Harmful, untested chemicals rife in personal care products

By on March 1, 2021

first_imgIn the United States, the average person is exposed to more than a hundred chemicals from cosmetics, soaps, and other personal care products before leaving the house in the morning. While people may assume these products are safe, their chemical ingredients are mostly untested and largely unregulated, with even known carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals still found in some formulations. What’s more, ingredient labels can be misleading, leaving even the savviest consumers in the dark about the safety of the products they use every day.“The lipstick we wear, the food we eat, and the soap we use to clean our children’s hands often contain harmful chemicals,” said Mia Davis, head of health and safety for the personal care product company BeautyCounter. “The load adds up quickly day after day. And as we swallow, breathe in, and lather up, toxins entering our bodies may have lasting impact.”Davis delivered her talk, “Toxic Trespass: Harmful & Untested Chemicals in Everyday Products,”  to a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) audience on February 6, 2014.Chemical exposure has been linked to rising rates in breast cancer, asthma, autism, reproductive problems, and other health issues, Davis said. Many chemicals in personal care products have never been tested for safety, and may also accumulate and interact in potentially harmful ways. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Continue Reading


Harvard recommits $20M to create local affordable housing

By on

first_imgWhen Scarlett Mitchell moved into her East Boston condo 12 years ago, her 9-year-old daughter made her promise that it would be their last move. They had been “going from place, to place, to place,” Mitchell said.Though she was working three jobs, when she looked for an apartment she was told she didn’t make enough money to cover the rent. Owning a home? Out of the question. Mitchell says at that point in her life, “I was homeless. I literally didn’t have a place to live.”Her story is not uncommon.Amid a growing population, Greater Boston is facing a housing crisis that is hitting lower-income and working-class residents particularly hard. According to a new WBUR poll, many say the cost of housing is perhaps the single most pressing issue facing the region.To help combat the problem, Harvard University is recommitting $20 million to an initiative aimed at increasing the amount of affordable housing in Greater Boston. Through the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative, the University has partnered with three local, nonprofit community-development lenders to create and preserve affordable housing, build and revitalize healthy communities, and create economic opportunities for low- and middle-income residents throughout the region.The partners include Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), BlueHub Capital (formerly Boston Community Capital), and the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust.Mitchell, who moved to the U.S. from Venezuela 31 years ago and now works as a preschool teacher in the Boston Public Schools, was able to get into her condo with assistance from the East Boston Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) nonprofit and behind-the-scenes support of LISC and BlueHub.,“Someone at my church told me about NOAH. With their help, I was finally able to qualify. I went through the process, I won the housing lottery … I became the very first homeowner in the [Falcon-Border] complex,” she said. “I’ve been here 12 years now. I’m very happy. My children finished high school. My daughter is in college now. I got my bachelor’s degree, and I’m working on my master’s. I have all that I was looking for. I’m so appreciative and grateful for everyone who made this possible for me. I have a have a home, a place to call my own.“I wish there were more affordable housing complexes like this. There are so many people who are just like I was,” Mitchell continued, “people who are trying so hard to look for a place to live, but they just can’t afford the rent anymore.”Though the housing problem has grown more acute in recent years, Harvard launched its program, formerly known as 20/20/2000, in 2000, initially committing $20 million in low-interest, flexible loans. Since then, the fund has revolved more than two times, and has helped finance the preservation and creation of more than 7,000 units of affordable housing locally.The crucial recommitment ensures that the funding continues for at least the next two decades.“Harvard is pleased to renew the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative. We are proud to be part of a community where partners from across Greater Boston come together to strengthen the region and address the urgent need for quality, affordable housing,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “We are grateful to all of our partners for their support and their efforts to increase access to homeownership and promote fair and equitable access to housing.”,The program’s impact can be felt throughout the region. It has helped leverage more than $1.3 billion in housing developments with more than 5,500 affordable units in Boston and more than 1,600 affordable units in Cambridge. The program has also helped finance additional housing developments in Somerville and Watertown.The financing that is provided through the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative is flexible, low-cost, and available at the critical early stages of development — such as during land acquisition and predevelopment — making it a particularly attractive, and oftentimes crucial, element for developers.“Harvard has been a supportive housing partner to LISC for two decades, and we are thrilled to renew our partnership through the Harvard Local Housing Collaborative. It takes a civic partner who is invested in our communities to make flexible funds available at low cost on a long-term basis to drive housing affordability. Our region’s income disparity and housing affordability challenges have grown to crisis levels since our partnership began in 1999. We need the engagement and investment of anchor institutions like Harvard to take our response to this crisis to another level,” said Karen Kelleher, executive director of LISC Boston.Projects throughout the region include affordable apartments, cooperative housing, assisted living for low-income seniors, opportunities for first-time home-buyers, artist’s lofts, and even shelters. Many are adjacent to public transportation and include easy access to public green space.Leaders in both Cambridge and Boston have continued to make affordable housing creation a priority.Cambridge is grappling with how to expand opportunities for affordable-housing development in all neighborhoods in a way that ensures a diverse and vibrant city. The City Council is mulling over an idea for a new zoning law, with the goal of helping housing developers create new affordable units more quickly, more cost-effectively, and in areas where there are fewer affordable housing options for residents.Whether or not the city’s proposal moves forward, Harvard’s housing fund, with its access to early capital, has been a critical driver in helping Cambridge and its nonprofit developers address the crisis.“The University is an exceptional partner in our public education, sustainability, and affordable-housing efforts,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “Harvard’s affordable-housing initiative has directly impacted thousands of residents throughout our city.”Boston has set a goal of creating 69,000 affordable units by the year 2030.“Creating more quality, affordable housing for a range of incomes is essential to preserving the diversity that makes Boston the incredible city that it is, and is the backbone of Mayor [Martin J.] Walsh’s housing policy. Twenty years ago, Harvard stepped up to create this fund, providing early investment in the development process that has been a crucial element in many successful affordable developments,” said Sheila Dillon, the chief of housing and director of neighborhood development for the city of Boston. “Harvard’s continued partnership and investment in affordable housing in Boston has not only been innovative but is also a wonderful example of how a private organization can have a meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of Bostonians.”“Harvard’s program, providing access to capital, is an important partnership to allow affordable-housing creators to be competitive in the development market, and then build or preserve much-needed affordable housing options,” said Rep. Kevin G. Honan, chair of Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Housing. “It’s an innovative program that’s making a tangible difference in neighborhoods across our city, and throughout the region. I’m pleased to learn that this transformative program will continue for another 20 years.”Harvard’s recommitment follows the launch of an initiative last week by Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, both Harvard teaching hospitals, together with Boston Medical Center, designed to help local families pay their rent. The three hospitals, acknowledging the strong connection between stable housing and good health, pledged to spend approximately $3 million over three years to fund housing programs designed to prevent displacement, eviction, and homelessness.Besides bolstering the health of individuals, housing stability contributes to strengthening communities and combating a range of social and economic problems.“I feel like I belong here,” said Mitchell. “I belong to this community. This is my home. My building. It’s perfect for me. I’m so blessed.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Continue Reading


Peace conference to kick off

By on January 26, 2021

first_imgThe student-run conference kicks off Friday evening with keynote speaker John Prendergast, founder of the Enough Project, which is a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity.   “When you go to Notre Dame, it isn’t just about the classes you take or the books you have to read, it’s also about what you choose to do with your education,” Scribner said. “And I believe this conference really gets students to think about that.”  The conference will also feature several panels, including one on careers in peace building and an information fair to show how students can get involved with various peace efforts around the world. “It’s really about putting a tangible grasp on what it means to be a peacebuilder and promote peace worldwide,” Alex Hellmuth, senior and conference co-chair, said. “We want to show how it’s possible to work for peace in all different areas.” Nearly 300 students from across the world will meet on campus this weekend to discuss practical methods of peace building at the 18th annual Student Peace Conference, sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.  This year’s conference — to be held in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies — is entitled “Invest in Peace: Uncovering the Practicality of Peacebuilding.” “He is a very engaging and interactive speaker, so it will definitely be interesting,” she said.   Scribner said Prendergast will discuss his experience in Africa and the role of conflict minerals in the Congo in his address. “We’re really excited that he was able to come,” said Kelsey Scribner, co-chair along with Hellmuth. “He has a lot of experience with peacebuilding in Africa and was even an advisor for the Clinton administration.”  She said “Invest in Peace” focuses on making practical solutions and demonstrating what works in policy implementation and development.   “Our goal was to develop a theme that was more inclusive,” Hellmuth said.  “Ultimately, we are trying to reach out to more people and make the conference more interdisciplinary.”  Both Peace Studies majors, Hellmuth and Scribner said the conference is an important thing for the University to host because it encourages students to engage in social justice and highlights elements of Catholic Social Teaching. Although meal registration closed on March 23, anyone interested in attending any of the other conference events is still able to do so.last_img read more

Continue Reading



By on December 25, 2019

first_imgA Donegal man who invited Gardai for something to eat and refused to leave the scene of a disturbance has been fined €250.Kevin McGinley, from Churchill, was out drinking three days before Christmas last.An altercation took place between the accused and another man and Gardai ordered both to leave the area. They did but when Gardai returned, they found McGinley back in the area and he was intoxicated.He refused to leave the area again and was arrested.Lettekenny District Court was told today that when approached by Gardai, McGinley told them “I’m not going anywhere. I’m getting food. Do you want some?”The court heard that McGinley, who is 30, is now living in America where he has found work.Solicitor Patsy Gallagher told the court that his client had been at a funeral that day and he went for few drinks and then found him in a state.The court that McGinley had previous convictions but they dated back to a decade ago when he was just 17.Judge Paul Kelly said he would give McGinley a chance and ordered him to pay €250 to the Donegal Hospice and adjourned the case until October.MAN WHO ROWED WITH GARDAI THEN INVITED THEM TO DINNER was last modified: September 19th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ChurchilldinnerFightKevin McGinleyLetterkenny District Courtlast_img read more

Continue Reading