poisoning

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Since 2000, overdose deaths due to prescription painkillers in Utah have increased by more than 400 percent. By 2006, more Utahans were losing their lives to prescription drug overdoses than to motor vehicle crashes. For Dr. Lynn Webster, a longtime pain management physician, the startling numbers were a call to action.

It took six years of going from doctor to doctor to doctor for Penney Cowan to finally receive a diagnosis for her chronic pain: fibromyalgia. Doctors had told her she’d just have to learn to live with the pain — a condition that some days made it hard to lift a cup of coffee. So when she decided to join the pain program at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic, she didn’t have high hopes. She says she expected the effort to fail.

The costs of lead poisoning

Deborah Blum at Speakeasy Science has put up a terrific two-part post about the early history of leaded gasoline, which bears much of the blame for lead poisoning in workers and the general population. (Paint containing lead is the other main culprit.) Blum’s “At the Door of the Loony Gas Building” and “Of Dead Bodies…