Public Health

Recent Posts

In smoggy Los Angeles, one neighborhood pushes back

Hollenbeck Park, one of the few green spaces available to families in Boyle Heights. Photo: Zackary Canepari

News about Boyle Heights in Los Angeles tends to be about crime or gentrification. There's little coverage of air pollution, lack of safe and green spaces, lack of access to affordable and healthy food options — or the residents and organizations that are determined to change this. Continue Reading →

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Noisy neighborhood? One family lives with it: SJ Toxic Tour Blog

By Donovan Farnham and Isaiah Guzman

Alison Soman, her husband John and their five-year-old son Ben live in perhaps the loudest area in San Jose. Their home in the Newhall-Sherwood neighborhood sits within steps of Highway 880, a train yard sits about 1,500 feet to the east and San Jose International Airport is just beyond that. Photo (c) by Donovan Farnham

Yet Alison said her family has gotten used to the planes, trains and, particularly, the whoosh of the automobiles. "The neighbors and I joke about it being the beach," she said. The San Jose Toxic Tour is produced by the San Jose State University journalism students of Professor Michael Cheers, in collaboration with Newsdesk.org. Continue Reading →

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“The Smogometer”

I'm knee deep in Smogtown: The Lung-burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs and William Kelley. It's written like the pair wishes they were really James Elroy, but it's chock-full of archival research and unbelievable anecdotes about just how toxic the miasma called air was in Los Angeles before the oil companies and defense manufacturers were ever subject to regulation. Continue Reading →

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San Francisco’s Superfund struggle

Toxic Tour of the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard 22

A legacy of toxic pollution lingers in San Francisco's Hunters Point Shipyard, which was once a booming hub for wartime construction efforts, but now is largely shuttered and represents a constant threat to the health of marginalized communities that live nearby. The U.S. Navy and diverse community groups are at odds over the best way to address the problem. Continue Reading →

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