Latest California Healthline Stories
Facing billions of dollars in legal claims for the role its equipment has played in a spate of deadly wildfires, California utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric plans to step up efforts to cut power to broad regions of the state during high-risk weather conditions. The potential for prolonged blackouts has prompted disaster preparations by hospitals, nursing homes and home care providers.
Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
Amid forecasts for increasingly unhealthy air due to wildfire smoke, residents in Western states are snatching up home air purifiers. With good reason.
Studies long have linked urban firefighters’ on-the-job exposure to toxins with an increased risk of cancer. More recently, as urban-style development reaches into once remote stretches of California’s mountains and forests, wildfire crews are exposed to fuels and carcinogens more typical of urban fires. We talk with Tony Stefani of the San Francisco Firefighters Cancer Prevention Foundation about the health risks that poses for firefighters.
Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee unveiled their long-awaited proposal to try to rein in prescription drug costs, even as bipartisan leaders of the other Senate committee that oversees health announced it would not bring its drug price bill to the Senate floor until fall. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this, plus court actions on health issues.
Eighteen years ago, most first responders were not thinking about their future health when they spent hours searching “The Pile” for the remains of terror victims. Today, their illnesses are a slow-moving epidemiological nightmare that has been as difficult for scientists to study as it has been easy for politicians to overlook.
Some physicians say connecting the consequences of climate change — heat waves, more pollen and longer allergy seasons — to health helps them better care for patients.
Although there’s no official clinical diagnosis, the psychiatric and psychological communities have names for the phenomenon of worrying about the Earth’s fate: “climate distress,” “climate grief,” “climate anxiety” or “eco-anxiety.” The concept also is gradually making its way into the public consciousness in television shows and movies.
Over the past decade, more than 350 workers nationwide have died from heat-related illness, and tens of thousands have had heat-related problems serious enough that they missed at least one day of work. Proposed federal legislation, modeled on California regulations, would create the first national standards for protecting workers from heat-related stress.
For Central American migrants who follow U.S. government rules for pursuing asylum, conditions on the Mexican side of the border are sweltering, filled with anxiety and illness. Few people have a clear timetable for when it will get any better.