SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – March 2000

Egg allergy risk in jab dimissed. Most children who are allergic to eggs are not at risk from measles vaccinations, say doctors. BBC.

Is modern life making you ill? Fatigued, dizzy, depressed or irritable? Can't sleep, no sex drive, and suffering with eczema or psoriasis? Are Western diet and medicines to blame? Independent.

Miss America is getting skinnier and skinnier, according to researchers who conclude that many winners are undernourished. ABC News.

Internet health advice warning. Student doctors have warned patients will increasingly be at risk from incorrect advice on the internet. The fears of patients receiving inaccurate guidance via the web have prompted a call from medical students for regulation of health websites. BBC

Hospital warns staff: avoid mobile phones. In a landmark health policy directive, Royal North Shore Hospital has advised its staff to avoid using mobile phones to minimise any potential risk from microwaves. But no government body at present recognises any risk to health from using the phones. Sydney Morning Herald

Watching Pilger can damage your health. Campaigning journalist John Pilger and investigative reporter Donal McIntyre may win plaudits for their revealing TV documentaries but a study claims their type of programme makes you ill. Researchers have discovered that watching programmes such as McIntyre's recent expose of the fashion world causes stress and reduces the body's ability to fend of unwanted illnesses. Express.

Carpets, curtains and carcinogens. The creature comforts that keep you cosy could be a magnet for benzene pollution from car exhausts. Benzene levels are higher in houses than outdoors, especially in colder northern countries where carpets, wooden floors and linoleum are common, say researchers in Europe. New Scientist

Electromagnetic fields 'raise suicide risk'. People may be more likely to commit suicide if they are regularly exposed to low frequency electromagnetic fields, research has found. The researchers found that suicide deaths were twice as high among those employees whose work regularly exposed them to electromagnetic radiation. BBC

Sunlight 'may cause cataracts'. Exposure to sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts, scientists have found. BBC

Giving birth can be as traumatic as fighting in a war, claim researchers. A study has shown that vivid nightmares, flashbacks, fear and anxiety often accompany a baby's arrival to the extent that some women abandon plans to have more children. Telegraph.

Cancer danger of microwave cooking. Microwave ovens promote cancer and destroy vital nutrients, warn scientists. Millions of people are said to be at risk from microwave radiation every time they cook a convenience meal. Express.

More than a squeak: Helium causes stroke, blindness. Inhaling helium is often thought to be a harmless party trick that leaves the user with a temporarily squeaky voice, but according to a recent report, one 27-year-old man experienced a stroke, coma, and temporary blindness after inhaling the gas. Prior to inhaling helium, the man had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and taken an amphetamine. Health Central.

'Nintendo thumb' peril for young. Many children are at risk from spending too long in front of computers and video games, says an expert. Afflictions include "Nintendo thumb", a pain arising after months of playing on a computer console. Express.

Vitamin C pills may speed up hardening of the arteries, researchers suggest in a new study they called a disturbing surprise. ABC NEWS.

Recycling health warning. Recycling household waste could be bad for your health, scientists have claimed. Rubbish bins containing organic leftovers such as banana skins, potato peelings and apple cores release far higher numbers of potentially harmful bacteria and moulds into the kitchen than bins containing mixed garbage, say Dutch researchers. BBC.