Friday Links – Iceland Volcano Ash, COPD Risk, School Traffic

(Photo: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

Iceland Volcano Still Spewing Ash Into the Air
Beware the Eyjafjallajokull.

Especially if you live in northern Europe in the path of the ash cloud heading east (satellite photo above) and have respiratory problems.

Childhood Asthma May Up COPD Risk More than Smoking
This New Zealand study is a pretty devastating read at first, particularly this sentence:

[c]hildhood asthma showed with the strongest association for COPD, equivalent to adding about 20 years to lung age.

However, read the comment by Sandy Reid directly below the article. It pinpoints a much-needed clarification.

School + Heavy Traffic = Asthma Development
And the hits just keep on comin’ for children’s respiratory health. Actually, there’s a positive spin to this story, since easy-to-fix issues related to school traffic should decrease the risk of asthma.

Milk and the Excess Mucus Production Question
Between my kid’s recent stomach bug and this story, it’s apparently the week of disgusting body fluids here on this blog. Never let it be said your favorite Asthma Mom shies away from the hard topics!

Health Insurers Are Billion-Dollar Stockholders in. . . . wait for it. . . . Fast Food Companies
What do you think?
Conflict of interest maybe?
Findings by Harvard Medical School, June 2009.

18 responses to “Friday Links – Iceland Volcano Ash, COPD Risk, School Traffic”

  1. Sarah says:

    TMI Alert: When I was a kid, I used to be a big mucus producer (to the point that it, along with my almost-constant infections and breathing troubles, prompted my paediatrician to test me for CF – thankfully, the test was negative). I’m talking many, many mouthfuls an hour. Now, I only get mucus-y with nasal allergies or (on rare occasions) really bad colds. In retrospect, I think the mucus production is yet another thing from my childhood that can be blamed on uncontrolled allergies (I still think it’s just amazing that none of my paediatricians looked at the underweight, mouth-breathing, wheezy kid with a chronically runny and stuffy nose and eczema and thought, “Hm, maybe allergies are part of it.” Not one of them! My family moved around a lot, so I probably had a dozen or so paediatricians during my life. It’s just astounding… it seems so obvious to me and to the doctors I have now, and I’m not so old that childhood allergies were an unknown issue at the time).

  2. Sara C. says:

    We keep hearing about the air travel problems, and not the risk to people with respiratory problems. Hopefully, it dissipates soon, and those with breathing issues are safe, and air travel gets back to normal.

    Our school has a “no idle” policy. You have to turn your car off in the car line. Better for the kids and the environment.

    have you seen the KFC sandwich that is bacon and cheese between 2 fried (or grilled, I guess) chicken breasts…it’s a heart attack in a bag…I guess if we all stopped buying that stuff, they would stop producing it…right?

  3. Amy says:

    Sarah–I don’t know that there’s such a thing as TMI on this particular blog! :)

    I wonder if, even though drs. knew about allergies, they recognized what a pivotal trigger for asthma they could be? So maybe that didn’t take them as seriously?

    On the other hand, it’s probably just another component of the “it’s just asthma” attitude. Allergies have been around so long and so many people have them, they’re not really taken seriously anymore, yet they make life truly miserable for severe sufferers.

    Or maybe I’m just making excuses because it’s horrifying to me that they never noticed!

    Sara–I know! It looks disgusting….you know, when I first read that article about health insurance companies & fast food stock, I wasn’t all that surprised, and that’s even more disgusting.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think there’s quite a bit of “it’s just allergies”, too. A lot of people know that serious allergies exist, and almost everyone knows at least one person who might get a little sneezy around dust or whatever, but they don’t realize that there’s a whole spectrum… it’s not just the person who gets itchy eyes every now and again or the person who needs to carry an epi-pen with them in case someone next door is baking peanut butter cookies (yes, I know a person whose peanut allergy is THAT sensitive).

    They don’t really realize that between those two extremes is, say, the person who’s nose is running constantly and stuffy and whose sinuses are always congested, and whose eyes are itchy frequently, and who may be unable to eat certain foods unless they feel like dealing with hives.

Leave a Reply