Health Updates 22 April 2011

  • CDC sees public smoking banned in all states by 2020: “Another 10 states, including Florida, prohibit smoking in one or two of those areas, but not all three. Florida law still permits smoking in bars. ‘That leaves many bar workers and patrons exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke,’ a CDC spokesman said”. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • 2nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: “On April 30, Americans across the country will have the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs” as part of National Rx Drug Take Back Day.  “According to the National Institute on Drug abuse, one in five Americans has used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.  Prescription drug abuse is also on the rise among teens.  Many say removing unwanted medications from the home will help thwart that trend”.  Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi observed that “often the family medicine cabinet is where the prescription drug abuse problem begins”.  Participating law enforcement agencies will set up and run the drug drop-off sites.  After collecting the expired or unused medications, they will then safely dispose of them. (Farah Dosani,
  • Pesticide Exposure in Womb Affects IQ: “Babies exposed to high levels of common pesticides in the womb have lower I.Q. scores than their peers by the time they reach school age, according to new studies”.  The studies started about ten years ago.  Individuals can do a great deal to limit their own exposure.  “In homes with pest problems, sealing up cracks and crevices in baseboards and cleaning up food residue has been shown to be more effective at controlling cockroaches than using pesticides”.  Buying organic foods can help; better washing and peeling of conventionally grown produce also reduces exposure.  EWG has a publication that  shows which foods have the highest and lowest rates of pesticide exposure → shopper’s guide. (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times)

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