Knoxville, Tennessee is the worst U.S. city for spring allergies. For its 2012 ranking of 100 cities, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America took into account 3 criteria – tree pollen prevalence, number of allergy medications used by residents and number of allergy specialists. Louisville, Kentucky is the second worst city followed by Charlotte, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and Chattanooga, Tennessee. According to the AAFA, 40 million Americans suffer from indoor-outdoor allergies as their primary allergy; and allergy is the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S. for people of all ages. Obviously, these numbers are “nothing to sneeze at”.
Cincinnati is the U.S. city that had the most bedbug treatments in 2011. In fact, Cincinnati and Chicago were also ranked first and second in 2010. According to Rollins, a corporation that owns 7 pest control companies – including Orkin – there was a 33.6% increase in the bedbug business compared to 2010. Detroit moved from fourth to third in the rankings, Denver moved from sixth to fourth and Los Angeles moved from twenty-fifth to fifth. Of the 50 cities that were ranked by Rollins, West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Florida was ranked last. It was the least “bed-eviled”.
Wyoming is the state with the cheapest gasoline. That’s according to a 2012 study by 24/7 Wall St. Colorado is second followed by Montana, South Carolina and Utah. Four factors affect gasoline price. First is proximity to oil fields or pipelines, which affects the cost of transporting crude to refineries. Second is number of refineries. Wyoming has six and Connecticut has none. Third is low cost of living and low median income because states with these can’t sustain higher prices. Fourth is tax. States with low excise tax on gas have lower gas prices. Those four factors take gas out of price “gas-ps”.
Better-educated counties in the U.S. are healthier. A study published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked more than 3,000 counties using more than 30 criteria - including healthcare, smoking, obesity and high school graduates. Overall, the study found heavy drinking was highest in northern states; and teen births, sexually transmitted diseases and children in poverty were highest in southern states. Motor vehicle deaths were lowest in the Northeast and upper Midwest; and unemployment was lowest in the Northeast, Midwest and central Plains. If education makes us healthier, let us “live and learn”.