Public Health News Roundup: June 13
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced new regulations requiring railroads to install signs at rail and train pathway crossings with toll-free phone numbers the public can use to alert railroad companies to unsafe conditions, such as malfunctioning warning signals, vehicles stuck on the tracks or other emergencies. The new rules take effect by 2015. Railroads receiving the calls will contact local law enforcement for immediate action and must take steps to correct any confirmed problems. According to DOT, there are about 200,000 public and private rail crossings in the nation. Read more on safety.
A survey by researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health finds that inmates at two New York state prisons regularly misuse common pharmaceutical products such as antibiotic cream as shaving cream, skin lotion and lip balm. The researchers say the misuse of the products can result in antibiotic resistance, especially because methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has increased at correction facilities and could also pose a risk in the community when prisoners are released. Read more on antibiotic resistance.