February 21st, 2011
By: Sally Deneen
Those energy-saving little LED bulbs advertised as eco-friendly — and used in strings of holiday lights and in car headlights — actually contain toxic lead, arsenic and some other bad stuff, new research shows.
Alarming? Sure. But in a surprise twist, a study author says: Buy them anyway.
As long as the bulbs aren’t crushed, they pose no danger. And for saving electricity, they hands-down beat Thomas Edison’s invention, the incandescent bulb, as well as the traditional bulb’s successor, mercury-containing compact fluorescent bulbs.
“We’re not recommending that people throw them away. These things have a long life expectancy,” Oladele Ogunseitan, chair of University of California Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention, told Consumer Ally about LED lights.
You may have read appeals from your electric utility to switch holiday lights to strings of newfangled energy-saving “light-emitting diodes,” or LEDs. Maybe you own a flashlight or camping headlamp powered by the tiny bulbs. For research published in the science journal Environmental Science & Technology, Ogunseitan and his colleagues examined crushed holiday LED lights in a quest for health hazards. (That such examination hadn’t been done before is, in itself, a “surprise,” he says.)
Oddly, they found the danger level varied by bulb color.
White bulbs overall appeared to have relatively low toxicity: “they contain less copper and do not contain arsenic or lead,” the study states.
Red lights contained up to eight times the toxic lead permitted under California law. In general, brighter, high-intensity bulbs were more hazardous than others.
“We find the low-intensity red LEDs exhibit significant cancer and non-cancer potentials due to the high content of arsenic and lead,” the study states.
Breathing toxic fumes from a single broken bulb wouldn’t automatically cause cancer, but could prove a tipping point on top of chronic exposure to other carcinogens, according to a university press release. Toddlers could be harmed, Ogunseitan warned, if they mistook the bright lights for candy.
That’s not exactly what you want to hear about an “environmentally friendly” light bulb.
January 5th, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
A Colorado beekeeper recently obtained a leaked document revealing that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows a popular crop pesticide is killing off honey bees, but has allowed its continued approval anyway. Despite opposition from its own scientists, EPA officials first gave the a-okay to Bayer CropScience’s toxic pesticide clothianidin in 1993 based on the company’s own flawed safety studies. But now it has been revealed that the EPA knew all along about the dangers of clothianidin and decided to just ignore them.
By now, most people know that honeybees are dying off at an incredibly disturbing rate. Colony collapse disorder (CCD), a condition where bees stray from the hive and never find their way back, is nixing millions of nature’s pollinators every year. Previous studies have pinpointed various environmental toxins as the primary culprits, including toxic pesticides like clothianidin.
And the leaked document, which was written by the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, explains clearly that “[c]lothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (honey bees)” and that “[a]cute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis.” The letter was in response to a request from Bayer to have clothianidin approval expanded for use on cotton and mustard in addition to its other approved uses.
So if clothianidin poses a significant threat against honey bees, and the EPA has known about this all along, why was it ever approved in the first place? And if Bayer’s original safety studies have been shown to be contradictory to actual science, why has the EPA failed to go after Bayer for falsifying safety data? Apparently those who make the final decisions at the EPA have no actual interest in the truth and would rather cater to corporate interests at the expense of public health.
Several European nations have outlawed the use of clothianidin, including Germany, Francy, Italy and Slovenia. U.S. growers of conventional crops, however, continue to use the dangerous chemical thanks to corrupt EPA officials. And when all the honey bees die and there are no pollinators left to grow food, these same EPA officials will be responsible for the mass murder of millions of people.
December 16th, 2010
By: Val Willingham
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said Wednesday that the agency should look at updated data on mercury amalgam dental fillings that may indicate possible medical problems for patients.
The panel — after hearing two days of testimony from experts, members of the public and dental professionals — recommended the FDA look at information updated since the agency ruled in 2009 that the mercury in dental fillings is not harmful.
Committee members noted, however, that the FDA’s decision was solid, based on information available at the time. The committee also stressed that more studies need to be done on amalgam fillings, especially in children.
Public pressure prompted the panel’s review, initiated less than 18 months after the agency’s decision.
Committee members listened to testimony by consumer and dental groups claiming the FDA used flawed science when it set the current guidelines for mercury safety levels.
“We need to see where the science is and if there are gaps.” said the panel’s chairwoman, Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, a dentist and researcher with the University of Pennsylvania.
In its final rule, the FDA concluded clinical studies did not establish a causal link between dental amalgam and health problems in people age 6 and older. But it did add that developing fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxin.
Amalgam tooth fillings are an alloy made up of various metals and 50 percent mercury,
Mercury toxicity has been well documented, but when it comes to amalgam fillings there isn’t a lot of data. Many dentists favor these fillings because they are cheap, easy to put in place and durable.
Dental professionals also argue that mercury fillings last longer than resin composites, and are easier on the tooth. The American Dental Association agrees with the FDA that amalgam fillings are safe.
Yet, some experts say mercury from these fillings penetrates into the body and damages human cells, especially in the brain, bones and kidneys. How much damage it is unknown, which is why the advisory committee is revisiting the issue.
In Wednesday’s public hearing, 30 people testified for and against the use of amalgam fillings.
Jessica Kerger, an attorney from Toledo, Ohio, said she was a healthy child until she started getting amalgam fillings. As she got older, she faced numerous health problems and a variety of diagnoses. She even had her amalgam fillings removed. It wasn’t until a doctor tested her for mercury poisoning that she realized her problem, she said.
Now, after being treated for excess mercury in her body, Kerger said, “I’m an active mother, attorney and I have a black belt in karate. I blame my fillings and I am begging the FDA to get rid of them.”
While others testified that mercury in their fillings caused such health problems as loss of memory, impaired vision, miscarriages and paralysis, many dental professionals asked that amalgam fillings remain.
Addressing the board, Dr. Vincent Mayher, a former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, said public accusations that dentists force patients to receive amalgam fillings is exaggerated.
“It’s Inflammatory. No dentist I know of forces a patient at any time to get amalgam fillings these days, especially pregnant women and little children.” Mayher testified
Andrew Read Fuller, a dental student at UCLA and member of the American Student Dental Association, noted there is no scientific data that amalgam fillings cause the problems some attribute to them, and said that, as a future dentist, he would use amalgam fillings on any of his patients as well as himself.
“In the absence of new evidence there is no reason to question the FDA’s decision.” Fuller said.
Yet some dentists did say they would avoid using amalgam fillings because of numerous public reports of mercury poisoning.
“I always wondered why we were told by the (American Dental Association) to be careful when disposing of mercury. If it’s so dangerous to the environment, why not my patients?” asked Dr. Stephen Markus, a dentist in the Philadelphia area.
The committee also recommended that the FDA come up with models that could be used to look at the effects of mercury vapor exposure from dental fillings. And when designing these models, it said, the agency should take into consideration age, health history and physical makeup of individuals.
There was also discussion that more data needs to be looked at to come up with stronger models, especially those based on younger children and unborn fetuses.
More information on amalgam fillings should be posted for both for patients and dentists, the committee said.
It also noted the FDA’s biomarker using urine to detect mercury exposure is not perfect but is the best available for adults. Members also noted that more updated data is needed before the agency can make stronger guidelines on amalgam fillings.
Although the committee’s recommendations will go to the FDA board for consideration, the board does not have to follow them. Traditionally, however, it does.
December 7th, 2010
By: David Gutierrez
Questions are being raised over whether a widely prescribed anti-psychotic drug may be contributing to the deaths of traumatized U.S. war veterans.
Among those who recently died while taking AstraZeneca’s blockbuster drug Seroquel are Marine corporals Andrew White and Chad Oligschlaeger. Both were being given multiple drugs, including Seroquel, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both died in their sleep.
Before his death, White was being given more than double the maximum recommended Seroquel dose for patients suffering from schizophrenia.
“He was told if he had trouble sleeping he could take another pill,” said his father, Stan White.
Seroquel is the United States’ fifth-best-selling drug, and one of the top prescribed drugs by the Veteran Affairs Department. Since the start of the Afghanistan war, government spending on the drug has increased more than 770 percent to $8.6 million per year. Yet in the same time period, the number of patients being treated by the department increased by only 34 percent.
The drug is approved only for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, yet it is commonly given to vets for insomnia and other PTSD symptoms. According to The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge, other side effects “may include dry mouth, blurred vision, and tardive dyskinesia, typified by involuntary movements of the lips, mouth, and tongue.” Other proven side effects include weight gain and diabetes, while new research suggests that the drug may also cause sudden heart failure.
Medical examiners concluded that both White and Oligschlaeger died of “multiple drug toxicity” caused by a deadly interaction between the different drugs they were taking; such deaths are not recorded as caused by any single drug. Yet family and advocates of vets are becoming increasingly concerned that Seroquel may bear a large part of the blame for such deaths, and are calling for a reevaluation of prescribing practices for the drug.
“Right now, I’m so angry, and I believe someone needs to be held accountable,” said Oligschlaeger’s mother, Julie Oligschlaeger. “The protocol absolutely has to change.”
October 15th, 2010
By: Jonathan Benson
Frequent use of swimming pools, especially indoor ones, can lead to long-term health problems, say three new studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. According to the reports, chemical disinfection byproducts that form in pools — and in the air surrounding them — can potentially cause both lung damage, asthma and cancer.
In the first study, samples of blood, urine and exhaled air from otherwise healthy individuals who swam in an indoor pool for 40 minutes revealed a significant increase in bio-markers of toxicity. Such toxicity occurs as a result of chlorine and other pool chemicals reacting with organic matter that is either introduced into the water through sweat and skin, or that is present in the water naturally.
Exposure to disinfection byproducts increased the four bio-markers of toxicity sevenfold, indicating they are a serious threat to health.
The second study found that a 40-minute swim in the pool can also cause short-term cell damage in the lungs. Perpetual cell damage from prolonged exposure can lead to serious respiratory illness.
The third study revealed that both chlorinated and brominated pools are loaded with dangerous disinfection byproducts. Samples of water from both sources revealed more than 100 toxic byproducts, many of which have never been identified in either swimming pool or drinking water.
Research continues to show that long-term exposure to the countless disinfection byproducts present in both swimming pool water increases users’ risk of developing asthma and bladder cancer. Many are calling for sweeping changes to be made in the way water is disinfected in order to reduce the threat to human health.
Until then, concerned individuals can choose to swim in ultra-violet (UV) disinfected pools and spas. The UV treatment kills dangerous pathogens and pollutants without creating toxic byproducts. Minimal, if any, chemicals are required to keep UV-treated pools optimally purified.
July 30, 2010
by Mike Adams
The President’s Cancer Panel (PCP) recently released its yearly report to the President outlining the status of cancer in America. This year’s report focuses primarily on environmental factors that contribute to cancer risk. According to the report, pharmaceutical drugs are a serious environmental pollutant, particularly in the way they continue to contaminate waterways across the country (and the world).
Many reports have recently appeared about pharmaceutical contamination of water supplies, rivers, lakes and other waterways, but spokespersons from the drug and chemical industries have denied that this pollution poses any risk whatsoever to the environment. But this report, issued directly from PCP, provides a stunning indictment of the dangers associated with pharmaceutical pollution.
The executive summary of the PCP report includes the following statements:
“[P]harmaceuticals have become a considerable source of environmental contamination. Drugs of all types enter the water supply when they are excreted or improperly disposed of; the health impact of long-term exposure to varying mixtures of these compounds is unknown.”
It’s important to note that PCP is required by law to assess the National Cancer Program and offer a truthful evaluation of the various things it finds to be responsible for causing cancer. The panel is a division of the National Cancer Institute itself, so its findings hold fairly considerable weight in the scientific world (or they should, if the reaction wasn’t so politicized).
The report itself is quite extensive, evaluating everything from the environmental and health impacts of drug and pesticide pollution to cell phone radiation and nuclear testing residue. But the section on pharmaceutical drugs is especially interesting when considering the fact that numerous reports have shown that drugs and drug residue that ends up in water supplies typically isn’t filtered out by municipal treatment plants.
No laws exist to protect the public from pharmaceuticals
Many chemicals are highly regulated because they are known to negatively affect human and environmental health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with regulating exposure to these chemicals, but pharmaceuticals are not included in its regulatory scheme. Despite years of prodding by environmental scientists, the EPA has given very little attention to the dangers posed by widespread pharmaceutical contamination.
According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study conducted back in 2002, antidepressants, blood pressure and diabetes medications, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy drugs, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, heart medications and even codeine are all showing up in the water supplies of American cities. This study was the first national-scale evaluation of pharmaceutical drug contamination in streams, and roughly 80 percent of the streams tested were found to be contaminated as well.
In 2008, an AP investigation found that at least 46 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. Even though every city tested has its water treated and “purified” prior to being delivered to the public, trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs are making their way through to the tap. (Since not all major metropolitan areas were tested, the number of people affected is likely far higher than what was reported by AP.)
In spite of all this, water quality reports don’t disclose the levels of pharmaceuticals found in tap water. Since the EPA and FDA have failed to establish any proper guidelines for drug contamination in water, most people have no idea that their water contains a dangerous cocktail of prescription medications.
Hospitals, consumers and drug companies are all responsible
None of this is surprising if you consider that unused and expired drugs cannot be legally returned to the pharmacies where they were purchased. Many people just flush them down the toilet because the drug labels actually encourage patients to dispose of them this way (and they probably don’t know what else to do with them).
People who take prescription and over-the-counter drugs will excrete them as well, contributing to the drug overload being found at wastewater treatment plants. (Drugs are not necessarily “broken down” by your digestive system.)
It is also regular protocol for hospitals to flush millions of pounds of unused medications every year, a practice that contributes significantly to water contamination.
And let’s not forget the drug companies that dump large amounts of their own pharmaceuticals into water supplies. The same AP investigation found that more than 270 million pounds of pharmaceutical compound residue is dumped every year into waterways nationwide, many of which serve as drinking water for millions of people.
The U.S. isn’t the only place where Big Pharma is dumping its waste, either. In 2009, researchers found that India’s rivers are full of dangerous pharmaceuticals, too.
One Indian river where 90 different pharmaceutical companies dump their waste tested positive for over 21 active drug ingredients. In one river alone, there was enough ciprofloxacin (a strong antibiotic) being dumped every day by drug companies to treat 90,000 people! (And scientists detected this in water that was supposedly purified by the drug companies before being released into the environment).
The drug contamination levels found in India’s rivers were 150 times the detected levels found in the U.S. These findings prove that drug companies couldn’t care less how much drug residue they dump in water as long as they can get away with it. They don’t even believe that pharmaceutical contamination is a threat to the environment.
“Based on what we now know, I would say we find there’s little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health,” explained microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, in a Dallas Morning News article about the AP investigation. This is similar to BP’s CEO saying, after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, that the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico was “tiny” compared to how big the ocean is.
Studies show drug residue cocktails actually do cause harm
Though the chemical and drug industries deny any danger from exposure to drug residue in the water, science (and common sense) says otherwise.
A 2006 study conducted by researchers from the University of Insubria in Italy simulated drug-tainted water by creating a low-level mixture of various drug residues and testing it on embryonic cells. They discovered that, even at low doses, the drug residues actually stopped cells from reproducing.
Even though current water contamination levels are measured in parts per million or parts per billion, there is no way to know just how much exposure people are actually experiencing. People drink contaminated water, shower in contaminated water and cook with contaminated water, so it’s illogical to suggest that there’s no harm being caused by widespread exposure, even at “low” doses, especially when the exposure is a combination of dozens of different drugs that have never been tested in combination.
People are not the only beings that are affected by pharmaceutical contamination, either. The world’s aquatic ecosystems (and the plants and animals that belong to them) are all being negatively impacted.
Drugs are being found in fish
According to an MSNBC report back in 2009, all kinds of drugs are being found in the bodies of fish near major U.S. cities. Researchers found drugs for high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression in the livers and tissue of fish.
Researchers are in agreement that aquatic species of all types are being harmed by continuous exposure to water contaminated with pharmaceuticals. Even though wastewater is treated in the U.S. before entering waterways, most treatment facilities do not have the proper filtering technology to remove dangerous drug residues from wastewater before it gets dumped.
Beyond having their sperm damaged, some fish are actually changing sexes. Males are becoming females and females are becoming males as a result of drug exposure in the water. Other water creatures are experiencing things like organ failure and the inability to grow. It makes a reasonable person ask “How long until these effects start to hit humans?”
Or have they already?
“We have no reason to think that this is a unique situation. We find pretty much anywhere we look, these compounds are ubiquitous,” explained Erik Orsak, an environmental contaminants specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to the findings.
And it’s not just near American cities where fish are turning up with all kinds of drugs in their bodies. As of 2008, more than 100 different pharmaceutical compounds have been detected around the world, affecting fish and wildlife everywhere. These are chemicals that simply do not belong in our environment. And yet they are there, dumped into our waters by the pharmaceutical industry and its hospitals, pharmacies and consumers.
Why we need more research on the toxicity of pharmaceutical contaminants
Many animal studies have been or are being conducted on pharmaceutical exposure, and they are indicating that these drugs are causing widespread harm. But very few official human trials have been conducted, prompting many to push for increased efforts.
If drug residue is building up in animals and wildlife, then of course it’s building up in humans as well, posing the risk of significant harm. Reproductive failure, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, osteoporosis — all of these diseases and more may be caused, at least in part, by prolonged exposure to low levels of all sorts of drugs in the water supply.
Many states pushing for drug waste legislation
Because the truth about drug contamination in water is no longer a secret, many states have begun enacting legislation to regulate drug disposal. Last August, Illinois passed the Safe Pharmaceuticals Disposal Act, which restricts hospitals from flushing drugs down the drain.
California has a similar law in place, and New York is working on one as well, according to a recent report:
The same report indicates that there have been five bills introduced to regulate drugs at the federal level.
While this addresses the hospital waste problem, there’s still the human and drug company waste problems. No matter how you look at it, pharmaceutical drugs are going to continue making their way into the water supplies because they will pass through the bodies of consumers first!
Drug companies must be held responsible for their waste-water
Since it’s already been revealed that drug companies are failing to properly treat their wastewater before dumping it into rivers (even though they claim to be treating it), U.S. regulatory agencies need to step up and correct the problem. Regular monitoring of wastewater contaminant levels is the only way to halt the chemical contamination of waterways.
And if U.S. companies are polluting water supplies in other countries (such as India), they should be held accountable for their actions. There’s no excuse for U.S. companies to pollute anywhere in the world just because they’re operating outside domestic borders.
Wastewater treatment plants should be retrofitted
State and local legislators would do well to put forth their own legislation to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities so they can properly filter out pharmaceuticals (and dispose of them safely). Since there’s no way to stop human elimination of pharmaceuticals (apart from slowly educating the masses to stop swallowing dangerous pharmaceuticals), municipalities need to do their part to prevent these dangerous toxins from getting into water supplies in the first place.
Together, these measures would help to drastically reduce the amount of pharmaceutical waste entering our environment.
It’s the environment, stupid!
The careless disposal of toxic pharmaceuticals is proving to be highly destructive, despite reassurances by some that it’s not that big of a deal. The health of the planet and all of its amazing biodiversity is now threatened by the steady poisoning of toxic chemical pharmaceuticals.
And it’s not just pharmaceuticals, either. Chemical byproducts and waste from many different industries are polluting our environment at unprecedented rates. Mercury (from dental fillings), fluoride (dripped into the public water supply on purpose, if you can believe that!), and all sorts of other chemicals and heavy metals are showing up in food, water and the global environment.
Haven’t we poisoned our planet enough already?
Plants, animals and even humans can only take so much of this. That’s why we need to keep fighting against the corporations that are causing this harm and force them to stop destroying the world in which we hope to raise our children.
After all, if we keep poisoning the planet at this rate, there won’t be much left to offer future generations except a toxic stew of patent-protected chemicals that all the corporations pretend pose no problem at all.
July 23, 2010
A new animation video from The Story of Stuff Project, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Free Range Studios deals a devastating blow to the chemical industry with a straightforward, hard-hitting and entertaining look at the toxicity of cosmetics and personal care products.
Narrated by Annie Leonard, who also narrated the hugely popular Story of Stuff animations, this new cosmetics animation takes aim at the toxic cosmetics industry, exposing how many popular brand-name products contain cancer causing chemicals.
Talking about shampoo products, Annie says, “Pantene contains a chemical linked to cancer. And lots of other products in my bathroom, from sunscreen to lipstick and even baby shampoo, also contain chemicals linked to cancer or other problems like learning disabilities, asthma and even damaged sperm.”
The animation goes on to explain the aggregate toxic burden of personal care products on the lives of everyday consumers:
“The average woman in the U.S. uses about twelve personal care products daily… each product containing a dozen or more chemicals. Less than 20 percent of the chemicals used in cosmetics have been assessed for safety by the industry safety panel, so we just don’t know what they do to us when we use them.”
“It’s like a giant experiment,” Annie continues. “We’re using all these mystery chemicals and just waiting to see what happens… The FDA doesn’t even assess the safety of personal care products or their ingredients… they don’t even require that all the ingredients be listed on the label!”
Why telling the truth threatens Big Business in America
Annie has done a great job with The Story of Cosmetics. The information presented in this video is unusually blunt for someone who has achieved mainstream popularity and recognition in the popular press.
The video takes direct aim at Herbal Essences shampoo from Proctor & Gamble (the company I consider to be the Monsanto of the body care industry), saying, “This is Proctor & Gamble. They’re the ones offering me Herbal Essences, the number two shampoo in the country. It contains toxic petrochemicals made from oil. Since when is oil an herb?”
Astonishingly, Annie even takes aim at the bogus pink ribbon breast cancer fundraising scam by showing an image of an Estee Lauder product with a pink ribbon on the package. She says, “Ooh, here’s Estee Lauder offering me a chance to help find a cure for breast cancer. That’s nice, but wait… they’re also using chemicals linked to cancer! Don’t you think the best way for Estee Lauder to fight cancer is to stop using those chemicals in the first place?”
Sounds like Annie has been reading NaturalNews, eh? Good for her! In fact, if you just read the script of the video, you might think it was written by NaturalNews. It’s the kind of information we’ve been putting out for years. Similarly, the Organic Consumers Association has been leading the charge on organic body care labeling reform, and experts like Dr. Samuel Epstein has been on the march even longer, attempting to warn Americans about the toxicity of cosmetics and personal care products for over a decade.
Now with this Story of Cosmetics, Annie Leonard has joined the ranks of those who ruffle the feathers of big industry. You can now expect a massive assault on Annie from privately-contracted hackers, social network spammers, flamers, character assault specialists and other muckrakers who are secretly hired by the corporations who stand to lose big if Annie’s message results in new regulation. Welcome to the club, Annie: In America, telling the truth always gets you in trouble. Especially if you tell the sort of truth that protects the People from the toxic chemicals promoted by Big Business.
I wonder if Annie will someday do a video called The Story of Chemotherapy and expose the scam of the cancer industry, too? That would be beyond hilarious…
How about The Story of Fluoride and the mass poisoning of the water supply with a toxic, cancer-causing chemical?
Or even better, The Story of Psychiatric Drugging of Children which exposes the mass chemical poisoning of our children with psych drugs. That story, of course, is already being told over at CCHR through other videos.
I don’t know if Annie Leonard has the courage to go after these industries, but she’s shown some real backbone in attacking the toxic personal care industries, that’s for sure. Give her credit where it’s due: She’s managed to find an entertaining, mass-media way to tell the truth about toxic personal care products, and she’s getting good traction with the mainstream media on this issue, too. For that, she deserves a medal or something. But instead of a medal, she’ll probably get raked over the coals by the chemical industry goons. If there’s one thing Big Business can’t stand in America, it’s someone telling people the truth that exposes industry lies.
Exposing the lies of the toxic chemical industries in America comes with a very heavy price. Yet it remains the most important task we can all pursue right now because to take back our health, we must all speak out and dare to tell the truth about the chemicals, pharmaceuticals and vaccines that are killing us all and destroying the future of life on our planet.
December 16, 2009
By Amy Norton
An herb used since ancient times to treat liver ailments may help reduce the liver damage caused by some cancer drugs, a study published Monday suggests.
In a study of 50 children undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers found that an herb called milk thistle appeared to reduce treatment-related liver inflammation.
The study, published online in the journal Cancer, is the first clinical trial to test the herb in children undergoing chemotherapy, and the investigators caution that more research is still needed.
However, the findings are “promising” — particularly since there is currently no way to help protect the liver from chemotherapy-induced damage, said senior researcher Dr. Kara M. Kelly, a pediatric oncologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.
Liver inflammation is common among children undergoing chemotherapy for ALL, Kelly told Reuters Health — with about two-thirds developing liver toxicity at some point during treatment.
Traditionally, doctors have dealt with the side effect by lowering patients’ chemotherapy doses — which, in turn, can lower the chances of seeing a complete remission. Kelly said that more recently, there has been a movement toward “accepting” the liver toxicity and sticking with the chemo regimen. But it’s not clear what the long-range consequences of that might be.
“So we still need an alternative option,” Kelly said.
That is where milk thistle comes in. The plant’s flowers and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder. In recent years, lab research has found that the active substance in milk thistle — an antioxidant called silybin
– might help prevent body tissue damage by blocking toxins from breaching cell walls.
Several clinical trials have investigated milk thistle as a way to prevent or treat liver damage in people with hepatitis, an inflammation that can be caused by an infection, and in those with cirrhosis, a buildup of scar tissue in the liver often linked to alcoholism. The results of those studies have been mixed.
December 2, 2009
By Richard Liroff
Companies need to move towards using greener chemicals because the principal drivers demanding such change — science, regulation, and business-to-business environmentally preferable purchasing programs — are surging and will intensify.
Product toxicity reduction should be a core element of business strategy because it can reduce reputational and litigation liabilities, help companies avoid “toxic lockout” of their products from the marketplace, and drive innovation.
It can drive sales in the marketplace for environmentally preferable products, lower overhead costs when products subject to government hazardous waste laws are eliminated, and contribute to enhanced employee safety and productivity. Toxicity reduction and elimination can also yield other forms of cost savings, generally determined on a case by case basis.
In the course of this three-part series, we aim to help you figure out how to reduce your company’s toxic footprint by reducing and eliminating the “worst of the worst” toxic chemicals and promoting use of “best of the best” green ones.
December 2, 2009
By Paul Louis
A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.
This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: “High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk.”
One of the primary purposes of this study was to resolve, ” . . . inconsistencies from previous studies which found both positive and negative associations between meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Barry Popkin from the University of North Carolina described the study as “excellent’ and he went on to say that it “reiterates the concerns echoed in other major reviews and studies on the adverse effects of excessive meat intake”.
The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives. Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity. Beta cells are involved with the production of insulin. Consequently, their ability to produce insulin is blocked by nitrate induced toxicity.
Animal model studies proved that low doses of nitrosamine streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetes. Nitrosamines are formed by the nitrates interacting with amino acids in the stomach.
Earlier studies have documented negative health consequences with heavy meat eating. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has warned that “. . . high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 percent.” And the World Cancer Research Fund has reported a direct link to cancer with alcohol, red and processed meats. They also found that heavy red and processed meat eaters risked earlier death.