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Category archives for Consumers

As the flu pandemic ramped up with no vaccine in sight, attention turned to more prosaic things people might do to avoid infection. At the top of most lists was hand washing. I think hand washing is a good thing to do, although the evidence it does much against influenza specifically is weak or non-existent.…

3-D horror movies

When I was young there was a brief fad for 3-D movies. You had to wear those red/green glasses they gave you in the movie theater but the effects were pretty spectacular. I remember seeing Vincent Price in House of Wax and it was pretty impressive to my 11 year old psyche. But 3D faded.…

A Christmas public health hazard

I am not a Christian (not now, not ever) but I have always liked Christmas. It’s my favorite (secular) holiday and when the time comes (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) we Reveres will likely write our traditional Christmas post explaining just why we aren’t the obligatory curmudgeons on the issue. But that’s for then. There…

The National Pork Producers Council didn’t like swine flu being called swine flu. Bad for business. So we now call it 2009 H1N1 or some such thing. It’s totally swine-origin, but hey, if Lord Agribusiness doesn’t like it, that’s that. Same thing with antibiotic resistant bacteria, like methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”; best source on…

If you smell, here’s a remedy

If you don’t want to smell, the FDA has a recommendation: use an over-the-counter cold remedy that contains an intranasal zinc solution. You won’t smell. Possibly ever again:

The BPA cabal’s toxic memo

We were among the first to bring you the full text of the leaked minutes of the secret meeting of the bisphenol-A (BPA) cabal at a posh private club in Washington, DC on May 28. It turns out those minutes may be almost as toxic to the cabal as their endocrine disrupting chemical is to…

We’ve had occasion to write about the endocrine noise-maker bisphenol-A (BPA) quote a few times (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here for starters). The word about BPA has gotten to consumers and they have fled BPA-containing products like they are swine flu carriers. Meanwhile the scientific evidence is piling up and what…

Getting rid of dry cleaning solvent

If you have any of your clothes dry cleaned it’s more than likely you are being exposed to a chlorinated solvent called PCE (for perchloroethylene aka perc aka tetrachloroethylene/tetrachloroethene). You may be lucky enough to also get some in your drinking water, too (which means you are also breathing it and absorbing it through your…

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that if the FDA approves a drug, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep the labeling up to date if you should warn people. So that settles one question about FDA approval. The FDA put its stamp of approval on the drug Vioxx, too, but approved or not, Vioxx…

Fire in the operating room

I’ve seen surgeons blow up in the operating room but never saw an operating room blow up. But according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s not that rare for them to catch fire and sometimes worse. Operating rooms are full of flammable gases and materials and oxygen. Moreover it isn’t just a matter of taking…