SIRC Media Watch Archive
Scares and Miracles – September 2001

Weekly swimming linked to lung damage. Children who swim in a chlorinated pool once a week score the same on one measure of lung damage as adult smokers, say Belgian researchers. New Scientist.

Police deadly force alternative can be fatal. A popular alternative to deadly weapons used by police throughout the world can itself prove fatal, emergency physicians report. Reuters.

Rally drivers "damage bodies by racing". Rally drivers could be doing more damage to their muscles, bones and joints than industrial workers exposed to high levels of whole-body vibration, say researchers. Over 90 per cent of rally drivers who compete regularly in races on closed roads report discomfort in at least one body area after rallying, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Healthy Pages.

Asthma link to English speakers. Asthma is most common in English speaking countries, according to a worldwide study that has linked the illness to lifestyle and not to genes. Telegraph.

When sun worship turns to illness. Medical experts fear thousands of Australians could be suffering from a disorder where their self esteem depends on their suntan. Doctors worry that increasing popularity of solariums and tanning studios could be fuelling a condition known as "tanorexia". Sunday Telegraph (Australia).

'Nintendonitis' a symptom of obese Aussie youth. The image of the athletic, bronzed Aussie male no longer reflects reality in Australia, where two-thirds of men - and more than half of women - are estimated to be overweight. Health professionals warn of an epidemic of obesity and say waistlines are swelling at such a swift pace that Australia is on course to overtake America as the world's fattest nation in the next 10 to 15 years. By then, as many as seven in 10 people will be overweight or obese, based on current trends. Independent.

'Playtime could prevent disease'. Playing with your children during the first 18 months of their lives could stave off health problems – both emotional and physical, says an expert. BBC.

Hair dye linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Women who dye their hair for 20 years or more have almost double the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, say Swedish researchers. However, the cause of the increased risk is unclear. New Scientist.

Drivers 'risking spine problems'. Slouching at the wheel could be causing drivers long-term spinal damage, a motoring organisation has warned. The RAC said motorists could be causing themselves spinal problems by failing to correctly adjust their car seats. It warned that many motorists adopt a "banana" posture – leaning into the wheel and then stretching their legs to reach the pedals. BBC.