Health Highlights: May 1, 2019

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

Weed Killer in Roundup is Safe: EPA

Despite thousands of lawsuits from people claiming that the weed killer glyphosate caused their cancer, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency said Tuesday that the active ingredient in Roundup is safe.

In draft findings from a periodic review, the EPA stated that glyphosate “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” the Associated Press reported.

Bayer has said it faces U.S. lawsuits from 13,400 people over exposure to glyphosate. Bayer acquired Roundup maker Monsanto last year.

The EPA is relying on industry-backed studies and not looking at research linking glyphosate to an increased risk of cancer, Nathan Donley, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, told the AP.

Two recent U.S. court verdicts gave multimillion-dollar awards to men who said glyphosate caused their lymphoma.


Vampire Facials at New Mexico Spa Linked to HIV Infections

Two people may have contracted HIV after undergoing so-called “vampire facials” at a New Mexico spa, state health officials say.

In this procedure, nutrient-rich plasma is injected into the face using a tool called a micro-needling pen. The plasma typically comes from the client’s own blood, CNN reported.

Laboratory tests showed that the two clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque were infected with the same virus, making it likely that they were infected by the same procedure at the spa, health officials said.

The state health department is offering free and confidential testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C for anyone who received injection-related procedures at the spa between May and September 2018, CNN reported.

The spa closed last September after inspectors found unsafe practices that could have spread HIV and other blood-borne infections to clients.