4 things to know about the gas stove frenzy

“Cooking emits about 13 percent of on-site greenhouse emissions in U.S. buildings, according to the EIA. 68 percent of emissions stem from space heating, while 19 percent comes from water heating.

Some studies, including one published by Stanford University scientists last year, examined methane leaks from gas stoves and concluded that their global warming impact could be far higher than previously believed — equivalent to the emissions of a half-million cars (Energywire, Jan. 27, 2022).

But environmentalists and public health groups most often focus on indoor air quality as the chief problem with gas stoves, rather than greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Last April, researchers at the Institute for Policy Integrity released a report calling for gas stoves to be sold with warning labels and requirements for better ventilation, while pointing to studies concluding that low-income households and people of color were more likely to live in homes with poor ventilation (Energywire, April 25, 2022).
As far back as 2010, the World Health Organization recommended that governments develop guidelines for indoor air quality — which the EPA does not do — while citing studies that linked gas stoves to increased respiratory problems in children.

Gas industry advocates have rejected any connection between health risks and use of gas stoves, at times pointing to a 2013 study based on a 47-country questionnaire that turned up no association between cooking gas and asthma.”

What the right’s gas stove freakout was really about

“touches on a real, coast-to-coast crusade by liberal city and state leaders to prohibit gas stoves and furnaces in new buildings, on the grounds that they endanger health and contribute to climate change. But the White House has disavowed enacting any such ban at the federal level. (“The president does not support banning gas stoves,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters after the issue came up repeatedly at Wednesday’s news briefing.)”

“In December, Beyer and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission to look at the health risks posed by gas stoves’ methane emissions.
Then a member of that five-person commission suggested to Bloomberg News in a story this week that a ban on new gas stoves could be one of many options to be pursued in the future. But the member, Biden nominee Richard Trumka Jr., had previously failed to get his fellow commissioners to support even regulating stoves, as POLITICO’s E&E News reported Tuesday. Instead, the commission plans to gather “public input” on stoves’ health hazards and possible solutions.

“I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so,” Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric later said in a statement.

By then, though, the issue had escalated to culture-war level — and lawmakers unleashed a barrage of snarky comments.”

“a rising number of studies point to possible health hazards, increasing the urgency of squelch any potential federal ban.

A recently published study nabbed headlines for concluding that gas stove emissions contribute to one in eight cases of childhood asthma — likening it to the dangers posed by second-hand tobacco smoke. And a 2022 report from the American Lung Association that looked at dozens of prior studies found that gas stoves and ovens are major sources of harmful indoor air pollutants that the federal government doesn’t regulate because they occur indoors.”

How an NFL hit could stop a heart

“it’s rare for an adult athlete to have their heart stopped by an impact.
Commotio cordis is also rare in youth sports — but when it happens, the consequences are enormous. It’s associated with such high death rates that chest protection is now becoming the standard across a range of youth and young adult sports.

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment has approved chest protectors that are now mandated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for lacrosse goalies and by the organization that governs US high school baseball for catchers. And while other sports or positions may not mandate this gear, players who are concerned can certainly use it.

It’s unlikely these items will become mandated for professional athletes because the risk of the event is so much lower than it is among youth, said Link. “Mandating chest protection for them doesn’t make as much sense because they’re just so much less susceptible,” he said.

Although what happened to Hamlin was shocking, Link said it’s important to view the event in context. Athletes are more likely to die of a motor vehicle accident on their way to the field than they are of being struck in the chest during a game.

“Sports are great for kids and they should continue to play them — and wear their seat belts on their way to practice,” he said.”

The US has never recorded this many positive flu tests in one week

“Some portion of this steep rise in cases is related to the fact that more people are being tested for the flu than in previous years. Over the month of November, about twice as many flu tests were done at clinical labs nationwide as during the same period last year (about 540,000 versus 265,000). More testing means more cases will get picked up.
However, there are corroborating warning signs that this is truly a bad season. Flu hospitalizations have been off the charts and are rising quickly. In a press conference Monday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said there have already been 78,000 flu hospitalizations this season, or nearly 17 out of every 100,000 Americans. That’s “the highest we’ve seen at this time of year in a decade,” she said. In keeping with past trends, the highest hospitalization rates are among adults 65 and older.

What’s making these high hospitalization rates particularly concerning is their overlap with surges in other viruses causing many people to get sick enough to require admission. One of those is RSV, which has been packing pediatric hospitals for more than six weeks. And while Walensky noted there were signals RSV transmission was slowing in parts of the country, Covid-19 hospitalizations recently began to tick upward.”

Why does the US keep running out of medicine?

“According to a 2022 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “on average, the number of ongoing drug shortages has been increasing and are lasting longer.” The root cause of that problem, per a report from the Food and Drug Administration, is the economics of the pharmaceutical market itself.

The reasons for shortages are generally consistent no matter the drug: either a shortage of raw materials or a problem at the plant where the drug is manufactured. Shortages for medicines that a patient can pick up at the pharmacy often draw the most headlines, but most of the medications that end up in short supply are generic, injectable drugs that are used in hospitals: usually, these drugs have only one or two suppliers. So if there is a problem at the factory of one company, there is not an easy way to scale up production to make up for a shortfall. And they are usually cheap, which means the companies that manufacture them do not have a strong economic incentive to produce any excess supply.”

““It makes a lot of sense when you think about it from their perspective. But when you think about it from the hospital perspective, it’s very frustrating.”

Some of these shortages have led directly to patient deaths. An Associated Press report in 2011 linked at least 15 deaths over the prior 15 months to drug shortages. A more recent study, following the year-long shortage of a drug used to treat septic shock, found higher mortality rates for patients who relied on a substitute. Even short of death, drug shortages can meaningfully change the care patients get — if, for example, a pregnant person undergoes a cesarean delivery, with its higher risk of complications and longer recovery time, because the drug that could have induced labor earlier is out of stock.

Experts do have ideas about how to make the pharmaceutical supply chain more resilient. But they require action by the federal government. Until that happens, there is little reason to think the pace and duration of America’s drug shortages will slow down.”

“These companies rely on razor-thin margins and massive scale to make their business work. They have a “just in time” production schedule, which means almost as soon as the product rolls out of the factory, it is delivered to health care providers. There aren’t warehouses with emergency stockpiles, because it wouldn’t really make financial sense for manufacturers to produce and store the excess supply.”

Syphilis rates are soaring in South Dakota’s American Indian communities. What’s going on?

“Over the last five years, syphilis transmission has increased explosively all over the US. The spread of this infection, which starts as a rash but can progress to severe disease in adults, is particularly alarming because syphilis infections during pregnancy can lead to death or disability in newborns.
Although syphilis trends are bad on a national scale, South Dakota’s numbers are particularly concerning. Since 2020, cases in the state have increased tenfold. Furthermore, infections are not evenly spread across the population: American Indians make up more than two-thirds of the state’s cases.”

America’s increasingly atrocious access to maternity care, explained in 3 charts

“about 900 Americans died in 2020 from complications related to childbirth. Another 50,000 or more women experienced severe pregnancy-related complications. Four of five of those deaths were from preventable causes. In terms of scale and rate, America’s maternal mortality dwarfs the issues of other wealthy countries, and these gaps in maternity care shoulder much of the blame.”

Some Canadian Health Care Patients Say They’re Being Encouraged To Just Die Already

“The lesson here should not be that assisted suicide is bad, but heavy government involvement in health care decisions has an inescapable distorting influence. At the very least, how Canada manages health care access is a massive contributing factor. A survey from 2016 found that Canadians wait longer to access health care services than citizens in 11 other countries. The United States is one of the countries of comparison, but the survey also looks at other countries with government-managed health care systems like the United Kingdom and France. A 2020 study from the Canadian Family Physician journal notes that the country simply provides less freedom and opportunity for people seeking medical care than other countries, even when healthcare is centrally planned: ” What these countries do differently than Canada is they allow the private sector to provide core health care insurance and services, require patients to share in the cost of treatment, and fund hospitals based on activity (rather than the global budgets that are the norm in Canada).””