Environmental Justice

Mapping Washington’s environmental health disparities

It was at the height of California’s worst drought on record that Esther Min saw for herself the power of data to help low-income families.

“People’s water bills were skyrocketing, wells were drying up, families were driving miles away to buy bottled water,” said Min, who was working on a water-access study in the Salinas Valley in 2014.

“I saw how we could partner with communities to gather data they could use to get the attention of policymakers,” said Min, now a PhD student in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS).

Who is hurt the most by climate change?

Climate change in Washington state affects us all—but not all of us in the same way.

Your job, your zip code and your race are more likely to determine your level of risk from climate change than the frequency or magnitude of events associated with climate change like heat waves, wildfires and drought.

That’s the finding from a recently released report, An unfair share: Exploring the disproportionate risks from climate change facing Washington state communities.

An emerging leader

Vanessa Galaviz, lecturer in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), is being recognized by the American Public Health Association (APHA) as an emerging leader in environmental health.

Galaviz will receive the Rebecca A. Head Award from the APHA’s environment section at the APHA’s annual meeting in November. The award recognizes an outstanding emerging leader from the environmental health field working at the nexus of science, policy and environmental justice.

“Their voices can be quite powerful”

At the Western Hemisphere’s busiest land border crossing, tens of thousands of vehicles wait each day, engines idling, to cross between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Researchers know that the 30,000 residents of San Ysidro, on the US side of the crossing, live with spikes in air pollution, higher levels of asthma and other negative effects from those car emissions.

But what’s happening just across the border in Tijuana, one of Mexico’s largest cities?