The city of St. Louis has been working to reduce lead poisoning since the health department introduced a lead program in the 1940s. Since that time great strides have been made. But the danger of exposure to lead still exists in the city, and screenings reveal more than a thousand cases of elevated blood lead levels each year.
He woke up in the middle of the night late last year, one hand swollen and the rest of his body was shaking all over.
John Redford realized the symptoms were the consequences of several bites and scratches the day before from his struggle to put the family's 40-pound cat into a cage. He managed to calm himself enough that night and drive an old Mustang 50 miles to a hospital emergency room in Jefferson City. There doctors began weeks of treatment and ultimately saved Redford from losing a finger.
In Ste. Genevieve County, Mo., about 100 residents gathered for a town hall meeting in 2013 to discuss a new frac sand mine in their backyard. Officials from the county, state and mining company attended to answer questions residents might have.
Neighbors peppered the panel with questions: How will the mine’s sand dust be regulated? How will you prevent it from getting into our lungs? How will the traffic and explosions affect my health, my property and the ecosystem? Concerns about breathing in the microscopic sand particles, which could lead to silicosis in the lungs, abounded.
Jane Hardy, who lives about 1000 feet from the mine, said she wasn’t satisfied with the answers.
In the 50 years since the Surgeon General first reported on the dangers of smoking tobacco, much has been done to effect change. At the time of the first Surgeon General’s Report, 42 percent of American adults smoked. Today, only 18 percent do.
For Michael Shah of the Drug Enforcement Agency, children should have no expectation of privacy. That’s an especially important attitude for parents worried about their kids using heroin.
During a speech before the Madison County heroin task force in Edwardsville on Friday, Shah said that parents shouldn’t be shy about looking through their children’s stuff – including their cars or their dirty clothes. Anything, he said, to detect heroin use as early as possible.