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Published: August, 2021; Vol 18, Num 4

 

Health & Safety Headlines

Overdose Deaths Soar to Record in 2020

It’s now estimated that over 93,000 people died from overdoses during 2020, a 29 percent increase from 2019. According to experts, isolation and the difficulty of getting treatment during the pandemic are likely causes. After several years in a row of overdose deaths being relatively flat or declining, this is a major step backwards in our nation’s fight to stop overdose deaths. Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic is not over, and construction workers are at a greater risk than the general population.

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Sunscreen Over Carcinogen

Five aerosol sunscreens, including Aveeno Protect + Refresh and Neutrogena sunscreens Beach Defense, CoolDry Sport, Invisible Daily Defense and UltraSheer are being recalled after benzene, a known human carcinogen, was found in the products. The recall includes all can sizes and all levels of SPF. Some CVS sunscreens have also been pulled from shelves after similar findings. Valisure, a third-party company, has published an extensive list of sunscreens that have been tested and confirmed not to include this harmful chemical.

Going to Bed Early May Improve Mental Health

A new study suggests that people who go to bed early and wake up early may be less likely to suffer from depression than people who consider themselves “night owls.” The study found that moving up bedtime by one full hour could reduce depression risk by as much as 23 percent. Researchers suggest a number of reasons for this, including more sleep overall and less blue light from smartphones late in the evening. While the study didn’t prove a direct connection between early sleep and reduced depression, it’s certainly worth a try as an easy way to boost overall mental health.

The Pandemic Gave Americans New Reasons to Drink

About 75 percent of Americans increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic, with many specifically mentioning pandemic-related stress as the reason why. Women increased their drinking by more than men overall, to the point that drinking levels between the two genders became almost equal. Alcohol remains the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., showing the clear need to continue providing resources that help people deal with stress in healthy ways.

[Nick Fox]