large colonies of micro-organisms - some capable of causing serious disease - have been discovered inside pipelines carrying drinking water to homes in most major mainland cities.

China's coal boom is slowing — that's a huge deal for climate change.

How much global warming will we get in the future? That largely depends on how much extra carbon-dioxide humans put in the atmosphere. And that — in large part — hinges on how much coal China ends up burning in the years ahead.

Studies: Links between fracking and smog pollution stronger than state claims.

New research suggests that pollution from fracking contributes a much larger share of Dallas-Fort Worth's smog problem than state officials have said.

OSHA could restart effort to update chemical exposure limits.

In an apparent effort to kickstart agency action on updating permissible exposure limits for hundreds of chemicals, OSHA asked the White House April 15 to approve a request to gather information on ways to address chemical exposure.

As opposition grows, China defends plans for petrochemical plants.

China has launched an intense media campaign to defend the safety of producing a chemical used to make polyester fiber, as public opposition to new petrochemical plants threatens to disrupt expansion plans by state energy giants such as Sinopec Corp.

Triclosan aids nasal invasions by staph.

Sneezing out antimicrobial snot may sound like a superpower, but it actually could be a handicap. Microbiologist Blaise Boles and colleagues swabbed the noses of 90 adults and found that having triclosan-containing snot could double a person’s likelihood of carrying staph. The microbes may have adapted to triclosan.

Gene increases meat-eaters' cancer risk.

One in three people carry a gene that significantly raises the risk of developing bowel cancer from eating processed meat, new research shows.

Scientists: Mercury found in game fish from remote lakes, streams of Western states.

Federal scientists have found high amounts of mercury in sport fish caught in remote areas of national parks in the West and Alaska, according to a study released Thursday.

Swiss building provides a refuge for the hypersensitive.

No smoking, no perfume, no cellphones - the list of rules at a newly opened apartment building on the outskirts of Zurich is long. The structure has been purpose-built for people who say exposure to everyday products such as perfume, hand lotion and wireless devices makes them so sick they cannot function.

Prominent scientist welcomes soil pollution report.

A report on soil pollution in China, released by two government ministries this week, will help the quality of the country’s environment by ensuring that the issue is no longer a “state secret,” a prominent soil scientist, Chen Nengchang, has said.

Bikers, walkers make for healthier cities, report finds.

Levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are lower in cities where a higher percentage of commuters bicycle or walk to work, and cities where drivers get used to sharing the road with bikers and walkers generally have lower rates of pedestrian and bike fatalities.

E-cigarette sellers take a page from Big Tobacco.

Just when smoking has finally lost its glamour, along come electronic cigarettes and an avalanche of sexy new ads that promote "vaping."

E-cigarettes can help end smoking.

We should not forget that, according to the surgeon general, nearly 6 million children will die early from tobacco cigarette smoking if present trends continue. E-cigarettes are capable of disrupting those trends, allowing our children to grow up in a world without combustion smoking.

Is Big Tobacco’s value proposition going up in smoke?

Big Tobacco has done a good job in recent years of compensating for tougher regulations and falling sales in key industrial markets by slashing costs, putting greater emphasis on the less developed world’s nicotine addicts, and venturing into areas with potentially high margins like electronic cigarettes. But the cracks in its business model are widening.

China's babies at risk from soot, smog.

China’s smoke-belching coal plants and heavy traffic may be signs of a bustling economy but health experts fear the country’s dirty air is hurting its babies. Evidence is mounting that coal and car emissions in China, as well as other developing countries, are raising the risks of premature babies, low birth weights and neural tube defects. Scientists say that the dangers begin in the womb.

One year after Texas disaster, report looks at schools located near chemical facilities.

A new study released Wednesday finds there are almost 10,000 schools across the country located within a mile of a chemical facility.

Measuring Africa’s air pollution.

When Jenny Linden, an air quality scientist, tried to measure the pollution in Burkina Faso’s capital city, one of her instruments clogged up. It was designed for road dust in Arizona, but the dust in Ouagadougou far exceeded the machine’s limit.

US Supreme Court could make it harder for victims of hazardous pollutants to get justice.

Later this month, the Supreme Court will consider whether a federal environmental law should override a North Carolina state law that cuts off a company's liability 10 years after its last contaminating act. The decision could have big implications for corporate America.

Toxicology: The plastics puzzle.

When toxicologists warned that the plastics ingredient BPA might be harmful, consumers clamoured for something new. But problems persist.

Estimated radiation doses of Fukushima returnees withheld for half a year.

The government withheld findings on estimated radiation exposure for Fukushima returnees for six months, even though levels exceeded the long-term target of 1 millisievert a year at more than half of surveyed locations.

Gaslight Era left radioactive legacy in Chicago.

Nobody kept track of where the radioactive sand from Lindsay Light Co. ended up. But today, developers and street crews confront the company's toxic legacy every time they dig foundations for hotels and high-rise condominiums that have made Streeterville a magnet for upscale living and tourism.

Cycling to work in London smog 'could do more harm than good.'

Londoners cycling to work on high pollution days may be doing themselves far more harm than good, Europe's environment commissioner warned today.

Kitchens could be sources of drug-resistant bacteria.

Cutting boards used to prepare raw poultry may be an important source of drug-resistant bacteria in hospital kitchens and private homes, according to a new study.

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain.

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain – evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.

Pollution's racial divides.

For every three gulps of nitrogen pollution that a white American inhales, a compatriot of color sucks down four. New findings of injustices associated with nitrogen dioxide pollution have painted racial environmental inequality in vivid statistical detail.

Britons face increased risk of sunburn over Easter because of hole in ozone layer.

A recently-formed ozone hole over the UK is allowing high levels of potentially harmful ultraviolet rays to travel through the atmosphere, increasing the risk of fair skin being burned. Britons will have to be more careful than ever in the coming days of strong sunshine.

Games host Glasgow shown to have worst life expectancy in UK.

As the countdown to the Commonwealth Games begins, figures reveal that the city hosting the world's elite athletes has the worst life expectancy rates in Britain.

One in four baby boys in Glasgow won’t live to 65.

A quarter of boys born in Glasgow between 2010 and 2012 will not live to see their 65th birthday, according to research which shows the city has the lowest life expectancy in Britain.

Malaysia reports first Asian death from MERS virus.

A Malaysian man who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has become the first death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome, while the Philippines has isolated a health worker who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.