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.