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Colorado School of Public Health News and Stories

Climate Health

Press Coverage    Climate Health    Environment

Smoke exposure from California’s wildfires linked to 52,000 early deaths, study says

When large swaths of the East Coast were shrouded in wildfire smoke last summer, scientists in California grimly joked that maybe, finally, power brokers in New York and Washington, D.C. would be spurred to act on the burning issue that has long plagued the West Coast. Despite wildfire seasons that regularly burn hundreds of thousands of acres in California alone each year, researchers know relatively little about the long-term effects of chronic wildfire smoke on the body, and funding to reduce the known harms of exposure is scarce.


Author STAT News | Publish Date June 07, 2024
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Research    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Worker Health

Research Symposium Highlights Sweeping Efforts to Improve Workplace Health and Safety

The many challenges and opportunities for improving health and safety for workers were in the spotlight April 4 at the 2024 Research Day Symposium, sponsored by the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date April 16, 2024
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Community and Practice    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Field Team Evaluates Women’s Work Exposures and Kidney Health in Guatemala

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) are in the middle of the first year of data collection for a study with female agricultural workers in rural Guatemala.


Author Lyndsay Krisher | Publish Date April 12, 2024
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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

USA Today

What is THC? Answering the questions you were too embarrassed to ask.

news outletUSA Today
Publish DateJuly 09, 2024

Among health experts, the jury is still out on THC, CBD and the use of marijuana in general, as those in medical and research fields weigh the benefits and risks. "This is the big challenge with cannabis: How do we facilitate the beneficial medical applications, allow for what society has determined is acceptable recreational use and also guard against the very real harms?" Gregory Tung, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, tells USA TODAY. "This is difficult and will likely require a mix of policy, rules, regulations and education."

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Colorado Public Radio

Colorado has the most cases of bird flu among dairy cows in the U.S.

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateJuly 02, 2024

Cases of highly pathogenic avian flu cases in Colorado dairy cows keep rising, with numbers from a federal website recording the state as having more cases than any other. Public health experts said they’re watching to see if infections spillover from cattle to  humans and then human to human. “I think it's an important time for public health to be watching this really closely,” said  Elizabeth Carlton, an epidemiologist at the Colorado School of Public Health. “Concern for the general public is pretty low right now,” she said.

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The Denver Post

Colorado sees summer COVID bump as new FLiRT variants keep virus from settling into seasonal pattern

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateJuly 02, 2024

Colorado, along with much of the country, is experiencing a summer bump in COVID-19 infections, showing the virus has yet to fall into a seasonal pattern. Common respiratory bugs typically start spreading in the fall and peter out by spring. In Colorado, the worst points of the pandemic fell in the fall and winter, but COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared in the warmer months, as flu does. Four years ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, scientists expected the virus would be well on its way to settling into a seasonal pattern by now, said Talia Quandelacy, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health.

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Colorado Public Radio

Living near oil and gas sites in Colorado could make irregular heartbeat symptoms worse, CU study says

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateJune 27, 2024

A new study from researchers at the University of Colorado has found strong evidence that older adults and women with AFIb, atrial fibrillation, living near oil and natural gas wells may experience a worsening of their condition during development of those sites. The period when a well is being developed is when there's the most activity on the well pad, said Colorado School of Public Health researcher Lisa McKenzie, the study’s senior author, in an interview. “It seems to really be concentrated around that development phase of the well,” she said.

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