CDPH In The News April, 2018

CDPH in the News

Battery Blood: How California Health Agencies Failed Exide Workers

from Capital & Main

For nearly a century a hulking industrial plant near downtown Los Angeles melted down car batteries to reclaim their lead. The facility, most recently owned by Exide Technologies, was shut down in 2015 in a deal the company made with the U.S. Justice Department to avoid criminal prosecution for polluting nearby residential communities. Neighborhood activists have criticized California’s Department of Toxic Substances, which allowed Exide to continue operating for years with a temporary permit, despite evidence it was a major polluter. But a year-long investigation by Capital & Main and the University of Southern California’s Center for Health Journalism has found that two other agencies, the California Department of Public Health and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, failed to take action during a simmering public health crisis involving hundreds of lead-poisoned workers at the plant.

This Video Shows What It’s Really Like When a Tick Latches Onto Your Skin

from Cosmopolitan

One of the many unsolved mysteries of nature is this: why can’t you just flick a tick when it grabs onto your skin? If you’ve ever wondered this, here’s your chance to learn a little somethin’ somethin’.
Apparently, a tick’s mouth is designed to be a bunch of little hooks that work together to ensure it can stay latched onto your skin for DAYS at a time. “Ticks have a lovely, evolved mouth part for doing exactly what they need to do, which is extended feeding,” supervising public health biologist at the California Department of Public Health in Richmond Kerry Padgett told NPR. “They’re not like a mosquito that can just put their mouth parts in and out nicely, like a hypodermic needle.”

Gambling prevention group seeks to expand services in SF’s Chinese community

from SF Examiner

When Michael Liao began an internship focused on gambling prevention with The City’s NICOS Chinese Health Coalition in 2005, he was unaware that some 6,500 miles away, his stepfather was struggling with a crippling gambling addiction in his home country of Taiwan.
“It’s ironic because I was learning about the issue and [working] to prevent it from happening to other families, not knowing that there was an issue in my family,” said Liao, now the director of programs at NICOS, a public-private community partnership of more than 30 organizations working to enhance the health and well-being of San Francisco’s Chinese community.
“The younger you start, the more likely and severe addiction is later on,” said Liao.
Aside from creating financial hardships for families in San Francisco’s Chinese community, gambling addiction has contributed to domestic violence and higher rates of divorce. Woo estimates that up to 50 percent of Chinese households exposed to gambling addiction have also experienced domestic violence.
The Office of Problem Gambling, a division of the California Department of Public Health, estimates that gambling affects about 3.7 percent of the states’ populations, or just over one million individuals.

ADA advances national policy to reduce opioid dependency

from California Dental Association

The ADA has adopted a new policy to combat the opioid epidemic, calling it the potential first of its kind by a major health professional organization to support mandates on opioid prescription limits and continuing education.
The major studies cited today say dentists write 11 to 12 percent of immediate-release prescription opioids annually in the U.S. Perhaps more critically, oral surgeons write the majority of opioid prescriptions to patients who are in a particularly vulnerable age range: the 10- to 19-year-olds. Opioid overdoses account for more than 1,900 deaths in California in 2016, according to California Department of Public Health data. The ADA cites 42,000 opioid-related deaths nationwide in 2016 — the highest of any year on record — with 40 percent of those involving a prescription pain reliever.

USGS maps changes to beach, seafloor after Montecito Mudslides

from VC Reporter

Driving northbound on the 101 Freeway from Ventura is a far different experience now than it was prior to Jan. 9, when a storm rolled through, mud slid from the hillsides, and 21 lives were lost. The days following the event forced closure of the freeway, and images of the path of destruction that tore through Montecito and parts of Santa Barbara County made international headlines. The damage can still be seen as residents continue working to return to normal.
Now, the U.S. Geological Survey is mapping changes to the beach and seafloor adjacent to the Montecito mudslides, including in their survey an area that stretches from Goleta to the beach at Mandalay Bay in Oxnard, in an effort to better understand long-term coastal changes. With these data, both Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties can better plan for future coastal living. These data are provided to county planning divisions, who use them to determine coastal planning for the long term. Climate change models show that California may see up to a 66-inch rise in sea level during this century, according to a report released by the California Department of Public Health in 2017.

Gala Pharmaceutical to Launch Its First State-Of-The-Art Cannabis Testing Laboratories

from Globe Newswire

Gala Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OTCBB:GLPH), an emerging cannabis cloning and breeding company, today announced that it expects to build its first state-of-the-art testing laboratory that will fulfill the new ISO requirements set by the City of Long Beach and the State of California in accordance with the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. The Act will require the California Department of Public Health to enforce its provisions related to the manufacturing and testing of medical cannabis across the State.