A growing national awareness of dangerous, or so-called "toxic," toys on store shelves has sparked debate over how to protect children from products containing harmful substances. The spotlight is shining on New York State, as local governments try to deal with the issue.
Decisions made by the food, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceutical, gun, and automobile industries have a greater impact on today's health than the decisions of scientists and policymakers. As the collective influence of corporations has grown, governments around the world have stepped back from their responsibility to protect public health by privatizing key services, weakening regulations, and cutting funding for consumer and environmental protection.
If you’ve read the paper or watched the nightly news sometime in the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably noted what appears to be a disturbing trend. Specifically, there has been a rash (pun intended) of infectious disease outbreaks locally, nationally, and internationally.
Police in Utica spent the Fourth of July responding to two calls of people under the influence of bath salts, a drug that has become a growing problem across the country, but especially in parts of central New York where at least seven cases, including one fatality, have been reported since June. Madison County lawmakers have called on state officials to take immediate action, and there is discussion of a local law to make bath salts illegal. Madison County health director Eric Faisst says local law enforcement and health officials recently met to discuss bath salts.