Tag Archives: safety tips

DHEC in the News: Air quality alert tips, opioids, invisible public health crisis in rural South

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

Safety tips when under an air quality alert

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) — Fighting off the heat is typical at this time of year but the battle can be extra hard for some people.

Wednesday, DHEC issued an air quality alert between 10 a-m and 8 p-m. Those most at risk for getting sick were small children, older adults and people with respiratory problems. And because it’s likely there will be more alerts this summer health officials have these tips:

Opioid crisis: Tega Cay police offer new way residents can safely dispose of meds

TEGA CAY – Local residents who have unused or expired prescription drugs can now safely dispose of them at home.

Misuse of opioid-based drugs continues to impact communities across the country.

So far this year, there have been 13 overdose deaths in York County, eight of which were related to opioids, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast. Other deaths that are presumed to be overdoses are awaiting toxicology results. There were 550 drug overdose deaths involving opiates in South Carolina in 2016, a 7 percent increase from 2015 and an 18 percent increase from 2014, according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control

General Interest

The rural South’s invisible public health crisis

When Pamela Rush flushes her toilet, the waste flows out the back of her sky blue mobile home through a yellowing plastic pipe and empties just a few yards away in a soggy pit of mud, weeds, and dead grass.

On a hot day in mid-May, Rush walked around her yard in rural Lowndes County, Alabama. Flies and mosquitoes swarmed her as she tiptoed near the pit. The smell of sewage was overwhelming.

Rush, 48, a soft-spoken woman with striking brown eyes, has straight-piped her family’s waste into her yard for almost two decades. Her home is on the edge of clay dirt road in the dense Alabama forest, miles from a municipal sewer system. …

In the rural South, these conditions aren’t uncommon.

From Other Blogs: Seasonal allergies, preparing for spring weather, flood safety tips & more

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

Nip your seasonal allergies in the bud

Have you noticed the distinct yellow layer of pollen outside lately? It is everywhere! Along with pollen, comes seasonal allergies. Katie Schill, nurse practitioner with Palmetto Health’s Mobile Clinic, offers some helpful tips to manage seasonal allergies.

The key to managing your allergies is preventing and limiting exposure to the allergen. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Prepare for Spring Weather

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer. — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Flood Safety Tips

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than any other hazard related to thunderstorms. The most common flood deaths occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your home.  —  From the CDC’s Your Health — Your Environment blog

3 Weird Things About Acetaldehyde

Acetaldehyde can cause cancer, and the more acetaldehyde you are exposed to, the higher your cancer risk. But what is acetaldehyde? — From the CDC’s The Topic Is Cancer blog

Ototoxicant Chemicals and Workplace Hearing Loss

Since the 19th century, many therapeutic drugs have been known to affect hearing. Known as ototoxic drugs, many are used today in clinical situations despite these negative side effects because they are effective in treating serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions. Research has shown that exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace may also negatively affect how the ear functions, potentially causing hearing loss or balance problems, regardless of noise exposure. Substances containing ototoxicants include certain pesticides, solvents, metals and pharmaceuticals. The risk of hearing loss they pose can be increased when workers are exposed to these chemicals while working around elevated noise levels.  This combination often results in hearing loss that can be temporary or permanent, depending on the level of noise, the dose of the chemical, and the duration of the exposure. This hearing impairment affects many occupations and industries, from machinists to firefighters. — From the CDC’s NIOSH Science blog

DHEC in the News: National Influenza Vaccination Week, Christmas toy safety tips, carpet recycling

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

National Influenza Vaccination Week highlights importance of continuing flu vaccination

Haven’t protected against the flu by getting vaccinated? It’s not too late.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting the importance of the flu vaccine this week, which has been designated National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 3 to 9).

The CDC established the week in 2005 “to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond,” a time that recent flu season statistics show few people get vaccinated, according to its website.

DHEC of South Carolina offers Christmas toy safety tips

(WFXG) – Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.

General Interest

Carpet Recycling Increases Much Needed Landfill Space

Within the construction and demolition industry, carpet recycling remains top of mind for industry players. As such, states such as California, and organizations such as the Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE), are leading the charge in establishing carpet recycling programs that will lessen the affect carpeting discards have on the environment.

According to the most recent annual report from CARE, the organization’s members diverted more than more than 488 million pounds of carpet from U.S. landfills in 2016, down nearly 6 percent from 2015. Of the carpet diverted to recycling, 167 million pounds were recycled into carpet and other consumer products, 174 million pounds were sent back to the landfill, and 144 million pounds were sent to waste-to-energy and cement kilns.