Tag Archive for 'China'

Weekly Highlights (10/18/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Outrage in China After Toddler Run Over & Ignored - I can’t even watch the video included with the news story after the description I received from my husband. A small child was run over not once, but twice, by two separate vehicles in hit-and-runs and meanwhile passersby walked around her body. Fortunately for the child, a homeless woman comes to her aid, yet the child now lies in critical condition in the hospital. It’s absolutely horrifying, infuriating, and unfathomable.

Record Number of Booster Seats Earn Highest Rating from IIHS - A record 31 seats have been designated Best Bets this year, meaning that they position a seat belt on a typical 4 to 8 year old in just about any car. Notable this year – All five seats made by one manufacturer, Canadian-based Harmony Juvenile Products, made the Best Bet list as did an inflatable seat, the BubbleBum, marketed for vacations, car pools, and taxis.

Target commits to 100% sustainable, traceable fish by 2015 - Target is partnering with a nonprofit marine conservation group to identify and sell only sustainable, traceable fish by 2015. This will be no easy feat. I’m really excited to see them taking this step and hope it encourages other grocers to do the same.

Flame Retardant Added to California’s List of Cancer Causing Chemicals – The flame retardant, Chlorinated Tris (TDCPP), recently found to be present in many baby products, was added last week to California’s Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing chemicals. The listing will not ban the chemical but could result in labeling of products containing the chemical.

FDA Petitioned by American Chemistry Council to Ban BPA in Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups - The American Chemistry Council has petitioned the FDA to ban BPA in bottles and sippy cups, noting that in many cases manufacturers have phased out BPA due to consumer demand and that a nationwide ban would ensure consistency and allow states to focus their legislative energies elsewhere. The FDA has not confirmed it will issue a regulation yet but it will issue a notice for comment. The EWG, on the other hand, is asking the FDA to extend the ban to baby formula and other canned goods. Not holding my breath on that one just yet.

New Research:

Have Penn State Researchers Found the Cure for Breast Cancer?!
Incredibly promising news came from Penn State this week as scientists there discovered a virus that kills breast cancer cells. The researchers applied the virus to three different breast cancer cell groups, representing three different stages of development, and the virus managed to kill 100% of the cells. In a particularly aggressive type of cancer cell, it took three weeks to kill 100% of the cells, but in the others it took only 7. The virus has also been successful against other types of cancer cells, including prostate and skin cancer. It currently works in a culture dish and in mice, but further animal trials and then human trials are needed before it can be considered for human treatment. Penn State is now stepping up its efforts to find the money to fund further research. 

Environmental Chemicals May be an Obstacle for Infertile Couples
New research has turned up evidence of a link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment and poor IVF outcomes. These chemicals disrupt a woman’s estrogen, making it more difficult to get pregnant. Higher blood levels of pollutants such as bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) have been found in mothers with failed IVF attempts, according to a handful of recent studies. In the studies, high levels of PCBs and HCB were associated with failed implantation, and high levels of BPA were associated with low levels of a particular form of estrogen instrumental in the development of eggs. More research is needed to determine if the results could be generalized beyond couples undergoing IVF.

Good Reads (or vids):

Notes from a Dragon Mom from The NY Times Sunday Review - Absolutely heartbreaking, yet inspirational.

Bully-Proofing Your Kids from CNN Living - Things we can start now with our young children to help them navigate the later years.

20 Tips for Using Baking Soda Around Your House from The Huffington Post - I’ve used baking soda for stain and odor elimination with good results but was surprised by some of the others on the list.

Recalls, October 11 – October 18:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (8/29/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

Washington State to Require Chemical Reporting for Toys! - A new law took effect this week in Washington which will now require manufacturers of toys, cosmetics, jewelry, and baby products to report when their products contain certain harmful chemicals – from a list of 66 chemicals identified as unsafe. Let’s hope this will spur action in other states, or better yet at the federal level.

Is Gender Selection of a Fetus Ethical? – A new maternal blood test can determine a fetus’ sex as early as seven weeks into pregnancy. The test is not yet available but has sparked a heated ethical debate. Would parents use this to perform sex-selective abortions??

On Food Safety, a Long List but Little Money – The FDA is facing an uphill battle to implement the food safety law passed last year on limited funding. While I have my issues with the FDA, I do think we need to find a way to allocate resources so they can fulfill the responsibilities they’ve been given to keep our food safe.

Food Safety in China, and the Risk to the U.S. - Another food safety crisis in China (reported by the AP here). In the second vinegar scandal this month, vinegar contaminated with antifreeze has killed 11 and sickened 120 in China. This article highlights the continuous spate of scandals in China and the risk they pose to us as imports from China are increasing in the U.S. and the FDA is struggling to keep up. What are we to do? Buy fresh, buy local as much as we can.

The Color of Controversy - A pretty good summation of the history of food dyes, related health studies, and controversies.

Patience, Mom: More Hospitals Say No to Scheduled Delivery Before 39 Weeks – A number of hospitals are now prohibiting scheduled C-sections and inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless medically necessary in light of recent research showing that babies experience a lot of critical development during their final weeks in utero, and mortality rates are cut in half by waiting until 39 weeks versus 37.

New Research:

Global Rates of Obesity Doubled in 30 Years
Three new studies published recently in The Lancet, a British medical journal, say that rates of obesity have doubled worldwide, even as blood pressure and cholesterol levels have dropped. People in the Pacific Islands are the heaviest, but among developed countries Americans are the fattest.

New Report Finds Few Adverse Events Linked to Immunizations
A panel of scientists assembled by the Institute of Medicine says there are relatively few health problems caused by most commonly recommended vaccines. The IOM included experts in pediatrics, immunology, neurology, epidemiology, and statistics. The review of more than 1,000 peer-reviewed studies represents the most comprehensive review of the available literature on the potential side effects for eight vaccines – MMR, chicken pox, influenz, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HPV, DTAP, and meningococcus. The article describes some of the conclusions drawn by the panel.

Could the Way We Mate and Marry Boost Rates of Autism?
An interesting theory as to why autism rates are on the rise – people with certain traits are increasingly meeting and marrying and having children more likely to be on the spectrum. Cited reasoning: The recent surge in autism rates has coincided with certain social changes, such as an unprecedented movement of women into math and science professions and the dotcom boom making more technically-minded people more sought after as mates. The theory is still largely speculation, but interesting nonetheless.

What Makes Some Preschools Better than Others?
A Vanderbilt University professor suggests that preschool teachers who engage children and use rich and varied vocabulary influence the children’s vocabulary and reading abilities later on.

Kids with Nut Allergies Feel Teased, Excluded
A study in the UK in which 26 families dealing with nut allergies were interviewed found that they routinely encountered skepticism and hostility over their children’s allergies.

Good Reads:

8 Month Old Gets a Cochlear Implant from YouTube - Heartwarming, tear-inspiring video of a child hearing his mother’s voice after a cochlear implant.

When Kids Bring Up Same-Sex Marriage from CNN Living - Several parents share their thoughts on how they address questions about same-sex marriage with their children.

Monsanto’s 5 Most Dubious Contributions to the Planet from TakePart.com – Before bovine growth hormone and GM seeds, there was Agent Orange and styrofoam.

Recalls, August 23 – August 29:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to purebebeblog@gmail.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!

XOXO,

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (8/7/11)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, a weekend post that will recap important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the week but also give us an avenue to share some of the other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels. Happy weekend reading!

In the News:

Insurance Coverage for Contraception is Required - New standards issued this week require insurance coverage for contraception and other preventative services for women.

China Arrests 2,000 in Food Safety Crackdown - Serious punishment coming to those who mess with China’s food system as the country tries to overcome numerous contamination scares.

How Safe is Your Soil? - Lead and other heavy metals may exist in your soil. Consider soil testing, remediation and/or raised beds before growing fruits and vegetables at home.

New Research:

Flame retardants and other chemical additives found in children’s car seats
A review of over 150, 2011-model car seats found that more than half contained one or more “chemicals of concern”, including brominated flame retardants, chlorine (indicating the presence of PVC), arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. However, the 2011 results show a 64% improvement over 2008 test results, indicating improvement in manufacturing. Click through the link above to see healthystuff.org’s list of the best and worst car seats based on level of contaminants.

Favorite flavors may be programmed in early infancy
Recent research shows that flavors consumed in early infancy impact later food choices. Other research noted in the article indicates that many processed baby and toddler foods are loaded with excessive calories from simple sugars and too much sodium. Introducing healthy, unprocessed foods in infancy could promote healthier eating habits later in life.

Good Reads:

For Three Years, Every Bite Organic from The New York Times - For three years, Dr. Greene, a pediatrician, embarked on a 100% organic diet and learned a few things…

I Love Giving Birth from Hello Giggles: The best birth advice – “There is no one perfect way to have a baby…Do whatever feels right to you in that moment”

How to Win Over Stubborn Children from Parenting.com - Excellent tips for “negotiating” with your young child.

Recalls, July 30 – August 6:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

We’d love your feedback! What did you like? If there is anything you’d like us to add or change, we’d love to hear it! We hope you’re having a lovely weekend! XOXO, Jasmine & Heather




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