Tag Archives: protect
Last week, legislators in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services heard compelling testimony on Assembly Bill 351. This modest and sensible bill would exempt Nevada’s medical marijuana patients from the state’s unscientific limit on how much THC they can have in their systems while driving.
For medical marijuana patients – who can legally consume marijuana – prohibiting small amounts of THC from showing up in blood tests is patently unfair. Active THC can remain in the bloodstream for days after consumption, even when it does not affect a person’s ability to drive. In effect, many medical marijuana patients are prohibited from driving because of this unfair law. Assemblyman William Horne aims to change this in his bill.
Nevada’s patients should not be prohibited from driving simply because they benefit from the use of medical marijuana. DUI’s should be based on impairment – not whether drivers have a legal substance in their bloodstream.
If you are a Nevada resident, please send a message to members of the Senate committee and voice your support for this bill!
Partial smoking bans still left study participants with signs of tobacco exposure
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) — People who opt for nonsmoking rooms in hotels with a partial smoking ban are not fully protected from harmful exposure to so-called “thirdhand” smoke, according to a new study.
Smoking in hotels leaves a trail of tobacco pollution in the air and on surfaces in both smoking and nonsmoking rooms, researchers Georg Matt and colleagues at San Diego State University found. New hotels should enforce total smoking bans to protect their guests and employees, said the study authors, who also advised people to avoid hotels that allow smoking in designated areas.
“Our findings demonstrate that some nonsmoking guest rooms in smoking hotels are as polluted with [third-hand smoke] as are some smoking rooms,” the researchers wrote. “Moreover, nonsmoking guests staying in smoking rooms may be exposed to tobacco smoke pollutants at levels found among nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke.”
The study involved 40 budget-priced to mid-range hotels in San Diego. Of these hotels, 10 had complete smoking bans. Thirty hotels had partial smoking bans with designated nonsmoking rooms. The findings appeared online May 13 in the journal Tobacco Control.
The researchers examined the hotel rooms’ surfaces and air quality for evidence of nicotine and 3EP, a marker of tobacco smoke. Urine and finger wipe samples were also taken from nonsmokers who spent the night at any of the hotels to assess their exposure to nicotine and a carcinogen found in tobacco smoke known as NKK.
Nonsmoking rooms in hotels with partial smoking bans had evidence of air pollution. These designated nonsmoking rooms had levels of surface nicotine that were more than twice as high as rooms in hotels with total smoking bans, according to a journal news release.
These nonsmoking rooms had air levels of 3EP that were more than seven times as high as the rooms in hotels that did not permit any smoking.
In rooms designated as smoking areas, the researchers found that surface and air nicotine levels were 35 and 22 times higher than the rooms in hotels that had total smoking bans. The air nicotine levels in smoking rooms were also much higher than nonsmoking rooms.
Even the nonsmoking rooms of hotels with partial smoking bans had air nicotine levels that were 40 percent higher than in rooms in hotels with total smoking bans.
The effects of smoking were not confined to the hotel rooms. The study also showed that hallway surfaces outside of smoking rooms had higher nicotine levels than the surfaces outside nonsmoking rooms.
The samples taken from nonsmokers who stayed in hotels with partial smoking bans had higher levels of nicotine and NKK than those staying in nonsmoking hotels.
“Guests who wish to protect themselves from exposure to tobacco smoke should avoid hotels that permit smoking and instead stay in completely smoke-free hotels,” the researchers wrote.
SATURDAY April 27, 2013 — Many children suffer allergies at this time of year as trees and other plants start releasing pollens into the air. So parents need to monitor their youngsters for symptoms, an expert says.
“There are different types of allergies, but if you notice that your child has more symptoms and reactions during the spring it’s a clue that they have a pollen allergy,” Dr. Joyce Rabbat, a pediatric allergist at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a Loyola news release.
Symptoms of pollen allergies — which are most likely to be worse on dry, windy days — include itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffy/runny nose, coughing and asthma.
“If your child’s allergy symptoms are interfering with his or her daily life, there is no reason to let the child suffer. Allergy symptoms are very treatable. Some people think it’s just something they need to ‘live with’ but that’s not the case,” Rabbat said.
She said parents can take the following steps to help reduce children’s allergy symptoms:
- Check pollen counts and limit children’s time outside when the counts are high.
- Keep windows and doors closed, especially on high-count days. This will help limit the amount of pollen that lands on furniture and carpets. Turn on your air conditioner to filter pollen from the air within your house.
- Have children wash their face and hands when they come in from outdoors. A shower and change of clothes can take pollen off the body.
“If your child is active outdoors or in sports, make sure he or she takes allergy medication before heading outside,” Rabbat said.
Parents also need to watch for asthma symptoms because many children with allergies also have allergic asthma. Symptoms of allergic asthma include coughing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
“Often treating children’s allergies helps to control their asthma as well. Kids may need to take an allergy medicine before going outside, or they may need daily allergy medication. It’s also important to get ahead of your allergy symptoms. Once allergies are flaring, they become more difficult to treat. If you are on a good medication regimen before the pollens peak, it makes for a much more enjoyable season,” Rabbat said.
The Nemours Foundation has more about seasonal allergies in children.
Posted: April 2013
The New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee gave their approval to a bill that would protect medical marijuana patients from being denied organ transplants in that state. The bill received a vote of 7-2-1 Monday, and will now go before the state senate for approval.
The bill, sponsored by state Sens. Joseph Vitale and Nicholas Scutari, would make medical marijuana recommendations equal to other prescribed medicine. Currently, marijuana – including medical marijuana – is considered an illicit substance and can disqualify someone from organ transplants and other major medical care.
Vitale, who is chairman of the Senate Health Committee, says he wrote the bill in response to stories from other states – like California – where people like Norman Smith have been denied life-saving treatments.
Smith, the feature of a 2011 L.A. Times article, was denied a liver transplant at age 63 because he used medical marijuana. In order to get back on the list, he had to spend six months without using cannabis, get drug tested and even go to drug counseling.
Doctors defended the move with predictable reefer madness, saying that marijuana users often don’t take their other medicines and that marijuana users are prone to mold that can be fatal to people with weak immune systems.
“This practice is unconscionable as the patients have followed their doctors’ orders and have taken a legal medication to reduce the pain and suffering associated with their illness,” Vitale said in a press release. “Transplant centers should not be able to discriminate against people for using this prescription pain killer.”
Scutari points out that New Jersey already has one of the most rigid programs in the nation and that this is just the next step in allowing people alternative treatment options.
“Medical marijuana is a compassionate and humane way to manage pain and provide relief from side effects that often accompany chronic and terminal ailments,” Scutari said. “The thought that someone would be denied treatment that could help cure their condition or greatly reduce their suffering because of their legal use of this prescribed drug is abhorrent. We must address this issue.”
More links from around the web!
TUESDAY Jan. 29, 2013 — Eating bright orange, red or yellow fruits and dark-green vegetables rich in antioxidants may help prevent or delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a new study.
Researchers found that increasing consumption of carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lutein, might reduce the risk for this progressive neurological disease, which attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Carrots, yams and mangoes are rich in beta-carotenes, and spinach, collard greens and egg yolks are good sources of lutein.
The study found, however, that diets rich in the antioxidants lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and vitamin C do not apparently reduce the risk for ALS, which causes the muscles to waste away and eventually results in paralysis.
The study was published online Jan. 29 in the journal Annals of Neurology.
“ALS is a devastating degenerative disease that generally develops between the ages of 40 and 70, and affects more men than women,” senior study author Dr. Alberto Ascherio, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, said in a journal news release. “Understanding the impact of food consumption on ALS development is important.”
Analyzing information on more than 1 million people, the researchers identified nearly 1,100 cases of ALS. The researchers found that increased overall carotenoid intake — especially among those who ate diets rich in beta-carotene and lutein — seemed to be linked to a lower risk for the devastating condition.
Those who ate more carotenoids daily also were more likely to exercise, have an advanced degree, have increased vitamin C intake and take vitamin C and E supplements.
The researchers pointed out, however, that long-term vitamin C supplements did not lower people’s risk for this degenerative disease.
“Our findings suggest that consuming carotenoid-rich foods may help prevent or delay the onset of ALS,” Ascherio concluded. “Further food-based analyses are needed to examine the impact of dietary nutrients on ALS.”
The findings, which used data from five previous studies, do not establish a cause-and-effect protective relationship between carotenoid consumption and ALS risk.
About 20,000 to 30,000 Americans have ALS, and 5,000 more are diagnosed with the disease every year, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about ALS.
Posted: January 2013