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Who's Afraid of the Nanny State? Freedom, Regulation, and Public Health

The journal Public Health recently published a set of articles on the so-called Nanny State that came out of a mini-symposium. Makes for interesting reading!

Here's a list of the articles, they are all in Public Health, Volume 129, Issue 8 (August 2015):

  • Who's afraid of the nanny state? Introduction to a symposium
  • Relational conceptions of paternalism: a way to rebut nanny-state accusations and evaluate public health interventions
  • Which nanny ? the state or industry? Wowsers, teetotallers and the fun police in public health advocacy
  • Informed choice and the nanny state: learning from the tobacco industry
  • Public health and the value of disobedience
  • Freedom and the state: nanny or nightwatchman?
  • Food reformulation and the (neo)-liberal state: new strategies for strengthening voluntary salt reduction programs in the UK and USA
  • Case studies in nanny state name-calling: what can we learn?
  • Of nannies and nudges: the current state of U.S. obesity policymaking
  • A balanced intervention ladder: promoting autonomy through public health action
Jun 16, 2016 | Categories: Events and Workshops, New Resources | msholinb

US National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Study Report Released

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has been conducting experiments in rats and mice on potential health hazards from cell phone radiofrequency radiation. Today, the NTP released a report on some important study findings.

Here are some key points about the cell phone study:

  • The nomination for the NTP to study cell phone radiofrequency radiation was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • These are the largest most complex studies ever conducted by the NTP.
  • For the studies, rodents were exposed to frequencies and modulations currently used in cellular communications in the United States. Rats and mice were exposed for 10-minute on, 10-minute off increments, totaling just over 9 hours a day from before birth through 2 years of age.
  • The NTP found low incidences of tumors in the brains and hearts of male rats.
  • NTP has provided these findings to its federal regulatory partners to enable them to have the latest information for public health guidance about safe ways to use cellular telephones and other radiofrequency radiation emitting devices.

Likewise, the NTP is providing the findings to the public. A report has been posted at http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2016/05/26/055699. The report is titled, "Report of Partial Findings From the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley SD Rats (Whole Body Exposure)." Studies in mice and further evaluations of the rat studies are continuing. The complete results from all the rat and mice studies will be available for peer review and public comment by the end of 2017.

- from NTP News, May 27, 2016

Jun 13, 2016 | Categories: News | msholinb

A small number of "hyper-polluters" doing the most harm, mostly to communities of color

A recent study published in Environmental Rsearch Letters concludes that a relatively small number of polluting facilities is responsible for the greatest amount of pollution. And, this promarily affects communities of color or low-icome areas.

This research relies on two data sources?the US Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Screening Environmental Indicators-Geographic Microdata (RSEI-GM) from 2007 and the US Census of Population and Households from 2000. Results of the analysis provide strong evidence that toxic outliers exist. And, as they isolated the points with the highest exposure estimates, a greater density of low income households and nonwhite populations were found. "In an analysis of all permitted industrial facilities across the United States, we show that there exists a class of hyper-polluters - the worst-of-the-worst - that disproportionately expose communities of color and low income populations to chemical releases."

Linking 'toxic outliers' to environmental justice communities Mary B Collins, Ian Munoz and Joseph JaJa Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 1 (in a special issue, Focus on Environmental Justice: New Directions in International Research).

Feb 19, 2016 | Categories: News | msholinb

Finding Health Statistics & Data
a D-Lab training, March 1, 2016 - 12 to 1:30 PM

Finding Health Statistics & Data

Register:

http://dlab.berkeley.edu/training/finding-health-statistics-2

Date:
Tue, March 1, 2016 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Location:

D-Lab Convening Room (356 Barrows Hall)

Description:
Participants in this workshop will learn about some of the issues surrounding the collection of health statistics, and will also learn about authoritative sources of health statistics and data. We will look at tools that let you create custom tables of vital statistics (birth, death, etc.), disease statistics, health behavior statistics, and more. The focus will be on US statistics, but sources of non-US statistics will be covered as well.
Whether you need a quick fact or a data set to analyze, this workshop will lead you to relevant data sources. Students will have a chance to explore some of these tools in class, so please bring your laptop.

Instructor:

Michael Sholinbeck, Outreach/Instruction Librarian, Sheldon Margen Public Health Library

Register:
http://dlab.berkeley.edu/training/finding-health-statistics-2

Feb 18, 2016 | Categories: News, Events and Workshops | msholinb

Resource Guides on Recent Public Health Incidents: Zika, Flint, Aliso Canyon

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) recently developed resource lists for three public health emergencies affecting both local and global communities:

An incident web page was created to gather resources on the emerging health issues arising from the Zika Virus.

Two PDF documents on recent chemical incidents have been updated.

Links to these lists are included below and also can be found on the NLM Disaster Health home page, https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov

Zika Virus Health Information Resources https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/zikavirus.html

Lead in Flint, Michigan Water System https://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/FlintLeadWater.pdf

Aliso Canyon/Porter Ranch Gas Leak https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/aliso_canyon_gas_leak.pdf

These resource lists link to a variety of sources such as:

  • Local, state, federal and international agencies and organizations
  • Database searches for the health information issues around the incidents
  • Social media resources for situational awareness

To keep up-to-date on these and other Disaster Health resources, please sign-up for email updates: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNLMDIMRC/subscriber/new.

Jan 28, 2016 | Categories: News, New Resources | msholinb

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