221042 Local health organizing and policy in the national landscape of global trade and goods movement

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Martha Matsuoka, PhD , Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Ocean-going ships, ports, railroads, trucks, and warehouses make up an important system of goods movement in the U.S. Yet the system that moves goods primarily from Asia throughout the U.S. also negatively impacts health and the quality of life in communities across the country. Diesel fuel burned by ships and emissions from trucks and locomotives releases high concentrations of toxic chemicals and small particles that damage human lungs and cardiovascular health, leading to thousands of asthma cases and premature deaths annually. Pollution from shipping alone causes an estimated 60,000 premature deaths annually worldwide, according to a global assessment. In the U.S., low income, minority communities are most impacted, raising serious environmental justice issues.

An increasing number of scientific research, public policy, environmental justice, and advocacy organizations are addressing the impacts of global trade and freight transportation, particularly in California. This presentation highlights findings from a national assessment and identifies strategies to reduce localized impacts of global trade (such as air pollution from railyards located in close proximity to homes and schools). The presentation sets the context for a focus on Southern California public health and EJ efforts, as home to the largest port complex in the U.S. and where labor, community organizing and local/state policy efforts have emerged to address the impacts. Following this presentation, five southern CA grantees of The Kresge Foundation discuss successes and challenges, in a discussion moderated by David Fukuzawa of The Kresge Foundation.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe 5 efforts of health organizing and policy change around the country that are addressing the health impacts of international trade.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified as an abstract author because I am the principal investigator of a grant from The Kresge Foundation to assess the national landscape of goods movement policy and organizing efforts.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.