News

Fracking, Water Quality and Public Health: Examining Current Laws and Regulations

Improved technology developments in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as "fracking," have resulted in an oil and gas production boom nationwide. This webinar will examine the laws and regulations governing water quality issues related to fracking, recent state court decisions affecting regulations, and implications for public health.

New studies indicate concussion education for high school coaches is not making student athletes safer

Washington State’s Zackery Lystedt law is helping to educate high school athletics coaches about concussions, but new research finds that 69 percent of student athletes that were surveyed still played with concussion symptoms. High school athletics coaches in Washington State are now receiving substantial concussion education and are demonstrating good knowledge about concussions, but little impact is being felt on the proportion of athletes playing with concussive symptoms, according to two studies published this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Blocked Shots: Webinar Examining the Basis, Nature and Public Health Impact of Vaccine Exemption Laws

Most states in the U.S. currently permit non-medical exemptions for childhood vaccinations based on philosophical, personal and religious beliefs. Proponents of non-medical exemptions maintain that disease prevention is an individual responsibility, and that vaccinations are not completely safe or effective. Exemption opponents counter that mandating vaccinations protects the public’s health by decreasing the incidence of preventable disease, hospitalizations and deaths. This webinar will examine the legal and ethical basis for vaccination requirements, review a recent assessment of how non-medical vaccination exemption laws impact the annual incidence rates of vaccine-targeted diseases, and explore how states are changing their vaccine exemption laws. The webinar will be held Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Public Health Law Research Opens 6th Funding Round

Public Health Law Research (PHLR) has released its sixth call for proposals on studies that focus on the effects of laws and policies on public health.

The new call for proposals is available online: www.rwjf.org/cfp/phlr6

The deadline for submitting proposals is April 15, 2014 at 3 p.m. ET.

As much as $1.25 million is available in this round of funding for short-term studies. Studies up to 18 months long will be funded at up to $150,000 each.

PHLR Funds Nine New Studies

The public health effects of laws on issues such as prescription drug abuse, occupational health and safety, and distracted driving will be investigated through nine new research projects. The grants announced today total nearly $1.1 million and will support short-term and time-sensitive studies on specific laws or regulations and the development of legal datasets.

Exposure to Lead-Contaminated Drinking Water Associated with Reduced Birth Rates and Increased Fetal Death, New Study Finds

Increased exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water in Washington, DC, is a possible cause for a sharp increase in fetal deaths and somewhat lower birth rates in the region in 2000 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2009, according to a new study published online by the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

The study attributes the spike in fetal deaths from 2001-2003 to a switch in drinking water disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine, which caused an unintended release of lead from plumbing material into drinking water.  

Strengthening the Criteria for Non-Medical Exemptions for Vaccines Could Decrease Cases of Whooping Cough, New Study Finds

State laws that set strict standards for children to be exempted from vaccines on religious or philosophical grounds could reduce the number of whooping cough cases, but not measles, mumps, haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) or Hepatitis B, according to a new study published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Maps outlining water quality regulations related to oil and gas development now available

A new interactive map detailing laws and regulations governing water quality issues associated with increased shale oil and gas activities in 11 states was released today on LawAtlas.org. The map includes laws and regulations from Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

These states overlay major shale regions, such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Greater Green River, Marcellus, Niobrara, Piceance, San Juan, Permian, Powder River, Mancos, and Uinta.

State Child Car Seat Laws Are Leaving Many Children Unprotected, Study Finds

Many state laws on car seats and seat belts may leave children unprotected and vulnerable to injuries caused in vehicle crashes, according to a new study published this week in Social Science and Medicine.

In the US, nearly 250,000 children are injured every year in car crashes, and approximately 2,000 die from their injuries, according to federal data. Most of these fatalities and injuries are preventable.

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