Daily Briefing

Weekend reads: How to learn to love winter


How scientists determine whether a chemical is carcinogenic, what you can do to stop ruminating, and more.

Lex Ashcroft's reads

How scientists determine whether a chemical is carcinogenic. Throughout their lifetimes people will be exposed to numerous chemicals, which can come from various sources. To protect the public, health agencies evaluate both existing and new chemicals in a process called cancer hazard identification, and use these findings to determine their level of risk. Writing for The Conversation, professor of chemical and biological engineering Brad Reisfeld explains how chemicals cause cancer, how the carcinogenicity classification process works, and why some classifications have proven to be controversial.

What you can do to stop ruminating. Overthinking is normal. But for those who feel stuck in a never-ending mental loop of worry and problems, rumination may be the culprit: these are excessive and overwhelming thoughts that are so distracting that they interfere with your job or home duties. While rumination is not a mental health condition, it's important to know how to identify it. Writing for the New York Times, Hannah Seo explains how to determine if your thought patterns have moved past plain overthinking, who is more likely to experience rumination, and how to break the rumination cycle.

Allie Rudin's reads

Air pollution linked to depression and anxiety, study finds. While there is already attention on the physical risks of long-term air pollution exposure, like respiratory infection and lung cancer, a new study in the United Kingdom is raising awareness of the mental health effects. Emitted into the air with fossil fuel usage, certain pollutants are linked with a higher incidence of depression and anxiety. Kelly Kasulis Cho explains for the Washington Post what we know about the relationship between environmental factors like air quality and mental health.

How to learn to love winter. Spring is still months away, and some people are more impatient for its arrival than others. Especially if you live in a colder climate, winter often brings unpleasant effects like freezing temperatures, dry skin, and a gloomy or sluggish mood. However, this season doesn't have to be something endured while awaiting longer, warmer days. Writing for Vox's "Even Better," Allie Volpe consults with experts and takes inspiration from Nordic countries to provide strategies on staying safe, happy, and healthy all winter long.

 


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