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June 2012 — CDC Public Health Law News

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Gavel Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Director's Note

Hello News Readers and welcome to summer 2012! We at the Public Health Law Program are pleased to announce a redesign of our website— Our goal is to add new materials as often as possible and to make finding resources and requesting assistance easier. Our first new resource, An Overview of Public Health Laboratory Legal Considerations, is noted below in the announcement section. Check it out and let us know what you think. Please note that with ten years of materials to migrate, the complete transition to the new site will be gradual. If you cannot find a resource that was on the old site, send us a note through the Technical Assistance request form and we'll do our best to get it to you as soon as possible. Thanks and enjoy June's edition!

Matthew S. Penn, Director
Public Health Law Program

In this Edition


Legal considerations for laboratory testing services. CDC's Public Health Law Program, Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, in collaboration with CDC's Laboratory Science, Policy and Practice Program Office, Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services are happy to announce the release of An Overview of Legal Considerations in Assessing Multijurisdictional Sharing of Public Health Laboratory Testing Services. CDC and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) launched the Laboratory Efficiencies Initiative (LEI) in 2001. In response to growing needs and demands placed upon public health laboratories, public health officials requested more information about the legal nexus surrounding public health laboratories. The report offers a brief overview of relevant federal and state legal considerations. Find more information and read the report.

Module on Aquatic Health Code open for public comment. The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) module on Lifeguarding and Bather Supervision is open for public comment through July 30, 2012. This module provides a first step toward improving consistency in training, lifeguard management and supervision, lifeguard competency for guarded facilities, and proper bather supervision at unguarded facilities. The module contains requirements for unguarded and guarded aquatic facilities, general requirements for lifeguard training, and more. Find more information and review the module.

Series of free webinars on safe routes to school. On June 7, 2012 the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership hosted a webinar, Federal Funding 201—How Safe Routes to School Projects Actually Get Built: An Overview of Obligation and Obligation Authority/Limitations. The webinar is the second in a series of free webinars and a follow up to SRTS's May 3, 2012 meeting, Federal Funding 101, which provided an overview of the Safe Routes to School Funding Process. Webinars are conducted on the first Thursday of every month starting at 2 pm EST, and are archived. See the June webinar and find more information.

State-by-state injury report. The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report was released on May 22, 2012 by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report concludes that "millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced." Find more information and read the report.

Call for proposals. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is calling for proposals regarding cross-jurisdictional sharing among multiple public health agencies. In the interest of better understanding these cross-jurisdictional sharing models, RWJF will provide two-year grants of up to $125,000 to up to 18 teams across the country that are exploring, implementing or improving cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangements to participate in the Shared Services Learning Community. Proposals are due by August 29, 2012. Find more information about the Shared Services Learning Community and how to apply.

Legal Tools

CDC recently released a report in MMWR showing that universal helmet laws, which require that all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet whenever they ride, can increase helmet use and save lives and money. The report includes an economic analysis of cost savings from motorcycle helmet use by state. To help underscore the importance of helmet use and the effect of universal helmet laws, CDC also released an updated version of Motorcycle Safety: How to Save Lives and Save Money (Motorcycle Safety Guide), and fact sheets highlighting state-by-state data on motorcycle-related deaths and economic costs. Find more information about motor vehicle safety and CDC's Injury Center.

George Washington University's Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program released a new online resource, Health Information and the Law. The new website is an online guide to federal and state laws governing use, release, access, and publication of health information. The website was created with support from The Robert  Wood Johnson Foundation. Find more information about Health Information and the Law.

Top Stories

South Carolina: SC revises hurricane emergency procedures
The State   (05/25/2012)   Joey Holleman

Beginning on June 1, 2012, the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, when the governor of South Carolina issues an evacuation order, the order is considered mandatory. The change is part of restructuring and clarifying the state's emergency procedures. Previously evacuation orders were called "voluntary evacuation orders," which left many citizens unsure of whether they should or were required to evacuate the coastline. Derrec Becker, spokesman for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, said, "[w]e're one of the last states to have a voluntary evacuation order. Instead, we'll just have an evacuation order by the governor, and that's it."

Other than dropping the term "voluntary," hurricane procedure will largely remain the same. Emergency officials will still warn residents and visitors of impending storms and direct them to begin leaving 48 hours before hurricane-force winds are expected to arrive. Evacuations are still not "mandatory"; Emergency officials do not force people to leave their homes, but they do remind stragglers that local agencies do not provide assistance during the storm.

University of South Carolina geography professor and national expert on disaster evacuations, Susan Cutter, praised the change as "an excellent strategy based on research on how people interpret the voluntary evacuation order." If individuals are allowed to interpret when the order becomes mandatory, evacuation officials cannot determine how many inland shelters are needed or when major road lanes should be reversed so they all lead away from the coast. "This way, when we tell you to go, you need to go. With the voluntary one, it was a bit ambiguous."

[Editor's Note: Find more information about the 2012 South Carolina Hurricane Guide. Also, please see this month's feature, Hurricane Alley, for more information about hurricane preparedness for individuals as well as state and national hurricane preparedness resources.]

National: Navy's next battle: Stopping 'bath salts'
Navy Times   (06/10/2012)   Gidget Fuentes

Naval officials are concerned about sailors abusing "bath salts." Similar to "spice," which is synthetic marijuana, bath salts are often sold legally and are undetectable in urine tests. "It's one of the reasons why these substances appear so popular in the military, vice in the civilian community. They actually market it to the fact that they don't pop positive on the standard urine drug screen," said Lt. George Loeffler, chief psychiatry resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

While sold and marketed as bath salts, the products are often given names like Ivory Wave or Vanilla Sky. The precise ingredients often vary but usually involve synthetic cathinones-mephedrone or methylenedioxpyroprovalerone, which is known as MDPV. The high mimics that obtained through cocaine and methamphetamine abuse.

Though bath salts have been the subject of drug enforcement and prevention attention, they were recently rocketed into the public spotlight after a man in Florida, suspected of abusing bath salts, was found eating another man's face.

The US Department of Defense banned spice in 2010 and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) banned it in March 2011. To further their anti-drug efforts on April 1, the Navy and Marine Corps began random drug testing for the chemicals found in spice. As with bath salts, testing for spice was initially difficult because the formulas vary from product to product. In October 2011, the DEA banned the use of mephedrone and MDPV.

[Editor's note: Learn more about bath salts [PDF - 142KB], spice and the DEA's 2011 MDPV ban.]

National: Risky rise of the good-grade pill
New York Times   (06/09/2012)   Alan Schwarz

Prescription stimulants like Adderal, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Focalin are listed as Schedule II controlled substances by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). While these drugs are often prescribed for individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), many teens and young adults are using the drugs illegally, without a prescription, in order to excel in increasingly competitive educational arenas.

According to one student, "[e]veryone in school either has a prescription or has a friend who does." A senior at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, who sells the pills to his peers, says he makes between $5 and $20 per pill. "They're A students, sometimes the B students, who are trying to get good grades. They're the quote-unquote good kids, basically," said the senior.

According to the DEA website, Schedule II Controlled Substances "have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence." IMS Health, a health care information company reports that the number of prescriptions for ADHD medications dispensed for young people ages 10 to 19 has risen 26 percent in the past five years, to nearly 21 million annually. While doctors and teenagers from more than 15 schools across the nation estimate that 15 to 40 percent of students abuse prescription stimulants, there is no reliable research on how many students take stimulants as a study aid. 

For many, abusing stimulants opens the door to much greater problems. "Children have prefrontal cortexes that are not fully developed, and we're changing the chemistry of the brain. That's what these drugs do. It's one thing if you have a real deficiency—the medicine is really important to those people—but not if your deficiency is not getting into Brown," said Paul L. Hokemeyer, a family therapist at Caron Treatment Centers in Manhattan, New York.

Briefly Noted

Delaware: Bill offering immunity to those detaining mental health patients fails
Emergency mental evaluation bill fails
Delaware Online   (06/06/2012)   Beth Miller

Florida: Motorcycle fatalities and organ donations rise after helmet laws repealed
'Donorcycles': Freedom to ride's unorthodox benefit?
South Florida Sun-Sentinel   (06/10/2012)   Nicole Brochu

Georgia: State Board of Pharmacy emergency rule bans synthetic marijuana
State enacts emergency rule to ban synthetic pot
Atlanta Journal Constitution   (06/12/2012)   Christian Boone

New York: Online prescription bill passes both houses
Drug tracking system passes both houses unanimously
Legislative Gazette   (06/12/2012)   Alli Sofer
[Editor's Note: Read the New York Senate and House Bills.]

North Carolina: New bill could consolidate health departments, may limit authority
Bill could change the look, Abilities of NC Public Health Departments
North Carolina Health News   (06/11/2012)   Rose Hoban

Pennsylvania: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act signed into law
Gov. Corbett signs bill to protect student athletes from sudden death
The Inquirer   (05/31/2012)   Bonnie L. Cook

Virginia: Proposed $2 million settlement in housing of people with disabilities suit
Emptying training centers sparks pivotal hearing today in federal court
Richmond Times-Dispatch   (06/08/2012)   Bill McKelway

National: Native American victims of rape seek justice
For Native American women, scourge of rape, rare justice
New York Times   (05/22/2012)   Timothy Williams
[Editor's note: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a cooperative agreement on cross-designating tribal prosecutors on June 5, 2012. Find more information and read the press release.]

National: High fructose corn syrup's "corn sugar" song isn't so sweet to FDA
FDA says just don't call it "corn sugar"
Food safety News   (05/31/2012)   Dan Flynn

National: FDA warns that benzocain can lead to methemoglobinemia
Parents of teething babies beware: Ingredients in common products can be dangerous for kids
Oregon Live   (05/31/2012)   Katy Muldoon

National: Federal Judge rules POM Wonderful used deceptive advertising
Pomegranate juice maker used deceptive ads, judge rules
Los Angeles Times   (05/22/2012)   Ryan Faughner

National: Arrests in 33 states & Puerto Rico in child pornography raids, 18 rescued
18 rescued in child pornography raids, feds say
CNN   (06/08/2012)

National: NIOSH suggests cancer coverage from World Trade Center Health Program
50 cancers recommended for 9/11 fund coverage
CNN   (06/09/2012)   Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley

This Month's Feature: Hurricane Alley

The Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30 and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season is May 15 through November 30, annually. Those living in coastal areas are at risk and should prepare themselves for hurricane season. Find information about hurricanes, hurricane season and hurricane preparedness on CDC's webpage, the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center or the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

State Hurricane Information
Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware [PDF - 99KB], District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington.

[Editor's note: While hurricanes can be quite rare in states bordering the Pacific Ocean, there are several other hazards, including tsunami and earthquakes, particularly relevant to costal evacuation plans.]

Court Opinions

Alabama: Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama has sovereign immunity
Ex parte Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama (In re Mary Ann Wilkinson v. Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama)
Supreme Court of Alabama
Case No. 1100993
Decided May 25, 2012
Opinion by Justice Alisa Kelli Wise

Minnesota: Plaintiffs' right to bring tobacco limited by Attorney General's authority
Curtis v. Altria Group, Inc.
Supreme Court of Minnesota
Case No. A10-0215
Filed May 30, 2012
Opinion by Justice Christopher J. Dietzen

Missouri: Drainage ditch drowning motion for summary judgment reversed
Phelps v. City of Kansas City, Mo.
Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District
Case No. WD 74287
Filed May 29, 2012
Opinion by Judge Gary D. Witt

Ohio: Smoke Free Act valid exercise of police power, does not constitute a taking
Wymsylo, Dir. v. Bartec, Inc., D.B.A. Zeno's Victorian Village [PDF - 99KB]
Supreme Court of Ohio
Case No 2011-0019
Decided May 23, 2012
Opinion by Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger

Federal: Class action atrazine joint motion for settlement approval
City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. [PDF - 25KB]
United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois
Case No. 3:10-cv-188-JPG-PMF
Ordered May 30, 2012
Memorandum and Order by District Judge J. Phil Gilbert

Federal: MSJ granted in EMTs' certification falsification and suspension case
Musgrave v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health [PDF - 69KB]
United States District Court, District of Massachusetts
Civil Action No. 11-11276-DJC
Filed June 1, 2012
Memorandum and Order by District Judge Denise J. Casper

Federal: FDA failure to withdraw certain classes of antibiotics' approval, MSJ granted
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. United States Food and Drug Administration [PDF - 2.31MB]
Case No. 11 Civ. 3562 (THK)
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
File June 1, 2012
Opinion by Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz

Federal: DOL whistleblower retaliation case remanded for further fact finding
Whitmore v. Department of Labor [PDF - 176KB]
Case No. 2011-3084
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
Decided May 30, 2012

About Public Health Law News

The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

The News is published by the CDC Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.


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News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Web sites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

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