High temperatures and high ozone levels threaten the health of millions today

All of Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana are under excessive heat warnings, as are parts of more than a dozen other states. Oppressive humidity levels will make you feel up to 15 degrees hotter than the thermometer says.

The Washington Post: Record heat wave moves east; More than 100 million insufficient alerts

A massive heat wave that has set dozens of temperature records from Texas to California is spreading into the eastern United States. More than 100 million Americans from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes are under heat alerts by midweek as temperatures hit triple digits. (Cappucci and Samenow, 6/13)

WHIO: Rising temperatures: How to stay safe during the heat wave

If you have to be outside today, stay hydrated, wear light clothing, take multiple breaks, and limit how much you spend outside. Dr. Roberto Colón of Premier Health told us that those who work outdoors are at risk of serious injury. “It puts anyone who is going to do eccentric exertion work outdoors at particular risk. And it’s an environment where everyone works from time to time. But for those of us who work predominantly outdoors, when it gets very hot and humid at the same time, we start to face some additional concerns. and that is because the body can be injured in just 15 to 20 minutes of work.” (6/14)

AP: Indiana Agency: High Ozone May Mean Respiratory Problems for Some

Indiana’s environmental agency is warning that high ozone levels expected across the state Tuesday could make it hard for some Indiana residents to breathe. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued a statewide Air Quality Day of Action on Monday, saying high levels of ground-level ozone, or smog, are forecast for Tuesday. (6/13)

In other environmental health news:

The Hill: Particle pollution is cutting global life expectancy by more than two years: Analysis

Particulate air pollution is reducing life expectancy by 2.2 years globally compared to a hypothetical world that meets international health guidelines, according to a new report. Global exposure to fine particulate matter (PM 2.5, or particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less) has an impact similar to that of smoking, more than triple that of alcohol consumption and non-potable water, according to the 2022 study from the University of Chicago. Air quality life index. (Udasin, 6/14)

NBC News: 14 percent of the world’s population may have had Lyme disease, research finds

More than 14 percent of the world’s population may have had Lyme disease, an analysis published Monday revealed. The research, published in BMJ Global Health, is the result of an examination of almost 90 studies. It offers an unprecedentedly strong picture of how common tick-borne disease can be. (Bendix, 6/13)

On the mental health of young people:

ABC News: Amid a national crisis in youth mental health, surgeon general says children must be part of the solution

Facing a growing mental health crisis among America’s teens and young adults, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says the problem isn’t something adults can fix alone. Adults need to “make sure we listen to children so that their stories are our guiding light,” Murthy said. “Ultimately, we’ll know when we’ve reached the finish line when they’re doing well and they tell us they’re doing well and when the data tells us as well.” After declaring a national advisory on the youth mental health crisis late last year, Murthy is now participating in a two-day conference called Youth Mental Wellness Now! Summit, organized by The California Endowment. (Little Ones-Mantey, 6/14)

Los Angeles Times: Businesses and Organizations Address Youth Mental Health

A major entertainment studio says it will feature mental health plotlines on shows aimed at teens. Famous athletes say they will help de-stigmatize conversations about mental health among young people. A Los Angeles nonprofit is expanding training for professional youth mentors. Big tech, media companies, local groups, youth leaders, basketball players and educators pledged to unite in response to the US Surgeon General’s public health advisory last December, warning of a “urgent” need to address a national youth crisis. (Blume, 6/14)

In other public health news:

The Washington Post: Why is there a tampon shortage?

The tampon shortage is putting pressure on consumers across the country, a consequence of the same forces afflicting the global economy, from rising costs of raw materials and fuel to labor shortages and a supply chain under siege, and experts say there is little relief in sight. (Telford, 6/13)

AP: Census wants to know how to ask about sexuality and gender

Recognizing the difficulty of persuading people to reveal information many consider confidential, the US Census Bureau is requesting millions of dollars to study how best to ask about sexual orientation and gender identity. The results could provide much better data on the LGBTQ population across the country at a time when views about sexual orientation and gender identity are evolving. (Schneider, 11/6)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a roundup of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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