SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – April 2001

Spring Cleaning Can Mess Up Your Body. In their ardent efforts to perform the ultimate "spring cleaning" around the home, many people wind up in pretty bad shape. They pull muscles, twist tendons and otherwise abuse parts of the body that are often conditioned to accommodate little more than sitting on the couch. Health Scout.

Survey finds widespread food worries. Almost nine British people out of 10 asked about their attitudes to food safety expressed concern ranging from slight to considerable. BBC.

Ill-fitting bras pose serious health risk. More than 90% of Scottish women are at risk of developing back pain, poor posture, or breathing problems because they are wearing the wrong size of bra. Women's busts are bigger than ever, with the average size now 36C compared with 34B 10 years ago but, according to new research, only one in 10 is wearing a bra that fits properly. Herald.

Teachers 'must warn parents of fat pupils'. Teachers have a moral responsibility to tell parents if their children are too fat, the senior civil servant who runs England's schools said yesterday … Gerry Steinberg, Labour MP for Durham, said parents who took children to fast food outlets "as a treat" should be told by their children, "you are taking me somewhere which could eventually kill me". Telegraph.

Handyman sues over MDF illness. It was hailed as the answer to every home in need of a make-over: MDF, medium-density fibreboard. It is now in millions of homes after helping to spark off the craze for building your own furniture from a flat-pack. But MDF could pose a threat to health, according to some experts. Observer.

'Computer vision syndrome' is latest malady. Without a doubt, the PC has revolutionized the workplace, immeasurably increasing productivity. But the new economy has given rise to a legion of new maladies, such as carpal-tunnel syndrome, caused by keyboard use. Just as keyboards have weakened wrists, computer monitors have assaulted the eyes. Eyestrain, headaches and other problems related to computer use are commonplace. To this painful range of symptoms, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has attached the label "computer vision syndrome." Seattle Times.

Hospital bans 'health hazard' flowers. Visitors to a Berkshire hospital have been banned from taking flowers to their loved ones because officials believe they are a health hazard. Ananova.

'Sensible' shoes linked to arthritis in women. Women who opt for "sensible" court shoes in preference to stilettos or kitten-heels are putting themselves at risk of bone damage, according to research published today. Independent.

Pill to 'stop cancer'. "Scientists are developing a once-a-week pill they hope will prevent half of all cancers." But not until paragraph 25 do we read: "Oltipraz is in the very earliest stages of testing in people. The results of this trial will not be known for several years." BBC.

Soldiering may seriously damage your health. "Lieutenant, take your platoon and storm that machine-gun nest." "No, sir. We might get hurt." Telegraph.

Heading for trouble. Amateur footballers who play once or twice a week risk mild brain damage caused by heading the ball, say British psychologists. Richard Stephens of Keele University found that 25 amateur student footballers performed less well on tests of memory, attention and mental agility than players of other contact sports. Players who headed the ball frequently during games also achieved lower test scores than players who made headers less often. New Scientist.