Live Well Work Well – November 2016

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Check Your Tap Water for Chromium-6

A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization, revealed that there are higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6 in the tap water being supplied to two-thirds of all Americans. EWG published an interactive map that lists its water testing results on a county-by-county basis.

Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and can be produced in high quantities by industrial projects. In addition to being a known carcinogen, chromium-6 can also cause burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth.

If you live in an area that has high levels of chromium-6, consider purchasing a filter to remove the chemical from your water. The following are the most common filters used:

  • Ion exchange water treatment units – These units are effective in removing chromium-6. However, they need to be monitored, maintained and replaced fairly frequently.
  • Reverse osmosis filters—These filters are often more affordable and practical for residential use and are easier to find at local stores. However, they use much more energy, and you must dispose of the filtered materials.

If you aren’t sure what filter is best for you, visit EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide for further guidance.

Important Updates: 2016 Flu Vaccine

As the 2016-2017 flu season approaches, now is a great time to get vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.

Unlike their recommendations during past flu seasons, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, for the 2016-2017 season due to concerns over its effectiveness, especially in children. The CDC and AAP are now only recommending the injectable flu vaccine.

Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses while others protect against four viruses. Consult your physician to determine which shot is best for you. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine at a local health department, pharmacy or urgent care clinic.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season.