Is Secondhand Smoke and Thirdhand Smoke Linked to Coronavirus Transmission?


Coronavirus Transmission Thirdhand Smoke Secondhand

Researchers are worried about COVID-19 transmission from asymptomatic smokers and vapers to others in their household via secondhand and thirdhand smoke and aerosol. Let’s explore what this means. Why Are Researchers Concerned about COVID-19 and Smoking? Smokers are already at risk of more severe cases of coronavirus. But even in the homes of asymptomatic but infected smokers and vapers, coronaviruses can attach to secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol particles and droplets. These viral secondhand exhalations, coughs, and sneezes can travel up to 27 feet, land on surfaces, survive for hours, and may increase transmission of COVID-19 to older and younger non-smokers in the home, according to researchers in Environmental Science and Technology. The risk remains even up to ...

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Comment Now: Protect Our Waters from Toxic Coal Ash


Protect Waters Toxic Coal Ash

The EPA wants to roll back water protections — again. In 2015, the Obama-era administration enacted the Coal Ash Rule, which provided water protections against toxic waste from coal-fired power plants. Now, the current EPA administration is hoping to diminish those protections, and give the plants more time and power to dump waste continually — all of which will impact the surrounding areas' groundwater. Environmental justice leaders say these rollbacks would worsen damage that has been done for years. "Instead of having a single strong national set of public health protections for this polluting industry, we are going to be left with federal regulations that are riddled with loopholes," Tom Cmar, an attorney with the environmental group Earthjustice,  told NPR. Submit ...

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Does Pollution and Poor Air Quality Raise the Risk of Coronavirus?


Pollution Poor Air Quality Risk Coronavirus

As the current novel coronavirus continues to spread, one fact has become clear: Governments around the globe were not prepared — especially concerning environmental impacts. While there is no direct link between pollution and the risk of developing COVID-19, yet, studies have shown that poor air quality can raise one's susceptibility to disease. Worse, high rates of toxic exposure can lead to poorer outcomes of those illnesses. Disadvantaged groups, including Latinos, are in greater jeopardy as they are the ones who live in the areas with more significant amounts of air pollution. "There's lots of evidence that air pollution increases the chances that someone will get pneumonia, and if they get pneumonia, will be sicker with it," Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the ...

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Salud Talks Podcast Episode 24: “Reworking Recycling”


STE24 Reworking Recycling

Amid a global pandemic, most find themselves inside their homes more than ever. While this is tough for some and easier for others, one thing is apparent: Many are asking some tough questions, including, are the systems that are currently in place operating in the best interest of everyone? One system in question is how our local, state, and federal governments—as well as every citizen in the country—practices sustainability. In January, we sat down with government officials from ReWorks San Antonio, an agency of the city's Solid Waste Management Department, that aims to connect businesses to cost-effective recycling solutions and promote those businesses among consumers who value social responsibility. Check out this discussion on the Salud Talks Podcast, Episode 23, ...

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El Coronavirus: Todo Lo Que Deben De Saber Los Latinos y Como Prepararse


Latinos Coronavirus COVD-19 Virus

A fines del año pasado, un nuevo virus broto en Wuhan, China: esta enfermedad, ahora conocida como COVID-19 (tambien llamada coronavirus), se ha extendido por todo el mundo. Está presente en casi todos los continentes, y el número de casos segue aumentando y afectando incluso a muchos latinos y hispanos. Aún así, aunque los expertos médicos dicen que el coronavirus es algo que debemos tomar en serio, también señalan que es algo que se puede manejar con intervención directa. "Esta epidemia puede retrasarse, pero solo con un enfoque coordinado e integral que involucre a toda la maquinaria del gobierno", dijo el director general de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, en una reciente conferencia de prensa. "Hacemos un llamado a todos los ...

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Surprising Ways that Fire Is Messing with Your Health


camp fire latino friends health risks

Sitting around a fire can be a great source of warmth and fun for most; however, it also has the potential to cause a host of health complications. Tiny toxins—PM2.5 (pollution particles measuring 2.5 micrometers or less)—commonly known as “combustion particles” come from these fires and can cause some severe health impacts, research shows. Even worse, those using wood-burning stoves can face some of the worst effects. "We are increasingly concerned about particulate matter air pollution and other forms of air pollution," Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the American Heart Association. "There's increasing evidence that certain pollutants are associated ...

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UPDATE – Coronavirus: Everything Latinos Need to Know


Latinos Coronavirus COVD-19 Virus

Updated 5/26/20 The current novel coronavirus is gripping most of the world, as governments, businesses, and every day individuals grapple with the pandemic outbreak. In the U.S., certain local, state governments have declared state-lockdowns and stay-in-place quarantines — efforts geared at limiting the spread of COVID-19. Across the world, the number of confirmed cases is rising. The U.S. has seen thousands of new cases in the past few weeks alone. The race to find medical solutions continues as Latinos—who experience worsening health inequities, disparities in exposure, testing, prevention and treatment, and job impact—and all Americans adjust to a life of social distancing amid COVID-19. What will happen when cities start opening back up? Learn more here. Original ...

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Researchers: Drug Side Effect Reporting Systems Lack Thorough Safety Measures


prescription drug side effects

Many severe side effects of prescription drugs are not reported, according to new findings from JAMA Internal Medicine. Moreover, the researchers who completed the study comment that current FDA regulatory practices need reform, especially the process used to report harm caused by medical devices. “Over the last 4 decades, the approval and regulation processes for pharmaceutical agents have evolved and increased in complexity as special programs have been added and as the use of surrogate measures has been encouraged,” the researchers write. “The FDA funding needed to implement and manage these programs has been addressed by expanding industry-paid user fees. The FDA has increasingly accepted less data and more surrogate measures and has shortened its review times.” What ...

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Are Too-Tiny-to-See Particles Polluting Your Community?


Nanoparticles car exhaust pollution

Toxic exposures in the air can trigger severe health problems — worse, certain pollutants are so small that they can enter and harm any part of the body. These microscopic "nanoparticles," emitted from a wide range of products, from candles to cars, can cause numerous illnesses, according to published research. Illnesses include the well-established condition Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). Nanoparticles even have resulted in death. "The biggest killer of all never makes the headlines, isn't regulated, and is barely talked about beyond niche scientific circles: it's nanoparticles," according to Tim Smedley, author of "Clearing The Air," in BBC Future. "Nanoparticles can reach, and wreak havoc in, any organ in the body." What are Nanoparticles? Certain ...

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