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      Biden’s EPA proposes water rule to finally ditch lead pipes within 10 years

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 19:31 · 1 minute

    City workers unload a truck containing pallets of bottled water to distribute during a water filter distribution event on October 26, 2021 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The state Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing water filters and bottled water to residents due to elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water due to old and un-maintained water pipes in the city.

    Enlarge / City workers unload a truck containing pallets of bottled water to distribute during a water filter distribution event on October 26, 2021 in Hamtramck, Michigan. The state Department of Health and Human Services has begun distributing water filters and bottled water to residents due to elevated levels of lead found in the drinking water due to old and un-maintained water pipes in the city. (credit: Getty | Matthew Hatcher )

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed a stricter rule on lead in drinking water that would require that all lead service lines in the country be replaced within 10 years, and would lower the current lead action level in drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion.

    More than 9.2 million American households have water connections that include lead piping, according to the White House. Lead moves from the pipes into the water when the plumbing experiences corrosion, which is most severe when the water is acidic or has low mineral content. There is no safe level of lead, which is a toxic metal with wide-ranging health effects, including neurotoxic effects. In children, lead exposure can damage the brain and nervous system, slow development, lower IQ, and cause learning, behavioral, speech, and hearing problems. In adults, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and kidney damage.

    The EPA estimates that the rule will generate between $9.8 billion to $34.8 billion in economic benefits each year based on health improvement, including higher IQs in children, healthier newborns, lower cardiovascular risks in adults, and a reduction in care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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      Spike in deadly strep infections linked to wave of flu, RSV in US kids

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 10 March, 2023 - 17:41

    A microscope image of <em>Streptococcus pyogenes</em>, a common type of group A strep.

    Enlarge / A microscope image of Streptococcus pyogenes , a common type of group A strep. (credit: Getty | BSIP )

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid a tall wave of respiratory viruses, health officials in Colorado and Minnesota documented an unusual spike in deadly, invasive infections from Streptococcus bacteria late last year, according to a study published this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

    The spike is yet another oddity of post-pandemic disease transmission, but one that points to a simple prevention strategy: flu shots.

    The infections are invasive group A strep , or iGAS for short, which is caused by the same group of bacteria that cause relatively minor diseases, such as strep throat and scarlet fever. But iGAS occurs when the bacteria spread in the body and cause severe infection, such as necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease), toxic shock syndrome, or sepsis. These conditions can occur quickly and be deadly.

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      Gun violence is the top killer of US kids—the pandemic made it worse

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 9 March, 2023 - 23:40 · 1 minute

    Guns on display during a buyback event in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 4. Los Angeles County, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, hosted a voluntary gun buyback event offering residents gift cards between $100-200 value to surrender their unwanted firearms.

    Enlarge / Guns on display during a buyback event in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles on March 4. Los Angeles County, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, hosted a voluntary gun buyback event offering residents gift cards between $100-200 value to surrender their unwanted firearms. (credit: Getty | Jill Connelly )

    While gun violence has for years been among the leading causes of death for US children, the COVID-19 pandemic sent it skyrocketing to the top cause while widening racial disparities.

    In the years before the pandemic—from 2015 to early 2020—Black children in four major US cities were 27 times more likely to be shot than white children. But, from 2020 to the end of 2021, Black children were 100 times more likely to be shot than white children, according to a new study in JAMA Network Open . The study examined firearm assault data from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

    The study also found that Hispanic children were about 26 times more likely to be shot than white children during the pandemic, up from a relative risk of 8.6-fold prior to the health emergency. And Asian children were about four times more likely to be shot than white children, up from a relative risk of 1.4-fold from before the pandemic.

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    If the French service Qwant.com is set as the #search provider in your web #browser (Firefox, Iridium...), it may occur that it shows a message telling it's not "available" in your region. This can happen if you're using TOR, a VPN, or for other reasons.

    To circumvent this, you may :

    1. Go to the search bar (CTRL + L), edit qwant.com as ddg.gg and hit Enter, you'll go to #DuckDuckGo with the same request.
    2. Or for the next searches, write as following into the search bar: !ddg my keywords to perform the same search throught Duck Duck Go, instead of your original #request my keywords

    If it happens too often, change the default search engine.

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      Why kids matter in the quest to stamp out COVID-19

      WIRED · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Sunday, 31 January, 2021 - 11:44 · 1 minute

    Masked school children work at desks separated by clear barriers.

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images )

    Last December, when Caleb Chung, a 12-year-old in Durham, North Carolina, first heard from his dad that he might be eligible for a local clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, his reaction was a little muted. He was “interested,” he tells me over Zoom. Not excited, exactly, not jumping for joy at the thought of joining the rarefied ranks of the immune. Interested. He had heard about side effects , for one thing, while watching the news with his parents. But mostly he just wasn’t sure what to make of the idea.

    So Caleb and his dad, a pediatrician who works with adolescents, started talking. They covered the science of creating vaccines and testing them and how trials had helped bring vaccines to vulnerable people in the past. Plus, Caleb missed seeing his friends indoors, and seventh-grade Zoom school was slow. Getting shots to more people would bring a quicker end to the tedium. So he signed up. In late December, he got his first shot of what was either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or a placebo. Then, three weeks later, he received his second. Both times, he kept a daily log of how he was feeling, recording a slight fever and soreness in his arm on day two. He took it in stride. “I hope this means I got the vaccine,” he says.

    At the moment, two COVID-19 vaccines have been greenlit for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration, but both are only available to people older than Caleb. The Moderna vaccine is authorized for people over 18, while Pfizer’s is allowed for people as young as 16 because people that age were included earlier in its trials. But that could be changing. Last week, Pfizer officials announced they had finished enrolling more than 2,200 people in an expanded vaccine trial that includes kids as young as 12, and Moderna is currently in the process of signing up teens. That likely sets the stage for the companies to include teens in their requests for FDA approval, expected later this spring.

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      “Staggering and Tragic”: COVID-19 cases spike in US children, top 1 million

      Beth Mole · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 17 November, 2020 - 16:14

    A woman in protective gear leans over a toddler in a bed.

    Enlarge / Boston Medical Center Child Life Specialist Karlie Bittrich sees to a baby while in a pediatrics tent set up outside of Boston Medical Center in Boston on April 29, 2020. (credit: Getty | Boston Globe )

    As COVID-19 cases skyrocket throughout the country, cases are also spiking in infants, children, and adolescents, and the group is now sharing more of the disease burden than ever recorded.

    Cases in the young jumped 22 percent in the two weeks between October 29 and November 12, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The week ending on November 12 saw the largest one-week spike recorded in the pandemic, with 112,000 new cases.

    There have now been more than 1 million cases in infants, children, and adolescents—collectively “children”—and the group is making up a larger proportion of cases than before. Children now make up 11.5 percent of total cases in the United States. At the end of July , children made up 8.8 percent of cases, up from 7.1 percent at the end of June and 5.2 percent at the beginning of June.

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      Google faces $3.2B lawsuit over claims it violated children’s privacy

      Kate Cox · news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 14 September, 2020 - 17:51

    A sign featuring the YouTube logo, outside the YouTube Space studios in London on June 4, 2019.

    Enlarge / A sign featuring the YouTube logo, outside the YouTube Space studios in London on June 4, 2019. (credit: Olly Curtis | Future | Getty Images )

    A new lawsuit filed in a United Kingdom court alleges that YouTube knowingly violated children's privacy laws in that country and seeks damages in excess of £2.5 billion (about $3.2 billion).

    A tech researcher named Duncan McCann filed the lawsuit in the UK's High Court and is serving as representative claimant in the case—a similar, though not identical, process to a US class-action suit. Foxglove, a UK tech advocacy group, is backing the claim , it said today.

    "YouTube, and its parent company Google, are ignoring laws designed to protect children," Foxglove wrote in a press release. "They know full well that millions of children watch YouTube. They’re making money from unlawfully harvesting data about these young children as they watch YouTube videos—and then running highly targeted adverts, designed to influence vulnerable young minds."

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