Friday Links: Boys’ Short-Term Asthma, New England Ragweed, EPA Smackdown, Olympics Inspiration

It’s Possible to “Outgrow” Asthma After All
But that’s if you’re a boy, apparently. Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School teamed up with this research that suggests asthma for many boys is a kind of childhood phase, while girls never “grow out” of it. That suggests, of course, some sort of hormonal cause and possibly new treatment avenues to explore.

It also suggests my kid should never take up poker with her kind of luck, considering her premature birth and her Puerto Rican risk factor on top of her gender. Her non-asthmatic little sister seems more fortunate, but then again. . . .

Childhood Eczema = Adult Asthma (Much of the Time)
The link between atopic symptoms, where eczema leads to nasal allergies leads to asthma, is very well known. This study, though, shows childhood eczema is an asthma risk factor even into middle age.

That doesn’t bode well for my younger daughter at all, who’s got two out of three at age six. And it’s a long, long way til middle age.

In New England? Allergic to Ragweed? Watch Out this Fall
After all that rain this summer, medical researchers predict a pretty severe ragweed season for New Hampshire and Maine.

Court Rules for Clean Air Over Industry, Even if Our President Doesn’t
A U.S. appeals court struck down an EPA rule–set under the Bush administration–that prevented states from applying extra monitoring and regulations to industrial polluters. As the Wall Street Journal reports through the link above,

The decision marks the latest instance in which a federal court has rejected the approach to regulating harmful emissions taken by the administration of President George W. Bush. “It is a pretty serious rebuke of the Bush administration’s efforts to tie the hands of states at the behest of industry,” said John Walke, director of the clean-air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

And if you have any faith at all left in the EPA or still assume it’s working in the best interests of U.S. citizens’ environmental health independent of political maneuvering, think again. The EPA and the American Petroleum Institute–with members including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConcoPhillips–were working together on this one.

First Female Amputee Olympian
This link takes you to a video of Natalie Du Toit, a South African swimmer who, after losing her leg seven years ago, became a five-gold medal champion at the 2004 Paralympic Games and then went on to qualify for the Beijing Games.

My Newest Celsias Piece on the Partial Recovery of the Aral Sea
From the article:

The shrunken Aral Sea in Central Asia, product of a massive twentieth-century environmental disaster, has healed to a remarkable degree according to a recent update from the Kazakhstan government that describes the recovery as miraculous. Water is returning to the North Aral Sea, setting an example for future ecological recovery and reversal projects even as the still-devastated southern portion highlights the tragedy of irreversible environmental damage.

Back in the 1950’s, the Soviet government diverted the Aral Sea’s two tributary rivers into irrigation for cotton and rice crops. What followed, from the next decade and right up until the late 1990’s, was an environmental disaster of historic and epic proportions.
Read the whole article at the link above.

5 responses to “Friday Links: Boys’ Short-Term Asthma, New England Ragweed, EPA Smackdown, Olympics Inspiration”

  1. wendy says:

    A lot of interesting info here. Just for the record – both myself and my daughter had childhood eczema and teenage asthma – but we both outgrew it in adulthood! The asthma was exercise-induced, which come to think of it, my son also had, when he was a small child. But, he’s healthy as a horse – he outgrew it, like we did.

  2. Michelle says:

    See! I told you Jack was outgrowing his asthma! And, yes, we are expecting an amazing apple crop as well as ragweed. We must take the good with the bad, I guess.

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