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Josh McCormack

Digital Content Curator, Salud America! Josh McCormack joined Salud America! and its home base, the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health​ San Antonio, in February 2019. Graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in English Literature, he has previously worked in journalism and publishing. Josh enjoys reading; some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, Omar El Akkad and J.R.R. Tolkien.​


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Articles by Josh McCormack

Latinos Breathe More Unclean Air Because of White Consumption


unclean air pollution

It is a proven fact that people of color inhale more hazardous pollution than whites. Worse, the consumption of products that cause unclean air is coming from the community least affected by this kind of pollution — whites, according to recent research. Latinos, the group most impacted, will breathe 63% more contaminated air than what their consumption produces. “Even though minorities are contributing less to the overall problem of air pollution, they are affected by it more,” Jason Hill,  study co-author, University of Minnesota engineering professor, and who is also white, told USA Today. “Is it fair [that] I create more pollution, and somebody else is disproportionately affected by it?” Air quality detrimentally affects Latinos in childhood diabetes, lung ...

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Tell EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler: Protect Our Families from Mercury Pollution!


Mercury air pollution rule

The EPA is proposing new rules that would roll back regulations for mercury air pollution, which disproportionately endangers the Latino community. Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), established in 2012, aimed to drastically decrease toxins produced by coal-burning power plants from polluting the atmosphere. These protections have reportedly resulted in averting heart attacks, asthma complications, and premature deaths by the thousands. Experts say the proposed rollback by EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler could boost levels of mercury, soot, and other hazardous pollution in our air, water, food, and communities. Fortunately, you can speak up! Send This Email Now to EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler! Dear EPA Chief Wheeler, I support current Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which aim ...

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EPA Bans ‘Lethal’ Chemical in Consumer, But Not Commercial, Paint Strippers


EPA ban paint stripper

For the first time in 30 years, the EPA has updated section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — moving to ban toxic chemicals in consumer paint-stripping products. The rule, released late last week, will prohibit online or retail sales of any paint stripping products containing these chemicals. Latino and environmental groups recently took legal action to spur the EPA toward action. Multiple groups, including Salud America!, informed the public about this issue. However, the EPA did not make final decisions on methylene chloride use in commercial paint removers. Nor did the agency address the use of alternative substances. Latinos, who face the most significant levels of chemical exposure through work, remain unprotected by the new ruling, some experts ...

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Talc-Based, Potentially Cancerous Baby Powder Just Lost Johnson & Johnson $29 Million


Baby powder asbestos

A lawsuit that claims manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson’s powder products cause cancer resulted in the company facing a multimillion-dollar payout. The verdict, reached last week in Almeda County, California (22.5% Latino), was filed by Teresa Leavitt, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of tissue lining, in August 2017. Johnson & Johnson has known about and covered up potential dangers in their talc-based products since the 1970s, according to the New York Times. The company, however, disputes these claims. Talc-Based Products and Latinos In the 1990s, Johnson & Johnson executed a national marketing campaign that targeted Latino and African-American women in Baby Powder advertising. “Johnson’s Baby Powder has a high usage rate among African ...

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Over 100 Military Bases Face Dangerous Drinking Water Contamination


water contamination military

The U.S. Military is facing massive costs, criticism because of toxic substances polluting the drinking water of numerous bases where members of the armed forces and their families reside. So far, 106 bases have tested positive for per-and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) — chemicals found in firefighting foams that have been widely used by the military for years. The House Oversight and Reform environment subcommittee heard testimony last week from experts, witnesses who say contamination cleanup could cost billions of dollars. “[I felt] stabbed in the back,” Army Staff Sgt. Samuel Fortune told The New York Times. “We give our lives and our bodies for our country, and our government does not live up to their end of the deal.” Causes for Concern PFAS are connected to many ...

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Claire’s Beauty Products Recalled Due to Cancer-Causing Mineral Contamination


beauty care recall

Claire’s, the popular accessories store, has recalled three cosmetic items that the FDA reports contain asbestos, a mineral known to spur lethal cancers. While the company believes the FDA’s findings are inaccurate, they have rescinded eye shadow, compact powder, and contour powder products. Claire’s also gave customers the option of returning these items for a full refund. “Every day millions of Americans assume the cosmetics they use are safe, but unfortunately that is not always the case,” Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., who requested an investigation of these products, said in a statement. “The reality is that cosmetics are one of the least regulated consumer products on the market.” So how safe are beauty products, really, especially for Latinos? Latinos and ...

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Alarming Toxins in Children Connected to Noxious Furniture, Vinyl Floors


Children furniture safety

Homes that have vinyl flooring or certain kinds of furniture are now known to raise the levels of potentially harmful compounds in children, according to recently presented research. Flame retardant chemicals and cushioning in sofas raised children’s concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) six times in comparison to children not exposed to these chemicals. Worse, kids who live in homes with vinyl flooring showed concentration levels up to 15 times greater than their peers. “[These chemcials] are widely used in electronics, furniture, and building materials and can be detected in nearly all indoor environments,” said Heather Stapleton, a Duke professor and environmental chemist, who led the study. “Nonetheless, there has been little research on the ...

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Californians: Help Ban Nail-Care Products That Can Cause Pregnancy Complications


nail polish safety California

Regulators in California are taking steps to bar the use of chemicals found in cosmetic nail products linked to pregnancy concerns and respiratory problems. In February, the state (39.1% Latino) Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) proposed deeming toluene-based products under “priority” status, which requires manufacturers to phase out or find alternatives to brands containing the substance. Latinos, who already face chemical exposure in the workplace, in the foods they buy, and in other products on the market, should be aware of other potential risk. The DTSC is currently taking online public comments on toluene-based, nail-care items. UPDATE: The DTSC has extended the public comment period until April 1, 2019! Submit a Comment for Safe Nail Products! Here’s ...

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Tell FDA: We Need Safe Sunscreen


Sunscreen Chemicals FDA Safe

Chemicals found in reportedly 65% of over-the-counter sunscreens could be causing significant health and environmental concerns. Oxybenzone, one of the chemicals in sunscreen, allegedly caused the death of coral reefs and harmed human skin and hormones, according to the Environmental Working Group (EGW). Doctors have OK’d the use of sunscreen to protect against skin cancer, which is rising among Latinos, but debate rages over the consequences of oxybenzone exposure. The FDA wants your opinion on its proposed a new rule in the Federal Register that could ban the use of harmful additives in sunscreen by May 28, 2019! How to Submit a Comment for Safe Sunscreen! Copy the Salud America! model comment below (and add a personal story) I must be able to trust sunscreen ...

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