Cumulative Environmental Impacts of COVID in King County and Washington

Today, one of the analyses we conducted last year was published. The analysis explored overlapping environmental risk factors with COVID-19 during the pandemic situation in the summer of 2020 in King County. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01063-y The findings in this new paper complement those from a previous analyses that we did, which modeled the spatial factors associated with…

Information provided to Oregon Occupational Health Division for Rulemaking to Protect Workers from Wildfire Smoke

In March of 2020, Oregon Governor, Brown issued an executive order to develop a proposal for standards to protect Oregonian workers from excessive heat and wildfire smoke. Oregon recognized the the smoke fom wildfires is a health hazard, and that worker exposures, including to workers who may be more vulnerable to smoke exposures, such as…

Washington Labor and Industries Emergency Protection Rule for Wildfire Smoke: Why the Activity Level of Outdoor Workers Puts Them At Risk

The major wildfire smoke episode in September 2020 highlighted the need to protect workers from the potential health effects of breathing poor air quality. While the general public was warned that the level of PM2.5 air pollution was unhealthy, and to avoid exposure, no federal, state or local policies exist in Washington to prevent worker…

Community-to-Community Training on Air Sensors

Thanks to our partners at Casa Familiar in San Ysidro and San Diego State University in California for hosting a community-to-commuity training today on air quality sensors. This was the second in a series of workshops on establishing community air sensor networks. This particular workshop started off with opening remarks by Idalia Perez of US…

Washington State Passes the HEAL Act – A Win For Procedural Environmental Justice

Building off the PhD work that Esther Min conducted with environmental justice stakeholders, I participated in the mapping subgroup of the Governor’s Environmental Justice Task Force, which resulted in a synthesis of information and recommendations for the state to inact policies and procedures that would engage communities and agencies, and provide data on environmental health…

NIEHS, let’s be anti-racist

Yesterday, I joined a meeting of the NIEHS Centers with NIEHS leadership to discuss “Antiracism: Motivating Action with Accountability”. It was a brief, but useful conversation on ways in which NIEHS and its affiliated centers across the country are working towards recognition of systemetic racism, identifying the spheres of influence they have to break down…

Washington state passes Cap-and-Trade policy, uses the Environmental Health Disparities Map

The Washington state legislature passed SB 5126 – the Washington Climate Commitment Act – which addresses climate change and its adverse impacts on environmental and human health. The new act: Creates a cap-and-trade program to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets already established under RCW 70A.45.020, reaching by year 2050, a reduction in emissions to…

New paper estimating the deaths due to the September 2020 wildfire smoke in Washington State

This week, our group published a new paper analyzing the increase in PM2.5 concentrations in Washington State due to a major wildfire smoke event that occured in September 2020. PM2.5 concentrations increased by an average of 97.1 μg/m3. Using a concentration response function method, we estimated potentially 92 excess deaths due to the wildfire smoke.…

Front & Centered: “Our View from the Frontlines: What are the Gaps Between Policy and Practice?” 3-part video series

Congratulations to our friends at Front & Centered, who hosted a powerful 3-part web series “Our View from the Frontlines: What are the Gaps Between Policy and Practice?“ Panels of community and public health experts shared their experiences with the COVID pandemic, providing powerful insights on the inequties in health care access, jobs, and health…

Thank you note from WA Attorney General, Bob Ferguson

I’m well-conditioned to freak out when I receive a letter from an attorney! But today, I received a pleasant surprise, a thank you letter from the WA Attorney General, thanking me for participating in the recent WA EJ Symposium. It was my pleasure, really. More importantly, the letter mentioned communties disproportionately impacted by structural racism,…