Pools: Outdoor and Indoor Boost Kids' Asthma-Risk...

It’s getting a little late in the season, but a new study in the European Respiratory Journal has determined outdoor pools INCREASE children’s asthma risk. Researchers blame prolonged exposure to chlorine vapors; Reuters reports.

Actually, this backs up a previous study about indoor pools. Researchers linked inhalation of chlorine byproducts to lung damage in infants and possible asthma later in childhood. It appeared in the journal Pediatrics; via Reuters.

Keeping excitable kids out of the pool might be hard. Maybe limit their time swimming instead. After all, growing bodies MUST be kept safe from toxic environments.

American Kids, Drugged Up!

We pop A LOT of pills! Especially antibiotics, Americans LOVE to overuse antibiotics. And flu shots too! Every flu season MILLIONS of people rush to free clinics and doctor’s offices. Not realizing that a healthy body can easily beat the flu.

That’s why I WASN’T surprised to read that a new study in The Journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry claims American children are prescribed more antidepressants and stimulant medications than children in Europe—via Julie’s Health Club.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, psychiatric disorders—like depression—can be successfully treated with superior nutrition and light therapy. So, there are options BEFORE the pill.

Eat For Health: What About Salmon?

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

All fish contain high levels of pollutants–even salmon. But, recent studies showed dangerous chemicals were ten-times higher in farm-raised salmon as compared to wild salmon. If you’re going to eat salmon, wild salmon is a better choice. Since there are growing concerns about the high pollution and artificial colors used in farm-raised salmon, wild salmon has become more desirable and its prices have gone up. However, a 2005 article in The New York Times reported that most fish labeled as wild Pacific or Alaskan salmon is just farm-raised salmon with a lying label. The New York Times tested salmon that was labeled as wild and sold in eight New York City stores and found that most of the fish was farm-raised, not wild.1

They were able to tell the farm-raised from the wild salmon because of the presence of an artificial, pink food dye manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-La Roche. The company distributes their trademarked SalmoFan, which is similar to paint store swatches, so fish farmers can choose among various shades to make salmon have a pink-orange color. Salmon in the wild have that color naturally from eating pink crustaceans, but the commercially raised fish have a grey flesh from eating fishmeal. Europeans are suspicious of the dye, which was linked to retinal damage in people when taken as a sunless tanning pill.

Numerous studies also have found surprisingly high levels of PCBs and dioxin in farm-raised salmon. American health officials’ response was that this level of contamination should not stop consumers from eating salmon, but why should you unnecessarily expose yourself to known toxic carcinogens? If you eat salmon, eat only the wild Alaskan variety. If you eat fish once a week, use mostly the lower fat, less contaminated fish, such as tilapia, flounder, scallops, trout, or sole, but I urge you to eat fish infrequently since eating too much can promote heart disease, cancer, and atrial fibrillation.

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Toxic Lead is Everywhere!

Our environment is polluted. Toxins lurk around EVERY corner. Take lead for example. It’s in vitamins, left over fishing tackle, artificial sports turf and garden hoses! Makes me MAD, I love fishing, sports and gardening!

And here’s something really disturbing. Previous reports have linked exposure to lead as a child with CRIMINAL behavior later in life. So, if you’re concerned about lead. CBS provides this list of lead’s hiding places. Take a look:

  • Plumbing
  • Home renovations
  • City gardening
  • Ceramic dishes
  • Hunting or fishing supplies
  • Art supplies

The report also claims lead can weaken bones and raise blood pressure. No doubt, people of all ages need to watch out for toxins, but especially kids. Dr. Fuhrman insists parents must be careful NOT to expose their kids to toxic compounds.

Meat Gets COOL Labels...

Country of Origin Labels, or COOL, tell consumers whether their meat came from U.S. or livestock from another country. The new federal mandate begins September 30th and addresses American’s concerns over international food safety practices; The Chicago Tribune reports.

Not a bad idea, I think consumers SHOULD be as informed as possible. Especially when you consider the United States’ recent suspension of Mexican meat imports. Although, American meat is not without its own problems—South Koreans are ticked about U.S. beef.

Yet another reason why I DON’T eat meat, only LOW-toxin varieties of fish!

BPA, Where Will it Turn Up Next?

Bisphenol A is NOT your friend and lately news report after news report has BLASTED the toxic compound used in making plastic—which appears in BABY bottles of all places—that’s why some families are SUING baby-bottle makers.

Now, if baby bottles seem like a BIZARRE place for a TOXIC compound to show up. Get a load of this list of Hidden Sources of BPA. Via Julie’s Health Club:

  • Pizza boxes made of recycled cardboard
  • Recycled paper
  • Credit card receipts at the gas station and your local restaurant
  • Wine (fermented in BPA-resin lined vats)
  • Beer (likewise)
  • Rubbermaid polycarbonate-lined baking tins used by Subway
  • Pop (soda) cans
  • Organic canned tomatoes
  • Common plastic cups used in college cafeterias
  • Blue-tinted hard plastic 5-gallon drinking water bottles

And yet, people still buy this stuff! Maybe that’s because BPA interferes with brain cells. Although, the senate did want to ban to BPA, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration actually ruled that BPA is safe—INSANE!

At least Canada has their heads on straight. They declared BPA as dangerous. Not to mention, a new report claims everyday plastic products are linked to all sorts of human diseases; from Reuters.

Chinese Baby Formula Scare

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now urging parents to avoid Chinese-made baby formula. Reuters reports the FDA fears some of the formula, which is being blamed for the death of an infant in China, may have slipped into U.S. markets.

In response, China is widening its efforts to find the source of the contamination. They believe melamine—a substance used in fertilizers and plastics—may have been mixed in with milk used in manufacturing baby formula; more from Reuters.

Actually, melamine has run amuck before. Last year melamine contaminated a bunch of hogs and chickens—EEK!

BPA Can Stupid You Up!

More bad press for bisphenol-A (BPA), the toxic compound used in making hard plastic. Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine claim that BPA interferes with brain cells, possibly causing “learning impairments” and depression.

The study’s published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More from Medical News Today:

Unlike previous studies that looked at the effect of BPA on rodents, the team examined the effects in a primate model. They also used lower levels of the chemical than in past studies. "Our goal was to more closely mimic the slow and continuous conditions under which humans would normally be exposed to BPA," said study author Csaba Leranth, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and in Neurobiology at Yale. "As a result, this study is more indicative than past research of how BPA may actually affect humans."

Over a 28-day period, Leranth and his team gave each primate 50 micrograms/kg of BPA per day, adjusted for body weight, the amount considered safe for human consumption by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The team also administered estradiol, the major form of hormonal estrogen that modulates nerve cell connections in the brain. Best known as one of the principal hormone products of the ovary, estrogen has also been shown in past studies to be synthesized in the brain, where it aids the development and function of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.

The team then used an electron microscope to count nerve cell connections in the brain. They found that BPA inhibits creation of the synaptic connections in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, areas of the brain involved with regulation of mood and formation of memory.

Scary stuff—I’m stupid enough! Actually, I’m getting more and more concerned about plastic. Just check out my new water bottle. Metal baby! Take a look:


Maybe all this trepidation over plastic is part of the reason why many schools are ditching lunch trays to get green—via CNN.

Arsenic in the Water, Lead in the Vitamins, and More...

Not exactly the most pleasant batch of news, but important nonetheless. In Bangladesh, India 70 MILLION people are involuntarily exposed to ARSENIC when they consume local water and rice. ScienceDaily reports:

It is estimated that for every random sample of 100 people in the Bengal Delta, at least one person will be near death as a result of arsenic poisoning, while five in 100 will be experiencing other symptoms.

Now, researchers have created new low-cost technology to provide arsenic-free water to millions of people in South Asia currently exposed to high levels of the poison in groundwater.

Leading an international team, Queen’s researchers have developed a trial plant in Kasimpore, near Calcutta, which offers chemical-free groundwater treatment technology to rural communities for all their drinking and farming needs.

Now, problems like this are NOT limited to developing nations. For example, well water in northeast Oklahoma has tested positive for E. coli—it killed a man and sickened dozens—via The Washington Post.

But it gets worse. The FDA just determined that many popular brands of vitamins contain lead. That’s right, LEAD! The Daily Green lists them all, here’s one set. Take a look:

Greatest Exposure, Ages 0-6

  1. Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake (Powder)
  2. Superior Multi Age (Powder)
  3. Nutraceutical Pedia Power (Tablet/Capsule)
  4. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable (Tablet/Capsule)
  5. Ola Loa Kids (Powder)
  6. Nature's Plus Animal Parade (Tablet/Capsule)
  7. Vita-Big-Kids (Tablet/Capsule)
  8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen (Tablet/Capsule)
  9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
  10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children (Liquid)

Least Exposure, Ages 0-6

  1. Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid) *
  2. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)*
  3. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)*
  4. Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
  5. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
  6. My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
  7. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
  8. Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
  9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
  10. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)

* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.

Scary stuff! Eliminating toxins from our environment is an ever-important issue and obviously, one we—and the rest of the world—still have to work on.

For more, HealthandMen discusses dangerous chemicals and Mark’s Daily Apple offers 8 ways to Reduce Your Chemical load—both are worth a look.

Gardasil, Too Much Pomp and Media? -- UPDATE

Gardasil, Merck’s clumsy HPV vaccine, has garnered a lot of attention—a mix of hype and bad press. Now this has Tara Parker-Pope of the Well blog wondering if the media should be blamed for Gardasil’s hot air. Check it out:

Whether you agree with their conclusions or not, the report offers an interesting view of the media’s sometimes unquestioning role in raising the profile of the vaccines. The report cites several examples, including:
  • ABC’s Charles Gibson told viewers “this breakthrough couldn’t come soon enough,” on the June 8, 2006 “World News Tonight.”
  • NBC’s Brian Williams called Gardasil a “triumph in science and medicine” on June 8, 2006. He referred to Gardasil as “the first vaccine to prevent cancer” on Dec. 28, 2006, and urged parents to get their children vaccinated in many “Today” appearances.
  • NBC’s “Today” show co-host Meredith Vieira declared that it “could save your teenager’s life some day” on Sept. 15, 2006. She also told viewers Gardasil was one of the three vaccines kids “need.” Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, downplayed criticism of the expense of Gardasil, calling the $360 cost “the best investment you can make.”
  • For “The Early Show” on CBS, Dr. Emily Senay said Jan. 1, 2007, that the “top medical breakthrough [of 2006] has to be the cancer vaccine for cervical cancer, Gardasil.”
  • The report also says The New York Times “glowingly profiled Gardasil” in an August 2006 story about the history of the vaccine.

Sure, I think someone jumped the gun. Let me remind you. Dr. Fuhrman points out that Gardasil ONLY protects against 4 of the 100 strains of HPV and Gardasil can KILL. So yeah, hype much!

UPDATE: New research claims that severe allergic reactions are 20 times more likely in those vaccinated with Gardasil—via Reuters.