SIRC Media Watch Archive
Panics and Scares – May 2001

Flowers pose health risk, says hospital A hospital in Shropshire has decided that fresh-cut flowers pose a health risk to patients on surgical wards and should not be allowed. BBC.

Dangers of Summer. Tiptoe More Carefully Through The Tulips – There's a tetanus vaccine shortage - and that's a reason to be more careful in your garden or when doing sports this summer. Up in Flames? – Last year was one of the worst ever for wildfires out West. Could this year be as bad? Summer Fun, Summer Dangers. As summer approaches, more kids are heading outside and, unfortunately, to the nation's emergency rooms for falls, drownings and even deaths, a new study says. etc. from ABC.

Now foot and mouth poses risk to planes. Airlines and aircraft maintenance crews have received an official warning that a disinfectant used to control foot and mouth could pose a serious safety risk. Guardian.

Puppy love's dark side. Teenagers in love have a higher risk for depression, alcohol problems and delinquency than teens who do not get romantically involved, finds a Cornell University sociologist. And love-sick girls, especially younger ones, are at an even higher risk for depression than boys. Cornell University.

Dollar Bills Carry Potentially Harmful Bacteria. The cash in your pocket may be contaminated with so much bacteria that it could make you sick. Researchers from the Wright Patterson Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, asked people standing in line at a grocery store checkout and at a high school concession stand to trade a $1 bill from their pocket for a new one. Then the doctors analyzed 68 of those old, worn bills. Five of the bills contained bacteria that can cause an infection in perfectly healthy people, and 59 of them (that’s 87 percent) were contaminated with bacteria that could cause an infection in anyone with a compromised immune system, such as people with HIV or cancer. ABC News.

Everyday Traffic Noise Harms Health Of Children. The low-level but chronic noise of daily local traffic can cause stress in children and raise their blood pressure, heart rates, and levels of stress hormones, according to a new study by an environmental psychologist at Cornell University and his European coauthors. "We also found that girls exposed to the traffic noise become less motivated, presumably from the sense of helplessness that can develop from noise they couldn't control," says Gary Evans, an international expert on environmental stress, such as noise, crowding and air pollution. PsycPort.

Sending text messages may damage your health. Children sending text messages on mobile phones in the playground could be risking their health, according to doctors who called yesterday for more research into their use. Schoolchildren are particularly likely to use their phones for text messaging and more than 900 million messages were sent in January alone, says an interim report from the board of science of the British Medical Association. Telegraph.

Health Benefits of Wedded Bliss. The government has published a pamphlet, Married Life: A Rough Guide For Couples Today, which claims that couples are less likely to suffer from cancer than people who stay single. The guide also says that you are less likely to smoke, drink, get depressed or commit suicide if you are married. If couples do get cancer, they are more likely to survive. PsycPort.

Oscar winners 'live longer'. Want to live longer – then win an Oscar, say scientists. A study by Canadian scientists of every actor and actress to win the coveted golden statuette showed Oscar winners could look forward to an extra four years of life. BBC.

Forbidden Fruit Juice. The American Academy of Pediatricians is telling parents that infants who drink too much fruit juice may become malnourished if the beverage replaces human milk or formula. Children are the largest consumers of fruit juice in the United States and, experts say, that besides not providing needing nutrients, the extra calories from the sweet beverage may be contributing to the current epidemic of childhood obesity. ABC.