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PFAS foam washing up on the shore of Van Ettan Lake.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Over the past two years, Michiganders across the state have become aware of the chemicals known as PFAS. They first made news when elevated levels were found in more than 20 private water wells in Oscoda. Now, there are 35 known contamination sites around the state.

Downtown Detroit
Mike Fritcher / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

New data show the range of life expectancies for different areas in the state.

The numbers are from the U.S. Small-Area Life Expectancy Estimates Project are broken down by census tract. Census tracts can range in size from half of an inner city neighborhood to an entire country, depending on population size.

neighborhood
Brandon Jacoby / Unsplash

Past research has indicated that where you live can affect your health. But what factors go into that, and how do you know just how bad or good your neighborhood is for you health?

The Flint River.
Sarah Razak / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

In the spring of 2014, Flint's water source was switched to the Flint River.

We know what happened when that untreated water leached lead from aging pipes, but in his story today for MLive, Flint journalist Ron Fonger revealed that before the water switch even happened, the state tested the Flint River and discovered rising levels of PFAS contamination. 

pollution
veeterzy / Unsplash

Michigan is one of the lowest ranking states when it comes to investing in public health. According to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, the results of underinvestment are clear.

Hand holding
User: Mrs. Logic/flickr

 


The world is still reeling from the recent deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef and writer Anthony Bourdain. These tragedies have drawn the country's attention as rates of suicide continue to climb.

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a new tool that Michigan cities can use to better understand their health care needs.

The NYU School of Medicine has developed what they call the City Health Dashboard, which looks at 36 key measures and drivers of health.   

Marc Gourevitch is the Dashboard’s principal architect. He says health problems like opioid abuse and obesity are tracked on the dashboard.

“Not only looking at health itself,” says Gourevitch, “but some of the things that cause health, like housing and transportation and air quality. So we try to bring all that together.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds Michigan is falling short of being prepared to respond to a health emergency.

John Auerbach is the president and CEO of Trust for America's Health. 

He says the Trust’s latest “Ready or Not” report finds Michigan meeting only three of ten main recommendations on public health preparedness.

Auerbach says it’s important that states like Michigan prepare now for future health threats.

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan is having a hepatitis A outbreak, and state health officials are encouraging those most at risk of getting it to get vaccinated. But the state also faces dwindling supplies of the hepatitis A vaccine.

A chicken visible through a chickenwire fence
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Keeping backyard chickens is getting more popular in Michigan, as more communities decide to let residents maintain backyard coops.

Megan Nichols is a public health veterinarian with the Centers for Disease Control. She says keeping backyard chickens is linked to salmonella outbreaks.

two men sit at a desk
Detroit Public Television / YouTube

Crime is down in Detroit, but the homicide rate in the city is still high. For all the talk about Chicago's murder rate, Detroit's per capita rate is higher.

One of the newest efforts to deal with the violence is an intervention initiative called D-LIVE, which stands for "Detroit Life Is Valuable Everyday." The program treats violent crime as a health care issue and goes into the hospital to talk to gunshot victims. 

Flickr user trinitycarefoundation / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In every country in the world, women are more likely than men to experience more stress, chronic disease, anxiety and be victims of violence. Yet, women live longer than men. Why? 

Wikimedia user Gyre / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new study finds reducing air pollution by just a little more would save about 9,000 lives each year in the United States.

Detroit is one of the cities the study finds could benefit the most from slightly tighter air pollution regulations. 

Helping fight Ebola in Monrovia
User: USAID / Flickr

  

The nurse who treated patients in West Africa and was held in quarantine over the weekend is set to return home to Maine. That's as controversy continues to swirl around quarantine policies announced by the governors of New Jersey and New York.

Dr. Howard Markel is with the University of Michigan School of Medicine, and he directs the Center for the History of Medicine.

CDC Global

Michigan has activated its Community Health Emergency Communications Center to coordinate statewide preparedness against the threat of the Ebola virus. The goal is for Michigan to be able to respond rapidly and effectively if a patient who may have, or is at risk for, the Ebola virus were identified in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder has designated Director of Michigan Department of Community Health Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis to lead the efforts.

"The public can be assured that the Department of Community Health is working with its partners across state government and in hospitals across the state to make certain we are maximizing protection for the population," said Davis.

Central Power Plant, Ann Arbor, MI
Press Release Distribution / prlog.org

A new study states that Michigan is one of five states that would see the most public health benefits from the EPA's proposal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. 

MCM Management Corp.

Detroit is in the middle of one of the most ambitious demolition campaigns the nation has ever seen, tearing down about 200 houses every week.

Many of the homes being razed are in neighborhoods where people still live. So Detroit officials sat down before the blitz to come up with some new regulations designed to keep people safe from dust, and from hazardous materials that could be in that dust – like lead, or asbestos.

Lindsay Fox / Flickr

You may have seen someone firing one up in a restaurant – where you thought smoking was banned. Maybe a friend or relative uses them. Or maybe you have tried to kick a cigarette habit by using one: an electronic cigarette.

These are the battery-powered inhalers that are loaded with a replaceable or refillable cartridge of liquid “juice” that can contain nicotine, solvents and flavors.  Puffing on an e-cig is called “vaping.” And there’s little doubt vaping is here to stay.

Sales of e-cigs have grown from around $500 million in 2012 to around $1.5 billion last year. 

Right now, there’s no regulation on e-cigs, beyond the FDA telling e-cig makers they may not market their products as a way to quit smoking.  And there’s nothing to keep the e-cigs from being sold to minors.

That has ignited debate in Lansing.

Associated Press reporter Emma Fidel has been looking into the state’s efforts to keep e-cigs out of the hands of kids under age 18.

Listen to the full interview above.