Latest California Healthline Stories
Some of California’s most prized rivers, bays, beaches and streams are contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening human health. While aging sewage infrastructure is largely to blame, homeless encampments are also a probable source of contamination.
E-cigarettes may look sleek, but they create toxic trash, especially at high schools where vaping is widespread. Disposable nicotine pods can be poisonous, and vape pens contain batteries and metals. Safely disposing of them can mean a trip to the local recycling center.
Kate Gordon, director of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research, is tasked with identifying and mitigating the risks of climate change in California. She spoke to California Healthline about how that work intersects with health, and how residents can get involved.
Proposition 65 requires California businesses to label products and buildings with warnings about substances the state deems as toxic, ranging from aloe vera to asbestos. A state panel plans to debate whether to add acetaminophen, the active ingredient of common over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, to the toxics list, raising questions about the value of these ubiquitous warnings.
Legionnaires’ disease cases hit an all-time high in 2018, with eight times more cases than 20 years ago. Even though many facilities in Missouri and elsewhere have water management plans in place to deal with the potentially deadly disease, they are still finding the underlying bacteria that causes it in their water.
October marks not only fire season in California, but also the peak of the grape harvest. In areas not imminently threatened by the explosive Kincade Fire in Sonoma County’s fabled vineyards, workers labored through heat and smoke, or faced lost wages.
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.