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5 Things You Need to Know Now for Your Health (November 16, 2018)

by Meghan Arnold | Posted November 16, 2018

Welcome to our weekly news update! Each week, we’ll bring you the health and wellness news you need to know to help you and your family live your best life.

Beware salmonella in your Thanksgiving turkey, warns the CDC

The CDC has just reported that there’s a turkey salmonella outbreak, just in time for the bird’s big annual debut. A total of 164 people, spread across 35 states, have fallen ill from raw turkey originating from several locations. There have been no official specific recalls yet, but this is your friendly reminder to thaw your turkey in the fridge (not on the kitchen counter), keep your raw meat away from other foods that you’re preparing, wash your hands regularly, and make sure your turkey has been cooked to a minimum of 165°F before serving. (Gizmodo)

Your weekly exercise quota can come in super-short bursts

While you still need to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week, you don’t have to do it in 10-minute or longer stints. That was the former recommendation from the government-backed Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, whose latest guidelines say “anything that makes the heart beat faster” counts. This is great news for those who can’t make it to the gym regularly or in general don’t have long stretches of time to devote to breaking a sweat (the holidays, anyone?). Exercise (brisk walking, jogging, lunges in place) whenever you can to help cleanse your lymphatic system, boost your heart health and mood, and ward off those extra pounds Thanksgiving might gift you. (CNN)

EPA delays ban on a deadly toxin, but retailers stop selling it anyway

A quiet standoff on the potentially lethal chemical methylene chloride (DCM) has been going on in recent months. Several major retailers including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sherwin Williams have said they will stop selling paint remover products that contain the chemical, but the EPA has delayed a ban on DCM they had proposed January of 2017. This despite the 50 DCM-related deaths since 1980. Politics aside, this is an important chemical to monitor for the sake of your health. It can be found in popular brands including Goof-Off, Strypeeze, Klean Strip, and Jasco. (NPR)

Visualizing your home air quality might help clean it up

Winter means spending more time indoors, where the air pollution can be worse than it is outdoors. So engineers from the University of Utah School of Computing recently conducted a social experiment to see whether homeowners would change their habits if they could see the air pollutants in their homes. It worked: When study participants saw air pollutant levels rise after doing things like vacuuming and dusting (which kicks up dust) and cooking with olive oil (which produces smoke), they were more likely to open windows, buy air filters, and avoid rooms with more pollutants. Find more ideas on how to detox your home here. (Medium)

Everything has a season — even infectious disease

The phrase “flu season” can strike dread into our hearts, but other illnesses can also follow a seasonal pattern. Micaela Martinez, an environmental health researcher at Columbia University, has studied 70 infectious diseases and looked at aspects of each that could be attributed to a given time of year. In this interview, she explains the correlations between illnesses and the calendar. Check it out for insights on staying well year-round. (Science Friday)

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Dr. Bill Rawls

ABOUT BILL RAWLS, M.D.

Dr. Rawls graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in 1985 and he holds a medical license in North Carolina. He also has extensive training in alternative therapies and is Medical Director of Vital Plan, an herbal supplement company in Raleigh, N.C.

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