Tag Archive for 'Johnson & Johnson'

Weekly Highlights (2/22/2012)

We hope you had a fantastic long weekend! This week’s highlights was delayed a bit so I could devote some time to the arsenic and rice news that came out late last week. Here’s a little more of what I’ve been reading this past week. - Jasmine

In the News:

Johnson & Johnson Recalls Infant’s Tylenol - In case you missed it on our Facebook page, Johnson & Johnson has issued a nationwide recall of all infant tylenol on the market due to reported difficulties using the new dosing syringe.

You may recall that manufacturers of infant’s tylenol were in the process of changing the concentrations and dosing systems to make administering easier and safer. Unfortunately, back to the drawing board for J&J.

No adverse events have been reported, but if you’d like a refund you can visit their website or call for a refund. Consumers can still use the product if the flow restrictor remains in place. The instructional video below issued by McNeil demonstrates how to use the syringe.

Maine Groups Press for BPA Ban After Chemical Found in Baby and Toddler Food - 11 out of 12 major brands of jarred baby food tested positive for BPA in the lids, and tests also showed that the BPA had been found in the baby food. Levels were 1 to 3 parts per billion, but the physiology professor cited in the article says that’s enough to be concerned. Levels in toddler canned foods were found up to 134 parts per billion. Just one of the many reasons I chose to make my own baby food. If you’re interested, you can find tips here: Homemade Baby Food - As Easy as 1-2-3.

EPA Issues Long-Awaited Dioxins Report - After working on the report for decades, the EPA has released the first half of its assessment on the toxicity of dioxins, the most toxic of all man-made chemicals. The first release addresses the noncancerous effects, while the second half of the report is expected to address evidence of the chemical’s cancerous effects.

While the report concludes that dioxins are seriously toxic at low levels, it says that exposures have declined so much over the past few decades that most people should not be concerned. As one scientist put it, though, that statement is “very odd” as it ignores people who are exposed to higher levels or more sensitive to the effects, like fetuses and young children.

FDA Will Not Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice - Back in January, the FDA halted imports of orange juice and began inspecting them after they received notification that Brazilian growers had been using a U.S.-banned fungicide. Now Brazil has requested an exception for the fungicide until they can phase it out, but the FDA has denied the exception. As a result, Brazil will have to stop exports of concentrated OJ until they can meet EPA limits for the fungicide.

New Research:

BPA’s Obesity And Diabetes Link Strengthened By New Study 
To date, studies have suggested a link between BPA and metabolic problems, but no one was really sure why until now. A new study released last week has determined that BPA fools a specific receptor into thinking that it is estrogen, an insulin regulator, and triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food. When that specific receptor was removed from the subject mice, the effect disappeared.

According to the author of the study, Angel Nadal, “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating.” And surprisingly, the effects were seen at very low levels of exposure - a quarter of a billionth of a gram was enough to do the trick. What is most concerning is the impact on pregnant women and developing fetuses, who are particularly sensitive - ”The fetus is not only exposed to BPA but also to higher levels of insulin from the mother, making the environment for the fetus even more disruptive,” says Nadal. “This is a very delicate period.”

Children at Risk for Ingestion of PAHs from Pavement Sealant
Coal tar sealants, commonly used in the Central, Southern, and Eastern U.S. to refresh driveways and parking lots, are a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which can cause cancer. Researchers from Baylor University and the U.S. Geological Survey have found that children living next to driveways or parking lots coated with coal tar are exposed to 14 times the amount of the chemicals than those living near untreated asphalt. Exposure is primarily through contaminated dust tracked into the home, rather than food as once thought. Coal-tar-based pavement sealant has PAH concentrations 100 to 1,000 times greater than most other sources.

A History of Kids and Sleep: Why They Never Get Enough
I wouldn’t say that the article explains why children never get enough, but a recent review of about 300 studies on sleep duration in children found some interesting results:

  • Over the 112 years the study covered, age-specific recommendations for sleep and actual sleep duration of children has declined at similar rates.
  • Over that same period, children have lost about 75 minutes of shut-eye with overstimulation and modern technology to blame.
  • There’s not much evidence behind sleep recommendations; they’re pretty subjective. Kids consistently get at least 30 minutes less than the recommendations.
  • Different countries have different standards, but American children sleep less than nearly all other children.

Fantastic Finds:

How to Get Rid of Facebook Timeline, Bring Back a Simpler View - Anyone else struggling to get used to the new timeline view? It seems cluttered and messy to me. LifeHacker just published an article with a plugin that can be used to adjust your browser’s Facebook view for a cleaner look. I’m definitely going to try this out.

Clean Protein & Organic Foods, Does it Matter? - An absolutely fascinating read on why it’s important to look beyond the organic label and really understand where your food came from and how it was raised.

4 Health Reasons to Eat Chocolate (and Cons to Consider) - With Valentine’s Day behind us and chocolate floating around the house, this article is timely and informative.

From Playdate to Parliament: Mom Takes Tot to Work - Adorable. Little Victoria Ronzulli conducts important business at the European Parliament alongside mother and Italian politician, Licia Ronzulli.

Recalls, February 14 – February 21:

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 to jasmine@purebebe.com.

Weekly Highlights (1/30/2012)

We hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to this week’s highlights, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great finds we’ve come across in our internet travels.

Jasmine & Heather

In the News:

Maker Recalls 2,200 Tubes of Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion - Tubes are being recalled at the retail level in 9 southern states for a particular lot that tested above the required levels of a common staph bacteria. It’s unlikely that many consumers will have the product in their homes, but consumers who may have bought the product can still use it according to J&J. The bacteria is naturally occurring in the environment and on the skin, but if you are concerned, check for lot number 0161LK.

Mom Gives Birth in Car, Dad Films While Driving - Steering wheel in one hand, camera in the other, Dad films while his wife gives birth with a single push on the way to the hospital. The video doesn’t show the labor, but it sounds like it must have been one of the easiest births on the planet.

USDA Issues New Rules for School Lunches - Standards issued by the USDA Wednesday will require fruits and veggies every day, more whole grains, and reduced sodium and fat content. The new rules take effect July 1 and will be phased in over three years.

Horrifying Discovery in Capri Sun - A 10 year old boy began to choke, then pulled a worm out of his mouth. Ewwww! Kraft Food’s statement says it was likely mold, because “Capri Sun products are made without preservatives — a fact many moms like”… How’s that for some spin?

New Research:

Nurses’ Miscarriages Linked to Chemicals at Work
A survey of approximately 7,500 nurses who were pregnant between 1993 and 2002 found that the rate of miscarriage increased from 1 in 10 to 2 in 10 in nurses who worked with chemotherapy drugs or sterilizing agents such as formaldehyde. The survey involved nurses who had experienced a pregnancy between 1993 and 2002. There is room for inaccuracy in the study given that nurses were asked to recall back as far as 8 years, but a more precise follow up study is in the works.

Alcohol in Pregnancy: It’s Never Safe, Especially Not in the First Trimester
New research from scientists at the University of California, San Diego indicates that babies are most vulnerable to the effects of alcohol at the end of the first trimester. The scientists tracked the alcohol and other substances used by almost 1,000 women every three months during pregnancy and found that every drink consumed between the 43rd and 84th days of pregnancy increased the baby’s odds of lower birthweight and birth defects. This reinforces guidelines for avoiding alcohol during pregnancy, especially for women contemplating pregnancy since many aren’t aware they are pregnant until that critical period.

A Measure of Titanium Dioxide
In the first analytical study of titanium dioxide content in consumer products, scientists at Arizona State University found concentrations in personal care products, such as toothpaste and sunscreen ranged from 1 to 10% while foods, such as white candies and doughnuts, contained up to 340 mg per serving. Up to 36% of the titanium found in the foods was in nanoparticle form. More research is needed on the possible health effects, but you can read an informative article on nanoparticles in a prior weekly highlights here.

Common Chemicals Could Make Kids’ Vaccines Less Effective
A recent study suggests, but does not prove, that perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) used in the manufacture of non-stick coatings and stain-resistant fabrics among other household items, may affect the immune system making children more vulnerable to infectious disease. The study found that the antibody response to the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines was weaker in children whose blood contained relatively high levels of PFCs.

Fantastic Finds:

Confession: This Pediatrician is a Sleep Softie - There aren’t that many absolutes when it comes to raising kids.

Just as I Am from How the Hell Did I End Up Here? Amen! A humorous look at the illusions we chase and a reminder that we just need to be ourselves. Love this!

Fotoshop by Adobé - A perfect complement to the article above. Want in on a little secret? Fotoshop - how celebrities get their picture perfect bodies.

Recalls, January 23 – January 30:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to jasmine@purebebe.com.


Weekly Highlights (11/21/2011)

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:

Crotchless Thong Underwear for the Mature 7-Year-Old - All I can say is that this is one twisted publicity stunt. The shop owner’s justification that these were intended for the older teenage customers is almost as disturbing.

Congress Invents New Vegetable: The PizzaActually, they just caved to food industry lobbyists and ensured that the two tablespoons of tomato paste on pizza continues to qualify as a vegetable. Disappointing, truly disappointing.

Toys Safer This Holiday Season Due to Stronger Safety Rules - Positive news from the CPSC. Recalls and lead violations are down. Still, there were over 180,000 treated in ERs last year due to toy-related injuries, so the CPSC also offers tips for choosing safer toys.

Johnson & Johnson, Amid Activists’ Push, Steadily Removing Toxic Chemicals From Baby Products - Amid pressure from activists and consumers (see last week’s highlights), J&J issued a statement Wednesday that they will remove all quarternium-15 from its baby products within about 2 years and will continue to work with suppliers to reduce traces of 1,4-dioxane.

New Research:

More Vegetables Evolving Chocolate-Filled Centers as Evolutionary Imperative
In an effort to ensure their survival, crops are evolving to compete with processed foods. Just for fun. :)

Good Reads:

The Occupy Protesters Could Learn a Few Things From My Kids from Housewife Info Junkie - This mom compares the Occupy movement to a grown up temper tantrum. Read on for her motherly advice for the protesters.

I am Thankful from Play at Home Mom - A fun Thanksgiving activity for children.

Storytelling 101 from StrollerTraffic - Tips on spinning a creative bedtime tale for your little audience.

Fascinating Video:

A thought-provoking video on what’s wrong with the U.S. education system, and an entertaining and fascinating argument to watch develop before your eyes:

Recalls, November 15 – November 21:

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!

Jasmine & Heather

Weekly Highlights (11/8/2011)

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:

Cell Towers Going up in School District Despite Parent Objections - Is this the beginning of a new trend? School districts in the market for new sources of revenue signing contracts with cellphone businesses to put up towers on school campuses. Is this really a good idea?

Group Urges Johnson & Johnson Boycott Over Baby Shampoo Chemicals - The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been campaigning J&J for over 2 years now to remove two controversial chemicals from its baby shampoo formulation – Quaternium-15, a formaldehyde-releasing preservative, and 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a process for making chemicals more soluble and gentler on the skin. J&J already makes a safer alternative for other countries, so why the double standard for the U.S.? Time to ratchet up the pressure.

Parents Order Chicken Pox Lollipops Over the InternetWell, “pox parties” are out, and now “pox pops” are in? Moms in a Facebook group have been found offering to send lollipops that have been infected with chicken pox by mail. Aside from being illegal, doctors say it’s not likely to work as the virus would not survive; however, other more dangerous disease germs just might. And requests were also found on the FB page for measles, mumps, or rubella. Really??

New Research:

The Prevalence Puzzle: Autism Counts
Are increasing rates of autism due to increased awareness and shifting diagnoses or increasing exposure to toxins and genetic factors? This article provides an excellent summation of some of the key research addressing this question and the direction that autism research is moving.

Second Thoughts on Medicines for Babies Who Spit Up
Prescriptions for acid reflux medications are on the rise, with 11- and 16- fold increases documented in some medications. Dr. Hassall, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation in San Francisco, is concerned that these medications are being over-prescribed. Some studies have shown that these medications work no better than placebos in treating infants with reflux because many of these children don’t truly have reflux. In many cases, the symptoms may just be part of normal infant development. Before attempting prescription drugs, he suggests changes in maternal diet for breastfeeding mothers, namely elimination of dairy, soy, and/or wheat, or hypoallergenic formulas for bottle-fed infants.

Good Reads:

Top Doc Reveals 8 Fertility Misconceptions from CNN Health - Some of the more common mistakes and misconceptions couples may have about fertility. I learned a few things about IVF and infertility I hadn’t known before.

Recalls, November 1 – November 7:

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!

Jasmine & Heather

Double Check your Children’s Medicine

On Friday Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of all OTC (over-the-counter) Children’s and Infants’ liquid products manufactured in the United States and distributed in the United States, Canada, and several other countries (for a full list of countries and/or product details, go to http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/page.jhtml?id=/include/new_recall.inc).

The recall is asserting that these liquid medicines have “manufacturing deficiencies” that may affect the potency, purity or quality of the products.  When I called to check whether my products were on the recall list, I found out that all four (4) of my products were affected.  Since two of my bottles (Infant’s Tylenol and Infant’s Motrin) were nearing expiration, I was alarmed and worried about what I had been giving my daughters.  When I asked the recall hotline for more details and whether I should be concerned, the man read me a very generic statement from the public recall message saying that “some” of these products might have too much of the active ingredient, while “others” might have too little of the active ingredient.  Even worse, he mentioned that “some” of these products might have tiny particles in them! 

The man continued to regurgitate some generic statements about how the company is doing a “comprehensive quality assessment of their manufacturing operations” and that I would be receiving four replacement coupons for the four tainted products.  He then said that I needed to dispose of these products in a very specific manner and to not drain them down the toilet or sink.  Instead, I was to pour them into a Ziploc bag, with a little water and coffee grounds, seal up the bag and throw it in the trash.

Here’s what to do if you have non-expired Infant’s or Childrent’s Tylenol, Motrin, Benedryl or Zyrtec in your medicine cabinet:

1)       Find out if your products are on the list.

Check this website (http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/page.jhtml?id=/include/new_recall.inc) or call this number (1-888-222-6036) (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time) to check the product’s lot numbers.

2)       Notify the company.

Call 1-888-222-6036 or go to http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/  so that you can get coupons to replace the products that you have to dispose of.   Note:  It will take 4-6 weeks to receive your coupons after you call the hotline.

3)       Dispose of your tainted products carefully.

Pour all affected products into a Ziploc bag, add a cup or two of coffee grounds and a little bit of water.  Zip up the bag and toss it in the trashcan.

Don’t Get Burned by Unsafe Sunscreens

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, many moms out there are concerned about keeping their babies protected from the harmful rays.   And if you’re anything like me, by the time your child actually makes it to the pool the only square inch of skin left exposed to the sun is her cankle (aka chubby ankles).  In fact, the first time I took my 2 year old to the beach, my husband thought I was playing a practical joke.  After slathering a ton of organic sunscreen on her, I dressed her in her swimsuit, SPF50 swimshirt, swimtrunks, swim shoes and a large brim hat.   Then I placed her in a flotation device with a canopy (images of Ralphie’s bundled brother Randy floundering in the snow from “A Christmas Story” came to mind). 

Although we had a good laugh, what was very real was my concern for protecting her delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays.    I researched skin care products before my daughter was born and was shocked to learn that baby care products – shampoos, lotions, sunscreens, etc. - are not regulated by the Federal government.  In fact, the more I researched, the more concerned I became about the types of products I could expose my baby to.  Some of the bigger named baby product companies were some of the worst offenders! 

While researching baby products I stumbled upon the ”Skin Deep” website, at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/.  The site is run by the Environmental Working Group, an impartial charitable organization unaffiliated with any consumer products company (composed of a team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer programmers) and provides ratings for skin care products.  All you have to do is input the name of your favorite skin care product and the website spits out a result for the product on a green/yellow/red light system.  Green products pose ‘none to low hazard’, yellow ‘moderate hazard’ and red products are deemed ‘hazardous’ to your child’s health.  For instance, I did a quick search for Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion, Cooling Cucumber Melon, and the result was red! 

When shopping for safe skin care products for baby, make sure that the product labels are composed of the following:

1) Short list of ingredients that you can easily pronounce

2) Easily identifiable ingredients

In a nutshell, you should be able to know exactly what the ingredients are, where they came from (i.e. man-made versus a natural ingredient such as aloe), and you should be able to easily pronounce them.

The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Safer Sunscreens recommend the following “BEST EASY-TO-FIND SUNSCREENS”:

The EWG also says to “AVOID” the following when shopping for a sunscreen:

  • Oxybenzone or benzophenone-3:  skin absorption, allergies, hormone problems
  • Spray and powder sunscreens:  inhaling sunscreens can pose extra risks
  • Fragrance:  allergies, reproductive problems
  • Sunscreen with added bug repellent:  you can get too much of the pesticide in your body

Personally, I have used California Baby (SPF 30+ Sunscreen, no fragrance) on both of my children since they were six months old.  I have tried several other brands, but always come back to California Baby.  It’s the only product that does not induce tears when it gets in their eyes and is very mild on their skin (other brands have caused my two year old to break out with bumps on her skin).  It’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to price (I recently spent $17.99 on 2.9 oz) but for the same cost as a few cups of coffee, I think it’s worth every penny.

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