Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Of course I would post your comment. I posted your first comment as well. I have also noticed that you seem to be the one fired up about this, a little more than myself.
I'm not retracting anything. I stand firm on this. Not because of other posts or blogs. I am capable of making my own decisions based on the numerous business's I have spoken with that have been personally affected by ROR. Just because (ROR) may have done good for a few business's, does not make it right or ethical to request money from other companies to clear their negative feedback. And it's that EXACT situation I hear from other companies.
For example, a company handles a return from a customer and it takes 10 days instead of 7. Now this customer makes a negative claim on ROR and the company then turns around and issues a $5.00 credit to the customer. As a way of saying they were sorry for the slow return. Now that part is not even mentioned in ROR. That company is still left with a negative comment and Rip Off Report all over them. This company is now classified as a scam by ROR.
As for the BBB, Wherever the headquarters of a company is located, that is where an individual would contact the BBB for info on a specific company. And the BBB does keep records longer than 36 months. If an issue is resolved, they will tell you. If there are open claims, they will tell you. Yes, they do archive but it's much longer than 36 months.
OK.... That's all I have to say. I would like to thank "anonymous" for the comments. I feel your passion on this subject and thank you for your words and input.
It is so GREAT that we live in the United States. We can disagree with each other and express our self and not be hung or crucified for what we believe in. Again, Thank You.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Now, since anonymous commented on my previous post. I will take a brief moment to explain a few things.
1) Yes, that's an old photo.....But it is him. Did not have time to go searching for an updated photo.
2) Hundreds of companies that have negative feedback are coming out and saying that ED will clear their name and negative feedback, "For A Price".
3)I have nothing personal against Ed. I don't know him, never met him and he's never commented on me. But a scam is a scam. No matter how pretty the package.
4) What does get me angry about this is when people are trying to find a legit business and come across false, negative comments about a company. Again, everyone.... Just go to the BBB.
The economy is terrible right now.....Between Ohio and Michigan, I don't know who is worse off. We are losing jobs left and right. So when someone decides that they have had enough and would like to join a business, they should not base their decision on a company and their credentials from some guy that requests a little pay off to remove any negative comments. Makes me wonder how some of those negative comments got there to begin with.
We are dealing with peoples lives here. There are honest business's that have Ed and his rip off report plastered on them. And this Ed seems to think that he has the power to play with and ruin peoples lives.
Now, with that said, I will say there is ALOT of scams out there as well. And when you can't tell the difference between what's legit and what's not..... I suggest that you get the company name you are considering to join and call the better business bureau and check that company out. Hmmm, I wonder what happens when you call the BBB about "Rip Off Report"?
If you need more info, click here.
Or Here or Here
Monday, October 27, 2008
Ok, so I have even come across this website a few times. The guy that owns it, Ed, makes his website look so real and honest. And yes, that is his mug shot above. He is a wanted criminal. He is known for the "Rip Off Report".
So as a public service, I felt that it was my duty of informing everyone of the FACTS.
Take a look for yourself..... See how Ed and his "Rip Off Report" is just another scam in itself.
Click Here For The Facts:
So for all the Legit, Work At Home Businiess's out there, and for those seeking to work at home, I hope this helped. Just know that we have the BBB on our side.
Join My Legit Work At Home Business
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I was just with a couple friends the other night and we were talking about how our lives used to be and growing and choices and where we are at today.
For me, the biggest turning point that affected me was when I was pregnant with my son.
At that time I had a great job (did not realize it then, though) and it was my first pregnancy. I loved it. I remember even pushing my stomach out further than it was, just to make sure everyone knew I was pregnant.... LOL. Not that they could miss it. It was a planned pregnancy. I was excited and could not wait. I, for the first time found THE man that I would have my child with. I was 29 when I had my son. And up until I met him, I did not desire having children with anyone. It just was not right.
Every morning, on the way to work, I would rub my stomach and talk to him. I immediately felt connected. And when I held him for the first time, I fell in love. It's amazing how you can fall in love with your partner and think that's as good as it gets...... Until you have a child. I fell in love with my son. A deep, unconditional love that I had never felt (even with his father). There were no strings..... No conditions. I would love my son no matter what!
I did not expect that I would feel his way, but I did. I could NOT leave him. Maybe it was the "first time mom" syndrome.... I don't know. But I just could not leave him.
I was receiving maternity pay while I was off. And my 6 weeks were up for maternity. The company I worked for gave me an additional 6 weeks off to make up my mind and come back to work for them. I had been there 10 years until I had my son. While I was pregnant, I did plan on going back to work. I just had no idea how I would really feel once he was in my arms.
My Defining Moment
I told the company that I could not come back... At least at this point. I did not know that I would feel this way for my child. I could not leave him and did not want to leave him. So I said "No".
From that moment on, that "Choice" I made, affected my life tremendously. I would have been at that company for 30 years when I turned 49. I'm 40 now. From that moment that I made that choice, my life has completely changed.
Just as I had no idea how I would feel once my son was really here...... Is the same as my not knowing how my life would turn out years later.....I guess I was just in the moment and not looking ahead.... Like now, I can look back and see.
Sure, now I wish I had stayed with the company. But on the other hand, I also believe I gave my son his best first four years since I was able to be at home with him and not place him in daycare. And I know both sides of this since my daughter did go to daycare after I had her. I see the difference. And I am a firm believer that if a MOM can be at home with her child, she should be.
I wonder how my life would be different if I had just gone straight back to work after having my son. Where would I be? How would things be differently? The outcome is very much different than I had anticipated. I am definitely not where I ever thought I would be at this point in my life. But I am.
I'm glad that I was there for my son and that he did not have to go to daycare. That probably explains why we are sooo close to this day. We formed that bond right from day one. However, is it wrong to wonder what my life would have been like had I made a different decision?
As I was sitting around with friends that have known me for 15 years plus....We all have made choices that were for that moment... Not looking in the future....And felt best at that time. Some choices were for the best and some were what we now call "hurdles" and are still trying to get over.
Think carefully about the decisions you make. You really do need to think ahead..... Not just in the moment.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Who I Tagged:
If only I had
1) Get the flu shot. The best way to deal with the flu is to prevent it. Many people worry that a flu shot will give them the flu. Because the vaccine does not have a live germ, it cannot cause infection.
2) Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Teach your children to do the same. The flu germ spreads through the air.
3) Wash your hands often with soap and water. The flu gem can live on doorknobs, telephones and other everyday items.
4) Eat healthy foods and get plenty of rest. Healthy habits help your body fight off germs.
5) Ask your primary care provider if you or a member of your family should get a pneumonia shot. The flu, if not cared for, could lead to pneumonia. This is especially true for the elderly, young children, and those with certain medical conditions.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Is your Blog up to par?
There are actually websites that will measure the ranking of your website. For those of you that don't know what page rank is, it's a tool put together by Google that determines the effectiveness or efficiency of your Web site.
The higher your page rank, the higher your Web site is listed in the various search engines, and that means more traffic to your site. This, in essence, means more people are looking at your site, your products, your services, thus putting more money in your pocket in the form of paying customers.
If more people are going to your Web site then less traffic is going to your competitors' Web site. Unfortunately most people don't even know what page rank is but those visitors that do will place your website in a higher esteem than your competitors and feel that your content is much more valuable and insightful.
Now you are probably wondering how page rank determined? And more importantly how do you increase your page rank?. Well, let's look at the first part of that question.
One way to help determine your page is when another site links to your page with a back link. The more back links you receive from other pages the higher your page rank. It's a good idea to make sure the back links are coming from sites that have content on the same theme as yours.
This process can get quite involved and a little messy because all back links don't carry the same weight or force. The higher the page rank that a link is coming from the more beneficial it is in terms of boosting your page rank. So if you get links from a lot of pages with low page ranks it will not have as strong an impact as a few pages with higher page ranks.
Now this is the complicated part: If you have a page that has a page rank of 7 and it is already linked to 10 or 15 other pages then it will not be any more beneficial to you than a page that has a page rank of maybe 3 or so. There is only so much linking that a page can do. It's almost like the law of diminishing returns, in other words after awhile it begins to have the opposite effect.
Another way to improve your page rank is through the use of web directories. Not only will this increase your page rank but it will also increase the traffic to your site. So if you submit your site to a large number of Web directories you will be able to increase your rank. There are a number of web directories you can submit your website or blog to.
There's a host of other items that will definitely help you to increase your ranking and the general traffic flow to your Web site. Also if you are curious about the page ranking of your own site you can see exactly where you stand by doing a Google search for page rank. This should help you to find some of the sites out there that measure page rank. Once you find a site all you have to do is put your own URL in the designated box and you will have your answer. A page rank of 6 or higher is very high.
About the Author: Mel Richardson - Coach, Author and Internet Marketer has been recently putting together programs for those that are new to the internet and looking to build an online business. http://www.freeonlinemarketingstrategies.com/
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The photo is of Kolby - 24 hours after being burned by a Magic Eraser sponge. It was much worse the day before.
One of my five year old's favorite chores around the house is cleaning scuff marks off the walls, doors, and baseboards with either an Easy Eraser pad, or the real deal, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I remember reading the box, wondering what the "Magic" component was that cleaned crayon off my walls with ease. No ingredients were listed and absolutely no warnings were on the box, other than "Do not ingest."
My package of the Scotchbrite Easy Erasers didn't have a warning either; and since my child knew not to eat the sponges and keep them out of reach of his little brother and sister, it was a chore I happily let him do.
If I had known that both brands (and others like them) contain a harmful alkaline or "base" chemical (opposite of acid on the pH scale) that can burn your skin, I never would have let my little boy handle them. As you can see from the picture, when the Scotchbrite Easy Eraser was rubbed against his face and chin, he received severe chemical burns.
At first, I thought he was being dramatic. I picked him up, put him on the counter top and washed his face with soap and water. He was screaming in pain. I put some lotion on his face - more agony. I had used a Magic Eraser to remove magic marker from my own knuckles a while back and I couldn't understand why he was suddenly in pain. Then, almost immediately, the large, shiny, blistering red marks started to spread across his cheeks and chin.
I quickly searched Google.com for "Magic Eraser Burn" and turned up several results. I was shocked. These completely innocent looking white foam sponges can burn you?
I called our pediatrician, and of course got sent to voice mail. I hung up and called the hospital and spoke to an emergency room nurse. She told me to call Poison Control. The woman at Poison Control said she was surprised nobody had sued these companies yet and walked me through the process of neutralizing the alkaline to stop my son's face from continually burning more every second.
I had already, during my frantic phone calling, tried patting some numbing antibiotic cream on his cheeks, and later some Aloe Vera gel - both resulted in screams of pain. The Poison Control tech had me fill a bathtub with warm water, lay my son into it, cover him with a towel to keep him warm and then use a soft washcloth to rinse his face and chin with cool water for a continuous 20 minutes. My son calmed down immediately. He told me how good it felt. I gave him a dose of Tylenol and after the twenty minutes was up, he got dressed in his Emergency Room doctor Halloween costume and off we went to the hospital. They needed to make sure the chemical burn had stopped burning, and examine his face to determine if the burn would need to be debrided (from my fuzzy recollection of hospital work, this means removing loose tissue from a burn location). My son was pretty happy at the hospital, they were very nice and called him "Doctor" and let him examine some of their equipment. The water had successfully stopped the burning and helped soothe a lot of the pain. I'm sure Tylenol was helping too.
They sent us home with more Aloe Vera gel, Polysporin antibiotic cream, and some other numbing creams. By the time we got home, my son was crying again. I tried applying some of the creams but he cried out in pain. Water seemed to be what worked the best.
After a rough night, I took the above photo in the morning. He was swollen and wouldn't move his lips very much. The skin on his cheeks was taut.
Today he is doing much better. The burns have started to scab over, and in place of red, raw, angry, skin we have a deeper red, rough healing layer. I can touch his skin now, without it stinging.
If you are a parent or grandparent, this post is meant to save your loved ones from the horror these parents went through. Please share it with other parents, grandparents, babysitters, aunts and uncles ~ anyone you know who spends time with kids.
And no, this was not my child.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Ok.... This election means alot to me... More so than others in the past. I feel like there is more at risk for so many of us, including myself. I'm more effected.
I do my research as far as job losses are concerned here where I live. And it's astounding to me.
When companies compile this list of job losses, they don't look at the reasons why someone lost their job. The fact is, they lost their job. For whatever reason. And I was one of them.
So when a couple ladies knocked on my door the other day to talk with me about the election, I was open and eager to hear what they had to say. Here, they represent Obama. We stood outside a good 20 minutes while they asked about my situation. And I told them everything.
We discussed a few differences between Obama and McCain. Where each party stood.... And yes, I double checked everything I was being told @ http://www.factcheck.org/ to verify what I had heard and learned.
Now I will be volunteering for the Obama campaign... To help out in any way I can. I will meet with other volunteers in my neighborhood and we will work together and try to give the information out to those that are still unsure of where they stand. And they can do their own checking as well.
I feel excited to be a part of this. I have to admit, I have not had one knock at the door from the McCain committee to check in with me and see how I am doing.
If you are still unsure of where you stand... Or need some more info, here's a good source.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Cancer incidence increased steadily between 1973 and 1996, and probably for longer than that, although the government did not keep track of cancer rates before 1973. The increase was consistent across many types of cancer, from breast cancer, that increased steadily at 1.5 percent per year, to prostate cancer, that skyrocketed at 4.4 percent per year. Overall, cancer incidence in the U.S. rose by 1.1 percent per year during that time, or about 11,000 more cancers per million people each year. For some cancers the increase appears to have leveled off, but for many other cancers, rates continue to rise (NCI 1996, NCI 1997).
Isn't this just because people are living longer?
No. All of the rates represent the increase after accounting for an aging population.
Isn't the increase just the result of better detection?
For some portion of some cancers better detection explains the increase, but better detection does not account for the overall dramatic increases in cancer incidence that have occurred in the past 30 years (Ekbom 1998, NCI 1996, NCI 1997).
Childhood cancers on the rise
In the 20 years from 1975 to 1995, childhood cancer rates rose 20 percent, from 128 cases per million children in 1975 to 154 cases per million in 1995. Between 1992 and 1996, 20 of every 100,000 preschool-age children (four and younger) were diagnosed with cancer, or 200 times the one in a million lifetime risk level at which the federal government attempts to set regulations controlling chemical exposures. (NCI 1996)
Childhood leukemia: Leukemia, the most common childhood cancer, increased by about 17% between 1973 and 1996 (from 23 to 27 cases per million children) (EPA 2000).
Childhood brain cancer: The incidence of brain and other central nervous system tumors in children rose by 26% between 1973 and 1996 (EPA 2000).
Reproductive cancers on the rise
Since the chemical industrial revolution of the 1940's and 50's the population has been deluged with chemicals that disrupt normal functioning of the endocrine (hormone) system. Today, the average person born in the United States has 50 or more industrial chemicals in his or her blood that have been shown to disrupt normal functioning of hormones in animal studies. The levels of some of these compounds are similar to the amounts linked to adverse effects in animal studies. Many of these substances have also been shown to cause cancer of the testes, breast, prostate, and other reproductive organs in laboratory animals (Toppari et al 1996, Moline et al 2000, Schettler et al 2000). These chemicals include DDT, PCBs, dioxin, bisphenol-A, and phthalates, to name just a few. It is widely suspected that these compounds are contributing to increases in cancers of the reproductive organs in the human population.
Breast cancer. Among girls born today, 1 in 8 are expected to get breast cancer and 1 in 30 are expected to die from it. Invasive female breast cancer increased an average of 1.5 percent per year between 1973 and 1996, for a total increase of 25.3 percent. Among those 65 and younger, breast cancer incidence rose 1.2 percent per year, corresponding to a doubling every 2 generations (58 years). If trends continue, the granddaughters of today's young women could face a 1 in 4 chance of developing breast cancer. (NCI 1996, NCI 1997)
Testicular cancer. At its current pace, the incidence of testicular cancer is doubling about every one and a half generations (39 years). In the U.S. the incidence of testicular cancer rose 41.5 percent between 1973 and 1996, an average of 1.8 percent per year (NCI 1996, NCI 1997). While rates of testicular cancer continue to drop among older men (65 and up), younger men are not so lucky. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men, disproportionately striking men in their 30's, with the highest rate of diagnosis among those between the ages of 30 and 34.
Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer rates rose 4.4 percent a year between 1973 and 1992, or more than a doubling of risk in a generation. Since 1992, the incidence has declined, but it is still 2.5 times the rate in 1973. Part of this increase can be explained by better detection, but increased incidence has also been accompanied by an increase in mortality - which better detection cannot explain. Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer among U.S. men, and the second most lethal, killing an estimated 31,900 men in the year 2000 alone (NCI 1996, NCI 1997).
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2000. America's Children and the Environment. A first view of available measures. EPA 240-R-00-006. December 2000.
Moline JM, Golden A, Bar-Chama N, Smith E, Rauch M, Chapin R, Perreault S, Schrader S, Suk W, Landrigan P. September 2000. Exposure to hazardous substances and male reproductive health: a research framework. Environmental Health Perspectives. 108(9).
National Cancer Institute (NCI). 1996. SEER Cancer Statistics Review. 1973-1996. http://www-seer.ims.nci.nih.gov/Publications/CSR1973_1996/
National Cancer Institute (NCI). 1996. SEER Cancer Statistics Review. 1973-1996. http://seer.cancer.gov/Publications/CSR1973_1997/
Schettler T, J Stein, F Reich, M Valenti. 2000. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. May 2000.
Toppari J, Larsen JC, Christiansen P, Giwercman A, Grandjean P, Guillette LJ Jr, Jegou B, Jensen TK, Jouannet P, Keiding N, Leffers H, McLachlan JA, Meyer O, Muller J, Meyts, ER-D, Scheike T, Sharpe R, Sumpter J, Skakkebaek NE. August 1996. Male reproductive health and environmental xenoestrogens. Environmental Health Perspectives. 104. Supplement 4.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Infants and children are not little adults, and they are often more vulnerable to the adverse effects of drugs, chemicals, radiation or disease. In spite of this fact, only one law, that covering pesticides, requires regulators to base safety judgments explicitly on risks faced by the fetus, infant and child, and even this statute has not been rigorously implemented.
For most toxic substances in commerce and consumer products, there are few if any health studies at all. Those that are done are typically done on adult (sexually mature) test animals.
The fetus, infants and children are more vulnerable to toxic substances:
Nitrate - Prolonged exposure to tap water with 20 ppm nitrate can kill an infant, but will have no observable effect on an adult.
Mercury - Exposure in the womb at 100 parts per billion will significantly increase the likelihood of learning deficits in childhood, while the same dose during adulthood has no measurable effect.
Radiation - Children exposed to radiation have a much higher incidence of cancer than adults exposed to the same dose.
PCBs - Levels of fetal PCB exposure that cause learning deficits that persist through adolescence, have no measurable effects on adults.
Ritalin - This commonly prescribed drug acts as a depressant and calming agent in children, but has the opposite effect in adults.
Honey - Infants under one year of age can contract a potentially fatal paralytic form of botulism from eating honey. In older children and adults the digestive system is more acidic and it destroys the botulism toxins present in the honey.
Lead - Doses at age 2 that cause IQ deficits throughout childhood produce no effect in adults.
Researchers at a 1997 EPA sponsored national conference on children's environmental health summarize children's vulnerability in the context of chemical exposures (Landrigan et al 1998):
"Many organ systems in young children - the nervous system in particular, but also the lungs, the immune system, and the reproductive organs - undergo extensive growth and development throughout pregnancy and in the first months and years of extra-uterine life. During this period, structures are developed and vital connections established. These systems are not well adapted to repair any damage that may be caused by environmental toxicants. Thus, if cells in the developing brain, immune system, or reproductive organs are destroyed by neurotoxicants, or if development is diverted by endocrine disruptors, there is high risk that the resulting dysfunction will be permanent and irreversible. Depending on the organ damaged, the consequences can include loss of intelligence, immune dysfunction, or reproductive impairment."
Two important factors make the young more vulnerable.
1. The developing human body, particularly the fetus, has critical windows of vulnerability
Many studies have shown that the peak incidence of birth defects coincides with the timing of key developmental events. This means that maternal exposures to toxic substances on a particular day of pregnancy might cause devastating effects to a baby, while exposures on the very next day would cause no discernible effects whatsoever. For example, implantation of the egg occurs on gestational day 6 to 7; organs begin forming on days 21 through 56; the neural plate forms between days 18 and 20; arm buds appear on days 29 to 30, and leg buds follow shortly after on days 31 to 32; testes differentiation occurs on day 43, and the palate closes between days 56 and 58.
The brain is a particularly sensitive target for early-life exposures. The blood brain barrier, which protects the developing brain from some chemical exposures, is not fully developed at birth. Chemical substances have been shown to be three to ten times as toxic to newborns as adults, or in some cases to damage the newborn brain and not the adult brain, in part due to differences in the stages of development of the blood-brain barrier (Klassen 1996).
The human brain develops in overlapping phases, each presenting unique opportunities for chemical-induced damage, beginning in the womb within days of conception, and continuing through childhood. The right chemical at the right time has the potential to disrupt any of these processes.
*Making brain cells (neurulation and neurogensis)
*Moving the cells to their proper location (cell migration)
*Growing axons and dendrites to link nerve cells (neuronal differentiation and pathfinding)
*Developing synapses or points of communication with other cells (synaptogenesis)
*Refining the synapses (naturation and pruning), and, finally,
*Forming the supportive tissue that surrounds nerve cells and makes for efficient communication among them (gliagenesis or myelination).
Sensitivities continue through childhood. An increasing number of studies are showing effects to the reproductive system and the brain following early-life exposures to an array of chemicals. This is well-proven for childhood exposures to lead, and is shown in laboratory animals for, among other things, high-volume chemicals like dibutyl phthalate and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.
2. Pound for pound, children get higher doses of chemicals than adults
For example, one part per billion of benzene in drinking water, air, or food translates into a greater exposure for a small child than an adult, because:
*Children in the first six months of life drink seven times as much water per pound as does the average American adult.
*Children one through five years of age eat three to four times more food per pound than the average adult.
*Resting infants breathe twice as much air, pound for pound, as resting adults (Landrigan et al 1998).
*Children from birth to two years of age have more than twice the body surface area of an adult - an important factor for the many chemicals that can absorb through skin (EPA 1997).
*Just doing what children normally do can increase doses of chemicals. For instance, children put their hands in their mouths more often than adults, and play closer to the floor where some chemicals are more likely to be concentrated (Landrigan et al 1998).
Landrigan PJ, JE Carlson, CF Bearer, JS Cranmer, RD Bullard, RA Etzel, J Groopken, JA McLachlan, FP Perera, JR Reigart, L Robison, L Schell, WA Suk. Children's health and the environment: A new agenda for prevention research. Environmental Health Perspectives 106, Supplement 3, June 1998.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1997. Exposure Factors Handbook. Volume 1 - General Factors. EPA/600/P-95/002Fa. August 1997.
Klassen, Curtis D. Casarett & Doull's Toxicology. The Basic Science of Poisons. Fifth Edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 1996.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
"At this time, we do not know what the potential long-term health effects might be, but there is a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity (from phthalates) and a few human studies with changes in health outcomes as well," Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana told Reuters Health.
Phthalates are used to make plastics flexible and stabilize fragrances, and are found in a plethora of consumer products including toys, personal care products and medical equipment.
As reported online today in the journal Pediatrics, Sathyanarayana, from the university of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues measured the levels of nine different phthalate breakdown products in urine from diapers of 163 infants aged 2 to 28 months.
All of the urine samples contained at least one phthalate at measurable levels, they report, and 81 percent of the samples had measurable amounts of seven or more phthalates.
"We found that reported use of baby lotion, baby shampoo, and baby powder was associated with increased concentrations of monethyl phthalate (MEP), monomethyl phthalate (MMP), and monoisobutyl phthalate (MIBP) in infant urine," Sathyanarayana said.This association was strongest in young infants less than 8 months old, "who may be more vulnerable to developmental and reproductive toxicity of phthalates," the investigators note in their report.
At present, U.S. manufacturers are not required to list phthalate contents on products' package labels, making it hard for parents to make informed decisions, the investigators point out.
"If parents want to decrease exposures for their children, they can try to use lotions, shampoo, and baby powder sparingly unless otherwise indicated for a medical reason," Sathyanarayana suggested.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, February 2008.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
For those times when you feel trapped, stressed, or in a prison of your own making, take massive, intentional, purposeful goal directed action. It’s the ultimate silver bullet.
In real estate, it’s location, location, location. In goal-setting , its action, action, action.
You can’t just stick out your thumb and hitchhike your way to success. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and do the work that needs to be done.
Whether your goal is to be or not to be is largely dependent upon your actions.
The cure for the ills of procrastination is a heavy prescription of action, until the day arrives when your goals and their achievement are one in the same-until you cannot tell them apart.
Keep this in mind, a good plan will almost always get you in the door, but it is action that seals the deal.
Monday, October 6, 2008
People are incredibly different in their reactions to chemicals, allergens, drugs, diseases and a host of external stimuli. That's why the government applies safety factors to the results of animal studies when they set safe exposure limits for pollutants or contaminants in food and water. Often, however, these safety factors are not enough to protect large numbers of sensitive people.
Many factors determine how a drug, allergen, or toxic substance will affect a person - genetics, metabolism, age, sex, size, disease, diet, and environment. (Gibson and Skett, 1994). The result is vast variability in the human response to chemicals, viruses, drugs and a host of substances (up to 100,000 fold differences), most of which is influenced by factors that individuals cannot control.
There are enormous differences between sensitive and 'immune' populations in their reaction to common allergens. Some common food allergies powerfully illustrate the point. Peanut butter can easily kill people who are allergic to it, while those who are not can eat as much as they can stand, with no effects at all. At least three people have died from peanut allergy using a knife that had been 'wiped' after making a peanut butter sandwich. About 6 tenths of one percent of the U.S. population (2 million people) is allergic to peanuts. (Sampson 2001) The same phenomenon occurs with non-lethal allergies. A recent EPA sponsored review found that sensitive individuals are up to 450 times more sensitive than the median (average) person to common allergens like ragweed and wheat flour. (Hattis 2001).
The recently completed map of the human genome has revealed the tremendous genetic variability in the human population. Scientists have identified an estimated 1.4 million specific differences, or polymorphisms, in the human genetic code. Every polymorphism on a human gene is a DNA sequence that differs from one person to the next. Each of these 1.4 million polymorphisms represents a chance for a person to be at risk for a particular disease or uniquely susceptible to the harmful effects of a particular chemical (Stoneking 2001). Put another way, there are now truly 1 million ways that a person could be more or less sensitive to toxic chemicals than his or her neighbor.
Differences in metabolism dramatically influence the toxicity or effectiveness of chemicals and drugs. Metabolism is a function of genetically determined factors including race, age, sex,, and inherent variability (polymorphisms) as well as external factors like diet, disease-state, and exposure to chemical pollutants and heavy metals. One well-characterized genetic variable is the difference in critical metabolic enzyme levels. From 3 to 10 percent of Caucasians "do not have" or "have either low or no activity" of the enzyme (CYP2D6) that metabolizes codeine and the prescribed tricyclic antidepressants (Richelson 1997). Poor functioning, but normally occurring enzyme levels can also make individuals far more vulnerable to toxic chemical exposure. About 30 percent of the population carries a poor version of the enzyme paraoxonase which makes them 11 times more vulnerable to certain neurotoxic insecticides than people with fully functioning paraoxonase (Schettler 2000).
Individuals with a 'natural' immunity to typhoid fever are 10,000 times more resistant to the disease than the average person. These people show no symptoms when exposed to 1 billion viable salmonella typhosa organisms, whereas some people get the disease after exposure to just 10,000. (Hornwick 1970) Similarly, people with a 'natural' immunity to rotavirus (a virus causing diarrheal disease in infants and young children) are 100,000 times more resistant than the weakest person (Ward, et al. 1986). These are just two examples of the obvious fact that peoples' immune systems are enormously different, often in ways that are little understood by scientists.
Absorption in the gut may vary by orders of magnitude. While some people who eat mercury contaminated fish absorb 13% of the mercury from their stomach into their blood, others only absorb only 1% (Stern 1997). This means that if two pregnant women eat the same amount of mercury in a fish, one could deliver ten times more mercury to the brain of her developing child.
Gibson, G. and P. Skett, 1994, "Chapter 4: Factors affecting drug metabolism: internal factors," in Introduction to drug metabolism, London: Blackie Academic & Professional.
Hattis, D., A. Russ, R. Goble, et al., 2001, Human interindividual variability in susceptibility to airborne particles, submitted to Risk Analysis.
Hornwick, R., S. Greisman, T. Woodward, et al., 1970, Typhoid fever: pathogenesis and immunologic control, N. Eng. J. Med., 283, 686-691.
Richelson, E., 1997, Pharmacokinetic drug interactions of new antidepressants: a review of the effects on the metabolism of other drugs, Mayo Clin. Proc., 72, 835-847.
Sampson, H., 2001, Personal correspondence via email.
Schettler T, J Stein, F Reich, M Valenti. 2000. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development. Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. May 2000.
Stern, Alan H. 1997. Estimation of the interindividual variability in the one-compartment pharmacokinetic model for methylmercury: Implications for the derivation of a Reference Dose. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 25. 277-288.
Stoneking M., 2001. Single nucleotide polymorphisms: from the evolutionary past . . . Nature. 409. 15 February 2001.
Ward, R., D. Bernstein, E. Young, et al., 1986, Human rotavirus studies in volunteers: determination of infectious dose and serological response to infection, J. Infect. Disease, 154, 871-880.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
As amazing as it may seem, there are no mandatory pre-market health testing or approval requirements under any federal law for chemicals in cosmetics, toys, clothing, carpets, or construction materials, to name just a few obvious sources of chemical exposure in everyday life.
The EPA does require some tests for a handful of new compounds (as opposed to heavily used older compounds) via the pre-manufacture notice (PMN) program. These tests provide little protection for the public, however, because they apply only to chemicals that are new and little used, and because studies for critical human health effects like cancer, birth defects, and nervous system toxicity are rarely if ever required.
This explains in large part why products like hair spray, hair dye, pacifiers, stain repellants, glues, construction materials, and plastic wraps, just to name a few, are put into commerce for decades before their dangers are discovered and the products are removed or reformulated.
Here is how the FDA describes testing requirements for chemicals in cosmetics:
FDA is only able to regulate cosmetics after products are released to the marketplace. Neither cosmetic products nor cosmetic ingredients are reviewed or approved by FDA before they are sold to the public. (FDA 1995)
Here is how EPA describes its authority to require health testing under the Toxic Substances Control Act. In general, EPA can require safety testing of chemicals only if the Agency can prove that the chemical potentially poses a risk, which it can almost never do because the law essentially prohibits the agency from mandating health studies by chemical manufacturers for every individual test it seeks:
EPA must make the following statutory "findings" in order to require the chemical industry to test chemicals they manufacture, import and/or process:
* Hazard or "A" Finding - EPA must determine that existing data show that the subject chemical "may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment" and that the probability of exposure to the subject chemical substance is more than just theoretical; and/or
* Exposure or "B" Finding - EPA must show that the chemical is produced or imported in substantial quantities, and either enters the environment in substantial quantities or there is substantial or significant human exposure; and
- EPA must show that existing data are inadequate for risk assessment; and
- EPA must show that testing is needed to develop the data necessary to conduct the needed risk assessment. (EPA 2001)
How did this happen?
The chemical industry wanted it this way.
Since the 1950's the chemical industry has effectively blocked efforts to require health studies for the compounds it produces. Comprehensive testing for the health effects of chemicals is not required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, nor the cosmetics provisions of the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act. (Testing is required for chemicals directly added to food).
But what about industry's voluntary testing program?
It's a total bust.
In 1998, the EPA and the chemical industry launched their much-ballyhooed voluntary testing program for high production volume chemicals. To date, the program has been little more than a PR exercise. As of February 2001, the EPA has received no new tests - zero - as a result of the HPV program. Indeed, only 17 plans for tests have been submitted so far, which cover about 10% of the chemicals that need to be tested. And the tests themselves are only screening tests, preliminary indicators of a toxic effect that will not support a regulatory action to restrict the use of a chemical.
The HPV voluntary testing program is not a victory for the public or a concession by industry. It is the end result of a decades-long coordinated strategy to avoid comprehensive testing requirements that would surely lead to restrictions on major products.
Voluntary testing means no testing
In 1998, EPA reported that 43% of 2,800 chemicals produced in volumes of 1,000,000 pounds per year or more, have no basic toxicity data, or screening level data, at all. Fifty percent have incomplete screening data, and only 7% of these so-called high production volume (HPV) chemicals have a complete set of screening level toxicity data. Screening level data, even if they indicate a problem, are not sufficient to restrict the use of a compound.
On October 9, 1998 EPA's administrator Carol Browner sent letters to the CEO's of more than 900 chemical companies that manufacture HPV chemicals, inviting them to participate in EPA's voluntary testing initiative, the "HPV Challenge Program." As of February, 2001, 28 months after these invitations were mailed, not a single test has been submitted and just 17 testing work plans have been submitted to EPA. About half of the companies have not responded, and presumably will not respond to the invitation, while 469 companies have indicated some level of commitment. Of the 2,863 chemicals initially identified, 25% (708 chemicals) remain entirely without a commitment for testing from the manufacturers.
The program deadline for all tests to be completed recently slid several years - EPA is now asking for all new test results to be submitted by 2005, but if past is prologue this deadline is not likely to be met.
Companies that fail to participate in the voluntary initiative may be subjected to formal testing requirements under legally binding test rules. In December 2000 EPA issued the first of these test rules, covering 37 of the 708 chemicals for which there is no voluntary testing commitment. If EPA continues this rulemaking pace each year, test rules for all 708 chemicals will be in place in the year 2022.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 1995. FDA authority over cosmetics. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet, February 3, 1995. http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-206.html.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2001. TSCA Chemical Testing Policy. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/chemtest/sct4main.htm
"These chemicals meet EPA standards."
"You'd have to drink a swimming pool of this stuff before it would affect you."
"There's no evidence that this compound harms humans."
The chemical industry and their hired public relations representatives trot out these and similar claims whenever the safety of one of their compounds is called into question.
On their surface, many of these statements appear reasonable. But once you scratch the surface, they prove to be little more than carefully constructed fictions and half-truths that obscure the real facts: that EPA requires little or no testing of compounds before they are released to the environment; that cancer rates are up, especially for the young; and that certain, particularly young children, are extremely sensitive to certain compounds.
Before you spread the industry's stories about chemical exposure, make sure you have the facts.
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