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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

Texas drilling brings health complaints, but little enforcement.

In the last two years, the Texas Commission Commission on Environmental Quality has received more than 400 complaints related to air quality that residents believed resulted from drilling in the Barnett and Eagle Ford shales.

Antibodies vs bacteria: Making resistance futile.

Jan Kemper's laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is part of a new front in the ancient war between man and microbe. The antibodies Kemper’s cells produce are designed to attack bacteria, and thus back up conventional antibiotics, some of which are failing in the face of rising resistance.

'Little Things Matter' exposes big threat to children's brains.

A new seven-minute project, "Little Things Matter," draws on emerging scientific evidence that even mild exposures to common contaminants can derail normal brain development -- lowering IQs and raising risks of behavioral conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

The stoves used by millions in developing countries are a silent killer.

As many as 4 million people in developing countries die every year from illnesses caused by smoke and other pollutants that fill their homes every time they fire up the stove to cook a meal for their families.

Obesity 'costing same as smoking.'

The worldwide cost of obesity is about the same as smoking or armed conflict and greater than both alcoholism and climate change, research has suggested.

Triclosan linked to liver damage, cancer in mice.

The antimicrobial agent triclosan - widely found in soaps, toothpastes, detergents and other cleansers beloved by germophobes, may promote scarring of the liver and the growth of cancerous liver tumors, says a new study.

Probing Ebola's deadly inflammatory effect.

New research suggests that the massive and destructive inflammation that characterizes Ebola virus disease may be caused by the release of foreign proteins from infected cells.

Facing not only diabetes, but the stigma that can come along with it.

It’s a frustrating reality for people with Type 2 diabetes — they often receive more criticism than understanding, and they’re treated as though their incurable condition is essentially self-inflicted.

Study: air pollution may contribute to obesity.

Science has long known that air pollution from cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust is linked to poor health outcomes, like heart disease and asthma. But recent study findings suggest exposure to air pollution may be contributing to obesity, too.

Obesity rivals smoking and war among self-inflicted health risks.

Among the self-inflicted health risks plaguing the world, obesity now rivals smoking and armed conflict as a leading cause of death, a global research group reported Thursday.

29 million Americans have diabetes — but a quarter of them don’t realize it.

Year after year, diabetes exacts a massive human and economic toll. The risk of death for adults with diabetes is 50 percent higher than it is for adults without the disease, according to the CDC.

What experts in diabetes are saying about education and prevention.

What does diabetes cost all of us? It’s the number one cause of adult blindness, number one cause of kidney failure, number one cause of amputation, and a huge contributor to heart attack and stroke.


No one talks much about toxic Superfund sites anymore. But 49 million Americans live close to one.

More than Ebola, other tropical diseases pose growing threat to US.

Ebola isn't the tropical disease that's most likely to cause health problems in the United States – not by a long shot. A handful of other tropical diseases pose much more realistic threats. And they're spread by insects, which can't be quarantined.

Additive found in soap, toothpaste, shampoo linked to cancer and liver disease.

Triclosan, an additive found in many liquid hand soaps and other common household products, has been linked to cancer in a new study.

Viruses as a cure.

When we talk about viruses, usually we focus on the suffering caused by Ebola, influenza and the like. But our bodies are home to trillions of viruses, and new research hints that some of them may actually be keeping us healthy.

Scientists substitute mice for humans, but new research shows just how similar we are.

Researchers found that the systems that control gene activity are largely the same between mice and men. But the places where genes differ may help scientists explain the limitations of some studies that use mice.

Obesity epidemic costs world $2 trillion a year, study says.

The global obesity epidemic is costing the world economy $2 trillion a year in health-care costs, investments to mitigate its impact and lost productivity, according to a new study published Wednesday by the McKinsey Global Institute.

Australia's asthma rate one of the world's highest.

Australians suffer more from asthma than almost any other people in the world, a new report has found. Even people living in countries known for pollution problems such as China are less affected by the potentially deadly condition, but why remains a mystery.

Heart infection rates rise after antibiotic use cut.

Rates of a deadly heart infection have increased after guidelines advised against giving antibiotics to prevent it in patients at risk, research shows.

UN calls for end to open defecation.

The UN called on Wednesday for an end to defecation in the open, with fears growing that it has helped spread the deadly Ebola virus ravaging west Africa.

Cut air pollution to save 29k lives, UK told.

The European Court of Justice said that in 2010, Britain exceeded the limit for nitrogen dioxide in 40 of 43 areas.

Cost of obesity 'greater than war, violence and terrorism.'

Britain spends £6 billion a year on the medical costs of conditions related to obesity and a further £10 billion on diabetes.

Six months after Ebola appeared, Sierra Leone still lacks beds for patients.

While resources were committed and progress occurred in some parts of West Africa, the disease crept toward Sierra Leone's largest city.

COPD is similar to asthma but much more lethal: experts.

High levels of air pollution has given way to rise in the number of people suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which is a life-threatening lung disease.

State AG says he'll sue Hanford to protect workers from harmful vapors.

Washington plans to sue the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to protect workers from hazardous vapors at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the nation’s most polluted nuclear site, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday.

Cigarettes more deadly than extra pounds, doctors say.

The fear of piling on the pounds stops many people from quitting smoking. But now scientists have found a silver lining: Even if a person does become a little heavier after kicking the habit, the extra weight won't decrease their life expectancy, a study found.

Where US pesticide policy needs to improve.

Pesticide regulation is overseen by three agencies: The FDA, the USDA, and the Environmental Protection Agency. So, just where are the agencies failing?

Dozens treated after California waste plant fire.

A mysterious chemical mixture burst into flames at a Ventura County, California, waste facility on Tuesday, sending dozens to hospitals for decontamination and emptying homes and businesses for a mile around the plant before the danger eased, authorities said.

Respiratory illnesses in city spike with pollution.

Rising air pollution in Chennai, India, is making more people sick with respiratory illnesses, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, say experts.