Tag Archives: rivers

From Other Blogs: Drinking water, safe summer meals, productive aging and work & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Our Drinking Water and Forest Service Research

Behind every drop of water from the tap is an entire forest ecosystem. And while it’s easy to take drinking water for granted, you might be surprised to learn that the nation’s largest single source of water is the National Forest System, the network of national forests stewarded by the USDA Forest Service. Many of these national forest lands overlay the source areas for important rivers and aquifer systems, and more than 60 million Americans rely on them for drinking water.

Scientists from Forest Service Research and Development, or R&D, investigate the quality and quantity of water from forests and conduct research that informs water stewardship and reduces costs. For example, one R&D study showed that nearly 21 million people in the South receive their drinking water from national forest lands – roughly equivalent to the population of Florida! — From the US Department of Agriculture blog

FNS Provides Tools to Support Safe Summer Meals

As the school year ends across the country and summer approaches, summer meals are critical in the lives of millions of our nation’s youth, whose risk for food insecurity increases during the summer months when they no longer have access to the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (NSLP).

Summer meal programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option within the NSLP, present the opportunity to help alleviate summertime food insecurity and positively impact children’s growth and development by offering nutritious meals and encouraging children to develop healthy habits at a young age. — From the USDA blog

A Framework for Productive Aging and Work

The aging of the U.S. population has led to a number of changes in the workforce, particularly a movement of the worker distribution toward older ages2, 4. By 2022, about one-third (31.9%) of Americans aged 65 to 74 years will still be working (Toosi 2013). The impact of a longer working life can be significant in both positive and negative ways. On the positive side, work is the main means of income for consumption and savings, serves an anchoring function in society, and can be a source of dignity, social connectedness, and purpose. Negative consequences of working longer may include increased morbidity and mortality from injuries, longer recovery times, burnout, job lock (needing to stay employed to retain health insurance and benefits), age discrimination, job insecurity, periods of unwanted unemployment, and less non-work time (Schulte et al. 2018). — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) NIOSH Science blog

Consumer Genetic Testing Is Booming: But What are the Benefits and Harms to Individuals and Populations?

The first genetic tests directly available to consumers for health were offered in 1996. The concept, then, was both audacious and bold: the idea that individuals could explore their own human genome without the aid of a health care provider to order the test or interpret the results.

Some consumer advocates praised the development as empowering, while many medical and public health experts advised caution, given the lack of evidence that results were clinically useful and that the risk for potential harms was unknown. Meanwhile, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic health test industry grew relatively slowly during the first two decades of its existence. During that time, personal genomics for any purpose was often perceived as a mere curiosity purchased by only a few wealthy individuals. — From the CDC’s Genomics and Health Impact blog

DHEC in the News: Safe sleep, protecting water, workplace noise and high blood pressure

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Health in Brief: DHEC encourages parents to practice ‘safe sleep’ habits with babies

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control recently published a press release reminding parents to practice safe sleep habits with infants. The agency reported that six infants in South Carolina die each month due to sleep-related deaths.

Study aims to protect water at the source

The clean air and water, mountain views and scenic rivers that attract so many people to the Upstate is the driving force behind a watershed plan being developed for the 220,000-acre Tyger River Watershed Basin.

Keeping it beautiful and clean for future generations is the goal of Upstate Forever, a Greenville-based land conservation organization that is parlaying a $40,000 federal grant into a plan to identify sources of water pollution as well as areas deemed “critical” for protection or restoration.

General Interest

CDC: Workplace noise linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol

High blood pressure and high cholesterol — two risk factors for heart disease — are more common among workers exposed to loud noise in their workplaces, according to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DHEC in the News: Flu, DHEC grant aids Bamberg County, sewage

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

MUSC extends visitor restrictions as flu cases continue mounting

Visitor restrictions have been extended at Medical University Hospital through Jan. 29 as the flu continues to ravage the Lowcountry.

Visitors may only visit inpatients and patients in the emergency department and will be restricted to a patient’s immediate family members only, including partners, significant others, spouses, parents, children and caregivers.

DHEC grant funds waste tire recycling upgrades in county

BAMBERG — Bamberg County is utilizing a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control grant in the amount of $254,250 to improvement its waste tire recycling.

SCDHEC announced the grant in May.

As a result, the county has been able to purchase a new roll-off truck and six 30-yard containers in addition to making Convenience and Recycling site improvements, such as privacy fencing and new carport covers.

General Interest

700,000+ gallons of sewage spilled in Columbia in ’17 — but that’s a big improvement

Nasty, poorly treated sewage remains a threat to Columbia rivers, but city officials and a riverkeeper group are encouraged by data showing the volume of spills was down last year.

For the first time in five years of compiling sewage spill data, the Congaree Riverkeeper says spills dropped below 1 million gallons in 2017. The group reports that utilities, led by the city of Columbia, released 758,000 gallons of untreated wastewater.

From Other Blogs: Avoiding foodborne illnesses, norovirus, protecting the Earth’s ‘Thin Skin’ & more

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Don’t Get Roasted by Foodborne Illnesses this Winter

The holidays are all about sharing, having fun and, of course…food!!! I bet you will agree that a good holiday get-together always includes delicious traditional dishes or special recipes.

If you are hosting a holiday party this winter, you have probably already started thinking about treating your guests to a delectable menu. There are endless recipes and traditional holiday dishes that will reappear or make a debut at your dinner table; however, foodborne illnesses should not be part of the feast. While food is something to look forward to this season, foodborne illnesses is not. — From the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) blog

Norovirus Illness is Messy – Clean Up Right Away

When norovirus strikes in your own home, you can be prepared by having the supplies you need to immediately clean up after a loved one vomits or has diarrhea.

Norovirus is a tiny germ that spreads quickly and easily. It causes vomiting and diarrhea that come on suddenly. A very small amount of norovirus can make you sick. The number of virus particles that fit on the head of a pin is enough to infect over 1,000 people. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Matters blog

Protecting the Earth’s ‘Thin Skin’

Though remarkably thin, soil makes up a layer of the Earth’s crust that’s vital to human survival. The soil is a living, breathing thing that, like the body’s skin, requires care and attention lest we lose its many benefits. — From the USDA blog

Farmers Keeping Nutrients on the Field, Out of Streams

Clean water is a priority for all of us. When farmers manage nutrients, they are also helping to minimize the runoff of nutrients into local streams and rivers.

Farmers rely on two major nutrients in fertilizer — nitrogen and phosphorus — to help crops grow. When excess fertilizer leaves the field and enters local waterways in surface water runoff, those nutrients cause algae in the water to bloom much faster than it would under normal conditions. The algae eventually breaks down, and the bacteria involved in decomposition deplete oxygen in the water to unhealthily low levels. Ultimately, fish and other aquatic organisms often die as a result of this oxygen depletion. This process is called eutrophication. — From the USDA blog