Blood lead testing

Lead poisoning is the number one environmental health threat to children, and also considered the most preventable.

On June 6, EHC set up to test children’s levels of lead at Birney Elementary School – one of the schools that recently tested high for lead in their water. We tested 63 children and fortunately, did not find any alarming cases and could give parents peace of mind.

Our work to prevent childhood lead poisoning has been a fundamental piece of our organization for many years. With simple tests, grassroots advocacy, increased public knowledge and eventually, statewide regulation, EHC and partners stopped lead contamination in candies several years ago. You can learn more about that victory for our neighborhoods here.

Now, the work continues. Please join us to support a statewide bill that monitors school water for levels of lead (AB 746).

This bill would become a public health victory for our communities by:

  • Ensuring that schools prevent lead in drinking water
  • Protecting children and staff in schools from the health consequences of lead contamination
  • Requiring all public schools to annually test drinking water for lead
  • Standardizing the practice for local educational agencies to notify parents/guardians about lead contamination and shut down the source of lead when it’s identified

If you believe that one child with lead poisoning is too many, please sign this letter and share on social media to tell our elected officials that now is the time to support AB 746.

To learn more about keeping children safe and preventing lead in drinking water, parents should click here.

At a community meeting in City Heights, we listened as residents expressed how they feel watching our neighborhoods change and rents rise.

“We’re seeing families who have lived here for a long time spend most of their income on rent, without much left for other essentials,” says EHC Associate Director of Policy Carolina Martinez. “We’re finally seeing improvements in City Heights after decades of people going to City Hall to request infrastructure improvements. Unfortunately, the people who will enjoy it are not the people who have been fighting for it for so long.”

One of those leaders fighting against displacement in City Heights is Maria Esparanza.

“I’ve lived in City Heights for 44 years, but we were forced to move when they put a strip mall where my home was,” says Maria. “I’m asking myself if its good or bad, because the community looks good, but they’ve displaced the people who live here.”

To learn more about how to get involved in City Heights, click here.

Toxic pollution knows no borders. That’s why EHC works to build healthy communities in San Diego and Tijuana. Whether we are helping save a river or teaching women how to be leaders in their neighborhoods, we believe that we are stronger when our countries are united for environmental justice.

Watch the videos below to get a sneak peak of our border environmental justice work.

Alamar River

The Alamar is a binational river that originates in the United States, crosses into Mexico and then returns to the United States, where it discharges into the Tijuana River Estuary. In 2011, it began to be channelized with concrete, leaving the area without its natural ecosystem. EHC is working to preserve the last remaining section of the creek.

Colectivo Chilpancingo

Founded by women, this group has been working for more than 16 years to strengthen environmental justice in Mexico.

Metales y Derivados

In 1994, after years of complaints from the community, the Mexican government shut down a battery recycler called Metales y sus Derivados, leaving behind 20,000 tons of toxic waste on site. EHC worked for more than 10 years to clean up the site, eliminating a serious hazard for 10,000 families nearby.

June 20 was a very important day – San Diego City Council proclaimed Tuesday, June 20, 2017 as Diane Takvorian Day.

When she was 11 years old, Diane Takvorian, Environmental Health Coalition’s executive director, was asked to interview someone in a career she admired. She chose a social worker. In high school, she got involved in the civil rights movement and by college she was organizing communities.

Diane has been a powerhouse in driving environmental justice for our communities for more than 37 years. She has dedicated her life to shedding light on our most vulnerable neighborhoods with the unwavering belief that everyone should have a healthy and safe place to live, work and play.

DT Day 6

DT Day 1

DT Day 2

DT Day 3

DT Day 4

DT Day 5

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Por Vida to celebrate and congratulate Diane. If you couldn’t make it, we invite you to make a contribution to EHC and become a member today. Your donation empowers EHC to lift up others to become leaders for environmental justice, just like Diane.

For a long time, Barrio Logan needed an open space to cultivate community and healthy living. After years of listening to community requests, EHC worked with residents to plant and grow the Chicano Park Herb Garden.

herb garden 3

herb garden 2

At the root of the garden, our community understands that open spaces are vital to improving the health of our neighborhood. Now, local schools, organizations and residents have a place to experience nature in a hands-on way.

herb garden 1

herb garden 5

The Chicano Park Herb Garden serves its ultimate purpose as an open space for Barrio Logan families to enjoy and for visitors to appreciate nature. We think that’s a victory for #healthyhoods. For more information on how you can volunteer, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..