Springtime allergies are an annual nuisance for many people. Mold growth increases due to rain and many plants begin releasing pollen. Likewise, spring-cleaning activities can stir up dust mites.
To reduce your allergies, be sure to take the following steps:
• Wash your bedding every week in hot water to help keep pollen under control.
• Wash your hair before going to bed, since pollen can accumulate in your hair.
• Wear an inexpensive painter’s mask and gloves when cleaning, vacuuming or painting to limit dust and chemical inhalation and skin exposure.
• Vacuum twice a week.
• Limit the number of throw rugs in your home to reduce dust and mold.
• Make sure the rugs you have are washable.
• Change air conditioning and heating air filters often.
A study recently published in the Journal of Finance suggests that companies facing money problems were more likely to experience workplace injuries, which, in turn, compounded those companies’ financial struggles.
Specifically, the study examined data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and found a number of correlations:
• The workplace injury rate increased when the company received a negative cash flow shock.
• The workplace injury rate decreased when the company received a positive cash flow shock.
• As workplace injuries increased, company value decreased substantially.
Experts suggest that OSHA officials might use this information as they conduct investigations—using a company’s financial condition as a possible indicator of an increased likelihood of workplace injuries.
And, given how costly workplace injuries are to companies—in terms of workers’ compensation costs, safety repairs and upgrades, and fines—companies should remain vigilant about workplace safety, even in the face of a negative cash flow shock.
A U.S. House of Representatives investigative panel plans to hold a 2016 hearing on skyrocketing drug costs. The panel is conducting an investigation into drug pricing and has reached out to drug companies to gather information.
One of the drug companies being investigated is Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. The panel is looking into allegations that the company has been involved in questionable billing practices, as well as examining the company’s relationship with the specialty pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services.
Valeant first disclosed its ties to Philidor late last month, amid concerns over the pharmacy’s tactics to get insurers to pay for Valeant medications. It has since severed ties with the pharmacy, saying it has lost confidence in Philidor after questions about its business practices.
Valeant is also facing investigations by prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts over its drug pricing and its programs that provide financial assistance to help patients cover out-of-pocket expenses for their medications.
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in recent years. While many adult smokers switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit tobacco, teenagers are the largest and fastest growing population for e-cigarette use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products reported that e-cigarette use among teens tripled in 2014.
While e-cigarettes are commonly believed to be a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, very little is known about their effect on the body. Research has found that e-cigarette vapors produce particles containing harmful chemicals. These chemicals can harm lung tissue and worsen acute respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Consider limiting your use of e-cigarettes until further research has been conducted.