Water Bottle Filling Stations a Big Win for Kentucky Students


water bottle filling school latino girl

Kentucky (3% Latino) has become the first state to require water bottle filling stations for all newly constructed schools and school remodel projects, according to a Voices for Healthy Kids report. The new rule, signed into law by the governor on April 9, 2019, requires at least two water bottle filling stations per new school. It also requires one water bottle filling station or drinking water fountain for every 75 students projected to attend the new school, as well as regular maintenance of both stations and fountains. "More than 650,000 Kentucky public school students will have better access to hydration," according to Voices for Healthy Kids. Kentucky Water Quality Water bottle filling stations increase the amount of water students are drinking, providing equitable access ...

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EPA Receives Over 450,000 Clean Air Comments


Mercury air pollution

In another attempt to roll back environmental protections, the EPA is proposing to revise the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS). However, the agency received a total 473,714 comments that provide insights and opinions that largely urge against their proposed plans; 231 members of the Salud America! network also sent an email to EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler pressing for clean air quality. A large portion of these comments focuses on the EPA’s recent de-regulatory efforts, and their refusal to make policy decisions based on scientific findings or relevant data, according to The Pump Handle. Last month, a coalition of 21 attorneys general filled comments that oppose the proposed rule as well as issuing a press release that rebukes recent environmental rollbacks. “EPA blinds ...

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Roughly 25% of Air Freshener Ingredients are Toxic to Your Health


Air freshener toxins

Fragrances can make a home go from smelling objectionable to welcoming — they can also cause severe health concerns in sensitive individuals. Researchers studied the substances found in these products for years, and their results communicate a serious message: Air fresheners have the potential to trigger bodily reactions such as respiratory problems, migraine headaches, and asthma attacks. Their largest concern? The data showed that about a quarter of the ingredients in these products are toxic. These chemicals also can trigger Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) in those exposed. “Fragranced consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and personal care products, are a primary source of indoor air pollutants and personal exposure,” writes Dr. Anne ...

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Salud America! Network Sends 2,367 Emails for Clean Water


Clean water action

Over the past two months, Latinos and all Americans have spoken out against the EPA’s proposal to reduce the waters that are protected by the agency. Of the 577,212 public comments submitted, 2,367 members of the Salud America! network sent EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler an email. These messages urged Wheeler’s organization to not follow through with their plan to revise the definitions of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), or more commonly the “dirty water rule.” The EPA is reviewing the messages, but thousands of miles of rivers, lakes, and wetlands could be put in danger of pollution if the EPA enacts this rule. Risks Involved The landmark Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 as part of an effort to reduce widespread pollution. Greater requirements were added to ...

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USDA Flooded with Comments Against Proposed SNAP Cuts



Nearly 30,000 public comments, including some from Salud America!, were submitted on Trump’s proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would strip benefits from as many as 750,000 Americans. The public comment period ended on April 2, 2019. We asked our network members to submit statements that will go to protect Latino and all families. Over 1,500 people visited our model comments web page in February, March, and April 2019. "The comments make it clear that most Americans not only oppose but are utterly repulsed by this plan to punish the poorest among us by denying them help to feed themselves," Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group said in a statement. In New York City (28% Latino) ...

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15 Examples of Health Involvement in Complete Streets


Cyclist riding the green bicycle lane

The safety of roads and sidewalks impacts everyone. Although Complete Streets initiatives are traditionally led by a transportation or public works sector, the public health organizations have played a role in communities across the country. A new report from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Health Research and Policy provides key strategies from public health agencies, advocates, and practitioners in 15 U.S. jurisdictions who have engaged in Complete Streets-related initiatives in their communities. Why Complete Streets? Complete Streets initiatives aim to create more equitable transportation systems by providing affordable, convenient, and accessible modes of mobility for all users. This includes individuals who rely on walking, biking, and public transit as their ...

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Report: Housing Costs Significantly Can Impact Health Care


Family on home porch steps affordable housing

Access to affordable housing can provide numerous benefits to renters and buyers, including leading healthier lives. A new survey from the affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners establishes the connection between homes and wellness. It also goes to show that rent-burdened Americans suffer through potentially damaging delays in medical care due to their limited budget. The report discovered more than 50% of renters had delayed medical care because they could not afford it. Moreover, 100% of medical professionals surveyed said their patients had expressed concerns about affordable housing. How Does Housing Impact Health? Survey's like Enterprise's go to show how nonprofit, governmental housing groups are beginning to view housing and health as ...

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Military Families Face Danger — From the Homes They’re Provided


Toxic military homes

The relatives of American soldiers encounter harmful daily exposure from environmental issues found in the housing they’re provided with by the U.S. Government, reports show. Black mold, plumbing problems, poor water quality, and other concerns are among the harms to which service members, their spouses, and children are exposed. These complications originate from low-quality construction, according to Military Times. The Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) conducted an online survey seeking feedback on the state of military housing in January. Shannon Razsadin, MFAN’s executive director, said the results were alarming. “Some are dealing with major long-term implications, and while things probably can’t be made right for them, we do hope that moving forward, ...

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Latina Environmentalist Dedicates Life to Saving the Planet for her Familia


Seguinot-Medina PBDE ACAT

At the end of her life, Samarys Seguinot-Medina hopes to say she made the world a safer place to live for the children in her family. Seguinot-Medina has known two personal truths since she was young: Nature, as well as humanity, are worth fighting for; and there are countless issues to battle — causing her to devote her time, career to promoting environmental justice and chemical safety. That is why, for almost 10 years, Seguinot-Medina and her colleagues at Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) worked to ban hazardous flame-retardant chemicals, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in Alaska (8.9% Latino). Those efforts eventually resulted in passing Assembly Ordinance 2019-15(S), or the Toxic Free Children Ordinance, an Anchorage-wide ban of products containing those ...

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