Health Highlights: June 22, 2020
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Pot Legalization Could Lead to More Road Deaths: Studies
Marijuana legalization could result in more road deaths, two new studies suggest.
One study concluded that Colorado had an extra 75 traffic deaths a year after it legalized retail marijuana sales, compared with other states that didn't legalize marijuana, but there was no increase in road deaths after Washington state legalized the drug, the Associated Press reported.
The second study used data from four states where recreational pot sales are legal -- Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska -- and concluded that an extra 6,800 people would die each year if every state legalized marijuana.
However, the researchers couldn't prove a cause-and-effect link between marijuana legalization and the increases in traffic deaths, only an association between the two.
The studies were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Air Quality 'Hazardous' as Giant Dust Cloud Engulfs Caribbean
The U.S. could be hit by a gigantic cloud of dust from the Sahara desert that's currently smothering the Caribbean.
Experts say the size and concentration of the dust cloud is greater than anything seen in half a century, the Associated Press reported.
In many parts of the Caribbean, air quality reached record "hazardous" levels and people were warned to stay indoors and use air filters if available.
"This is the most significant event in the past 50 years," Pablo Mendez Lazaro, environmental health specialist, University of Puerto Rico, told the AP. "Conditions are dangerous in many Caribbean islands."
While there are concerns about the effect the dust will have on people with COVID-19 respiratory symptoms, Lazaro said concentrations were so high in recent days that even healthy people could be at risk, the AP reported.
Children's Robitussin Honey Cough And Chest Congestion DM Recalled
Two lots of Children's Robitussin Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM and one lot of Children's Dimetapp Cold and Cough have been recalled because they have incorrect dosing cups that could put children at risk of an overdose.
The dosing cups for Children's Robitussin Honey are missing the 5 mL and 10 mL graduations, while the dosing cups for the Children's Dimetapp are missing the 10 mL graduation. The dosing cups with both products only have the 20 mL graduation, according to GSK Consumer Healthcare.
There is a risk of an accidental overdose if adults dispensing the products don't notice the discrepancies between the graduations printed on the dosing cups and the label's indicated amounts to be given to children, the company warned.
The recall is for: Children's Robitussin Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM (4oz)
NDC 0031-8760-12, Lots: 02177 (Exp. Jan. 2022), 02178 (Exp. Jan. 2022); and Children's Dimetapp Cold and Cough (8oz), NDC 0031-2234-19, Lot: CL8292 (Exp. Sep. 2021).
The lots were distributed across the United States between Feb, 5, 2020, and June 3, 2020.
For more information, consumers can call 1-800-762-4675, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm EST.
Skin-Lightening Products Dropped by Johnson & Johnson
Products sold as dark-spot reducers but used by some people to lighten skin tone will soon be taken off the market, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson said.
Neutrogena Fine Fairness and Clear Fairness by Clean & Clear were sold in Asia and the Middle East, but not in the United States, The New York Times reported.
"Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our Neutrogena and Clean & Clear dark-spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone," according to a statement from Johnson & Johnson. "This was never our intention -- healthy skin is beautiful skin."
The company said links to both products are being removed from its website, but added that the products may still be on store shelves "for a short while," the Times reported.
In related news, Band-Aid last week announced that it would start selling bandages meant to match different skin tones.
The company, which is also owned by Johnson & Johnson, said it offered bandages with different skin tones in 2005 but discontinued them "due to lack of demand," the Times reported.
"Since then, we've seen conversation increase on this topic and we were planning to bring a new offering to the market for diverse skin tones," Band-Aid said in a statement.