Quick quiz: What's the most dangerous spot in the house? Sure, kitchens and icy front stoops are common places to injure yourself, but bathrooms rank right up there, according to a report published today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We slip in the tub or on wet tile. We get dizzy and faint from soaking in a jacuzzi tub too long. We cause a bloody toe on our child's foot from clipping a nail too close to the skin -- okay that's just me.
The CDC, though, wants you to know to beware of the bathroom. The agency estimates that more than 234,000 nonfatal bathroom injuries in those over 15 years of age were treated in emergency departments in 2008. More than 80 percent were caused by falls. (Nail clipper incidents and stubbed toes go unreported since they don't usually require emergency room care.)
What is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and what should you do if you think someone is suffering from these heat-related illnesses?
Recognizing the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion is important on days such as this when temperatures are expected to near 100 degrees in some areas.
Doctors said the finding that exemestane, a Pfizer drug, could prevent breast cancer will provide a new option for women who have mostly shied away from taking other drugs aimed at preventing breast cancer because of rare, but serious side effects. Today, only a tiny fraction of the women who could potentially benefit from such medications take advantage of them, and researchers said increased adoption of risk-reducing drugs could benefit millions of women.FULL ENTRY
On the heels of the World Health Organization's decision to place cellphone use on its list of items that can potentially cause cancer, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) today issued a call for a "thorough review" of the research on the long term health risks of using mobile phones.
He co-wrote a letter with two other Congressmen asking the Government Accountability Office to determine what the heck the federal government is doing about studying potential cellphone risks and making consumers aware of possible problems -- like a small increased risk of brain tumors -- that may or may not be real.FULL ENTRY
The World Health Organization yesterday placed cell phone use on its list of items that can potentially cause cancer in humans, based on studies suggesting an increased risk of glioma, a rare type of brain cancer. The group based its new classification on a review of the research by a group of 31 scientists from various countries, which found the data were limited but enough to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
"The evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion ... that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk," said University of Southern California epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Samet, who chaired the group of scientists, in a statement released to the media.FULL ENTRY
Consumer Reports this week published its annual ratings of sunscreens. Their experts tested 22 sprays, creams, and lotions, and found nine that provided "excellent protection" against sunburn-causing ultraviolet B radiation along with "very good protection" against ultraviolet A radiation -- associated with tanning, wrinkles and sunspots. Both UVA rays and UVB rays contribute to skin cancer risk.
The leading picks for protection (starred choices also mean they're best-buys):FULL ENTRY
Earlier this week, the Environmental Working Group released its annual list of sunscreen rankings, warning again about the bulk of sunscreens "filled with problematic ingredients, unsubstantiated marketing claims and lack-luster protection." The group claims that three out of five sunscreens offer inadequate protection against ultraviolet A rays -- which are associated with skin cancer and wrinkles.The rankings are in response to a four-year delay by the US Food and Drug Administration to issue new sunscreen regulations, says EWG research analyst Nneka Leiba. "Because the FDA has been so lax in finalizing sunscreen safety rules, companies are getting away with producing products that donít protect people and have toxic chemicals." FULL ENTRY
The news is startling: Nearly one in five young adults ages 24 to 32 has high blood pressure -- a condition that's more often associated with middle age. That finding, published yesterday in the journal Epidemiology, suggests that hypertension may be far more common than previously thought.
It was based on blood pressure measurements, at a single point in time, of 14,000 men and women and differs markedly from the findings of previous government health surveys in which 4 percent of young adults reported that they had high blood pressure. The study authors said that they couldn't explain the vast difference in rates but that it could be due to the fact that many young people are unaware that they have hypertension -- or are unwilling to admit it in a survey.FULL ENTRY
It's been about four years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a proposed rule that would put in place new standards for sunscreens -- making it easier for consumers to determine which products provide the best protection against the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. Yet they still haven't implemented any new labeling requirements.
Concerned by the long delay, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) will introduce legislation tomorrow requiring the FDA to strengthen labeling and testing standards for sunscreen products, and do so within six months. The bill would direct the FDA to impose a one-to-four star labeling system that let consumers know just how much a product will protect them against burns, wrinkles and skin cancer.FULL ENTRY
Any Little League parent who saw the Saturday night pitch that smacked Chicago Cubs batter Marlon Byrd in the eye may be wondering whether they should worry about all those errant throws by small tykes on the field -- and what sorts of precautions they should take. (I often bring a couple of ice packs to my 11-year-old son's baseball games, and they're frequently used for team injuries.)
Byrd -- who took a direct hit to his eye from a ball thrown by Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves -- was treated for multiple facial fractures and released after spending the night at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary, according to Cubs spokesman Peter Chase.FULL ENTRY
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