Implementation of the updated food safety law continues to be delayed with cost as a major issue; new study addresses the injury risks of texting pedestrians; and EPA issues new air quality regulations that can assist in limiting soot. Read these and more public health news stories for Dec. 17, 2012.
USA Today - Promise of food safety law largely unfulfilled
With thousands of Americans falling ill and public confidence shaken after a series of high-profile foodborne outbreaks several years ago involving consumer staples such as lettuce, peppers, peanuts and eggs, Congress and the White House moved aggressively to bring food safety into the 21st century.
Huffington Post - Superstorm Sandy’s toll on mental health emerges among survivors
The image of his brother trapped in a car with water rising to his neck, his eyes silently pleading for help, is part of a recurring nightmare that wakes Anthony Gatti up, screaming, at night.
Gatti hauled his brother out of the car just in time, saving his life at the height of Superstorm Sandy. The two men rode out the hurricane in their childhood Staten Island home and survived. But weeks afterward, Gatti still hasn’t moved on.
ABC News – Texting pedestrians risk injuries
Pedestrians who text are four times less likely to look before crossing the street, cross at designated areas or obey traffic lights, according to a new study that highlights the hazards of mobile technology.
In monitoring 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections, researchers from the University of Washington found that texting pedestrians also took an average of two seconds longer to cross the road.
USA Today – EPA cracks down on soot pollution
Over objections from the oil industry and power companies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new air quality rules today to slash the amount of fine-particle soot allowed from smokestacks, wood-burning stoves and diesel vehicles.
The EPA, required by a court order to set a new standard by Dec. 14, said 99% of U.S. counties will be able to meet it by 2020 without taking additional steps. Environmental and public health groups hailed the rules, but critics said they could force costly pollution-abatement upgrades and harm economic growth.
FOX News – How schools can better address mental health in wake of Sandy Hook shooting
Hindsight may be 20/20, but as we look back, it appears Sandy Hook Elementary School was as well-prepared as it could have been for such a horrific scenario.
Part of the healing process in a tragedy like this is moving forward and implementing procedures that will prevent another awful situation from happening. There are changes to be made in schools throughout the country – and now is the time to make them.