Friday, March 31, 2006

Childhood Heart Attacks and Strokes and other Health News

Who would have thought that not paying attention or having ants in your pants could give you a stroke or heart attack? Yet these are just some of the adverse side effects of the drugs used to treat children diagnosed with ADHD.

CHILDREN as young as five have suffered strokes, heart attacks, hallucinations and convulsions after taking drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder...

While officials said there was no conclusive evidence that the medications caused psychiatric episodes or heart problems, they noted a "complete absence" of similar reports in children treated with placebos during trials of ADHD drugs.


Loneliness and Heart Disease

So does poor emotional conditions lead to ill health?

Here's a quick explanation of how it may happen:

STEP 1: Social isolation, lack of social support, social dislocation (call it what you like) – leads to anxiety, depression and a dysfunction in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis). The HPA-axis controls most of the hormones in our body, and also the unconscious, or autonomic, nervous system.

STEP 2: This HPA-axis dysfunction leads to overdrive of the sympathetic arm of the autonomic nervous system (the flight or fight bit). At the same time there is also disruption of stress hormone production – particularly cortisol.

STEP 3: Abnormal cortisol production leads to abdominal obesity, raised blood pressure, raised clotting factors in the blood, loss of arterial reactivity, raised blood sugar levels, raised free fatty acids etc. etc. (You may have heard this called ‘metabolic syndrome’)

STEP 4: Plaques develop in arteries – and arteries narrow

STEP 5: Death from heart disease.

Moral of the story: Find some friends and get a life.

Soda Pop and Benzene

Benzene is a toxic chemical known to cause leukemia. It can form naturally; it's found in forest fires, gasoline and cigarette smoke. It also is widely used in industrial production to make plastics, rubber, detergents, drugs and pesticides.

The Environmental Working Group has asked the FDA to warn consumers that two ingredients found in some forms of pop contain ingredients that can form benzene: ascorbic acid and benzoate preservatives, also known as Vitamin C and potassium or sodium benzoate.

The FDA said that things like heat, light, and shelf life can determine whether benzene is formed meaning that you could find it in one can, but not in another of the same brand. Therefore, they didn't think it was in the best interests of consumers to inform them of this fact. They would rather let consumers gamble on whether or not things were stored properly, I guess.

Rising Rates of Cancer

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the number of new cases of cancer has doubled from 1973. Approximately 44 percent of men and 38 percent of women can expect to be diagnosed with this disease. At least 50 percent of these cases are related to exposure to known risk factors, meaning that people can take evasive action and avoid them.

One of the biggest sources of chemical exposure is in the home: specifically in cleaning products. Unless it is proved otherwise, you should assume that household chemicals contain carcinogenic compounds.

Here are some of the more common things to avoid:

Chlorine-based powdered and liquid cleansersHazard: Sodium hypochlorite

When mixed with ammonia, these products release chloramine gas, which can cause respiratory problems. Currently not listed as a carcinogen per se, but its by-products, which occur during contact with other substances in the household environment or even water, can be carcinogenic.

Toilet bowl cleaners
1. Beware: Hydrochloric acid or sodium acid sulfate

Burn skin and can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach injury if ingested. Can damage vision on direct contact with the eyes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says no information is available on the carcinogenic effects of hydrochloric acid in humans.

2. Beware: 1,4-dichlorobenzeneA mould, moth and mildew pesticide that has caused liver and kidney tumors in rats and mice, respectively. Classified by EPA as a Group C, possible human carcinogen.

Powdered scouring products

Beware: Crystalline silicaCrystalline silica at a respirable size was classified as a known human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2000. First listed as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen in 1991.

Beware: PhenolCorrosive; can cause diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, and kidney and liver damage. EPA has classified phenol as a Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity, based on a lack of data concerning carcinogenic effects in humans and animals. But dermal studies have found that phenol applied to the skin may be a tumor promoter and/or a weak skin carcinogen in mice.

Soaps, furniture, floor and metal polishes and waxes

Beware: NitrobenzeneEffects: Can cause skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting and death. Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by NTP in 2004.

Soaps and detergents
Beware: Formaldehyde used as an anti-bacterial agent and preservativeStrong irritant of soft tissue such as eyes, throat, skin and lungs. Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by NTP.

Spot removers and carpet cleaners; dry-cleaning solutions

Beware: Perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, 1-1-1- trichloroethylene, methylene chlorideAll are hazardous to liver and kidneys if ingested or deeply inhaled. Perchloroethylene is an animal carcinogen and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Methylene chloride is a carcinogen, a neurotoxin and a reproductive toxin. Trichloroethylene reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.

Mothballs, solid-stick room deodorizers

Beware: Naphthalene, paradichlorobenzene
May damage eyes, blood, liver, kidneys, skin and the central nervous system. Naphthalene is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. Paradichlorobenzene can harm the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys.

Dish anti-bacterial detergents and fabric softeners

Beware: Quarternary ammonium compounds and imidazolidinyl urea.
Both are known formaldehyde-releasers, which are carcinogenic and mutagenic.
Surface active agents and emulsifiers in household cleansers, oven cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, carpet cleaners and pre-washing laundry agents

Hazard: Ethanolamines: monoethanolamines (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamines (TEA)
Classified as hazardous in several states for liver, kidney and lungs, as well as depression of the central nervous system. Have not been tested for cancer-causing effects.

Want to know what to use instead? Have a look at the Guide to Less Toxic Products at the Nova Scotia Environment Health Association or EnviroSense.

Avian Bird Flu: The Next Deadly Pandemic? Likely Not!

They say that figures don't lie, but liars can figure.

Millions of birds in Asia have been slaughtered in an effort to contain something that is being reported to be a deadly strain of influenza. Between Dec. 26, 2003 and Oct. 24, 2005, there were 121 confirmed H5N1 infections and, of those, 62 have reportedly died. That makes the “apparent” death rate just over 51 percent, ranking this infection among the most deadly on record.

HOWEVER, these were people who were sick enough to need hospitalization. There are many who had milder symptoms who didn't need hospitalization and therefore are not on the radar screen. Thus the actual figures of those infected with Avian flu are not known. Additionally, all but one of the documented cases of avian flu have shown that it has been transmitted from animal to person, not person to person. There is also evidence that humans are developing resistance to this virus. Without a sustained transmission from human to human, it is quite likely that avian flu will never become the pandemic that pharmaceutical companies pray it will.

So why all the hype and scare about an Avian Flu pandemic? Follow the money.

Big Pharma is gearing up to make lots of money through vaccines to protect people from a virus that will likely never amount to much. Meanwhile we are being distracted from other important issues by dead chickens in far away places.

No comments: