Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Chemical Suicides Increasing in U.S.
The use of chemical suicide by Americans is increasing and this
trend could put emergency responders at risk.
Chemical suicide is popular in Japan, where it is called
detergent suicide. It involves mixing common household chemicals to
create a poisonous cloud of gas in an enclosed space. It's believed
that more than 2,000 people in Japan have used this method to kill
The New York Times reported.
There have been 72 documented cases of chemical suicide in the
United States since 2008. There were 36 such suicides in the
country last year, but there have been at least 27 so far this
Of the 72 documented cases, at least 80 percent resulted in
injuries to firefighters, police officers, emergency workers or
civilians, Deputy Chief Jacob Oreshan, of the New York State Office
of Fire Prevention and Control, told
These injuries have occurred despite efforts by victims of
chemical suicide to protect others by placing warning signs on car
windows or closet doors, said Oreshan, who has been tracking the
U.S. to Help Vietnam With Agent Orange Cleanup
The first phase of a joint U.S.-Vietnam plan to clean up
environmental damage from the chemical Agent Orange began Friday at
a former U.S. military base in central Vietnam.
The herbicide, which was used sprayed by U.S. aircraft to
destroy North Vietnamese guerilla fighter's jungle cover, was
stored at the base during the Vietnam War, the
Associated Press reported.
The first step of the cleanup plan involves checking areas
around the Danang airport for unexploded ordnance. Once that's
done, dioxin will be removed from soil and sediment at the
Dioxin, a chemical used in Agent Orange, has been linked to
birth defects and cancers.
As many as 3 million people in Vietnam have suffered health
problems due to Agent Orange exposure, according to the country's
Red Cross. But the U.S. has said the number is far lower, the