This Week's Facts:
CDC Releases Information About Gulf Oil Spill
Current health information about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is available via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at Gulf Oil Spill 2010. The National Library of Medicine has also created a page for Crude Oil Spills and Health from their Disaster Information Management Research Center. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a website on its health response here. The U.S. Coast Guard blog, the Coast Guard Compass, posted an entry this week: BP Deepwater Horizon Spill Information and Suggestions. Here are the EPA Response to BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the NOAA Emergency Response Deepwater Horizon Incident websites, which lead to information from other government and non-government organizations.
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
Saturday, June 19 is World Sickle Cell Day. Sickle Cell Anemia (SCA) is a disease that causes the body to make sickle-shaped red blood cells. Rather than the disc-shaped cells that healthy people produce, those with Sickle cell anemia have cells shaped like the letter “C.” Cells that are shaped like this don’t move as easily through the blood vessels – they tend to get caught and clump together. This means that blood flow to the limbs and organs can be cut off. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this is a life-long disease that a person is born with. Those most at risk are people whose ancestry is African, Central American, Caribbean, Mediterranean or who are from India or Saudi Arabia. There is no cure for Sickle Cell Anemia, but there are treatments available. World Sickle Cell Day seeks to bring awareness to this disease and to ways that you can help. Two such ways are donating blood and joining the Bone Marrow Registry. You can also join a grassroots advocacy group to help out. For more information on the disease itself, visit Medline Plus.
Is it time to replace or upgrade your old air conditioner or furnace? You can make your home more energy efficient and earn money at the same time! The Indiana Heating and Air Conditioning Incentive Program (IHIP) provides Indiana homeowners with a rebate of up to $500.00 with the purchase and installation of an ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling system. This program is administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development with monies provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. In order to receive the rebate, consumers must purchase eligible equipment and follow additional requirements. This program will be available as long as funds are available so click here to apply. Most questions about the program can be answered by visiting the frequently asked questions and general information sheet. Remember, you can make a difference in the environment and save on energy costs this summer and winter!
Summertime is a time for swimming in your favorite lake or fishing in your favorite spot, but it’s important to take certain safety measures – like wearing life jackets. The recent flooding in Arkansas reminds us how quickly disasters can happen. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has launched WEAR IT INDIANA, a campaign to promote the wearing of life jackets while boating and fishing in Indiana. The DNR is partnering with the National Safe Boating Council and the United States Coast Guard to appeal to mass audiences on water safety. Look for the ‘WEAR IT INDIANA’ team to appear at boat ramps and marinas throughout the summer. They will be demonstrating the advantages of wearing life jackets and asking boaters to sign pledge cards stating the importance of wearing them. Click here to watch the WEAR IT Indiana video. Education and common sense can reduce or eliminate accidents and tragedies due to drowning in Indiana.
Whether biking in your neighborhood or across country, there are several good resources that raise awareness of safety issues when biking during the summer. Here’s a brief health tip via MedlinePlus News, Buy a Bike That Suits Your Child. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides an online tip sheet called Kids and Bicycle Safety, also available in PDF. Check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s online document Kids Speak Out On Bike Helmets for comments from kids across the country on wearing helmets while they ride. Here’s their link on the correct way to wear a helmet. For adults, the Recreation.gov website (run by several federal partners, including the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Park Service) has a section on Bike recreation. The City of Bloomington website also supplies messages about Safe Bicycle Riding.
Here in Indianapolis, downtown’s White River State Park rents out Wheel Surrey Bikes, Cruisers,Tandems, Quad Sports, Choppers, Deuce Coupes, Pedal Boats and Kayaks through Wheel Fun Rentals. You can visit their rental stations near the front entrance of the Indiana State Museum and on the canal next to the Indiana Government Center, near the large fountain.
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