Health
California Pollution Mapping Program Could Be a Model for the Nation

California Pollution Mapping Program Could Be a Model for the Nation

California is a leader when it comes to both controlling air pollution and giving the public the power to know where it still exists, Reuters reports.  The California Air Resources Board’s “Pollution Mapping Tool” provides the public with access to emissions data for toxic air pollutants, major chemical air pollution, and greenhouse gases from large industrial facilities.

Why This Matters:  If you can see it, you can change it.  By mapping these neighborhoods and showing pollution levels in real-time, the injustices faced by minorities are hard to overlook or explain away.

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Can An App Predict The Next Pandemic?

Can An App Predict The Next Pandemic?

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer

There are about 1.7 million viruses that afflict mammals and birds, and about half of them could potentially infect humans, just like COVID-19, SARS, HIV, and Ebola. But a team of researchers at UC Davis are attempting to help prevent another pandemic from disrupting the world, by creating an app called SpillOver.

Why this Matters:  The scientists creating the app believe that by creating a prioritized watchlist of viruses, we can better have improved detection and thus reduce the risk of disease transmission and maybe even preemptively develop vaccines, therapeutics, and public education campaigns for the viruses that pose the greatest risk.

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Pesticides Are Prevalent and Poisonous

Pesticides Are Prevalent and Poisonous

Pesticides are harmful to insects and other wildlife — including humans. The first real accounting of pesticide poisoning since 1990 found that: 

Why This Matters: We’ve been relying on old data about farmworkers’ exposure to pesticides for the past 30 years, and thus the full picture of the harmful impact of these products on people has been underappreciated.

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63 Organizations Sign Letter to Biden, Protect Wildlife to Prevent Pandemics

63 Organizations Sign Letter to Biden, Protect Wildlife to Prevent Pandemics

A coalition of 63 health, wildlife, and environmental organizations has written a letter urging the Biden administration to adopt policies to combat the increased threat of zoonotic disease spillover into human populations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say that human population expansion and increased interactions with wildlife, present increased chances for future pandemics as well.

Why This Matters: According to the World Health Organization, there are over 200 known zoonoses, diseases that have jumped from non-human animals to humans.

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PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

PFAS in Protective Gear Put Firefighters at Risk of Cancer 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has required PFAS, cancer-causing chemicals used in manufacturing, in firefighting gear for years despite cancer being the leading killer of firefighters. An extensive investigative two-part story by E&E News’ Ariel Wittenberg reveals not only the dangers of current equipment standards but the lengths the NFPA has gone to hide them.

Why This Matters: A study of 30,000 firefighters from 2010 to 2015 found that firefighters have an increased risk of many different cancers including: leukemia, malignant mesothelioma, bladder and prostate cancers, lung cancer, brain cancer, and digestive and oral cancers.

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WHO Nixes “Lab Created” COVID-19 Theory

WHO Nixes “Lab Created” COVID-19 Theory

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer World Health Organization expert Dr. Peter Ben Embarek revealed this week that the organization’s team of researchers have found two scenarios that could have transferred COVID-19 to humans. He acknowledges that COVID-19 could have been transmitted through frozen products at the Wuhan fish market, but the most likely scenario […]

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