HOPKINS HOSPITAL — Hot peppers called aid in curbing runny noses
A Johns Hopkins Hospital researcher has come up with a new recipe for relieving runny noses that's heavy on the chili peppers.
But don't try this at home. The pepper-derived substance doesn't go into your mouth, it goes into your nose.
Dr. Alkis G. Togias, assistant professor of medicine at Hopkins' Asthma and Allergy Center, says preliminary results show that capsaicin, a substance found in red hot chilies, may block the symptoms of an ailment called non-allergic rhinitis.
The condition is marked by inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose, nasal congestion, postnasal drip and sinus problems.
Most nasal misery is caused by infections. People with non-allergic rhinitis are so sensitive their noses start running when they encounter strong odors, cold weather, dry conditions or other irritants.
Hopkins reports that capsaicin may work by making sensory nerves in the nose release neuropeptides -- chemicals that help desensitize the nerves.
In Dr. Togias' study, eight hardy volunteers had their noses sprayed with large doses of capsaicin. Within 10 seconds, their noses burned and ran, and their eyes watered.
As the process was repeated, the noses of volunteers became less sensitive. Tests suggested, but did not prove, that the sensory nerves were releasing neuropeptides.
Foster father jailed for sexual abuse
A foster father who raped and sexually abused two of the children placed in his care was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday by a Baltimore County judge who described the man as "pathetic" and his crimes as "beyond description."
The 46-year-old Essex man pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to repeatedly attacking two of the foster children his family had cared for in 1990: a girl who had lived with the family from age 5 to 7, and a 13-year-old girl who stayed less than a month.
Based upon a psychiatric report, the judge agreed to recommend that the man be incarcerated in Patuxent Institution so that he can receive treatment.
Line is rewelded, danger contained
Repairs were completed early yesterday on a sewer-line leak in the Hampton area of Baltimore County that resulted in as much as 3 million gallons of treated sewage being drained into Loch Raven Reservoir, according to Public Works Director Gene L. Neff.
A welded joint on a curve in a 30-inch, 30-year-old cast-iron pipe separated Monday evening under St. Francis Road, between Westellen and Culvert roads, Mr. Neff said.
The line, which usually carries 6 million to 8 million gallons of sewage a day, was diverted. The pipes were forced back into proper position, and the joint was rewelded, Mr. Neff said.
The 2 million to 3 million gallons of sewage trapped in the broken line were drained into a sump pit and treated with massive doses of liquid chlorine to kill bacteria, then filtered through hay bales, he said. The material that entered the reservoir "was 99 percent liquid," Mr. Neff said. "The solids trapped in the pit are buried."
State and local health inspectors determined that public health was not endangered, Mr. Neff said.