Here are 3 solutions to get blood to folks in 'blood deserts.' One is often illegal
Thu, 11 Apr 2024 08:54:26 -0400
A worker separates bags of donated blood at a campaign organized by the Rotary Blood Bank in New Delhi, India.

Doctors have coined a term to describe places where blood for transfusions is not readily available: "blood deserts." When blood banks aren't around, they try different strategies to help patients.

(Image credit: Money Sharma)

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CDC warns that measles spike poses a 'renewed threat' to the disease's elimination
Fri, 12 Apr 2024 16:49:30 -0400
So far in 2024, more than 80% of measles cases involved people who were unvaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown, according to CDC data.

So far this year, the U.S. has seen more than 120 cases of the highly contagious disease — more than double the cases for all of 2023. Still, chances of widespread transmission remains low.

(Image credit: Elaine Thompson)

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What to know about the new EPA rule limiting 'forever chemicals' in tap water
Fri, 12 Apr 2024 03:00:59 -0400
Following a new EPA rule, public water systems will have five years to address instances where there is too much PFAS in tap water – three years to sample their systems and establish the existing levels of PFAS, and an additional two years to install water treatment technologies if their levels are too high.

Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency announced new drinking water standards to limit people's exposure to some PFAS chemicals. For decades, PFAS have been used to waterproof and stain-proof a variety of consumer products. These "forever chemicals" in a host of products — everything from raincoats and the Teflon of nonstick pans to makeup to furniture and firefighting foam. Because PFAS take a very long time to break down, they can accumulate in humans and the environment. Now, a growing body of research is linking them to human health problems like serious illness, some cancers, lower fertility and liver damage. Science correspondent Pien Huang joins the show today to talk through this new EPA rule — what the threshold for safe levels of PFAS in tap water is, why the rule is happening now and how the federal standards will be implemented.

Read more of Pien's reporting on the EPA's first ever rule on PFAS in drinking water.

Want to hear more about health and human safety? Email us at shortwave@npr.org — we might cover your question on a future episode!

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan)

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Florida blocks heat protections for workers right before summer
Fri, 12 Apr 2024 14:07:14 -0400
A man works in a Florida agricultural field on a hot, humid day in July 2023, one of the hottest months ever recorded in the state. There are no federal heat regulations.

Miami-Dade County had proposed rules that would give workers breaks, water, and shade when it's too hot. But a new state law prevents cities and counties from doing that.

(Image credit: Chandan Khanna)

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Arizona attorney general says she won't enforce a 164-year-old abortion law
Fri, 12 Apr 2024 07:17:00 -0400

NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat who has vowed to not enforce a sweeping abortion ban upheld by the state's supreme court.

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