Tag: Risk

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As a Flight Attendant with an erratic schedule I am always conscious about keeping healthy. The new cry out there by the general public is the use of body scanners that emit radiation doses. What people really don’t know is the health risk that flying itself gives. Flying gives you more radiation exposure than the body scanners ever will. Two minutes flying at 30,000 feet will give you as much radiation as a body scan! And by the time you are at a normal cruising altitude of 39,000 feet the total radiation is much greater than what it is at sea level. Flying in the upper thinner portion of the atmosphere increases your radiation exposure and doubles with every 6,000 feet of altitude!

For people who don’t fly that much I don’t think this is a concern and remember you can always opt out of the body scanner which is your right. But this can put you at the mercy of a full body pat down, which can be a very unpleasant experience. But for Frequent Flyers and Flight Crews who fly commercial airlines at high altitudes, we are subjected to higher than normal radiation levels from the sun and cosmic rays. And in the event of a solar flare radiation is even worse. This raises a real health risk because we are exposed to more radiation than any other occupation out there!

It is amazing to me why our employers do not educate us about this risk. European carriers make it mandatory that Flight Crews be educated about cosmic radiation. And also I wonder why we are not monitored as most health professionals who frequently deliver x-rays and cancer treatments. It only takes about six or seven trips from New York to Narita Japan to exceed the general public limits. That is more than any health professional gets that delivers x-rays!

Everyone is exposed to some radiation every day. Cosmic radiation which comes from the sun is a form of Ionizing radiation; charged particles that go through our bodies all the time which unbalance us. But we are protected by most of them because the earth’s atmosphere absorbs much of this and deflects them before they reach us. So the higher you are the less atmosphere to protect you. And too much exposure can lead to tissue and genetic damage that cause cancer and other diseases.

We are all aware that the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can damage skin cells which may lead to skin cancers, but at a high energy it becomes ionizing radiation which can lead to chemical reactions inside cells and break DNA chains which mutate the cells and become cancerous. If it occurs in a sperm or egg it can result in birth defects which is why pregnant women should never be subjected to x-rays.

There is a tremendous amount of evidence that female flight attendants have higher rates of breast cancer then the rest of the population. We also must take into consideration that our life style of constantly crossing time zones can throw off our hormones, messes with our serotonin and dopamine which can also play a big part in causing cancer.

Luckily for most flight personnel, we don’t have to go through the body scanners because who wants that additional dose of radiation… But our Frequent Flyers are not so lucky. Although the machines they say are a very low level and not like an X-ray at all, experts claim the machines are not harmful. I believe it’s still too early to tell.

But although we are not going through the body scanners we are still at a higher risk. Robert Barish who is a physicist and author of “The Invisible Passenger: Radiation Risks For People Who Fly” says crewmembers are exposing themselves to more radiation than almost any other occupation out there.

So how much flying is too much?

There are two organizations “The U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements” and the “International Commission on Radiological Protection”. They both have established the radiation tolerance for air crews and the general public. A week’s worth of natural background radiation is about 2.4 mSv a year. The group goes on to …

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A recent mortality study conducted by the non-profit Society of Actuaries indicates that life expectancies for both women and men have increased by roughly two years since 2000. To be precise, the study showed that the average 65-year-old woman in the U.S. is expected to live 88.8 years, up from 86.4 in 2000. Life expectancy for the average U.S. man age 65 is now 86.6 years, up from 84.6 in 2000.

While this may be good news for retirees and their families, it’s not necessarily good news for their retiree medical benefits. Also known as “post-retirement health insurance,” these benefits are typically employer-sponsored benefit plans for retired workers 55 and older.

Many baby boomers covered by retiree medical plans are relying on future employer-paid medical benefits, but are likely to be disappointed to learn that these benefit plans can be changed or terminated. ERISA-governed benefits plans typically contain a “reservation of rights” provision allowing the plan sponsor to change or terminate all or parts of the plan.

Escalating health care costs and increased risk concerns have forced many employers to reduce or eliminate retiree medical benefits. In a recent survey titled “2015 Survey on Retiree Health Care Strategies,” Towers Watson uncovered additional factors influencing employers to reconsider their approach to retiree medical benefits, including:

— Increased financial reporting requirements for benefit-related balance sheet liabilities

— Ongoing administrative expenses

— ERISA obligations, such as reporting, disclosure, and fiduciary responsibilities

— Lack of an efficient funding vehicle

Traditionally, employers have been able to control expenses and risk by such cost-cutting measures as, for example, shifting costs to retirees, limiting or ending benefits for new hires, capping the company subsidy, and changing retiree eligibility requirements. Employers are finding, however, that these conventional actions are still falling short of the amount of cost and risk control needed.

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has created new ways for employers to meet the retiree medical needs, while still controlling cost and minimizing risk. For Medicare-eligible retirees, for example, nearly 80% of employers are either using or considering using the services of a private Medicare exchange to aid retirees with their individual coverage.

Additionally, new insurance products now allow employers to “de-risk” heir balance sheet by transferring the retiree medical benefit liability to an insurance company through the purchase of a group annuity. The annuity then allows retirees to receive tax-free funding for life, which they then can use for their medical benefits.

For pre-Medicare retirees, many employers have determined that the individual plan market and public health insurance exchanges will provide a functional alternative to employer-sponsored coverage. Towers Watson reports the following as part of their survey results:

— Eight percent of retiree medical plan sponsors are confident in the public exchanges as a viable alternative for 2015, with the confidence level rising to 35% by 2017.

— Fifty-three percent of employers surveyed said they will reassess their current approach to providing pre-Medicare health benefits by 2017 to take into account public insurance exchanges and federal subsidies.

— Seventeen percent of employers said they would consider ending coverage for pre-Medicare retirees altogether. When doing so, they would provide access via a private exchange which would then act as a coordinator to the public exchanges.

With public and private exchanges simplifying access to, and easing the process of buying individual plans, many employers will evaluate alternative retiree medical benefit strategies that will controls costs while still meeting retiree medical needs.

April, 2015

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Source by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.

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Doesn’t it, make sense, to be more willing to use, more extreme approaches, possibilities, and approaches, if there is a serious, and/ or, life – threatening, treatment, than, when, this doesn’t exist? Several years ago, I remember watching a television advertisement, for a prescription drug, for treating, foot – nail fungus. This product, perhaps, effectively treated its desired ailment, yet, when the contra – indications, etc, were listed, which included causing cancer, liver ailments, etc, I wondered, why, anyone, would use this, for a seemingly, less – than, life – threatening ailment. With that, and similar issues, considered, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 4 possible scenarios, and, whether, they are warranted, using the risk/ reward approach, and mindset.

1. Chronic ailments: Many of us, suffer, from one, or more, chronic ailments, especially, as we age. Some people learn to live, with the discomfort, and/ or, address it, by using some safe alternative remedy, and/ or approach. Others, either, are so uncomfortable, have such a low pain/ discomfort threshold, etc, they seek more aggressive treatments, and modalities. A chronic ailment, is one, which lingers, on an ongoing basis, either, consistently, or on a sporadic time – frame.

2. Acute ailments: Acute ailments are those, which come on, rather suddenly, and may, come from known, or unknown causes. Known causes may include injuries, due to falls, strains, etc, while, unknown ones, often, come from something, we may not even recall happening. The smart approach is to, first, recognize, and consider, the reasons, and causes for the discomfort/ ailment/ pains/ aches, etc, and, then, evaluate the possible remedies. It is always wise, to contact, and consult, a trusted, health professional, as soon as possible, in order to ensure, nothing is overlooked! Once, more serious ailments, and/ or, causes, have been ruled out, it is often wise, to consider alternatives, which may be safe, effective approaches.

3. Life – threatening illnesses: Obviously, if you are diagnosed with a life – threatening disease, such as cancer, etc, it makes sense to consider using a more aggressive treatment, with potential severe side – effects, than it is, for lesser ailments. If, without the treatment, your chances are somewhat poor, your risk is limited, and reward enhanced!

4. Options/ alternatives: If you don’t pay keen attention to taking care of yourself, no one else will! Examine your true needs, medical causes of your discomfort, and your options and alternatives. The lesser, the danger of the ailment, it is wise, to take fewer risks/ chances, and vice versa!

Take care of your health needs, by using the risk/ reward approach, and consideration! Doesn’t that make sense?

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Source by Richard Brody

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Abstract

The detrimental side effects of tattoos are known, but are often being ignored. Many just assume that tattooing is safe because of its popularity. Others simply fail to do their research before being injected with dies, plastics and paints. Many feel that since tattoo parlors are regulated, then the ink should be to, but that's just not true. The potential of infection with life changing infections is also present. The biggest health risk is due to heavy metal poisoning due to tattoo ink. There are things everyone should know before they are tattooed. I will endeavor to inform you of the major risks.

Risks
The risks associated with tattooing can be described as skin related diseases, end organ disease (liver, kidney, brain) and heavy metal poisoning. There are ways to avoid these effects of tattooing and I will share those with you. But first, let's look at some statistics.

According to Statistic Brain (2016),
• Americans spend a whopping 1.655 Billion dollars on tattoos annually.
• Americans that have at least one tattoo totals 45 Million people.
• The percentage of people who regret getting a tattoo is 17%.
• The percentage of Americans getting a tattoo removed is 11%.

Why are People Getting Tattoos?

These statistics are staggering numbers to me. It is surprising that this many people want to risk their health for skin art. People are motivated to get tattoos for a variety of reasons ranging from wearing art on their skin, remembering a loved one or to look sexy or dangerous. The motivation is unimportant for today's topic, but I just wanted to give you a little background.

The Dangers of Tattoo Ink Carriers

What are the dangers of tattoo ink carriers? Carriers are used to keep the ink, plastic or paint evenly distributed during application and inhibits the growth of pathogens (bacteria / viruses). Please understand that these ingredients are not regulated for use in tattooing by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in most states.
• Ethyl Alcohol – rubbing alcohol is for use externally and should not be injected into the skin. It can cause skin drying, irritation and can negatively affect nerves.
• Glycerin – it is the sugar alcohol glycerol and can cause increased urination and diarrhea.
• Listerine – is an alcohol based concoction of menthol, methyl salicylate, thymol (from thyme oil), and eucalyptol (liquid derived from eucalyptus oil). It can cause skin irritation and localized allergic reactions.
• Propylene Glycol – is the primary ingredient in antifreeze which can be damaging to your liver and kidneys.

The Dangers of Tattoo Ink

That was just the carriers. What is in each color of ink? Many of these inks have ingredients that you shouldn't apply to the skin, much less inject into the blood rick lower layer of skin. The epidermis is the outer layer of skin that is made up of dead skin cells and acts as a whole body bandage. It protects us from bacteria and viruses. The dermis is the living skin underneath the epidermis. Things injected into the dermis can be carried away by the bloodstream to all parts of the body. That's why we get infections when we have a cut or scrape of our skin. The protective epidermis is damaged.

What is in the ink? Most inks contain acrylic resin (plastic molecules), but they also contain other ingredients. They are listed below by color as per Helmenstine (2017) and my own research.

• Black ink – Iron oxide (rust), charcoal or carbon – this is probably the least dangerous ink. The amount of Iron oxide should be inadequate to cause iron toxicity. Ask the tattoo artist to use purified water as a carrier.
• Blue Ink – Copper, carbonite (azurite), sodium aluminum silicate (lapus lazuli), calcium copper silicate (Egyptian blue), cobalt aluminum oxides and chromium oxides. Copper can lead or contribute to heavy metal poisoning. Aluminum has been proven to attribute to Alzheimer's disease and gastrointestinal disorders.
• Brown ink – Iron oxide and iron ocher clay – this is probably as safe as black ink and for the same reasons.
• Green ink – Chromium oxide and Malachite, lead chromate and the synthetic …

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