SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – April 2002

Fish sauce blamed for sleep deaths. Fish sauce is causing healthy Asian men to die mysteriously in their sleep, says a Thai researcher. Straits Times.

Make-up kit holds hidden danger of cancer. Women are being exposed to deadly diseases through the everyday use of common cosmetics bought over the counter, according to a new study. Observer.

Unhealthy way of life is a threat worldwide. Physical inactivity is no longer a scourge of affluent, Westernised societies but may now be one of the top 10 causes of death and disability worldwide, the World Health Organisation said yesterday. Telegraph.

Myopia in children linked to bread. Bread and cereal could be helping to make western children short-sighted. Diets high in refined starches, such as breads and cereals, increase insulin levels which affect the development of the eyeball, say scientists. Guardian.

It's official: shabby carpets can damage your career. Forget bigger salaries, company cars and Christmas bonuses. Scientists have discovered a simple way to improve a worker's motivation - change the office carpet. Odours given off by old carpets can be so subconsciously pungent that they can affect productivity, a study says. Independent.

Anoraks can damage your health. Doctors in Birmingham have discovered what many people have long suspected that anoraks can be unhealthy. Wearing the ubiquitous garment can be dangerous both to the wearer and other road users because many anorak wearers are, it seems, in the habit of pulling the hoods over their heads so that they are unable to see as well as other people. BMJ

Reading can damage eyes. The stereotype of the brainy bookworm in glasses may be more than a schoolyard myth. Researchers have found children who spend a lot of time with their noses in books may be damaging their eyes. The Age

Emailing 'is good for your health' The first study to examine the effect of sending emails shows it has psychological and health benefits. Telegraph

Nurses' uniforms 'are major health hazard'Thousands of patients are at risk of infection from nurses' uniforms because of a lack of laundering and changing facilities in hospitals, say senior members of the profession. Telegraph

Watch out for the alligators in 'Everglades' Britain. Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions could lead to an Everglades-style environment in Britain in which species such as alligators, salamanders and mosquitoes would thrive, according to government scientists … Although some experts have criticised the government’s stance as "bringing science into disrepute", Climate Change Scenarios, to be published this week, is likely to be used by Labour to justify levying heavier taxes on the emission of gases thought to contribute to climate change. Sunday Times (Registration required).