Find Out Your Community’s Environmental Justice Score


Neighborhood

Wonder how much the environment is impacting health in your city? Use the CDC’s newest tool – the Environmental Justice Index (EJI) – to get a single environmental justice score for your community. The EJI measures the cumulative impacts of environmental burden through the lens of human health and health equity. It uses data from the CDC, U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. CDC officials hope public health officials use the EJI score to identify and map areas most at risk for the health impacts of environmental burden. “Social factors such as poverty, race, and ethnicity, along with pre-existing health conditions may increase these [environmental] impacts,” according to the CDC. “This ...

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Go into Bars, Clubs to Enroll Smokers in Quit-Smoking Services?!


Direct outreach in bars and clubs for quit smoking service 2

In the bar or club, it's easy to find people smoking and drinking. What would happen if health workers walked into these venues to ask cigarette smokers — face to face — to join a quit-smoking service on their phone? To find out, UT Health San Antonio researchers and an ad agency trained "street teams" to go into bars and clubs in San Antonio, Texas, to talk to patrons about joining Quitxt, a bilingual service that uses text messages to help young Latino adults quit smoking. Street teams talked with 3,923 people and enrolled 335 to Quitxt over 10 days in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted work, according to a new study in the journal JMIR Formative Research. "Direct outreach in bars and clubs is a useful method for connecting young adult cigarette smokers with ...

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Heat Waves Make Climate Change Hot Topic Among Latinos


latinos working in heat

More than 50 million people in the US are under excessive heat warnings, and more than 25 major cities have tied or broken record-high temperatures this year, according to NPR. Heat waves are nothing new, but they are becoming increasingly more common and more severe because of climate change, which is a threat to public health, especially for Latinos. In fact, about 702 heat-related deaths occur each year due to heat stroke and related diseases. “Hot weather is associated with an increase in heat-related illnesses, including cardiovascular and respiratory complications, renal failure, electrolyte imbalance, kidney stones, negative impacts on fetal health, and preterm birth,” the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) stated. “Specifically, death rates are noted ...

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More Cities Are Banning Smoking in Apartment Units


no smoking in apartments in riverside and vallejo california multifamily secondhand smoke

Two more cities have prohibited smoking inside apartment units. On April 26, 2022, Riverside, Calif., city leaders preliminarily approved a ban on smoking in multifamily-housing rental complexes, including individual apartment homes and attached balconies and patios. Latino tenants helped drive the measure. On May 10, 2022, Vallejo, Calif., city leaders banned smoking in multi-unit residences. Bans like these—to reduce exposure to harmful secondhand smoke among apartment and condo tenants—are on the rise. "Upon adoption, Riverside would join at least 167 California cities and counties that have enacted ordinances to restrict smoking in multifamily housing complexes, said Karina Funez, advocacy policy manager for the American Lung Association in California, which has been ...

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Join the Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action!


Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action from Campaign for Tobacco free kids no smoking

How can you stand up to the tobacco industry? On April 1, you can participate in Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action! Take Down Tobacco, a fresh take on Kick Butts Day, is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ signature platform for empowering people to speak out against the tobacco industry. You can: Raise awareness of the problem of tobacco use Encourage youth to pledge reject the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing and stay tobacco-free Urge leaders to take action to protect kids from tobacco Watch a "roast" of Big Tobacco Plan events or social media with #TakeDownTobacco The team behind Salud America! is working to help young adults quit smoking with Quitxt, our free English or Spanish text-message service that turns your phone into a personal ...

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Latino Congressional Leaders Call for Methane Reform 


Latino Congressional Methane Reform 

Methane gas emissions have been on the rise over the past 15 years, according to recent numbers published by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.   Methane can deprive the body of oxygen and cause fatigue, dizziness, convulsions, and even death.   What makes this especially bad news is that 1.81 million Latino Americans live within a half-mile of an oil and gas well, which raises their risk of methane exposure.  This is why 16 members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten its rules on methane emissions.  “[U]nder the current proposal, operators that calculate lower potential emissions (less than 3 tons per year of methane) could still escape regular leak monitoring. This is problematic ...

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How State and Local Leaders Can Build on the American Rescue Plan to Implement the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act


American Rescue Plan Implement the $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

In November 2021, Congress passed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to rebuild roads, expand access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet, and tackle climate change — with priority investments in Latino and other often left-behind communities. Although this bill adds new money to fix some transportation problems, it pours hundreds of billions into the same old highway programs that perpetuate those problems, like auto-dependence and dangerous roads. “Today’s transportation system works extraordinarily well for its original intended purpose, to build a national highway system, but fails to meet the climate, economic recovery, equity, and safety challenges of the present day,” according to the National Association of City ...

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Get Help Quitting Smoking for the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18!


quitxt for youtube great american smokeout quit smoking

You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with Day 1. On Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, you can join thousands of people who will begin their smoke-free journey with the Great American Smokeout. This annual event from the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to make a plan to stop smoking. Need help? Enroll in Quitxt, a free English or Spanish text-message service that turns your phone into a personal “quit smoking” coach from UT Health San Antonio. To join Quitxt, text “iquit” (for English) or “lodejo” (for Spanish) to 844-332-2058. “For the Great American Smokeout, we’re excited to share Quitxt to provide real-time help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, handling stress, and much more, all on your phone,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, ...

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Report: The Relationship between Climate Change and Health Equity


Climate change

Climate change is an ongoing environmental dilemma that threatens the health of all people. Yet, research has shown that certain groups, such as Latinos and other people of color, immigrants, those with a lower socio-economic status, and vulnerable occupational groups are most likely to suffer longer and more severely from climate change. “The effects of climate change add to other longstanding differences among people that result in different health outcomes for communities in the United States,” reported the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. What Is Climate Change? Climate change is defined as a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. Long-term alterations in temperature or the typical weather patterns of a certain location can lead to ...

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