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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

#SaludTues Tweetchat 6/11: Air Quality and Pollution


Air Quality and Pollution Chat

Air quality impacts a lot more than what you might think. Noxious gasses and fumes contaminate the atmosphere every day, and the problem is getting worse — especially for Latinos and other minorities. Current government policies are also making the problem worse through roll-back initiatives. This year, the EPA is taking steps to reduce air pollution rules. These regulation reductions would give companies more room to emit higher levels of harmful substances. If enacted, those policies could expose more Americans to harm, causing greater long-term health impacts. Let’s use #SaludTues on Twitter on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, to discuss why our air quality is so important and what everyone can do to make a difference in this issue: WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Air ...

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Is Roadway Air Pollution Slowing Your Child’s Brain Development?


Roadway Air Pollution CORONAVIRUS

Childhood brain development is a sensitive process, and researchers now say air pollution from highways and streets could harm or hinder that progression. Worse, kids who live close to major roadways can face significant adverse effects from the air, according to a recently published study in Environmental Research. The data showed that these children scored lower on communications tests as well as other cognitive functions. This is alarming data for Latinos, who are already exposed to greater levels of air pollution. What Does the Study Show? Researchers collected data from 5,800 children (5.8% Latino) living throughout New York state (19.2% Latino). They excluded New York City (29.1% Latino) from their study group. They began gathering prenatal levels of particulate matter ...

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You’ll No Longer Find Asbestos in Products in New Jersey


New Jersey Asbestos Ban

Once, asbestos was a major health concern — it exposed millions of Americans to harmful toxins through construction materials, home insulation, and talcum powder-based items. Now, despite a reduction in its reach and impact over the years, the mineral is making headlines again. EPA rollbacks and discoveries of asbestos in consumer products have brought asbestos back on the minds of citizens and lawmakers. New Jersey (20.4% Latino) state legislators took steps to protect their constituents through bill A 4416, which bans the sale or distribution of products containing asbestos. “There is absolutely no reason why any New Jerseyans should be at risk of asbestos exposure,” state assembly member Lisa Swain told TAPinto. “While the current Administration in Washington may be ...

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Toledo Mom Fights for Clean Drinking Water for Her Own, All Children


Toledo Safe Water Action

Crystal Jankowski ran the faucet in her hospital room for 12 hours straight the day she gave birth — all in hopes that the tap water would come out clean for Amelia, her newborn girl. Just days before her delivery in August 2014, the city of Toledo, Ohio (8.3% Latino) told residents not to drink the municipal water. High levels of health-threatening toxins contaminated the public water supply sourced from Lake Erie. Jankowski, a Toledo-native, wanted to do something for her two children and all kids. So, she became an organizer for Toledoans for Safe Water (TSW), a group with an idea for a controversial Lake Erie Bill of Rights to enable residents to sue lake polluters. “When you fight for clean water you are fighting for people of the reservations, you’re fighting for ...

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What’s that Weird Smell on Your Airplane Flight?


airplane scents harm

Fragrance sprays are used to diffuse scents across the country in public bathrooms, office buildings, private residences, and now airline carriers. While in-flight air fresheners can reduce strong smells, they also can trigger problematic side effects in people who are sensitive to certain chemicals found in those products. Individuals who undergo symptoms from fragrance exposure could be experiencing Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). Worse, those who are TILTed could experience a range of health effects during their flights now that more planes will use air fresheners. “Fragrances are to varying degrees toxic, and they are in fact one of the biggest triggers of irritability, mental confusion, and difficulties with concentration or learning,” writes Dr. Claudia ...

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Apple Promises to Think Different about Hazardous Chemicals in Products


Apple chemicals of concern

One of America’s largest corporations is reassessing the way they handle potentially health-harming substances in their products. Last month, Apple released its “Environmental Responsibility Report,” which provides insights into their overall climate-conscious. Specifically, the report illustrates the ways Apple is changing their mindset and practices concerning hazardous substances — something they hope will change the way the electronics industry functions as a whole. “Prioritizing potentially problematic chemical substances is key to effectively focusing green chemistry efforts in electronics manufacturing,” Apple writes in their 2018 Chemicals of Concern report. “Existing scientific tools and policy frameworks, however, do not provide immediately applicable and ...

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Harmful Water Contamination Present in Nearly All U.S. States


PFAS contamination 43 states

Researchers now estimate that 19 million Americans face dangerous chemical exposure from the water coming from their sinks and faucets. Over 600 public water systems, military bases, airports, industrial plants, and other sites contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination. Worse, this is a wide-spread problem affecting people in 43 states, according to new research from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “The Environmental Protection Agency has utterly failed to address PFAS with the seriousness this crisis demands, leaving local communities and states to grapple with a complex problem rooted in the failure of the federal chemical regulatory system,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group. Findings of EWG’s Report The study’s ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 5/21/19: Clean Water Justice and Access



Did you know millions of Americans struggle to access clean water every day? Pollution and chemical contamination has impacted the drinking water of U.S. soldiers, public school students, and families who can lack the ability to purchase and use water filtration tools. Moreover, currently proposed pieces of legislation could make that problem much worse. The EPA hopes to roll back clean water protections, and by doing so, giving companies loopholes to dump hazardous material into our sources of water. This kind of pollution harm our country’s rivers, lakes, and groundwater supplies. Let’s use #SaludTues on Twitter on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, to tweet relevant information about current issues in clean water access and what is being done to solve the problem: ...

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Tell EPA: Close the Water Pollution Loophole!


EPA groundwater loophole

In another move to reduce clean water protections, the EPA plans to enact another ruling that will make it easier for companies to remove hazardous waste through dumping. This proposed directive would limit the protections of our rivers and lakes by allowing a loophole with greater flexibility for corporations to eliminate toxic waste by polluting the groundwater, according to Clean Water Action. This plan follows in the footsteps of the agency’s recently proposed “Dirty Water Rule,” and is part of a seemingly wide-reaching effort to reduce environmental protection efforts. The EPA wants your opinion on this proposed rule by June 7, 2019! Email a Comment Now for Clean Water! Dear EPA Office of Wastewater Management, Access to clean water should be a foremost ...

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