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Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

Phone Addiction Is Real — And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

A lot of us must be wondering if we’re hooked on our tech: Searches for “phone addiction” have risen steadily in the past five years, according to Google Trends, and “social media addiction” trails it closely. Interestingly, phone addiction and social media addiction are closely intertwined, especially for younger people, who probably aren’t playing chess on their phones or even talking on them—they’re on social media. And according to a growing number of studies, it’s looking more and more like this pastime is addictive. Even more concerning is the fact that this addiction is linked to some serious mental health risks.

68020_960x0 Phone Addiction Is Real -- And So Are Its Mental Health Risks

Shutterstock

Last month, MIT’s Sloan Management Review published a clever experiment—professors at two business schools in Italy and France made giving up one’s smartphone for a day a requirement of the students in their courses. Most of the students, who could plan what day they’d give up their phones, felt some degree of anxiety. They didn’t know what to do with the extra time, from eating breakfast to riding on public transportation. They also noted how often people who did have phones checked their phones—one student pointed out that his friend checked his phone four times in a 10 minute period—and that that was probably what they themselves looked like on a typical day.

An earlier study, in the U.S., which also had young people give up their phones, found that they performed worse on mental tasks when they were in “withdrawal,” and felt physiological symptoms, like increased heart rate and blood pressure. They also felt a sense of loss, or lessening, of their extended self—their phones.

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that phone use, especially heavy use, isn’t so lighthearted. A study last month looked at the rise in depression and suicide in teenagers in recent years. The CDC had noted a rise in the rates of both over the years 2010-2015, and found that girls were particularly at risk: Their suicide rate rose by 65% in those five years. The number of girls with severe depression rose by 58%.

The authors of the new study wanted to see what might be causing these disturbing trends. Though it’s only a correlation, the team found a tight relationship between mental health issues and a rise in “new media screen activities.” About 48% of those who spent five or more hours a day on their phones—a lot of time by any measure—had thought about suicide or made plans for it, vs. 28% of those who spent only one hour per day on their phones. No other variables—like household financial issues, homework, or school pressure—could account for the rise in mental health issues over that time.

“Although we can’t say for sure that the growing use of smartphones caused the increase in mental health issues, that was by far the biggest change in teens’ lives between 2010 and 2015,” study author Jean Twenge said in a statement. She’s the author of the book iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood–and What That Means for the Rest of Us, and has been following this pattern for years.

Interestingly, teens who spent more time doing sports, homework, socializing with friends in real life, and going to church had a lower risk for both depression and suicide.

The problem is that teens are spending more and more time, not talking on the phone like they were in decades past, but Instagram-ing and snapchat-ing. These are dangerous pastimes because they give the appearance of social interaction, but they couldn’t be further away from it. The comparisons that are implicit in looking at other people’s lives online, which are often highly manicured (and misleading), is thought to be what’s so depressing about social media. “These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming,” Twenge said. “Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously.”

Another study, presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America conference, looked at the brains of teens who fell into the category of smartphone or internet addiction. The authors found some differences in the chemistry of the reward circuits of the brain, particularly in the ratio of the neurotransmitter GABA to other neurotransmitters. Interestingly, when the teens went though cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for their addiction, their brain chemistry changed and looked more like non-addicted controls.

Earlier studies have also looked at activity in the addiction circuits of the teenage brain when they’re actually interacting with social media. It found that cells in one of these areas, the nucleus accumbens, were activated when participants viewed Instagram pictures with more “likes.”

Finally, a particularly telling sign that something’s wrong is that some of the developers of social media features have started speaking up about its addictive risks. Features like red, rather than blue, notifications were intentionally designed to grab people’s attention, and keep them coming back for another hit. Loren Brichter invented the pull-to-refresh mechanism for an app that Twitter eventually acquired. “Smartphones are useful tools,” he recently told The Guardian. “But they’re addictive. Pull-to-refresh is addictive. Twitter is addictive. These are not good things. When I was working on them, it was not something I was mature enough to think about. I’m not saying I’m mature now, but I’m a little bit more mature, and I regret the downsides.”

Part of the problem with “using” is that we think social media will give us a boost, but it doesn’t—it makes us feel worse. This is a “forecast error” that keeps us coming back, even though it often has a negative effect on our mental health. And this cycle sounds eerily like a classic addiction.

It will be interesting to see how our interactions with our phones change over time—maybe the pendulum will swing back the other way as cell phones, and social media, become less novel. But for young people who have grown up with both, it’s not a novelty, it’s just a way of life. It may take bigger pushes to help them see just how addictive phones can be, and how damaging to their mental health.

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

f4a24_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

f4a24_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

In this Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, photo, a syringe loaded with a dose of CBD oil is shown in a research laboratory at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. (Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A World Health Organization (WHO) report has found no adverse health outcomes or recreational potential but rather several medical applications for cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, despite U.S. federal policy on the cannabinoid chemical.

According to a preliminary WHO report published last month, naturally occurring CBD is safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals), and is not associated with any negative public health effects [PDF]. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications

Experts further stated that CBD, a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, does not induce physical dependence and is “not associated with abuse potential.” The WHO also wrote that, unlike THC, people aren’t getting high off of CBD, either.

See also: Study Explores Chemical Links Of Cannabis, Exercise, And Sexual Bliss

To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD,” they wrote. In fact, evidence suggests that CBD mitigates the effects of THC (whether joyous or panicky), according to this and other reports. 

The authors pointed out that research has officially confirmed some positive effects of the chemical, however.

The WHO team determined that CBD has “been demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children, and even animals, and that there’s “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating  Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, psychosis, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious conditions.

d6e7e_960x0 WHO Report Finds No Public Health Risks Or Abuse Potential For CBD

The Herbal Chef CEO and Head Chef Chris Sayegh measures the dose of CBD cannabis extract as he prepares medicated food for an event, in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016. (Credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images)

In acknowledgement of these kinds of discoveries in recent years, the report continued, “Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.” 

But the U.S., the report noted, isn’t one of them. As a cannabis component, CBD remains classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse” in the federal government’s view. Nevertheless, the “unsanctioned medical use” of CBD is fairly common, experts found.

For some CBD users in the U.S., the substance’s mostly unsanctioned and illegal state has created a problem, especially as a wave of online (mostly hemp) and store-bought CBD oils and extracts have allowed patients to take the treatment process–and the risks involved in ordering unregulated medicine online–into their own hands and homes.

While CBD itself is safe and found to be helpful for many users, industry experts have warned that not all cannabis extracts are created equally, purely, or with the same methods of extraction.

See also: Scammers Used My Article And Montel’s Name To Hock ‘CBD’ For Months; Now It’s Lawsuit Time

And while reports of negative reactions to pure CBD are very few and far between, researchers are able to say that the cannabinoid wouldn’t be to blame alone. “Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications,” they noted.

As the cannabis reform nonprofit NORML reported, the WHO is currently considering changing CBD’s place in its own drug scheduling code. In September, NORML submitted written testimony to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) opposing the enactment of international restrictions on access to CBD.

The FDA, which has repeatedly declined to update its position on cannabis products despite a large and ever-growing body of evidence on the subject, is one of a number of agencies that will be advising the WHO in its final review of CBD.

Perhaps this time around the FDA will listen, and learn something.

The report was presented by the WHO’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence, and drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, Teams of Innovation, Access and Use and Policy, Governance and Knowledge.

See also: Thousands Braved The Cold Outside Verizon Stores Yesterday — Here’s Why [PHOTOS]

The health risks of breathing smoke from California’s wildfires

Richard E. Peltier is an associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst


Wildfires once again are raging in California – this time in the Los Angeles area, where five fires are currently burning. The fast-moving Thomas fire alone has burned more than 65,000 acres in three days. State agencies are issuing air quality alerts due to wildfire smoke. Atmospheric chemist Richard Peltier explains why smoke from wildfires is hazardous and what kinds of protection are effective.

What substances in wildfire smoke are most dangerous to human health? What kinds of impacts can they have?

Wood smoke contains a mixture of microscopic droplets and particles and invisible gases that spread downwind from the fire source. Surprisingly, relatively few studies have investigated the types of exposures we are now seeing in California. Most studies focus on very controlled laboratory experiments, or forest fire fighters who are working on controlled burning, or exposures people in developing nations experience when they use primitive cookstoves. None of these accurately reflects conditions that Californians are experiencing now.

Wood smoke is a very complicated mixture of material in the air, and much of it is known to affect human health. It comes from lots of different fuel sources, including mature trees, dried leaves, forest litter and, unfortunately, local homes. The emissions vary depending on what material is burning and whether it is smoldering or in flames.

For the most part, wildfire smoke is a mixture of carbon monoxide, volatile organic carbon and particles that include alkaline ash, black carbon and organic carbon, which usually contains polyaromatic hydrocarbon, a known cancer-causing agent.

Is a brief exposure, say for a few hours, dangerous, or is smoke mainly a concern if it lingers for days? How does distance from the fire affect risk?

We don’t fully know how the size and length of the dose affect risks, but the longer you are exposed to pollutants from wood smoke, the higher the risk of developing smoke-related illnesses. Short-term exposures to intense smoke can lead to lung and cardiovascular problems in some people, especially if they are already susceptible to these diseases. Longer-term exposure over a few days or weeks increases the risk and the chance of health impacts as your cumulative dose increases.

Smoke tends to become more diluted with distance from the source, but there really isn’t any way to estimate a safe distance where the pollutants are so diluted that they pose no risk. Eventually rainfall will clean all of this pollution from the atmosphere, but that can take days or even weeks. In the meantime, these pollutants can travel thousands of miles. That means air pollution from wildfires may threaten people who are far downwind.

How do the worst pollution levels from wildfires in California compare to bad air days in a megacity like Beijing or Mumbai?

The concentrations of pollution in communities downwind of these fires are on par with what we see in rapidly growing cities such as Mumbai and Beijing. But there is an important difference. In California these pollutants affect a relatively small geographic area, and the affected areas can rapidly shift with changing weather patterns. In locations like Mumbai and Beijing, high concentrations are sustained across the entire region for days or even weeks. Everyone in the community has to endure them, and there is no practical escape. For now, though, some Californians are experiencing what it’s like to live in a developing country without strong air pollution controls.

How should people in smoky areas protect themselves? Are there remedies they should avoid?

The most effective way to protect yourself is by staying with friends or family who live far away from the smoke. People who can’t leave the area should close windows and doors, and apply weather sealing if they detect smoke leaking in. Even masking tape can be reasonably effective. But most houses leak outside air indoors, so this strategy isn’t foolproof.

Portable high-efficiency filter devices – often marketed as HEPA – can remove indoor air pollution but often are too small to be effective for an entire house. They are best used in individual rooms where people spend a great deal of time, such as a bedroom. And they can be very expensive.

Products marketed as air fresheners that use odorants, such as scented candles or oil vaporizers that plug into an outlet, do nothing to improve air quality. They can actually make it worse. Similarly, products that “clean” the air using ozone can release ozone into your home, which is very hazardous.

2b24b_rtx3lpan The health risks of breathing smoke from California's wildfires

Reporter Wendy Luo holds up a N95 mask manufactured by 3M in a 2003 file photo.

Personal face mask respirators can also be effective, but not the cheap paper or cloth masks that many people in developing countries commonly use. The best choice is an N95-certified respirator, which is designed to protect workers from hazardous exposures on the job.

These masks are made of special fabric that is designed to catch particles before they can be inhaled. Paper masks are meant to protect you from contact with large droplets from someone who might be ill. N95 respirators block particles from entering your mouth and nose. They can be a little uncomfortable to wear, especially for long periods, but are pretty effective, and many retailers sell them.

What else do scientists want to know about wildfire smoke?

We have a pretty good understanding of the pollutants that wildfires emit and how they change over time, but we don’t have a firm grasp of how different health effects arise, who is most susceptible or what the long-term effects may be. It is not easy to predict where and when wildfires will occur, which makes it hard for scientists to evaluate individuals who have been exposed to smoke. Controlled laboratory studies give us some clues about what happens in the human body, but these exposures often are quite different from what happens in the real world.

Wildfire smoke in heavily settled areas like Los Angeles affect thousands of people. We saw similar situations in other cities this year, including Seattle, Portland and the San Francisco area. And it’s not just a West Coast issue. In late November there were major fires reported in Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. We need to learn more about how smoke exposure affects people in real-world conditions, during fires and long after they end.

2b24b_rtx3lpan The health risks of breathing smoke from California's wildfires

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Oct. 16, 2017. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.

More than 90 percent of California’s crop workers were born in Mexico. But in recent years, fewer have migrated to the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers point to a number of causes: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

As a result, the average farmworker is now 45 years old, according to federal government data. Harvesting U.S. crops has been left to an aging population of farmworkers whose health has suffered from decades of hard labor. Older workers have a greater chance of getting injured and of developing chronic illnesses, which can raise the cost of workers’ compensation and health insurance.

“The slowdown is happening,” said Brent McKinsey, a third-generation farmer and one of the owners of Mission Ranches in Salinas. “You start to see your production drop, but it’s difficult to manage because there aren’t the younger people wanting to come in and work in this industry.”

After a long day hunched over, cutting and bunching mustard leaves, Gonzalo Picazo Lopez, a farmworker, said the pain shooting down his leg is acting up. Lopez has been working in the fields since the 1970s, when he crossed over from Mexico. At 67 years old, he looks timeworn, with silver hair and a white beard. Deep lines mark his face.

As Lopez described how he carefully picks the leaves with his right hand and bunches with his left, he opened and closed his fingers with difficulty.

“In 2015 my left hand started to hurt,” said Lopez. “I went into work one morning and my hand was cold — ice cold.”

Lopez is a U.S. citizen and has Medicare. He hopes to work for almost another decade, until his wife, who is 61 and picks broccoli, can collect her Social Security.

Chronic pain is a common complaint at Clinica de Salud in Salinas. Nearly all of the patients at this community clinic are farmworkers. Many don’t have health insurance and pay what they can for medical care. Those who have immigration papers, rely on Medicaid.

Oralia Marquez, a physician’s assistant at the clinic, said older farmworkers often develop arthritis, back pain, foot infections and breathing problems from pesticides.

Many of her patients, like Amalia Buitron Deaguilera also struggle with diabetes. Deaguilera is 63. She has Medicaid for insurance, but she’s losing her vision from the disease.

“When I was working in fields,” said Deaguilera, “I never had time to take care of myself and my health.”

Workers in the fields who have diabetes often cannot take their insulin because they have no place to refrigerate it, said Marquez. And they miss doctors’ appointments during the busy harvesting seasons because many don’t get paid when they don’t work.

“Most of our patients want just something to relieve the pain and to continue working,” she said. “Most of the time they don’t ask for disability. They don’t ask for days off. They say they don’t have time to miss days.”

Field laborers often delay health care, and that can lead to serious medical problems. Compared to older whites, older Latino farmworkers are much more likely to end up in the hospital, according to researchers at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University, Fresno.

Faced with an aging and dwindling workforce, Mission Ranches’ McKinsey says farmers are trying to mechanize planting and harvesting to reduce their labor needs.

But machines can only do so much, McKinsey said. You can replace the human hand in a factory, perhaps. But out here, the fields are bumpy and the winds are strong and you need people to bring the plants to life.


KHN’s coverage of these topics is supported by
John A. Hartford Foundation
and
The SCAN Foundation

Related Topics

Aging Insurance Public Health


Google and pals rush to repair Android dev tools, block backdoor risks

Security researchers have found several flaws in the developer tools and environments used by Android programmers.

The flaws, if exploited, would enable hackers to exploit the developer environments and insert malicious code (like adware or a cryptominer) into legitimate apps, without the developers of those kosher apps knowing about it.

6ec24_php_image_via_shutterstock Google and pals rush to repair Android dev tools, block backdoor risks

Avast urges devs to secure toolchains after hacked build box led to CCleaner disaster

READ MORE

Downloadable and cloud-based tools used by Java/Android programmers to build their companies’ business applications are vulnerable, according to security researchers at Check Point. Fortunately prompt action by the software tool-makers has prevented the repetition of the sort of security screw-up that resulted in Avast inadvertently serving up backdoor versions of its Cleaner tool earlier this year.

More specifically, Check Point’s team has found several vulnerabilities that affect the most common Android integrated development environments (IDEs) – Google’s Android Studio and JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse, as well as the major reverse engineering tools for Android applications such as APKTool, the Cuckoo-Droid service and more.

The researchers’ first find was in APKTool, where it discovered the configured XML parser did not disable external entity references when parsing an XML file within the program. Check Point said the “vulnerability expose[d] the whole OS file system of APKTool users…”

The team went on to find multiple vulnerable implementations of the XML parser within other projects, specifically the most popular IDEs that are used for building Android applications.

Check Point reported the discovery to APKTool developers and the other IDE companies back in May 2017. Google and JetBrains have verified and acknowledged the security issues and have since deployed a fix to shore up the security of their products.

The Check Point team also contacted APKTool developer and IDE companies who responded by fixing the security issues and released updated versions of their products. ®

Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

11edc_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Researchers point to a number of causes for dwindling farmworkers: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Researchers point to a number of causes for dwindling farmworkers: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.

More than 90 percent of California’s crop workers were born in Mexico. But in recent years, fewer have migrated to the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers point to a number of causes: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

11edc_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

As a result, the average farmworker is now 45 years old, according to federal government data. Harvesting U.S. crops has been left to an aging population of farmworkers whose health has suffered from decades of hard labor. Older workers have a greater chance of getting injured and of developing chronic illnesses, which can raise the cost of workers’ compensation and health insurance.

“The slowdown is happening,” says Brent McKinsey, a third-generation farmer and one of the owners of Mission Ranches in Salinas. “You start to see your production drop, but it’s difficult to manage because there aren’t the younger people wanting to come in and work in this industry.”

After a long day hunched over, cutting and bunching mustard leaves, Gonzalo Picazo Lopez, a farmworker, says the pain shooting down his leg is acting up. Lopez has been working in the fields since the 1970s, when he crossed over from Mexico. At 67 years old, he looks timeworn, with silver hair and a white beard. Deep lines mark his face.

As Lopez describes how he carefully picks the leaves with his right hand and bunches with his left, he opens and closes his fingers with difficulty.

“In 2015 my left hand started to hurt,” says Lopez. “I went into work one morning and my hand was cold — ice cold.”

Lopez is a U.S. citizen and has Medicare. He hopes to work for almost another decade, until his wife, who is 61 and picks broccoli, can collect her Social Security.

Chronic pain is a common complaint at Clinica de Salud in Salinas. Nearly all of the patients at this community clinic are farmworkers. Many don’t have health insurance and pay what they can for medical care. Those fortunate enough to have immigration papers, rely on Medicaid.

11edc_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Oralia Marquez, a physician’s assistant at the clinic, says older farmworkers often develop arthritis, back pain, foot infections and breathing problems from pesticides.

Many of her patients, like Amalia Buitron Deaguilera are also struggling with diabetes. Deaguilera is 63. She has Medicaid for insurance, but she’s losing her vision from the disease.

“When I was working in fields,” says Deaguilera, “I never had time to take care of myself and my health.”

Workers in the fields who have diabetes often cannot take their insulin because they have no place to refrigerate it, says Marquez. And they miss doctors’ appointments during the busy harvesting seasons because many don’t get paid when they don’t work.

“Most of our patients want just something to relieve the pain and to continue working,” she says. “Most of the time they don’t ask for disability. They don’t ask for days off. They say they don’t have time to miss days.”

11edc_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Field laborers often delay health care, and that can lead to serious medical problems. Compared to older whites, older Latino farmworkers are much more likely to end up in the hospital, according to researchers at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University, Fresno.

Faced with an aging and dwindling workforce, Mission Ranches’ McKinsey says farmers are trying to mechanize planting and harvesting to reduce their labor needs.

But machines can only do so much, McKinsey says. You can replace the human hand in a factory, perhaps. But out here, the fields are bumpy and the winds are strong and you need people to bring the plants to life.

Sarah Varney is a senior national correspondent at Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

b1ac2_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Researchers point to a number of causes for dwindling farmworkers: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Researchers point to a number of causes for dwindling farmworkers: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark mornings and end in the searing afternoon heat.

More than 90 percent of California’s crop workers were born in Mexico. But in recent years, fewer have migrated to the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Researchers point to a number of causes: tighter border controls; higher prices charged by smugglers; well-paying construction jobs and a growing middle-class in Mexico that doesn’t want to pick vegetables for Americans.

b1ac2_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

As a result, the average farmworker is now 45 years old, according to federal government data. Harvesting U.S. crops has been left to an aging population of farmworkers whose health has suffered from decades of hard labor. Older workers have a greater chance of getting injured and of developing chronic illnesses, which can raise the cost of workers’ compensation and health insurance.

“The slowdown is happening,” says Brent McKinsey, a third-generation farmer and one of the owners of Mission Ranches in Salinas. “You start to see your production drop, but it’s difficult to manage because there aren’t the younger people wanting to come in and work in this industry.”

After a long day hunched over, cutting and bunching mustard leaves, Gonzalo Picazo Lopez, a farmworker, says the pain shooting down his leg is acting up. Lopez has been working in the fields since the 1970s, when he crossed over from Mexico. At 67 years old, he looks timeworn, with silver hair and a white beard. Deep lines mark his face.

As Lopez describes how he carefully picks the leaves with his right hand and bunches with his left, he opens and closes his fingers with difficulty.

“In 2015 my left hand started to hurt,” says Lopez. “I went into work one morning and my hand was cold — ice cold.”

Lopez is a U.S. citizen and has Medicare. He hopes to work for almost another decade, until his wife, who is 61 and picks broccoli, can collect her Social Security.

Chronic pain is a common complaint at Clinica de Salud in Salinas. Nearly all of the patients at this community clinic are farmworkers. Many don’t have health insurance and pay what they can for medical care. Those fortunate enough to have immigration papers, rely on Medicaid.

b1ac2_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Oralia Marquez, a physician’s assistant at the clinic, says older farmworkers often develop arthritis, back pain, foot infections and breathing problems from pesticides.

Many of her patients, like Amalia Buitron Deaguilera are also struggling with diabetes. Deaguilera is 63. She has Medicaid for insurance, but she’s losing her vision from the disease.

“When I was working in fields,” says Deaguilera, “I never had time to take care of myself and my health.”

Workers in the fields who have diabetes often cannot take their insulin because they have no place to refrigerate it, says Marquez. And they miss doctors’ appointments during the busy harvesting seasons because many don’t get paid when they don’t work.

“Most of our patients want just something to relieve the pain and to continue working,” she says. “Most of the time they don’t ask for disability. They don’t ask for days off. They say they don’t have time to miss days.”

b1ac2_farm_workers_health-1_wide-cac7a51b5ecbfffd1b29b8c763d4742913a2065d-s1100-c15 Health Risks To Farmworkers Increase As Workforce Ages

Field laborers often delay health care, and that can lead to serious medical problems. Compared to older whites, older Latino farmworkers are much more likely to end up in the hospital, according to researchers at the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University, Fresno.

Faced with an aging and dwindling workforce, Mission Ranches’ McKinsey says farmers are trying to mechanize planting and harvesting to reduce their labor needs.

But machines can only do so much, McKinsey says. You can replace the human hand in a factory, perhaps. But out here, the fields are bumpy and the winds are strong and you need people to bring the plants to life.

Sarah Varney is a senior national correspondent at Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Lebanon: Waste Crisis Posing Health Risks


9a39f_201711mena_lebanon_wasteburning Lebanon: Waste Crisis Posing Health Risks

Open burning of waste in Majadel, south Lebanon.


© 2017 Human Rights Watch

(Beirut) – The lack of action by authorities to end open burning of waste across Lebanon is posing serious health risks for nearby residents, violating their right to health, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. People living near open burning reported health problems consistent with the frequent and sustained inhalation of smoke from open burning at waste dumps.

The 67-page report, “‘As If You’re Inhaling Your Death’: The Health Risks of Burning Waste in Lebanon,” finds that Lebanese authorities’ lack of effective action to address widespread open burning of waste and a lack of adequate monitoring or information about the health effects violate Lebanon’s obligations under international law. Open burning of waste is dangerous and avoidable, a consequence of the government’s decades-long failure to manage solid waste in a way that respects environmental and health laws designed to protect people. Scientific studies have documented the dangers smoke from the open burning of household waste pose to human health. Children and older people are at particular risk. Lebanon should end the open burning of waste and carry out a sustainable national waste management strategy that complies with environmental and public health best practices and international law.

“Open burning of waste is harming nearby residents’ health one garbage bag at a time, but authorities are doing virtually nothing to bring this crisis under control,” said Nadim Houry, interim Beirut director at Human Rights Watch. “People may think the garbage crisis started in 2015, but this has been going on for decades as the government jumps from one emergency plan to the next while largely ignoring the situation outside Beirut and surrounding areas.”

Lebanon’s mismanagement of its solid waste came to prominence in 2015 after litter piled up on the streets of its capital, but Human Rights Watch found that a silent crisis has affected the rest of the country for decades. Lebanon does not have a solid waste management plan for the entire country. In the 1990s, the central government arranged for waste collection and disposal in Beirut and Mount Lebanon but left other municipalities to fend for themselves without adequate oversight, financial support, or technical expertise. As a result, open dumping and burning increased across the country. According to researchers at the American University of Beirut, 77 percent of Lebanon’s waste is either openly dumped or landfilled even though they estimate that only 10 to 12 percent cannot be composted or recycled.

Human Rights Watch interviewed over 100 residents living near open dumps, public health experts, government officials, doctors, pharmacists, and activists. Researchers also visited 15 locations where burning was reported and used an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, to take aerial photographs at three large dump sites. The images showed black soot from recent burns and ash deposits that indicate large burns at an earlier date. Human Rights Watch also documented three cases of open burning adjacent to schools and one case of burning near a hospital.

The Environment Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided Human Rights Watch with a map of 617 municipal solid waste uncontrolled dumps across Lebanon, more than 150 of which are burned at least weekly. According to the Civil Defense, Lebanon’s fire department, open burning also increased in Beirut and Mount Lebanon after the waste management system for those areas collapsed in 2015, including a 330 percent increase in Mount Lebanon. The open burning disproportionately takes place in lower income areas, the map revealed.

The vast majority of residents interviewed reported health effects that they attributed to the burning and inhalation of smoke from the open burning of waste, including respiratory issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coughing, throat irritation, and asthma. These symptoms are consistent with exposure to open burning of waste documented in an extensive body of scientific literature.

“It’s like there’s fog across the whole town,” said Othman, a resident of Kfar Zabad who is identified only by his first name. “We are coughing all the time, unable to breathe, sometimes we wake up and see ash in our spit.”

People living near open burning said they were unable to spend time outside, had difficulty sleeping because of air pollution, or had to vacate their homes when burning was taking place. Some said they moved away to avoid the potential health effects.

Families said that uncertainty over whether the burning would lead to more serious health effects for themselves of their children, such as cancer, was taking a heavy psychological toll. In almost all cases, interviewees said their municipality had not provided any information about the risks of open burning or safety precautions. The Lebanese government should provide adequate information about the dangers of waste burning and steps people should be taking to protect themselves from smoke, Human Rights Watch said.

Open burning of waste is harming nearby residents’ health one garbage bag at a time, but authorities are doing virtually nothing to bring this crisis under control

Nadim Houry

Interim Beirut Director

Residents also expressed frustration that, despite repeated complaints to the municipalities where burning was taking place, burning continued and no one was held to account. Municipal officials outside of Beirut and Mount Lebanon said the central government was not providing adequate financial or technical support to manage waste more responsibly and was late in disbursing their share of the Independent Municipal Fund in recent years.

The Environment Ministry says that open burning of waste violates Lebanon’s own environmental protection laws. The government’s lack of effective action to address the issue also violates Lebanon’s obligations under international law, including the government’s duties to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to health. The Environment Ministry appears to lack the necessary personnel and financial resources for effective environmental monitoring.

Lebanon’s cabinet approved a draft law in 2012 that would create a single Solid Waste Management Board, headed by the Environment Ministry, responsible for the national-level decision-making and waste treatment, while leaving waste collection to local authorities. However, parliament has not passed the bill.

Lebanon should adopt a long-term plan for waste management for the entire country that takes into account the associated environmental and health consequences, Human Rights Watch said.

Recent discussions around a long-term plan for waste management in Lebanon have focused on the use of incineration plants. Although Human Rights Watch does not take a position on the particular waste management approach that Lebanon should pursue, some public health experts and activists in Lebanon have opposed the use of incineration, citing concerns about independent monitoring, potential emissions, and high costs.

“One of the most distressing parts of this crisis is the almost total lack of information residents have received about the health risks of living near burning sites,” Houry said. “People have a right to know about any potential dangers in their environment, and Lebanon should be testing the impact of the waste management crisis on the safety of the air, soil, and water and make those results public.”

 

Derek Dorsett’s NHL career may be over due to health risks from back injury

The Vancouver Canucks won’t be getting back forward Derek Dorsett anytime soon “due to health reasons and risks associated with playing,” the team announced Thursday morning. Dorsett underwent cervical disc herniation surgery in December 2016 and has been suffering recurring symptoms from that issue recently.

Dorsett opened the season with the Canucks after “successful treatment and rehabilitation,” but has been sidelined since Nov. 18. He had been playing well with seven goals in 20 games before “symptoms of neck and back stiffness” caused him to be pulled from the lineup.

While the press release doesn’t outright say that Dorsett is retiring from professional hockey, much of it suggests that’s the case. “His pre-existing conditions, combined with the recent surgery and the risks associated with continuing to play, led to a recommendation that Derek seriously consider not playing again,” team doctor Bill Regan said in a statement.

Dorsett also doesn’t sound like he’ll necessarily keep pushing to play if it means risking his long-term health. Here’s his full statement:

“I’m devastated by the news. It will take a long time for this to truly sink in. As hard as it was to hear, Dr. Watkins’ diagnosis is definitive. There is no grey area, and it gives me clarity to move forward. I have a healthy young family and a long life of opportunities ahead of me. Hockey taught me a lot and it will help me be successful in whatever I choose to do in the future.

“I still have so many thoughts to share and people to thank for all of their support,” continued Dorsett. “What I can say for certain right now is that I left it all out on the ice. I gave my heart and soul to the teams I played for and never backed down from a challenge, including this one. I am proud of the way I played. It made me successful and a good teammate. Most of all I am truly honoured and grateful to have lived the NHL dream.”

Dorsett, who turns 31 in mid-December, is currently in his 10th NHL season. He was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the seventh round in 2006, and made his debut with Columbus in 2008. The Canucks acquired him in a 2014 trade with the Rangers. In 515 career games, he’s recorded 51 goals and 76 points.

Big Sugar Hid Risks To Health

In the 1960s, a debate began over the effect of sugar and fats on cardiovascular disease. Researchers say that the sugar industry, wanting to influence the discussion, funded research to look into sugar consumption.

And when it found data suggesting that sugar was harmful, the powerful industry pointed a finger at fats.

In an investigation published last week in the journal PLOS Biology, researchers from the University of California at San Francisco claim that newly uncovered historical documents indicate the industry never disclosed the findings of its work and effectively misled the public to protect its economic interests.

After examining the sugar industry’s internal documents, UCSF researchers said that in 1968 the Sugar Research Foundation, which has organizational ties to the Sugar Association, funded animal research to explore the link between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease. Rats were fed a high-sugar diet and were found to have increased levels of triglyceride, fatty substances in the bloodstream. In humans, high triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

The research also found a connection between sugar consumption and an enzyme associated with bladder cancer.

In their investigation, the UCSF researchers said it is likely that the Sugar Research Foundation was unhappy with findings associating sugars with chronic disease, and what those findings could mean for humans. So it chose to end the study and did not publish its results, the researchers said.

One of the investigation’s authors, Stanton Glantz, told The New York Times that while the documents are several decades old, they are significant, as they show how long the sugar industry has spent de-emphasizing sugar’s effect on health.

“This is continuing to build the case that the sugar industry has a long history of manipulating science,” he said.

Glantz could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Sugar Association criticized last week’s report and said in a statement that it was not a study but a perspective, “a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago.” It also called the researchers “known critics of the sugar industry.”

The sugar industry has long denied that sugar has any specific role in chronic disease, though research suggests otherwise. The Sugar Association issued a statement in early 2016 criticizing a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center study suggesting that sugar in Western diets increased the risk of breast cancer tumors and metastasis.

The researchers’ claims that the sugar industry misled the public mirror accusations the tobacco industry faced. A trial was held in 2004 to determine whether tobacco industry officials had intentionally deceived Americans for years into thinking that smoking did not cause cancer, despite acknowledging the dangers of smoking among themselves.

Eight months later, the tobacco industry was asked to pay $10 billion over five years to help millions of Americans quit smoking. The penalty was less than 8 percent of what the government had asked for when proceedings began.

The recent report isn’t the first time that decades-old documents appear to show that the sugar industry distorted medical research. A 2015 report published in the journal PLOS Medicine described a national campaign in the 1960s to boost cavity prevention and a government research program created to curb tooth decay by the 1970s. But instead of encouraging people to eat less sugar, the government — swayed by sugar industry interests — pushed alternative methods such as ways to break up dental plaque and vaccines for fighting tooth decay.

In 1964, the group now known as the Sugar Association looked for ways to soften “negative attitudes toward sugar” after studies began linking sugar with heart disease. The group approved “Project 226,” in which it paid Harvard researchers today’s equivalent of $48,900 to write an article reviewing those studies. The article, published in 1967, concluded that there was “no doubt” that the only dietary intervention needed to prevent heart disease was reducing cholesterol and saturated fat. The researchers played down the effects of sugar, according to an analysis of historical documents published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

SF report weighs health risks raised by legal pot




The challenge, authors of the report noted, will be warning new users about the hazards of cannabis consumption — like the possibility of overdosing or driving under the influence — without straying into fearmongering.


The report takes no stand for or against legalization, which was adopted by California voters in November 2016. Because legalization is still a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, though, it’s not yet clear what public health issues might arise, officials said. The report, therefore, stands as a sort of benchmark.

“Legalization is in an infancy stage,” said Israel Nieves, director of the Public Health Department’s Office of Equity and Quality Improvement, which compiled the cannabis report. “There’s been a lot of work done around medicinal use, but not recreational. We need to prepare ourselves.”

The five-page executive summary of the report was published online earlier this month. The full report is expected before the end of the year. The summary includes six recommendations, mostly around education and community outreach.

ccbd5_core_thumbnail_list_small SF report weighs health risks raised by legal pot


The report also discusses public health hazards associated with clustering pot dispensaries in certain neighborhoods; already, medical marijuana shops are largely located in lower-income areas with more black, Asian and Latino residents. But in interviews, public health officials said they make no recommendations on the issue and are leaving decisions about where dispensaries should be allowed to policymakers.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has been debating for several weeks how to best distribute permits to sell recreational marijuana. The issue is so contentious that it seems unlikely the board will reach a consensus before the state law legalizing recreational pot use takes effect Jan. 1.

Drug and public health experts praised the report, but some said it’s not strong enough in warning of possible hazards of regular marijuana consumption, including addiction.

“We need to be more concerned about adult use,” said Keith Humphreys, a Stanford addiction expert who served on the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, which helped shape the legalization legislation approved by voters. “How we think about it at the moment — and this report shows that thinking — is it’s bad for kids, but for adults it’s safe. And we need to start thinking about it like we do alcohol, which is it’s bad for kids, but there are adults who do damage to their lives with this drug too.”

Public health officials began compiling the report about six months ago. They based their recommendations on studies done in states where recreational marijuana is already legal, as well as a focus group meeting with San Francisco teenagers and interviews with doctors, drug-use experts and cannabis representatives.

An overarching concern, public health officials said, is that legalization may be seen as an endorsement and gives the impression that consuming marijuana is largely risk-free. That message could be especially problematic for young people, who may not realize that cannabis can impact brain development and cause other health issues, Nieves said.

ccbd5_core_thumbnail_list_small SF report weighs health risks raised by legal pot


He added that public health officials are not interested in scare tactics like those used during the “just say no” campaigns of the 1980s and ’90s. But there are negative effects potential users — teens and adults — should be made aware of, he said.

Already, as laws have loosened around cannabis use and more people are using it — and as the drug itself has become more potent — hospital and emergency room visits related to cannabis have increased. The report notes that in San Francisco, visits for cannabis-linked problems were roughly double for the five-year period 2011-15 compared with 2006-10, though the overall numbers are still low. In the earlier years, there were 133 total ER visits, compared with 251 in the later years. Hospitalizations increased from 21 to 52.

Edible cannabis products are of particular concern because it’s easy to eat too much of them, Nieves said. The report recommends San Francisco adopt strong regulation of edibles and make sure that advisories on safe consumption are handed out to users when they buy the products.

At the same time, some experts in tobacco and cannabis products warned that inhaling pot carries its own risks.

“The work we’ve done has said you want to avoid smoke. That would mean you steer people toward edibles,” said Matthew Springer, a UCSF scientist who studies the effects of tobacco and marijuana smoke on the heart. “But personally, I know someone who tried taking (cannabis) capsules and ended up going to ER with paranoia and palpitations.

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“There are health effects from both approaches to taking this drug,” he said. “Trying to roll that into a health policy becomes complicated.”

People who work at medical marijuana dispensaries said that education will indeed be key to helping new users safely consume cannabis. With edibles, they advise, people should start with very small doses and take their time, keeping in mind that they might not feel effects of the drug for 30 minutes or more.

At the Apothecarium, a dispensary with three San Francisco locations, staff consultants undergo at least three days of training on appropriate use of cannabis before they work with customers, said Michael Caruso, store manager of the shop on Lombard Street in the Marina district.

“We stress education so much, because there are so many people coming through this door who are brand new to this (cannabis) world, or they haven’t smoked since college and they have no idea,” Caruso said. “There are so many different products, so many different avenues you can take. If you’re just thrown into it, it’s very possible you’re going to have a bad experience.”

Erin Allday is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: eallday@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @erinallday

Coffee Brings More Health Benefits Than Risks, Study Finds

9d6a8_960x0 Coffee Brings More Health Benefits Than Risks, Study Finds

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Coffee drinkers have had a very good month. Last week, a study reported that coffeeup to six cups per daywas linked to heart health. This week, a large analysis in The BMJ finds that coffee consumption is associated with a variety of health outcomes, from reduced risk of diabetes to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The caveat, as always, is don’t pair your coffee with doughnuts: sugar, as studies are finding more and more, is decidedly on the list of foods that pose risk.

The new study, from the University of Southampton, was an umbrella review, meaning that it looked back over studies that were meta-analyses themselves, providing a deep look into the existing literature on coffee and health.

The major finding was that coffee at three to four cups a day conferred the greatest benefit: this amount was linked to reduced risk of dying from any cause and of developing heart disease, compared to people who drank none. Above four cups, coffee didn’t harm a person, but the benefits weren’t as obvious.

Coffee was also linked to reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney stones, gout, and several types of cancer, including endometrial, skin, prostate and liver cancer. In fact, the largest benefit was for diseases of the liver, including cirrhosis.

One of the most fascinating benefits of coffee is that it’s been linked to neurological and psychological benefits. The new study too found coffee linked to a reduced risk for depression, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Those who should not drink coffee, the study confirmed, are pregnant women, and possibly women who have an increased risk of bone fracture.

The drawback of the new research is that most of the studies analyzed were observational, meaning that they could only call out correlations—technically, we can’t assume that coffee caused the health benefits. It might be that people who don’t drink coffee abstain because of existing health issues. But the team suggests that, overall, coffee is safe enough to be tested in a true study—a randomized clinical trial, where participants would be assigned to drink coffee at various “doses” or to abstain.

Coffee was once considered a potential carcinogen, but that concern has largely been abandoned, for lack of strong evidence. And a fast-growing number of studies, including the current one, suggest that coffee’s benefits far outweigh its risks, even for cancer. What does seem to pose a risk, at least for esophageal cancer, is drinking very hot beverages, coffee and tea alike.

But overall, the research is more welcome news for those of us who enjoy our daily cup, or four, of coffee.

Just don’t dump too much sugar in, or pair your coffee with pastries, as sugar does seem to be linked to chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease, among others. “Our research is about coffee,” wrote study author Robin Poole in his own rundown of the research. “It’s not about sugar, syrups, biscuits, cakes and pastries. Standard health messages still apply to those types of food. In other words, if you already drink coffee, enjoy it, but try to make it as healthy as possible.”

Study to look at long-term health risks of playing soccer

A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned on Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough to tackle the issue.

The Football Association and Professional Footballers’ Association appointed an independent research team, based in Scotland, to undertake a study entitled “Football’s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk” from January 2018.

“This new research will be one of the most comprehensive studies ever commissioned into the long-term health of former footballers,” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said.

“Dementia can have a devastating effect and, as the governing body of English football, we felt compelled to commission a significant new study in order to fully understand if there are any potential risks associated with playing the game.”

Researchers will address the question: “Is the incidence of degenerative neurocognitive disease more common in ex-professional footballers than in the normal population?”

The study should produce initial results within the next two to three years.

The issue regarding a potential threat of long-term brain damage to former players was given a bigger profile this month when former England captain Alan Shearer fronted a BBC documentary, in which he expressed concerns about the effects of heading a ball during his career.

The FA has been criticized for its apparent lack of interest into understanding whether heading a football is linked to dementia. Among those wanting more research undertaken is the family of ex-England and West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 from brain injuries.

Study to look at long-term health risks of playing soccer

A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned on Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough to tackle the issue.

The Football Association and Professional Footballers’ Association appointed an independent research team, based in Scotland, to undertake a study entitled “Football’s Influence on Lifelong Health and Dementia Risk” from January 2018.

“This new research will be one of the most comprehensive studies ever commissioned into the long-term health of former footballers,” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said.

“Dementia can have a devastating effect and, as the governing body of English football, we felt compelled to commission a significant new study in order to fully understand if there are any potential risks associated with playing the game.”

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Researchers will address the question: “Is the incidence of degenerative neurocognitive disease more common in ex-professional footballers than in the normal population?”

The study should produce initial results within the next two to three years.

The issue regarding a potential threat of long-term brain damage to former players was given a bigger profile this month when former England captain Alan Shearer fronted a BBC documentary, in which he expressed concerns about the effects of heading a ball during his career.

The FA has been criticized for its apparent lack of interest into understanding whether heading a football is linked to dementia. Among those wanting more research undertaken is the family of ex-England and West Bromwich Albion striker Jeff Astle, who died in 2002 from brain injuries.

Sugar industry hid decades-old study on health risks, report says

Big Sugar seems to have copied the Big Tobacco playbook, a new report contends.

More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer, the paper trail investigation reports.

The results of that study were never made public.

Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz. He is a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer.

“This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry,” Glantz said. “It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn’t want that.”

In response to the investigation, The Sugar Association issued a statement calling it “a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry.”

The new paper focuses on an industry-sponsored study referred to as Project 259 in documents generated by the Sugar Research Foundation and its successor, the International Sugar Research Foundation, and dug up decades later by Glantz and his colleagues.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate.

Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol.

Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.

Months after receiving these results, the International Sugar Research Foundation failed to approve an additional 12 weeks of funding that the Birmingham researchers needed to complete their work, according to the authors behind the new investigation.

“The investigator they funded came back to them with preliminary results, which were showing these adverse effects of sugar and said, ‘I need a few more weeks to finish the study,'” Glantz said. “They just looked at it and said no, and shut the whole thing down. As far as we can tell, nothing was ever published.”

Project 259’s timing was critical, said Glantz and lead author Cristin Kearns, a postdoctoral fellow with the UCSF School of Medicine who reportedly discovered the industry documents.

During that period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was weighing whether to take a hard line on high-sugar foods.

“Had those results been made public, sugar would have gotten a lot more scrutiny than it did,” Kearns said.

The Sugar Association says Project 259 was significantly delayed and over budget, “and the delay overlapped with an organizational restructuring with the Sugar Research Foundation becoming a new entity, the International Sugar Research Foundation,” according to its own review of archive material.

“There were plans to continue the study with funding from the British Nutrition Foundation, but, for reasons unbeknown to us, this did not occur,” the industry trade group’s statement says.

“Throughout its history, the Sugar Association has embraced scientific research and innovation in an attempt to learn as much as possible about sugar, diet and health,” the statement continues. “We know that sugar consumed in moderation is part of a balanced lifestyle, and we remain committed to supporting research to further understand the role sugar plays in consumers’ evolving eating habits.”

Nutritionist Sharon Zarabi is director of the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She said the new investigation reveals “the power food industry lobbyists have on government guidelines that instruct us on what to eat.”

Zarabi noted that “most research studies that support specific foods are funded by industry and this oftentimes skews the results.”

Although these revelations might produce a media furor, they’re unlikely to change the recommendations coming from dietitians, said Kelly Hogan, clinical nutrition and wellness manager at the Mount Sinai Dubin Breast Center in New York City.

That’s because subsequent research has revealed the effect that diets high in sugar can have on long-term health. People need to follow a balanced diet if they want to eat healthy, and that doesn’t mean just focusing on added sugars, she said.

“You can’t point out one single thing and blame that on any sort of health crisis, either now or 40 years ago,” Hogan said. “It’s never just one thing, whether that’s sugar or saturated fat or whatever the trendy thing might be.”

The new paper was published online Nov. 21 in the journal PLOS Biology. It was funded by a grant from the U.S. National Cancer Institute, among others.

Energy drinks pose serious and scary health risks, scientific review shows

by: Jason Lemon, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Updated: Nov 20, 2017 – 1:15 PM

Although energy drinks may provide the boost you need to make it through a long day, that extra push may come with far more negative side effects than you realized.

» RELATED: Coroner: Caffeine overdose from soda, coffee and energy drink led to death of S.C. teen

Mental health problems, risk-seeking behavior, increased blood pressure, obesity, tooth erosion, adverse cardiovascular effect and kidney damage are some of the many negative health consequences linked to energy drinks, a recently published review of scientific articles on the topic has revealed. Furthermore, these risks are often hidden by clever marketing and a lack of regulation.

“The negative health effects associated with energy drinks (ED) are compounded by a lack of regulatory oversight and aggressive marketing by the industry toward adolescents,” authors wrote in the article published in “Frontiers in Public Health.”

» RELATED: How dangerous are energy drinks, really? Study finds link to serious heart problems

According to one of the review’s coauthors, the problems associated with the drinks are so numerous, even the researchers were surprised.

“The wide range of conditions that energy drinks can negatively impact was quite astounding,” study author Josiemer Mattei, assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Men’s Health.

Energy drinks contain excessive amounts of several key ingredients that lead to adverse effects, according to the review. The drinks’ high amounts of sugar, caffeine and stimulants such as guarana all can cause a variety of negative health consequences.

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“The excess caffeine may contribute to cardiovascular outcomes, such as increased blood pressure,” Mattei told Yahoo News.

Whereas caffeine has also been linked to health benefits, a recommended daily limit is 400 milligrams for adults. Energy drinks may contain more than 200 milligrams per ounce.

» RELATED: World’s strongest coffee finally available in U.S., but beware of health risks 

Just as alarming as the high concentration of caffeine is energy drinks’ high sugar content. The average 16.9 ounce energy drinks contains about 54 grams of sugar, significantly more than the recommended limit of 36 grams per day for men and 25 grams for women.

As the American Heart Association points out, “added sugars contribute zero nutrients but many added calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity, thereby reducing heart health.”

» RELATED: Common painkillers increase risk of heart attack by one-third, new study finds 

In addition to weight gain, excessive sugar intake can lead to range of conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Over time, consistent high blood pressure may damage blood vessels and nerves, which can lead to heart disease and kidney problems. 


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On top of energy drinks’ own negative effect, they are often combined with alcohol, compounding the health risks. The article pointed out that this trend also appears to lead to higher levels of alcohol consumption, especially among young people.

» RELATED: Half of US adults now have high blood pressure, based on new guidelines

“Researchers attribute this to the fact that consumption of ED masks the signs of alcohol inebriation, enabling an individual to believe they can still safely consume more alcohol, leading to ‘awake drunkenness,'” researchers wrote. “As a result of this increased alcohol consumption, those who drink alcohol-mixed ED are more likely to experience severe dehydration and alcohol poisoning.”

Despite the numerous health risks, aggressive marketing has led to rapid growth and popularity of energy drinks throughout the world. Sales have increased in the U.S. by more than 240 percent since 2004, and the industry is expected to reach $21 billion in the country by this year. As a result, the article’s authors argued that more regulation and oversight is necessary to address energy drinks as a public health challenge.

» RELATED: Here’s how much caffeine it takes to kill you

“Public health and policy action must be taken to mitigate the negative health effects and public health challenges associated with ED,” researches noted, outlining specific steps the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) should take to properly label energy drinks. The authors also suggested that marketing should be regulated, specifically as it targets minors.

Pointing to the growing evidence reviewed in the article, the authors argued that energy drinks “should be considered a significant public health problem that warrants attention.” 

Read the full study at frontiersin.org.




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