E-Recycling Is a New Industry with Old Inequities

Electronics keep getting cheaper and becoming obsolete faster. And of the world’s estimated 53.6 million tons of electronic waste in 2020, only 17.4 percent is appropriately recycled. But even proper e-recycling has its dangers, exposing workers to toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, as well as toxic chemicals—all of it usually ground into a fine powder that’s easy to melt down for new gadgets, but also easy to inhale…

Why We Need to Fill the Green Space Gap

Closing the disparities in access to nature is imperative for health and social justice. “Go outside and play!” Countless parents have said this to their kids in the hopes of finding a few quiet moments. But it turns out to be scientifically sound advice, too. A raft of research shows that being outdoors rewards us. A dose of nature can boost creativity, elicit experiences of awe that increase altruism, and improve mental health outcomes. According…

Overlapping vulnerabilities in workers of the electronics recycling industry formal sector: A commentary

Vulnerabilities in workers performing electronics recycling (e‐recycling) in the informal sector worldwide have been well documented. However, the growing e‐recycling industry in the formal sector still brings many challenges to protect the health of workers and their environment. This commentary aims to draw attention to the overlooked vulnerabilities faced by the workers of the e‐recycling industry formal sector in high‐income countries and discuss the potential impact on health inequalities experienced…

New Article: Metals and Particulates Exposure from a Mobile E-Waste Shredding Truck: A Pilot Study

The US electronics recycling industry has introduced a novel mobile electronic waste (e-waste) shredding truck service to address increasing needs for secure data destruction of e-waste. These trucks can shred small electronics with data security concerns at remote locations for a wide variety of clients. Shredding jobs usually involve hand-feeding electronic waste (e-waste) for 4–10 h day−1, 1–5 days. Shredding of e-waste has been documented as a source of high…

How Trees Can Help Us Fight a Pandemic

As the world grapples with the devastation of the coronavirus, one thing is clear: The United States simply wasn’t prepared. Despite repeated warnings from infectious disease experts over the years, we lacked essential beds, equipment, and medication; public health advice was confusing, and our leadership offered no clear direction while sidelining credible health professionals and institutions. Infectious disease experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits,…

Risk Of Preterm Births Significantly Greater Near Natural Gas Flaring Sites, Study Finds

Texas Standard interviewed JPB Fellow Lara Cushing, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, who co-led a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that found the risk of premature births is 50% higher for mothers near natural gas flaring in Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas region. In the mid 2010s, the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas was among the most productive…

The Badass 50: Women in Medicine Who are Saving the Day

Congrats to JPB Senior Fellow Annie Belcourt for this well deserved honor, and to other 49 incredible women selected. The University of Montana professor has been raising awareness about how COVID-19 more negatively affects Native American communities.  Eighteen-hour shifts. End-of-life care. Lack of proper equipment. Frontline healthcare workers have been facing seemingly insurmountable challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet they get the job done. We see photos of these…

Article: Towards impactful energy justice research: Transforming the power of academic engagement

The field of energy justice is at a critical juncture. As the social dimensions of energy systems are becoming more salient, it is time to reflect on what has been achieved, and look towards a future of greater impact and transdisciplinary methods in energy justice research and practice. In the past 10 years, the energy justice literature has grown exponentially demonstrating the appeal and the value of its tangible, applicable…

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets

A new study supported by the JPB Fellowship Program finds dying trees are 30 times more likely to have been exposed to methane-contaminated soil, confirming long-held suspicions that gas leaks kill plants. Natural gas leaks from underground pipelines are killing trees in densely populated urban environments, a new study suggests, adding to concerns over such leaks fueling climate change and explosion hazards. The study, which took place in Chelsea, Massachusetts,…

2020 Carson Prize to JPB Fellow Sara Wylie

We are delighted to announce that the 2020 Rachel Carson Prize goes to Sara Ann Wylie, for Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds (Duke University Press, 2018). The Award Committee received 78 books to consider for the prize and shortlisted 10 works for this year’s prize, evaluating books for their overall scholarly quality, their contributions to the field of Science and Technology Studies, and their capacity to cast social or political issues…