Fewer Students Having Sex

Or Smoking, Survey Finds

High school students are not having sex, fighting or smoking as often as they were a decade ago, the government said yesterday.

Fewer reported having sex in 2003 (47 percent) than in 1991 (54 percent), according to a 43-state survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, fewer reported being in a fight (33 percent) in 2003 than in 1991 (43 percent). Smoking dropped from 28 percent to 22 percent during that time.

But students still put themselves in harm's way, the CDC said. Nearly a third had taken a ride with a driver who had been drinking. About 45 percent drank alcohol themselves, the CDC said.

About 22 percent had used marijuana, and 17 percent had carried a weapon. Those behaviors contribute to the top killers for those 10 to 24 years old: car crashes, accidental injuries, homicide and suicide.

Bans on Indoor Smoking

Are Reducing Pollution

Indoor smoking bans in some U.S. cities are helping to dramatically reduce indoor air pollution, according to a study released by researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

Researchers conducted air quality tests in 53 venues in seven major U.S. cities. They found that indoor air pollution was an average of 82 percent lower in smoke-free cities compared with municipalities that allow patrons to light up in bars and restaurants.

New York City had the lowest concentration of indoor pollutants of all the cities. Buffalo was second, followed by Los Angeles.

The latest study was partly financed by grants from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an anti-smoking group.

Washington had the highest levels of indoor air pollution, followed by Baltimore, Philadelphia and Hoboken, N.J.

Underwater Volcano Found

Off Coast of Antarctica

An underwater volcano has been discovered off the coast of Antarctica, the National Science Foundation said.

The finding helps explain mariners' historical reports of discolored water in the area, the agency said. Material from underwater volcanoes is known to cause discoloration in water.

The presence of a volcano was first suggested in sonar studies in January, but scientists were unable to return to the stormy waters of the region until April.

The foundation said the research vessel was returning from a study of a collapsed ice shelf when it passed over the volcano.

The research team led by Eugene Domack of Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., used a bottom-scanning video recorder, rock dredges and temperature probes to survey the sides and crest of the volcano's peak.

While large areas were colonized by underwater life, none was found on dark rock around the volcano itself, indicating that lava had flowed fairly recently. In addition, dredges recovered abundant fresh basalt.

Domack said the volcano stands 2,300 feet above the sea floor and extends to within about 900 feet of the ocean surface.

-- From News Services