What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Mums-to-be at physical risk at work

A new study has shown that almost two-thirds of expectant mothers believe they are frequently exposed to physical risk at workplace.

The findings revealed nearly 56 per cent of the women worked standing up or frequently lifted heavy objects during the course of their paid work while pregnant.

In addition, 63 per cent said they were subjected to workplace stress, and 62 per cent frequently experienced some physical risk — noise, high temperatures or humidity, vibrations, radiation and electromagnetic fields (data visualisation screens).

“Pregnant and breastfeeding women are especially sensitive to exposure to workplace hazards”, said Carmen Gonzalez, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Higher Centre for Public Health Research in Valencia.

“Certain workplace pollutants and working conditions can have negative impacts on pregnancy and the development of the foetus,” she added.

Almost 22 per cent women said they were exposed to some chemical agent, particularly cleaning products, and six per cent to biological risk factors, such as in jobs involving the care of others.

US teens are smoking more pot, less tobacco

A new federal study has found that American teenagers are cutting down on cigarettes only to smoke pot more.

According to the study released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the acceptance of pot has increased among teens as more states are taking steps to legalise medical marijuana.

The University of Michigan carried out the survey titled ‘Monitoring the Future’ for which 47,097 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades were queried.

Almost one-fifth of seniors (20.6 per cent) said they used marijuana last month, an increase of 18.3 per cent in 2006. Pot smoking by high school sophomores surged from 13.8 per cent a year ago to 15.9 per cent this year.

Lloyd Johnston, lead researcher, said: “So far, we have not seen any dramatic rise in marijuana use, but the upward trending of the past two or three years stands in stark contrast to the steady decline that preceded it for nearly a decade”.

“Not only is use rising, but a key belief about the degree of risk associated with marijuana use has been in decline among young people even longer, and the degree to which teens disapprove of use of the drug has recently begun to decline... Changes in these beliefs and attitudes are often very influential in driving changes in use.”

CO poisoning can create same symptoms as H1N1

Feeling nauseous after waking up in the morning? Don’t presume it’s the flu, for it could be carbon monoxide poisoning, say researchers.

While headaches, nausea and fatigue are often accompanied by swine flu, it could also be symptoms of poising by the colourless, odourless, gas. Doctors often get confused between the two, following the rise in the number of H1N1 flu cases.

“The symptoms are so similar. It can look just like the flu,” said Carson Harris, an emergency room physician at Regions Hospital in Minnesota.

In case of carbon monoxide poisoning, people often wake up with blurred vision, disorientation, shortness of breath and vomiting.

However, the symptoms will disappear when people leave the affected area and breath fresh air again.

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