Friday Links: Hurricanes & Asthma, Ike, Protective Daycare, 9/11 Risk Factor, Sweat & EIA
The American Lung Association’s Hurricane Recovery Resources
I am very, very grateful this hurricane season has been easy on my part of Florida, but if you’ve been affected by this year’s storms check out the sections on asbestos, biological pollutants, and other health risks associated with hurricane clean-up.
Why That ALA Link is Important: Hurricane Ike and Texas
Ike is bigger, throwing around more water, and contains more kinetic energy than Katrina did. And it’s poised to strengthen. Predictions include Category 3 strength and a 15-20 foot storm surge for the coast of Texas.
Forecasters are using the term certain death to warn residents off Galveston Island. Dr. Jeff Masters quotes Galveston’s National Weather Service:
All neighborhoods… and possibly entire coastal communities… will be inundated during high tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be swamped… some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland.
The 1900 storm (The National Weather Service didn’t start naming hurricanes until 1953.) was the deadliest natural disaster in history and killed between 6,000 to 8,000 people. Destruction of homes and buildings created a wall of debris over two stories high, sweeping over the island and adding to the damage from the storm itself.
One key difference between then and now–besides the ability to predict hurricane landfall and warn residents–is the Galveston Seawall. Built in 1902, it’s 10 miles long, 17 feet high, and 16 feet thick.
In asthma news:
Early Daycare Linked to Lower Asthma Risk
Add another point to the hygiene hypothesis for childhood asthma development. This research shows a greater protective effect for six to 12-month old babies than for older ones. For my own kid, who started daycare almost exactly at six months and experienced her first major flare at 10 months, exposure to early infections clearly didn’t help her much.
Adults in the World Trade Center Area On/Around 9/11 at Higher Asthma Risk
In fact, they’re twice as likely to develop asthma as adults not near the WTC during or directly after 9/11.
Do You Sweat and Cry a Lot? You May Not Develop Asthma
In one of the more unusual news bits I’ve read this year, Science Daily reports that exercise-induced asthma sufferers produce less sweat, tears, and saliva than those without EIA:
Although Dr. Lockette and his team were not able to establish a cause-effect relationship between the increased incidence of EIA and diminished sweat sodium excretion, they speculate that the mechanism responsible for determining sweat volume is the same mechanism responsible for the volume of water secreted by the airways.