What We're Reading: DOJ Addresses Reinstatement of Abortion Law; Chemical Linked With Premature Death; Flu Season for Minorities

DOJ requests federal appeals court to block grant of stay for Texas' abortion law; common synthetic chemicals linked with premature death; influenza hospitalization and death more likely in pediatric minority populations.

DOJ Asks Appeals Court to Block Implementation of Texas Abortion Law

As reported by CBS News, the Department of Justice (DOJ) requested the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to block the Texas abortion law from going into effect after it was granted a temporary reinstatement last week by a 3-judge panel on the federal appeals court. Following a temporary injunction on October 6 that blocked the enforcement of the law as the case proceeds, the temporary stay issued by the lower court’s ruling came 2 days later, which bans abortions after 6 weeks into a pregnancy–often before many women know they are pregnant. The DOJ argued the law is unconstitutional and said that its reinstatement would cause irreparable harm to individuals.

Synthetic Chemicals Linked With Premature Death

According to a new study published Tuesday in Environmental Pollution, synthetic chemicals called phthalates, which are found in consumer products such as shampoo, makeup, perfume, and children’s toys, were linked with premature deaths among 91,000 to 107,000 US adults aged 55 to 64 per year. Reported by CNN, findings of the study indicated that those with the highest levels of phthalates exposure were at greater risk of death from any cause, particularly cardiovascular mortality. Study authors estimated $40-$47 billion in lost economic productivity were linked with the associated deaths.

Influenza Hospitalization, Mortality Risk Greater in Minority Populations

As flu season begins to take shape amid lingering fears of COVID-19, an article by The Washington Post highlighted findings of a recent study indicating that young children who are Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native are more likely than White children to be hospitalized and die from influenza. Results of the JAMA Network Open study were based on 113,352 flu hospitalizations in the United States between 2009 and 2019, with the greatest disparities found in children younger than 5 whose in-hospital mortality was 3 to 4 times higher in minority groups compared with non-Hispanic White children.