Tuesday, August 4, 2009

News Flash

The Boston Globe ran several front-page public health stories today, totally catching my attention. In case you missed it on NPR (I heard a few of them during my 6 hour drive from PA) or don't get the paper -- here are the links and a brief description of the stories.

  • Safer Sex Campaign Launched by BPHC -- Boston Public Health Commission has launched their safer sex campaign targeting teens aged 15-19 because of the rising rates of Chlamydia (a serious STI) in this age group. The campaign uses new media, including YouTube (video above!) and Facebook, and more traditional forms of media -- MTV, for instance -- to communicate protecting yourself during sex (by using condoms) and getting tested for STI/HIV if sexually active. It uses a peer-to-peer model.
  • MA Issues BPA Warning -- Children and pregnant women should avoid any and all contact with food and drink that has been stored or heated in containers with BPA. The article describes what to look for to avoid BPA plastics (7 PC or 7 on the bottom of the container where the recycle sign is) and who is most at risk: children and babies still in the womb. This warning does not mean that BPA will be banned from children's products, but it is a move in that direction.
  • 119 New Bedford Residents Sickened by 'Mystery Fumes' -- Black outs, nausea, and itchy throats were just a few of the symptoms of over a hundred people who visited the ABC Disposal Services Inc transfer station in New Bedford yesterday. Several people were admitted to the local hospital. The odor was overwhelming, described as 'propane gas with ammonia mixed into it' by one person affected. Illegal dumping may be to blame. Seems like a case for Erin Brocovich.
  • Road Tests for the Elderly in NH -- Should MA adopt our neighbor's policy of regularly testing adults over age 65 for driving competency before reissuing licenses? This article makes the claim that doing so may reduce crash fatalities involving seniors.

Woohoo -- public health getting the attention it deserves!

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