Category Archives: Home Health Hazards

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Real Drug Stories

States Continue to Ban Powdered Alcohol

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Photo credit: Liberal America

Powdered alcohol seems to be moving in the opposite direction of marijuana these day, with a total of five states having banned the substance, according to the Alcohol Justice website and 25 more having introduced legislation to do so.

Among the states that have passed legislation to ban powdered and crystalline alcohol products, are: Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts has issued a regulatory decision that powdered alcohol is not legal in the state and the Pennsylvania liquor control board voted unanimously to keep powdered alcohol off of its product lists.

Among the reasons for the bans and potential bans are concerns that the powder can be easily accessed and hidden by youth and the packets are also similar to nonalcoholic children’s drink packets. People could also easily combine the packets, mix the powder with liquid alcohol, mix it with energy drinks, sneak it into venues where alcohol is not allowed and potentially snort it.

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Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Real Drug Stories

Mixing Medication and Dietary Supplements Can be Bad for Health

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Dietary supplements could alter the way medication works, regardless of whether it is prescription or over-the-counter medicine.take vitamins

“Some dietary supplements may increase the effect of your medication, and other dietary supplements may decrease it,” Robert Mozersky, a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said.

Certain dietary supplements may change absorption, metabolism, or excretion of a medication and therefore affect its potency.

“You may be getting either too much or too little of a medication you need,” Mozersky warned.

Combining dietary supplements and medications could even have life-threatening effects. For example, drugs for HIV/AIDS, heart disease, depression, treatments for organ transplants, and birth control pills are less effective when taken with the herbal supplement St. John’s Wort. Depending on the medication involved, the results can be serious.

Also, warfarin (a prescription blood thinner), ginkgo biloba (an herbal supplement), aspirin and vitamin E can each thin the blood, so taking any of these products together may increase the potential for internal bleeding or stroke.

Dietary supplements are widely used and include vitamins, minerals, and other less familiar substances—such as herbals, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes.

Addiction Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Children of Dads Who Smoked Pre-Conception More Likely to Have Asthma: Study

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Children are more likely to have asthma if their fathers smoked prior to conceiving them, a new German study has found. kid with asthma

The research looked at the smoking habits of 13,000 men and women who responded to survey questions, including whether they have smoked, when and for how long. They also indicated whether they stopped smoking before conceiving, according to a news release about the study, which found fathers who smoked prior to conception raised the chances of their unborn children having asthma. Fathers who had been smoking longer and fathers who began smoking before 15 were more likely to have babies born with asthma.

Mothers smoking prior to conception was not associated with increased asthma risk among the women in the survey.

It isn’t exactly clear how smoking before conception could cause asthma, but air pollution is certainly a factor, the authors said.

“This study is important as it is the first study looking at how a father’s smoking habit pre-conception can affect the respiratory health of his children,” said one of the study authors, Dr. Cecile Svanes, of the University of Bergen, Norway, in a statement. “Given these results, we can presume that exposure to any type of air pollution, from occupational exposures to chemical exposures, could also have an effect.”

Asthma is a condition that causes the airways to swell, leading to labored breathing and tightness around the lungs. At least 25 million Americans have asthma, and 7 million of them are children, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.


Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Health apps not only likely useless, could potentially harm you

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If you are using one of the thousands of health apps out there, including: calorie counters; blood-pressure testers; and even music-therapy apps, you are using an unregulated piece of software that could potentially harm you. health apps

An article in The New England Journal of Medicine says there are over 97,000 mobile health (mHealth) apps available and that because these apps aren’t effectively regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, many of them could be useless, if not harmful.

Medical companies like Pfizer and Sanofi Aventis have already had to send out warnings that their apps were giving wonky readings and some mHealth apps like Pocket Doctor promise to give medical diagnosis while simultaneously claiming to be just for entertainment purposes.

It’s not that mHealth apps are all useless, the article authors say, it’s just that most people aren’t savvy enough to know that many of them are questionable at best and shouldn’t be trusted to be accurate.

Currently, the FDA doesn’t get overly involved in the mHealth industry, except when there could be a clear danger to people when a health app is misused.

Unless an app is associated with a medical institution you know and trust, or unless you can find specific information backing up its claims and methods, it’s best to cast a wary eye at anything health-related that can be downloaded to your phone.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Substance Abuse

New post gives parents much needed information on Spice

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Synthetic marijuana has been a scourge for years now and a recently published post gives parents the definitive information they need to know about this dangerous drug.Spice

The information contained in the article includes the effects of the drug, several statistics about its usage and tips about how parents can protect their children from abusing the drug.

The tips include:

  • Communicate with your teen.
  • Make your position clear.
  • Check in frequently.
  • Look for signs of use.
  • If necessary, seek help.

To read the full Parent’s Guide to Spice, click here.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards Real Drug Stories Substance Abuse

Study Shows 1 in 5 High School Seniors Have Tried Hookah

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About 18% of high school seniors, or one in five, have tried smoking tobacco through a hookah pipe, a new study has found.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Clare on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Ryan Clare on Flickr

The study, performed by New York University researchers, involved data from the Monitoring the Future nationwide study, which follows teens’ behaviors, values, and attitudes. Of the almost 15,000 kids aged 18 involved in the study, 5,540 were questioned about their hookah use between 2010 and 2012.

Researchers also found that “students of higher socioeconomic status appear to be more  likely to use hookah,” said Dr. Joseph Palamar, assistant professor of population health at NYU Langone Medical Center, in a press release. “Surprisingly, students with more educated parents or higher personal income are at high risk for use. We also found that hookah use is more common in cities, especially big cities. So hookah use is much different from cigarette use, which is more common in non-urban areas.”

Traditionally from the Middle East, hookah involves smoking flavored tobacco from a large water pipe. It’s become increasingly popular in North America and other parts of the world, in part, because it’s believed to be less harmful to the body — the tobacco is considered to be milder. However, that’s not entirely the case because hookah smokers tend to take more puffs in one session, resulting in similar, if not worse effects than smoking.

In New York City, hookahs have become popular, appearing in clubs, increasingly numerous hookah bars, and pretty much wherever someone with a hookah pipe wants to bring it. Among the general population, hookah use has increased by as much as 123%, co-author of the study Dr. Michael Weitzman said. But although they come with similar health risks — respiratory illness, herpes, heart disease, and some cancers — consistent use isn’t such an issue.

“Use tends to be much different from traditional cigarette smoking,” Palamar said in the release. “Right now it appears that a lot of hookah use is more ritualistic, used occasionally — for example, in hookah bars, and not everyone inhales.”

However, the researchers warned that people who begin using hookah may eventually turn to vape pens or e-cigarettes, which also sport a wide range of flavors while remaining mysterious in terms of health effects. Educating the public, and especially the youth, about how smoking hookah isn’t completely harmless may be the experts’ best bet.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Study: Hairdressers At Higher Risk Of Cancer Due To Hair Dye

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Hair products found in most salons have long been known to possess chemicals and vapors that may be harmful to human health. A new study was able to link prolonged exposure to these hair agents and a higher risk of developing cancer.

HaircoloringSwedish researchers were able to establish a connection between hair treatment products and a higher likelihood of hairdressers getting cancer. The suspect compound — carcinogenic aromatic amines — found in hair dyes and perm products may have contributed to the increase in cancer risk for hairdressers.

According to a news release, the study involved extraction of blood samples from close to 300 hairdressers, as well as frequent hair dye users and those tho haven’t undergone hair coloring for a year. For hairdressers, their exposure to hair treatment chemicals were also monitored.

Results of the study showed that the level of aromatic amines, particularly toluidines, in the blood samples of hairdressers increased with the number of treatments that they administer to customers. In addition, those exposed to perm or hair-waving products were found to have a higher level of o-toluidines. These amine variants have been touted as cancer-causing, based on previous studies.

While results do not signify a direct causality between hair dyes and cancer, researchers urge hairdressers to avoid skin exposure when handling hair coloring and perming products.

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Cases of measles highest in 20 years

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Call it a comeback.

Measles cases have reached a 20-year high in the United States, largely due to resistance to vaccination,  federal health officials said recently.

As of May 23, there were 288 confirmed cases in the US. That’s more than in all of 2013, and more than in the equivalent period of any year since 1994. And the number of cases is expected to rise during the summer travel season.

“This is not the kind of record we want to break,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of immunization and respiratory diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the highly contagious measles virus itself usually only causes fever and a rash, it can lead to much more serious things like pneumonia, brain damage, deafness and even death.

An unvaccinated American child who develops measles has about a one in 500 chance of dying, even with hospital care, according to the C.D.C.

There were fewer than 200 cases last year; the record low was 37 cases in 2004.

Of this year’s cases, 85% were in people not vaccinated because of religious, philosophical or personal objections, Dr. Schuchat said. Over half of them were aged 20 or older and may have included adults whose parents refused to vaccinate them years ago, she said.

Of the 288 who contracted the virus, 43 were hospitalized, most with pneumonia, but none died.

Addiction Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

New Documentary Aims to Change the Way People Think About Sugar

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A new documentary called Fed Up opens in theatres soon and its makers want the film to change the way people look at the food their eating, specifically sugar. The film is an exposé of the deadly consequences of excessive sugar consumption that accuses governments and the food industry of failing to combat the problem.sugar

The film is produced by the same woman, Laurie David, who was behind An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary that helped to change the way many people look at climate change. Stephanie Soechtig directed Fed Up and also acted as a producer, and Heather Reisman acted as an executive producer.

Sugar was thought for a long time to just cause tooth decay and weight gain, but in recent years it’s been implicated in a wide variety of health problems and more and more physicians are now saying the dangers of excessive sugar consumption are akin to those of smoking.

Many studies have shown that even moderate amounts of sugar can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and premature death.

For example, in February, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that people who get 10 – 25% of their daily calories from sugar increase their risk of cardiovascular problems by 30%.

In March, the World Health Organization said people should limit their consumption of added sugar to 5% of their caloric intake, about 100 calories for the average adult.

It’s that added sugar rather than naturally occurring sugar that has scientists worried, it’s the sugar that is added to cereal, condiments and sauces, packaged bread and drinks.

“Much of the sugar is hidden in our food supply, in various beverages,” says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and one of the authors of February’s JAMA study. “It’s not really necessary to add too much sugar to these foods.”

Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

BPA Possibly Linked to Prostate Cancer

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Bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA, has been under fire in recent years, as it’s been linked to numerous health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, immunological disorders and a range of reproductive abnormalities.prostate cancer

And now there is another dire link for the product: prostate cancer.

A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, is believed to be the first study to associate BPA and prostate cancer in people.

Researchers of the study, published in PLoS One, measured urinary BPA levels in 60 urology patients—27 men with prostate cancer and 33 men without it. The researchers found that men with prostate cancer had significantly higher levels of urinary BPA.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that provides preliminary evidence of an association of BPA exposure with PCa [prostate cancer] in a clinical setting,” the authors wrote.

BPA  has been used widely in plastics for decades and is present in thousands of consumer and commercial products. National studies have estimated that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has measurable levels of urinary BPA.