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Author Archive

Coping with the News Without Changing the Channel

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

June is National PSTD Awareness Month and as our understanding of trauma has changed, so have our tools for coping with it. After Lawrence O’Donnell, the host of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was in a head-on auto collision last April, he discovered something that a lot of health-conscious people were already aware of: Watching the news can be stressful.

After the trauma of his accident, O’Donnell had serious injuries, and for much of his recovery, the Daily Beast reports that he “discovered that it was best not to expose himself to newspapers or television, or media of any kind, lest he have to digest bad news that would set him back psychologically; he was a quivering mass of raw nerve endings.” Read More→

Bugs R Us

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Published on EcoWatch
From the get-go, conventional medicine’s signature promise was to help humans kill infections and wipe out invading bacteria via antibiotics and vaccines.But research over the last decade reveals that fighting germs with antibiotics, injecting antibiotics into livestock animals, and dousing ourselves, our homes, and our environment with antibacterial toothpastes, cleansers, and soaps may turn out to be a misguided, producing long term health consequences. Read More→

Published on AlterNet
Wilma Subra has studied the biological impacts of industrial and naturally occurring chemicals for over twenty-five years. When chemical spills or toxic industrial releases affect unsuspecting communities, Subra — a distinguished microbiologist and chemist — often gets called in to investigate. Her experiences have taught her that the contamination of communities and waterways is just part of doing business for multinational corporations and it is becoming a significant, growing byproduct of our current, poorly regulated industrial practices. Read More→

Letting Climate Change Break Our Hearts

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Published on EcoWatch
We know about climate change. Apart from those imprisoned in a fortress of science denial, 69% of Americans give credence to the 95% of climate scientists who agree on the reality and trajectory of climate change and its man-made contributors. Read More→

Statins: When Does Economics Intrude on Health Advice?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

With statin medications, used to prevent heart attacks, among the most widely prescribed drugs in the U.S., most people make certain assumptions:

There is solid science for their use.
There is no doubt that their targeted mechanism of action prevents a heart attack.
No less costly approaches exist.

None of these is entirely true. Read More→

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In response to a plunge in sales of artificially sweetened sodas last week, Coca-Cola announced plans to roll out an ad campaign to win back popular favor for its aspartame-containing beverage, Diet Coke. (Diet Pepsi, which also contained aspartame, saw its sales fall 6.2 percent in 2012 while regular Pepsi sales fell little more than half that amount.)
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Dr. Paul Offit, the Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases at
 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
 has authored a new book, Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine (Harper, 2013) Now on the stump, he encourages thinking more critically about health care treatments. Too bad his is a one-sided view. And that his intended audience is unlikely to be convinced because health information has been increasingly available over the last twenty-five years. Nor do many physicians and prominent medical organizations subscribe to his views (although a few legislators do.) Read More→

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Lautenberg’s Legacy and the Chemical Regs He Championed

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

When Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) died Monday morning at age 89, the Senate lost its oldest member, (he was also the last WWII veteran), and proponents of toxic chemical safety, gun safety, and other protections lost a champion. His most enduring legacy should have been the passage of the Safe Chemicals Act he first introduced in 2010.

But due to pressure and lobbying by the chemical industry, the original version of the bill never made it to the Senate floor for a vote despite Lautenberg’s committed work (in alliance with a coalition of environment groups) to get a vote on it every year from 2010 to 2012. The American Chemistry Council opposed the bill, and via lobbyists, campaign contributions, and paid advertising for select candidates stalled forward momentum.
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Why Safe Regulation of Fracking is a Fiction

Monday, February 18th, 2013

A New York State commissioned Health Review is central to the debate over whether fracking can be done safely in New York. The long awaited release of the Review findings, commissioned in September by the state Department of Health (DOH) at Governor Andrew Cuomo’s behest, will inform the Governor’s impending decision about whether or not to go forward with proposed fracking guidelines, the prelude to permits to frack New York State.

Listen to Fracking: NY Reprieve for Health with Larysa Dyrszka MD and Roger Downs of the Sierra Club on Connect the Dots on the Progressive Radio Network.

The the perennial promises of safer regulations fail to account for fracking as the next in an ever-growing and ever more toxic series of health-damaging industrial outputs that people inhale, eat, or absorb into their skin, guts, and brains. When industry has blocked the EPA from studying or regulating 70,000 chemicals, (from BPA and flame retardants to potent neurotoxins), since 1975, why would regulating fracking be possible? Read More→

Why 911 Survivors Fear Next Explosion

Friday, January 18th, 2013

When some 9/11 responders–many with health issues from that crisis–sought to regain their health, many settled in the small town of “Guns and Hoses,” the nickname of Minisink, N.Y. The many police and firemen who live there (in keeping with residency parameters imposed on NYC emergency service employees) never could have foreseen that within a few years, Minisink (located north of NYC) would become a high-risk zone for gas explosions and contamination, thanks to a plan to build a major compressor station for a gas pipeline–smack in the center of town.

Listen to Pramilla Malick of StopMCS and Tanyette Colon of MUST discuss Minisink on Connect the Dots on Progressive Radio.

Read More→