Tuesday, December 01, 2009

BPA In Your Receipts!

This is from one of the natural health doctors I follow - Dr. Sears. You have heard about BPA in can liners, plastic bottles (baby bottles) plastics and other packaging. The BPA levels in receipts is far higher and a potential health issue for anyone that handles a receipt. Known for it's feminizing effect on boys and men, erectile disfunction, cancer, heart disease and a whole lot more.


The next time the grocery store clerk hands you a receipt, remember this. That receipt contains millions of times more bisphenol-A (BPA) – the cancer-causing, estrogen-mimicking chemical – than a plastic water bottle.

BPA is dangerous, even in small amounts. Studies show that it may cause cancers, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more.

Now, I’ve come across some research that shows your common, everyday store and credit card receipts are laden with BPA. BPA is the chemical compound that allows the receipts to print without old-fashioned carbon paper.

Nearly every modern register uses this kind of paper. And every receipt, according to this new research, contains from 40 mg to 100 mg of BPA. In comparison, a plastic water bottle contains nanograms of BPA. One milligram equals a million nanograms.1

That’s a lot of BPA. Now, I should point out that nobody has done any studies yet to find out how much of the BPA from each receipt gets from your skin into your blood stream. But, we do know that estrogen can be absorbed by the skin – just think of the birth control patch. So it’s likely that some or all of that BPA may seep into you skin.

The good news is – you can easily do something about controlling the BPA entering your system.

One obvious thing is don’t let children play with receipts or put them in their mouth.

Washing your hands is one of the quickest, safest, easiest and most overlooked things you can do to protect your health on many, many levels. Unfortunately, few of us do it properly.

1. You don’t need a special soap. Expensive antibacterial soap is a waste of money and can contain toxic chemicals. Same goes for hand sanitizers.

Ordinary, plain, unscented soap is the best. It kills just as many microbes and bacteria as antibacterial soap. A U.S. FDA advisory committee found that use of antibacterial soaps provides no benefits over plain soap and water.2

Overuse of antibacterial soap can lead to bacteria mutations – producing a super bacteria, resistant to antimicrobial agents.

2. Your choice of hot or cold water makes no difference. For comfort, I like warm water.

3. The length of time washing your hands is important. Twenty seconds is the optimum length – that’s about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song – twice.

4. Make sure you rinse the soap off your hands with running water and dry them well – preferably on a disposable paper towel or air dryer.

Make it a habit when you come home to first unload your purchases, file your credit card and store receipts and then wash your hands.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences – National Institutes of Health. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/48084/title/Science_%2B_the_Public__
2. Environmental Working Group – http://www.ewg.org/Healthy-Home-Tips-05#washhands

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Studies Show Statin Drugs are Dangerous

A new paper cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also called statins, which are a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol. The review provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins.

Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and pain or numbness in the extremities are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects.

The paper summarizes powerful evidence that statin-induced injury to the function of the body's energy-producing cells, called mitochondria, underlies many of the adverse effects that occur to patients taking statin drugs. Statins lower levels of coenzyme Q10, a compound central to the processes of making energy within mitochondria and eliminating dangerous compounds called free radicals.

Higher statin doses and more powerful statins are linked to greater risk of developing side effects.

Eurekalert January 26, 2009
American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418

Natural Health and Wellness Website

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

FDA Corruption Complaint to Obama

FDA scientists complain to Obama of 'corruption'

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an unusually blunt letter, a group of federal scientists is complaining to the Obama transition team of widespread managerial misconduct in a division of the Food and Drug Administration.

"The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the scientific review process for medical devices at the FDA has been corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," said the letter, dated Wednesday and written on the agency's Center for Devices and Radiological Health letterhead.

The center is responsible for medical devices ranging from stents and breast implants to MRIs and other imaging machinery. The concerns of the nine scientists who wrote to the transition team echo some of the complaints from the FDA's drug review division a few years ago during the safety debacle involving the painkiller Vioxx.

The FDA declined to publicly respond to the letter, but said it is working to address the concerns.

In their letter the FDA dissidents alleged that agency managers use intimidation to squelch scientific debate, leading to the approval of medical devices whose effectiveness is questionable and which may not be entirely safe.

"Managers with incompatible, discordant and irrelevant scientific and clinical expertise in devices...have ignored serious safety and effectiveness concerns of FDA experts," the letter said. "Managers have ordered, intimidated and coerced FDA experts to modify scientific evaluations, conclusions and recommendations in violation of the laws, rules and regulations, and to accept clinical and technical data that is not scientifically valid."

A copy of the letter, with the names of the scientists redacted, was provided to The Associated Press by a congressional official.

"Currently, there is an atmosphere at FDA in which the honest employee fears the dishonest employee, and not the other way around," the scientists wrote.

FDA spokeswoman Judy Leon said in response: "We have been working very closely with members of the transition team and any concerns or questions they have on any issue, we will address directly with the team. Separately, the agency is actively engaged in a process to explore the staff members' concerns and take appropriate action."

Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers are urging Obama to appoint a commissioner who will shake up the FDA and restore the confidence of its working-level scientists and medical experts. But industry officials fear that approval of new drugs and devices could be delayed by endless scientific disputes — which is the agency's reputation.

The FDA dissidents have previously taken their concerns to Congress and found support from lawmakers in the House.

In the letter the group singled out mammography computer-aided detection devices as an example of a technology that should not have gone forward. The devices were supposed to improve breast cancer detection, but instead studies showed they were associated with false alarms that led to unnecessary breast biopsies.

Since 2006, FDA experts have recommended five times against approving the devices without better clinical evidence, the letter said. In March of last year, a panel of outside advisers supported some of the concerns of the FDA's in-house scientists. Nonetheless, FDA managers overruled the objections and ordered approval.

Top FDA managers "committed the most outrageous misconduct by ordering, coercing and intimidating FDA physicians and scientists to recommend approval, and then retaliating when the physicians and scientists refused to go along," the letter said.

A spokeswoman said the Obama transition team had no comment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Six New Studies Confirm Health Dangers of Plastic

Six New Studies Confirm Health Dangers of Plastic
by www.SixWise.com

The most up-to-date research shows that exposure to chemicals released from various plastic products and flame-retardant materials cause "adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals." An entire section of the October 2008 issue of Environmental Research, "A Plastic World," was devoted to the results of a series of six environmental research studies.

Chemicals in plastic products

Chemicals in plastic products you likely use everyday have been definitively linked to serious health problems including brain and reproductive damage and cancer.

These research studies investigated the health effects of chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), polyvinyl chlorate (PVC), phthalates, and polybrominated diphenylether (PBDE). Results showed that plastics contain "endocrine disrupting chemicals" that can interfere with the thyroid hormone, block the production of testosterone, and mimic the action of estrogen in your body.

These studies specified that fetal exposure to phthalates caused changes in male reproductive organs of humans and rats. Fetal exposure of rats and mice to BPAs and PBDEs showed a disruption in normal brain development and behavior. Research also provided evidence to show that great harm is being done to aquatic wildlife because our oceans are being polluted by enormous amounts of these plastic-related chemicals.

"For the first time a series of articles will appear together that identify that billions of kilograms of a number of chemicals used in the manufacture of different types of plastic can leach out of plastic products and cause harm to the brain and reproductive system when exposure occurs during fetal life or prior to weaning," according to Dr. Frederick vom Saal, guest editor of the "Plastic World."

PVC, a highly toxic chemical found in shower curtains

PVC, a highly toxic chemical found in shower curtains, plastic piping, toys and building supplies, is not something you want in your home, particularly if you have small children or are pregnant.

This most recent research reported that prenatal exposure to rats, and exposure around the time of gestation to even small amounts of BPA led to abnormalities in the development of mammary tissue, which led to an increase in pre-cancerous lesions and mammary tumors. Adult exposure to BPA led to an increase in mammary tumors as well.

BPA mimics estrogen in the body. As a result of this, research involving cultures of human breast cancer cells showed that BPA causes changes in cell growth and proliferation as well as damage to cellular DNA -- potential precursors to cancer.

Some Facts About These Toxic Chemicals

o Highly toxic
o Used to make many plastic consumer products
o Toxins released over time and when heating liquids in plastic containers

Found in plastic water bottles, drinking glasses, food containers, baby bottles, lacquer lining of metal food cans, microwave ovenware, plastic utensils, etc.
* PVC (polyvinyl chlorate)
o Highly toxic
o Found in many toys, building supplies, plastic piping, shower curtains, various soft plastic products, etc

* Phthalates
o Mimics the effects of estrogen in the body
o Causes skin irritations
o Found in many cosmetics and shampoos, PVC products (i.e. toys), etc.

* PBDEs (polybrominated diphenylether)
o Highly toxic
o Found in flame-retardant materials, furniture foam, back coatings for draperies and upholsteries, electronics, small appliances, etc.

Protecting Yourself From Plastic

The safest way to prevent adverse health effects from these chemicals is to avoid exposure to the plastics and products that contain them.

* Use glass and paper products instead of plastic.
* Avoid drinking bottled water.
* Replace toxic plastic products with safer plastics, such as bio-based materials.
* Be aware that a "3" or a "V" stamped underneath the recycling symbol of your plastic product indicates that the product contains PVC.
* Smell your plastic! PVC products give off a distinct odor from toxic gases being released, such as the smell from a vinyl shower curtain.
* During the construction process -- when building a house, for instance -- make sure to avoid installing PVC plastic piping.