background preloader

Environment & Public Health issues

Facebook Twitter

Drugs, food etc

Schools U-turn and rising Covid cases crush hopes of new year easing. Government hopes for a new year easing of the Covid pandemic are unravelling, with ministers forced into a U-turn on reopening primary schools and hospitals across the country struggling with rising numbers of severely ill patients.

Schools U-turn and rising Covid cases crush hopes of new year easing

As the crisis escalates, the Nightingale hospital built in London’s ExCeL centre is expected to take Covid patients next week, for the first time since the spring. Hospitals in east London are under extraordinary pressure, while Essex and Buckinghamshire have both declared a major incident, which enables local leaders to seek government support. Other major hospitals around the country are preparing for the worst.

'Unprecedented': the US west's wildfire catastrophe explained. The historic wildfires that have seized the west are delivering a dire message: the climate crisis and decades of bad environmental policies have unleashed deadly consequences.

'Unprecedented': the US west's wildfire catastrophe explained

Half a dozen climate scientists, fire ecologists, forest officials and Indigenous fire practitioners interviewed by the Guardian this week described the recent fires in California, Oregon and Washington as alarming but unsurprising. Stephen Pyne, a fire historian, saw the fierce fires as “an ancient plague” reawakened. Chris Field, a climate scientist at Stanford University, said the sheer number and scale of the fires overwhelmed him. Vector-borne diseases. Vectors Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious pathogens between humans, or from animals to humans.

Vector-borne diseases

Corona

'We have no options': how water scarcity is changing south Iraq. Parasite: The real people living in Seoul's basement apartments. A surprise box office hit telling the story of a poor South Korean family living in a tiny, dark semi-basement, and a wealthy family living in a glamorous home in Seoul.

Parasite: The real people living in Seoul's basement apartments

Extreme trauma leaves a legacy of pain for victims – and their children. Aids and HIV timeline: from Terry Higgins to PrEP. In 1982, one year after the first Aids-related death in the UK, the DJ and Hansard reporter Terry Higgins died.

Aids and HIV timeline: from Terry Higgins to PrEP

His partner, Rupert Whitaker, and friends established what would become the Terrence Higgins Trust, now the UK’s leading HIV charity, in his memory. Meanwhile, there was widespread media coverage of the mysterious new condition, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Aids), initially known as “gay-related immune deficiency”. In 1983, scientists discovered the virus behind it, now known as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A few years later, tests for HIV were approved. Instagram's Newest Star Is ... a Tree? 'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports. The conscientious citizens of Philadelphia continue to put their pizza boxes, plastic bottles, yoghurt containers and other items into recycling bins.

'Moment of reckoning': US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports

But in the past three months, half of these recyclables have been loaded on to trucks, taken to a hulking incineration facility and burned, according to the city’s government. It’s a situation being replicated across the US as cities struggle to adapt to a recent ban by China on the import of items intended for reuse. The loss of this overseas dumping ground means that plastics, paper and glass set aside for recycling by Americans is being stuffed into domestic landfills or is simply burned in vast volumes.

This new reality risks an increase of plumes of toxic pollution that threaten the largely black and Latino communities who live near heavy industry and dumping sites in the US. A book at bedtime: the rise of sleep story apps. Stars illuminate the darkness as a thin coat of hoarfrost begins to form on the grass outside my window.

A book at bedtime: the rise of sleep story apps

Sitting on the couch, I’m snuggled up with a blanket, with the fire roaring and a cup of hot chocolate by my side. It might sound like the perfect recipe to induce a good night’s sleep for me – but that’s not my aim. In fact, I’m working. Perched on my knee is a laptop and I’m writing my latest bedtime story, one that I hope will send millions of sleep-starved grownups into a soothing and relaxing night’s slumber. The demand for audio stories has seen significant growth over the last five years.

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’ Photo Gallery: Capturing the Everyday Horror of Dairy Farming in Germany. CDC tells consumers to not eat romaine lettuce. Federal health officials are urging consumers to stop eating romaine lettuce and asking industry to halt all sales amid an extensive E. coli outbreak unfolding across the U.S. and Canada.

CDC tells consumers to not eat romaine lettuce

At least 32 people in 11 states have become sick as public health authorities in both countries try to pinpoint the source of the problem. Story Continued Below. Camp Fire: The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Blaze. Why I changed my mind about nuclear power. Danger of terrorism. 'Manual scavenging': death toll of Indian sewer cleaners revealed. At least one Indian worker has died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks every five days since the beginning of 2017, according to the first official government statistics on the work, considered one of country’s deadliest jobs and most insidious form of caste discrimination.

'Manual scavenging': death toll of Indian sewer cleaners revealed

Pret allergy death: parents describe final moments with their daughter. More than a million UK residents live in 'food deserts', says study. More than a million people in the UK live in “food deserts” – neighbourhoods where poverty, poor public transport and a dearth of big supermarkets severely limit access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables, a study has claimed.

More than a million UK residents live in 'food deserts', says study

Nearly one in 10 of the country’s most economically deprived areas are food deserts, it says – typically large out-of-town housing estates and deprived inner-city wards served by a handful of small, relatively expensive corner shops. Public health experts are concerned that these neighbourhoods – which are often also “food swamps” with high densities of fast-food outlets – are helping to fuel a rise in diet-related conditions such as obesity and diabetes, as well as driving food insecurity.

'Watching our mates drop dead': New Zealand's synthetic cannabis crisis.