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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

Building for Holistic Health: Natural and Artificial Lighting


Natural light health

Many people spend up to 90% of their time indoors, whether at the office, in a restaurant, or at home. The way architects, designers, and construction workers erect these buildings can impact human health — including the way light is disbursed. Medical professionals and those in charge of building these structures need to collaborate to create a culture of holistic health. Natural and artificial lighting make significant impacts on people’s sleep cycle, skin, and eyes, according to the European Union’s Scientific Committee. “There is a concern that the emission levels of some lamps could be harmful for the skin and the eyes,” the group states. “Both natural and artificial light can also disrupt the human body clock and the hormonal system, and this can cause health ...

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Unregulated Water Wells are Exposing People to Harmful Bacteria


Unregulated Water ChangeLabs

Roughly 40 million Americans, or 12% of the population, are drinking federally unregulated water. The problem? These sources can contain harmful bacteria and chemicals, which can unknowingly infect those drinking from that water, according to ChangeLab Solutions. Latinos, who already struggle to access clean water, should be aware of the risks unregulated water pose. “Ensuring safe drinking water for all US residents is a crucial component of creating healthy, equitable communities across the nation,” ChangeLab writes. “These residents are more likely to be exposed to harmful bacteria or unsafe levels of nitrates and arsenic, which can lead to inequities and serious health consequences for families and entire communities.” What are the Risks? Jacqueline MacDonald ...

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Report: Chemical Exposure Might Harm Men’s Sperm Count, Reproductive Health


Men Sperm Plastics

Fertility rates in the U.S. are at an unusually low point — globally, research suggests that over the past 50 years, sperm counts have dropped by 50%. Environmental exposures in the home are harming men’s reproductive health and sperm counts, in addition to causing asthma attacks, allergic reactions, and Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT), researchers say. Digesting microplastics─specifically diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153), and bisphenol A (BPA)─showed notable effects on DNA fragmentation and sperm motility in various testing on male dogs and humans. “[This data is an] indicator that there is something very wrong in our modern environment or lifestyle,” Dr. Hagai Levine, head of the environmental health track at the Hebrew ...

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Trump’s EPA Gives ‘Dirty Power’ a Boost with Green Energy Rollbacks


"Dirty Power" Rule EPA Trump

From air contamination to water pollution, current white house officials are taking sizable steps to reduce the government’s role in environmental protection. Now the EPA implemented new rules that rescind Obama-era green energy regulations set on the coal industry—a promise the President made on the campaign trail. These rules cut initiatives to reduce America’s emissions levels and allow plants to operate longer hours, according to the New York Times. Andrew Wheeler, Chief the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and a former coal lobbyist, said his agency implemented the rollback to correct the previous administration’s overreach in climate change issues. Still, many researchers and advocates oppose the new rule for “dirty power.” “No matter how you ...

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What Hidden Chemicals Lurk in Your Food?


PFAS food packaging

From popcorn bags to pizza boxes, firefighting chemicals—that link to cancer development—contaminate food packages and seep into food. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination is a wide-spread problem. Researchers have discovered their presence in products, water, and food. They are also severely impacting the U.S. military and families. Now PFAS in food packaging is an emerging threat, according to a recent report. “Since the chemicals can migrate into food, and contaminate landfills and compost after disposal, the use of PFAS to treat food packaging can lead to unnecessary long-term exposure to harmful chemicals," according to "Take Out Toxics: PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging” by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Toxic-Free Future, and Mind the ...

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Salud America! Network Speaks Up for Safe Sunscreen!


Sunscreen FDA Rule

In February, the FDA announced its plan to review sunscreen product chemicals, many of which can harm people and the environment. The agency spent the past five months seeking public opinion on its plans, and 19,256 people and groups─including members of Salud America!’s network─submitted comments with a clear message: Ensure our sunscreen is safe! Still, the FDA has made only 1,577 comments available to the public. Of the listed messages, 345 came from Salud America! advocates, for 21.8% of all comments! Are There Serious Risks? Research on sunscreen has shown that certain chemicals, such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene, can enter a user’s bloodstream and cause potential harm. These substances have also caused environmental damage to coral reefs. Still, ...

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Roundup Aims to Find Toxic Weedkiller Alternatives with $5.6 Billion Investment


Bayer Chemicals Research

Roundup manufacturer, Bayer, has faced countless lawsuits over their products’ toxic link to cancer development — now, they’ve begun a $5.6 billion research project to find safer alternatives. The company announced this 10-year plan last week, urging they have heard consumer concerns and vow to make concrete changes going forward. The statement comes as Bayer fights over 13,000 court cases and large payouts to families who claim they got cancer from exposure to Roundup. “We are now starting to implement a series of measures to drive transparency and sustainability across our business,” Bayer’s CEO, Werner Baumann, said in a statement. Plans for the Future The company aims to find safe alternatives to harmful chemicals, such as glyphosate, and promote honesty, ...

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Salud America! Network Sends 2,028 Emails to Protect Groundwater!


Pollution Groundwater

As part of their more significant trend of weakening environmental rules, the EPA announced a reduction in groundwater protections on April 15. Yet, 24,088 people and organizations submitted a public comment to the agency — including 2,028 emails, about 10% of all comments, from SaludAmerica! network members. Many of these statements urge government officials to rethink the act of allowing corporations more flexibility to eliminate toxic waste by polluting groundwater. Other groups, such as Clean Water Action, also sent data and expert opinion to show how EPA’s plans could continue to harm our waters and climate. "This is a reckless departure from past practice and agency precedent. It’s a senseless handout to polluting industries, at the expense of our water and health," ...

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Report: 35 U.S. Communities Could be Under Water Soon


Climate change floods

The impacts of climate change will significantly affect the lives of Latinos and all Americans — including drowning their cities. By 2100, 35 towns and cities in the U.S. could experience such extreme flooding that those places could become inhabitable, according to an in-depth news report published in USA Today from 24/7 Wallstreet. Latinos, who make up between 23% to 67.7% of the population in 10 of these areas, face substantial risks if climate-change trends continue. “The steady rise in global surface temperatures is largely attributed to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions,” writes report authors Michael B. Sauter and Thomas C. Frohlich. “With rising temperatures, the world’s ice has been melting and sea levels have been rising. As a result, barring major ...

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