Articles on Public health

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Face masks like these, modeled by students from the Peltier Aerosol Lab, vary widely in effectiveness against fine particle pollution. Richard E. Peltier

Millions rely on cheap cloth masks that may provide little protection against deadly air pollution

Inexpensive cloth face masks, worn by many people in heavily polluted countries, offer only partial protection. Instead governments should warn people to avoid exposure and work to clear the air.
A woman looks at a CDC health advisory sign about Zika at Miami International Airport Carlo Allegri/Reuters

US response to Zika: Fragmented and uneven

Politics, not epidemiology or medicine, drives government responses to disease. Politicians are the ultimate decision-makers in public health, and they must respond to political forces.
Universities, journals and academics are increasingly concerned about the attempts of some industries to distort the science. lipik/Shutterstock

When industry-sponsored research is on the nose

A tin pot dictator plunders billions from his blighted nation’s treasury. Sensing he’ll soon be exiled, amid public relations fanfare, he offers ill-gotten millions to a local university for a new school…
Jefferson County Sheriff Cadet Andrew Sevitts directs traffic as police stop drivers to see if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at a mobile Driving Under the Influence (DUI) checkpoint in Golden, Colorado in 2008. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Drunk driving laws don’t match the research

Research suggests lower blood alcohol concentration limits and interventions like ignition interlocks can make a big difference.
In addition to a shortage of public toilets, current innovations in their design may not be suitable for an ageing population. AAP/City of Sydney

Caught short: we need to talk about public toilets

Millions of people need to be confident that suitable public toilets will be available when they leave their homes. A shortage of such facilities is a serious problem for an ageing population.
People enjoy the green space of parks, but often their activities are of a fairly passive nature. AAP/Bimal Sharma

Most people just park themselves, so how do we promote more healthy activity in public parks?

Parks are found in most neighbourhoods, generally free to use and are enjoyed by diverse groups. Although most visitors don't use parks for physical activity, modest improvements can change that.

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