Author: René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work. About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information. About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.

The Parent Ren, Part XI: God Almighty, Stop Testing Me!

Baby Ren is now full-fledged Toddler Ren. As such, she has started to question my authority. This is very common among Rens, and your mileage may vary. The word “No” has become a very prominent part of her vernacular, and it is pretty much the default answer to many of our requests. Still, with our adult brains being a little…

That Night… A Ridiculous Rant of Just Over 2,500 Words

It’s late February, 2000. I’m just a few months away from graduating college and finally leaving that place. I’ve been mindful of what I do because I don’t want to get into trouble. I’m driving around with a fake insurance card in my crappy car, so I don’t go over the speed limit and I heed all the traffic signs.…

The Hijacking of Fluorine 18.998, Part Three

In the last two blog posts (here and here), I told you about the history of fluoridation of water in the United States and other parts of the world. I told you how a dentist traveled out west to Colorado and, through observation and laboratory study, helped determine that adding fluoride to drinking water prevented tooth decay. Of course, the…

Aside

In case you haven’t heard, public health authorities in the United States caught on to a weird kind of lung damage syndrome that is strongly associated with vaping (aka “electronic cigarettes”). The syndrome manifests itself as lung damage that is acute and severe, leaving young people with lungs that work at the capacity seen in octagenarians.

There are hundreds of cases and some deaths reported, and we are all working on understanding this phenomenon further and doing something about it.

Speaking of doing something about it, it seems that the federal government is mulling a ban on electronic cigarettes. Some states and local governments have already done it, and it’s making people stock up on their supplies before it happens. So that is likely where this is going… While parents want to protect their kids from damaging their lungs permanently, and while sentiment on smoking is definitely not in its favor, we are probably going to have a nationwide ban on vaping products that are flavored, at the very least.

Personally, I am not in favor of a ban because bans create black markets for these products, making them harder to regulate and assure their safety. In my opinion, it is better to tax them into oblivion, allowing only those with the means to pay through the nose to pay for a safer product. We’ll see how it goes.

The Hijacking of Fluorine 18.998, Part Two

NOTE: This is the second of a three-part series on fluoride in drinking water and a recent study about it. You can read part 1 here. You can read part 3 here. In the last blog post, I told you all about how fluoride has been added to potable water systems in the United States and elsewhere based on the…

The Hijacking of Fluorine 18.998, Part One

NOTE: This is the first of a three-part series on fluoride in drinking water and a recent study about it. You can read part 2 here. You can read part 3 here. There is a cultural controversy dating back several decades that is very similar to the anti-vaccine controversy that we are dealing with today. Back in the early 1900s,…

The countries you’ll live in

I’m often amazed and somewhat troubled by the number of people who claim loudly and proudly that the United States of America is the best country in the world. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dismiss their claim immediately… I just have a hard time believing this trope from someone who has not stepped outside of the country. Or, if…