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,…

WA Department of Health Panel — Reimagining public health: Current and future challenges

I had the pleasure of participanting as a panelist on Apr 9, 2021 to discuss we maybe going to COVID in the medium to long term in Washington state. We also talked about other ongoing long term challenges: chronic diseases and climate change. I appreciated the perspectives of fellow panelists: WA Secretary of Health Umair…

COVID Impacts on Mental Health of Twins in Washington State

Working with colleagues at the Washington State Twin Registry we have published a series of papers looking at how the COVID stay at home order has affected different aspects of behavior, which has in some cases been associated with poor mental health outcomes, such as higher perceived stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. We were…

Modeling COVID Impacts

Early in the pandemic, in spring of 2020, a lot of my non-public health friends and family asked me what I thought of travel restrictions, pulling kids out of school, stay at home orders, and various government policies being inacted to control transmission. At the time, epidemiologic models were just coming online with model estimates…

Nice mention from NIEHS on the Nairobi, Kenya Project

NIEHS has a news story about “NIEHS Continues to Expand GEH Efforts on Brain Development Research”. It mentions the Nairobi, Kenya project looking at early life, children’s environmental exposures and brain development: NIEHS Newsletter Story here. For this study, we’re utilizing multiple air pollution instruments to characterize indoor/outdoor, personal, community-level air pollution levels and source…

Washington Environmental Justice Symposium

I had an opportunity speak as a panelist on air quality environmental justice for the Mar 23, 2021 “Environmental Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Environment – Exploring environmental justice issues impacting Washington State communities and possible solution” hosted by Gonzaga University and the WA Attorney General’s Office. The point of my talk was that air…