Resources & Information

Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff. Note: Some links may require subscriptions.

As wildfires burn, scientists race to understand the health dangers of prolonged exposure

July 31, 2023
More than 120 million Americans — one-third of the U.S. population — have been living under air quality alerts this summer, with citizens in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit at times experiencing some of the unhealthiest air in the world. The hazy conditions, fed by an unprecedented surge in Canadian wildfires likely fueled by climate change, has grounded planes, canceled outdoor sporting events, and filled emergency rooms with asthma patients.

Although some cities are experiencing relief this week, the 1,000-plus blazes raging in boreal forests from British Columbia to Nova Scotia mean that Americans in the Midwest and eastern United States can expect more waves of eye-stinging, throat-burning smoke.

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An ultra-processed diet made this doctor sick. Now he’s studying why

July 24, 2023
Eating processed food is nothing new. Humans have been crushing grains to make bread for thousands of years. But in recent decades, our food supply has shifted, with an increasing number of ultra-processed products made with fillers, additives, stabilizers and synthetic ingredients that our grandparents wouldn’t recognize.

A recent analysis by the Access to Nutrition Initiative finds about 70% of food products sold in the U.S. are unhealthy — and much of the food can be classified as ultra-processed.

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8 mistakes to avoid if you’re going out in the heat

July 12, 2023
It’s hot — which shouldn’t come as a surprise in July. But this summer’s heat is breaking records around the world, and in the U.S. this week, a heat dome is afflicting the Southwest with ultrahigh temperatures. The East Coast is expected to be steamy, and parts of Southern California could hit 106 degrees by Saturday in what the National Weather Service has dubbed a summer of “excessive” weather.

Of course, it’s summer and you have things to do outdoors, from festivals to barbecues to mowing the lawn. We get it. But the heat can take a toll on your body, and you need to plan ahead when the temperature rises to extreme heat. “Don’t overdo it,” warns John Schumann, a primary care physician in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Heat can envelop and pummel you.”

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