toxins

URGENT WATER NOTICE:

Residents Of Toledo Are Urged NOT To Drink Or Boil Water, Water Contains Algal Toxins. Boiling the water in Toledo will NOT destroy the toxins, it will increase the concentration of toxins in the water. Do not give any water to your pets or livestock. If you live in Toledo, Ohio and need water, call 734-997-7500 to see if they still have some available for delivery.

Please share with friends and family that live in Toledo, OH.

For more info about the official notice from city officials, go here: http://bit.ly/UIlXoP 

You know where your tampon goes. It’s time you know what goes into it, too Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

On any given day, millions of American women are menstruating – and more than half of them are using tampons. What many of those women don’t know is that there is no research that unequivocally declares these feminine hygiene products safe, and independent studies by women’s health organizations have found chemicals of concern like dioxin, carcinogens and reproductive toxins present in tampons and pads.

The multi-billion dollar feminine hygiene industry likes to say that the amounts of those toxins in a single tampon is very low. But the average woman who uses tampons will use over 16,800 during the course of her lifetime – and there is almost no data on the health effects of the cumulative use of tampons over a woman’s lifetime.

Imagine if we only examined the health effects of smoking a single cigarette.

Many women throughout America (and throughout the world) are concerned about the health and environmental effects of the feminine hygiene products they use every day. But limited information and incomplete data means that we don’t know precisely which unhealthy chemicals and contaminants could be present or what the effects of long-term, monthly tampon use could be.

Not only is our data not cumulative, it’s also far from comprehensive. Currently, the FDA requires tampon manufacturers to monitor dioxin. But dioxins are only one of many toxins that should be monitored, and there are many other products – like the douches, sprays, wipes and cups used by millions of women – that are not examined at all.

That all needs to change.

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PERSONAL CARE PRODUCT CHEMICALS: 

New :  *Scan for Toxic Chemicals* App!

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New app lets you quickly scan cosmetics to see if they’re potentially toxic

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We’re trying not to freak out, but THIS MIGHT BE THE BEST APP EVER.

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The free app will tell you if shampoo or makeup contains potentially toxic chemicals (“BHA / BHT, PEGs, petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde releasing agents, siloxanes, sulfates, fragrance/parfum and non-biodegradable ingredients”). 

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Reports Ecouterre:

Users can scan a product in question, and immediately learn if it is “clean” or “dirty.” If deemed dirty, the app will offer similar and safe alternatives to buy instead. The app can also be used to raid your own bathroom closet and get rid of old products that could be unsafe.

There’s even a handy iPhone case reminding you what to watch out for in shampoo.

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Grab the free app here!

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Source: grist.org;

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Demystify Cosmetics Labels With “Think Dirty” Smartphone App, Ecouterre

Also: Think Dirty App Scans Your Personal Care Products Looking for Toxins

AdWeek

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The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains

Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind.

Read more. [Image: Jackie Lay]

Top 10 Deadliest Poisons Known To Mankind:

  1. Botulinum (Ingested): It’s hard to rank the lethality of toxins, but experts agree that botulinum – several orders of magnitude deadlier than sarin – is the gold standard. Your nervous system fails and you die in extreme pain. Works miracles on wrinkles, though.
  2. Ricin (Ingested or Inhaled): Made from the lowly castor bean, ricin causes respiratory and organ failure, followed by death within hours. Even chewing a few beans can kill you.
  3. Anthrax (Inhaled): Cutaneous exposure can kill, but the most deadly, panic-inspiring form of anthrax is inhaled. It starts with flu that doesn’t get better – then your respiratory system collapses.
  4. Sarin (Inhaled): Sarin is one of the deadliest nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Just one whiff and you’ll foam at the mouth, fall into a coma, and die. Originally synthesised for use as a pesticide, it was outlawed as a warfare agent in 1997.
  5. Tetrodotoxin (Ingested): Found in the organs of puffer fish (the famous Japanese delicacy fugu), tetrodotoxin persists even after the fish is cooked. If the toxin is consumed, paralysis and death can strike within six hours. Up to five Japanese die from badly prepared fugu every year.
  6. Cyanide (Ingested or Inhaled): Cyanide exists in a number of lethal forms that are present in nature or easily manufactured. Exposure leads to seizures, cardiac arrest, and death within minutes.
  7. Mercury (Inhaled): Low levels of mercury are not especially toxic to adults. However, inhaled mercury vapour (the metal starts turning to a gas at room temp) attacks the brain and lungs, shutting down the central nervous system.
  8. Strychnine (Ingested or Inhaled): A common pesticide, strychnine isn’t as toxic as other poisons on our list, but it gets style points for causing one of the most horrific deaths of all: Every muscle in your body spasms violently until you die from exhaustion.
  9. Amatoxin (Ingested): Derived from the death cap family of mushrooms, amatoxin destroys your liver and kidneys over several days. You remain conscious – and in excruciating pain – until you slip into a coma and expire.
  10. Compound 1080 (Ingested or Inhaled): As an animal poison, compound 1080 proved a little too effective: The bodies of creatures killed with 1080 remain poisonous for up to a year. Odourless, tasteless, water soluble, and without antidote, 1080 blocks cellular metabolism, leading to a quick yet painful death.

Source: Here.

The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains
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Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind.
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Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture. Last month, more research brought concerns about chemical exposure and brain health to a heightened pitch. Philippe Grandjean, Bellinger’s Harvard colleague, and Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, announced to some controversy in the pages of a prestigious medical journal that a “silent pandemic” of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals—substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing—that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified.

go read…

(via The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains - The Atlantic)

Cosmetic & Chemical Awareness - Advice From Fawn..

Labels. You have got to read them, especially when it comes to cosmetics and adhesives. I’m not going to preach to you about how great natural products are over chemical. Despite my views on animal testing and carcinogens in beauty products I know that not everyone can afford organic quality brands, I actually prefer to use home remedies because I hate the idea of paying a fortune for things just because they are not poison, however I think it’s for everyones benefit if you are aware of what potentially poisonous chemicals you may be exposing yourself to in cheaper products.

So I have compiled a little list of some well known hazardous chemicals often used in products as well as some good natural products you may be interested in.

Keep reading

How Can Vultures Eat Rotten Roadkill And Survive?

You might wonder why 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, yet there are some animals that seem to be immune from even the nastiest germs.

We’re talking here about vultures, which feast on rotting flesh that is chockablock with bacteria that would be deadly to human beings. In fact, vultures have a strong preference for that kind of food.

“The real question is how can they actually stand eating things like this,” says Lars H. Hansen, a professor of molecular microbial ecology at Aarhus University in Denmark.

He turned to Michael Roggenbuck at the University of Copenhagen because he studies communities of intestinal bacteria.

Roggenbuck was working on his Ph.D. at the time. He set to work examining the guts of 50 turkey vultures and black vultures that had been trapped and killed near Nashville.

He expected to see a huge variety of bacteria in the gut, as you’d find inside human intestines. Instead, he found an ecosystem dominated by two species of bacteria, both well-known poisons: fusobacteria, which can cause blood infections; and Clostridium, which produces deadly botulism toxins.

So why didn’t the vultures get sick from a gut full of nasty germs? “There are several possibilities,” Roggenbuck says.

They could have developed immunity to these toxins as they evolved to eat their everyday diet. Also, other disease-causing germs are likely killed in the stomach, before they even get into the intestine, Hansen suggests. He says vulture stomach acid is 10 to 100 times stronger than human stomach acid, “so it seems like the stomach itself is a very harsh environment.”

“Another hypothesis could be that they’re actually using the bacteria in the stomach as some sort of probiotics,” Hansen says. By having a gut full of a few tolerable species of bacteria, it’s possible that those would crowd out other deadly microbes.

Hansen, Roggenbuck and their colleagues published their results Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

Large amounts of mitochondrial toxic agents cross placenta barrier

Researchers from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona (Spain) have reviewed ten years’ worth of scientific studies on mitochondrial toxicity in pregnant women. Exposure to toxic agents such as viruses, certain drugs, pesticides, alcohol and tobacco cause mitochondrial diseases about which very little is known, and which are transmitted from the mother to the fetus.

Mitochondria can suffer from two types of disease: genetic or acquired. Acquired pathologies can be due to exposure to toxic agents transferred from mother to child, causing conditions such as muscle weakness, inflammation of the pancreas and changes in the distribution and amount of body fat.

“There are many agents which encourage this kind of toxicity. These include biological agents such as certain viruses, antibiotics, antiretroviral drugs, antipsychotic drugs, gases such as carbon monoxide and chemical substances such as pesticides, alcohol and tobacco, to name but a few,” as Constanza Morén, lead author of the study, explains.

The length of the exposure, dose of each toxic agent and stage of the pregnancy in which it is received all make toxicity in pregnant women more probable. There is also a genetic predisposition that can determine whether a person is more resistant or vulnerable to that exposure.

Constanza Morén, Sandra Hernández, Mariona Guitart-Mampel, Glòria Garrabou. Mitochondrial Toxicity in Human Pregnancy: An Update on Clinical and Experimental Approaches in the Last 10 Years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2014; 11 (9): 9897 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph110909897

Dual genetic control and multiple organ system manifestations of mitochondrial disease.

The rise of autism: Social contagion or environmental causation.

By Lisa Wade, PhD

Autism appears to be on the rise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are 20 times more cases of autism today than there were in the 1980s.  This figure, from the Los Angeles Times, shows a 200% increase in California:

The rise in cases of autism led scientists to ask whether there was an actual increase in incidence or if we were just getting better at identifying it.  The evidence seems to suggest that it’s (at least mostly) the latter.  Said anthropologist Roy Richard Grinker: “Once we are primed to see something, we see it and wonder how we could have never seen it before.”

But how to explain disparities like the ones in the map above?

Often regional differences in health and mental health can be traced to heavier environmental toxin loads.   In most of those cases, though, clusters of illness occur in poor and often disproportionately non-white neighborhoods.  Autism clusters were happening in class-privileged places.

Sociologist Peter Bearman discovered that these clusters were the result of conversation.  Class-privileged parents had the resources to get their child diagnosed, then they talked to other parents.  Some of these parents would recognize the symptoms and take their child to the doctor and… voila… a cluster.  “Living within 250 meters [of a child diagnosed with autism], reports the Los Angeles Times, boosted the chances by 42%, compared to living between 500 and 1,000 meters away.”

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

‘Artificial spleen’ removes poisons from blood

Sepsis is the body’s over-the-top reaction to an infection. Even with modern medical care, it can result in organ failure and death within just a few hours. Measures such as early treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics—which slay many different kinds of bacteria—have reduced mortality in recent years, but no drugs specifically target sepsis. Cell biologist and bioengineer Donald Ingber of Harvard University and colleagues wanted to test a different therapy—a technique to pull microbes and the toxins they release from the blood. As their design guide, the researchers looked to the spleen; the organ filters out pathogens and poisons as blood wends through its narrow passages.

Magnetic beads trap a bacterium (blue) and allow a new device to filter it from the blood. Harvard Wyss Institute

Prenatal exposure to common chemical, phthalates, found in some plastics disrupts masculinization of male genitals

Early exposure in the human womb to phthalates, which are common environmental chemicals, disrupts the masculinization of male genitals, according to a new study that will be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

Phthalates are hormone-altering chemicals, called endocrine disruptors, and are found in many plastics, containerized foods and personal care products.

The clinical study not only confirms similar results of animal studies, it also provides new information about how phthalates target a main pregnancy hormone, said the principal investigator, Jennifer Adibi, MPH, ScD, assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. This hormone, known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is made during pregnancy by the placenta and can be measured in the mother’s blood and urine.

“Convergence of toxin action in the animal kingdom. (a) Sites of convergent hemotoxic toxin activity are displayed and are represented by numbers (1–9). Each number represents a different physiological target that is targeted convergently by different toxins present in different venomous lineages or in the same venomous lineage. Toxin names and animal lineages acting on each target are listed below each numbered legend, with pictures of the venomous lineages relating to the key at the bottom of the figure. (b) Sites of convergent neurotoxic toxin activity are displayed and are represented by numbers (1–7).”

Source: Complex cocktails: the evolutionary novelty of venoms. Nicholas R. Casewell, Wolfgang Wüster, Freek J. Vonk, Robert A. Harrison, Bryan G. Fry. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Volume 28, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 219–229. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2012.10.020

Pdf available here

Hydraulic fracturing linked to increases in hospitalization rates in the Marcellus Shale

Hospitalizations for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions were higher among people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing), according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University published this week in PLOS ONE. Over the past ten years in the United States, hydraulic fracturing has experienced a meteoric increase. Due to substantial increases in well drilling, potential for air and water pollution posing a health threat has been a concern for nearby residents.

Thomas Jemielita, George L. Gerton, Matthew Neidell, Steven Chillrud, Beizhan Yan, Martin Stute, Marilyn Howarth, Pouné Saberi, Nicholas Fausti, Trevor M. Penning, Jason Roy, Kathleen J. Propert, Reynold A. Panettieri Jr. Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates. PLoS One, 2015 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131093