Effect Measure

Archives for July, 2006

I noticed that Governor Mitt Romney, Republican presidential hopeful and much despised Governor of Massachusetts, just vetoed $8.15 million in funding for addiction treatment and prevention in his state. I’m not an expert on substance abuse issues, but I know it is an area of public health where we are in real trouble because of…

Bombs, bullets and drinking water

A reminder it’s not just bombs and bullets in Lebanon: BEIRUT. July 29 (Interfax) – The World Health Organization (WHO) fears an eminent humanitarian disaster in Lebanon, and the quality of drinking water is among its greatest concerns in the current situation, a WHO official in Beirut told Interfax Saturday. “There is also the threat…

Fast food and quicksilver

We’ve posted about this before (here and here) when it was still in the middle distance, but now it’s a disaster just over the horizon. It’s the National Uniformity for Food Act (S.3128) (aka The Food Industry Protection Act), poised to become law if it passes the US Senate. It is a blunderbuss aimed at…

Sunday is a quiet time to relax, read the papers, listen to music on the radio. If you live in Fresno, try KFYE-FM. Not interested, because last time you listed to it there was nothing but Christian music, sermons and Bible stories? Tune in again. As of last week it’s now Porn Radio: “all sex…

Yesterday we posted on the failure — the refusal, really — of Indonesia’s Ministry of Health to release any of the human flu sequences or isolates. Indonesia is now the country with more fatalities than any other, having passed Vietnam for that dubious honor. We now learn via Declan Butler that Indonesia had also been…

Say you’re sorry, Chuck

I think NY Senator Chuck Schumer is a jerk, so don’t take this defense of him the wrong way. I still think he’s a jerk. But this attack on him by the wingnut wrongosphere is just too stupid to pass commenting on: The executive committee of the National Clergy Council, representing church leaders from Catholic,…

The failure to have sequences from Indonesia made available to the world’s scientific community continues to be a scandal. Whose doorstep to lay the blame? There would seem to be three possibilities: WHO, the scientists who do the sequencing, and the Government of Indonesia. An official from the government has already said they would consider…

More on popcorn workers lung

Forty-two scientists and two unions are asking OSHA to do something about popcorn workers lung, a serious, sometimes fatal respiratory disease called bronchiolitis obliterans associated with breathing diacetyl or diacetyl-associated fumes while working with flavorings like artificial butter in microwave popcorn manufacture (see our previous post here). The petitioners want OSHA to promulgate an Emergency…

Bird flu in Thailand again

It seems the dam has broken in Thailand as far as talking about possible bird flu. For nine months the Thais have been saying their aggressive culling strategy has been working to keep H5N1 at bay. We and others have wondered if the virus was just flying beneath the Thai radar, despite official denials. Even…

Influenza/A viruses naturally infect aquatic wildfowl like ducks and there are a lot of influenza/A subtypes besides the H5N1 that has been in the news. Some people are heavily exposed to wild ducks, namely serious duck hunters and game handlers. Why don’t they get infected with some of the other influenza virus subtypes? It turns…