Archives for April, 2009

This year’s flu season

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure This year’s flu season isn’t over, but it’s almost over, and it was fairly typical and much better than last year, which was nasty. It began at the end of September but didn’t take off until early January, peaking in mid Februrary. New cases are still appearing but much…

Cleaner Stoves Good for Lungs and Glaciers

In today’s New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal highlights an intervention that can slow global warming while improving people’s respiratory health: cleaner-burning stoves. Primitive cooking stoves emit black carbon (or soot), which researchers now estimate is responsible for 18% of global warming. How does it work? Rosenthal explains: Like tiny heat-absorbing black sweaters, soot particles warm…

A New Blog in the Health Reform Galaxy

A New Blog in the Health Reform Galaxy The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the biggest names in the health policy world, has launched a new blog, called The User’s Guide to the Health Reform Galaxy. I don’t know if they’re purposely invoking The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but like the fictional Guide, they…

Occupational Health News Roundup

Last summer, a fire in an illegal coal mine in China’s Hebei province killed 35 workers – and the mine owners managed to conceal the tragedy for three months. The New York Times’ Sharon LaFraniere reports: The mine owner paid off grieving families and cremated the miners’ bodies, even when relatives wanted to bury them.…

Getting rid of dry cleaning solvent

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure 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…

A New Idea in Malaria Prevention

The latest issue of the Economist highlights a new idea in malaria prevention. Traditional prevention efforts emphasize spraying, but mosquitoes evolve resistance to insecticides. Now, Penn State University’s Andrew Read offers this insight, which can help avoid the resistance problem: To stop malaria, we only need to kill the old mosquitoes. Once an adult female…

by revere, cross-posted from Effect Measure The idea that if the United States joins the rest of developed nations and finally adopts a universal health care system it will bankrupt itself is not based in reality. The reality is that the US spends a larger proportion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than any other…

by Ken Ward, Jr., cross-posted from Sustained Outrage: A Gazette Watchdog blog Last August, Kanawha Valley residents lived through the spectacle of their public safety officials practically begging the folks who run the Bayer CropScience chemical plant to tell them what was on fire, and what toxic chemicals residents nearby were being exposed to. Remember…

Friday Blog Roundup

The ways drugs are tested and marketed are under the spotlight these days: Liz Kowalczyk at White Coat Notes reports that doctors at Massachusetts Partners HealthCare hospitals will  no longer be allowed to accept gifts, meals, or “speakers bureau” travel from drug companies. Sarah Rubenstein at WSJ’s Health Blog explores the new Johns Hopkins policy,…

Beginning the Detox of Canada

Bill 167′s purpose is quite simple: “to prevent pollution and protect human health and the environment by reducing the use and creation of toxic substances, and to inform Ontarians about toxic substances” The bill, introduced on April 7 in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, is compared favorably to the 1989 Massachusetts’ Toxics Reduction Act (TURA).  Under the Massachusetts’ program, hundreds of…