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FDA Bans Some, But Not All, Harmful Chemicals in Hand Sanitizers


Hand sanitizer

Following a two-year review of hand sanitizer ingredients, the FDA finalized a rule that bans the use of 28 harmful substances from these products. This regulation will only affect roughly 3% of sanitizers on the market, and the FDA has yet to ban three of the most common chemicals: benzalkonium chloride, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol, according to CNN. FDA officials said they would continue to seek information concerning those substances. “Our action today aims to help provide consumers with confidence that the over-the-counter hand sanitizers they’re using are safe and effective when they don’t have access to water to wash with soap,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a press release last ...

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Cities Fight to Lower Speed Limits on Deadly Roads


Lowering speed limits in Portland. Source: Twitter @andrewtheen

Speed—not speeding—is the most critical factor in the severity of a crash. However, due to state preemption of local authority, many cities can’t lower speed limits without lengthy state studies and procedures. Some cities, though, are still pushing to drop speeds, and uplift safety. Lower Speed Limits, Safer Roads Traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. In 2017, speeding accounted for more than one fourth of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Check out this interactive map of over 59,000 speeding fatalities between 2010 and 2015, thanks to the National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) and the Vision Zero Network. A 5 mph increase in the maximum speed limit was ...

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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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Pensacola Hiring First-Ever Complete Streets Transportation Planner


Florida street without crosswalk.

Florida leads the nation in the number of pedestrians killed while walking on the street. The state (25.6% Latino) had the highest Pedestrian Danger Index numbers, according to the latest Dangerous by Design report from Smart Growth America. In response, Grover Robinson, the mayor of Pensacola, announced that the city created a new staff position to increase the safety of city roads by advancing Complete Streets. This is another step in the city’s plans to make pedestrian safety a priority, following the Florida Department of Transportation updating their 30-year old Complete Streets policy in 2014. “The problem we have is that we’ve done such a good job at building streets, and building them for cars, and building them for cars to go fairly fast that they aren’t ...

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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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Twin Cities Transformation: Moving Vehicles to Moving People


Bike lane in Minneapolis Source Michael Andersen with PlacesForBikes

During rush hour, the eight-lane Mississippi River Bridge in Minnesota collapsed, killing 13 people, and injuring over 140 more on Aug. 1, 2007. This tragedy was a wake-up call for officials in the Minneapolis-St. Paul “Twin Cities.” They could not afford to build their way out of congestion or repair the state’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure. To achieve safe transportation improvements for a growing population, the Twin Cities’  Metropolitan (Met) Council began to transition away from policies that move vehicles to ones that move people. The evolution began by rethinking how to measure road performance, according to a case study of the Met Council by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Motivation to Change The bridge collapse highlighted ...

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4 Communities Leading the Way for Walking, Public Transit


Women loading bike onto rack on bus Source Omnitrans

Transit-rich, walkable communities strengthen the local economy, create opportunities for Latino and other vulnerable residents, and enhance community resilience. That’s why America Walks, a nonprofit organization, released four case studies sharing collaborative efforts to improve safety, walkability, and access to transit in four communities across the country. This is another effort in their Transit-Walkability Collaborative, which was established in 2017 by America Walks and eight other organizations. As part of the case study series, America Walks recognized: Nashville, Tennessee (10.4% Latino); Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (17.3%); Hartford, Connecticut (44.3%); and San Bernardino, California (64.3%). Two counties in particular offer valuable insights into inspiring ...

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EPA Bans ‘Lethal’ Chemical in Consumer, But Not Commercial, Paint Strippers


EPA ban paint stripper

For the first time in 30 years, the EPA has updated section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — moving to ban toxic chemicals in consumer paint-stripping products. The rule, released late last week, will prohibit online or retail sales of any paint stripping products containing these chemicals. Latino and environmental groups recently took legal action to spur the EPA toward action. Multiple groups, including Salud America!, informed the public about this issue. However, the EPA did not make final decisions on methylene chloride use in commercial paint removers. Nor did the agency address the use of alternative substances. Latinos, who face the most significant levels of chemical exposure through work, remain unprotected by the new ruling, some experts ...

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Social and Emotional Learning Leads to 64% Drop in Expulsions


A teacher at work with a class at Fall-Hamilton Elementary Source Edutopia

How can school leaders address early-life trauma among their students, improve academic and behavioral outcomes, and reduce harsh disciplinary action? Check out Nashville’s trauma-sensitive revolution. Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) (23% Latino) has spent the past six years integrating trauma-informed practices, such as social and emotional learning and restorative discipline, to help students feel supported and understood, Edutopia reports. They even hired a full-time trauma-informed coordinator. “Our ability to accelerate achievement in the future is dependent on meeting the social and emotional learning needs of our students,” MNPS Director of Schools Shawn Joseph told The Tennessean. “We expect it, and the students deserve it.” The Need to Address Trauma ...

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