Health Highlights: Jan. 22, 2016

Health Highlights: Jan. 22, 2016

Health Highlights: Jan. 22, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

White House Should Lead Study of Crumb Rubber Turf: Senators

The White House should lead a "comprehensive" study into the potential health risks of crumb rubber turf used on sports fields and playgrounds, two senators said in a letter to President Barack Obama.

Crumb rubber turf is made of recycled tires and some have raised concerns that it may be linked with cancer.

That possible risk warrants closer investigation and the White House should "spearhead" a study that utilizes the expertise of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control, according to Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, NBC News reported.

"Given that millions of children and young athletes play on crumb rubber synthetic surfaces every day," any possible "correlation with cancer cannot be ignored," they wrote.

"We have received the letter [and] we appreciate the concern of the senators on this issue. The administration is aware of the issue and will respond to the senators soon," a White House spokesperson said, NBC News reported.


HPV Greatly Increases Head and Neck Cancer Risk

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection signficantly increases the risk of head and neck cancer, a new study says.

It was known that HPV can cause head and neck cancer, but the new findings reveal that the virus boosts the risk at least sevenfold and perhaps even more, NBC News reported.

The study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York included 96,000 people who were tested for HPV. Within four years, 132 had developed a head and neck cancer.

Those infected with a strain called HPV-16 were two to 22 times more likely to have developed a head and neck cancer, according to the findings in the journal JAMA Oncology.

It's believed that HPV causes 70 percent of all head and neck cancers, and experts say that by 2020 head and neck cancer will surpass cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related cancer, NBC News reported.

There are HPV vaccines and a mouthwash test for oral HPV infection can identify at-risk patients.
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