September 10, 2016 |
New regulations aimed at curtailing the high number of tobacco retailers in low-income neighborhoods, particularly those near schools, were approved Thursday night by the Philadelphia Board of Health. The regulations, designed to reduce tobacco use and discourage children from picking up the habit, include: Suspending tobacco sales permits - for 12 months - to retailers who are cited three times in two years for selling to minors. (In 2015, 23 percent of the city's tobacco retailers sold to youth, according to department data.)
August 26, 2016 |
As Philadelphia prepares for the January launch of its tax on sweetened beverages, a new study found low-income residents in Berkeley, Calif., home of the nation's first "soda tax," are not just consuming fewer sugary drinks. They are making a healthy substitution - water. The study by University of California, Berkeley researchers found sugary drink consumption in low-income neighborhoods fell by 21 percent five months after the tax went into effect, while water consumption rose by 63 percent.
August 16, 2016 |
A 59-year-old North Philadelphia man who died Sunday was the city's third heat-related fatality this weekend and the seventh of the summer, according to the city's Department of Public Health. The man, whose identity and address were not released, died from the heat and from complications related to congestive heart failure and diabetes, said Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Health. Two other people, an 82-year-old Port Richmond woman and a 67-year-old woman from Brewerytown, died on Saturday of heat-related complications and cardiovascular disease, the Department of Public Health said.
August 15, 2016 |
So maybe you kept up with the weeds in the spring. But now? How on earth did they get to be so numerous, and so big? If you're thinking that it might be time for an herbicide, but you're confused about whether that's safe, you have plenty of company. The most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate - a major ingredient in many products, perhaps most notably Monsanto's RoundUp - has been the subject of debate for years. The industry says it is safe. Critics, pointing out that residues are found in some of our food, warn of potential health effects and environmental woes, including the development of "superweeds" that are resistant to it, necessitating stronger chemicals.
July 3, 2016 |
Ten days ago, with President Obama's signing of new chemical safety legislation, the last remaining environmental legislation of the 1970s that had not been updated got a makeover. It had been a long time coming. More than 80,000 chemicals are in common use, and previously the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could call for safety testing only after evidence that there was a potential danger. As a result, the EPA has been able to require testing on only about 200 chemicals.
June 23, 2016
"Nearly 250 years ago, the eyes of the world were on Philadelphia and the birth of American democracy. On Thursday, Philadelphia will again make history by becoming the second U.S. city, and the largest, to pass a tax on soft drinks. " - City Council leaders Darrell L. Clarke, Bobby Henon, Blondell Reynolds Brown, and Bill Greenlee, The Inquirer, June 14 By Mark Randall (with obvious help from Thos. Jefferson) When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dispense with the sugary brands that have consumed them, and that they have consumed, and then resume among the streets of the city that separate and unequal station to which the Laws of Economics and City Council have doomed them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the reasons they should be glad of this.
June 18, 2016 |
The public health community far and wide reacted instantly and enthusiastically to Philadelphia City Council's final vote Thursday to tax sweetened beverages. It also largely avoided commenting on one big part of the new tax: the inclusion of artificially sweetened drinks. Some also noted an irony: The mayor who intentionally did not emphasize public health in campaigning for the tax could end up causing a major impact on his city's well-being. And his example will likely resonate in other American cities, experts predicted.
June 1, 2016
ISSUE | AIR POLLUTION Ozone endangers children with asthma Ground-level ozone is a powerful pollutant that can trigger dangerous health consequences, including asthma attacks and heart attacks ("Linking environmental, public health," May 15). Doctors see patients' physical distress when ozone levels are high. My particular concern is the effect of air pollution on uniquely vulnerable members of our population: children with asthma. The health community can play a critical role in educating decision-makers about the need for clean-air safeguards to protect public health.
May 15, 2016 |
When Gina McCarthy started her professional life, she was a public health worker in community health centers. She still considers herself a public health worker, although her job today - administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - is vastly different. What that early community work showed, McCarthy recently told a group of digital health professionals meeting in Philadelphia, was the strong connection between environmental health and public health. "I was seeing people come in day in and day out with asthma, or the elderly who couldn't breathe," she said.
May 11, 2016 |
A new public health concept - combining medical care with recreation and education - came to brick-and-mortar life with Monday's opening of the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center. Parents can take their kids to the third-floor pediatric clinic and then visit the primary-care center a floor down for their own health needs. A branch library will soon open at ground level, with a special section where patients can learn more about their health issues. The new recreation center will open next month, providing exercise as a foundation for healthy living.