Environmental Health

Category archives for Environmental Health

With so many threats to public health arising each month, it can be hard to catch all of them. The Union of Concerned Scientists has performed a tremendous service by producing the report Sidelining Science from Day One: How the Trump Administration Has Harmed Public Health and Safety in Its First Six Months.

Last year’s emergency Zika funding is about to run out and there’s no new money in the pipeline. It’s emblematic of the kind of short-term, reactive policymaking that public health officials have been warning us about for years. Now, as we head into summer, public health again faces a dangerous, highly complex threat along with an enormous funding gap.

When you ask public health advocates about President Trump’s recent budget proposal, you typically get a bewildered pause. Public health people don’t like to exaggerate — they follow the science, they stay calm, they face off against dangerous threats on a regular basis. Exaggerating doesn’t help contain diseases, it only makes it harder. So it’s concerning when you hear words like this about Trump’s budget: “devastating,” “not serious,” “ludicrous,” “unfathomable.”

Last week, researchers officially opened enrollment in the nation’s first decades-long study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer health — an effort they hope will transform our understanding of the health challenges LGBTQ people face and begin narrowing a giant data gap on their physical, mental and social well-being.

Community groups, labor applaud new California refinery safety protections

Environmental justice and labor groups in California were relentless in their demand to make refineries safer. Their years of effort paid off with an announcement last week by the state of new refinery safety regulations.

A Zika attack rate of just 1 percent across the six states most at risk for the mosquito-borne disease could result in $1.2 billion in medical costs and lost productivity, a new study finds. That’s more than the $1.1 billion in emergency Zika funding that Congress approved last year after months of delay and which is expected to run out this summer.

A historical look at the ‘radium girls’ and their legacy of worker justice; OSHA’s website for receiving injury and illness logs not accepting submissions; California farmworkers sickened by pesticide after Trump’s EPA reverses course on a probable ban; and former Walmart employees file class-action lawsuit for pregnancy discrimination.

Right now, according to public health officials, about half a million U.S. kids have blood lead levels that could harm their health. However, new research finds many more children — hundreds of thousands more — are likely going unidentified.

Public health is in trouble.

The House of Representatives has passed two bills that, if they clear the Senate and are signed by President Trump, will make it much harder for EPA to do the important work of analyzing, warning about, and regulating health threats in the environment.