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Colorado School of Public Health News and Stories

Climate Health

Research    Climate Health    Worker Health

Heat Impacting Tomato and Chili Agriculture Workers in Jalisco Mexico

Climate change is impacting our food chain, and the workers who grow, harvest, and package that food. Global temperatures increases affect the health of workers in the agricultural industry.

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have completed their first round of data collection for a two-year heat-related research project with agricultural workers in Jalisco, Mexico, as the implementing partner ofthe International Labour Organization (ILO)'s Vision Zero Fund. The seasoned team of experts from CHWE are working to improve workers’ occupational safety and health in selected supply chains in Mexico.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date September 07, 2023
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

ColoradoSPH Takes On Climate Threats to Human Health with First-of-its-Kind PhD Program

The Colorado School of Public Health on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is preparing to play a lead role in investigating and responding to the rapidly intensifying effects of global climate change.

The school is launching the nation’s first PhD program that focuses specifically on climate change and its multiple impacts on people’s health and the communities where they live. The inaugural class of the PhD in Climate & Human Health program is set for the Fall 2024 semester, said program director Katherine James, PhD, MSPH, MSCE, associate professor of environmental and occupational health and in the Center for Health, Work & Environment at ColoradoSPH.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date August 28, 2023
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Community and Practice    Climate Health    Community Health    Environment    Worker Health

New NIH-Funded Project Brings Public Health Faculty and Community Leaders Together to Seek Climate Justice

Record-breaking heat and drought. Thick blankets of wildfire smoke. Walls of wind-driven flames. Pelting hail. Swath-cutting tornadoes. The summer of 2023 has been a constant reminder of the powerful effects of climate change. But the trying season is only one dramatic recent reminder of the changes and the toll they have taken on neighborhoods, communities, and economies in the form of air quality, water resources, food production and other factors that affect the quality of people’s lives.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date August 22, 2023
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Research    Climate Health    Environment

New National Academies Report Provides Scientific Review of EPA’s Draft Formaldehyde Assessment

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for improving its draft IRIS [Integrated Risk Information System] Toxicological Review of Formaldehyde.


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

A First-of-its-Kind Training Program for Doctoral Students Focused on Climate and Worker Safety & Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) will soon be training researchers to address the impact of climate change on the health of workers. It’s newly established training program for doctoral students, Targeted Research Training Program in Climate and Worker Safety and Health, is the first of its kind in the United States.  


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Press Coverage    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Here's How to Keep Wildfire Smoke Out of Your Home

With wildfire season upon us, cities across the United States are being urged by health officials to stay inside, but even indoor air can be hazardous. “There are two general ways to decrease your exposure to wildfire smoke – breathe less or breathe cleaner air." Mike Van Dyke, PhD, gives tips on how to keep your indoor air clean when under an air quality alert.


Author Healthline | Publish Date June 08, 2023
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Research    Giving    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

$600,000 NIH Grant for Colorado School of Public Health Community Climate Hub

A collaborative group from Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) has been awarded $600,000 from the National Institutes of Health to support the first year of work for the newly-established Mountain West Alliance for Community Engagement-Climate and Health (ACE-CH) Hub, a community of public health researchers and community members working to identify evidence-based and community-driven action in the face of the climate crisis. 


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Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Climate Impacts and Solutions for Outdoor Workers

Climate change poses a two-pronged threat to workers. Rising temperatures can induce injuries and illnesses for outdoor workers and those responding to natural disasters. Increasingly hotter temperatures indoors and out can also amplify existing injuries and illnesses for workers with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date November 17, 2022
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

ASPPH Webinar Highlights Public Health Response to Climate Change

Colorado School of Public Health Dean Dr. Jon Samet didn’t mince words as he spoke during a webinar sponsored by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) October 26 about climate change and the health risks it poses.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date November 07, 2022
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Research    Equity Diversity and Inclusion    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Racially Segregated Communities More Vulnerable to Toxic-Metal Air Pollution, CSU Study Finds

For many decades, it’s been known that communities of color are exposed to more air pollution than their predominantly white counterparts.


Author Anne Manning | Publish Date November 01, 2022
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Press Coverage    Climate Health    Maternal & Child Health

How Colorado’s Changing Climate is Putting Children’s Health at Risk

“Climate change is already upon us and we can already detect its influence on the Front Range’s ozone problem” said James Crooks, clinical associate professor of epidemiology. Children with asthma are particularly at risk from ozone, and data shows that asthma rates are higher among those living in poverty.


Author The Colorado Sun | Publish Date May 12, 2022
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Researchers Expand Study on “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water

Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health and partner institutions will expand on a groundbreaking study examining the effects of contaminated drinking water on residents of El Paso County thanks to a $5 million grant from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

ColoradoSPH Epidemiologists Advise WHO on Air Quality Guidelines

The World Health Organization updated its Global Air Quality Guidelines on Sept. 22 for the first time in 16 years. The new guidelines reflect research that shows the considerable impact that air pollution has on global health, said Dr. David Rojas, assistant professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH).

Rojas and ColoradoSPH Dean and Professor Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, served as advisors to the WHO and helped develop the new guidelines.

"These updated WHO Air Quality Guidelines are used throughout the world, offering global benchmarks and targets for those countries that still have high levels of air pollution. Reflecting advances in understanding of the risks of air pollution since the 2005 update, the new guidelines values are lower for most pollutants," said Samet.


Author Mary Guiden | Publish Date September 22, 2021
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Epidemiology    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

ColoradoSPH Dean Selected for EPA's Science Advisory Board

On August 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced his selections for membership of the Science Advisory Board (SAB). The committee will be comprised of 22 women and 25 men, including 16 people of color, making it the most diverse SAB since the committee was established. The Administrator’s selections are well-qualified experts with a cross-section of scientific disciplines and experience needed to provide advice to EPA leadership to help advance the agency’s mission.

Among those selected is Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean and professor of epidemiology, and environmental and occupational health for the Colorado School of Public Health.

"I am honored to have been selected as a charter member of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, which has a critical role in providing peer review and guidance for the agency," said Samet. "With these new appointments, Administrator Regan has achieved a high level of diversity and added important expertise on environmental justice. I look forward to helping with the challenges ahead as the Administration moves ahead to improve the environment and reduce the substantial burden of disease due to pollution."


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Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

New Research Team Launches to Combat the Effects of Climate Change on Workers and Communities

(AURORA, Colo.) May 7, 2021 – The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) and the Colorado Consortium on Climate Change and Human Health have launched the Climate, Work & Health Initiative (CWHI). CWHI is an interdisciplinary team of expert researchers, scientists, doctors, and public health professionals dedicated to combating the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 07, 2021
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Press Coverage    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Research Team Studies the Effects of Extreme Heat on Kidney Function in Outdoor Workers

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment are studying the effects of multiple occupational and environmental factors, such as heat stress and exposure to heavy metals and agrochemicals, on chronic kidney disease of unknown origin among agricultural workers in Guatemala.


Author The Synergist | Publish Date May 01, 2021
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

$3 Million NIH Grant for Colorado School of Public Health Worker Health Study

Three groups from the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have been awarded a $3 million 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of air pollution and climate on the kidney health of sugarcane workers in Guatemala. The award provides funding to identify how air pollutants contribute to chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu), a growing international epidemic.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 25, 2021
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Research    Epidemiology    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Four CSU Researchers Selected for NASA Team Studying Air Quality and Health

Three atmospheric scientists and one epidemiologist from Colorado State University will interpret NASA data for public benefit as part of NASA’s Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team. The team’s goal is to translate information from NASA satellites, models and surface observations to help officials make decisions to protect public health.


Author Jayme DeLoss | Publish Date March 05, 2021
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Act Now on Wildfires, Global Climate Change for Human Health, Study Says

Immediate actions are needed to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change that helps fuel wildfires, and ultimately affects human physical and psychological health according to a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Undark: Air Pollution Could Make People More Vulnerable to COVID-19

In major cities around the globe, the sky often bears a brown haze. While air quality in the United States has improved in recent decades, industrial pollution remains a persistent public health hazard, stemming from any number of sources — vehicles, boilers, power plants, construction equipment, boats, and commercial cooking facilities, to name just a few. The people who live nearby are chronically exposed to contaminated air, and this exposure can compromise their lungs and hearts. Under these conditions, the rate of chronic illnesses increases, and so does the likelihood of developing a serious respiratory disease like Covid-19.  


Author Undark | Publish Date April 16, 2020
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COVID-19    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Colorado Springs Gazette: Should Health Concerns Trump Economic Concerns During Crisis?

Professor John Volckens’ 2,000-square-foot lab on the campus of Colorado State University is normally a place for experiments on air quality, pollution sensors, and how breathable particles can trigger disease. 


Author Colorado Springs Gazette | Publish Date April 06, 2020
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Press Coverage    Climate Health

How Colorado’s Climate Could Slow The Spread of Coronavirus

With widespread reports of coronavirus spreading relatively quickly around the world, one common hope is that the upcoming warmer spring and summer months may help quell the spread of the virus. 


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date March 09, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Studying Air Quality in China, and Creating a More Sustainable Future for Millions

As Colorado State University students were wrapping up finals and heading out for fall break, Ellison Carter was boarding a plane headed back to Colorado, following an action-packed two weeks in China.


Author Jayme DeLoss | Publish Date December 05, 2019
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Colorado Part of Large National Study to Evaluate Health Consequences of Toxic "Forever Chemicals" in Drinking Water

Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus received notification of a $1 million, first-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to address the human health effects of contaminated drinking water in El Paso County, Colorado. The grant is part of the first major study to look at exposure nationwide, and six other sites are also being funded to total $7 million this year. 


Author Colorado School of Public Health | Publish Date September 23, 2019
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Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Climate Change Is Increasingly Damaging Human Health

There was a point in my life when the words “climate change” would recall pictures of polar bears marooned on precarious chunks of ice, bobbing aimlessly in some foreign landscape of tundra and sea. While tragic, the environmental drama playing out at such extreme latitudes always felt like an abstraction, particularly to a kid growing up in temperate Colorado.


Author Jake Fox | Publish Date January 23, 2019
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Climate Health    Environment

Research Confirms Blood Toxicity from Firefighting Foam Used at Peterson AFB

A partner study with Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado School of Mines, led by John Adgate, professor of environmental and occupational health has revealed increased blood toxicity in residents near Peterson Air Force Base, due to drinking water contamination from firefighting foam the facility has used in the past. It has affected the towns of Security, Widefield and Fountain, at least.  

Read news coverage in the The Gazette.  


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Colorado School of Public Health In the News

Colorado Public Radio

State launches first-ever firearm data dashboard meant to help Coloradans better understand gun violence, prevention

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateFebruary 26, 2024

Beyond mass shootings, which generate a lot of media and public attention, gun deaths have steadily increased in Colorado for more than a decade, according to the state health department and reflected on the dashboard. During that time, state leaders and community advocates have worked to fight the trend. Now they’re turning to a new avenue — a public health approach to gun violence prevention. 

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The Denver Post

CDC chops $5 million in funding to Colorado research center working with local public health groups

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateFebruary 23, 2024

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to end its funding for a Colorado center that helps local public health organizations get their programs off the ground and prove they work. Colorado’s Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the director of the CDC this week asking that the agency reconsider cutting funding to the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center.

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Colorado Public Radio

Can Colorado teachers feel more prepared for school emergencies?

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateFebruary 21, 2024

Between reading, writing, and arithmetic, there are also disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and acts of violence at schools. While school districts have security and drills for these events, educators often have unanswered questions and are left feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Two Anschutz researchers wanted to change that, starting with gathering school staff’s ideas and addressing their questions about safety.

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CSU Source

What do your blood test results mean? A toxicologist explains the basics of how to interpret them

news outletCSU Source
Publish DateFebruary 07, 2024

As a toxicologist, Brad Reisfeld, a ColoradoSPH professor at CSU, studies the effects of drugs and environmental contaminants on human health. As part of his work, he relies on various health-related biomarkers, many of which are measured using conventional blood tests. Understanding what common blood tests are intended to measure can help you better interpret the results.

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