Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Specialized Information Services (SIS) has released a new TOXMAP Web site. The new TOXMAP links to the beta version of the new Flash-based TOXMAP, and to the previous version of TOXMAP, renamed TOXMAP classic. It also has a refreshed FAQ, News, Glossary, and video tutorials.
TOXMAP is a National Library of Medicine website that uses maps of the United States to show locations and information of toxic chemicals released by industrial facilities and declared hazardous waste sites. The data is from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Program. The maps can display demographic overlays such as population density, racial/ethnic groups, age groups, income data, and health data (cancer and disease mortality).
NLM has just released the latest version of WISER for the Android (version 3.1) to the Google Play store. This release brings the Help Identify and Protective Distance Mapping functions to Android devices (it is already on the Windows, iOS, BlackBerry and WebWISER versions). WISER is now functionally equivalent across all platforms, so there’s greater uniformity and less of a learning curve for people using different devices.
Here’s a look at what’s new in this release:
- WISER’s Help Identify Chemical capability is now available on the Android platform. Identify and validate an unknown chemical based on the following criteria:
- physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
- signs and symptoms of victims of exposure
- the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab or a flammable substance
- hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
- transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car
- Use WISER’s protective distance mapping feature on your Android device. Visualize the areas likely to be affected during the first 30 minutes after a substance is spilled or released on a live map. The Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook serves as the source of WISER’s protective distance data.
WISER for Android can be downloaded and installed directly from the Google Play Store.
Also, look for these exciting additions in the coming months:
- WISER for iOS and WISER for Android 4.5, which adds chemical reactivity, triage procedures, and WISER’s full set of radiological tools to these mobile platforms
- WISER 4.6, which will add many new substances to WISER and update much of WISER’s backend data, including its HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) substance data
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is introducing a new NLM TOXNET interface, with an improved appearance and interactive capabilities, and a facelift for a more current look and feel.
The new TOXNET features:
- Improved appearance
- Intuitive interactive capabilities
- Improved multi-database search
- Easy selection of items to save in “My List”
- More accessible menus and pull-downs
- Type-ahead Browse
- Hover-over Help
The old TOXNET will continue to be available for some weeks. Please take time to explore the new interface!
In the summer of 1946, an Oklahoma newspaper editor sent a young reporter to complete a story on a state psychiatric hospital, where he found neglected, half-naked inmates, crowded together in filthy, dilapidated buildings, and fed on rotten food. He soon went back, taking along a photographer, and then he went to visit Oklahoma’s other state mental hospitals. His blistering series of newspaper articles about the institutions launched a grassroots reform movement: less than a year later, the state legislature voted huge budget increases for state hospitals, restructured the state hospital administration, and re-wrote the state’s commitment laws.
The young journalist was Mike Gorman (1913–1989). His work in Oklahoma earned him a Lasker Award in 1948, and changed the course of his career. Several decades later he would be called “the country’s greatest modern missionary for mental health.” Mike Gorman’s papers are now online at the National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Web site, an NLM digital project that provides online access to the archival collections of more than 30 Nobel Laureates and other leading innovators in scientific and medical fields. The presentation features correspondence, photographs, speeches and addresses given by Gorman, speeches he wrote for members of Congress and several U.S. Presidents, along with published articles and reports from the Gorman collection. Visitors to the site can view his first series of articles for the Daily Oklahoman, drafts of speeches Gorman wrote for Presidents Truman and Kennedy, and the public service announcements issued by the Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure.
Gorman’s Oklahoma experience taught him that newspaper exposés alone would not produce substantive changes. Public attention to social problems faded quickly, and entrenched social and political practices did not change without constant agitating from outside. Gorman would spend the rest of his life providing that agitation: gathering the facts about mental illness and other diseases; speaking to governors, legislators, professional groups, and the public; testifying to Congressional appropriations committees; and writing books and articles.
Gorman came to Washington, D.C. in 1951 to be a member of President Truman’s Commission on the Health Needs of the Nation, and in 1953 became executive director of the National Committee Against Mental Illness, a lobbying and advocacy organization founded by philanthropist and health care activist Mary Lasker. In that post, he became perhaps America’s best known lobbyist and publicist in the crusade for psychiatric hospital reform and the community mental health center movement. Gorman played a key role in shaping many of the social programs of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, including the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963. During the 1970s and 1980s he also directed two other advocacy groups, Citizens for the Treatment of High Blood Pressure, which helped coordinate a highly successful national hypertension education and screening program, and the National Initiative for Glaucoma Control.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders, and others who play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery. The solicitation notice can be found on FedBizOpps.gov. Contract awards will be offered for a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $30,000 each for a one-year project. The proposal submission deadline is Thursday, June 19, 2014, at 5:00 PM EDT. Visit NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center web site for additional information and instructions about the “Disaster Health Information Outreach and Collaboration Project 2014.”
NLM is seeking proposals from partnerships in the U.S. that include at least one library and at least one organization that has disaster-related responsibilities, such as health departments, public safety departments, emergency management departments, pre-hospital and emergency medical services, fire/rescue, or other local, regional, or state agencies with disaster health responsibilities; hospitals; faith-based and voluntary organizations active in disaster; and others. NLM encourages submission of innovative proposals that enhance mutually beneficial collaboration among libraries and disaster-related agencies. For example, projects may increase awareness of health information resources, demonstrate how libraries and librarians can assist planners and responders with disaster-related information needs, show ways in which disaster workers can educate librarians about disaster management, and/or include collaboration among partners in developing information resources that support planning and response to public health emergencies. Summaries of previous years’ funded projects are available for viewing.
An open information session about this funding opportunity will be held on Thursday, May 8, at 10:30 am PDT, during the next monthly Disaster Information Specialist webinar via Adobe Connect, to learn about this opportunity and ask questions about the solicitation and its requirements. A member of the NLM Contracts and Acquisition team will be on the call to address questions. All questions and responses will be posted following the meeting on FedBizOpps.
New on REMM, April, 2014:
- Key changes are noted below.
- Many more updates and changes appear throughout REMM.
- Managing Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS): Interactive tool: completely redesigned, with clinical assessments, treatment suggestions, suggestion for referral venues
- Top 10 Items for Radiation Emergencies: new page
- How to Perform a Radiation Survey
- Target Levels for Decontamination of People
- Biodosimetry Bibliography: new page, improved navigation, many new references
- Radiation Units and Conversions: new interactive tools for unit conversions
- Understanding Radiation: new videos incorporated and new sections
- Radiological Dispersal Device: new guidance about safety and response perimeters
- Training and Education: new offerings from several US agencies
- Multimedia Library: new elements in many sections
- Emergency Contacts: updated for many US government agencies
- REMM bibliography: many new entries
New on Mobile REMM, April 2014, App Version 2.0.1:
- App has been completely redesigned for easier use and faster navigation
- Dose Estimator: faster data entry for vomiting and lymphocyte depletion kinetics tools
- New tools from REMM now available on Mobile REMM
- Scarce Resources for Interactive Triage Tool for Use after IND Detonation
- SALT triage system for radiation emergencies
- Updated emergency contact information
- Mobile platform compatibility updated
- iPhone and Androids compatibility remains up to date.
- Newer BlackBerry operating system, BlackBerry 10, is now supported; but older ones (BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier) are not.
The REMM Team strongly suggests updating any versions of REMM previously downloaded to computers, USB drives, or mobile devices.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) TOXNET TRI and TOXMAP now include the TRI 2012 National Analysis data, the most current final information available. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), a resource of the US EPA, is a set of publicly available databases containing information on releases of specific toxic chemicals and their management as waste, as reported annually by US industrial and federal facilities. This inventory was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. TRI’s data, beginning with the 1987 reporting year, covers air, water, land, and underground injection releases, as well as transfers to waste sites. In agreement with the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, source reduction and recycling data is also included in TRI.
21,024 facilities reported to the TRI program in 2012 as required by EPCRA, with almost 80,000 submissions. A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported is available on EPA web site. TOXMAP maps on-site TRI releases and also includes EPA Superfund data.
A new topic page is available from the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC), Influenza: Pandemic Preparedness and Response. The page focuses on flu outbreaks that exceed the predicted prevalence of seasonal flu, threaten to overwhelm medical resources, and could affect the everyday functioning of communities. The page highlights resources that health professionals and emergency planners may find useful in planning for and responding to pandemics; an important part of all-hazards planning for many institutions and government agencies. DIMRC provides topic pages on a wide range of disaster types and related topics, including a page on Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus.
A comprehensive health and lifestyle analysis of people from a range of Hispanic/Latino origins shows that this segment of the U.S. population is diverse, not only in ancestry, culture, and economic status; but also in the prevalence of several diseases, risk factors, and lifestyle habits. These health data are derived from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a landmark study that enrolled about 16,415 Hispanic/Latino adults living in San Diego, Chicago, Miami, and the Bronx, N.Y., who self-identified with Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, or South American origins. These new findings have been compiled and published as the Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities.
The numerous findings described by the HCHS/SOL researchers confirmed some existing knowledge while also uncovering some new health trends. Among the items highlighting Hispanic diversity:
- The percentage of people who reported having asthma ranged from 7.4 (among those of Mexican ancestry) to 35.8 (among those of Puerto Rican ancestry).
- The percentage of individuals with hypertension ranged from 20.3 (South American) to 32.2 (Cuban).
- The percentage of people eating five or more servings of fruits/vegetables daily ranged from 19.2 (Puerto Rican origin) to 55.0 (Cuban origin). Also, men reported consuming more fruit and vegetables than women.
- Women reported a much lower consumption of sodium than men among all Hispanic groups represented in the study.
The full report, in English and Spanish, is available on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.
Haz-Map now covers over 9170 chemical and biological agents and 241 occupational diseases! NLM has updated Haz-Map with 481 new agents, including 23 agents causing occupational asthma. Fifteen new hazardous job tasks linked to jobs and industries were also added in this update.
Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. It currently covers over 5997 chemical and biological agents and 235 occupational diseases.