Environmental & Public Health Leadership Stories

Nail salons offering “manis” and “pedis” have become a booming business in the United States, setting up shop on seemingly every corner and approaching $8 billion in annual sales. “You have numerous chemicals being mixed, new products coming out all the time, limited available data on health effects and weak accountability for the manufacturers,” says 2008 Fellow Thu Quach, who is a research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and research director for Asian Health Services. “That would make it difficult for the workers to protect themselves even if there weren’t language barriers.” She is part of a grassroots effort that empowers low-wage, Vietnamese immigrant-dominated nail salon workers to fight for healthier conditions.Read more >
Before routine childhood vaccinations large numbers of people used to contract diseases like TB and polio with often devastating consequences. Now vaccinations are standardized and have virtually eradicated many of the health problems that used to run rife through populations. However, there is one problem. Despite a concerted effort on the part of health workers and decent supply of vaccinations, power issues in emerging regions often means these vaccinations - which require refrigeration - get spoiled. This is where ColdTrace from Nexleaf Analytics offers a solution.Read more >
Why is Isella Ramirez’s environmental justice work so personal? She grew up in Commerce and, while she expresses her love for her community, she also knows first-hand what it is like living in a toxic environment. Situated in the midst of a major transportation hub, Isella, her 6-year old...Read more >
Switzer Fellows Evan Hansen and Mike Wilson testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works about how we might prevent chemical threats and improve safety at facilities across the country.Read more >
Most likely the items in your home or office came from overseas. Today's report focuses on the question how those products got to you, and what is the impact on the environment and workers?Read more >
Low-income neighborhoods are more often exposed to poor environmental quality when compared to wealthier communities, and scientists are saying this gap will increase as climate change is more widely felt.Read more >
Los Angeles, California, is one of the biggest transportation in the world, but that has major health implications for residents. Exposure to diesel fumes has an impact on everyone, and Switzer Fellow Scott Fruin documents those effects, especially on children.Read more >
It is estimated that shipping produces 4 to 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions. In most cases, these ships are powered by diesel fuel. On today's report we learn about an innovative California technology aimed at reducing this pollution. 2007 Switzer Fellow Francisco Donez is an...Read more >
How can hospitals improve the food everyone eats? Kendra Klein is a 2011 Switzer Fellow working at the intersection of public health and sustainable agri-food systems. In this video she explains what hospitals can do to advance the agenda of healthy food and sustainable food production systems for...Read more >
Amy Clipp gave a webinar for us that offered ideas for bridging the gap between science and policy, with a particular focus on helping scientists apply their work in complex, political environments. Her stories are based on lessons learned advising the State of Louisiana on its 2012 Coastal Master Plan.Read more >

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