CDPH In The News May, 2018

CDPH in the News

Study links wildfire smoke to heart attacks

from VC Star

Smoke exposure from massive wildfires may ramp up the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and coronary disease, according to a new study.
Researchers from UC San Francisco, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reviewed more than 1 million emergency room visits in eight different California air basins in 2015.

Supe Calls For Investigation Of Possible Radioactive Materials At Keller Canyon Landfill

from SF Gate

Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover is calling for an investigation of allegations that radioactive materials from San Francisco might have been deposited at Keller Canyon Landfill, Glover said Thursday.
Pasadena-based Tetra Tech EC Inc. is alleged to have falsified data in the cleanup of radioactive soil at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco. Contaminated soil may have been deposited at California landfills including Keller Canyon on Bailey Road in unincorporated Contra Costa County near Pittsburg. Tetra Tech first began cleaning up radiation at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 2002. The area had been slated for redevelopment and was divided up into parcels.
In December, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the California Department of Public Health, independently reviewed the Navy’s report and found further signs of potential falsification, manipulation and data quality concerns at the parcels.

Contra Costa County sues drug companies over opioid epidemic

from Mercury News

Contra Costa County is among 30 California counties suing pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors for their role in creating a widespread opioid epidemic.
The lawsuit filed by Contra Costa County seeks reimbursement of taxpayer funds that have been spent responding to the opioid epidemic in the county and for ongoing costs, such as emergency response for overdoses, prevention, monitoring and treatment.
The lawsuit filed by Contra Costa County claims the opioid epidemic “is particularly devastating” in the county. Citing information from the California Department of Public Health, the lawsuit says that in 2016, Contra Costa County suffered 53 deaths from opioids, up from 49 in 2015. In 2014, 50 people died from opioid overdoses and 42 people died in 2013.
In 2016, 126 people visited the emergency department due to opioid overdoses, excluding heroin, according to the California Department of Public Health, and 113 people were hospitalized.

DNA of every baby born in California is stored. Who has access to it?

from CBS News

You probably know where your Social Security card, birth certificate and other sensitive information is being stored, but what about your genetic material? If you or your child was born in California after 1983, your DNA is likely being stored by the government, may be available to law enforcement and may even be in the hands of outside researchers, CBS San Francisco’s Julie Watts reports.
Like many states, California collects bio-samples from every child born in the state. The material is then stored indefinitely in a state-run biobank, where it may be purchased for outside research.
It all begins with a crucial and potentially lifesaving blood test. The California Department of Public Health reports that from 2015-2017 alone, the Newborn Screening test diagnosed 2,498 babies with a “serious congenital disorder that, if left untreated could have caused irreparable harm or death.”
But researchers with the California Genetic Disease Screening Program aren’t the only ones with access to samples stored in the biobank.

AHF Blasts California Senate for Nixing $10M for STD Control as Rates Explode in State

from Businesswire

Within 96 hours of the Monday release of a blistering report by the California Department of Public Health showing record rates of STDs in the state, the California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health today rejected a request from AHF and Essential Access Health for a $10 million increase in the STD control budget at the Department of Public Health.
Chlamydia cases in California are up 9% in 2017; gonorrhea up 16%; and syphilis, up 20%. AHF singles out Senator Richard Pan, who chairs the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health, for particularly harsh criticism for his shortsightedness.
“The same week the State of California was embarrassed worldwide for its record STD rates, news that was widely reported around the globe, the California Senate shows how completely tone deaf it is and how deeply the members have their heads in the sand,” said AHF [AIDS Healthcare Foundation] President Michael Weinstein.