Health

PepsiCo Will Halt Use of Additive in Gatorade

News came last Friday from PepsiCo that a controversial chemical that has been a common additive in their beverages is to be phased out, following complaints over the safety of the chemical. The additive, Brominated Vegetable Oil, has been linked to neurological disorders and thyroid problems. The New York Times' Stephanie Strom reports on the story, commenting that the voice of a fifteen year old girl named Sarah Kavanagh was the catalyst for change in this instance.

Warnings From a Flabby Mouse

The New York Times published an article this weekend citing information from a comparative study in which two genetically identical lab mice were raised in exactly the same conditions, with exactly the same diet and opportunities for exercise, and only one difference in upbringing: one mouse was exposed to a miniscule dosage of an endocrine disrupting hormone at birth. The result, according to New York Times contributor Nicholas Kristof, was one mouse of an average size, and one which gained a substantial amount of weight. Writes Kristof:

Uncontrolled Chemicals Affect Daily Life, Officials Say

According to an article posted this weekend on the York Daily Record, a testimony was made before a Senate subcommittee in Philadelphia stating that ten newborn babies were just found to contain more than 200 chemicals in their blood, before they were even able to be affected by the air they breathed, food, or water.

Fetal Exposure to PVC Plastic Chemical Linked to Obesity in Offspring

A new study from UC Irvine has found that fetal exposure to a chemical from PVC, tributyltin, has been found to correspond to obesity for generations after the exposure. According to Medical Xpress, the study found that 

early-life exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds such as TBT can have permanent effects of fat accumulation without further exposure, said study leader Bruce Blumberg, UC Irvine professor of pharmaceutical sciences and developmental & cell biology. These effects appear to be inherited without DNA mutations occurring.

Study Finds Ants Are Contaminated With Phthalates

The chemical compounds known as phthalates were found to be present in ants during a study conducted by entomologist Dr. Alain Lenoir, according to a new article posted on Inhabitat.com. Contributor Morgana Matus writes that even these tiny organisms were found to be susceptible to the chemical compound, which is released into the atmosphere as plastics degrade. Matus reports:

High BPA Levels in Kids Linked to Risk for Heart, Kidney Damage

The findings of a new study have associated rising levels of bisphenol A in the urine samples of children with kidney and liver problems, according to an article published today by MSN Healthy Living. The article states that a study from New York University's School of Medicine analyzed data from more than 700 children and teens ages 6-19 for the purposes of the research, and found that:

35,000 Rubber Ducks in Santa, Reindeer Outfits Seized at L.A. Port

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday that a shipment from China containing 35,000 rubber ducks dressed in Santa, Reindeer, and Gingerbread man outfits was detained by US Customs officials after it was determined that the chemicals present in the ducks exceeded the safety threshold for children's products. According to an article by Adolfo Flores, the ducks contained dangerous levels of phthalates -- chemicals used to soften plastics that have been found connected to endocrine disruption. Writes Flores:

New Flame Retardants, Other Replacement Chemicals, Pose Same Problem as Predecessors

Chemical flame retardants, substances once used often in children's clothing, were banned 30 years ago due to their toxic properties. These chemicals were found to cause cancer and disrupt hormones, but despite the associated risks, it has been found that the foam within couches today still contain a great deal of the same chemical.

California High Schools Scrap 'Plastic Foods' in Favor of Real Nutrition

In an effort to help students lead a healthier lifestyle, school chefs in Escondido have done away with pre-packaged, processed meals in favor of healthy, freshly cooked ones. The Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD) cooks about 10,000 meals a day for students, often in confined kitchens with limited prep space, but the results are worth it, according to those who benefit from the meals. Writes Viji Sundaram of AlterNet News:

Study Spotlights High Breast Cancer Risk for Plastics Workers

The effects of plastic on the consumer are becoming more and more well known by the day, but the plastics industry impacts more than just the people who receive and use a finished product, as a new study highlights. Jim Morris of the Centre for Public Integrity writes that a six year study conducted by researchers from the US, Canada, and the UK have found that women who work in the plastic industry are almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer as those women in the control group.

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