The Healthcare Standard

How the Weekend Heat will Impact J.Lo and 6 US Summer Hot Spots

AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures may approach dangerous levels in several cities.

The possible record-setting heat throughout the United States Friday and Saturday could impact a number of events in several East Coast cities and at other iconic locations around the country. Temperatures in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City could approach 100 degrees and set daily records, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Jennifer Lopez will perform a concert in Philadelphia Saturday when AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures that day could reach 110 degrees. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The possible record-setting heat throughout the United States Friday and Saturday could impact a number of events in several East Coast cities and at other iconic locations around the country. Temperatures in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City could approach 100 degrees and set daily records, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Among the events that could be affected by the weather is a concert Saturday in Philadelphia by Jennifer Lopez, fresh off her blacked out and canceled concert exactly one week earlier in New York City. The AccuWeather daytime forecast calls for a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 110, a mark that advises caution, particularly “if outside for extended periods, and especially while doing strenuous activities.”

“Heat kills a lot of people and the elderly and very young are extremely sensitive to extremes of temperature,” said Dr. Joel N. Myers, AccuWeather founder and CEO. “The temperature and other indices do not tell the whole story of how weather conditions make us feel. Other weather variables in addition to temperature, such as sunlight, humidity, wind, precipitation and a multitude of other factors, can impact our comfort or discomfort outside and may even cause harm or illness.”

See more…

The Healthcare Standard

Lawmakers Respond to Increasing Temperatures With New Worker Safety Push

Last month, on a day that was sweltering even by Phoenix standards, Filiberto Lares knew he wasn’t well. An airline caterer, he said he had spent hours moving between the scalding tarmac and a truck with no air conditioning. Lares, 51, was dehydrated and fell ill with a fever that would keep him out of work for four unpaid days. It wasn’t the first time this had happened.

“Honestly, I never imagined I would live a situation like this in the United States, especially not in an industry as valued as the airlines,” he said in Spanish.

For years, labor leaders have called on the federal government to create national regulations laying out steps employers must take to keep workers safe when it’s hot. On Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced legislation that for the first time would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create heat-related workplace standards.

Currently, just three states have heat-related labor standards: California and Washington, which protect outdoor workers; and Minnesota, which protects indoor workers. California’s regulations — developed more than a decade ago in response to a spate of farmworker deaths — are broadly considered the gold standard, and experts said the state’s experience is instructive in terms of what it would take for a national law to prevent thousands of injuries that occur each year.

Read more…

The Healthcare Standard

The Guardian View on Scottish Drug Deaths: Put Health and Safety First

Better ways must be found to protect drug users. That can be the only humane response to the terrible news that drug deaths in Scotland have risen by 27% over the past 12 months. At 1,187, the number of fatalities is higher per capita than any other EU country, on a par with the US and three times the rate of England and Wales. Both the Scottish and UK governments should be ashamed. This is an awful toll of human suffering, with the effects of each death rippling out to families and communities.

While the figures are shocking, the story that they tell is not really new. The vast majority (86%) of those killed by drugs were heroin users, many of them members of the demographic known as the “Trainspotting generation”, which refers to people (mostly men) who began using the drug in the 1980s and 1990s. The contrast with England and Wales, where deaths from synthetic opioid fentanyl and cocaine have risen while other drug deaths have fallen, is striking. But a sharp increase in the supply and use of “street” benzodiazepines such as etizolam has been seen across the UK.

These were implicated in 57% of Scottish deaths, often in combination with heroin or methadone, with poly-drug use among younger people, and the popularity of painkillers and tranquillisers developed for use as prescription medicines, a particular concern.

Over many decades the international trade in illegal drugs has proved itself highly adaptable to new technologies and markets that have made the production and sale of drugs ever-more profitable. The prohibition conceived in the 1970s as a “war on drugs” has been a disaster, with illegal drug production and consumption the cause of enormous harms in many countries, notably Mexico and Colombia. How to bring this malign international enterprise under some form of state control is one of the big questions for global policymakers.

Read more…