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WHO urges ban on TB blood tests

"Blood tests designed to detect active tuberculosis (TB) are inaccurate and should be banned, the World Health Organization has said. More than 2 million such tests are carried out annually, but the WHO says they are unethical and lead to misdiagnosis and the mistreatment of patients. The organisation's review of these tuberculosis test kits says they give wrong results in around 50 percent of cases. The kits are mainly sold in the developing world. However, most of the 18 kits on the market are produced in Europe and North America."

Complete story is on the WHO Media Centre web site.

An estimated 9 million new cases of tuberculosis occur worldwide each year. WHO's goal for tuberculosis (TB) control is to detect 70 percent of new, smear-positive TB cases. However, many cases go undetected (see

See also WHO's Global TB control report 2010, which includes links to TB data files.

Aug 03, 2011 | Categories: News | msholinb

Report on Carcinogens: Industry pressure postponed release

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released the 12th Report on Carcinogens, a science-based document that identifies chemicals and biological agents that may put people at increased risk for cancer.

The industrial chemical formaldehyde and a botanical known as aristolochic acids are listed as known human carcinogens. Six other substances - captafol, cobalt-tungsten carbide (in powder or hard metal form), certain inhalable glass wool fibers, o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine, and styrene - are added as substances that are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens. With these additions, the 12th Report on Carcinogens now includes 240 listings. It is available at, as well as the Public Health Library's Cancer Resources web page.

The listing of formaldehyde and styrene, two widely used chemicals, was fought by the chemical industry. Release of the report was held up, but the report was finally released a few weeks ago.

View the press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. View a blog post from the Natural Resources Defense Council describing the controversy.

Jul 01, 2011 | Categories: News, New Resources | msholinb

Hundreds of New Online Books Now Available

The UC Libraries now provide access to the 2011 e-books from Wiley, available on the Wiley Online Library.

The Wiley ebook collection will serve a wide range of research needs in the life, health and physical sciences, social science, and the humanities. The 2011 books will be added to the collection throughout the year as they are published, and they will be findable in OskiCat.

2011 titles of possible interest include:

  • Patty's Industrial Hygiene
  • Textbook of Psychiatric Epidemiology, 3rd Edition
  • Collaborative Computational Technologies for Biomedical Research
  • Cigarette Smoke Toxicity: Linking Individual Chemicals to Human Diseases
  • Cardiovascular Effects of Inhaled Ultrafine and Nano-Sized Particles
  • Urban Remote Sensing: Monitoring, Synthesis and Modeling in the Urban Environment

and many more

Jun 08, 2011 | Categories: New Resources | msholinb

Website, catalog, and more: downtime June 12

The library website, the OskiCat catalog, the proxy server, and many other online systems will be down during campus electrical work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.

Affected systems include:

You can continue to search Next Generation Melvyl during this time, though it will not show current status information for UC Berkeley items and the Request button will not function.

Update: It was initially reported that the proxy server would be unavailable. In fact, the proxy server will be available for off-campus access during the Data Center power outage. However, if you have any problems with it, you may use the campus VPN (Library VPN option) instead.

Jun 07, 2011 | Categories: News | msholinb

Historic Public Health Posters from W.H.O.

"Since it was set up in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) has used posters to influence national health policies. A recently published book celebrates the story of public health posters and their cross-cultural power. They chart decades of changing health priorities, advertising trends and government regulations, inviting the reader to reflect on how public health campaigns have evolved, and how they could be improved."

The book, Public health campaigns : getting the message across, is now in the Public Health Library (Call number RA427.8 .P83 2009, and is also available online: each chapter is a (large) PDF file.

May 24, 2011 | Categories: News, New Resources | msholinb

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