Tuesday

New York City Aims to Rid Hospital Cafeterias of Junk Food

A public health push by Mayor Michael Bloomberg would encourage healthier hospital eating. The voluntary effort, part of New York’s expanding Healthy Hospital Food Initiative, would ban deep fryers, make leafy green salads and half-size sandwiches mandatory options and allow only healthy snacks to be stocked near cafeteria entrances and cash registers. Already in the past year, 16 private hospitals have signed on with the initiative, which would expand upon moves by public hospitals to cut calories in patients’ meals and restrict  unhealthy snacks at vending machines. The push follows the city’s decision this month to ban sales of super-size sugary drinks at fast-food restaurants and theaters. The Associated Press

Pediatricians group advises keeping kids off of home trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued the updated recommendation despite a decline in the numbers of trampoline-related injuries. It’s estimated that trampoline injuries nationwide, as measured by the number of cases treated in emergency rooms, dropped from 111,851 in 2004 to 97,908 in 2009. A sports medicine specialist who helped draft the academy’s recommendation attributed the decline to fewer trampolines rather than to safety improvements on the equipment. While “strongly” discouraging recreational use of trampolines, the academy didn’t make recommendations on their use in sports or structured training. Reuters

While safety in the air improves, runways remain hazardous. Advances in navigation technology in recent decades have sharply reduced midair collisions and crashes into mountains and other obstacles. But a similar urgency to address runway safety has lagged. Since 2008, there have been about three incidents a day in which a plane or a vehicle gets on an active runway by mistake. That number has held steady for the last four years while the number of flights has declined. Occasionally, a catastrophic collision is narrowly avoided only through sheer luck. Yet only in the last year have the biggest airports installed new radar to help controllers with runways, and a handful of airports are testing warning light systems. The New York Times

Study provides strongest evidence yet that BPA alters chromosomes. Washington State University and University of California, Davis, scientists say their study — which focused on pregnant rhesus monkeys and the ovaries of their unborn daughters —  indicates that BPA may raise the risk of miscarriages and birth defects such as Down Syndrome in humans. The research found that the eggs of the monkeys exposed to the widely used plastic additive divided improperly. Later in the pregnancies, problems related to egg development were discovered in the fetuses. The close similarity of the reproductive systems in rhesus monkeys and humans bolstered the significance of the findings. USA Today, HealthDay News, Washington State University

Safety authorities accuse Ohio glass plant of exposing workers to lead. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administrations cited Dlubak Glass Co. for 15 violations at one of its plants in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. OSHA’s charges included a willful violation, the agency’s most serious offense, that involved the company’s alleged failure to determine its workers’ level of exposure to lead, along with a repeat charge of failing to maintain a lunch room free from lead dust and residue. OSHA proposed fines of $126,700 and put Dlubak in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which is aimed at recalcitrant employers. Dlubak also operates plants in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona. OSHA

Recalls: Peanut and almond butters from Sunland Inc. (expanded recall), Specialized Bicycle Components bicycles, Jill’s Jams Mixes and More and Jill’s Jams and Jellies

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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