Tag Archives: weather

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

From Other Blogs: Protecting children from cold weather, test your home for radon, frequent exertion and standing among US workers

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

Braving the cold

As South Carolinians, we like to brag about our mild winters; however, as we saw at the start of the New Year, we can’t always predict what the weather has in store for us. Did you know young children don’t always realize when they’re cold and can lose their natural body heat quickly because of their small size? As parents, it’s important to know how to keep our little ones safe and warm when surprisingly frigid days are upon us. — From Flourish, Palmetto Health’s blog

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. If you smoke and live in a home with high radon levels, you increase your risk of developing lung cancer. Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure. — From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health — Your Environment blog

Frequent Exertion and Frequent Standing Among US Workers

Have you ever wondered if your job involves more standing, bending, or lifting than other jobs? Or if there are ways you could avoid injuries from these movements while on the job?

Last week, NIOSH published an article on frequent exertion and frequent standing among US workers by industry and occupation group. Using data from the Occupational Health Supplement (OHS) to 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the article focused on currently employed adults who were asked the following two questions related to the physical activities of their current job:

  1. “How often does your job involve repeated lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending?” (exertion)
  2. “How often does your job involve standing or walking around?” (standing). — From the CDC’s NIOSH Science Blog

Be prepared for winter weather

With snow predicted for parts of South Carolina Saturday, now is a good time to remember to prepare for winter weather. Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. The best way to stay safe and healthy is to plan ahead and prepare your homes and cars for possible bad weather.

Snowfall, ice storms and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with an ice storm or extreme cold. If you are prepared, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take precautions

Here are some tips from the SC Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help in your preparation:

  • Include winter supplies like shovels and rock salt in your household emergency kit.
  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
  • Portable generators are commonly used in the winter as a result of storm-induced power outages. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and deadly. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to prevent death from carbon monoxide.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have your vehicle serviced to ensure it is prepared for the winter season.
  • In every vehicle, place a winter emergency kit that includes: a shovel; windshield scraper and small broom; flashlight; battery-powered radio; extra batteries; water; snack food; matches; extra hats, socks and mittens; first aid kit with a pocket knife; medications; blankets; tow chain or rope; road salt and sand; booster cables; emergency flares; and a fluorescent distress flag.
  • When outdoor wear appropriate outdoor clothing: a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories. If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.

Watch out for family and friends

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults and the chronically ill. Bring pets inside. If you can’t bring them inside, be sure they have adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

Download SCEMD’s Severe Winter Weather Guide. Also, visit the CDC’s website for more information about staying safe and healthy in the winter.

Prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses

The National Weather Service forecast projects the next several days to be scorchers, hitting or coming close to 100 degrees or more in various parts of South Carolina.

Be careful and take steps to avoid heat-related health problems.

Prevention: The best defense

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help you beat the heat:

  • Drink more fluids. Whether you’re active or not, it’s important to stay hydrated. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more body fluid. Avoid very cold drinks as well; they can cause stomach cramps.
  • If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask your physician how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • If possible, stay indoors in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the mall or public library for a break from the heat. Just a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature soars into the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Take a cool shower or bath, or go into an air-conditioned place.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.

While anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, it’s particularly important to keep a close watch on infants and young children, people aged 65 and older, people with mental illness and those who are physically ill. Visit older adults at least twice a day and watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And it goes without saying that infants and young children need more frequent monitoring.

For more information on heat-related illnesses, visit www.scdhec.gov/Health/DiseasesandConditions/HeatRelatedIllness.

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