Monday, October 31, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

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EPA To Boost Blood Screening For Lead In Midwest Children

NPR reports on a new plan from the Environmental Protection Agency to screen more kids for lead in their blood, alongside other measures to reduce lead exposure. In other news, undetected hearing loss, “almond moms” on TikTok, dialysis services on the ballot in California, and more.

NPR / Midwest Newsroom:
EPA To Screen More Midwest Kids’ Blood To Tackle Lead Threat

A study shows about half of children in the United States have detectable levels of lead in their blood, despite federal regulations that ban or restrict its use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new strategy to reduce exposure, particularly in low-income and communities of color that are disproportionately affected. (Horton, 10/28)

In other health and wellness news —

From California and Massachusetts —

California Patients Fear Fallout From Third Dialysis Ballot Measure 

Toni Sherwin is actually looking forward to the procedure that will relocate her dialysis port from her chest to her arm, which will be easier to keep dry. Since she started dialysis in February — as part of blood cancer treatment — she has washed her hair in the sink and stayed out of her pool to prevent water from getting into the port. Three times a week, Sherwin, 71, drives to a dialysis clinic in Elk Grove, California, the suburb south of Sacramento where she lives, and lies tethered to a machine for about four hours while it filters her blood. The treatment exhausts her, but she feels well cared for and knows the clinic workers will call the police if she doesn’t show up for an appointment and they can’t get in touch with her directly. (Bluth, 10/31)

The Boston Globe:
More Dental Insurers Spend To Stop Question 2

Until this month, the opposition to a state ballot question requiring that a large share of dental insurance premiums be spent on care was almost entirely financed by one company: Delta Dental of Massachusetts. It looks like the reinforcements have arrived. (Chesto, 10/30)

Here are the the winners of this year’s Halloween haiku contest —

Readers Boo Medical Debt And Viral Threats In Winning Halloween Haikus 

You did it again, readers! We received more than three dozen Halloween haiku submissions in KHN’s fourth annual Halloween haiku contest. Our expert panel of judges took the ghastly challenge of choosing the best head-on … or off. Here’s the winner, which was recited by Julie Rovner on last week’s “What the Health?” podcast, plus a sampling of finalists illustrated by Oona Tempest. The judges’ favorites drew inspiration from real-life viral outbreaks and the burden of haunting medical bills. Keep an eye on KHN’s social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) for more of our favorites. Enjoy! (10/31)

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