CDPH in the News, October 2016

CDPH in the News

New Report has California Residents Concerned over Hexavalent Chromium in Water Supplies

from Web Wire

A new report issued by the Environmental Working Group made national headlines last month. The report found what the group believes to be potentially dangerous levels of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in the tap water of 218 million Americans. The report indicates that hexavalent chromium was present at or above 0.03 parts per billion (ppb) in 75% of water samples taken between 2013 and 2015 by local water utilities. It was also discovered that seven million Americans have tap water with levels over California’s legal limit of 10 ppb. California’s legal limit was established in 2014 when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced regulations establishing the first-in-the-nation drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium.

The fight against Zika: What it takes to avoid raising mosquitoes in your backyard

from San Gabriel Valley Tribune

How do you make it socially unacceptable to raise mosquitoes in your backyard?
At first blush, that doesn’t seem so hard, but what it means is convincing Southland residents to make “hard choices” to remove backyard birdbaths and all saucers beneath plants, Kenn K. Fujioka, manager of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, said Thursday at a briefing about the Zika virus. The two species that carry the Zika virus can breed in “very small sources of water,” Fujioka, said. “A bottle-cap is enough.”
In San Bernardino, possible Zika-carrying mosquitoes have been found only Colton, Montclair and Upland, according to the California Department of Public Health website. Among the Riverside County locations where at least one of the carrier mosquitoes have been found are Corona and Riverside, the state website says.

‘A Dire Situation’ Skilled nursing closures threaten ‘every household’

from North Coast Journal

As your former legislative representatives in Sacramento, we want the community to know how appalled we are by the pending closures of three skilled nursing facilities in Humboldt County. Rockport Management, which manages the five skilled nursing facilities owned by Brius Healthcare Services in Humboldt County, is planning to simultaneously close three facilities in Eureka by March of next year. The closures would reduce the number of beds by 258, or 60 percent. But most devastating, it would have the catastrophic effect of moving hundreds of elderly, poor and vulnerable individuals out of the county to other facilities at this time unknown. And, at this point, there is no guarantee other facilities would be willing or able to receive our local residents. There have been a number of stakeholder meetings in the district, and formal requests have been made to the California Department of Public Health to reject Rockport’s closure and relocation plan to give more time to develop contingency plans to ensure patient safety.

STD rates hit 20-year high in California

from San Luis Obispo Tribune

California’s rate of sexually transmitted diseases is at a 20-year high. The California Department of Public Health said the state ranks first for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and congenital syphilis. And the rates are up for the second year in a row. “Cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia are going up in California at a concerning rate,” Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, said Tuesday. “This is the second year in a row that we have seen increases in all three diseases.”
The report found an 11.6 percent increase in STDs from 2014, with a total of 249,224 reportable cases in California for 2015. State health officials cite less condom use, people having sex with more partners and barriers to care and testing as reasons for the rising STD rates. Improved reporting of the diseases by public health agencies could also be a contributing factor, the state said.

Exide, state fight over lead contamination data

from 89.3 KPCC

Exide Technologies is suing the California Department of Public Health to obtain more data about the sources of lead contamination around its former battery recycling plant in Vernon. The state is pushing back, arguing that releasing the information would threaten the privacy rights of lead-poisoned children. Exide says it’s seeking the data so it can more accurately evaluate lead contamination in the community and its potential sources. Critics suggest the suit is an attempt by Exide to dodge financial responsibility for the lead cleanup around its facility.
Exide filed its suit in April. In a statement to KPCC, the company says the state Department of Public Health had previously released “incomplete information, which Exide believes has portrayed an inaccurate picture of the extent and sources of lead impacts, and has led to inaccurate statements by others about the situation.” Its lawyer declined requests for an interview.