The Environmental Protection Agency unveils long-awaited mercury rule, Wednesday, Dec. 21. Federal funding for needle-exchange programs is about to be prohibited once more. Concerns in at least a half-dozen countries of women who received breast implants with substandard silicone made in France. All this and more, topping this morning’s public health headlines, Thursday, December 22.
The Washington Post – Environmental Protection Agency issues new regulation on mercury
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday a regulation more than two decades in the making that requires coal- and oil-fired power plants to control emissions of mercury and other poisons for the first time.
National Journal – EPA Unveils Long-Awaited Mercury Rule
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on Wednesday unveiled the nation’s first-ever national standards for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants, saying they will save 11,000 lives a year and save billions of dollars.
“Exposure to air pollution and toxic chemicals can cause asthma and heart attacks, harm those suffering from respiratory illness, and in some cases lead to death,” said Alan Baker, interim executive director of the American Public Health Association. “Implementing these critically needed standards could mean the difference between a chronic debilitating, expensive illness or healthy life for hundreds of thousands of American children and adults.”
Kaiser Health News – Needle-Exchange Programs Face New Federal Funding Ban
Federal funding for needle-exchange programs — a controversial concept that public health advocates have long argued prevents the spread of HIV and other diseases — is about to be prohibited once more, just two years after Congress lifted a 21-year ban. …
Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, said that these fears are unfounded and that people should not be denied the best public health interventions because they are using drugs. Furthermore, preventing disease now costs less than disease treatment in the long term, he said.
The New York Times – Health Fears Over Suspect French Breast Implants Spread Abroad
Health officials in at least a half-dozen countries are grappling with the intense anxiety of tens of thousands of women who received breast implants that were made in France with substandard silicone — and that have been rupturing at unusually high rates.