Broadband and Health

Did you know that there’s a link between access to high-speed internet and chronic disease and preventable hospitalization? Access to information via broadband reduces both and when high-speed internet isn’t available it goes up.

So tells us a new interactive map by the FCC. You can explore the availability of broadband on one tab, health issues on another, demographics on a third and an overview on a fourth. Learn how to use the map and then zoom in by state, county and rural.

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Nail Salon Visit can Turn Into a Nightmare

You go to the nail salon to relax, get your nails done and to look good but you could end up getting none of those if the nail salon you’re going to isn’t following proper hygiene regulations. A report by Fox23.com found that more and more women are ending up with serious infections because tools weren’t properly sterilized and other hygiene safeguards weren’t adhered to:

Nail_Salons


Do You Want Your Receipt?

Receipt

Next time you make a purchase and the cashier asks if you want the receipt, you might want to say “no thanks!” because that receipt could make you sick. No, I’m not talking about the germs that might be on that tiny piece of paper, I’m talking about the toxic synthetic chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA).

Turns out the thermal printers used to print out those receipts use bisphenol A which is absorbed through the skin. Bisphenol A is a potent carcinogen, and neurotoxic  chemical, that has been linked to over 50 adverse health effects.

And while you’re thinking about how much you’ve been exposed over the years of being handed receipts, think about the poor cashier who has to hand one to every customer who comes through her line, all day long.

Additionally, it has been shown the absorption greatly increases when the BPA is mixed with certain other substances like hand sanitizers which many cashiers use often throughout the day to protect themselves from the germs on the money they handle.

You can read more about this issue in a report published by http://www.ehponline.org 

The abstract is entitled “Bisphenol A, Bisphenol S, and 4-Hydroxyphenyl 4-Isoprooxyphenylsulfone (BPSIP) in Urine and Blood of Cashiers


Health Implications of Drought: Infectious Disease

From the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/drought/infectious.htm

Increases in infectious disease can be a direct consequence of drought.

  • Viruses, protozoa, and bacteria can pollute both groundwater and surface water when rainfall decreases. People who get their drinking water from private wells may be at higher risk for drought-related infectious disease. Other groups also at increased risk include those who have underlying chronic conditions.
  • Acute respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses are more easily spread from person to person when hand washing is compromised by a perceived or real lack of available water. During water shortages, the risk for infectious disease increases when hygiene is not maintained.
  • E. coli and Salmonella are examples of bacteria that during drought can more readily contaminate food and cause infectious disease. Food can serve as a vehicle for disease transmission during a drought because water shortages can cause farmers to use recycled water to irrigate their fields and process the food they grow. When used to grow crops, improperly treated water can cause a host of infectious diseases (such as those caused by toxin-producing E. coli and Salmonella), which can be life-threatening for people in high-risk groups. In addition, the likelihood of surface runoff, which can occur when rain fails to penetrate the dry and compacted soil that often accompanies drought, can cause the inadvertent contamination of crops.
  • Other infectious disease threats arise when drought leads to the contamination of surface waters and other types of water that are used for recreational purposes. When temperatures rise and rainfall declines, people are more likely to participate in water-related recreation. Persons exposed to contaminated recreational waters are more likely to become infected with pathogens that thrive in the shallow warm waters that exist during drought conditions.


New “It’s The Law” Poster from OSHA

OSHA unveiled the newest “It’s The Law” poster this past week. This poster must be posted in places of business where employees can see it. It lists the rights of the workers and the responsibilities of the employer with regards to safety.

PosterYou can download a 12.75″ x 17.75″ copy directly from the OSHA website or you can call 1-800-321-6742 and request a copy.

The poster is also available in Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Polish and Portuguese. To download one of the foreign language posters visit the OSHA website at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html