Study Says Arsenic May Be Poisoning California Prison's Water – Kaiser Health News

Even people living in neighboring rural communities near the Kern Valley State Prison may be at risk, the study warns, with arsenic levels above regulatory limits for possibly years at a time. Separate reports blast California's water treatment systems, potentially causing long-term health issues.
The Hill: Dangerous Arsenic Levels May Be Lurking In California Prison Water: Study
Incarcerated Californians — and those who live in neighboring rural communities — may be exposed to dangerous levels of arsenic in their drinking water, a new study has found. Arsenic concentrations in the water supply of the Kern Valley State Prison and three nearby Central Valley communities exceeded regulatory limits for months or even years at a time, according to the study, published on Wednesday in Environmental Health Perspectives. (Udasin, 9/21)
Capitol Weekly: California's Water Treatment Systems Not Up To Snuff, Auditor Says 
Already battered by drought, dwindling supplies and climate change, California’s water treatment systems also suffer from problems that raise the specter of long-term health issues, according to a state report. Those findings – and others – were contained in an audit  by Michael Tilden, California’s acting state auditor. The audit, released in July, focused on the State Water Resources Control Board (better known as the Water Board), which regulates the condition of water across California. (Watts, 9/15)
In other health news from across the U.S. —
AP: Senate Leader: NC Hospitals' Medicaid Proposal Not 'Serious' 
North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger on Tuesday called an offer from state hospitals to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of the working poor “not a serious proposal,” saying loosened regulations for medical construction projects didn’t go far enough. Berger’s dismissal of the proposal late last week from the North Carolina Healthcare Association short-circuited any expectations — though much improved compared to months ago — that a Medicaid expansion agreement could be at hand. Still, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, an expansion advocate, urged Berger separately Tuesday to make a counteroffer. (Robertson, 9/20)
The Baltimore Sun: Coronavirus, Inflation Push Up Cost Of Health Insurance In Maryland
Those who buy their own health insurance in Maryland will pay an average of 6.6% more next year, about 4.4% less than the carriers requested, according to the Maryland Insurance Administration, which approved the increases. (Cohn, 9/20)
Public Health Watch: A Free Medical Clinic Opened In Rural East Texas. Thousands Poured In For Help. 
Juanita Franklin was driving through the East Texas town of Gun Barrel City a couple of years ago when she saw a new sign down the road from the Christian Life Center food pantry where she volunteers. It promised something she desperately needed: “Healthcare Access for All!” Franklin, whose left leg is amputated below the knee and has chronic high blood pressure and thyroid problems, is among the 18% of Texans who are trying to survive without health insurance. That’s the highest state rate in the country by far and more than double the national average. The rate is even higher — nearly 30% — among the 6,400 residents of Gun Barrel City. (Krisberg and Leffler, 9/21)
Las Vegas Review-Journal: New Affordable Health Center Opens Near Downtown Las Vegas
Fremont Public Health Center, an arm of the Southern Nevada Health District, is now open and offering primary care and family planning services. Located at 2830 Fremont St., near Charleston Boulevard, the federally qualified health center provides services on a sliding fee scale and accepts insurance, health district representative Jennifer Sizemore said. (Hynes, 9/20)
In monkeypox updates —
CIDRAP: Boston Public Schools Reports First Monkeypox Case
Boston public schools (BPS) yesterday announced the first monkeypox case in an "adult member of the BPS community," according to a letter sent to parents. The school district said the person was isolating at home, and the district was working to identify exposed individuals. (9/20)
Dallas Morning News: John Wiley Price Calls Out Dallas County Health Chief For ‘Unacceptable’ Monkeypox Poster
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price condemned the health department on Tuesday for using a picture of a Black man on a poster about a monkeypox vaccination effort. Posters in both English and Spanish on a free monkeypox pop-up clinic included an illustration of a Black man. Price called the poster “unacceptable” in the regular Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting. (Peterson, 9/20)
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