Testing It Up » August 2009

Monthly Archives: August 2009

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Tanning Beds Just as Harmful as Outdoor Tanning

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tanning bedIs getting a tan really worth it? Apparently not. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation are just as damaging as smoking cigarettes. The IARC ( a member of the World Health Organization) as a result, has classified tanning beds as carcinogenic to humans, the highest risk level of cancer. The reason for this according to 20 studies by the IARC is that when individuals under the age of 30 exposed themselves to the UV light of tanning beds their risk of developing cancer rose to 75%. It was once believed that certain types of UV radiation were not harmful, but all recent research involving UV light tells us otherwise, often causing mutations in mice who were used for testing. Since tanning beds have become more popular the level of skin and eye cancers have risen as well, most prominently in the young. Melanoma levels are particularly high, producing 62,000 new cases of melanoma this year and killing 8,000. Those looking for a tan are advised to use lotions and creams that provide the effect without the damage  and cancer risks of UV light.

Health & Wellness

California Workplace Smoking Restrictions

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There are restrictions on smoking in the workplace in California. One of the primary restrictions is that an employer can permit smoking in the workplace either intentionally or knowingly. The various smoking laws that are place in the State of California will be strictly imposed by the local law enforcement agencies. Moreover, other organizations like the local health departments will also be in charge of enforcing such smoking laws.

However, there are a few workplaces wherein these laws do not apply. Care should be maintained in such cases by the employer to make sure that minors do not smoke at such a workplace.

There is a specific fine that accompanies these restrictions is case the employer violates any on them. Moreover, after three violations of the restrictions, the employer’s workplace would undergo a thorough investigation. If there are break rooms at the workplace, then the smoking restrictions do not apply on them.

For full version of this article, please visit “California Workplace Smoking Restrictions“.

Health & Wellness

Stressed Out? You Might be Sending Signals

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122097134_c6e8190bdcHaving a particularly hard day at work? Getting stressed out? You might just be having an effect on your coworkers. According to recent research the sweat given off by a stressed individual may be causing those around you to become more aware and prepared for threat. Subjects in the study were exposed to sweat from two groups, one which consisted of first time skydivers and another came from a group that had run on a treadmill. While they were exposed to the sweat the subjects were studied with magnetic resonance imaging. While they did respond to the skydivers sweat with greater awareness it’s not believed that the response was caused by pheromones but rather a chemical secreted along with the sweat. Not much is known about the way humans interact based on pheromones or other chemicals that may be released to communicate danger and more research will be needed to verify if the same results would occur in another study group.  Understanding these responses could help to regulate emergency situations if the reaction could be better understood, it could also help to improve focus in those who are sleep deprived or who are conducting a repetitive job.

Health & Wellness

Start Eliminating Smoking at the Work Place

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If you want to eliminate smoking at the workplace you go to start NOW. You first need to chart out a strategy that will help you cut smoking from your workplace and thus also cut down on the health related costs. It must be a step-by-step procedure that will help you institute a set of regulations with respect to not smoking at the workplace.

The elimination of smoking at the work place should be an all round endeavour. It makes not sense to have a sudden change in the rules. This is because smokers cannot kick the habit at one go. They need time and they must be given time. Otherwise your strategy won’t be successful at all.

The policy must be such that it is acceptable to everybody. Think about aspects such as whether you want earmark a particular area for smokers or want a completely smoke free environment altogether.

For full version of this article, please visit “Start Eliminating Smoking at the Work Place“.

Health & Wellness

Smokeless Tobacco Just as Toxic as Ever

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tobaccoproblem

New research has found at least 21 new carcinogens and toxins in smokeless tobacco. According to this research this means that a single pinch of the product equals just as much harmful exposure as five cigarettes, making the effects far worse for the snuff user. Smokeless tobacco use has been rising since the 80s, primarily from the common misperception that smokeless tobacco is less harmful than cigarettes because it is not inhaled. The reality is that there are at least twenty six cancer causing substances in smokeless tobacco and a very high risk of developing oral cancers as well.  One of the new toxins found in smokeless tobacco is PAH, an environmental contaminate that comes from the wood burned in the fire curing process that makes the tobacco into a snuff.  Smokeless tobacco use is rising again due to the production and advertising of products like Snuss which offer smokers an alternative to going outdoors or looking for a smoking area when they need nicotine.

Health & Wellness

Smoking in the Workplace – Will Cost Your Company Money

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The fact that people smoke in your company workplace should be a cause of concern for you. The fact remains that smoking increases the costs to the company. The first reason being the loss of productivity of the people working in the company, and the habit of smoking will take a little out of the man-hours allotted for work.

The second reason for escalation of costs is absenteeism. Smoking, it is estimated, is the reason behind a lot of absent employees. This could undermine the moral of other employees and once again lead to a loss of productivity and disaffection. Your company will also face the music with respect to spiraling insurance costs. The more the smokers in your company, the more the health problems! This will escalate the insurance costs by a long way.

When it comes to cost, smoking is one of the costliest of all health risks.

For full version of this article, please visit “Smoking in the Workplace – Will Cost Your Company Money“.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Sleep Apnea Could Raise Your Risk of Dying

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sleep apneaAccording to new research by John Hopkins University, sleep apnea may put sufferers at a greater risk for chronic disease and death. During the study, which followed 6,400 men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 with the disorder for eight years, those with sever sleep apnea were 46% more likely to die earlier than  those without the condition. Men with sleep apnea saw the risk of death nearly double and faced a much higher rate of cardiovascular disease. Those who had only mild apnea were not at greater risk of dying according to the research. These findings underline the need for treatment and prevention for the disorder which already places it’s sufferers at a greater risk for developing health problems. If you suspect you may have apnea you should discuss your symptoms with your doctor and seek treatment for the disorder.

Health & Wellness

The Working of Second Hand Smoking Tests

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A diverse range of second hand smoking tests is available and most of them are quick, effective, and offer people an on the spot answer as to whether the person has been affected by tobacco smoke or not.

A second hand smoking test determines the level of tobacco exposure of a person. This exposure is over time and the people who frequently go through these tests include children, teenagers, and those who work in a place that allow smoking. One such second hand smoking test is the urine strip test. This non invasive test determines the levels of Cotinine, which is essentially a by product of the breaking down of nicotine by the body.

Another test is what is known as the HPLC based Fluorescent Test. However, this test is not a person based test but is used for the testing of the smoke in the environment.

For full version of this article, please visit “The Working of Second Hand Smoking Tests“.

Early Disease Detection Health & Wellness

Oral Sex Linked to Throat Cancer

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thraot cancer

A rise in HPV which can cause throat cancer if contracted during oral sex may be responsible for rising rates of the cancer. The dramatic rise in the virus over the course of the last two decades led the American Association for Cancer Research to call a meeting to discuss new research into HPV and its link to throat cancer. While tumors tested twenty years ago had HPV levels of about 20% current samples have a much higher rate 60% which is the reason for concern. It’s believed that because of the changing beliefs on sexual practice and interaction HPV may have become a more serious problem, potentially causing higher risk for developing head and neck cancer, including esophageal cancer. While it was once a problem primarily found in older people who drank and smoked now these cancers are being found in younger people. Part of the rise of oral sex is believed to be linked to a belief that it is safe sex, the reality is that oral sex should require protection as much as penetration  as it leaves those who practice it open to just as many diseases including AIDS as intercourse.

Health & Wellness

Children – Primary Sufferers of Passive Smoking Related Conditions

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It’s not just smoking that kills. Passive smoking kills as well, and the age group that is most affected by this are the children. Each year thousands of children are hospitalized with cases of asthma and other breathing related difficulties as a result of breathing cigarette smoke. They also suffer from conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis, both types of lung infection.

Moreover, maternal smoking is also responsible with what is known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Moreover, if a woman is pregnant and still does not give up smoking during her pregnancy, the chances of SIDS increase manifold. Ear infections in children might also be a result of the chemicals in the smoke. The symptoms of this infection, which affects the lining of the Eustachian tube, include pain, which could ultimately lead to a loss of hearing.

Various birth defects could arise if the mother smoked during pregnancy.

For full version of this article, please visit “Children – Primary Sufferers of Passive Smoking Related Conditions“.