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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

New Tox Town Page Available on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is a man-made chemical that is toxic and persistent in the environment. It is used to make products resistant to heat and to repel oil, grease, stains, and water. If you are wondering about exposure to PFOA or how it might affect your health, visit the new Tox Town page on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). The page is also available in Spanish.

July 2016 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of a woman getting a vaccinationCheck out the July issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Safeguarding Our Health: Vaccines Protect Us All
    Vaccines harness your immune system’s natural ability to detect and destroy disease-causing germs and then “remember” the best way to fight these germs in the future. Vaccination, or immunization, has completely eliminated naturally occurring smallpox worldwide—to the point that we no longer need to get shots against this fast-spreading, once-deadly disease.
  • A Blurry Worldview: Understanding Myopia
    Myopia typically begins in childhood. In most cases, the amount of nearsightedness someone has stabilizes by the time they reach adulthood. Some people, however, may have myopia that continues to worsen with age.
  • Understanding Aphasia
    Aphasia is a complicated disorder that disrupts a person’s ability to communicate. It’s caused by damage to one or more of the language areas in the brain. People with aphasia may have trouble understanding and using language. Often, reading and writing abilities are also impaired. The condition affects about 1 million people in the U.S.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

National Library of Medicine Flags Incorrect Pesticide Toxicity Values

International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER) is part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) and is compiled by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). It provides comparison charts of international risk assessment information and explains differences in risk values derived by different organizations. ITER provides chemical toxicity values or cancer classifications from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Canada, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), NSF International, US EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and other Independent Peer Reviewed Values (IPRV). Chemical toxicity values in ITER are estimated to protect the general population assuming daily exposures to environmental chemicals for a lifetime. The TERA Center and the NLM provide periodic updates to keep the database as current as possible.

The US EPA IRIS chemical toxicity values (RfDs or RfCs) are considered by many to be a “gold standard of toxicity values.” However, up to 187 pesticide chemical toxicity values are currently incorrect, either for the RfD/RfC, for the cancer classifications, or both. ITER/TOXNET has added an alert flag for the IRIS pesticide toxicity values to ensure that users can access the more current pesticide toxicity value developed by the US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).

NLM Resources for National Safety Month 2016

June is National Safety Month. Check out the following resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for reliable heath and safety information. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) at NLM provides access to disaster and chemical safety resources for all age groups and populations, and MedlinePlus provides overviews of basic first aid skills:

  • Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Special Populations – Access links to trustworthy disaster preparedness information for a wide range of populations, including different age groups, cultural and ethnic groups, and groups with specific health conditions.
  • Disaster Lit – Search a curated collection of links to disaster medicine and public health documents.
  • Haz-Map – Learn how to avoid workplace accidents by searching Haz-Map for diseases and other risks associated with specific jobs.
  • Household Products Database – Protect yourself, children, and pets from dangerous health effects for a wide range of household products, such as personal care, pet care, and arts & crafts products.
  • MedlinePlus – Read about First Aid resources, such as CPR, choking, drug abuse first aid, and creating a sling.

New OMH Webinar Series: Fighting Hepatitis and HIV Co-infection in Minority Communities

Hepatitis and HIV co-infection is a major concern among many racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Prevention and education efforts are hindered by many challenges, including stigma, language barriers, cultural competency and knowledge among providers, and access to services in hard-to-reach communities. The HHS Office of Minority Health Resource Center kicks off a new five-part webinar series on June 24 designed to help health professionals, agencies and clinics get past these challenges and address the rising rates of hepatitis and HIV co-infection in their communities. The series examines the current state of hepatitis and HIV among minority groups, as well as best practices for culturally and linguistically appropriate testing and outreach efforts.

Register now for the first webinar on June 24, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT, Innovative Strategies for Addressing Hep C in Indian Country. To be notified of dates and agendas for all webinars in the series, sign up for OMH email updates.

NAS Food Literacy Workshop Summary Available

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recently published the workshop summary from Food Literacy: How Do Communications and Marketing Impact Consumer Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior? This workshop from September, 2015, discussed various aspects of food literacy including:

  • the role of consumer education, communication, and health literacy with respect to food safety, nutrition, and other health matters;
  • how scientific information is communicated; and
  • how food literacy can be strengthened through communication tools and strategies.

June 2016 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of cat looking out from a windowCheck out the June issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Complementary Approaches for Depression
    Depression affects about 1 in 10 U.S. adults. Standard therapies, including antidepressants and some types of psychotherapy, are often effective. Many people also turn to complementary health approaches, some of which haven’t been thoroughly tested for depression.
  • Featured Website: Prescription Drug Abuse
    Each day, 44 people in the U.S. die from an overdose of prescription drugs. Learn how prescription drugs like opioids, sleep and anxiety medications, and stimulants affect the brain and body. Protect yourself and your loved ones from prescription drug abuse.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

Now Available: Recordings of NLM Theater Presentations at the 2016 MLA Conference!

The NLM exhibit booth at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. Presentation recordings are now accessible from the NLM web site. The average video length is 20 minutes.

Enhancement to MedlinePlus Connect Lab Test Responses

MedlinePlus Connect is a National Library of Medicine (NLM) service linking patient portals and electronic health record systems to context-relevant information from MedlinePlus. The Connect service returns relevant information for a patient’s specific diagnosis, medication, or lab test. In particular, since 2011 Connect has supported requests for lab test information using LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes).

In April 2016, NLM released an enhancement to the responses to lab test queries. The response now names the source of the information and provides a short snippet of the content in addition to the hyperlinked title of the content page. This contextual information was added to help end-users understand the differences between multiple links which will be useful as NLM expands its collection of lab test content. For example, responses will now include links to MedlinePlus health topics that are focused on lab tests. For a look at the new format, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

National Library of Medicine’s Tox Town Farm Scene Gets an Update!

If you are looking for possible environmental health risks on a typical farm or need information on agricultural runoff, feeding operations or barns and silos, check out the newly updated National Library of Medicine (NLM) Tox Town Farm Scene.

The Farm joins previously updated Tox Town CityTown and Southwest scenes with an updated, photorealistic look to allow users to better identify with real-life locations. Each scene migrated from Flash to HTML 5 platform so it can be viewed on a variety of personal electronic devices, including iPads, iPad minis, and tablets. All location and chemical information remains the same.