Produced by KQED's community correspondents, ouRXperience was launched with the idea that the best way to learn about the health lives of our communities is to give voice to community members themselves. Read more about our blog here.
About our Community Correspondents
The blog ouRXperience is reported by our community correspondents: involved residents committed to informing the rest of us about what is happening in neighborhoods across California. Learn more about our correspondents here.
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Author Archives: Marley Zalay
In July of 2011, Community Correspondent Rachelle Parker wrote about Butte Environmental Council's (BEC) fascinating study assessing dioxin levels in backyard chicken eggs around Oroville. She outlined the history of the Koppers fire which caused dioxin contamination in surrounding soil and the original study by the former California Department of Health Services (CDHS). Dioxin is known for its toxicity and persistence in the environment. BEC recently held a workshop in Oroville about dioxin to educate community members about this issue.
The intention of BEC's study was to gain a better understanding of the public's exposure to dioxin by eating backyard chicken eggs. Julia Murphy, Education and Outreach Assistant at BEC, explained that dioxin is linked to a myriad of negative health effects, "from hormone disruption and immune system dysfunction, to birth defects and cancer." But because we are exposed to dioxin from a variety of sources, it is difficult to draw a straight cause-and-effect line from the source to adverse health effects.
With new healthy food standards going into effect this fall, schools across the nation will be required to offer more wholesome foods and reduce unhealthy ones. Palermo Middle School, however, is already ahead of the game.
The USDA’s new school lunch standards stem from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010. The new requirements limit sodium and trans fats, include more fruit, vegetable, and whole grain servings and replace whole milk with low-fat and non-fat options. The long term objective of improved school nutrition, advocated heavily by Michelle Obama, is decreased childhood obesity.
Butte County received a whopping "F" on the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report card for 2011. This grade is calculated by collecting ozone and particulate matter (PM) data from various sites throughout the county. The air monitoring devices which measure these pollutants are located in Chico, Paradise and Gridley, and are operated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).