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.
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.
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
- Tumblekins Toys Recalled by International Playthings Due to Choking and Laceration Hazards
- Children’s Slides Recalled by Landscape Structures due to Fall Hazard
Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.
- McNeil Consumer Healthcare Announces Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Infants TYLENOL® Oral Suspension, 1 oz. Grape Due to Dosing System Complaints
- Walmart Recalls Cruller Bakery Pastries Due To Mislabeled Milk Allergen
- Whole Foods Market Recalls Pumpkin Bundt Cakes For Undeclared Allergens
- Massachusetts Firm Recalls Chili Products Produced Without Benefit of Inspection
- California Firm Recalls Meat and Poultry Products Produced Without Benefit of Inspection
If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.