San Francisco Bay Area residents are renowned for being among the most health-conscious in the nation. Eating right and regular exercise are routine parts of our lives. Notwithstanding how well we strive to take care of ourselves, however, our personal health depends on a healthy environment. NRDC researchers examined five indicators of public health and found that, overall, slow progress is being made.
- Hospitalization rates for childhood asthma are down, but asthma remains a serious public health concern.
- Reports of childhood lead poisoning have also declined.
- The incidence of cancer declined in recent years, likely the result of decreased smoking by Bay Area residents. But breast cancer rates are among world's highest.
- Contamination of fish from the bay continued to pose a health threat to those who catch and eat them.
- While licensed use of pesticides in San Francisco has gone down sharply, it has risen in surrounding counties.