Briefs: Local Health January 20, 2009

Not wise to ignore medicine cabinet

• American College of Emergency Physicians wants the public to use the New Year as a reason to clean out and restock the medicine cabinet.
Like refrigerator items, medicine cabinet supplies pile up and expire. In addition, showers and baths create humidity in a bathroom that may cause some drugs to lose potency, said Dr. Nick Jouriles, president of the American College.
“If a pill loses potency, you may not be getting the necessary dosage of medication,” he said. “Holding onto several old prescriptions can also increase the risk of taking the wrong pill.”
In fact, the bathroom medicine cabinet may not be the best place to store over-the-counter or prescription medications because children can sometimes easily access medicine cabinets, the American College said.
The American College also encourages making a list of all the items important to have in a medicine cabinet, such as materials for minor cuts and medicines for common problems such as heartburn or headaches.

Radon testing advised in wintertime

• January is Radon Awareness Month, and the Mesa County Health Department is using this month as a reminder to residents to test their homes for elevated levels of radon.
The colder, winter months are the best time to test for radon because windows and doors are normally kept closed.
Radon is an odorless, invisible and tasteless gas. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States, according to the Health Department.
Test kits are $5 and can be purchased at the Health Department.
For information on radon testing and mitigation, or to get a test kit, call 683-6647 or visit

Weight-loss study seeks participants

• E-fit, a Grand Junction workout and health center, is looking for 50 people willing to participate in a weight-loss study.
Participants must be at least 50 pounds overweight, must be able to visit the facility at least three times a week for 30 minutes, must be willing to complete a confidential consultation at the beginning and end of study and have no medical restriction to prevent them from exercising.
All participants in the weight-loss study will have free use of E-fit for three months, free exercise and nutrition plans, free use of saunas, free weekly classes and free use of personal trainers.
For information and to sign up, call 245-3348 or stop by the center at 2829 North Ave., No. 103.

Company aims to fight motion sickness

• A Colorado-based company has created a product to deal with motion sickness.
The YakPak was developed in Littleton for travelers who get sick on planes, trains or automobiles and want an easier way to clean up the mess and eliminate odor.
The pack fits in a vehicle’s glove compartment or a handbag.
Every pack has a motion sickness bag and absorbent lap pad to protect surfaces.
A pack also has vomit absorbent/odor neutralizer, scoop and scraper for removal, non-latex gloves, antimicrobial wipes and a heavy-duty cloth and a biohazard bag for removal.
The YakPak is $8 per pack or $7 per pack when six or more are ordered at


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