Sunday, October 6, 2019

M7.8 Chlorpyrifos

The topic I am considering is chlorpyrifos (insecticide) among farmworkers. Chlorpyrifos is used to control many different kinds of pests, including termites, mosquitoes, and roundwormsFarmworkers come in contact with many pesticides and insecticides in their working environment therefore, I think this is an interesting topic to learn more about and share my findings with the class. Farmworkers are exposed to a number of exposures and it is important to ensure that the safest practices are established and used in order to protect the human health of these farmworkers. According to Toxnet,  chlorpyrifos can cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans leading to an overstimulated nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and respiratory paralysis and death at very high exposures.

7.7 Agency's Role

The agency that I chose to look into was the US Department of Commerce. This agency is in charge of money/economics with the goal of economic growth and efficiency. A main thing that caught my eye in regards to this agency with its connection to environmental health is its ability to place expectations on industrial production and standards. Perhaps the Dept of Commerce can further uphold EPA values in regulating materials, methods of production, and chemical exposures, which could assist in sustainability efforts and protection of all life. The Dept of Commerce could also influence money distribution for disaster relief funds and contribute $ to research on climate change.

7.4 Local Environmental Services

My local health department is Alameda County.
Alameda has both a Public Health Department (ACPHD) and an Environmental Health Department (ACEH).The ACPHD ( offers a variety of programs and services aiming to build a healthier and safer community while engaging participation from residents to stay active in the process. I really like how one of the programs they offer has to do with voting and also a key program called the Urban Male Health Initiative that strives to improve the "health outcomes for men disproportionately impacted by prostate and testicular cancers, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attacks, depression, suicide, and diabetes."

On the ACEH website ( similarly to the ACPHD website, there are a variety of programs and services surrounding the safety and overall well-being of the enivorment that Alameda county residents are living in. One interesting service that stood out to me is their "health nail salon" recognition tab. I think its great that they are regulating and monitoring services that omit a certain level of hazard, but I wonder why there isn't a specific service that regulates vehicle or transportation pollution.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

6.7 Obesogens

 Locally grown foods usually find their way to your table within 61 miles according to the Seasonal Foods document. Fruits that are currently in season include: pomegranates, cranberries, and persimmons.

I think it is important for hospitals to incorporate seasonal/local foods into their menus for several reasons. They can help reduce transportation emissions by not shipping in fruit outside of a certain radius, they can support their local farmers and agricultural workers and invest back into their local communication, and they can expose their patients to real, wholesome, foods that are nutrient dense.

I had heard of obesogens before reading this article, but had only a vague understanding of what they were which was mostly due to their tell-tale name. The key new factor that I learned from this article was that obesogens are "dietary, pharmaceutical, and industrial compounds". I suppose I had not given much thought as to WHAT these things were - only that they were bad and had adverse effects on health and weight in both animals and humans. Still, I wasn't surprised that these things are manufactured as so many of the terrible things we ingest are manufactured by organizations making money on our failing health, growing waistbands, and desire for convenience and flavor.

 I chose to look at dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene.
What I found in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives was that this chemical pesticide is a DDT breakdown product and it has been linked to an increased BMI in children and insulin resistance in rodents. Most known obesogens (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene included) are endocrine disruptors which means that they alter the bodies endocrine system function and can cause cancer and/or tumors. Animal studies have done a great deal to link dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene to obesity though, interestingly, the animals often have fewer fat cells but these cells are much larger in size than normal fat cells so the animals end up with a higher BMI than desired.

6.6 Use of Antibiotics

Well, well, well...we have moved to the topic of superbugs and antibiotics. When you think about a superbug, you probably don't think you'll be affected by it, but low and below based on these articles we should all be aware and a bit concerned.

The MedicineNet article warns about Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus or MRSA spreading to people that live near livestock. MRSA is a hard to kill gram positive cocci and isn't something you want to pick up as you are walking home and walking past that stinky farm in your neighborhood.

The biggest key take away I got from these readings was-everyday things I thought were normal can really be the ones making you sick. For example; bacterial wipes! I personally use wipes once every few days to clean my desk down. In my mind, I am wiping away all the harmful bacterias and leaving it nice and clean for tomorrow. The feeling of a freshly wiped down house is one that makes me happy from within. After learning that the main compound in the wipes is triclocarban, I have a new outlook about these cleaning products. This product has been researched to actually not cause as much as bacteria to die than I thought! 

M5.5 Campaign for Tap Water

Greeting readers!

I want to talk about campaigning against bottle water and being for TAP WATER! Yes I said it. TAP WATER!

Don't believe me? Start by watching this video. Once you're finished come back so we can talk about it.
Ok, now that you are done, what do you think? IS bottled water a big scam? What are some alternatives to bottled water. 
We have tap water, we have tap water with filter and we have carbonated water or soda stream for us that love our sparkling water. 
When thinking about a slogan for a water campaign these are the two I came up with:
"Leave big box behind and choose the planet, drink pure and plastic free, drink tap water!" and 
"Save money and save the planet, choose tap over bottled water".

Comment and let me know what you think and also give me some ideas for what your slogan will be.

6.4 Industrial Farming

I currently live in Alameda County and although there are no animal farms in my county, this map shows that almost all the counties surrounding Alameda County have animal farms which means we are definitely affected by either smells, manure and the negative effects of high dense farms.

As far as composting goes, I used to compost. I am a gardener and I took 6 classes about permaculture which is essentially giving back to the earth the nutrients you are taking from it. So composting is a large part of the permaculture movement. Once I am completely finished unpacking from my move, I will start composting again. It isn't hard to do and it helps the soil and environment.

M7.8 Chlorpyrifos

The topic I am considering is chlorpyrifos (insecticide) among farmworkers.  Chlorpyrifos  is used to control many different kinds of pests,...