Harm Reduction

I was struck by this large heading on an EPA website, “Rebuilding the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.” This program does not need to be rebuilt; it should be eliminated and consolidated with existing programs within the EPA.
Undoubtedly, nursing homes were a great source of COVID mortality. While there were multiple underlying causes, the only protection individuals in the nursing home had from the staff caring for them was staff vaccination. A new study demonstrates an interesting disparity in which staff chose to be vaccinated.
Many herbal dietary supplements are complex, highly variable, impure, and unsafe. They need better oversight.
A new study looks at an old “problem.” How do primary care physicians decide on referrals to specialists, such as surgeons? Hint: It is not the same way they choose medications.
Can we agree that whatever of the multifactorial causes of obesity you emphasize, obesity results in other health-related problems? Can we also agree that many of those multifactorial causes are present in childhood? Then doesn’t screening for obesity and early intervention make sense; that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?
With gyms closed during the height of the COVID pandemic, exercising at home became a “thing.” Not everyone had the money for a Peloton, and many of us turned to walking – after all, it was outside, we could socially distance, and it could while away some time as we “got our exercise.” A new study looks at walking and how it may trim our waistlines.
The height of absurdity may have been reached in a recent article about how the firefighters’ union is warning its members about the health risks from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their protective gear. “We need to combat what’s killing us,” said the union president.  
The most recent scare by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) over PFAS in freshwater fish was picked up by CNN and all the major news organizations and presented as fact. But the EWG models skew the results. There are other ways that EWG uses deceptive means to reach its conclusions and deliver the scariest outcomes possible. 
Debunking bad science can be difficult. The misdirection, false assumptions, and biased narratives are often nuanced or built upon a series of citations requiring the debunker to go down the rabbit hole to find the underlying “truth.” Why is it so much harder to counter lies than to tell them?
Every time you walk down a grocery store aisle, you are impacted by one of the most interesting federal regulations, FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) rule. You might assume that the FDA has tested every ingredient in the food, but the GRAS rule allows the food industry to bring a wide array of substances to the market based on their history as being “generally recognized” as safe.
“Products that can’t be made safe can be banned,” said Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. Are these words just a moment when Commissioner Trumka “got out in front of his skis?” Or, as others have depicted this, a moment when the mask slipped, and the real agenda was transiently exposed?
Climate change may now be the most cogent global environmental issue of the day. Emissions of greenhouse gases, notably CO2, continue apace, despite angst among environmental groups, and various worldwide governmental goals and pledges. Here I estimate the longitudinal relationships of global mean temperature with population, CO2 emissions, ambient CO2, and gross domestic product (GDP) using 50 years of published annual data.