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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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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