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HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2013
Summer is almost here, and with it likely some blistering hot days. A recent study suggests the elderly should beware when the temperature spikes, because they face an increased risk of winding up in the emergency room short of breath on those days. And that's just a taste of what health problems to expect as global climate change cranks the heat up in many places. Researchers for Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale universities reviewed a nationwide health database of 12.5 million older Americans on Medicare and found that increases in outdoor temperatures raise the risk for the elderly of being rushed to the hospital with respiratory disorders.
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NEWS
By Pete Pichaske and For The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Breast cancer gets a lot of attention - and not just during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There's a good reason for that, as any of the quarter-million American women diagnosed with breast cancer each year will tell you. But breast cancer isn't the only serious health risk women should be aware of, according to county health professionals. Some are fatal; others are not. Some are well-known, others obscure. All affect the person's quality of life, and all affect more women than men. We talked with some Howard County doctors in the know to find out what to look out for and where to learn more locally.
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EXPLORE
June 15, 2011
Since riding the Howard Transit buses for quite some time, I have noticed that once the summer months come around, the buses start breaking down. Although it is a common occurrence during the summer, I do not think that the county's bus company is doing a good job keeping up with maintenance. If Howard Transit can afford to buy new buses, I would think they would have the money to keep these vehicles maintained. The main noticeable problem is the lack of air conditioning. During code orange or code red days, senior citizens and other residents with cardiac or breathing conditions are put in danger of their health. However, if you factor in the excessively hot environment on buses with no air conditioning, it puts them at twice the risk for a serious medical emergency.  Just recently, I was on two buses with no air conditioning. At one point, several ladies became concerned when they took notice that I might pass out from heat exhaustion. Because of no A/C on a code red day, I was put at a serious health risk because of a breathing condition.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
A tool that contains a small amount of radioactive material, used to measure concentrations of lead in paint, was stolen in Baltimore Monday afternoon, the Maryland Department of the Environment said in an alert. The department said the tool, a Dynasil RMD LPA-1 analyzer, stolen after a property inspection in the 2600 block of E. Monument St., poses "no imminent public health risk. " The radioactive material inside the three-pound device is sealed and housed in a tungsten shield, with locks to prevent its shutter from being opened, the department said.
NEWS
By Katie Huffling | July 19, 2012
Imagine you are a nurse working in an emergency room, and a worker on a gas fracking well comes in covered in chemicals used in the drilling process. You call the gas company to find out what chemicals are being used to help in your assessment of possible health risks to your patient, and even yourself, but find out they don't have to disclose this information. Or, imagine you are a public health nurse in a community with many natural gas fracking wells, and you notice complaints of well-water contamination.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2011
A new environmental study has found people and wildlife face higher-than-normal health risks from long-term exposure to toxic contaminants in the Patapsco River near Sparrows Point, the legacy of pollution from more than a century of steel-making on the outskirts of Baltimore's harbor. The risk assessment commissioned by the Maryland Port Administration determined that people who swam their whole lifetime in the waters off the Coke Point area of Sparrows Point would be two to five times more likely to develop cancers or other health problems as people who did the same elsewhere in the harbor.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2013
A doctor might ask for a patient's family disease history, or exercise or smoking habits, but whether they have trouble getting food onto the table or paying energy bills is unlikely to appear on any clinic questionnaire. Those sorts of factors could have just as much, if not more, of an impact on a person's everyday health, argue the founders of a startup out of the Johns Hopkins University. Their company, Healthify, is giving clinics that serve largely low-income populations the means to gather and use that information.
NEWS
By Jonathan Bor and Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF | July 2, 2003
With hot weather finally descending on the region, Maryland health officials are warning residents to guard against the sometimes-fatal consequences of heat. Their recommendations include drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, curbing alcohol consumption and wearing loose-fitting and light-colored clothes. The state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests reducing the time spent in direct sunlight and taking breaks while working or exercising outside. Though no one has died of heat-related illness this year, the medical examiner's office blamed 42 deaths on last summer's brutally hot weather.
NEWS
By Laurie Willis and Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF | February 1, 2002
The Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse poses "no serious health risks" to employees, but the building's conditions are the likely cause of some health problems, the city's health commissioner said yesterday. "There was a very strong fear that there might have been a serious health risk in the building because of the anecdotal reports of a few cases of cancer and other diseases," Dr. Peter L. Beilenson said. "The good news from the study is that the building poses no serious health risks.
NEWS
By Janny Scott and Janny Scott,Los Angeles Times | January 22, 1992
At a time when more Americans than ever are living alone, evidence is mounting that isolation can be bad for one's health for reasons that can range from the absence of a ride to the hospital to the lack of some chemical response to human contact.The latest clues about the health hazards of living alone come in two studies published today that find people who have had heart attacks and who live alone and have no close friends are more likely than others to suffer additional heart attacks.
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | January 16, 2014
Just in case you hadn't heard, smoking is bad for you. From a certain perspective, it doesn't seem as though it needs to be repeated, but given Harford County's increasing rate of lung cancer, and the association of that deadly ailment with inhaling tobacco smoke, it seems like there might be an unusually high number of people in our readership area who are unaware. Coincidental or otherwise, the report from the Harford County Health Department about the problem of local lung cancer rates increasing, even as statewide rates are declining, came out within days of the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Surgeon General report warning about the ill effects of smoking.
NEWS
October 22, 2013
Happiness doesn't come in a red can. Obesity does. That's the tag line from a commercial that will begin airing soon in the Baltimore area, and it's a not-so-subtle attack on Coca-Cola mounted by a group of local health advocates including Howard County's Horizon Foundation, the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), the American Heart Association and People Acting Together in Howard (PATH). The ad is a parody of a Coke campaign that features people handing out bottles of cola to strangers around the world in an uplifting, music-filled celebration.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2013
Even as some Fells Point residents worry that building over a capped toxic site at Harbor Point could endanger their health, records show elevated levels of cancer-causing chromium in groundwater just beyond the area targeted for an upscale development. Some experts have expressed concern about the pollution - especially in light of a developer's plan to disturb the protective cap over land that once held a chromium processing plant. They're also worried that uncontrolled chromium in groundwater beyond Harbor Point could seep into the harbor or pose risks for development of neighboring properties.
EXPLORE
AEGIS STAFF REPORT | August 29, 2013
September marks Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and with prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States, the Harford County Health Department urges men to consider the facts about prostate cancer and the importance of a healthy prostate. In 2013, The American Cancer Society estimates that 4,880 men in Maryland will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 560 will die from it this year, while across the country, approximately 238,590 men will be diagnosed and 38,460 will die from this cancer this year.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2013
Ovarian cancer can be a death sentence for many women. It is difficult to treat and often goes undetected until the late stages when it has spread to other organs in the pelvis and abdomen. Actress Angelina Jolie has reportedly decided to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, a procedure known as a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, to fend off getting the disease. Jolie is a carrier of a BRCA gene mutation, putting her at a 60 percent to 80 percent chance of developing breast cancer and a 25 percent to 40 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer.
NEWS
May 15, 2013
While I applaud Tim Wheeler for shining a light on the risks of climate change in his recent article "Rising temperatures increase health risks" (May 10), I'm saddened by these three esteemed universities investing time and effort into researching what appears to be common sense. Most all of us know intuitively and from experience that extreme heat - whether it results in heat stroke, dehydration, sunburn, other physiological reactions, or just lack of ability to participate actively in daily activities - is not good for us. The more of it we experience as a society, the higher the number of individuals who will be impacted.
NEWS
February 6, 1997
KEYSTONE SANITATION landfill has been leaking toxics for years. Poisons have been found in wells on and around the 35-acre site in Pennsylvania, just over the northern Carroll County border. It was listed as a federal Superfund hazardous waste cleanup location a decade ago.Yet residents of the area still lack a satisfactory answer to the basic question of human health: Is my well water safe to drink?The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is developing the Superfund treatment plan scheduled to begin this spring, has spent $50,000 to sample residential wells near the landfill.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | February 23, 2005
The Howard County school system plans to conduct buildingwide tests at Faulkner Ridge Center to assess potential health risks after one confirmed case of Legionnaires' disease in the fall and on-and-off concerns about respiratory problems from staff members there, school officials said yesterday. "Even though the Health Department has said it doesn't meet their criteria for testing, we're going to go ahead and conduct tests to make sure there are not any building-related health risks," said Patti Caplan, the school system's spokeswoman.
HEALTH
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2013
Summer is almost here, and with it likely some blistering hot days. A recent study suggests the elderly should beware when the temperature spikes, because they face an increased risk of winding up in the emergency room short of breath on those days. And that's just a taste of what health problems to expect as global climate change cranks the heat up in many places. Researchers for Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale universities reviewed a nationwide health database of 12.5 million older Americans on Medicare and found that increases in outdoor temperatures raise the risk for the elderly of being rushed to the hospital with respiratory disorders.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2013
A doctor might ask for a patient's family disease history, or exercise or smoking habits, but whether they have trouble getting food onto the table or paying energy bills is unlikely to appear on any clinic questionnaire. Those sorts of factors could have just as much, if not more, of an impact on a person's everyday health, argue the founders of a startup out of the Johns Hopkins University. Their company, Healthify, is giving clinics that serve largely low-income populations the means to gather and use that information.
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