Posts Tagged ‘children’
Toxic chemicals may be triggering the recent increases in neurodevelopmental disabilities among children—such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia—according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The researchers say a new global prevention strategy to control the use of these substances is urgently needed.
“The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis. They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes,” said Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH.
The report follows up on a similar review conducted by the authors in 2006 that identified five industrial chemicals as “developmental neurotoxicants,” or chemicals that can cause brain deficits. The new study offers updated findings about those chemicals and adds information on six newly recognized ones, including manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos and DDT (pesticides), tetrachloroethylene (a solvent), and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants).
The study outlines possible links between these newly recognized neurotoxicants and negative health effects on children, including:
Manganese is associated with diminished intellectual function and impaired motor skills
Solvents are linked to hyperactivity and aggressive behavior
Certain types of pesticides may cause cognitive delays
Grandjean and co-author Philip Landrigan, Dean for Global Health at Mount Sinai, also forecast that many more chemicals than the known dozen or so identified as neurotoxicants contribute to a “silent pandemic” of neurobehavioral deficits that is eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, and damaging societies. But controlling this pandemic is difficult because of a scarcity of data to guide prevention and the huge amount of proof needed for government regulation. “Very few chemicals have been regulated as a result of developmental neurotoxicity,” they write…
“The problem is international in scope, and the solution must therefore also be international,” said Grandjean. “We have the methods in place to test industrial chemicals for harmful effects on children’s brain development—now is the time to make that testing mandatory.”
The report was published over the weekend. It is available at Lancet Neurology.
Mail me a penny postcard when governments in industrial nations producing, utilizing, distributing, selling these chemicals decide to respond to Philippe Grandjean’s recommendation. When they make testing mandatory. When they put an end to human contact with these chemicals and their residues.
I’m used to waiting. Excuses. Lies.
The Food and Drug Administration and Texas Department of State Health Services have alerted consumers to a recall of Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products distributed in Texas, after children and staff at three schools in Katy became ill on Friday.
About 50 people who ate Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor at lunch on Friday complained of burning, itching, rashes, headaches and nausea, symptoms that subsided after 30 to 90 minutes.
After the incident, Mars Foodservices said that it decided to recall all of the Infused Rice products produced since Jan. 1, 2013…
Mars also said that a small amount of the rice could be purchased online and urged anyone with the product to return it.
The recall includes Infused Rice products that were sold in 5 and 25-pound bags to institutions, like schools, hospitals and prisons.
First reporting after the Katy schools sickness declared that this Uncle Ben’s preparation had already been recalled – and that schools should have known about it. Dunno if that changed, if the reports filtering through our stellar network TV news mavens were incorrect or if the correction and recall happened afterwards.
Regardless, you have to wonder what passes for risk management in large economy-size corporations. Mass poisonings even when not fatal are likely to end up in class action suits requiring a lot more cash being dispensed than in standardized insurance settlements.
Conservative talk radio is criticizing a Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad that featured multiple languages, with Rush Limbaugh joking it might be a ploy from Republican leaders on immigration reform.
Radio hosts were reacting Monday to Sunday’s ad from Coke, in which several voices sing “America the Beautiful” in multiple languages, as faces of people of different cultures are shown. The ad has been both praised as a display of multiculturalism and slammed as divisive as immigration reform remains a controversial political hot topic.
…popular conservative radio voice, Glenn Beck…criticized the ad, calling it divisive and politicized amid the immigration debate. On his show Monday, Beck said he got a tweet from a viewer asking what he thought of the spot.
“I said, ‘Why? You need that to divide us politically?’ Because that’s all this ad is,” Beck said. “It’s an in your face — and if you don’t like, if you’re offended by it, then you’re a racist. If you do like it, well then you’re for immigration, that’s what it is. You’re for progress…”
Beck got it right – even if by accident, even though he stands against anything that smacks of progress.
Thanks, Coke, for reminding me why I hold what passes for conservatism in America, nowadays – in such contempt. The Republican Party has become the mouthpiece for racism and bigotry that Dixiecrats of old only dreamt of becoming.
They should stuff their ears with whatever fecal matter is handy. Plug them with rubber stoppers carved from the gaskets reserved from Auschwitz. And die of the several plagues resulting from lives lived as obedient fascist clones.
Americans will continue to sing.
Dude looks a natural in orange
A New York state man drank beer while holding his girlfriend and their two children captive in their home for a week…
The woman was finally able to get assistance by convincing the boyfriend, Benito Lopez, she was playing games on the computer…
Lopez…was arrested Monday after probation officers were tipped the girlfriend, their son, 11, and daughter, 12 had been hostage in their home since New Year’s Eve.
Sullivan County deputies said Lopez disconnected the phone and confiscated electronic devices and car keys to prevent anyone calling for help.
The girlfriend eventually got help through Facebook by pretending she was playing computer games, police said.
Police said they found the equivalent of 15 cases of empty beer cans, as well as some liquor bottles.
The dude should be locked up until he dries out. Should only take 10-20 years.
A new study suggests that mothers who eat nuts during pregnancy can eat them without fear of causing nut allergies in their babies.
Researchers used data from a large prospective study of health and lifestyle among female nurses. They studied 8,205 mothers who were not allergic to nuts and their children born from 1990 to 1994, and found 140 cases of peanut or tree nut allergy among the offspring.
After adjusting for age, race, season of birth, smoking, consumption of fruits and vegetables and other factors, they found that mothers who consumed nuts at least five times a month were almost 70 percent less likely to have a baby with a nut allergy than those who ate nuts less than once a month.
“We showed an association between diet and allergy,” said the senior author, Dr. Michael C. Young, an allergist at Boston Children’s Hospital, “but not cause and effect…”
Still, Dr. Young said, “Previously, women were concerned that eating nuts during pregnancy probably would lead to an allergic baby, but our data dispels that. A woman who is pregnant can eat peanuts without fear that she will have a baby allergic to peanuts.”
Plus – as I posted here previously – developing a habit of eating nuts when there is no risk of allergy is beneficial to your health.
Kids today are 15 percent less heart fit than their parents were as youngsters, and this does not bode well for their adult health, Australian researchers say.
Lead author Grant Tomkinson…and colleagues analyzed 50 studies on running fitness between 1964 and 2010 that involved more than 25 million kids ages 9-17 in 28 countries.
They gauged cardiovascular endurance by how far kids could run in a set time or how long it took to run a set distance. Tests typically lasted 5-15 minutes or covered a half-mile to 2 miles.
The meta-analysis found cardiovascular endurance declined significantly within the 46 years. Average changes were similar between boys and girls, younger and older kids, and across different regions, although they varied country to country, Tomkinson said…
In the United States the study found children’s’ cardiovascular endurance fell an average 6 percent per decade from 1970 to 2000. However, across nations, endurance declined consistently by about 5 percent every decade…
Country-by-country fitness findings are mirrored in measurements of overweight/obesity and body fat, suggesting one factor may cause the other.
“In fact, about 30 percent to 60 percent of the declines in endurance running performance can be explained by increases in fat mass,” Tomkinson said.
In many ways, I feel like this reflects the divergence between educated folks and the larger mass of poorly educated and uneducated. Comparable international studies usually recognize American adults, college-educated, being more fit than their peers abroad. Running, jogging, aerobic recreation, the expansion of sound nutrition are all characteristics of the healthier lifestyle common more often to Americans than their peers on other continents.
Unfortunately, this obviously ain’t enough to swing the habits of the whole nation.
For me, the “whys” always come down to economics. The overwhelming number of Americans has been experiencing a decline in their real income for forty years or so. Whether folks are conscious of this or not they still end up changing their lifestyle to try to keep up with where they think they should be – or better. So, we work longer hours, more family members are committed to employment [whether they find a job or not] and less time is free for organizing and leading family life, guiding your kids towards adult life.
Guns are a leading cause of death among U.S. children, and the number of kids getting killed by bullets has been on the rise over the past three decades. But the toll that gun violence takes on kids’ health goes far beyond those high fatality rates, according to a new study. Even when children survive being shot, bullet wounds tend to cause the most serious types of injuries on their bodies, requiring complicated and costly types of surgery.
Researchers analyzed hospital data collected over the course of three years in several urban areas. They found that gunshot wounds contributed to the highest proportion of serious injuries (23 percent), major surgeries (32 percent), and deaths in hospitals (8 percent). Altogether, gunshot wounds were associated with 21 percent of all deaths among kids who landed in the ER after sustaining a serious injury.
And because the wounds caused by bullets are more likely to require specialized treatment, the emergency care for kids’ gunshot wounds typically costs more than $28,500 — much higher than the costs associated with any other type of injury. Injuries resulting from car accidents were the next most expensive, averaging a little more than $15,500…
“If we focus on just fatalities, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg,” Craig Newgard, who directs the Center for Policy and Research in Emergency Medicine…explained to USA Today. “In every metric that we looked at, the front-runner far and away for worst outcome and greatest impact was gunshot-related injuries.”
Last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, which killed nearly two dozen kindergartners, brought the issue of gun violence and children back to the forefront. But policy solutions to the problem have faltered, and thousands of Americans have gone on to be killed by guns since the Sandy Hook tragedy. Very young children are often accidentally shot by other children with firearms kept in their homes.
Medical advances have ensured that fewer Americans are dying from bullet wounds. But, since gun violence has actually been on the rise, that means more people are surviving after receiving treatment for serious gun-related injuries. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control, treating wounds resulting from gun injuries costs Americans an estimated $5.6 billion in medical bills each year.
Part of the core problem with American gun nuts is that the cost of killing our kids, the cost of keeping them alive but not really living anymore – doesn’t mean a damned thing. Income isn’t so much a decider as ideology. If you’re filled with enough dementia and fear, simple economics, humanist ethics are irrelevant.
BTW, guns are not part of a foreign culture to me. From one family member classed among the best military prototype gunsmiths in the nation, trap-shooting at the old Remington gun club, a friend who did [appropriate] time for manufacturing illegal machine guns – to decades of hunting, I’ve experienced an amazing range of legal and illegal gun culture. None of it was as lost and demented as what passes for today’s NRA and the gun nuts who support their extremely profitable religion.
Probably not so smiley on the way to jail
A Pennsylvania judge has sentenced a man to prison for beating his wife to discipline her for “disobedience”…Dan Kirby Kopp, 45, of Ephrata, Pa., was convicted Tuesday. Lancaster County Court Judge Dennis Reinaker sentenced Kopp to 1-to-23 months in prison, and to pay a $500 fine for beating his wife…
Investigators said Kopp beat his now-estranged wife in front of their children for failing to call him “sir” in the presence of their children.
Citing court documents, the report said Kopp routinely used a paddle or his hand, took his wife over his knee, and once told his wife he would “cast demons out of her.”
The victim, whose name was not reported, reported the abuse in October 2012, telling police her husband beat her as a “means of disciplining her for disobedience to him for undermining his parenting.”
She showed investigators a cellphone video recording of a September 2012 incident in which he beat her with a paddle for not saying, “Yes, sir.”
Any Good Christian preachers speaking out against this demeaning, woman-hating behavior? Or does forgiveness prevail over helping this poor woman?
Sarah Jean Collins, 12, lies in a hospital bed after being blinded by dynamite set off in basement of the church. The explosion killed her sister and three other girls just as her Sunday school class was ending.
On September 15, 1963, two and a half weeks after Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a dynamite bomb set by members of the Ku Klux Klan erupted, just as twenty six children walked into the basement assembly room of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Four girls, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, were killed, and 22 others were injured. Photographs of the bombing’s aftermath–including the iconic image of blinded Sarah Jean Collins in her hospital bed–shocked the nation and helped give an emotional push for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
I was co-chairman of a local civil rights organization in my home town back in southern New England, then. We mobilized to demonstrate against the violence of the racists who committed crimes like this one. More to the point, we had already planned a jobs campaign we started the next week which opened up jobs for Blacks and Puerto Ricans in previously White-only companies. Some locally-owned. Some were part of national chains.
Every crisis is an opportunity.Don’t mourn – Organize!