Thursday

Even a Light Rain Can Send Raw Sewage Into New York City’s Waterways

New York City’s aging sewer system can be overwhelmed by as little as one-twentieth of an inch of rainfall. When it rains in New York, raw sewage bypasses treatment plants and flows directly into city waterways. Besides the human waste, oil, industrial waste and household garbage that happen to be on the street when a rainstorm begins can be captured by the flowing street water and wind up flowing untreated out of pipes that feed directly into waterways. The Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn is especially bad. Thirteen sites pour 377 million gallons of diluted raw sewage into the canal each year. Drinking the amoeba and bacteria-laden water could give people dysentery, and the sediment at the bottom is packed with cancer-causing compounds and heavy metals. The 1.8-mile channel is one of the most heavily contaminated bodies of water in the U.S. Newsweek

Food safety problems still plague China. The country has scrambled to make reforms ever since six infants died and thousands more were hospitalized with kidney damage in 2008 from milk adulterated with an industrial chemical. But as the latest scandal involving spoiled meat in fast-food shows, the attempted transformation has run up against the country’s centuries-old and sprawling food supply chain. Now the growing presence of big American brands means that the country’s most glaring lapses are playing out on a global stage. “The way I keep explaining China to people is that it’s kind of like the U.S. in the time of Upton Sinclair and ‘The Jungle,’ ” said Don Schaffner, president of the International Association for Food Protection. “There is tremendous desire by the Chinese to get it right, but they have a long way to go.” The New York Times

White House panel expected to acknowledge threat from feeding antibiotics to livestock. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology appears ready to cite a link between the often-criticized farm practice and the problem of antibiotic resistance in people when it releases its antibiotic resistance report within the next few weeks. In a transcript of a council meeting held on July 11, Co-chairman Eric Lander said there was “clear documentation” that antibiotic-resistant microbes can transfer from farm animals to humans. “That judicious use [of antibiotics] in agriculture right now is absolutely essential,” Lander said in the transcript. “There may come a point where one will say it’s justified to say no use.” But according to the transcript, it’s still unclear to what extent the antibiotic resistance problem can be attributed to the farm practice. Reuters, Wired

Regulators approve pain pill designed to curb abuse. The drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration is Purdue Pharma’s Targiniq ER, an extended release tablet that combines oxycodone — the active ingredient in OxyContin — with the drug naloxone. If abusers crush the tablets for snorting or injecting, naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, deterring abuse. The naxolone becomes active when the pills are crushed. However, the naxolone doesn’t kick in when the pills are swallowed whole — the way most people who abuse oxycodone take the pills, according to the FDA. The agency has been under intense public pressure to combat the epidemic of prescription opioid abuse. Deaths linked to drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin have quadrupled since 1990 to an estimated 16,500 in 2010, the most recent year for which the U.S. reports figures. The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times

Investigation finds that German drug company withheld key data from regulators. The investigation by The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, found that Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH failed to disclose findings about how the blood thinner Pradaxa could be used as safety and effectively as possible. According to BMJ, a Boehringer analysis indicated that monitoring the impact of the drug on patients and adjusting the dose might help reduce the risk of major bleeding, a feared side effect of blood thinners. Yet internal documents showed that some Boehringer employees were concerned that if they advised monitoring and adjusting doses, it could damage marketing efforts. Boehringer marketed its pill as a convenient alternative to the older blood thinner warfarin, which requires regular blood-testing to ensure the correct dose. Boehringer agreed in May to pay $650 million to settle the majority of U.S. lawsuits filed over Pradaxa, which has been linked to more than 500 patient deaths. Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal

Compiled by Stuart Silverstein

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One comment to “Even a Light Rain Can Send Raw Sewage Into New York City’s Waterways”

  1. gd

    But, instead of using tax funds to correct these problems that affect Americans and their health, the stupid and dishonest democrats rather put all monies to take care of the health and well being of illegal aliens.

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