“Tell me what kinds of toxins are in your body, and I’ll tell you how much you’re worth,” could be the new motto of doctors everywhere. In a finding that surprised even the researchers conducting the study, it turns out that both rich and poor Americans are walking toxic waste dumps for chemicals like mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and bisphenol A, which could be a cause of infertility. And while a buildup of environmental toxins in the body afflicts rich and poor alike, the type of toxin varies by wealth.
America’s rich are harboring chemicals associated with what are normally considered healthy lifestyles
People who can afford sushi and other sources of aquatic lean protein appear to be paying the price with a buildup of heavy metals in their bodies, found Jessica Tyrrell and colleagues from the University of Exeter. Using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Tyrrell et al. found that compared to poorer people, the rich had higher levels of mercury, arsenic, caesium and thallium, all of which tend to accumulate in fish and shellfish.
The rich also had higher levels of benzophenone-3, aka oxybenzone, the active ingredient in most sunscreens, which is under investigation by the EU and, argue some experts, may actually encourage skin cancer.
America’s poor have toxins associated with exposure to plastics and cigarette smoke
Higher rates of cigarette smoking among those of lower means seem to be associated with higher levels of lead and cadmium. Poor people in America also had higher levels of Bisphenol-A, a substance used to line cans and other food containers, and which is banned in the EU, Malaysia, South Africa, China and, in the US, in baby bottles.
Previous research has established that rich Americans are more likely to eat their fruits and vegetables and less likely to eat “energy-dense” fast food and snacks, but this work establishes that in some ways, in moving up the economic ladder Americans are simply trading one set of environmental toxins for another.
- The rich really are different: Their bodies contain unique chemical pollutants (pitrejeanclaude.wordpress.com)
- The rich really are different: Their bodies contain unique chemical pollutants (rahconteur.wordpress.com)
- You Are Your Net Worth: How Toxins Found in the Rich and Poor Differ (theatlanticwire.com)
- Chemicals in Our Bodies Can Predict How Rich or Poor We Are (motherboard.vice.com)
- Rich people’s bodies are polluted with different, more expensive toxins (grist.org)
- Blood Samples can Tell If You Are Rich or Poor: Study (natureworldnews.com)
- Chemical Build-Up in the Body Affecting People from All Income Groups (medindia.net)
- Study: Money Doesn’t Protect People From Toxicants, Just Changes Them (webpronews.com)
- How the chemicals in your blood can betray your wealth (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
While I’ve been busy with other things, I let this issue raised at ALA slip past unnoticed. Issues in library world don’t go unnoticed for very long, especially when they deal with government intrusion. Apparently, during ALA 2013 Conference a video was played in which there was a White House appeal to public librarians to help Americans understand the new Affordable Healthcare Act insurance system that goes into effect whenever – maybe.
I am hoping that the federal government can do a bit more to provide resources for librarians about ACA.
Back in my public library days, it wasn’t easy working with patrons when the topic was against my views!
However, I always tried to address people’s information needs without bias and as completely as possible with factual information.
“ObamaCare” questions are in the same arena. While librarians cannot advise or fill out forms, they can at least lead folks to factual information. However, this would work best if the federal government would do everything possible to lighten the load for libraries. This would include providing readable materials for consumers, as well as “pathways” for librarians.
Also, libraries can welcome trained volunteers and organizations to give in-depth information to folks. Many already do this around tax time with IRS trained volunteers.
Here in Toledo, folks from legal aid organizations “set up shop” in public libraries to assist folks. Representatives from the Ohio Benefit Bank do likewise. These volunteers screen people for government assistance programs as SNAP and the Medicare Savings Program.
It sure would be great if government employees and/or trained volunteers could do likewise for “ObamaCare”. Areas could include the health exchange marketplace, Medicaid expansion, free preventative care, and more.
And with articles as this, there is a real need for information professionals, including librarians!
Ohio insurance department claims Obamacare premium rates to rise 41 percent (Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 1, 2013)
Ohio insurance regulators Thursday released rates for health insurance to be sold on the new state marketplace and said premiums for individuals will rise an average of 41 percent compared with 2013 rates.That average brought immediate condemnation from critics of the Affordable Care Act, with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a southwest Ohio Republican, calling it “irrefutable evidence” that the law known as Obamacare is driving up costs and hurting the economy……..
- [Repost] The ACA Countdown (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Got 1:43 minutes to learn about health exchanges? (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
US consumers don’t understand health insurance, Carnegie Mellon research shows (Medical News Today, 2 August 2013)
“…only 11 percent of respondents presented with a traditional insurance plan incorporating all four of these elements were able to compute the cost of a four-day hospital stay when given the information that should have enabled them to do so…
“”The ACA deals with the problem of consumer misunderstanding by requiring insurance companies to publish standardized and simplified information about insurance plans, including what consumers would pay for four basic services,” noted lead author Loewenstein. “However, presenting simplified information about something that is inherently complex introduces a risk of ‘smoothing over’ real complexities. A better approach, in my view, would be to require insurance companies to offer truly simplified insurance products that consumers are capable of understanding.”
- What Makes a Good Librarian? (mediabistro.com)
- Perception of the New Librarian (waycrosslibrarian.wordpress.com)
- [Repost] The ACA Countdown (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Got 1:43 minutes to learn about health exchanges? (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Obama Will Use Librarians To Push Obama-Care (sweetness-light.com)
- Shopping for Health Insurance? Visit Your Local Library For Help With The Exchanges (medicaldaily.com)
- Librarians to Help With Health Insurance Law (infodocket.com)
- WH won’t release video of Obama thanking librarians for pushing Obamacare (bizpacreview.com)
- White House recruits librarians to promote ObamaCare (foxnews.com)
- Louisiana Library workers told they will help ObamaCare Applicants (forum.prisonplanet.com)
- Louisiana Library workers told they will help ObamaCare Applicants (forum.prisonplanet.com)
Are you up-to-date on your immunizations? August is National Immunization Awareness month, a public health campaign sponsored by the CDC to recognized the importance of vaccination and to bring awareness to vaccinations that are not meeting national goals. Vaccines are the best prevention for some serious often life-threatening illnesses. This campaign is targeting a different group each week during the month of August: students starting college, students k-12, adults 26+, and pregnant women and newborns.
- Healthcare Professionals Are Key to Boosting Adult Immunizations (nfid.wordpress.com)
- Doctors on Call: Vaccines have eliminated diseases -- but our kids still need to be immunized (jacksonville.com)
- Back-to-school vaccinations: Are your kids up to date? (abclocal.go.com)
- Report: Teen HPV vaccination rate still lagging (mysanantonio.com)
DURHAM, N.C. – Children who grow up in poverty are more likely than wealthier children to smoke cigarettes, but they are less likely to binge drink and are no more prone to use marijuana, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
The researchers also found that economic strains in early life – including family worries about paying bills or needing to sell possessions for cash – independently erode a child’s self-control, regardless of strong parenting in adolescence. Lack of self-control often leads to substance use.
The findings, appearing July 30, 2013, in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, debunk common assumptions about who abuses substances, and provide a basis for better approaches to prevent young people from falling into drug and alcohol addiction.
“Poverty during childhood not only appears to affect child development, but can have lasting effects on the types of health choices made during adolescence and early adulthood, especially as it relates to cigarette smoking,” said senior author Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D., MPH, MS, associate professor in Community and Family Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. “Economic strains may shape an individual’s capacity for self-control by diminishing opportunities for self-regulation, or affecting important brain structures.”
Fuemmeler and colleagues at Duke set out to examine the direct effect of childhood economic strains on smoking, binge drinking, and marijuana use in young adults. They also sought to determine how financial difficulties impact self-control, and how positive parenting might mitigate the tendency to use drugs and alcohol.
The group analyzed data from 1,285 children and caregivers included in a representative sample of U.S. families studied from 1986-2009. Economic status was measured by annual family income, plus a survey with questions about economic problems such as difficulty paying bills or postponing medical care. Additional information was gathered to gauge childhood self-control and parental interactions.
Among the study participants who were transitioning to adulthood, young people who lived in poverty as children were far more likely to become regular cigarette smokers than children who grew up in wealthier households. The impoverished children also scored low on self-control measures.
“Poor self-control may be a product of limited learning resources and opportunities for developing appropriate behaviors,” Fuemmeler said.
Binge drinking, however, was much more common among the wealthier young people. And surprisingly, those who had good self-control as children were more likely to engage in heavy episodic drinking as young adults.
Neither wealth nor poverty appeared to influence marijuana use, although positive parenting did reduce the use of this drug. Parents who were nurturing and accepting, in fact, diminished the likelihood of young people using any of the substances.
The researchers also found no correlation between economic hardship and poor parenting – a contradiction to some other studies.
“We suspected we’d find a relationship between parenting and economic problems – the idea that economic strains may cause parents to have less capacity to deal with their children, but that relationship wasn’t there,” Fuemmeler said. “That means it’s not necessarily poverty that affects the parenting strategy, but poverty that affects the children’s self-control.”
Fuemmeler said the findings are important given the increase in U.S. children living in poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau reported 22 percent of children lived in poverty in 2010, compared to 18 percent in 2000.
“Continued work is needed to better understand how economic strains may influence the development of self-control, as well as to identify other potential mediators between economic strains and substance use outcomes,” Fuemmeler said.
In addition to Fuemmeler, study authors include Chien-Ti Lee, Joseph McClernon, Scott H. Kollins and Kevin Prybol.
The National Institutes of Health (RO1 DA030487), the National Cancer Institute (K07CA124905) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (K24DA023464) funded the study.
- Could personality in childhood predict how teens will respond to drinking? (globalnews.ca)
- Aussie expert: Legalize marijuana to protect teens from binge drinking (rawstory.com)
- The Persistent Geography of Disadvantage (theatlanticcities.com)
Guest blog by Matt Hawkins, Policy and Public Affairs Assistant at the International Longevity Centre-UK
Discussion at an International Longevity Centre-UK, (ILC-UK) event held on Monday, Longevity, health and public policy, revealed that only just short of a third of the UK population will reach retirement “healthy”. Gains in life expectancy have outstripped gains in healthy life expectancy, meaning that potentially over two thirds of people in the UK could find that they are living their retirement years in ill-health.
- Are You Prepared for the Challenges that Come with Longevity? (bargaineering.com)
While I believe the so called War on Drugs has largely been a failure, I am concerned about young folks indulging in substances that can have permanent health effects.
Regular marijuana use in adolescence, but not adulthood, may permanently impair brain function and cognition, and may increase the risk of developing serious psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, according to a recent study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Researchers hope that the study, published in Neuropsychopharmacology – a publication of the journal Nature – will help to shed light on the potential long-term effects of marijuana use, particularly as lawmakers in Maryland and elsewhere contemplate legalizing the drug.
“Over the past 20 years, there has been a major controversy about the long-term effects of marijuana, with some evidence that use in adolescence could be damaging,” says the study’s senior author Asaf Keller, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Previous research has shown that children who started using marijuana before the age of 16 are at greater risk of permanent cognitive deficits, and have a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. There likely is a genetic susceptibility, and then you add marijuana during adolescence and it becomes the trigger.”
“Adolescence is the critical period during which marijuana use can be damaging,” says the study’s lead author, Sylvina Mullins Raver, a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We wanted to identify the biological underpinnings and determine whether there is a real, permanent health risk to marijuana use.”
- Marijuana use in adolescence may cause permanent brain abnormalities, study finds (medicalxpress.com)
- Marijuana Use in Adolescence, But Not Adulthood, Linked to Permanent Brain Damage (counselheal.com)
- Univ. of MD finds that marijuana use in adolescence may cause permanent brain abnormalities (eurekalert.org)
- Marijuana Use During Adolescence, Not Adulthood, May Cause Permanent Mental Illness (medicaldaily.com)
- Is Marijuana Really ‘Harmless’? (stopmyaddiction.wordpress.com)
- Cannabis May Have Less Negative Effects On Brain Tissue Than Alcohol, But Is The Trend To Legalize Marijuana Healthy For Teens? (medicaldaily.com)
I work for a startup called: ProveMyMeds. And when I tell people this they usually assume we are some “Big Pharma” subsidiary tasked with proving the effectiveness of certain drugs. Not quite.
This is a serious post about life expectancy and inequality. But first a short rant.
Quick: Life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.7 Your parents are 85. How much longer are they expected to live? If you were worried about how much time you had left to spend with them, and you asked the helpful site seeyourfolks.com, you would get this:
You may be saving calories by drinking diet soda, but when it comes to enamel erosion of your teeth, it’s no better than regular soda.
In the last 25 years, Kim McFarland, D.D.S., associate professor in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry in Lincoln, has seen an increase in the number of dental patients with erosion of the tooth enamel – the protective layer of the tooth. Once erosion occurs, it can’t be reversed and affects people their whole life.
“I’d see erosion once in a while 25 years ago but I see much more prevalence nowadays,” Dr. McFarland said. “A lot of young people drink massive quantities of soda. It’s no surprise we’re seeing more sensitivity.”
Triggers like hot and cold drinks – and even cold air – reach the tooth’s nerve and cause pain. Depending on the frequency and amount of soda consumed, the erosion process can be extreme.
Dr. McFarland said it’s best not to drink soda at all, but she offers tips for those who continue to drink it.
- Limit consumption of soda to meal time
- Don’t drink soda throughout the day
- Brush your teeth afterwards — toothpaste re-mineralizes or strengthens areas where acid weakened the teeth
- If tooth brushing is not possible, at least rinse out your mouth with water
- Chew sugar free gum or better yet, gum containing Xylitol.
- UNMC warns erosion of tooth enamel from soda is permanent (nebraskaradionetwork.com)
- Have a Cuppa and Protect Your Smile! (medispasalisbury.wordpress.com)
- Brush up on dental hygiene (TBO.com)
- Research Into Special Degradable Particles To Reduce Tooth Decay Wins Venture Prize Award – Could Bring Toothache Relief To Millions (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Tooth Enamel Erosion: Symptoms, Prevention and Alternative Treatments (monashdental.wordpress.com)
- Addicted to Soda : Sandy Springs Dental (therightsmile.wordpress.com)
- Bisphenol-A #BPA may destroy Tooth Enamel, making Teeth more susceptible to Pain, Cavities, Decay (laitom.wordpress.com)
- The Benefits of Xylitol (akdsmiles.wordpress.com)
- Sensitive teeth (alaskapremierdental.wordpress.com)
- Bisphenol-A #BPA may destroy Tooth Enamel, making Teeth more susceptible to Pain, Cavities, Decay (desdaughter.wordpress.com)
The potential impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the developing brain — specifically by women consuming fish during pregnancy — has long been the source of concern and some have argued that the chemical may be responsible for behavioral disorders such as autism. However, a new study that draws upon more than 30 years of research in the Republic of Seychelles reports that there is no association between pre-natal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors.
- Mercury Exposure Is Not Linked To Autism, After All; Pregnant Women Can Eat Up To 12 Meals Of Fish Weekly With No Risks (medicaldaily.com)
- Could autism be linked to pollution? (wwlp.com)
- Ultrasound and Autism: Association, Link, or Coincidence? (fetalsonosafety.com)
- Causes of Autism During Pregnancy: Air Pollution Doubles the Risk – Study (latinospost.com)
There's been a lot in the new recently about the decision to hire Jenny McCarthy to replace Elizabeth Hasselback on "The View". I cant say that I'm particularly sad to see Hasselback go, as I was never a fan of her conservative "values" but the hiring of Jenny McCarthy - as has been pointed out by many - amounts to a public health nightmare.
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center
More Related articles (all sides!!)
- Canada: Jenny McCarthy's new View job protested by Toronto Public Health (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Jenny McCarthy defeats vaccine fanatics to join ABC's The View as co-host (dprogram.net)
- As Jenny McCarthy Joins The View Will More Children Die From Lack Of Vaccination? (guardianlv.com)
- Anger Over Anti-Vaccine Jenny McCarthy as View Host (newser.com)
- Toronto Public Health trying to get Jenny McCarthy kicked off The View (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
- Jenny McCarthy Joins The View And Wants To Talk To You About Vaccines (thegloss.com)
- Jenny McCarthy defeats vaccine fanatics to join ABC's The View as co-host (therefusers.com)
- Toronto Public Health wants host booted from American talk show (cp24.com)
- Jenny McCarthy Is the New Girl at 'The View' (wwtdd.com)
We are getting a lot of inquiries about where to go for testing and treatment after exposure to toxic levels of Mycotoxins from damp and moldy environments.
Unfortunately few doctors are experienced in testing or treating patients that are suffering from Biotoxin Illness and other health issues that arise after living or working for long periods of time inside of a home/office/school with poor indoor air.
- MedlinePlus: Molds, including
- Molds (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA)
- Legal Aspects of Mold Contamination (Clean Water Partners - Environmental Law Experts) For Renters,Landlords, Home Sellers, Home Buyers, Employers, Employees
- Mold - The "New" Hidden Pandemic Sweeping Across America (momsmoldresources.wordpress.com)
- Curious case of toxic mold pits Chamber of Commerce employees against City of Madison (al.com)
- Mold forces woman from home and into search for answers (al.com)
- Preventing mold from forming in your home (mysouthwestga.com)
- Understanding Mold (moldremoversnj.wordpress.com)
- The way crucial is actually Health in our life (meizitangstrongbuys.wordpress.com)
- Mycotoxins=diabetes? (larahentz.wordpress.com)
2013 World Drug Report: stability in use of traditional drugs, alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
2013 World Drug Report: stability in use of traditional drugs, alarming rise in new psychoactive substances
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
The 2013 World Drug Report released today in Vienna shows that, while the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine seems to be declining in some parts of the world, prescription drug abuse and new psychoactive substance [NPS]
abuse is growing. In a special high-level event of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov urged concerted action to prevent the manufacture, trafficking and abuse of these substances.
Marketed as ‘legal highs’ and ‘designer drugs’, NPS are proliferating at an unprecedented rate and posing unforeseen public health challenges. The report shows that the number of NPS reported to UNODC rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012, an increase of more than 50 per cent. For the first time, the number of NPS exceeded the total number of substances under international control (234). Since new harmful substances have been emerging with unfailing regularity on the drug scene, the international drug control system is now challenged by the speed and creativity of the NPS phenomenon.
This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS, which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Street names, such as “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPS, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood.
The global picture for the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine shows some stability. In Europe, heroin use seems to be declining. Meanwhile, the cocaine market seems to be expanding in South America and in the emerging economies in Asia. Use of opiates (heroin and opium), on the other hand, remains stable (around 16 million people, or 0.4 per cent of the population aged 15-64), although a high prevalence of opiate use has been reported from South-West and Central Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and North America.
- 2013 World Drug Report notes stability in use of traditional drugs and points to alarming rise in new psychoactive substances (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- UK legal high market is EU’s largest (bbc.co.uk)
- UN says Africa consuming more cocaine (ghanabusinessnews.com)
- UN World Drug Report 2013 – Alarming rise in NPS (drughealth.blogspot.com)
- Warwickshire’s Drug & Alcohol Action team work to tackle global increase in ‘legal highs’ (safeinwarwickshire.wordpress.com)
- Prohibitionists Say the Drugs They Banned Are Safer Than the Ones They Didn’t (reason.com)
- New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) 2013 (dailyaltreport.wordpress.com)
- Lure, Variety of Designer Drugs is Alarming, U.N. Agency Says (nlm.nih.gov)
Raw, whole chickens purchased from farmers markets throughout Pennsylvania contained significantly higher levels of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness compared to those purchased from grocery stores in the region, according to a small-scale study by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.
Of 100 whole chickens purchased from farmers markets, 90 percent tested positive for Campylobacter and 28 percent harbored Salmonella.
By comparison, during the same period, 20 percent of raw, whole, organic chickens purchased from grocery stores were found to contain Campylobacterbacteria, and 28 percent tested positive for Salmonella. Just 8 percent of raw, whole, nonorganic, conventionally processed chickens from the grocery stores tested positive for Campylobacter and 52 percent of those contained Salmonella.
Overall, the chickens purchased at the farmers markets carried higher bacterial loads than the birds purchased at grocery stores.
“We are not doing the research to scare consumers or put people out of business; we’re here to improve public health,” she said. “We can train farmers and vendors to produce a safer product that won’t make people sick. This approach also has the potential to help consumers feel more confident about buying their locally grown and processed products.”
Bacteria that cause foodborne illness, such as Campylobacterand Salmonella, are destroyed by proper cooking of poultry products; however, they also can cause cross-contamination if they come in contact with other foods through contaminated cutting boards, sinks, countertops or utensils.
- Food Safety- CDC - Simple steps, videos included
- Chickens Purchased from Farmers Markets in Pennsylvania Contain Higher Levels of Pathogenic Bacteria (medindia.net)
- More Pathogenic Bacteria Found In Whole Chickens From Farmers Markets, Pennsylvania (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Lettuce Keeps Making Us Sick (modernfarmer.com)
Source: Journal of Environmental Health (via Michigan State University)
Remember Mom’s advice about washing your hands thoroughly after using the restroom?
A new study by Michigan State University researchers found that only 5 percent of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections.
People with cancer want to do everything they can to combat the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Many turn to complementary health approaches, including natural products, such as herbs (botanicals) and other dietary supplements, and mind and body practices, such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga.
This fact sheet was produced through a collaboration between the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It provides an introductory overview of complementary health approaches that have been studied for cancer prevention, treatment of the disease, or symptom management, including what the science says about their effectiveness and any concerns that have been raised about their safety.
- Symptom management. A substantial amount of scientific evidence suggests that some complementary health approaches may help to manage some symptoms of cancer and side effects of treatment. For other complementary approaches, the evidence is more limited.
- Disease treatment. At present, there is no convincing evidence that any complementary health approach is effective in curing cancer or causing it to go into remission.
- Cancer prevention. A 2012 study indicated that taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement may slightly reduce the risk of cancer in older men. No other complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful in preventing cancer.
Keep in Mind
- Unproven products or practices should not be used to replace or delay conventional medical treatment for cancer.
- Some complementary approaches can interfere with standard cancer treatments or have special risks for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Before using any complementary health approach, people who have been diagnosed with cancer should talk with their health care providers to make sure that all aspects of their care work together.
- Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
Cancer is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and the lymph system. Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, improvements in screening, detection, treatment, and care have increased the number of cancer survivors, and experts expect the number of survivors to continue to increase in the coming years. Detailed information on cancer is available from NCI at www.cancer.gov.
About Complementary Health Approaches
Complementary health approaches are a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products whose origins come from outside of mainstream medicine. They include such products and practices as herbal supplements, other dietary supplements, meditation, spinal manipulation, and acupuncture.
The same careful scientific evaluation that is used to assess conventional therapies should be used to evaluate complementary approaches. Some complementary approaches are beginning to find a place in cancer treatment—not as cures, but as additions to treatment plans that may help patients cope with disease symptoms and side effects of treatment and improve their quality of life.
Use of Complementary Health Approaches for Cancer
Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer use complementary health approaches.
- According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by Americans, 65 percent of respondents who had ever been diagnosed with cancer had used complementary approaches, as compared to 53 percent of other respondents. Those who had been diagnosed with cancer were more likely than others to have used complementary approaches for general wellness, immune enhancement, and pain management.
- Other surveys have also found that use of complementary health approaches is common among people who have been diagnosed with cancer, although estimates of use vary widely. Some data indicate that the likelihood of using complementary approaches varies with the type of cancer and with factors such as sex, age, and ethnicity. The results of surveys from 18 countries show that use of complementary approaches by people who had been diagnosed with cancer was more common in North America than in Australia/New Zealand or Europe and that use had increased since the 1970s and especially since 2000.
- Surveys have also shown that many people with cancer do not tell their health care providers about their use of complementary health approaches. In the NHIS, survey respondents who had been diagnosed with cancer told their health care providers about 15 percent of their herb use and 23 percent of their total use of complementary approaches. In other studies, between 32 and 69 percent of cancer patients and survivors who used dietary supplements or other complementary approaches reported that they discussed these approaches with their physicians. The differences in the reported percentages may reflect differences in the definitions of complementary approaches used in the studies, as well as differences in the communication practices of different groups of patients.
- Delaying conventional cancer treatment can decrease the chances of remission or cure. Do not use unproven products or practices to postpone or replace conventional medical treatment for cancer.
- Some complementary health approaches may interfere with cancer treatments or be unsafe for cancer patients. For example, the herb St. John’s wort, which is sometimes used for depression, can make some cancer drugs less effective.
- Other complementary approaches may be harmful if used inappropriately. For example, to make massage therapy safe for people with cancer, it may be necessary to avoid massaging places on the body that are directly affected by the disease or its treatment (for example, areas where the skin is sensitive following radiation therapy).
- People who have been diagnosed with cancer should consult the health care providers who are treating them for cancer before using any complementary health approach for any purpose—whether or not it is cancer-related.
What the Science Says
No complementary health product or practice has been proven to cure cancer. Some complementary approaches may help people manage cancer symptoms or treatment side effects and improve their quality of life.
Incorporating Complementary Health Approaches Into Cancer Care
In 2009, the Society for Integrative Oncology issued evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for health care providers to consider when incorporating complementary health approaches in the care of cancer patients. The guidelines point out that, when used in addition to conventional therapies, some of these approaches help to control symptoms and enhance patients’ well-being. The guidelines warn, however, that unproven methods should not be used in place of conventional treatment because delayed treatment of cancer reduces the likelihood of a remission or cure.
A comprehensive summary of research on complementary health approaches for cancer is beyond the scope of this fact sheet. The following sections provide an overview of the research status of some commonly used complementary approaches, highlighting results from a few reviews and studies focusing on preventing and treating the disease, as well as managing cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
Talking With Your Health Care Providers About Complementary Approaches and Cancer
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has resources that can help you talk with your health care providers about complementary approaches and cancer.
- NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine has a workbook to help cancer patients and their health care providers talk about and keep track of complementary approaches that patients are using. You can download it here: cam.cancer.gov/talking_about_cam.html?cid=ARcam_camnews.
- NCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign has tips to help both patients and health care providers discuss complementary health approaches.
Complementary Health Approaches for Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects
Some complementary health approaches, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and yoga, may help people manage cancer symptoms or the side effects of treatment. However, some approaches may interfere with conventional cancer treatment or have other risks.People who have been diagnosed with cancer should consult their health care providers before using any complementary health approach.
- There is substantial evidence that acupuncture can help to manage treatment-related nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. There is not enough evidence to judge whether acupuncture is effective in relieving cancer pain or other symptoms such as treatment-related hot flashes. Complications from acupuncture are rare, as long as the acupuncturist uses sterile needles and proper procedures. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy weaken the body’s immune system, so it is especially important for acupuncturists to follow strict clean-needle procedures when treating cancer patients.
- Recent studies suggest that the herb ginger may help to control nausea related to cancer chemotherapy when used in addition to conventional anti-nausea medication.
- Studies suggest that massage therapy may help to relieve symptoms experienced by people with cancer, such as pain, nausea, anxiety, and depression. However, investigators have been unable to reach definite conclusions about the effects of massage therapy because of the limited amount of rigorous research in this field. People with cancer should consult their health care providers before having massage therapy to find out if any special precautions are needed. The massage therapist should not use deep or intense pressure without the health care providers’ approval and may need to avoid certain sites, such as areas directly over a tumor or those where the skin is sensitive following radiation therapy.
- There is evidence that mindfulness-based stress reduction, a type of meditation training, can help cancer patients relieve anxiety, stress, fatigue, and general mood and sleep disturbances, thus improving their quality of life. Most participants in mindfulness studies have been patients with early-stage cancer, primarily breast cancer, so the evidence favoring mindfulness training is strongest for this group of patients.
- Preliminary evidence indicates that yoga may help to improve anxiety, depression, distress, and stress in people with cancer. It also may help to lessen fatigue in breast cancer patients and survivors. However, only a small number of yoga studies in cancer patients have been completed, and some of the research has not been of the highest quality. Because yoga involves physical activities, it is important for people with cancer to talk with their health care providers in advance to find out whether any aspects of yoga might be unsafe for them.
- Various studies suggest possible benefits of hypnosis, relaxation therapies, and biofeedback to help patients manage cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
- A 2008 review of the research literature on herbal supplements and cancer concluded that although several herbs have shown promise for managing side effects and symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, pain, fatigue, and insomnia, the scientific evidence is limited, and many clinical trials have not been well designed. Use of herbs for managing symptoms also raises concerns about potential negative interactions with conventional cancer treatments.
Coping With Cancer
People who have cancer, or who have been treated for cancer, may have physical or emotional difficulties as a result of the disease or its treatment. Many conventional approaches can help people cope with these problems. For example, counseling may help people who are distressed about being diagnosed with cancer, medicines can control nausea related to chemotherapy, and exercise may help decrease treatment-related fatigue. Some people find that complementary approaches also help them cope with cancer and improve their quality of life. In addition, using complementary approaches can help people feel they are playing an active part in their own care. If you have cancer or if you have been treated for cancer, be sure to tell your health care providers about all approaches—both conventional and complementary—that you are using. Your health care providers need this information so they can make sure that all aspects of your care work well together. Additional information on coping with cancer is available from NCI at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/coping.
Complementary Health Approaches for Cancer Treatment
This section discusses complementary health approaches to directly treat cancer (that is, to try to cure the disease or cause a remission).
No complementary approach has been shown to cure cancer or cause it to go into remission. Some products or practices that have been advocated for cancer treatment may interfere with conventional cancer treatments or have other risks. People who have been diagnosed with cancer should consult their health care providers before using any complementary health approach.
- Studies on whether herbal supplements or substances derived from them might be of value in cancer treatment are in their early stages, and scientific evidence is limited. Herbal supplements may have side effects, and some may interact in harmful ways with drugs, including drugs used in cancer treatment.
- The effects of taking vitamin and mineral supplements, including antioxidant supplements,during cancer treatment are uncertain. NCI advises cancer patients to talk to their health care providers before taking any supplements.
- A 2010 NCCAM-supported trial of a standardized shark cartilage extract, taken in addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, showed no benefit in patients with advanced lung cancer. An earlier, smaller study in patients with advanced breast or colorectal cancers also showed no benefit from the addition of shark cartilage to conventional treatment.
- A 2011 systematic review of research on laetrile found no evidence that it is effective as a cancer treatment. Laetrile can be toxic, especially if taken orally, because it contains cyanide.
Beware of Cancer Treatment Frauds
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have warned the public to be aware of fraudulent cancer treatments. Cancer treatment frauds are not new, but in recent years it has become easier for the people who market them to reach the public using the Internet.
Some fraudulent cancer treatments are harmful by themselves, and others can be indirectly harmful because people may delay seeking medical care while they try them, or because the fraudulent product interferes with the effectiveness of proven cancer treatments.
The people who sell fraudulent cancer treatments often market them with claims such as “scientific breakthrough,” “miraculous cure,” “secret ingredient,” “ancient remedy,” “treats all forms of cancer,” or “shrinks malignant tumors.” The advertisements may include personal stories from people who have taken the product, but such stories—whether or not they’re real—aren’t reliable evidence that a product is effective. Also, a money-back guarantee is not proof that a product works.
If you’re considering using any anticancer product that you’ve seen in an advertisement, talk to your health care provider first. Additional information on cancer-related health frauds is available from the FDA and from the FTC.
Complementary Health Approaches for Cancer Prevention
A large 2012 clinical trial has shown that taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement may slightly reduce the risk of cancer in older men. No other complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful in preventing cancer, and some have been linked with increased health risks.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements. The results of a study of older men completed in 2012 indicate that taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement slightly reduces the risk of cancer. In this study, which was part of the Physicians’ Health Study II (a complex trial that tested several types of supplements), more than 14,000 male U.S. physicians were randomly assigned to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement or a placebo (an identical-appearing product that did not contain vitamins and minerals) for 11 years. Those who took the supplement had 8 percent fewer total cancers than those who took the placebo.
Other studies of vitamins and minerals—most of which evaluated supplements containing only one or a few nutrients—have not found protective effects against cancer. Some of these studies identified possible risks of supplementing with high doses of certain vitamins or related substances. Examples of research results include the following:
- In another part of the Physicians’ Health Study II (not the part described above), supplementing with relatively high doses of either vitamin E or vitamin C did not reduce the risks of prostate cancer or total cancer in men aged 50 or older. Men taking vitamin E had an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke (a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain).
- A 2010 meta-analysis of 22 clinical trials found no evidence that antioxidant supplements (vitamins A, C, and E; beta-carotene; and selenium) help to prevent cancer.
- Two large-scale studies found evidence that supplements containing beta-carotene increased the risk of lung cancer among smokers.
- The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), funded by NCI, NCCAM, and other agencies at NIH, showed that selenium and vitamin E supplements, taken either alone or together, did not prevent prostate cancer. It also showed that vitamin E supplements, taken alone, significantlyincreased the risk of prostate cancer in healthy men. There was no increase in prostate cancer risk when vitamin E and selenium were taken together. The doses of selenium and vitamin E used in this study were substantially higher than those typically included in multivitamin/mineral supplements.
- Although substantial evidence suggests that calcium may help protect against colorectal cancer, the evidence of potential benefit from calcium in supplement form is limited and inconsistent. Therefore, NCI does not recommend the use of calcium supplements to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Other Natural Products. A 2009 systematic review of 51 studies with more than 1.6 million participants found “insufficient and conflicting” evidence regarding an association between consuming green tea and cancer prevention. Several other natural products, including Ginkgo biloba, isoflavones, noni, pomegranate, and grape seed extract, have been investigated for possible cancer-preventive effects, but the evidence on these substances is too limited for any conclusions to be reached.
Do You Want To Learn More About Cancer Prevention?
People can reduce their risk of cancer in many ways. They include avoiding exposure to agents that cause cancer (such as cigarette smoke), having tests (such as colonoscopies) that find precancerous conditions early, and, for some people who are at high risk, taking medicines to reduce cancer risk (chemoprevention). Additional information on cancer prevention is available from NCI.
NIH Research on Complementary Health Approaches for Cancer
Both NCI and NCCAM fund many laboratory studies and clinical trials related to cancer. Some ongoing studies are investigating:
- The effects of genetic factors and intakes of calcium and magnesium on the risk of developing precancerous colorectal polyps
- Mechanisms of action of natural products that may be of value in cancer prevention or treatment, such as bamboo extract, grape seed extract, white tea, red ginseng, and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe)
- The use of acupuncture for difficulty in swallowing after treatment for head and neck cancer
- Mind and body practices to improve sleep in cancer patients.
If You Have Been Diagnosed With Cancer and Are Considering a Complementary Health Approach
- Cancer patients need to make informed decisions about using complementary health approaches. NCCAM and NCI have written a brochure that can help: Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Guide for People With Cancer.
- Gather information about the complementary health product or practice that interests you, and then discuss it with your health care providers. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is especially important to talk with your health care providers before you start using any new complementary health approach. If you are already using a complementary approach, tell your health care providers about it, even if your reason for using it has nothing to do with cancer. Some approaches may interfere with standard cancer treatment or may be harmful when used along with standard treatment. Examples of questions to ask include:
- What is known about the benefits and risks of this product or practice? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
- What are the potential side effects?
- Will this approach interfere with conventional treatment?
- Can you refer me to a practitioner?
- Do not use any health product or practice that has not been proven safe and effective to replace conventional cancer care or as a reason to postpone seeing your health care provider about any health problem.
- Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care. For tips about talking with your health care providers about complementary health approaches, seeNCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign.
- Boehm K, Borrelli F, Ernst E, et al. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) for the prevention of cancer.Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009;(3):CD005004. Accessed at http://www.thecochranelibrary.com on February 14, 2013.
- Cramer H, Lange S, Klose P, et al. Can yoga improve fatigue in breast cancer patients? A systematic review. Acta Oncologica. 2012;51(4):559–560.
- Deng GE, Frenkel M, Cohen L, et al. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for integrative oncology: complementary therapies and botanicals. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. 2009;7(3):85–120.
- Elkins G, Fisher W, Johnson A. Mind-body therapies in integrative oncology. Current Treatment Options in Oncology. 2010;11(3–4):128–140.
- Ernst E. Massage therapy for cancer palliation and supportive care: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2009;17(4):333–337.
- Ernst E, Lee MS. Acupuncture for palliative and supportive cancer care: a systematic review of systematic reviews. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2010;40(1):e3–5.
- Gaziano JM, Glynn RJ, Christen WG, et al. Vitamins E and C in the prevention of prostate and total cancer in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2009;301(1):52–62.
- Gaziano JM, Sesso HD, Christen WG, et al. Multivitamins in the prevention of cancer in men: the Physicians’ Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012;308(18):E1–E10.
- Klein EA, Thompson IM Jr, Tangen CM, et al. Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). JAMA. 2011;306(14):1549–1556.
- Ledesma D, Kumano H. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cancer: a meta-analysis. Psycho-Oncology. 2009;18(6):571–579.
- Lin K-Y, Hu Y-T, Chang K-J, et al. Effects of yoga on psychological health, quality of life, and physical health of patients with cancer: a meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2011;2011:659876.
- Lippman SM, Klein EA, Goodman PJ, et al. Effect of selenium and vitamin E on risk of prostate cancer and other cancers: the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).JAMA. 2009;301(1):39–51.
- Lu C, Lee JJ, Komaki R, et al. Chemoradiotherapy with or without AE-941 in stage III non-small cell lung cancer: a randomized phase III trial. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2010;102(12):859–865.
- Manksy PJ, Wallerstedt DB. Complementary medicine in palliative care and cancer symptom management. Cancer Journal. 2006;12(5):425–431.
- Mao JJ, Palmer CS, Healy KE, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use among cancer survivors: a population-based study. Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2011;5(1):8–17.
- Milazzo S, Ernst E, Lejeune S, et al. Laetrile treatment for cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;(11):CD005476. Accessed at http://www.thecochranelibrary.com on February 14, 2013.
- Miller S, Stagl J, Wallerstedt DB, et al. Botanicals used in complementary and alternative medicine treatment of cancer: clinical science and future perspectives. Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs. 2008;17(9):1353–1364.
- Myung S-K, Kim Y, Ju W, et al. Effects of antioxidant supplements on cancer prevention: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of Oncology. 2010;21(1):166–179.
- Paley CA, Johnson MI, Tashani OA, et al. Acupuncture for cancer pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;(1):CD007753. Accessed at http://www.thecochranelibrary.com on February 14, 2013.
- Pillai AK, Sharma KK, Gupta YK, et al. Anti-emetic effect of ginger powder versus placebo as an add-on therapy in children and young adults receiving high emetogenic chemotherapy. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2011;56(2):234–238.
- Ryan JL, Heckler CE, Roscoe JA, et al. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) reduces acute chemotherapy-induced nausea: a URCC CCOP study of 576 patients. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2012;20(7):1479–1489.
- Wilkinson S, Barnes K, Storey L. Massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer: systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2008;63(5):430–439.
For More Information
The NCCAM Clearinghouse provides information on NCCAM and complementary health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.
National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute is the Federal Government’s lead agency for cancer research. The National Cancer Institute’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine coordinates and enhances the National Cancer Institute’s activities in CAM research.
NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine coordinates and enhances NCI’s activities in complementary and alternative medicine research.
Information on complementary and alternative medicine in cancer treatment:www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cam-cancer-treatment/patient/page3/AllPages
A service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals.
NIH Clinical Research Trials and You
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has created a Web site, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, to help people learn about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. The site includes questions and answers about clinical trials, guidance on how to find clinical trials through ClinicalTrials.gov and other resources, and stories about the personal experiences of clinical trial participants. Clinical trials are necessary to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases.
NCCAM thanks Cornelia Ulrich, Ph.D., German Cancer Research Center; Susan Folkman, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco; Jun James Mao, M.D., University of Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Austin, M.S., Robin Baldwin, B.S.N., Barbara McMakin, M.S., and Jeffrey White, M.D., National Cancer Institute; and Carol Pontzer, Ph.D., and John (Jack) Killen, Jr., M.D., NCCAM, for their contributions to the 2013 update of this publication.
This publication is not copyrighted and is in the public domain. Duplication is encouraged.
- Living with the long-term consequences of cancer treatment (guardian.co.uk)
- iKnife: Knife that sniffs out cancer cells could be ‘game-changer’ (metro.co.uk)
- Two Thirds Of Female Childhood Cancer Survivors Get Pregnant (hngn.com)
- Cancer cure just got closer: scientists harness our natural-born killers – the T cells – to target malign tumours (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Comfort During Cancer – Tips For Oral Health While Undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiation – Lots To Live For Cancer Side Effect Solutions (breastcanceryogablog.com)
- Boosting immune therapy for cancer with nanoparticles (phys.org)
- Largest cancer gene database made public (news.yahoo.com)
- NCCAM- Herbs at a Glance (kitchendove.wordpress.com)
- Chiropractics, Acupuncture and Massage (exploringcomplementaryandalternativemedicine.wordpress.com)
- Is CAM a sham? – Learn About Complementary and Alternative Medicine! (happydelusion.wordpress.com)
Health insurance coverage to help you fix decades of high cholesterol will probably not save your life. This is the problem that America faces as it is found to be sick because of health behaviors it does not want to change. We have the freedom to act very unhealthy and to get sick. How much will increasing insurance coverage really improve our health?
- Disease and death in America: A poor bill of health | The Economist (dralfoldman.com)
- Disease and death in America: A poor bill of health | The Economist (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- America's Health Report Card Shows Improvement Needed (voanews.com)
- Higher BMI Increases Risk Of Gallstones, Especially In Women (medicalnewstoday.com)
- United States losing ground to other countries in health outcomes (eurekalert.org)
- U.S. health "mediocre" compared to other wealthy countries (cbsnews.com)
- Embracing disease, not eradicating it. (watsonfor13.wordpress.com)
It's July, and it's hot. But with parts of the country expected to swelter under triple digit temperatures, public health officials say it's important to heed the heat.
We think it’s a treat for our skin when we exfoliate, moisturize and polish, but are we actually making ourselves sick? A recent study estimates that the average woman wears 515 chemicals a day — from eye shadow ingredients linked to cancer to perfume ingredients linked to kidney damage.
The average American uses 10 products every day, and chances are, they don’t know what’s in them. Recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found extremely high levels of lead in lipstick. In addition, recent research from the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that teenage girls are exposing themselves to potentially hormone-altering substances by engaging in that seemingly innocent coming-of-age tradition of applying makeup. Yet, despite the dangers, women need to bathe and groom — and most women like a little extra color on their faces. So what can you do to stay healthy and still look good?
“It’s simple: Read the labels and be a smart shopper,” says Leann Brown of EWG. “Buy from companies that disclose their formulations.” Since producers aren’t required to make their ingredients public, many choose not to. “A company that discloses all ingredients will have lower risk than cosmetics with mystery ingredients,” says Brown. These products are likely to be equally effective — your hair will be just as smooth, your cheeks just as bright — but without the lurking health hazards.
When shopping, there are a few key ingredients to be avoided. However, due to lax regulation, you may find them in products marked “organic” and “all-natural,” so be on the lookout. Here is a list of common toxic ingredients to avoid:
- FD&C Color Pigments
- Alcohol (Isopropyl)
- Propylene Glycol
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This research information is for informational and educational purposes only. Please consult a health care professional regarding the applicability of any opinion or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and no statement should be construed as a claim for cure, treatment or prevention of any disease.
Compliments of Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine & Public Health
Kshamica Nimalasuriya MD, MPH is a Preventive Medicine Physician involved with merging Media with Health, Open-Source Education, Herbal Medicine, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness, and Love. She works on many initiatives bridging the global digital divide of health care education.
Cosmetics Dictionary (with ratings)
From their About Page
“It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online safety profiles for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate safety ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. At about one million page views per month, EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.”
Search for “cosmetics from an environmental angle”
It’s Your Health – Cosmetics and Your Health
Government of Canada website. Health Canada’s cosmetic and personal care site regulates manufacturer labelling, distribution and sale of cosmetics.
Safety information from the FDA on various cosmetic products provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Myths on Cosmetics Safety (zen-haven.com)
- Common cosmetics use can negatively impact the environment as well as the user (womennewsnetwork.net)
- Don’t believe everything you read (Part 2) (bumblebeelanesoapworks.wordpress.com)
- How to Avoid ‘Fake Naturals’ (ediblefacial.com)
- It hurts to smell nice! (nourishment3.com)
- DIY: All Natural Home Air Freshener (domestocrat.net)
- ‘Good’ Looks? (somethingtoconsiderblog.com)
- There Are Toxins In My Lotion? (almostallthetruth.com)
- Danger, High SPF! (imperfectlypoised.com)
- Johnson & Johnson admits: Our baby products contain cancer-causing formaldehyde (ascendingstarseed.wordpress.com)
I would hope that after reading my first blog, some of you would have rushed out to replace your Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen with something that is a little bit better for your health.
Pesticides are a significant source of toxicity. People are exposed to pesticides via food and the environment in particular lawn care. While research is usually focused on massive pesticide exposure, low dose long-term pesticide exposure is difficult to capture.
Patients increasingly use the Internet to access health-related information for which they are not charged.1In turn, websites gather information from those who browse their sites and target advertisements to them. Yet this business model masks a more complicated picture.
A patient who searches on a “free” health-related website for information related to “herpes” should be able to assume that the inquiry is anonymous. If not anonymous, the information knowingly or unknowingly disclosed by the patient should not be divulged to others.
The full text is not available online.
However, it might be available at a local public, academic, or medical library. Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian.
- The price of searching for free health information online, your privacy (blogs.mcall.com)
- Beware health searches: Web data may be leaked to third parties (zdnet.com)
- Searcher Beware: Some Websites May Leak Your Hunt For ‘Herpes’ (commonhealth.wbur.org)
- Many health websites tracking and sharing search info: study (ctvnews.ca)
- Internet Health Searches Not Private: Research (medindia.net)
- Consumer Health Websites Could Be Sharing Your Personal Data With Third Parties (medicaldaily.com)
- Patients searching for health info online face privacy threats: researcher (rawstory.com)
- Your Internet Medical Search Isn’t Private, Study Finds (webmd.com)
- Health searches may be contagious (politico.com)
[Reblog]Monday: What’s Lurking Beneath Your Sofa in Your (Otherwise) Healthy Home | Drexel School of Public Health
By Anneclaire De Roos, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor
When I think about this National Public Health Week’s topic – ‘Healthy Homes’ – what immediately comes to mind are themes like injury, fire safety, lead, radon, mold, and secondhand smoke. Most people’s thoughts about healthy homes probably don’t include dust. How harmful can dust bunnies be? Actually, we’ve long known that people with asthma and allergies are sensitive to dust mites. And now there is ever-increasing documentation of a different type of health hazard from house dust – exposure to a diverse mix of pollutants including metals, pesticides, dioxins, flame retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and phthalates.
These chemicals adhere to dust particles and blow into your household after being stirred up by traffic, are released from your sofa or appliances as they degrade over time, are deposited from disintegrating home building materials, and are introduced from cigarette smoking or pesticide applications indoors. Some of the pollutants are known to cause adverse health effects, such as lead and dioxins. Others, including PBDE and phthalates, are not as well understood, although there is emerging evidence that these chemicals cause hormonal changes and may be particularly damaging when exposure happens during pregnancy or childhood.
The trouble arises because people inadvertently swallow small amounts of dust during their normal daily activities like eating, drinking, and breathing. For example, it’s well known that exposure to organochlorines, such as dioxins, comes from the diet – from fatty foods including fish, meat, and dairy. However, we are now learning that a major source of our exposure also comes from ingestion of dust, in amounts that rival dietary exposures. This is an especially important pathway of exposure for small children, who crawl on the floor and explore their environment using hand-to-mouth behavior. House cats also ingest very high amounts of house dust through self-grooming. In fact, studies in the US and Europe have found that house cats had 50 times higher blood levels of PBDEs than people.
Aside from not breathing or swallowing, or fruitlessly trying to change the behaviors of your toddler or pet, what can be done to reduce exposure to pollutants from household dust? The answers are somewhat obvious, but do require vigilance.
1) Avoid introduction of pollutants inside the home where possible, by banning smoking in the home and seeking alternatives to pesticide applications
2) Wipe your feet on a high-quality doormat before entering the home
3) Eliminate wall-to-wall carpeting and shag rugs, which trap dust
4) Vacuum frequently, ideally using a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a dirt finder
5) Wet-mop non-carpeted floor surfaces on a regular basis
6) Wipe down toys and other items your toddler contacts, using a wet cloth
In my review of the literature, I even saw a recommendation to wipe down your cat with a wet cloth on a daily basis (good luck with that!). Nevertheless, it makes good health sense to follow these recommendations, particularly during pregnancy or with toddlers in the home. At the very least, you will have a cleaner home to show for it.
- Wipe the Cat with a Damp Cloth and other Healthy Home Tips (newsblog.drexel.edu)
- Exposure to TDCPP Appears Widespread (ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
- Human Exposure Assessment of Indoor Dust: Importance of Particle Size and Spatial Position (ehp.niehs.nih.gov)
- Flame retardants, found in many consumer products, ignite health concerns (bangordailynews.com)
- Diesel Exhaust Particles Induce Cysteine Oxidation and S-Glutathionylation in House Dust Mite Induced Murine Asthma (plosone.org)
- You Are a Guinea Pig: Americans Exposed to Biohazards in Great Uncontrolled Experiment (nakedcapitalism.com)
- The Dark Side of New Car Smell (healthyhomemagazine.com)
- Workplace Wellness (newsblog.drexel.edu)
- Public Health Wednesdays: Racism as a Public Health Issue. (mkhanaintransit.wordpress.com)
- National Public Health Week! (fimrcblog.com)
With the school system failing them, many children are turning to drugs. Heard this one before, right? Well, how about the part where the pusher is your pediatrician, and the fed is subsidizing?
“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”
A recent NYT article spot lighted increasing psych diagnoses in children for the purpose of acquiring “brain boosting” pharma creations to increase academic performance. The purpose is to make a child more competitive on a college application, and increase funding for a school district as test scores rise. Children are being force-fed drugs instead of given the attention they need or the freedom to be creative and learn discipline on their own as pharmaceutical “solutions” are abused as steroids for the brain. Worse yet, the behavior is sanctioned by those in authority, who are supposed to advocate for their well-being–their parents, doctors and the federal government…
Education is a highly competitive arena, whether it’s a student vying for a scholarship or admission to their college of choice, or a district teaching to standardized test scores and praying for funding. The Obama administration’s lauded “Race to the Top” initiative even goes so far as making funding an actual competition–schools submit innovative proposals for education reform in an effort to win federal money.
An anonymous California superintendent pontificated that “diagnosis rates of A.D.H.D. have risen as sharply as school funding has declined.” Poor children are being prescribed stimulants at increasing rates, and Medicare is paying the bill. If we are not directly funding public education in this country, we are indirectly doing so in efforts to respond to the problem….
- Athletes and Drug Abuse (ajochum23.wordpress.com)
- Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse by Teens Up 33 Percent, According… (prweb.com)
- Prescription Drug Abuse: Top 10 Things CDC Says You Should Know (pbs.org)
From the 4 March 2013 article
NEW YORK – The palliative care team at Mount Sinai Hospital gathers on a Thursday morning to exchange the latest information on the patients in their ward. It is a raw, unforgiving day outside, but the weather, the news, most everything beyond these walls are concerns that patients on this ward do not have the luxury to worry about. Theirs is a shrunken world measured in degrees of pain, blood pressure, heart rate, and a set of poor options – none of which any healthy person would welcome.
The simplest definition for palliative care is that it is treatment designed to reduce the pain, discomfort and stress associated with a serious disease. But it also entails eliciting from patients and families in dire circumstances their priorities and wishes to make sure the treatment conforms to those desires.
New York State felt so strongly about the importance of palliative care that last year it enacted pioneering legislation to make certain all those with advanced illnesses had access to this sort of treatment. Now other states are considering following New York’s lead.
Around the oval conference table sit two palliative care doctors, three palliative care nurses, a social worker, an art therapist and a chaplain, who, in this case, is a rabbi. Other nurses enter the room one-by-one to give updates on the patients they are tending to.
The unit is much quieter than most acute-care wards, with far less clattering and beeping medical machinery in order to keep the unit as serene as possible. Occupying one of the 13 beds in the unit today is a 28-year old Brooklyn man with liver failure. Death is imminent, one of the doctors, Stephen Berns, says. Days if not hours. Although the man’s pain can be addressed, his elderly grandparents worry that he will die before their parish priest arrives to perform a baptism. The rabbi, Edie Meyerson, tells the group that she has researched the issue and learned that any Christian can perform a baptism, if it should come to that.
A few doors down lies a 77-year old woman, a one-time deputy superintendent in the state’s corrections system. Her breast cancer has metastasized throughout her body and now all her organs are blinking off. Her closest relatives — two cousins and a niece, the latter her health proxy, have asked that she be removed from the ventilator that appears to be all that is keeping her alive. “We know this is not what she would want,” her cousin says later that day. “She would not want to be on all these machines.”
Then there is a 48-year old man from Puerto Rico with an inoperable tumor in his throat. His face is swollen to such an extent that he can’t open his eyes and his lips have ballooned into protuberances. He has found that even with painkillers, the only tolerable position is to sit cross-legged on his bed, leaning forward with his head cushioned on a pile of pillows. The team wants to start him on steroids to reduce the swelling, but the patient is already hinting that he has had enough.
Advanced Life Limiting Conditions
Not Enough Doctors
- One palliative care doctor for every 1,300 patients with a serious illness in the U.S.
- One oncologist for every 145 patients with a new cancer diagnosis
- One cardiologist for every 71 heart attack victims
- The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Workforce Task Force estimates that there is shortage of as many as 18,000 palliative care doctors in the U.S.
Source: Center to Advance Palliative Care.
The cast of characters on the ward today is not atypical. Statistically, most patients on the ward will die here; a minority will improve enough to enable them to depart, usually to their homes, a nursing home or other health care facility. For all of them, the goal of the staff is to provide care that best accords with their wishes, whether that be an end to life-prolonging efforts, relief from the symptoms that are afflicting them, or some combination of the two.
The New York law passed last year ensures that everyone in the state with “advanced life limiting conditions or illnesses who might benefit from palliative care” not only be informed of these services by their healthcare provider but that the provider facilitate access to that care if they desire it. Violations are subject to fines of up to $10,000 and a prison term of up to a year. (According to the state health department, no one has yet been charged or prosecuted under the law.)
“That was a major step,” says Amber Jones, a consultant on palliative care in New York. “It shone a light on the need patients and families have for information.”
This year, legislatures in several other states are considering their own palliative care legislation at least partly modeled after the New York law. Those states include Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Arkansas and Michigan.
Even as legislation advances, there remains widespread confusion about what palliative care is. “There is a misunderstanding among the public that palliative care means end of life care,” says Jay Horton, director of the Palliative Care Consult Service at the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at Mount Sinai. “Many clinicians have the same view.” But the view is not accurate.
Palliative care provides an added layer of support for seriously ill persons and their families. It is delivered alongside all other disease treatments, in an effort to ease the suffering caused by both the disease and its treatment. Palliative care is always part of the treatment for someone in hospice care, that is, someone with a short prognosis who wants to forego further disease intervention.
But palliative care is also appropriate for many others with serious or chronic illnesses, such as leukemia, lymphoma (which is cured in a significant number of patients), heart failure, emphysema, renal failure, and dementia (with which people can live for years.) One common misconception about palliative care is that it is mutually exclusive with treatment for the underlying disease, that it only comes into play when all hope of cure is gone. That is not the case. “Just because you are undergoing palliative care doesn’t mean you are giving up on other treatment,” Horton says.
Practitioners are quick to point out that palliative care, as it is practiced today, entails far more than the relieving of symptoms….
- New York takes the lead on palliative care (sacbee.com)
- Doctors on Call: Prognosis doesn’t matter with palliative care (jacksonville.com)
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Promotes Recommendations Released by Choosing Wisely Campaign (paramuspost.com)
- Nursing: Palliative Care Of AIDS Patients (expertscolumn.com)
- Involving other providers in palliative care may help meet growing demand (eurekalert.org)
- The Growing Demand For Palliative Care Could Be Met By Involving Other Providers (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Palliative Care and the Patient Experience (thielst.typepad.com)
- Palliative care in all wards in Thiruvananthapuram by March (thehindu.com)
Trivia is awesome, especially when the questions are "a little out there." Today's trivia quiz is based on ridiculous dental facts. If you answer all of these correctly, you're a dental genius!
1) In what setting was the first commercial toothbrush (similar to what we use today) invented?
2) What is the number one cause of tooth loss in people under the age of 35?
- Tooth Loss Due To Periodontal Disease More Likely In Postmenopausal Women Who Smoked (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Global Study Suggests Dental Health Could Someday Be A Useful Risk Marker For Heart Disease (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Tooth Decay and Periodontal Disease (expertscolumn.com)
- Dental disease linked to halitosis (sfgate.com)
- Periodontal Disease Treatment (dentalimplantsmexico.wordpress.com)
- Study Confirms Link Between Periodontitis and Diabetes (ultimatesmileftl.com)
A very interesting use of crowdsourcing for medical research.
Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system.
Using automated software tools to examine queries by six million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an antidepressant, paroxetine, and a cholesterol lowering drug, pravastatin.
- Unreported Side Effects of Drugs Are Found Using Internet Search Data (secretsofthefed.com)
- Unreported Drug Side Effects Discovered by Analysis of Google Big Data (labsoftnews.typepad.com)
- Google Search As A Tool To Identify Unreported Drug Side Effects (drx.typepad.com)
- Web searches uncover hidden drug dangers (newscientist.com)
- Ramblings: Big Data or Clinical Trials or both? (binaryhealthcare.wordpress.com)
- Search Engines May Be More Able To Do The FDA's Job Than The FDA (huffingtonpost.com)
- Should You Mix Those Two Drugs? Ask Dr. Google (news.sciencemag.org)
When a person is approaching the end of life, we can find no easy answers, no solution that fits every person's or family's situation, even when they know a lot about the options available to them.
- Reports Show Hospice Saves Medicare Dollars (krextv.com)
- payment cuts and hospice (hospicesupport.wordpress.com)
- $300,000 for Hospice NZ to help improve care (national.org.nz)
- GUEST OPINION: Get acquainted with the value of hospice (tauntongazette.com)
- Hallmark, Where Are The Hospice Cards? (forbes.com)
Doing yoga is way more than just an excuse to buy expensive leggings. Aside from improving fitness and flexibility, yoga has been used to treat many ailments including depression, arthritis, anxiety, asthma, type II diabetes, fatigue, chronic pain, IBS, and sleep disruptions. Recent research suggests that hatha yoga can also play a role in reducing risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So how might twisting yourself into a pretzel lower your risk for two prominent chronic diseases?
You are probably familiar with acute inflammation if you have ever had an infection or sprained ankle. Swelling and pain are an effective way for our bodies to let us know that something is wrong. Chronic systemic inflammation, however, is not so apparent. It can persist undetected at a low level for years as it slowly damages body tissue while elevating risk for type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.
Systemic inflammation is mediated by numerous chemicals inside the body. Two such chemicals are Leptin and adiponectin. These hormones are made in the adipose tissue and have recently been recognized to have a ….
Yoga’s Effect on Inflammation
In 2012, Kiecolt-Glaser et. al. present in their paper Adiponectin, leptin, and yoga practice that “expert” hatha yoga practitioners have significantly different levels of leptin and adiponectin when compared to “novice” practitioners. Specifically, experts are shown to have 28% higher blood level adiponectin and a leptin concentration 26% lower than that of novices. Furthermore, the experts’ average adiponectin to leptin ratios were nearly twice that of the novices. Given that leptin and adiponectin are correlated with C-reactive protein, a potent marker of inflammation, this means that those who do more yoga seem to have lower systemic inflammation….
A 2008 study by the Yoga Journal found that 6.9% of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga and that 4.1% of non-practitioners, or about 9.4 million people, say they are hoping to try yoga within the next year. On this scale, if regular yoga practice can reduce systemic inflammation in healthy adult women, this is definitely an area worth further research!
- Chronic Inflammation: Could it be making you sad? (mindbodymovement.org)
- ‘Healthier hormones’ through diet and exercise (eurekalert.org)
- Hatha Yoga (dominicspoweryoga.com)
- Therapeutic Targets Found To Alter Inflammation, Type 2 Diabetes (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Mechanisms regulating inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes, cancer identified (medicalxpress.com)
- The Science That Proves You Are What You Eat (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- Systemic Inflammation in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Involves Follicular T-Helper, Th17- and Activated B-Cells and Correlates with Progression (plosone.org)
From the 20 March 2013 post at Science Roll
I was very glad to see the new book authored by e-Patient Dave deBronkart, whose thoughts I describe to medical students as a part of the official curriculum at Semmelweis Medical School, just became available.
Medical professionals must let patients help and become equal partners in the treatment! A must-read book!
Concise reasons, tips & methods for making patient engagement effective.
Third book by e-Patient Dave, cancer beater, blogger, internationally known keynote speaker and advocate for patient engagement; co-founder and past co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine. Profile:http://www.ePatientDave.com/about-dave
- Let Patients Help: A New Book Authored by e-Patient Dave deBronkart (scienceroll.com)
- Project HealthDesign’s new video series: Conversations with e-PatientDave (projecthealthdesign.typepad.com)
- Part 1: Value of social media in healthcare is already outlined – just not realized (himss.org)
- The Multidimensional Role of Social Media in Healthcare (gumption.typepad.com)
- First Post: A Video About Patients Involvement in Their Own Healthcare (healthitoutlook.wordpress.com)
- The 7 Habits of Highly Patient Centric Providers (forbes.com)
- I’m an e-patient: equipped, enabled, empowered, engaged (worldofdtcmarketing.com)
New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports New Database Reveals Thousands of Hospital Violation Reports
Hospitals make mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes. A patient may get the wrong medication or even undergo surgery intended for another person. When errors like these are reported, state and federal officials inspect the hospital in question and file a detailed report.
Now, for the first time, this vital information on the quality and safety of the nation’s hospitals has been made available to the public online.
A new website, www.hospitalinspections.org, includes detailed reports of hospital violations dating back to January 2011, searchable by city, state, name of the hospital and key word. Previously, these reports were filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and released only through a Freedom of Information Act request, an arduous, time-consuming process. Even then, the reports were provided in paper format only, making them cumbersome to analyze.
Release of this critical electronic information by CMS is the result of years of advocacy by the Association of Health Care Journalists, with funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The new database makes full inspection reports for acute care hospitals and rural critical access hospitals instantly available to journalists and consumers interested in the quality of their local hospitals.
The database also reveals national trends in hospital errors. For example, key word searches yield the incidence of certain violations across all hospitals. A search on the word “abuse,” for example, yields 862 violations at 204 hospitals since 2011. …
- Series on N.C. hospitals wins national award (charlotteobserver.com)
- Medical execs dispute hospital study (krqe.com)
- Govt. To Publish Data On What Drug & Device Makers Pay To Individual Doctors & Hospitals (consumerist.com)
- Time Magazine Study Reveals Hospitals Hiking up Medical Bills (counselheal.com)
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has released A Healthier America 2013: Strategies to Move from Sick Care to Health Care in Four Years – which provides high-impact recommendations to prioritize prevention and improve the health of Americans.
The Healthier America report outlines top policy approaches to respond to studies that show 1) more than half of Americans are living with one or more serious, chronic diseases, a majority of which could have been prevented, and 2) that today’s children could be on track to be the first in U.S. history to live shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.
“America’s health faces two possible futures,” said Gail Christopher, DN, President of the Board of TFAH and Vice President – Program Strategy of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “We can continue on the current path, resigning millions of Americans to health problems that could have been avoided or we invest in giving all Americans the opportunity to be healthier while saving billions in health care costs. We owe it to our children to take the smarter way.”
The Healthier America report stresses the importance of taking innovative approaches and building partnerships with a wide range of sectors in order to be effective. Some recommendations include:
- Advance the nation’s public health system by adopting a set of foundational capabilities, restructuring federal public health programs and ensuring sufficient, sustained funding to meet these defined foundational capabilities;
- Ensure insurance providers reimburse for effective prevention approaches both inside and outside the doctor’s office;
- Integrate community-based strategies into new health care models, such as by expanding Accountable Care Organizations into Accountable Care Communities;
- Work with nonprofit hospitals to identify the most effective ways they can expand support for prevention through community benefit programs;
- Maintain the Prevention and Public Health Fund and expand the Community Transformation Grant program so all Americans can benefit;
- Implement all of the recommendations for each of the 17 federal agency partners in the National Prevention Strategy; and
- Encourage all employers, including federal, state and local governments, to provide effective, evidence-based workplace wellness programs…..
- New Report from HSC and Trust for America’s Health Calls for Federal Action to Close Achievement Gap by Addressing School Health (healthyschoolscampaign.typepad.com)
- Prevention urged to avoid a national health catastrophe (bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com)
- Comment: Take prevention seriously, make it a priority (timescolonist.com)
- Today’s children to live shorter lives (upi.com)
British physician and writer Ben Goldacre is on a North American tour. His book, “Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients,” is released in the US on February 5. The book has been discussed in The Economist, The Public Library of Science blogs, The Guardian, and elsewhere. (Addendum one day later: Carl Elliott also reviewed the book in the BMJ.)
He also has an op-ed in the New York Times, “Health Care’s Trick Coin.” Excerpt:
“…the entire evidence base for medicine has been undermined by a casual lack of transparency. Sometimes this is through a failure to report concerns raised by doctors and internal analyses…. More commonly, it involves the suppression of clinical trial results, especially when they show a drug is no good. These problems would be bad enough on their own, but they are compounded by a generation of “fake fixes” that have delivered false reassurance, and so prevent realistic public discussion.
The best evidence shows that half of all the clinical trials ever conducted and completed on the treatments in use today have never been published in academic journals. Trials with positive or flattering results, unsurprisingly, are about twice as likely to be published — and this is true for both academic research and industry studies.
If I toss a coin, but hide the result every time it comes up tails, it looks as if I always throw heads. You wouldn’t tolerate that if we were choosing who should go first in a game of pocket billiards, but in medicine, it’s accepted as the norm. In the worst case, we can be misled into believing that ineffective treatments are worth using; more commonly we are misled about the relative merits of competing treatments, exposing patients to inferior ones.”
[The]majority of influenza virus in the air samples analyzed was found in small particles during non-aerosol-generating activities up to a 6-foot distance from the patient’s head..
Vaccination of health providers remains a fundamental and key part of protecting them from influenza
A new study suggests that patients with influenza can emit small virus-containing particles into the surrounding air during routine patient care, potentially exposing health care providers to influenza. Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the findings raise the possibility that current influenza infection control recommendations may not always be adequate to protect providers from influenza during routine patient care in hospitals…
The current belief is that influenza virus is spread primarily by large particles traveling up to a maximum of 3 to 6 feet from an infected person. Recommended precautions for health providers focus on preventing transmission by large droplets and following special instructions during aerosol-generating procedures. In this study, Dr. Bischoff and his team discovered that the majority of influenza virus in the air samples analyzed was found in small particles during non-aerosol-generating activities up to a 6-foot distance from the patient’s head, and that concentrations of virus decreased with distance. The study addressed only the presence of influenza-containing particles near patients during routine care, not the actual transmission of influenza infection to others.
Fitted respirators are currently required for health care providers during aerosol-generating procedures with patients. During routine, non-aerosol-generating patient care, the current precautions recommend that providers wear a non-fitted face mask. Based on their findings, Dr. Bischoff and investigators are concerned that providers may still be exposed to infectious dosages of influenza virus up to 6 feet from patients with small wide-spreading particles potentially exceeding the current suggested exposure zones.
These findings suggest that current infection control recommendations may need to be reevaluated, the study authors concluded. The detection of “super-emitters” raises concerns about how individuals with high viral load may impact the spread of influenza, they noted. “Our study offers new evidence of the natural emission of influenza and may provide a better understanding of how to best protect health care providers during routine care activities,” the study authors wrote. However, studies of influenza virus transmission will be necessary before the role of super-emitters can be firmly established, they noted…
Whatever protective equipment or infection control practices are used for preventing influenza transmission, vaccination of health providers remains a fundamental and key part of protecting them from influenza, noted Dr. William Schaffner, professor medicine and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., who was not involved with the study. “Influenza vaccination, although not perfect, is the best tool we have to protect health care workers — and their patients — from influenza illness.
- Health care providers may be at greater risk of flu exposure (eurekalert.org)
- Stand Back: Flu Virus Travels 6 Feet (livescience.com)
- People with flu can release small, flu-filled particles into air: Study (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
- 2012-13 Influenza vaccine effectiveness: a preliminary estimate (bio230fall2010.wordpress.com)
As an aside, I stopped participating in alumni band during football homecoming.
Just don’t want to be part of this sport which in increasingly unhealthy in the short and long run.
You’ve probably watched the Super Bowl as I have many times, faithfully, elevating the occasion to some kind of macabre family tradition. It is a spectacle of athletic agility, drama, and struggle; the pinnacle of American sporting contests. Despite the heavy onslaught of commercialism, faux halftime culture, and evident violence on the field, we suspend our awareness that this event may not be a magical moment worth our time and validation, even as its winners call out to some magical Disney kingdom.
Here are 7 points to consider:
7. Obesity and cardiovascular disease. Up to 45% of youth participating in football are overweight or obese. The nature of the sport favors, and increasingly demands, a large body size. The physique acquired in adolescence often persists into adulthood.
According to a 2007 study of 653 boys ages 8-14 playing football in Michigan, 20% were overweight and another 25% were obese, as defined by body mass index.Studies have shown that linemen have high early mortality rates, and for all professional players who have played 5 years or more, life expectancy is less than 60.
6) MRSA infections and abscesses. Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have suffered from it.
- CTE Continued (Buckeye Surgeon)
CTE is an abbreviation for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (Head Trauma)
Search the blog with CTE for other related postings by this Ohio physician
- Super Bowl XLVII and sex trafficking (multiplyjustice.net)
Yoga on our minds: The 5,000-year-old Indian practice may have positive effects on major psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and sleep complaints
Yoga has positive effects on mild depression and sleep complaints, even in the absence of drug treatments, and improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD in patients on medication, according to a systematic review of the exercise on major clinical psychiatric disorders.
Published in the open-access journal, Frontiers in Psychiatry, on January 25th, 2013, the review of more than one hundred studies focusing on 16 high-quality controlled studies looked at the effects of yoga on depression, schizophrenia, ADHD, sleep complaints, eating disorders and cognition problems.
Yoga in popular culture
Yoga is a popular exercise and is practiced by 15.8 million adults in the United States alone, according to a survey by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau, and its holistic goal of promoting psychical and mental health is widely held in popular belief.
“However, yoga has become such a cultural phenomenon that it has become difficult for physicians and patients to differentiate legitimate claims from hype,” wrote the authors in their study. “Our goal was to examine whether the evidence matched the promise.”
Plastics have transformed modern society, providing attractive benefits but also befouling waterways and aquifers, depleting petroleum supplies and disrupting human health…
In a new overview appearing in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, Halden and his co-author, ASU student Emily North, detail the risks and societal rewards of plastics and describe strategies to mitigate their negative impacts, through reconsideration of plastic composition, use and disposal.
“We are in need of a second plastic revolution. The first one brought us the age of plastics, changing human society and enabling the birth and explosive growth of many industries. But the materials used to make plastics weren’t chosen judiciously and we see the adverse consequences in widespread environmental pollution and unnecessary human exposure to harmful substances. Smart plastics of the future will be equally versatile but also non-toxic, biodegradable and made from renewable energy sources,” says Halden….
..plastics may be manufactured at low cost using little energy and their adaptable composition allows them to be synthesized in soft, transparent or flexible forms suitable for a broad range of medical applications. Because they can be readily disposed of, items like latex gloves, dialysis tubes, intravenous bags and plastic syringes eliminate the need for repeated sterilization, which is often costly and inefficient. Such single-use items have had a marked effect on reducing blood-borne infections, including hepatitis B and HIV…
he benefits of global plastics use can come at a steep price in terms of both human and environmental health. Continuous contact with plastic products, from the beginning to the end of life has caused chemical ingredients — some with potentially harmful effects — to form steady-state concentrations in the human body.
In recent years, two plastic-associated compounds have been singled out for particular scrutiny, due to their endocrine-disrupting properties: Bisphenol A (BPA) and di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). Studies of bioaccumulation have shown that detectable levels of BPA in urine have been identified in 95 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and both BPA and DEHP have been associated, through epidemiological and animal studies, with adverse effects on health and reproduction. These include early sexual maturation, decreased male fertility, aggressive behavior and other effects…
Biodegradeable plastics may break down in the environment into smaller polymer constituents, which may still pose a risk to the environment. Incineration liberates greenhouse gases associated with climate change. Landfilling of plastics, particularly in the enormous volumes now produced, may be an impractical use of land resources and a danger exists of plastics constituents entering the ground water. Finally, recycling of plastics requires careful sorting of plastic material, which is difficult. Recycled plastics tend to be of lower quality and may not be practical for health care and other application…
Many consumer products, such as water bottles and product containers, are made from various types of plastic. The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) established a classification system in 1988 to allow consumers and recyclers to properly recycle and dispose of different types of plastic. Manufacturers follow a coding system and place an SPI code, or number, on each plastic product, which is usually molded into the bottom. Although you should always verify the plastic classification number of each product you use, this guide provides a basic outline of the different plastic types associated with each code number.
Plastic marked with anSPI code of 1is made withPolyethylene Terephthalate, which is also known as PETE or PET. Containers made from this plastic sometimes absorb odors and flavors from foods and drinks that are stored in them. Items made from this plastic are commonly recycled. PETE plastic is used to make many common household items like beverage bottles, medicine jars, peanut butter jars, combs, bean bags, and rope. Recycled PETE is used to make tote bags, carpet, fiberfill material in winter clothing, and more.
Plastic marked with anSPI code of 2is made withHigh-Density Polyethylene, or HDPE. HDPEproducts are very safe and they are not known to transmit any chemicals into foods or drinks. HDPE products are commonly recycled. Items made from this plastic include containers for milk, motor oil, shampoos and conditioners, soap bottles, detergents, and bleaches. Many personalized toys are made from this plastic as well. (Please note: it is NEVER safe to reuse an HDPE bottle as a food or drink container if it didn’t originally contain food or drink!) Recycled HDPE is used to make plastic crates, plastic lumber, fencing, and more.
Plastic labeled with anSPI code of 3is made withPolyvinyl Chloride, or PVC. PVC is not often recycled and it can be harmful if ingested. PVC is used for all kinds of pipes and tiles, but it’s most commonly found in plumbing pipes. This kind of plastic should not come in contact with food items. Recycled PVC is used to make flooring, mobile home skirting, and more.
Plastic marked with anSPI code of 4is made withLow-Density Polyethylene, or LDPE. LDPE is not commonly recycled, but it is recyclable in certain areas. It is a very healthy plastic that tends to be both durable and flexible. Plastic cling wrap, sandwich bags, squeezable bottles, and plastic grocery bags are all made from LDPE. Recycled LDPE is used to make garbage cans, lumber, furniture, and more.
Plastic marked with anSPI code of 5is made withPolypropylene, or PP. PP is not commonly recycled, but it is accepted in many areas. This type of plastic is strong and can usually withstand higher temperatures. Among many other products, it is used to make plastic diapers, Tupperware, margarine containers, yogurt boxes, syrup bottles, prescription bottles, and some stadium cups. Plastic bottle caps are often made from PP as well. Recycled PP is used to make ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, and more.
Plastic marked with anSPI code of 6is made withPolystyrene, also known as PSand most commonly known as Styrofoam. It is commonly recycled, but it is difficult to do so and often ends up in landfills anyway. Disposable coffee cups, plastic food boxes, plastic cutlery, packing foam, and packing peanuts are made from PS. Recycled PS is used to make insulation, license plate frames, rulers, and more.
The SPI code of 7is used to designate miscellaneous types of plastic that are not defined by the other six codes. Polycarbonate and Polylactide are included in this category. These types of plastics are difficult to recycle. Polycarbonate, or PC, is used in baby bottles, large water bottles (multiple-gallon capacity), compact discs, and medical storage containers. Recycled plastics in this category are used to make plastic lumber, among other products.
Consumers can make better plastic-purchasing decisions if they understand SPI codes and potential health hazards of each plastic, and recyclers can more effectively separate plastics into categories. Always check a product’s classification code prior to recycling it or re-using it. It’s important to stay educated about plastic classification numbers and plastic types; remember, informed consumers can demand that plastics manufacturers provide better products.
- Plastic Cup Reduces Paper Waste at Landfills (polymersolutions.com)
- Bisphenol S, A Substitute For Bisphenol A, Could Also Spell Trouble(MedicalNewsToday)
- Concord, Mass. Becomes the First US City to Ban Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles (inhabitat.com)
- Link Between Fetal Exposure To PVC Plastic Chemical And Obesity In Offspring (medicalnewstoday.com)
- New Desktop Plastic Recycling Device Could Make 3D Printing More Planet-Friendly (thinkprogress.org)
- Do You Know How Many Types Of Plastic There Are? (recycledplasticpatiofurniture.wordpress.com)
- Biodegradable plastic: What you need to know (mnn.com)
- Ant Study Deepens Concern About Plastic Additives (green.blogs.nytimes.com)
- How Plastics Make Us Fat (homepad.wordpress.com)
- Living in a ‘chemical soup’ > A recent study indicates that eating fresh food and avoiding food packaged in plastic reduces exposure to harmful chemicals. (newsreview.com)
- Rising levels of plastic waste on Arctic seafloor alarming (eco-business.com)
CHOP experts are co-authors of 2 large studies of outcomes after in-hospital cardiac arrest
Experts from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were among the leaders of two large national studies showing that extending CPR longer than previously thought useful saves lives in both children and adults. The research teams analyzed impact of duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in patients who suffered cardiac arrest while hospitalized.
“These findings about the duration of CPR are game-changing, and we hope these results will rapidly affect hospital practice,” said Robert A. Berg, M.D., chief of Critical Care Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Berg is the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Heart Association’s Get With Guidelines-Resuscitation program (GWTG-R). That quality improvement program is the only national registry that tracks and analyzes resuscitation of patients after in-hospital cardiac arrests.
The investigators reported data from the GWTG-Resuscitation registry of CPR outcomes in thousands of North American hospital patients in two landmark studies—one in children, published today, the other in adults, published in October 2012.
Berg was a co-author of the pediatric study, appearing online today in Circulation, which analyzed hospital records of 3,419 children in the U.S. and Canada from 2000 through 2009. This study, whose first author was Renee I. Matos, M.D., M.P.H., a mentored young investigator, found that among children who suffered in-hospital cardiac arrest, more children than expected survived after prolonged CPR—defined as CPR lasting longer than 35 minutes. Of those children who survived prolonged CPR, over 60 percent had good neurologic outcomes…..
Related blog items
- Longer CPR for heart attack victims could lead to more survivors, claim researchers (dailymail.co.uk)
- Prolonged CPR May Boost Chances for Cardiac Arrest Victims (news.health.com)
- Take-home CPR kit offers efficient, effective training for families of children with serious health conditions (medicalxpress.com)
- Cooling Is Key To Protecting Organs After Prolonged CPR (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Skipping Mouth-to-Mouth in CPR May Save More Lives (medicaldaily.com)
Responses in a recent survey ranged from blaming Hurricane Sandy (with a government coverup) to profit motivations by BigPharma to vaccine inffectiveness.
- Flu myths: Know your bug (sacbee.com)
- CDC: Flu activity continues to be high across the United States (medicalxpress.com)
- How To Avoid The Flu Epidemic While Traveling (gadling.com)
- US flu epidemic worsens, 29 children dead (terradaily.com)
On January 11, 2013, this report was posted as an MMWR Early Release on the MMWR website (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr)
In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months (1). Each season since 2004–05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent influenza-associated, medically attended acute respiratory infection (ARI).
This season, early data from 1,155 children and adults with ARI enrolled during December 3, 2012–January 2, 2013 were used to estimate the overall effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine for preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infection associated with medically attended ARI.
After adjustment for study site, but not for other factors, the estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 62% (95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 51%–71%). This interim estimate indicates moderate effectiveness, and is similar to a summary VE estimate from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trial data (2); final estimates likely will differ slightly.
As of January 11, 2013, 24 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness, 16 states were reporting moderate levels, five states were reporting low levels, and one state was reporting minimal levels (3). CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices routinely recommend that annual influenza vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating (1). Persons aged ≥6 months who have not yet been vaccinated this season should be vaccinated.
However, these early VE estimates underscore that some vaccinated persons will become infected with influenza; therefore, antiviral medications should be used as recommended for treatment in patients, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, these results highlight the importance of continued efforts to develop more effective vaccines……
- Flu season worsens, 29 children die (msnbc.msn.com)
- CDC: Manufacturers making more flu vaccine (upi.com)
- Will The Flu Shot Protect Me From This Year’s Flu? (alternativendhealth.wordpress.com)
- 2012-13 Seasonal Influenza – an update! (bio230fall2010.wordpress.com)
- FDA approves new flu vaccine (kmov.com)
- Flu vaccine halves risk of infection this year, Canadian study shows (vancouversun.com)
The TRI National Analysis is an annual report that provides EPA’s analysis and interpretation of the most recent TRI data. It includes information about toxic chemical releases to the environment from facilities that report to the TRI Program. It also includes information about how toxic chemicals are managed through recycling, treatment and energy recovery, and how facilities are working to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals generated and released.
WASHINGTON – Total toxic air releases in 2011 declined 8 percent from 2010, mostly because of decreases in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions, even while total releases of toxic chemicals increased for the second year in a row, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report published today.
The annual TRI provides citizens with vital information about their communities. The TRI program collects information on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country. TRI data are submitted annually to EPA, states and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste facilities.
What’s new in the National Analysis this year?
- An investigation into declining air releases;
- More information about pollution prevention activities conducted at TRI facilities;
- Updated risk information;
- Enhanced Indian Country and Alaska Native Villages (ANVs) analysis.
What tools are available to help me conduct my own analysis?
A variety of online tools are available to help you access and analyze TRI data. When using TRI data, you may also want to explore the other data sources and information listed on the TRI Data and Tools webpage.
Where can I get downloadable files containing the data used in the 2011 National Analysis?
- Basic Data Files : Each file contains the most commonly requested data fields submitted by facilities on the TRI Reporting Form R or the Form A Certification Statement.
- Basic Plus Data Files : These files collectively contain all the data fields submitted by facilities on the TRI Reporting Form R or the Form A Certification Statement.
- Dioxin, Dioxin-Like Compounds and TEQ Data Files : These files include the individually reported mass quantity data for dioxin and dioxin-like compounds reported on the TRI Reporting Form R Schedule 1, along with the associated TEQ data.
- EPA’s 2011 Toxics Release Inventory: Total toxic chemicals increase as result of mining (yubanet.com)
- EPA Toxic Release Inventory: Due to metal mining Alaska had the highest TRI releases in the nation (yubanet.com)
- EPA Issues Annual Report on Chemicals Released Into (suzirow.wordpress.com)
- EPA Annual Report Shows Increase of Toxic Chemicals to the Environment (ecowatch.org)
- Airborne Toxins Down, But Overall Pollutant Levels Rising: EPA (nlm.nih.gov)
A nationwide survey ***of US adults finds that 1 in 3 of Americans say they have used the internet to help them diagnose a medical condition, either for themselves or someone else. But, when asked who they turned to for help with a serious health issue, either online or offline, the majority said they turned to a doctor or other health professional…
…when these “online diagnosers” were asked who they turned to for information, care or support the last time they had a serious health problem, either online or offline:
- 70% said they got it from a health professional,
- 60% turned to family and friends, and
- 24% said they got it from others with the same condition.
When the survey asked online diagnosers if the information they found online had led them to think they needed to see a doctor, 46% said yes, while 38% said they could take care of it themselves and 11% said it was a case of both or something in between.
- Internet Is First Stop for Many Ill People, Study Finds (mashable.com)
- 1 in 3 adults search online for medical diagnosis (cbc.ca)
- ‘Doctor Google’ Isn’t Replacing Actual Doctors Any Time Soon (betabeat.com)
***The full Pew Internet report Health Online 2013 may be found here
1. Avoid looking at back-lit screens for 60 minutes before bedtime. That means no television, iPad use, laptop use, checking the smartphone, or reading a back-lit e-reader before bed. Reading a book made from trees is ideal, as is listening to music or having a relaxing conversation, if you remember that vanishing social custom.
2. Taper the amount of caffeine you consume. Even if you finish your coffee in the morning, you will benefit. It takes six hours to clear half the amount of caffeine you consume. With super-sized coffee cups, a large cup may contain more than 200 milligrams of caffeine. Here is the math. If you drink three large cups of coffee by 11am, you have consumed 600 milligrams of caffeine. Six hours later, at 5pm, 300mg of caffeine remain in your body. Six hours after that, at 11pm, 150mg remain. At 5am the next morning, 75mg of caffeine remain from the previous morning. This compromises your ability to fall asleep readily, and makes your mind race. It also prevents deep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If your patient offers to stop “cold turkey,” don’t let her. A slow taper prevents caffeine-withdrawal headaches.
- Use Science To Get Better Sleep (And Need Less) (lifehacker.com.au)
- Rest For The Weary: 5 Great Travel-Centric Ways To Celebrate National Sleep Day (gadling.com)
This blog post brought to mind a dear friend of mine, deceased now about 8 years. She was staying at our house, basically to get out of an abusive relationship. She had a myriad of health problems…Once I came home and she was passed out. I thought it was one of her many medical conditions that was the main factor…and somehow with the help of neighbors got her in my car and we sped to the emergency room. To make a long story short, it turned out her blood alcohol was extremely high….I know now the alcoholism not only “translated” into high medical costs for her, but also a short life.
May she rest in peace, rest in peace….
Defined as someone “having the faculties impaired by alcohol, those of us who work in an acute healthcare facility are witness to many illustrious examples of drunk patients coming through our doors.
Underaged kids passed out at a house party? Yup. Raging alcoholics who are brought into the ER at least once a week? Sure. Elderly women who secretly binges on wine at home and falls down the stairs repeatedly? You betcha. What they all have in common is an apparent complete oblivion/ignorance to the source of the problem, and the associated ill effects on themselves.
Sometimes I wonder if the healthcare/political/legal system itself is “drunk”, in its own oblivion and inaction towards the impact alcohol abuse is having on our society.
The average sober Canadian would be shocked to hear of the types of alcohol-related ER visits that come through a hospital’s doors every weekend.
Empirical data supports this theory of absurd and inefficient healthcare dollar usage on alcohol abuse related hospital visits. As reported in the Recommendations for a National Alcohol Strategy published in 2007, “the economic impact of alcohol-related harm in Canada totaled $14.6B, taking into account the costs associated with lost productivity, health care, and enforcement. This amount is slightly less than the estimated cost of tobacco at $17B, but nearly double the cost attributed to illegal drugs at $8.2B”.
Anecdotal evidence reports many unnecessary ER visits where drunk patients simply take up an acute care bed for the night to sober up, eat a free breakfast in the morning and then get discharged. It is estimated that 0.6% of all U.S. ER visits are made by people who have no other problems beside being drunk, translating to over 900 million dollars just for ER visits alone….
- LOOK: Your Body On Alcohol (huffingtonpost.com)
- Russia in a Froth? Beer Now Labeled as Alcohol (livescience.com)
- Marine Corps attacks alcohol abuse (utsandiego.com)
- UK teens: Cheaper to get drunk than go to cinema (standard.co.uk)
- Paul Heenan And Our Drinking Culture (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Should I stop drinking alcohol in January? (guardian.co.uk)
- Do alcohol and marijuana mix? Colorado is about to find out (denverpost.com)
- Booze calories too often ignored (bbc.co.uk)
- Decide yourself about Drinking Alcohol (draggarwal.org)
|Volume 4, Issue 1: January 2013www.niehs.nih.gov/PEPH|
From the January edition of PEPH eNews
Numerous Flame Retardants in House Dust, Some Exceeding Federal Health Guidelines
Recent studies from our PEPH partners have shed light on concerns for widespread exposure to flame retardants in U.S. homes, and their publications garnered a flurry of attention in the lay press. Flame retardants (FRs) are commonly used in furniture and other products, and pose health risks including cancer, learning problems, and hormone disruption.
In a new report published in Environmental Science & Technology, Robin Dodson, Sc.D., at the Silent Spring Institute found that, in a survey of house dust, 36 of 44 FRs identified were detected in at least 50% of the samples. Most houses tested had at least one FR in house dust whose levels exceeded a federal health guideline
In the same issue, Heather Stapleton, Ph.D., an environmental chemist at the Duke University Superfund Research Program, published studyfindings that over 85% of couches tested contained an FR. Stapleton said, “Our study found that one California state flammability standard is affecting the entire country’s exposure to chemicals that may be causing human health problems, and it is unclear whether or not these chemicals actually offer any fire safety benefits.” Dodson added, “These hazardous chemicals are in the air we breathe, the dust we touch, and the couches we sit on. Infants and toddlers who spend much time on the floor are at higher risk for exposure.” Their research received much publicity in the press including Forbes, Nature, CBS, San Francisco Chronicle, and theChicago Tribune. The Silent Spring Institute offers a factsheet with suggestions on how you can reduce exposures to FRs in your home.
- Harmful flame retardants found in 84 percent of Calif. couches (cbsnews.com)
- Unsafe Levels Of Flame Retardants In House Dust; Link To Cancer, Learning Problems, Hormone Disruption (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Study: Toxic Flame Retardants Found in Nearly All Tested Couches in U.S.-Wide Analysis (prn.fm)
- New Studies Find Dangerous Levels of Flame Retardants in Household Dust from Electronics, Furniture, Textiles (forbes.com)
- Study finds toxic chemicals in most of couches tested (seattlepi.com)
Please do not promote “miracle diets” for the New Year, British Women and Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson has urged magazine editors.
Every year throughout the world, magazines are awash with miracle cure diets that guarantee incredible results after weeks of overindulgence during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Jo Swinson, MP (Member of Parliament) for East Dunbartonshire, says magazine editors must avoid the temptation of falling into the annual diet hype among their New Year resolutions for 2013. The Minister made the request in an open letter to magazine editors.
Swinson urges editors to think twice about the consequences of promoting unrealistic and untested diets on girls and women.
Swinson said “Surely by now we’re all aware that there are no miracle diets or if there are, they are miracles that come with a cost. Given that most diets fail within a very short time, it is irresponsible for magazines to offer ‘tips’ ‘tricks’ and ‘simple steps’ so that people can be thin. Not healthy or vibrant, just thin.”…
- UK News: Magazines warned on new year diets (walesonline.co.uk)
- Magazines warned on new year diets (express.co.uk)
- Minister wants magazine diets axed (bbc.co.uk)
- Minister wants magazine diets axed (oddonion.com)