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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

Experts Say Climate Crisis Heat Will Make Many Urban Areas Unlivable


heat index Climate change

From New England to the Southwest, Americans are sweating through their shirts as cities across the country experience record-high temperatures. More importantly, the gauge of how hot a place feels, the heat index, has also been on the rise. The National Weather Service has sent numerous warnings to many areas, cautioning of "prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures and high humidity." Meteorologists attribute this latest heatwave to atmospheric shifts. Worse, experts and researchers say the heatwave is only one part of the broader climate crisis problem — one that could lead to nearly 300 cities becoming uninhabitable. "Think about the most extreme summer heat you've ever experienced in your lifetime. That will become a typical summer day by the middle of this ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 8/20/19: Vaccination Access and Awareness


Vaccination acces and awareness

Vaccinations are safe and protect the public from illness outbreaks. Worse, vaccination hesitancy has been on the rise in America — as have the illnesses which those treatments prevent. Measles, for example, is on the rise. This issue stems from anti-vaccination misinformation, which has spread through the internet like wildfire. This kind of information has led parents to question and, in many cases, not use this life-saving medicine. Let’s use #SaludTues on Twitter on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, to discuss vaccinations and why they are so important for public health: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Vaccination Access and Awareness” TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. ET (Noon-1 p.m. CT), Tuesday, August 20, 2019 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues ...

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1,505 Salud America! Network Members Urge for Better Climate Science!


2040 Climate Change USGS

Since taking office, the Trump administration has made numerous moves that reduce the government’s role in combating climate change – including scientific research. In April, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) announced it would no longer project climate change’s long-term impacts. This means a reduction in our understanding of the issue's full scope could occur as a result. In response, 1,505 members of the Salud America! network sent USGS Director James Reilly a message: Do not limit climate science by limiting the data researchers collect. Other individuals and groups also spoke out against this decision. A coalition of 20 Senators— including Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein—sent Reilly a letter that shorter projections would make it harder to gauge and ...

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30% of Gulf War Veterans Still Experience Harmful Nervous System Illness


Gulf War Illness

In August 1990, former President George H.W. Bush began Operation Desert Storm in response to the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait. More than 650,000 U.S. military personnel would join the Gulf War over the next year before this Middle Eastern conflict formally ended on July 31, 1991. Sadly, Gulf War illness continues to affect 30% of those veterans today, decades later. While there is a limited understanding of this sickness, researchers are making strides to discover how to help affected soldiers, according to Jorge M. Serrador, an associate professor at Rutgers Medical School and a scientist at the New Jersey War Related Illness and Injury Study Center. "Although it's been more than 25 years since the conflict, we still do not understand the underlying cause of these ...

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Building for Holistic Health: Indoor Air Quality


building indoor air quality

Most Latinos and Americans spend the majority of their time inside of homes, offices, restaurants, movie theaters, and other buildings. The indoor air quality in these spaces might not cross most people’s mind. However, researchers say the air inside buildings can billow into a significant health concern because poor air quality can lead to numerous short- and long-term complications — headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory diseases, Toxicant‐Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT), and even cancer. “It is important to be aware of your environment,” Dr. Claudia Miller, an environmental health professor and leader of the Hoffman TILT program at UT Health San Antonio, writes. “This is especially important for indoor air, as most people spend 90% of their time ...

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Is Your Fashion Making You Sick?


disperse dyes clothing sickness

Like many large-scale manufactured products in today’s society, the shirts, sweaters, and pants found on the racks contain harmful chemicals – some of which can cause breakouts and rashes. One primary health concern, allergic contact dermatitis, forms on one’s body when their skin comes in contact with harmful substances. Worse, it can have a delayed effect, and now researchers suggest that consumers wash all newly-purchased clothing before wearing. “What’s maddening for the consumer is that you buy a shirt that says ‘100% cotton,’ and yet you’re given no information about any of the chemicals or additives that have been used,” David Andrews, a senior scientist who has investigated chemicals in clothing with the Environmental Working Group, told TIME. What ...

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UPDATE: States Sue EPA Over Chemical Linked to Brain Damage in Children


chlorpyrifos ban EPA

UPDATE: August 8, 2019 Six states filed lawsuits against the EPA over chlorpyrifos—a pesticide that is linked to numerous and life-threatening effects—yesterday. Researchers have connected this form of chemical exposure to the development of cognitive, physical complications, according to The Hill.  The states, which include California (39.3% Latino), New York (19.2%), Massachusetts (12.3%), Washington (12.9%), Maryland (10.4%), and Vermont (2%), say the chemical is too dangerous to be on the market. “Parents shouldn’t have to question whether everyday fruits and vegetables will poison their children,” California Attorney General Becerra said in a press release. “The EPA is egregiously sacrificing our children’s health by refusing to make a determination on this ...

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Is Bad Building Design Giving You a Headache (Literally)?


VOCs TILT

We already know that artificial lighting and thermal comfort can influence health. Worse, these aspects of building design, such as indoor air quality, can trigger Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) — when chemical exposure brings about fatigue, headaches, and other ailments. Moving in the direction of wellness-centered architecture could have long-lasting impacts on public health and reduction of TILT, according to Dr. Claudia Miller, an environmental health professor and leader of the Hoffman TILT program at UT Health San Antonio. “Although buildings are where we spend more than 90% of our time, strategies to promote the health and well-being of the occupants are not always a major consideration during design,” Miller told the American Institute of Architects ...

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Building for Holistic Health: Thermal Comfort


Thermal Comfort holistic health

Some people like to keep their indoor temperature at a balanced 70 degrees; others feel most contented when in colder or warmer rooms. Either way, medical and construction experts know that thermal comfort can make significant impacts on health and energy use. Some internal bodily reactions, including mental function and eyesight, can react to the temperature that is present. Thermal comfort is definitely not something to overlook, according to CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). “The perception of thermal comfort is related to one’s metabolic heat production,” the agency states. “Heat transfer from the body to the environment is influenced by factors such as temperature, humidity, air movement, personal activities, and ...

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