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Cancer patient recovery amazes specialists!

Cancer patient's recovery amazes doctors

29 July 2008

A LUNG cancer patient in Edinburgh who was given just a few months to live has stunned doctors by going into remission.

The unnamed patient, a 69-year-old female ex-smoker from the Lothians, developed lung cancer in 2006. She also suffered from Crohn's Disease, an unrelated disorder which causes an uncomfortable inflammation of the bowel, and doctors suggested removing her Crohn's medication while treating the cancer.

Within six months the cancer had unexpectedly disappeared, leading doctors to conclude that the withdrawal of the drug must have been the cause. Edinburgh Royal Infirmary pathologist Dr William Wallace, the lung cancer specialist who conducted the woman's biopsies, said the chances of the cancer going into remission spontaneously were "so astronomical as to be almost nonexistent".

Dr Janet Ironside, consultant clinical oncologist at the Western General, meanwhile called the woman's case "exceptional".

However, Dr Wallace said there was little chance that their findings could be used to formulate a new cure for cancer.

He added: "The Crohn's drug she was taking suppresses the immune system in order to calm the inflammation. When the drug was removed, the woman's immune system would have kicked in and we believe this may have led to the cancer going into remission.

"However, scientist have tried injecting the proteins that cause the immune response into cancer cells with very little response. As a result, it is likely that this case will become little more than a medical curiosity."

While the case may not be able to help towards a cure for cancer, it may lead to further guidelines to prevent it in future.

The Edinburgh experts have written to the New England Journal of Medicine warning that there is now "real concern" over the risk of cancer associated with the woman's medication, known as anti-TNFs.

Professor Jack Satsangi, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Edinburgh, said: "The last thing we want to do is cause a scare so it's important that these findings are discussed in context.

"Crohn's disease is very serious disorder and these drugs can have life-changing effects for their users, so it will be up to doctors and patients to balance the benefits with any newly-identified risks associated with the drugs."



Blue light and anti-cancer therapy

Blue Light Used To Harden Tooth Fillings Stunts Tumor Growth


ScienceDaily (June 28, 2008) — A blue curing light used to harden dental fillings also may stunt tumor growth, Medical College of Georgia researchers say

"The light sends wavelengths of blue-violet light to the composite, which triggers hardening," says Alpesh Patel, a rising MCG School of Dentistry junior. "The light waves produce free radicals that activate the catalyst and speed up polymerization of the composite resin. In oral cancer cells, though, those radicals cause damage that decreases cell growth and increases cell death."

Mr. Patel, who has been working with Dr. Jill Lewis, associate professor of oral biology, Dr. Regina Messer, associate professor of oral rehabilitation and oral biology, and Dr. John Wataha, adjunct professor of oral rehabilitation and oral biology, studied 10 tumor-bearing mice, five treated with the light and five untreated.

He exposed half the mice to the blue light for 90 seconds a day for 12 days. Then the tumors were extracted and each one was split into two sections. Half were used to create slides for tissue analysis, and half were frozen to prepare protein extracts.

Tissue analysis indicated an approximate 10 percent increase in cell suicide, or apoptosis, in the light-treated tumors. The frozen protein extracts revealed a nearly 80 percent decrease in cell growth in the light-treated tumors.

"The decrease in cell growth, combined with increased apoptosis, helps explain why the tumors didn't grow as much because you have cells that aren't dividing and you have cells that are committing suicide," Mr. Patel says.

Dr. Lewis predicts treating the tumors with blue light sooner will increase the rate of apoptosis, possibly preventing the tumor from ever becoming measurable and easing treatment.

"One desirable feature we've observed with the blue light is that non-cancerous cells appear unaffected at light doses that kill tumor cells," says Dr. Lewis. "We're thinking that some day, blue light therapy may serve as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy. Patients may, therefore, receive lower doses of chemotherapy, which would decrease the adverse effects most cancer patients experience from standard chemotherapy regimens."

Mr. Patel presented his findings at the 2008 American Association for Dental Research Student Research Group DENTSPLY/Caulk competition, winning third place in the basic science category. He and rising junior MCG School of Dentistry student Beth Rainwater were two of only seven students nationwide to be selected for the competition.


Adapted from materials provided by Medical College of Georgia, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


Dangerous nipples for our babies

These nipples are dangerous

CERS STUDY ▪ Presence of migrated heavy metals was found in pacifier samples

When a baby cries, a mother tries to stop him with a feeding bottle. If the baby keeps crying, she puts a pacifier in the baby’s mouth. The baby calms down.

A little old, the child is introduced to the teether. Apart from engaging the baby, the teether alleviates the pain. But the next time your baby cries, think again before putting any such infant toy in its mouth. Pacifiers, teethers and nipples may contain toxic metals that are hazardous for your little one.

The Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad, tested a range of pacifiers, teethers and nipples for the presence of migrated heavy metals (lead, cadmium and chromium), considering their high toxicity. The findings are so alarming that CERS published the report without testing larger sample sizes.

Scientists and experts are of the opinion that the presence of metals like lead, cadmium and chromium, even in the smallest amount, is hazardous to health. Even the faintest trace of these metals in pacifiers, teethers and nipples, meant for sucking and biting, can pose a health risk to infants.

The lead content in toys has become a global issue. In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has framed standards for the maximum amount of migrated lead, cadmium and chromium in children’s toys. But there are no separate standards for infant toys like pacifiers, nipples and teethers.

Infant toys cannot be clubbed with children’s toys. These toys are meant for sucking and biting over a period of time, owing to which the toxic elements easily leak out with the saliva and get ingested into the body. Besides, the BIS standards are not mandatory for toy manufacturers.

A total of eight samples of pacifiers, teethers and nipples were tested for migrated elemental lead (Pb), calcium (Cd) and chromium (Cr). The results revealed that none of the toy samples was free from lead. The migrated lead content varied from 2.7 to 9.6 ppm (parts per million). Although this figure complies with the standards set by the BIS, the presence of lead is not acceptable, particularly in infant toys.

Nuby Natural Flex Pacifier contained 5.5 ppm of lead and Disney Baby Soother and Holder Set had 5.6 ppm of lead. Out of the three teethers tested, Mom’s and Me water-filled teether had the highest lead content (9.6 ppm), while Fisher Price Penguin water-filled teether had the lowest amount of lead (5.4 ppm). The Yash Yellow rubber nipple had the highest lead content (4.8 ppm) and Piyu silicon rubber nipple had the lowest (2.7 ppm). This is dangerous because the chewing and swallowing of toys by infants make them more vulnerable to toxic lead.

Cadmium, a heavy metal used as stabilisers in plastic and paints, was found in all the samples tested. The samples contained cadmium in a range of 0.1 to 0.6 ppm. In the pacifiers tested, the Nuby brand had more cadmium (0.6 ppm) than Disney (0.1 ppm). Mom’s and Me had more cadmium (0.3ppm) than Lucky and Fisher Price. Both these brands had 0.2 ppm of cadmium. Yash Yellow had the lowest amount of cadmium (0.1 ppm) while Alfa silicon rubber nipple had the maximum (0.4 ppm).

Cadmium is a nephrotoxin which can damage the kidneys. Ingestion of cadmium may cause abdominal pain, nausea and even death. Even a small quantity of cadmium may pose a great danger to an infant’s body.

Traces of chromium were found in all the samples tested. The amount of migrated chromium varied from 0.4 to 5.0 ppm. The Nuby Natural Flex Pacifier had a chromium content of 2.8 ppm. Out of the three teethers tested Mom’s and Me water-filled teether contained the highest amount of chromium (5.0 ppm). Alfa silicon rubber nipple contained 4.4 ppm of chromium while Yash Yellow rubber nipple contained the least (1.0 ppm).

Like lead and cadmium, chromium is also considered toxic. Highly toxic Cr (VI) may cause irritation and asthma attacks. Young people may be more susceptible to toxic effects of chromium than adults.

After the test results, paediatricians were consulted to know about the medical basis of providing pacifiers, teethers to infants, their disadvantages and alternatives. Dr Saurin Parekh, consultant and visiting paediatrician at SAL, Sterling and Jeevraj Mehta Hospital in Ahmedabad, says that these toys are major sources of bacterial and fungal infections, beside chemicals. As an alternative, he suggests using a clean, unpainted but smooth wooden pacifier. You can also give your baby a big piece of carrot, cucumber and radish after removing their upper surface with clean water.

Dr Vivek Upal, consultant paediatrician and neonatologist at Surveen Children’s Hospital, suggests that bottles not be used for feeding as both the nipple and bottle get contaminated and are made of plastic containing hazardous elements. He says that thumb sucking is a safer option than teethers, nipples and pacifiers and suggests keeping the infant’s surrounding clean and hygienic.

CERS recommends that the BIS revise the standard for safety requirements for toys, particularly the limits for toxic metals like lead, cadmium and chromium. A separate category for infant toys like teethers, pacifiers and nipples should also be made. The revised standard as well as other standards should be made mandatory for toy manufacturers and importers. Commenting on the test results, Mattel Inc. said it does not use lead or cadmium compound as stabilisers for plastics or PVC. The minute amount of lead detected may have resulted from exposure to dust, equipment or even water. The mere detection of lead at these levels, which are below the regulatory standards, doesn’t equate to a health risk.

CERS stresses that the test samples were completely sealed, having no room for dust. The laboratory uses good quality triple distilled water, which has almost zero lead content. Hence the lead content measured in the test sample of Fisher Price Penguin water teether was from the sample only.

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Using seawater in agriculture

Using Seawater in Agriculture and Its Significance for Human Survival

Friday, July 25, 2008 by: Joanne Waldron

The general public is slowly becoming aware of some of the health benefits of antioxidants. Health-conscious individuals have known about their many benefits, which include the ability to fight cancer and heart disease, for a long time now. The good news is that according to a new study by a group of Italian scientists published in the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, irrigating cherry tomatoes with diluted seawater was shown to actually increase their level of antioxidants.

In this study, the Italian scientists watered one group of cherry tomatoes using freshwater. Another group of cherry tomatoes was watered with a solution of diluted (12%) seawater. The scientists found that the cherry tomatoes grown using the diluted seawater had much higher levels of antioxidants (like vitamin C, vitamin E, dihydrolipoic acid, and chlorogenic acid) than the cherry tomatoes grown using freshwater.

Some people may be thinking that this news isn't such a big deal, but nothing could be further from the truth. Right now, the world is facing an unprecedented global water shortage. According to a report from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 70% of the world's freshwater supply is used in irrigation.

According to the report, demands on freshwater ecosystems are being seriously impacted by human population growth and burgeoning worldwide economic activities. The report notes that water withdrawals "have increased six-fold since the 1900s, which is twice the rate of population growth." Being able to use seawater to irrigate crops could mean the difference between life and death for many people.

It might be difficult for certain individuals to see the big picture concerning the health of the planet when they are clearly unaware of how to conquer their own personal health challenges. Could it be that they also don't know about the amazing research done by Dr. Robert Cutler which suggests that antioxidants may, in fact, be longevity determinants? To put that in really simple terms that anyone can understand, Cutler's work has repeatedly shown evidence that the more antioxidants you have in your body, the longer you will live. It's that basic. (Obviously, don't walk out in front of any cars -- this refers to potential longevity here.)

This is one reason why many consumer health advocates have made it a life mission to spread this kind of information. The health benefits of antioxidants have turned up in study after study, but how many doctors actually sit down with their patients and emphasize their importance in terms of health and longevity? Sadly, there are way too many doctors who don't inform their patients about the power of foods to prevent (and sometimes even cure) disease despite the fact that this stuff is constantly being reported every month in countless peer-reviewed medical journals.

Incidentally, the Italian scientists that conducted the study using diluted seawater and cherry tomatoes aren't the first ones to study using seawater to grow more nutritious plants. In 1976, a man named Dr. Maynard Murray published an outstanding book called Sea Energy Agriculture. Dr. Murray wanted to find out why sea life, both animal and vegetable, was healthier than life on land. In his book, he gives an example about how when one compares the cells of a baby whale to an adult whale, the cells don't show the evidence of the chemical changes that one sees when comparing the cells of newborn and adult land mammals. It was his belief that the reason for the absence of chronic diseases in fish and animal life is due to the fact that the ocean has the perfect balance of trace mineral elements required for the optimal health of both land and sea creatures. He even did experiments where he fed animals plants that had been fertilized with solids made with evaporated seawater and found that those animals were far healthier and lived longer than animals that were fed in the traditional way.

It is a well-known fact that foods grown in the nutrient-depleted soils today have greatly diminished nutritional value, and it is imperative to find a way to restore the minerals to the soil that are lost through erosion and other means. With a worldwide water shortage looming ahead, it is also important to figure out how to harness the amazing power of seawater to irrigate crops. This is why research that finds ways to both conserve water and create more nutritious foods must not be ignored if man is to continue to inhabit the earth.

About the author
Joanne Waldron is a computer scientist with a passion for writing and sharing health-related news and information with others. She runs the Naked Wellness: The Gentle Health Revolution forum, which is devoted to achieving radiant health, well-being, and longevity.

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Detox your liver twice/year!


Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D., A.H.G.

The liver is one of the most important detoxifying organs of the body. With hepatitis C on the rise and patients who have been exposed to a wide variety of environmental toxins, or have had to undergo chemotherapy, doing a liver flush once or twice a year is highly beneficial. Accompanying the liver flush, do a course of Planetary Formula's Bupleurum Liver Cleanse and Turmeric Extract of each two tablets three times daily is a way of helping to maintain normal liver function. Do not do this program longer or more frequently unless under the direct supervision of a qualified herbalist or medical doctor.

To do a liver flush take 8 ounces of distilled water with 8 ounces of apple juice in which is blended 1-4 cloves of garlic and a hunk of fresh ginger and 1-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Take this each morning on an empty stomach for four days in a row. Follow with a cup of tea made with fennel seed and dandelion root.

It is a good idea to accompany a liver cleansing program with plenty of green vegetables or a warm apple juice fast to which is dissolved a teaspoon of agar agar flakes per glass of warm apple juice. Cayenne pepper should be taken in capsule form or stirred into a little water, at least three times daily. Begin with two 00 sized cayenne capsules or a half teaspoon of cayenne powder.

The best times to do a liver flush are in the spring or summer. It is invaluable for dredging and removing stored toxins and fat accumulated from a sluggish liver stored throughout the body. For many, it has been found to be effective for safely expelling gallstones but you might want to check with your herbalist, doctor or another qualified health practitioner before undergoing such a program.


Heavy metals in children's toys

More Children's Toys Contain High Levels of Heavy Metals, Dangerous Chemicals

Thursday, July 24, 2008 by: David Guti

More than a third of toys tested contain toxic chemicals, according to a report released by the Ecology Center's Environmental Health Project and the Washington Toxics Coalition.

The groups tested 1,200 toys and other children's products using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer that reveals objects' elemental composition. According to the groups, this method is far more accurate than the types of home lead-testing kits that are widely available.

The researchers found that more than a third of all products tested contained toxic elements, the most common being lead, mercury, cadmium or arsenic. Other elements tested for were bromine, chlorine, chromium and tin.

Seventeen percent of the objects tested contained more lead than is allowed by federal safety standards, or 600 parts per million (ppm). Some products had lead levels more than five times the allowed maximum -- a Hannah Montana card game, for example, tested at 3,056 ppm.

Cadmium levels greater than 100 ppm were found in 2.9 percent of products, and arsenic levels greater than 100 ppm were found in 2.2 percent.

Lead was most common in jewelry, but other products containing toxins included bath toys and bedroom slippers. Many brand-name products were on the report's list of "worst toys," including Elmo's Take-Along card games and a Go Diego Go backpack.

The children's products were tested only to see if they contained toxic substances, so it is unknown exactly how much risk of exposure each product poses, or what the health effects of using them might be.

According to Tracey Easthope, director of the Environmental Health Project, the purpose of the study was to spur the government to carry out better testing, rather than to accuse specific toys of being dangerous.

"We aren't making claims about immediate danger," Easthope said. "But the government is not testing for toxic chemicals, and too many manufacturers are not self-regulating."

"We're publishing the results of our test with the hope that we can urge the government to do this kind of thing themselves," she said.

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Toxics we ingest without knowing!

Chemical Causes of Diabetes: Overeating Is Not the Only Problem

Friday, July 25, 2008 by: Mark Sircus Ac., OMD

Medical science has discovered how sensitive the insulin receptor sites are to chemical poisoning. Metals such as cadmium, mercury, arsenic, lead, fluoride and possibly aluminum may play a role in the actual destruction of beta cells through stimulating an auto-immune reaction to them after they have bonded to these cells in the pancreas. It is because mercury and lead attach themselves at highly vulnerable junctures of proteins that they find their great capacity to provoke morphological changes in the body. Changes in pancreatic function are among the pathogenetic mechanisms observable during lead intoxication.

The following is an excerpt from the Book "Survival Medicine for the 21st Century" by Dr. Mark Sircus.

"The development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is thought to be dependent on the interaction of environmental agents with the pancreatic beta cells." - University of Calgary

Lead exposure has been associated with an increased risk of hypertension, and is a well-established risk factor for kidney disease. Whether lead affects blood pressure indirectly through alterations in kidney function or via more direct effects on the vasculature or neurologic blood pressure control is unknown though. Researchers at Harvard Medical School state, "Our findings support the hypothesis that long-term low-level lead accumulation (estimated by tibia bone lead) is associated with an increased risk of declining renal function particularly among diabetics or hypertensives, populations already at risk for impaired renal function."

Cadmium is a widespread environmental pollutant that accumulates in the pancreas and exerts diabetogenic effects in animals. In a large cross-sectional study, urinary cadmium levels are significantly and dose-dependently associated with both impaired fasting glucose and diabetes.
Transsulfuration pathways in the body are fundamental for life. When mercury blocks thiol groups cellular proteins lose their reactive properties, lose their ability to carry out their routine function. Insulin has three sulfur-containing cross-linkages and the insulin receptor has a tyrosine kinase-containing sulfur bond, which are the preferred targets for binding by both mercury and lead. Should mercury attach to one of these three sulfur bonds it will interfere with the normal biological function of the insulin molecule. Mercury, many times more toxic than lead, is so dangerous exactly because it is collapsing/damaging critical sulfur-containing cross-linkages which change the geometry of both insulin receptor sites and insulin itself.

"Commercials tell children that junk food is good food -- the latest message from an industry that spends $10 billion a year marketing to children." - New York Times

Food is not considered junk just because of high fat or sugar content, there is a long list of poisonous chemicals used by the food industry that are striking people down. And there are many serious nutritional deficiencies in today's food that diminish the body's capacity to deal safely with these chemicals and heavy metals -- with magnesium and selenium deficiencies at the top of the list.
For instance, according to Dr. Ellen Silbergeld, a researcher from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the poultry industry's practice of using arsenic compounds in its feed is something that has not been studied: "It's an issue everybody is trying to pretend doesn't exist." Arsenic exposure is a risk factor for diabetes mellitus. Inorganic arsenic is considered one of the prominent environmental causes of cancer mortality in the world. Chicken consumption may contribute significant amounts of arsenic to total arsenic exposure of the U.S. population according to the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

"Arsenic acts as a growth stimulant in chickens -- develops the meat faster -- and since then, the poultry industry has gone wild using this ingredient," says Donald Herman, a Mississippi agricultural consultant and former Environmental Protection Agency researcher who has studied this use of arsenic for a decade. At mean levels of chicken consumption (60 g/person/day), people may ingest 1.38-5.24 micrograms/day of inorganic arsenic from chicken alone. At the 99th percentile of chicken consumption (350 g chicken/day), people may ingest 21.13-30.59 micrograms inorganic arsenic/day and 32.50-47.07 micrograms total arsenic/day from chicken. This can lead to prostate cancers. It can also cause neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and immune system abnormalities. The feeding of arsenic to chickens in the United States releases hundreds of tons of arsenic into the environment every year in the form of poultry manure, which is spread on fields as fertilizer.

Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital found, "The association between arsenic exposure and diabetes mellitus is a relatively new finding. Up to now, there are six epidemiologic reports linking diabetes mellitus with arsenic exposure from environmental and occupational sources. Two reports in Taiwan carried out in the blackfoot disease -- hyperendemic villages, one cross-sectional and one prospective follow-up of the same cohort -- indicate that arsenic exposure from drinking artesian well water is associated with prevalence and incidence of diabetes mellitus in a dose-responsive pattern.

The observation of the relation between arsenic exposure and diabetes mellitus is further supported by studies carried out in Sweden and Bangladesh. In Sweden, case-control analyses of death records of copper smelters and glass workers revealed a trend of increasing diabetes mellitus with increasing arsenic exposure from inhalation. In Bangladesh, prevalence of diabetes mellitus among arsenic-exposed subjects with keratosis was about five times higher than unexposed subjects."

Wistar rats were made diabetic with a single injection of Alloxan

Another example is Alloxan. Studies show that Alloxan, the chemical that makes white flour look "clean and beautiful" destroys the beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists have known of the alloxan-diabetes connection for years yet there seems to be a conspiracy that defends the integrity of the FDA, which allows dangerous chemicals that can cause diabetes to be used in drugs and food. "A growing body of research shows that pesticides and other contaminants are more prevalent in the foods we eat, in our bodies, and in the environment than we thought," all confirming the chemical nightmare in progress.

According to research conducted by Dr. H.J. Roberts, a diabetes specialist, a member of the ADA, and an authority on artificial sweeteners, aspartame:

1) Leads to the precipitation of clinical diabetes.

2) Causes poorer diabetic control in diabetics on insulin or oral drugs.

3) Leads to the aggravation of diabetic complications such as retinopathy, cataracts, neuropathy and gastroparesis.

4) Causes convulsions.

Dr. Roberts said, "The loss of diabetic control, the intensification of hypoglycemia, the occurrence of presumed 'insulin reactions' (including convulsions) that proved to be aspartame reactions, and the precipitation, aggravation or simulation of diabetic complications (especially impaired vision and neuropathy) while using these products." The FDA's own toxicologist, Dr. Adrian Gross told Congress that without a shadow of a doubt, aspartame can cause brain tumors and brain cancer and violated the Delaney Amendment which forbids putting anything in food that is known to cause Cancer. It is a monstrous crime to poison the food and water supplies yet this is exactly what the FDA has been approving and undoubtedly they are, in large part, responsible for flaming the diabetic winds. As the use of MSG and aspartame grows, the incidence of obesity appears to be growing.

MSG causes a very large insulin response after it is ingested since there are glutamate receptors in the pancreas. MSG opens calcium channels, thus constricting blood vessels –- this may put diabetics with high blood pressure at risk by negating calcium channel blocker medication. In 1968, John W. Olney, M.D., a respected researcher at Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri, and member of the National Academy of Science, found that mice in his laboratory that were being used to replicate a 1957 study by Lucas and Newhouse, in which the administration of MSG had resulted in retinal damage, had become grotesquely obese. Since 1969, many scientists have confirmed Dr. Olney's findings of damage to the hypothalamus from MSG with resulting obesity. Even the rats used in obesity, diabetes and exercise studies are made obese by injecting MSG. MSG may cause food addiction and though efforts have been made to reduce its use in processed and restaurant foods, it remains hidden by semantics, now called such things as "hydrolyzed protein". Scientists in Spain have recently concluded that MSG when given to mice increases appetite by as much as 40%.

There is abundant literature demonstrating that MSG and aspartic acid cause hypothalamic lesions which, in turn, can cause gross obesity. Although there are a number of causes for obesity, there is no question that one of the main causes for the obesity epidemic is the ever increasing use of MSG and aspartame.

We know that the hypothalamus is very immature at birth. The damage to this structure of the brain by MSG leads to severe endocrine problems later in life, among them decreased thyroid hormone, increased tendency toward diabetes, and higher cortisone levels than normal. A child consuming a soup containing MSG plus a drink with NutraSweet will have a blood level of excitotoxins six times the blood level that destroys hypothalamus neurons in baby mice.

And we are just beginning to hear that a massive mistake has been made with genetically modified foods, which can only fan those diabetic winds. Dr. Arpad Pusztai, for instance, has already shown that genetically-manipulated foods can, when fed to animals in reasonable amounts, cause very gradual organ and immune system damage. Another study, carried out by Dr. Irina Ermakova at the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, at the Russian Academy of Sciences, found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed on modified soya died in the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers with normal diets. Dr. Manuela Malatesta and colleagues in the Universities of Pavia and Urbino in Italy, showed that mice fed on GM soya experienced a slowdown in cellular metabolism and modifications to the liver and pancreas. Researchers are reviving fears that GM food damages human health and certainly would not be indicated for children or for people with diabetes.

Many bottled soft drinks and related beverages contain benzene, a well-known carcinogen. The EPA defines a "safe" level of benzene as zero. Yet the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog organization, found levels of benzene in soft drinks at levels between 5 and 138 parts per billion.
A fair amount of benzene is taken in by our bodies by air pollution and drinking water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has known for almost 15 years that potassium benzoate and sodium benzoate react with ascorbic acid to form benzenes. Potassium benzoate, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acids are all commonly used to preserve freshness in soft drinks.

The excess of diabetes reported for the Benzene Sub registry occurred in the group aged 10 to 17 years, suggesting it is likely that IDDM is the type of diabetes most prevalent. It has been demonstrated that most IDDM patients have autoantibodies to the pancreas (Lernmark et al., 1981), as well as to other organs Benzene has been shown to stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis of mice (Hsieh et al., 1991), accompanied by increased ACTH/corticosterone release into the blood.

Corticosteroids are associated with the development of diabetes by reducing insulin sensitivity, or possibly by impairing islet function frequently associated with the development of impaired glucose tolerance. The secretion of anti-insulin hormones, such as growth hormones or adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), are also believed to play an important role in IDDM development (Rodriguez, 1986). Steroid hormones play an important role in determining the severity of beta cell damage in the infected mouse, with androgens and glucocorticoids being particularly critical (Craighead, 1981). Ethanol can enhance the immunosuppressive effects of benzene. In addition, it has been demonstrated that various benzene metabolites depress the production of interferon (Cheung et al., 1988; Popp et al., 1992). IDDM is associated with a variety of hematologic changes (such as anemia) and malignancies (such as lymphocytic leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma) that might be directly related to or simply coincidental with the diabetes (Bern, 1982). From the literature reported it can be seen that all of these conditions are also associated with exposure to benzene.

Anthropogenic emissions to the air are approximately 34,000 metric tons per year (USEPA, 1989), Absorption of benzene varies with route of exposure. In humans, respiratory uptake has been determined to vary from approximately 47% (Nomiyama and Nomiyama, 1974) to 80% (Srbova et al., 1950), although dermal absorption can range from 0.05% to 0.2% (Franz, 1984). Absorption data for oral exposure in humans is not available; however, in animals, absorption rates following oral exposure to benzene were found to be from 90% to almost 100% (Parke and Williams, Ingestion of contaminated food items has been suggested as a potentially important pathway of human exposure to benzene (Hattemer-Frey et al., 1990 and many foods contain high levels of benzene. Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment, having been measured in air, water, and human biological samples. The major environmental sources include automobile exhaust, automobile refueling, hazardous waste sites, underground storage tanks that leak, waste water from industries that use benzene, chemical spills, chemical manufacturing sites, and petrochemical and petroleum industries (Fishbein, 1992; Edgerton and Shah, 1992).

Recently drinking more than one soft drink daily -- whether it's regular or diet -- may be associated with an increase in the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, Framingham researchers reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. "In those who drink one or more soft drinks daily, there was an association of an increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome." Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors including excess waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL "good" cholesterol) and high fasting glucose levels.

Prior studies linked soft drink consumption to multiple risk factors for heart disease. However, this study showed that the association not only included drinking regular calorie-laden soft drinks, but artificially sweetened diet sodas as well, researchers said. "If you are drinking one or more soft drinks a day, you may be increasing your risk of developing metabolic risk factors for heart disease."

The researchers also observed that compared to participants who drank less than one soft drink daily, those who drank one or more soft drinks a day had a:

* 31 percent greater risk of developing new-onset obesity (defined as a body mass index [BMI] of 30 kilograms/meter2 or more);

* 30 percent increased risk of developing increased waist circumference;

* 25 percent increased risk of developing high blood triglycerides or high fasting blood glucose;

* 32 percent higher risk of having low HDL levels. "It didn't matter whether it was a diet or regular soft drink".

"Results also don't appear to be driven by the dietary pattern of soft drink users, i.e, by other food items that are typically consumed along with soft drinks," Vasan, the study author, said. So perhaps what we have blamed for so long, the high fructose corn syrups, the empty calories, the aspartame in soft drinks, is not the only thing causing an increase in these diabetic risk factors. In combination with benzenes, it is highly likely that we have found yet another toxic substance that adds to our inability to avoid diabetes.

"Diabetes may in fact be a major side effect of antibiotics and other common pharmaceuticals." - Dr. Lisa Landymore-Lim, Independent scientist for Atomic Health Limited

Doctors are on notice that many drugs have toxic effects that can participate in destroying insulin creation and cell receptivity to it. In her 1994 book, Poisonous Prescriptions, Landymore-Lim says that diabetes may in fact be a major side effect of pharmaceutical drugs. The book provides evidence from studies and hospital records. Diabetes, usually thought to be largely a genetic disorder, may actually have increased so much in the last 50 years due in large part to the proliferation in the use, and over-use, of medicines. In 2004 the American Diabetes Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists made a similar announcement warning people to be careful to watch for signs they are developing diabetes, obesity or high cholesterol if they are taking Abilify, Clozaril, Geodon, Risperdal, Seroquel or Zyprexa. What medicines, food and water have increasingly in common are the chemical poisons they contain.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool recently released their studies that examined the toxic effects on nerve cells in the laboratory of using a combination of four common food additives -- aspartame, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the artificial colourings brilliant blue and quinoline yellow. The findings of their two-year study were published at the end of 2005 in the journal Toxicological Sciences. The Liverpool team reported that when mouse nerve cells were exposed to MSG and brilliant blue or aspartame and quinoline yellow in laboratory conditions, combined in concentrations that theoretically reflect the compound that enters the bloodstream after a typical children's snack and drink, the additives stopped the growing of nerve cells and interfered with proper signaling systems. The mixtures of the additives had a much more potent effect on nerve cells than each additive on its own.

The study reported that the effect on cells could be up to four times greater when brilliant blue and MSG were combined and up to seven times greater when quinoline yellow and aspartame were combined, than when the additives were applied on their own. What we can begin to conclude is that future research is going to show how all the toxic chemicals in the food, air, water and medicines we consume are combining to destroy our health. Any one poison discussed here in sufficient quantity can destroy cell physiology, the pancreas beta cells, and diminish cell receptivity to insulin.

We are depending more and more on processed foods, and with each year, the FDA approves more and more chemicals for use in foods. With each year, the food industry is using more and more chemicals in their products. These chemicals increase shelf life, kill bacteria, improve taste, replace fats, replace carbohydrates, and cause chronic diseases that eventually kill people. Junk food is really a cover up image for something quite a bit nastier than the image that junk congers. Junk foods are actually slow-acting poisons because they come to us loaded with highly toxic chemicals. We can only imagine the worst when we think about FDA approval processes for in reality the FDA is poisoning the public. The FDA is the wellhead of most iatrogenic diseases and death. There is no excuse for an agency charged with protecting public health to have allowed the massive poisoning of the public via food, drugs and public water supplies.

Bisphenol A Exposure May Lead to Obesity

Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure may lead to obesity, altered glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and Diabetes. Not only are chemicals used in foods, affecting the rates of diabetes, but chemicals used in everyday plastics are contributing to the rise in obesity and insulin resistance.

Debate over BPA is one of the most contentious environmental health issues faced by government and industry. Traces are found in the bodies of nearly all Americans tested, and low levels -- similar to amounts that can leach from infant and water bottles –- mimic estrogen.

Extensive scientific literature reports adverse health effects from bisphenol A at very low doses. Studies show that bisphenol A can alter the expression of several hundred genes with effects varying among special tissues and depending upon the timing of exposure. More than 150 laboratory animal studies suggest that bisphenol A exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, obesity, hyperactivity, diabetes, altered immune system, lowered sperm count, and early puberty.

A study by Dr. Beverly Rubin and her colleagues at Tufts University Medical School showed that bisphenol A makes rodents grow larger after they are exposed in the womb, confirming similar findings from previous studies (17). When rats were fed 100 µg/kg/day of bisphenol A during pregnancy through lactation, their offspring were notably heavier after birth and into adulthood. Significantly, in the female offspring, the lower of the two bisphenol A doses used in the study produced a larger and more persistent effect on body weight relative to the higher dose. In addition, the fact that the effect persisted long after exposure for the female offspring suggests that bisphenol A may increase the number of fat cells in the rats and predispose them to heavier weight throughout life.

In 2002, a team of researchers at the Ehime College of Health Science in Japan discovered that bisphenol A can increase the conversion of embryonic cells into fat cells (18). In the body, this effect could result in larger numbers of fat cells developing. In addition to converting to fat cells, treated cells increased their fat content by 150 percent over 11 days. Combined with insulin, bisphenol A increased the fat content of cells by 1300 percent. In other words, this experiment documented that bisphenol A could trigger and promote the two main processes in developing obesity. In 2004, another study confirmed these findings, showing that bisphenol A alone and with insulin increased the uptake of sugar into fat cells (19).

A recent study by Dr. Paloma Alonso-Magdalena and her colleagues showed that low-level, chronic exposure of adult mice to 10 µg/kg/day of bisphenol A caused insulin resistance, the precursor to Type II diabetes in people as well as hypertension and cardiovascular disease (20). Dr. Alonso-Magdalena's study showed that even a single dose of bisphenol A at levels currently found in humans can result in altered levels of blood glucose and insulin, and twice daily exposure for just four days results in insulin resistance.

Several studies show an increased rate of postnatal growth in both males and females as a result of maternal doses between 2.4 and 500 µg/kg/day (21). Accelerated postnatal growth is associated not just with obesity but with insulin resistant diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease as well.

Is it any wonder that we are seeing the rising rate of diabetes in our children and adolescents? The use of bisphenol A and the products containing them have increased through the years as our use of glass and safer non plastic containers has decreased. Its hard to even find non-plastic onctainers for everyday use. And what is especially disturbing is news coming to light that bisphenol A is being used in baby bottles for the feeding of our infants at a very early age.

The number of children in the U.S. that are overweight have doubled in the last 30 years (National Institutes of Health). Currently about 20% of children, or one child in five is overweight. The increase is true for children and adolescents of all age groups and races and for boys and girls.

Rising Obesity Trend in Adolescents

Bisphenol A is a polycarbonate plastic. Bisphenol A-based polycarbonate is used as a plastic coating for children's teeth to prevent cavities, as a coating in metal cans to prevent the metal from contact with food contents, as the plastic in food containers, refrigerator shelving, baby bottles, water bottles, sport drink bottles, returnable containers for juice, milk and water, micro-wave ovenware and eating utensils. In a small prospective study, researchers in Japan report that bisphenol A levels are higher in women with a history of repeated spontaneous miscarriages. This research was based on proof that BPA causes meiotic aneuploidy in mice. Meiotic aneuploidy is the commonest cause of miscarriage in people.

The effects of this chemical on our chromosomes will reach into generations yet to come affecting not only ourselves, but our children and our grandchildren. Researchers have found that the effects of continual low dose exposures may not show up for years. Growing children are particularly at risk to toxic chemicals in their environment because they are physiologically more susceptible to them.

The Lancet analysed the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in Ontario, Canada between 1995 and 2005. It found an increase of 69 per cent over the 10 years compared with the World Health Organisation's prediction of a 39 per cent increase between 2000 and 2030. Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluation Science, Toronto, said that it also saw a higher rise in the rate of cases in younger people under 50 than in older people. "A 27 per cent increase has taken place after only five years," she said. "Rising rates of obesity could be the cause of this striking growth and effective public health interventions to manage and prevent obesity are sorely needed."

The CDC says that diabetes is disabling, deadly and on the rise. The incidence of diabetes is skyrocketing not only in adults but in the juvenile population as well. Healthcare experts have called the alarming rise in diabetes and its related complications "an epidemic" that threatens to spiral out of control.

In 1997, 15.7 millions adults in the United States were reported to have diabetes. By the year 2002, this number had already swelled to 18.0 million or 8.7% of all adults. Diabetes and its complications now claim hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S. each year, incurring total expenses of over $130 billion in direct and indirect costs to the healthcare system. Worldwide, the number of people with adult-onset diabetes is predicted to explode in the next 10 years, doubling to an estimated 221 million people. By contrast only 43,171 people in the United States were diagnosed with AIDS and only 18,017 died.

Scientists have discovered a variant gene that leads to a sizable extra risk of Type 2 diabetes -- 38 percent of Americans who have inherited a single copy of the gene have a 45 percent greater risk of Type 2, the estimated 7 percent who carry two copies are 141 percent more likely to develop the disease. What scientists are saying is that if all the variant genes in the population were erased, so would be 21 percent of diabetes cases. Another way of expressing variations in genetic makeup is constitution. Some people are gifted with stronger constitutions (genes) than others and are more able to stand up to massive chemical assaults on their bodies. Genetic causes do not in anyway explain the explosive increases in diabetes but increasing concentrations of environmental poisons penetrating our bodies via our air, water, food and medicines can evoke breakdowns in genetic function.

Women who reported mixing and applying agricultural pesticides during early pregnancy have a two times higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during the pregnancy. The strong association between first trimester pesticide exposure and gestational diabetes mellitus suggests that pesticide exposures may affect glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Specifically, four herbicides (2,4,5-T; 2,4,5-TP; atrazine; or butylate) and three insecticides (diazinon, phorate, or carbofuran) were associated with reporting gestational diabetes. Women who reported agricultural pesticide exposure (mixing or applying pesticides to crops or repairing pesticide application equipment) during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to report GDM as compared to women reporting no pesticide use in pregnancy.

Exposure to dioxins by any route is known to cause various systemic effects in exposed animals. The general population is exposed to small amounts of dioxins, as exemplified by the fact that dioxins have been found in virtually all samples of adipose tissue and blood (serum lipids) from individuals with no known previous exposure. It is primarily the dioxins with chlorine atoms in the 2, 3, 7 and 8 positions that are retained in animals and humans and which selectively concentrate in body fat and lipids. A recent study on the health status of Vietnam veterans who participated in Operation Ranch Hand did not find any signs of liver disease, but did report increased levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood (a second report does not support these increases). In addition, an increase in body fat, diabetes, and blood pressure were also noted. These effects were strongly associated with TCDD levels in the serum.

Ranch Hand veterans also had changes in blood (increased white blood cells, platelet, IgA, and sedimentation rates) which suggest a chronic inflammatory response. It has take two decades of litigation for the U.S. Government to finally recognize the devastating effects of dioxin exposure that have disabled our veterans with cancers and diabetes. The average time it takes to remove one half of the TCDD from the body is around 7 years. The half-lives of other dioxins in the body are not known. About 98% of the daily intake of dioxins for the general population comes from ingesting food and milk. Inhalation exposure to dioxins for the general population constitutes a minor portion of daily intake. Average intake of TCDD for adults has been calculated to be about 25 picograms (pg) per day or 0.35 pg per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day. If all dioxins and furans are included and TEFs are used, the total average daily intake of TCDD equivalents for adults is about 90 pg/day or 1.3 pg/kg body wt/day.

There are numerous other sources that contribute to dioxins in the environment. Dioxins are known to form concurrently with furans during combustion processes such as: incineration of municipal solid waste and industrial waste, and are associated with ash generated in the incineration process. Emissions from these sources vary greatly and depend on management practices and the applied technologies. Combustion of many chlorine-containing materials (such as plastic material like polyvinyl chloride, paper, wood treated with pentachlorophenols, pesticide-treated waste, and PCBs) can produce dioxins and furans. Dioxins and furans have also been detected in emissions from coal-fired power plants, home-heating systems, exhaust from cars running on leaded gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

Phthalates are a group of man-made chemicals that are structurally related to the organic acid, phthalic acid. The most important use of phthalates is in plastics, especially PVC where they act as plasticisers. Phthalates are also present in a wide range of industrial, household and consumer products, including personal care products. such as nail polish, hair sprays, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, moisturizers. They are found in pipes, vinyl wall and floor coverings, roofing materials, safety glass, car parts, lubricating oils, detergents, food packaging, adhesives, paints, inks, medical tubing, blood bags, pharmaceuticals, footwear, electrical cables, stationery, and (until recently) in toys.

More than 75% of the U.S. population carries detectable levels of several phthalate metabolites. Studies have found associations between some phthalate metabolites and antiandrogenic effects in humans, including both infant and adult males. Recently a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed that exposure to phthalates correlated with two metabolic abnormalities in men: abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. Four phthalate metabolites were significantly associated with greater waist circumference and three with increased insulin resistance,
PCP (organic chemical Pentachlorophenol) was used in the timber industry for years as a cheap treatment for sapstain, a fungal infection commonly found in softwoods such as pine. It is an organic chemical produced by reacting chlorine gas with phenol. The process creates a number of toxic impurities such as tetrachlorophenol, hexachlorobenzene and several types of dioxins and dibenzofurans. The main route of absorption is through the skin. Some of the more chronic health effects, including cancer and diabetes, do not appear until long after exposure. The sawmill workers were constantly exposed to PCP as they mixed chemicals and handled wet, treated timber.

According to the World Health Organization DIAMOND Project Group on Epidemics, a major difficulty in the area of IDDM research -- despite strong epidemiologic evidence that environmental agents are potent causes of IDDM (Diabetes Epidemiology Research International, 1987) -- is that the identification of such agents has been elusive. It is noteworthy that several recent epidemiologic studies have reported that the incidence of IDDM is increasing, suggesting that long-term changes in the environment are altering the probability of eventual diabetes.

Among the most pernicious substances ever created is a group of chemicals known as POPs or Persistent Organic Pollutants. Among them: DDT, dioxins, PCBs and Chlordane. And even though twelve POPs -- the so-called "dirty dozen" -- were restricted or banned by international convention in 2003, they continue to pose a threat to people and wildlife because POPs accumulate in the food we eat. Virtually every person on the planet has POPs in their body and the chemicals have been linked to cancers, birth defects and disabilities. Now a group of researchers in Korea have found strong evidence linking POPs and diabetes.

Dr. David Carpenter, Professor of Environmental Health and Toxicology at the State University of New York at Albany, reviewed the Korean study and said, "Well, one considers individual pollutants the magnitude was between three and five fold increased risk but the most striking observation was when they considered the sum of all six pollutants that they monitored and they selected pollutants that we all have in our bodies so that very few individuals had levels below the level of detection. Under those circumstances they were getting increased risk of the order of thirty-eight fold which is absolutely enormous."

"The amount of persistent organic pollutants in each person's body is a reflection of their diet, where they live, what the concentration of these substances is in the air they breathe, and probably
related to how rapidly they metabolize these compounds." - Dr. David Carpenter

Dr. Carpenter continued saying, "The most interesting observation in this paper is that there was no relationship between being obese and developing diabetes in those persons that did not have high levels of these organic pollutants in their bodies. It may well be that people that are obese eat much more animal fat than people that are not obese and these persistent organic pollutants are all found in animal fats. So the question really is whether it is the obesity that leads to the diabetes or rather the presence of these persistent organic pollutants. It may well be that it's the pollutants that cause the diabetes, not the obesity."

"In the human body these compounds last about ten years before you get rid of half of them.
In the environment they're even more persistent." - Dr. David Carpenter

Food is not considered junk just because of high fat or sugar content, there is a long list of poisonous chemicals used by the food industry that are striking people down. And there are many serious nutritional deficiencies in today's food that diminish the bodies capacity to deal safely with these chemicals and heavy metals -- with magnesium and selenium deficiencies at the top of the list.

Magnesium deficiency is a predictor of diabetes; diabetics both need more magnesium and lose more magnesium than most people. In two new studies, in both men and women, those who consumed the most magnesium in their diet were least likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a report in the January 2006 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

The human race is facing an abyss, a massive breakdown in body chemistry. All indications suggest that the medical industrial complex will not squarely face the facts and the research and will not work in earnest to reduce the chemical exposures the masses are facing. Too much money is involved in manufacturing hundreds of millions of tons of chemicals each year and huge fortunes are made by the economic elite in the sale of toxins that are dragging large segments of the population to their sick beds and early graves. Our civilization is poisoning itself and the medical and dental communities participate with passion.


Yoon, JW et al. Effects of environmental factors on the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Unit, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Clin Invest Med. 1987 Sep;10(5):457-69

Toxicity of Fluoride to Diabetic Rats. C.A.Y. Banu Priya et al; International Society for Fluoride Research; FLUORIDE 30 (1)1997, pp 51 - 58 ((http://www.fluoride-journal.com/97-30-1...)

Professor I.M. Trakhtenberg. Trakhtenberg, I.M. From Russian translation. Chronic Effects of Mercury on Organisms. In Place of a Conclusion Thiol poisons, especially mercury and its compounds, reacting with SH groups of proteins lead to the lowered activity of various enzymes containing sulfhydryl groups. This produces a series of disruptions in the functional activity of many organs and tissues of the organism.

Timoshina IV, Liubchenko PN, Khzardzhian VG. Ter Arkh. 1985;57(2):91-5. [Article in Russian] Examination of the exocrine function of the pancreas in 52 workers exposed to lead, including 36 with the symptoms of intoxication (mild in 33 and marked in 3) revealed the primarily hyposecretory response of acinar cells stimulated with pancreozymin and secretin, while the hyposecretory and dyspancreatic responses were recorded less frequently. The endocrine function of the pancreas was revealed to be also lowered, which was confirmed by the decreased blood fasting insulin content and low blood insulin content after glucose intake as well. The changes in pancreatic function are among the pathogenetic mechanisms of the abdominal syndrome observable during lead intoxication.

Shirng-Wern Tsaih et al. Lead, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Renal Function: The Normative Aging Study. Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 112, Number 11, August 2004

Cadmium sources: Tap water, fungicides, marijuana, processed meat, rubber, seafood (cod, haddock, oyster, tuna), sewage, tobacco, colas (especially from vending machines), tools, welding material, evaporated milk, airborne industrial contaminants, batteries, instant coffee, incineration of tires/rubber/plastic, refined grains, soft water, galvanized pipes, dental alloys, candy, ceramics.
Increasing rates of type 2 diabetes worldwide suggest that diabetes may be caused by environmental toxins. Cadmium is a widespread environmental pollutant that accumulates in the pancreas and exerts diabetogenic effects in animals. To test the hypothesis that exposure to cadmium is associated with impaired fasting glucose and type 2 diabetes, we examined the associations between urinary cadmium and the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes) and diabetes in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). In this large cross-sectional study, urinary cadmium levels are significantly and dose-dependently associated with both impaired fasting glucose and diabetes. These findings, which require confirmation in prospective studies, suggest that cadmium may cause prediabetes and diabetes in humans. Urinary cadmium, impaired fasting glucose, and diabetes in the NHANES III Pathophysiology/Complications - National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Diabetes Care, Feb, 2003

Vandiver J, "Chicken Feed," Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.), January 4, 2004

Tseng CH, Tseng CP, Chiou HY, Hsueh YM, Chong CK, Chen CJ. Epidemiologic evidence of diabetogenic effect of arsenic. Toxicol Lett. 2002 Jul 7;133(1):69-76.

Tseng CH, Tseng CP, Chiou HY, Hsueh YM, Chong CK, Chen CJ. Epidemiologic evidence of diabetogenic effect of arsenic. Toxicol Lett. 2002 Jul 7;133(1):69-76.

Mahfuzar Rahman et al. Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Health and Environment, Faculty of Health Science Linkoping University Sweden. Department of Occupational and Environmental Health(DOEH), National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212 Bangladesh. American Journal of Epidemiology 1998; Vol. 148, No.2: 198-203 The crude prevalence ratio for diabetes mellitus among keratotic subjects exposed to arsenic was 4.4 (95% confidence interval 2.5-7.7) and increased to 5.2 (95% confidence interval 2.5-10.5) after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index ((http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/6407...) .

Lasky T, Sun W, Kadry A, Hoffman MK. Mean total arsenic concentrations in chicken 1989-2000 and estimated exposures for consumers of chicken. Office of Public Health and Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC, USA.

Tseng CH, Tseng CP, Chiou HY, Hsueh YM, Chong CK, Chen CJ. Epidemiologic evidence of diabetogenic effect of arsenic. Toxicol Lett. 2002 Jul 7;133(1):69-76.

A solution of alloxan at 2% diluted in saline at 0.9% was administered to the animals in a single dose corresponding to 40 mg of alloxan per kg of animal weight injected into their penial vein. Alloxan induces irreversible diabetes mellitus after 24 hours following its administration and the condition proves to be chronic by laboratory tests after seven days. Experimental Model of Induction of Diabetes Mellitus in Rats; Acta Cir. Bras. vol.18 no.spe S o Paulo 2003 ((www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0102-8650...)

Researchers who are studying diabetes commonly use the chemical to induce the disorder in lab animals. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of alloxan and its potentially fatal link to diabetes because these facts are not well publicized, are hidden by FDA approval, and certainly doctors and the food industry are not informing parents that they and their children are being poisoned by white flour containing alloxan. Diabetes and Chemical Poisoning. (http://imva.info/)

Consumer Reports (Feb. 2006): (http://www.curezone.com/foods/aspartame.html)


Genetically Engineered Food Biotech, Biotechnology, GMO, Genetically Modified (http://www.organicconsumers.org/gelink.html)

Health Hazards of Genetically Manipulated Foods; (http://www.soyinfo.com/haz/gehaz.shtml)

Dr. Irina Ermakova added flour from a GM soya bean -- produced by Monsanto to be resistant to its pesticide, Roundup -- to the food of female rats, starting two weeks before they conceived, continuing through pregnancy, birth and nursing. Others were given non-GM soya and a third group was given no soya at all. She found that 36 per cent of the young of the rats fed the modified soya were severely underweight, compared to 6 per cent of the offspring of the other groups. More alarmingly, a staggering 55.6 per cent of those born to mothers on the GM diet perished within three weeks of birth, compared to 9 per cent of the offspring of those fed normal soya, and 6.8 per cent of the young of those given no soya at all. ((http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/babi...)

Malatesta M, Caporaloni C, Rossi L, Battistelli S, Rocchi MBL, Tonucci F, Gazzanelli G (2002) Ultrastructural analysis of pancreatic acinar cells from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Journal of Anatomy 201:409-415

Agency for Toxic Substance and Dissease Registry ((http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/NER/BENZENE/be...)
Foods Containing Benzene (level is ug/kg, where available)


* Dry red beans

* Leek

* Mushroom

* Onion, roasted

* Parsley

* Potato, cooked peel

* Soybean milk

* Trassi, cooked


* Cocoa

* Coffee

* Jamaican rum (120)

* Tea

* Whiskey


* Apple

* Citrus fruit

* Cranberry and bilberry

* Black currants

* Guava

* Cayenne pineapple

* Strawberry (trace)

* Tomato, hothouse

Dairy products

* Butter (0.5)

* Blue cheese

* Cheddar cheese

* Other cheese

Meat, Fish, and Poultry

* Cooked beef (2-19)

* Irradiated beef (19)

* Cooked chicken (<10)

* Egg, hard-boiled (500-1900)

* Egg, uncooked (2100)

* Haddock fillet (100 to 200)

* Lamb, heated (<10)

* Mutton, heated (<10)

* Veal, heated (<10)

* Codfish


* Filbert, roasted

* Peanut, roasted

* Macadamia nut

Soft Drinks, Diet And Regular, Linked To Increase In Risk Factors For Heart Disease; 26 Jul 2007 ((http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/article...)

Journal Diabetes Care. February 2004

Lau K, McLean WG, Williams DP, Howard CV. Synergistic Interactions Between Commonly Used Food Additives in a Developmental Neurotoxicity Test. Toxicol Sci. 2005 Dec 13; ((http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer...)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Current Safety Threshold for Bisphenol A. The current safety threshold established by the U.S. EPA -- called the reference dose (i.e., safe dose) -- was set based on animal experiments conducted prior to 1988 showing that 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight caused weight loss in rodents. U.S. EPA declared 50 mg/kg/day the lowest observed adverse effect level, or LOAEL. To arrive at the current reference dose, U.S. EPA assumed without further study that a dose 1000 times lower than the LOAEL (i.e., 50 micrograms per kilogram per day, or 50 µg/kg/day) would be an acceptable reference dose. As over 40 studies now illustrate, the official reference dose of 50 µg/kg/day is well above the levels at which adverse affects have been found in numerous animal studies over the past decade. For example, Dr. Kembra Howdeshell and her colleagues found that the female offspring of pregnant mice fed bisphenol A at the low dose of 2.4 micrograms per kilogram per day experienced the early onset of puberty. If U.S. EPA were to use 2.4 µg/kg/day as a LOAEL and apply the same logic used to establish the current standard, thereference dose would be 2.4 nanograms per kilogram per day (ng/kg/day). A reference dose of 2.4 ng/kg/day would eliminate commercial uses of bisphenol A in food and beverage containers and products that babies are likely to put in their mouths.

American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Facts and Figures [factsheet online] 1997 [cited August 1999][16 screens].

CDC. ((http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/nd...)

Brancati FL, Wang NY, Mead LA, Liang KY, Klag MJ. Body weight patterns from 20 to 49 years of age and subsequent risk for diabetes melli-tus. Arch Intern Med 1999;159:957-963.

Kopelman PG, Hitman GA. Exploding type II [correspondence]. Lancet 1998;352:SIV5.

HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2003;15. The finding is being reported in the journal Nature Genetics by researchers at Decode Genetics, a company in Reykjavik, Iceland, that specializes in finding the genetic roots of human diseases. January 16, 2006

Saldana TM, O Basso, JA Hoppin, DD Baird, C Knott, A Blair, MC Alavanja and DP Sandler. 2007. Pesticide exposure and self-reported gestational diabetes mellitus in the Agricultural Health Study. Diabetes Care. 30(3):529-34. ((http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/...)

GreenFacts Digest on Phthalates - Phthalates and Metabolism: Exposure Correlates with Obesity and Diabetes in Men; Melissa Lee Phillips; Environ Health Perspect. 2007 June; 115(6): A312.

New Zealand sawmill workers' health problems caused by chemical poisoning; ((http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug20...)

About the author
Mark A. Sircus Ac., OMD, is director of the International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA)http://www.imva.info/. Dr. Sircus was trained in acupuncture and oriental medicine at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Sante Fe, N.M., and in the School of Traditional Medicine of New England in Boston. He served at the Central Public Hospital of Pochutla, in México, and was awarded the title of doctor of oriental medicine for his work. He was one of the first nationally certified acupuncturists in the United States. Dr. Sircus's IMVA is dedicated to unifying the various disciplines in medicine with the goal of creating a new dawn in healthcare.

He is particularly concerned about the effect vaccinations have on vulnerable infants and is identifying the common thread of many toxic agents that are dramatically threatening present and future generations of children. His book The Terror of Pediatric Medicine is a free e-book one can read. Dr. Sircus is a most prolific and courageous writer and one can read through hundreds of pages on his various web sites.

He has most recently released his Survival Medicine for the 21st Century compendium (2,200 page ebook) and just released the Winning the War Against Cancer book. Dr. Sircus is a pioneer in the area of natural detoxification and chelation of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. He is also a champion of the medicinal value of minerals and is fathering in a new medical approach that uses sea water and different concentrates taken from it for health and healing. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, his first published work, offers a stunning breakthrough in medicine, an entirely new way to supplement magnesium that naturally increases DHEA levels, brings cellular magnesium levels up quickly, relieves pain, brings down blood pressure and pushes cell physiology in a positive direction. Magnesium chloride delivered transdermally brings a quick release from a broad range of conditions.
International Medical Veritas Association: http://www.imva.info/

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Do you have granite at home?!

Are Granite Countertops a Health Threat?

CBS Newsposted: 5 HOURS 48 MINUTES AGOcomments: 207PrintSharefiled

NEW YORK (July 25) - If you have granite countertops in your home, you might consider testing them for the amounts of radon gas they give off, experts say, due to the potential that those amounts are above levels considered safe.
But marble manufacturers say flat-out that, "Radiation in granite is not dangerous."

Radon is "a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste," the Environmental Protection Agency explains on its Web site. "Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in America, and claims about 20,000 lives annually."
The popularity and demand for granite countertops has grown in the last decade, as have the types of granite available.
The amount of radon in the air is measured in "picoCuries per liter of air," or "pCi/L," and the EPA says 4 pCi/L is the level of radon exposure that requires someone to take action. The agency also says levels lower than that "still pose a risk" and "in many cases, may be reduced."
According to The New York Times, 4 picocuries is "about the same risk for cancer as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes per day."
The newspaper also reports that, "Allegations that granite countertops may emit dangerous levels of radon and radiation have been raised periodically over the past decade, mostly by makers and distributors of competing countertop materials. The Marble Institute of America has said such claims are "ludicrous" because although granite is known to contain uranium and other radioactive materials like thorium and potassium, the amounts in countertops are not enough to pose a health threat.
Indeed, health physicists and radiation experts agree that most granite countertops emit radiation and radon at extremely low levels. They say these emissions are insignificant compared with so-called background radiation that is constantly raining down from outer space or seeping up from the earth's crust, not to mention emanating from manmade sources like X-rays, luminous watches and smoke detectors.
But with increasing regularity in recent months, the Environmental Protection Agency has been receiving calls from radon inspectors as well as from concerned homeowners about granite countertops with radiation measurements several times above background levels."

On The Early Show Friday, Stanley Liebert, quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y. showed co-anchor Harry Smith a chunk of granite countertop emitting 4.4 pCi/L and said, "The probability is we're looking at a problem here, and the granite would actually be removed.
"In the lower levels," Liebert said, "we can usually improve (radon levels) by exchanging air" with systems that "bring fresh air in and exchange it with the air in the kitchen."
He says some granite countertop colors are more potentially troublesome than others: "We're seeing higher results in reds, pinks, purples. However, you've got to test them all."
The only way to know about radon levels from your granite countertops, and in your home in general, is to test for them, and the EPA says, "There are many kinds of low-cost "do-it-yourself" radon test kits you can get through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. If you prefer, or if you are buying or selling a home, you can hire a qualified tester to do the testing for you. You should first contact your state radon office about obtaining a list of qualified testers. You can also contact a private radon proficiency program for lists of privately certified radon professionals serving your area."

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Healthier sun exposure and unhealthy methods

What about Nanoparticles in Sun Screen?

July 24, 2008 09:50 AM

The recent post on sunscreen generated several e-mails that are worth sharing here.

One reader worried that many sunscreens rely on nanotechnology, which manipulates particles that are smaller than 100 nanometers (nm); for comparison, a human hair is about 80,000 nm in diameter. Some research indicates that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, which makes it easier for sun screen to soak into the skin, are small enough to bypass the body's defensive "blood-brain barrier," enter the brain and damage brain cells. (Larger particles are blocked by that barrier and don't pose this problem). Environmental Working Group notes that, while several studies have found that nanotechnology does not penetrate healthy skin, they can still pose a danger to consumers or the workers who manufacture them. It is possible to find sunscreens that do not contain nanoparticles — but they may contain other undesirable chemicals. You can address the conundrum in part by staying out of the sun between the intense solar hours of 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. and wearing protective clothing.

Speaking of which, another reader noted that clothing specifically manufactured to resist the UV rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer may be coated with nano-based chemicals. It is difficult to determine which clothing relies on nanotechnology and which doesn’t. Question the manufacturer if you’re concerned. Or follow recommendations on ehow.com and chose tightly woven, dark garments when you’re out in the sun. Tightly woven cotton, wool and polyester offer better protection than linen, acetate, rayon and other thin fabrics. Rule of thumb: if you can see your skin through the clothes you’re wearing, they’re probably not blocking UV rays very effectively. While you’re at it, protect your eyes with sunglasses that specifically offer UV protection. Look for photochromic lenses, which reduce glare, sun and UV radiation without reducing visibility.

Finally, a doctor wrote to say that the skin needs some sunlight, since that is how the body restores its supply of Vitamin D. While this is true, most health professionals agree that the body can get enough Vitamin D supply from about 15 minutes of sun exposure in a day. You’ll get that walking back and forth to your car, walking in and out of work, or taking the dog for a stroll. You certainly don’t need to expose your skin to 15 minutes of blazing sun in the middle of the day.

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Cancer warning- cell phones again!

Pittsburgh cancer center warns of cell phone risks

Published on 23-07-2008 Email To Friend Print Version

PITTSBURGH - The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don't find a link between cancer and cell phone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now — especially when it comes to children.

"Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman said.

No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm about cell phone use. But Herberman's advice is sure to raise concern among many cell phone users and especially parents.

In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cell phones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing.

Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cell phones in public places like a bus because it exposes others to the phone's electromagnetic fields.

The issue that concerns some scientists — though nowhere near a consensus — is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists.

A 2008 University of Utah analysis looked at nine studies — including some Herberman cites — with thousands of brain tumor patients and concludes "we found no overall increased risk of brain tumors among cellular phone users. The potential elevated risk of brain tumors after long-term cellular phone use awaits confirmation by future studies."

Studies last year in France and Norway concluded the same thing.

"If there is a risk from these products — and at this point we do not know that there is — it is probably very small," the Food and Drug Administration says on an agency Web site.

Still, Herberman cites a "growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer."

"Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use," he wrote in his memo.

A driving force behind the memo was Devra Lee Davis, the director of the university's center for environmental oncology.

"The question is do you want to play Russian roulette with your brain," she said in an interview from her cell phone while using the hands-free speaker phone as recommended. "I don't know that cell phones are dangerous. But I don't know that they are safe."

Of concern are the still unknown effects of more than a decade of cell phone use, with some studies raising alarms, said Davis, a former health adviser in the Clinton Administration.

She said 20 different groups have endorsed the advice the Pittsburgh cancer institute gave, and authorities in England, France and India have cautioned children's use of cell phones.

Herberman and Davis point to a massive ongoing research project known as Interphone, involving scientists in 13 nations, mostly in Europe. Results already published in peer-reviewed journals from this project aren't so alarming, but Herberman is citing work not yet published.

The published research focuses on more than 5,000 cases of brain tumors. The National Research Council in the U.S., which isn't participating in the Interphone project, reported in January that the brain tumor research had "selection bias." That means it relied on people with cancer to remember how often they used cell phones. It is not considered the most accurate research approach.

The largest published study, which appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2006, tracked 420,000 Danish cell phone users, including thousands that had used the phones for more than 10 years. It found no increased risk of cancer among those using cell phones.

A French study based on Interphone research and published in 2007 concluded that regular cell phone users had "no significant increased risk" for three major types of nervous system tumors. It did note, however, that there was "the possibility of an increased risk among the heaviest users" for one type of brain tumor, but that needs to be verified in future research.

Earlier research also has found no connection.

Joshua E. Muscat of Penn State University, who has studied cancer and cell phones in other research projects partly funded by the cell phone industry, said there are at least a dozen studies that have found no cancer-cell phone link. He said a Swedish study cited by Herberman as support for his warning was biased and flawed.

"We certainly don't know of any mechanism by which radiofrequency exposure would cause a cancerous effect in cells. We just don't know this might possibly occur," Muscat said.

Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that is a form of electromagnetic radiation, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though studies are being done to see if there is a link between it and tumors of the brain and central nervous system, there is no definitive link between the two, the institute says on its Web site.

"By all means, if a person feels compelled that they should take precautions in reducing the amount of electromagnetic radio waves through their bodies, by all means they should do so," said Dan Catena, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. "But at the same time, we have to remember there's no conclusive evidence that links cell phones to cancer, whether it's brain tumors or other forms of cancer."

Joe Farren, a spokesman for the CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group for the wireless industry, said the group believes there is a risk of misinforming the public if science isn't used as the ultimate guide on the issue.

"When you look at the overwhelming majority of studies that have been peer reviewed and published in scientific journals around the world, you'll find no relationship between wireless usage and adverse health affects," Farren said.

Frank Barnes, who chaired the January report from the National Research Council, said Wednesday that "the jury is out" on how hazardous long-term cell phone use might be.

Speaking from his cell phone, the professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder said he takes no special precautions in his own phone use. And he offered no specific advice to people worried about the matter.

It's up to each individual to decide what if anything to do. If people use a cell phone instead of having a land line, "that may very well be reasonable for them," he said.

Susan Juffe, a 58-year-old Pittsburgh special education teacher, heard about Herberman's cell phone advice on the radio earlier in the day.

"Now, I'm worried. It's scary," she said.

She says she'll think twice about allowing her 10-year-old daughter Jayne to use the cell phone.

"I don't want to get it (brain cancer) and I certainly don't want you to get it," she explained to her daughter.

Sara Loughran, a 24-year-old doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh, sat in a bus stop Wednesday chatting on her cell phone with her mother. She also had heard the news earlier in the day, but was not as concerned.

"I think if they gave me specific numbers and specific information and it was scary enough, I would be concerned," Loughran said, planning to call her mother again in a matter of minutes. "Without specific numbers, it's too vague to get me worked up."


Jennifer Yates reported from Pittsburgh. Science Writer Seth Borenstein reported from Washington. Reporter Ramit Plushnick-Masti contributed from Pittsburgh and Science Writer Malcolm Ritter contributed from New York.

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Spices: natural healers

Spice-Rack Favorites Battle E. Coli And Other Foodborne Pathogens


ScienceDaily (July 24, 2008) — Herbs and spices like oregano, thyme, cinnamon and clove do more than add pleasing flavors and aromas to familiar foods. The oils from these plants, or compounds extracted from those oils, pack a powerful, antimicrobial punch—strong enough to help quell such foodborne pathogens as Escherichia coli O157:H7.

That's according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Mendel Friedman, who several years ago evaluated the bacteria-bashing power of these and dozens of other plant compounds.

Now, some of the compounds that Friedman and co-investigators determined were the strongest combatants of E. coli, Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni, or Listeria monocytogenes in the 2002 study are being tapped for new research focused on food safety.

For example, Friedman, research leader Tara H. McHugh, and other scientists at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., are evaluating the highest-ranking botanical bactericides as potential ingredients in what are known as edible films.

A thin, pliable, edible film for the future might be made of puréed spinach spiked with carvacrol, the compound responsible for oregano's ranking as a top fighter of E. coli in the Friedman study.

The scientists want to find out whether adding small squares of carvacrol-enhanced spinach purée film to bags of chilled, ready-to-eat spinach leaves would help protect this salad green against E. coli.

Friedman is also exploring other new uses of the top-rated botanicals from the earlier study. That investigation, which he conducted with technician Philip R. Henika and research leader Robert E. Mandrell at Albany, was the most extensive of its kind at the time it was published. Also notable was the common basis of comparison, which the team established by inventing new methods to prepare and test all of the samples. For even more consistency, the scientists used the same bacterial strains—from the same suppliers—throughout the investigation.


Adapted from materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service.

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Fresh scents hidding toxic chemicals

Stick with plain old Olive Oil soaps and crystal deodorants. Use Negative Ion or Ozone generators or Essential Oils.

Fresh scent may hide toxic secret

Innocuous-sounding 'perfume' in detergents, air fresheners made with dangerous chemicals

July 23, 2008

The scented fabric sheet makes your shirts and socks smell flowery fresh and clean. That plug-in air freshener fills your home with inviting fragrances of apple and cinnamon or a country garden.

But those common household items are potentially exposing your family and friends to dangerous chemicals, a University of Washington study has found.

Trouble is, you have no way of knowing it. Manufacturers of detergents, laundry sheets and air fresheners aren't required to list all of their ingredients on their labels -- or anywhere else. Laws protecting people from indoor air pollution from consumer products are limited.

When UW engineering professor Anne Steinemann analyzed of some of these popular items, she found 100 different volatile organic compounds measuring 300 parts per billion or more -- some of which can be cancerous or cause harm to respiratory, reproductive, neurological and other organ systems.

Some of the chemicals are categorized as hazardous or toxic by federal regulatory agencies. But the labels tell a different story, naming only innocuous-sounding "perfume" or "biodegradable" contents.

"Consumers are breathing these chemicals," she said. "No one is doing anything about it."

Industry representatives say that isn't so.

"Dr. Steinemann's statement is misleading and disingenuous," said Chris Cathcart, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Consumer Specialty Products Association, in a statement.

"Air fresheners, laundry products and other consumer specialty products are regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and subsequently have strict labeling requirements," he said. "Companies producing products that are regulated under FHSA must name on the product label each component that contributes to the hazard."

Millions are spent annually to ensure that fragrances in the products are safe, according to a joint statement from the Fragrance Materials Association, which represents fragrance manufacturers, and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, which works closely with the association.

Ingredients are routinely tested, and chemicals that are considered dangerous are present at levels much too low to cause harm, according to the groups.

But there are numerous reports of people -- particularly those with asthma, chemical sensitivities and allergies -- having strong adverse reactions, researchers said.

That's a problem when public restrooms in restaurants or airplanes use air fresheners, or when hotels wash towels and sheets in scented laundry supplies. And even when the concentrations are low in individual products, people are exposed to multiple sources on a daily basis.

Aileen Gagney, Asthma and Environmental Health Program manager with the American Lung Association in Seattle, herself an asthma sufferer, has a rule of thumb to help avoid exposure: "If it smells bad, it's bad; if it smells good, it's bad."

But even that won't always work.

According to Steinemann, even products labeled "unscented" sometimes contain a fragrance and a "masking" fragrance to make them odor-free.

People, Puget Sound at risk?
For Steinemann's research, published Wednesday in Environmental Impact Assessment Review, she selected a top-selling item from six categories of products: dryer sheets, fabric softeners, detergents, and solid, spray and plug-in air fresheners.

Then she contracted with a lab to test the air around the items to identify the chemicals people could be breathing.

Ten of the 100 volatile organic compounds identified qualified under federal rules as toxic or hazardous, and three of those -- 1,4-dioxane, acetaldehyde and chloromethane -- are "hazardous air pollutants" considered unsafe to breathe at any concentration, according to the study.

The labels gave no indication that the irritating and potentially dangerous chemicals were present, so Steinemann checked the product's Material Safety Data Sheets. These technical documents provide ingredient information for the safety of workers and emergency responders. They, too, disclosed little detail, mostly citing ingredients such as "essential oils" and "organic perfume."

"It's a reasonable expectation to think that laundry products and air fresheners would be free of chemicals that can cause cancer," said Erika Schreder, a staff scientist with the Washington Toxics Coalition.

"But as this UW study shows, it's disturbingly easy to find toxic chemicals in everyday products like these because companies don't have to say what's in their products."

Cathcart, of the Consumer Specialty Products Association, said the information's not on the package because the "chemicals are not present in the products at levels deemed hazardous under the law. Given the limited space on product labels, it is important to include the relevant information consumers need to make intelligent use, storage and disposal decisions."

The threat isn't limited to people. Steinemann and others worry that the chemicals in consumer products flow from homes to the outdoors.

"These chemicals get into our water systems and into Puget Sound," she said. They are "extraordinarily hard to get out of the environment."

Steinemann's research was paid for using discretionary money awarded to her as a UW professor; she wanted to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. She has also submitted for publication a study that goes further to examine ingredients in cleaning and personal-care products.

Regulatory gaps

With fears growing over chemicals in consumer products -- lead in toys, bisphenol A in plastic baby bottles, phthalates in shower curtains and cosmetics -- environmentalists and health advocates are calling for stricter regulations of chemicals in everyday goods. They also want shoppers to have more readily accessible information.

Manufacturers and trade groups representing consumer products routinely counter that there's plenty of testing and oversight from within the industries and from government regulations to ensure safety.

In the fragranced-products arena, they point to industry Web sites with information on product ingredients and suggest contacting companies with specific questions.

Critics maintain that's not enough.

"There's obviously a loophole," said Michael Robinson-Dorn, a UW law professor who aided Steinemann's research. "We regulate many of these chemicals in other circumstances, yet when they're in products that we're in contact with daily, in some cases, we don't wind up finding out about them."

He said the items can slip between regulatory cracks by falling into the jurisdiction of multiple government agencies, none taking ownership.

"Any time you have a product that is regulated by many different agencies, it's easy for them not to react," he said.

In the absence of strong laws, the marketplace is starting to regulate itself.

After the Natural Resources Defense Council last fall found troubling levels of phthalates -- plasticizing chemicals that can potentially harm developing babies -- in air fresheners, Walgreens pulled the products from its shelves.

Last month, NRDC and other environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency to force manufacturers to test air freshener safety and label products with a full ingredient list.

Steinemann's study could push the process along.

"Consumer demand for less-toxic products will encourage companies to reformulate their products," she said. "This is a case where a little information could have a great public benefit."

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Doctors to be tested for competence yearly

All doctors face annual test of their competence

Biggest change to regulations in 150 years

David Rose
The TimesJuly 23, 2008

All of Britain’s 150,000 practising doctors are to undergo annual reviews to weed out poor performers, in the biggest reform of medical regulation for 150 years, The Times has learnt.

Family doctors, hospital consultants and private practitioners will have to apply to renew their licences every five years, according to plans published today by the Chief Medical Officer.

The system – the first of its kind in the world – is designed to identify doctors who repeatedly make poor clinical decisions. Inspectors will use evidence from patients’ questionnaires and feedback from colleagues. Doctors “unable to remedy significant shortfalls in their standards of practice” risk being removed from the medical register, the report says.

Critics said that it would mean doctors spending less time with patients and practising “defensive medicine”.

The report by Sir Liam Donaldson, Medical Revalidation: Principles and Next Steps, outlines how senior doctors will be appointed to assess the competence of GPs and hospital consultants in their area to ensure that patients’ lives are not being put at risk.

The medical colleges, which represent different clinical specialties, will have to develop tests to check that doctors are keeping abreast of advances.

Trials will begin within two years. At the moment doctors face no formal reassessments of their competence, clinical skills or performance between entering independent practice as a GP or consultant and retiring. An airline pilot would be assessed about 100 times over a similar period.

The proposals were produced with the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Many doctors may be concerned about bureaucracy diverting them from patient care.

To date, the Government has only recommended to trusts that they carry out regular reviews of how doctors’ skills are progressing, based on conversations with the individual concerned. That system, according to today’s report, is “patchy and not fit for relicensing [the renewal of doctors’ licences] across the country”.

The new regime will make annual reviews mandatory. They will cover the full range of performance factors, including prescribing habits, interaction with patients and personal problems such as alcohol or drug misuse.

The GMC, which was founded in 1858 to regulate doctors’ fitness to practise, recommended continuing reviews of doctors’ credentials ten years ago, after a series of scandals over medical incompetence. Weaknesses in the monitoring system for GPs were also revealed by the case of Harold Shipman, who murdered up to 250 of his patients, usually with narcotic drugs that he had stockpiled.

Appraisals will be considered a “continuing process” leading up to licences being reissued every five years. Medical students and those who work in short-term appointments or as locums will also face annual checks.

The report emphasises that the system will be “focused on raising standards, not a disciplinary mechanism to deal with the small proportion of doctors who may cause concern”.

Yet Sir Liam has said in the past that “most doctors know of another doctor who, on balance, they would prefer not to treat their own family”.

Sir Graeme Catto, President of the GMC, said that it had dealt with 5,168 complaints about doctors last year – 1,300 more than in 2000 – but only about one in three led to an investigation, and fewer than 5 per cent to a hearing. A total of 60 were struck off.

He described the report as a “wake-up call” for doctors and local NHS organisations. “We have been recommending a system of revalidation for ten years,” he told The Times.

“It has taken so long to get up and running because of the complexities and scale of the task – covering doctors across the whole of the UK.”

Sir Graeme denied that the reforms would lead to a culture of “defensive medicine”, with doctors worried about the consequences of their actions. “It’s very easy to concentrate on the bad apples, but we hope that this new system will mean that more problems can be identified and addressed at a local level, before they become serious.”

Michael Summers, vice-chairman of the Patients’ Association, said: “We have been waiting for this since the Shipman inquiry and earlier. It is important that patients have a much greater voice in this process and doctors should feel a responsibility to report colleagues where necessary.”

Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association, said: “As the Chief Medical Officer points out in today’s report, the majority of doctors provide high-quality care and strong commitment to their patients. It is essential that the CMO’s proposals are not unduly burdensome for doctors, that they enable them to develop and improve their skills and do not result in them having to spend less time with patients.

“We want to see a system that is good for patients and fair to doctors. The system should not be seen as a tool to weed out the very small number of doctors who underperform – there are other processes in place to do this.”

Trials should begin by next year, but Dr Meldrum said that the BMA was concerned about the timescales.

The Department of Health denied that the processes would lead to extra bureaucracy. It said that in the best NHS organisations medical directors were already performing the role of responsible officers.

Dame Carol Black, President of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which will receive a £3.9 million grant, described revalidation as a “unique opportunity” for all doctors to demonstrate to patients, the public, their employers and peers their competence to provide high-quality medical care. “This work is progressing well, with input from employers, lay representatives and other agencies. It is a process that will reinforce the trust that patients have in their doctors.”