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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

5 Vaccine Truths Latino Mom and Dads Need to Know


Vaccine Safety

This week, the CDC announced 555 confirmed measles cases so far this year in the U.S. — a 50% increase from last year’s total numbers. This is a result of anti-vaccination, or more commonly anti-vax, sentiments, which have been on the rise amongst American parents — despite bodies of research that dispute the claims made by anti-vax views. The facts surrounding vaccinations have been muddied because of online misinformation campaigns. In a case where two sides are at odds, it is best to ask a few questions: What are the facts? Who is presenting the information? Are those facts and presenters trustworthy? So, here are the key questions, and truths, concerning vaccinations. 1. Where Do Vaccinations Originate? In 18th Century Europe, smallpox killed roughly ...

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Houston, You Have a Chemical Fire Problem


Houston petrochemical fire

Last month, a massive cloud of black smoke covered Houston (44.5% Latino), subjecting its residents to noxious fumes and harmful pollution exposure. The fire, which burned for three days, began after an explosion at the petrochemical storage facility Intercontinental Terminals Co. While air quality was determined to be moderately safe by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in the days following the explosion, Houstonians could face long-term impacts from the chemicals released into the atmosphere. "I've seen ash fall out — black pieces of ash," Jorge Guerra, who lives three miles from the site, told CBS News. “I’ve seen it on my cars, I've seen it on the front porch on the sidewalk. Does that scare you? It does, it does. What scares me more is what we don't ...

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New Jersey: 5 Companies Responsible for Contamination Cleanup 


New Jersey PFAS

Five companies now must shell out millions of dollars to clean up hazardous chemical contamination in water and other sources throughout New Jersey (20.4% Latino). The directive comes straight from the state Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and impacts five major corporations: Solvay, DuPont, Dow DuPont, Chemours, and 3M. The companies’ money will go toward the removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a manufactured, dangerous substance. “Citing near daily findings of dangerous chemicals in New Jersey’s air, land, and water, the Department of Environmental Protection is identifying five companies it says are responsible for the extensive contamination and directing them to fund millions of dollars in assessment and cleanup efforts,” NJDEP ...

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Target Aims to Simplify Clean, Healthy Shopping


Target clean label

In an effort to promote customer wellness and company transiency, Target retailers will add “clean” labeling to all products without commonly known harmful chemicals. This is another phase of the corporation’s “chemical goals,” or its plan to reduce customer exposure to hazardous substances in products on the shelves. Consumers strongly desire for transparency in their merchandise, said Christina Hennington, Target’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager of essentials, beauty, hardlines, and services. “Our guests are increasingly interested in better-for-you products, and by introducing Target Clean, we’re able to help them identify products that meet their needs and save time,” Hennington said in a statement. Latinos, who face chemical ...

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Plastic in Breast Implants Linked to Cancer Development


Breast implant issues

Last month, the FDA and health experts met to review renewed safety concerns about long-term side effects─even cancer─caused by breast augmentation. Women across the U.S. have spoken up about health complications that they believe were caused by their breast implants. Health professionals, too, are concerned about the growing number of people affected. Latinas get implants more than any other minority group. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research in Washington, D.C., analyzed past breast augmentation studies and spoke at the FDA’s conference on her findings. “Implants are not so innocent as presented,” Dr. Howard Amital, an Israeli rheumatologist who has studied this issue, told the New York Times. “There is a reason for concern. There ...

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Kids Face Risk of Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water in Schools



Children across the U.S. acquire and education through public school — they also receive lead exposure, according to new research. At least 22 states failed to protect students from water contamination, according to a study conducted by the Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Worse, only two of the 32 tested states received a B rating. Not one state made an A. Schools in states with large Latino populations also fared poorly. “It's concerning,” Julie Ma, a mother in Boston (19.4% Latino) who prepares water bottles for her kids every day, told CBS. “I really would like to get the lead out of the water supply as fast as possible for the students ... Many schools don't even know if they have it and haven't been able to make those ...

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Tell EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler: Keep Our Waters Clean!


EPA clean water act

The EPA recently proposed a revision of its Waters of the United States rule that intends to roll back clean water initiatives. The change─the so-called Trump “Dirty Water Rule”─could reduce the number of rivers and lakes regulated under the Clean Water Act. It would also result in 18% of streams and 51% of wetlands to no longer fall under the EPA’s protection, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to polluted water, according to The U.S. Geological Survey. Water poverty, or a lack of a toilet, tub, shower, or running water, affects nearly 1.6 million Americans, according to U.S. census data. Latinos already face chemical exposure in water at home and on military bases. EPA wants your public comment on its proposed clean water rollback! Email EPA Chief Andrew ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 4/9: Harmful Chemicals in Consumer Products


Children furniture safety

Did you know many everyday products in your house contain harmful chemicals? Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Claire’s, and Monsanto are all currently facing backlash over chemicals in their baby, cosmetic, and gardening products — which have reportedly caused severe health issues, such as cancer. Many people are urging stricter chemical regulation. But as government officials and companies grapple with product regulation, these chemicals cause intolerance and other health side effects that drastically impact the lives of consumers and commercial laborers. These health inequities can affect Latinos, who work with these products more frequently than other demographics. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, to share relevant information about how to ...

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Stories Spurring on Systemic Shifts: Salud America!’s 10-Year, Steadfast Strive


BigGive3

Latinos on the U.S.-Mexico border struggle with debilitating illnesses for years, but often lack proper healthcare because of socioeconomic, accessibility, or other inequalities. Dr. Amelie Ramirez grew up seeing these disparities in South Texas. She was driving to pursue a public health education and tirelessly toil to establish projects that assist the underprivileged. Perhaps Ramirez’s most innovative project, Salud America! has worked since 2007 to create a wide-reaching library of resources and actions, which greatly impact the personal and public health mindset of advocates, schools, and policymakers. Salud America! content is vital to advance the well-being of Latinos, Ramirez said. “The health inequities Latinos face was then, and continues to be, something to ...

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