PROZAC & ALCOHOL: Former Wall Street Investment Banker Becomes an Alcoholic: New York

Paragraphs 9 through 12 read:  “Like many people he knew, Mr. Goldberg had been on Prozac since college, during the height of its wonder-drug status. He blames the drug, and the emotional numbness he said it induced, for the heavy drinking binges in his 20s. “I couldn’t drink one beer,” he said.  ‘It had to be like 10.’ ”

“He quit drinking in 1999 after a family intervention and stopped smoking cigarettes the next year. Then in 2001, he decided to stop taking Prozac after meeting with a naturopath who taught him about natural herbs and the dangers of pesticides.”

“But quitting Prozac wasn’t easy. It precipitated what Mr. Goldberg described as a three-and-a-half-year struggle for survival that included a suicide attempt. During this time, he broke up with his girlfriend, moved back in with his parents and lost nearly a million dollars in Web investments when the dot-com bubble popped.”

“Still, he refused to go back on antidepressants. Adhering to a 100 percent organic diet, he said, helped him turn the corner. So did the 2004 film “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” a New Age documentary about the life-altering powers of positive thinking, which he said he considers the  ‘most important movie ever made’.”

Note from SSRIStories.com & Drugawareness.org:  Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication.  It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these antidepressants, usually over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified specialist.  Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.

Additiional note from SSRIStories.com & Drugawareness.org:The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. (Check out the SSRIs & Alcohol article atwww.drugawareness.org for additional information on alcohol cravings.) Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressantin the human body. The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. (Check out the SSRIs & Alcohol article atwww.drugawareness.org for additional information on alcohol cravings.) Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body. 
 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/fashion/03close.html
By JED LIPINSKI

Published: February 2, 2011
THE sidewalks of the East Village were packed with chain smokers and European bar-hoppers, but Max Goldberg, a self-appointed organic-food guru, ducked into Commodities Natural Market, a modern health-food store on First Avenue. He was conducting product research.

He studied a jar of Arrowhead Mills creamy organic peanut butter and remarked on the superior growth conditions of peanuts from New Mexico compared with those from Georgia. Then he pointed to a pack of banana-flavored YoBaby, a brand of organic yogurt for infants. “This is the only Stonyfield product with bilingual labels,” he said, praising the wisdom of appealing to the country’s surging Hispanic market. “I eat it all the time.”

Never mind that Mr. Goldberg has no degree in nutrition or was once a Jack Daniels-swilling party boy whose dinner often consisted of four Gray’s Papaya hot dogs piled with sauerkraut.

But just as big corporations like Wal-Mart have embraced the emerging organic food market, Mr. Goldberg, 41, a former Wall Street investment banker, has discovered a potential career niche as an expert on organic food. Branding himself as a regular guy who took his health into his own hands, Mr. Goldberg now dispenses advice on how to eat and shop organic through his popular Twitter feed and blog, livingmaxwell.com.

For organic naïfs, the site offers answers to common Google searches, like which vegetables and fruits are worth buying organic (answer: conventional produce that is high in chemicals, like peaches and apples). It also features traffic-boosting interviews with organic-food fans like the actress Rachelle Lefevre, who played the evil vampire Victoria from “Twilight,” and humorous asides on his failed attempts to date women who eat nonorganic food.

“I don’t think people know where to begin with organic food in this country,” Mr. Goldberg said over a slice ofpizza covered with uncooked vegetables and a pint of green juice at Caravan of Dreams, a vegan cafe on East Sixth Street. Doe-eyed and boyish in a gray wool sweater and Seven jeans ­ both nonorganic, he confessed ­ he brought to mind a younger, slimmer Matthew Broderick. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s too expensive’ or ‘I don’t know where to get it,’ ” he said. “So I’m trying to teach them by making the information on my blog as accessible as possible.”

As a man who blends his own Brazilian nut milk each morning, Mr. Goldberg gives advice that carries a certain authority. But he is no Dr. Andrew Weil, a fact he’d be the first to admit.

Raised in an affluent suburb of Boston, Mr. Goldberg graduated from Brown University in 1992 and took a job with Prudential Securities. After three years he left to attend Columbia Business School, and he went on to work for various biotech and software companies.

Like many people he knew, Mr. Goldberg had been on Prozac since college, during the height of its wonder-drug status. He blames the drug, and the emotional numbness he said it induced, for the heavy drinking binges in his 20s. “I couldn’t drink one beer,” he said. “It had to be like 10.”

He quit drinking in 1999 after a family intervention and stopped smoking cigarettes the next year. Then in 2001, he decided to stop taking Prozac after meeting with a naturopath who taught him about natural herbs and the dangers of pesticides.

But quitting Prozac wasn’t easy. It precipitated what Mr. Goldberg described as a three-and-a-half-year struggle for survival that included a suicide attempt. During this time, he broke up with his girlfriend, moved back in with his parents and lost nearly a million dollars in Web investments when the dot-com bubble popped.

Still, he refused to go back on antidepressants. Adhering to a 100 percent organic diet, he said, helped him turn the corner. So did the 2004 film “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” a New Age documentary about the life-altering powers of positive thinking, which he said he considers the “most important movie ever made.”

Gradually, his quest to keep toxins out of his body made him want to help others do the same. He started his Web site in 2009, intending it as an organic-food counterpart to green blogs like TreeHugger and Ecofabulous. Skeptical friends from the financial world who ate nonorganic food were his first Web interview subjects.

Since then, Mr. Goldberg has interviewed notable advocates of sustainable food like Joel Salatin and Gary Hirshberg, who were both featured in the documentary “Food, Inc.” To build his audience, he responds to every person who comments and follows 17,576 people on Twitter. “Everyone who follows me I follow back,” he said. “It’s a karma thing.”

His business background still shows through. He admits to harboring dreams of his own Food Network show, or a line of livingmaxwell-brand products, like organic energy bars or a fruit and vegetable wash.

But for now, he’s trying to establish himself among the city’s organic elite, people like Marcus Antebi, who owns the Juice Press, an organic juice bar on East First Street that claims to offer the widest variety of pressed juice formulas in the city. After pizza, Mr. Goldberg swung by the juice bar, where Mr. Antebi greeted him, “ ’Sup Max.”

Mr. Goldberg was pleased. “They sell three of my top five organic trends of 2011 here,” Mr. Goldberg said, referring to a list he created that comprises chia seeds, farro, kale chips, palm sugar and pressed juice. He picked up a container of chia-seed pudding and made his ruling: “This stuff is going to be huge.”

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Additional Tylenol Warnings: Now linked to SEVERE Asthma

NOTE FROM DR. ANN BLAKE TRACY (www.drugawareness.org):

YET ANOTHER TYLENOL WARNING! Long known toproduce fatal liver damage . . . how many warnings do we need to get the full picture on this deadly drug? There have been increasing warnings this past year which continues toexplain why Tylenol has NEVER been found in my medicine cabinet and never will be!!!

HIGHLIGHTS from the article below:

A pair of studies suggests that the common painkiller acetaminophen — better known as Tylenol in the U.S. — may be fueling a worldwide increase in asthma. ~Reuters Health

While no one knows if the drug causes asthma by itself, another report — published along with the first study — shows for the first time that many toddlers took acetaminophen before they developed asthma symptoms such as wheezing. [I am appauled by how often this deadly drug is given to young children!]

“We have confirmed that acetaminophen use comes first, SO A CAUSAL LINK IS INCREASINGLY LIKELY, [Emphasis added]” . . .

Acetaminophen tied tochildhood wheezing and allergies

4:15pm BST

By Frederik Joelving

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A pair of studies suggests that the common painkiller acetaminophen — better known asTylenol in the U.S. — may be fueling a worldwide increase inasthma.

According to one study out Thursday, acetaminophen could be responsible for as many as four in 10 cases of wheezing and severe asthma in teens.

While no one knows if the drug causes asthma by itself, another report — published along with the first study — shows for the first time that many toddlers took acetaminophen before they developed asthma symptoms such as wheezing.

“We have confirmed that acetaminophen use comes first, so a causal link is increasingly likely,” said Dr. Alemayehu Amberbir, of Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and the University of Nottingham in the UK.

But large-scale clinical tests are necessary before anyone cleans out their medicine cabinet, stressed Amberbir, whose findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

His team followed more than 1,000 Ethiopian babies over three years. When the toddlers turned one, the researchers asked the mothers if their babies had breathing problems, and how much acetaminophen they had used.

About eight percent of the kids began to wheeze between ages one and three. Those who had been given acetaminophen during their first year — before they had breathing trouble — had up to seven times the odds of developing wheezing.

That increase held even after adjusting for fever and coughs, which in principle could have triggered both the wheezing and the use of painkillers.

“What we have is further information and a stronger association between the use of acetaminophen and asthma,” said Dr. Dipak Kanabar, who has written guidelines on painkillers, but wasn’t involved in the new studies.

But Kanabar, a consultant pediatrician at Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, cautioned that parents’ recall isn’t always accurate, which could have influenced the findings.

“We have to be careful when we give advice to parents tostress that these studies do not mean that giving acetaminophen will necessarily result in their child developingasthma,” he said.

But if the link turns out to be real, it could have a major impact on public health, according to another report in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In that study, based on more than 320,000 teens from 50 countries, 11 percent of the children had breathing trouble — only slightly more than the percentage of American children who have asthma.

Those teens who took acetaminophen at least once a month — one third overall, and more than four in 10 Americans — doubled their odds of wheezing.

They were also more likely to have allergic nasal congestion and the skin condition eczema, Dr. Richard W. Beasley, of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, and colleagues report.

The researchers estimate that acetaminophen could potentially be responsible for up to four in 10 of all asthmasymptoms, including severe ones such as waking up gasping for air once a week or more.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that sells Tylenol, said in a comment their product “has over 50 years of clinical history to support its safety and efficacy.”

“The well-documented safety profile for acetaminophen makes it the preferred pain reliever for asthma sufferers,” the company told Reuters Health in an e-mail. The company said there are no gold-standard clinical trials showing “a causal link between acetaminophen and asthma.”

However, Kanabar found in his review of the medical literature that ibuprofen — another painkiller, sometimes sold as Advil — seemed to trigger less wheezing than acetaminophen.

Ibuprofen, however, is not recommended in people withasthma, Kanabar said, and that most doctors favor Tylenol.

Aspirin, another common painkiller, is generally discouraged in children because it can cause short-term breathing problems and other rare side effects.

According to Kanabar, dropping painkillers entirely is probably a bad idea, and might cause a child to feel worse and drink less liquid, which could slow recovery.

So which painkiller should a parent choose if their child has a headache or a fever — Tylenol or ibuprofen?

At this point, said Kanabar, “you could go for either.”

SOURCE: link.reuters.com/sej74n American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, online August 13, 2010.

© Thomson Reuters 2010. TRACY (www.drugawareness.org):

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAUSE CATARACTS, STUDY FINDS

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
Could this be the problem with Glenn Beck’s eyes that is causing him to lose his sight?
Antidepressants are not the first medication to be linked to a higher risk for cataracts. Beta blockers, steroids (oral or inhaled) and recently hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have all been linked to elevated risk for cataracts.
Excess serotonin can make the lens opaque and lead to cataract formation. This should be no surprise if you have the data from the front of my book on Dr. Heidi Connelly’s work when she discovered how Fen-Phen and Redux were causing heart valve problems for patients. Fen-Phen and Redux are both SSRIs and serotonin agonists thus increasing serotonin levels in two ways. What she found was that the excess serotonin was causing a gummy gooey glossy substance to build up on the heart valves, thus preventing them from closing properly.
– Hide quoted text –
We also know that Alzheimer’s is a condition of elevated serotonin levels. Researchers have found that in Alzheimer’s there is a gummy gooey glossy substance that builds up in the brain.
Now this new study shows us that the serotonin receptors in the eye’s lens are making the lens opaque as the serotonin accumulates.
The SSRIs have a strong negative impact upon the eyes. That adverse effect we have seen from the beginning as cases of blindness associated with the drugs began to come in. Even the case of the Salt Lake Family History Library shooting that occurred the month before Columbine might never have happened had it not been for this side effect. The poor elderly man (70) who went on that shooting spree suffered a psychotic break from coming off his antidepressant too rapidly because he noticed that he was losing his eyesight from the medication. No one had warned him of the extreme dangers that can come from dropping off of these drugs too rapidly. And it was several years later before the FDA issued their warnings about abrupt withdrawal. I personally had a close friend who died in that shooting, one I had warned over and over again about the dangers of those around him using these drugs, but at least I know he understood what happened to cause this nightmare that took his life.
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin
Nightmare & Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepresant!

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A Decade Later Additional Heightened Concerns About Pharmaceuticals in Water

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Would you like a little Prozac or Zoloft with your water???

A Decade Later Additional Heightened Concerns About Pharmaceuticals inWater

An absolutely EXCELLENT article on this issue!!!! This kind of concern was first raised a decade ago in 2000. We sent out the information far and wide then. Clearly few knew enough to be concerned. But now with further study the results are shockingly confirming all we warned of in 2000! Those results are especially telling when it comes to fish being given low doses of Prozac . . . the bizarre changes inbehavior, etc.

DO NOT sit around and say it is only fish, there is no need to worry. Our entire world is balanced with each species playing an extremely important role. We do not survive if they do not survive!

And be sure to note what is said about the chlorine/flouride additives to our water when combined with these drugs! Snyder, the Arizona expert, is stating that we as humans are exposed to more of these disinfecting chemicals in our water than anything while they are so “understudied.” The truth about chemicals is that we know SO LITTLEabout any of them that we have absolutely no idea what we are exposing ourselves and our posterity to and where it could lead us as a society. Tragically the mess inwhich we now find ourselves could be a warning of what is to come if we do not wake up soon to our own insane belief system of “Better Living Through Chemistry”! We are quickly learning that we are far from invincible!!

Find below some of the highlights of this article that need to be emphasized:

– Bryan Brooks has spent a lot of time wading in Pecan Creek, a small Denton stream, searching for mutant fish. For some time, Brooks and his colleagues from the University of North Texas were observing strange things in North Texas fish—males turning into females, for example—but were unable to blame them on traditional waterpollutants like metals. The environmental toxicologists thought the mutations might have something to do with other compounds like pharmaceuticals that were showing up in freshwater streams.

Over time, they collected a bunch of fish and tested their flesh in the lab. Sure enough, they found fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) and their human metabolites in every catfish, crappie and bluegill they tested. It was the first time researchers had proved that these human drugs were showing up in wild fish.

– Toxicologists have just begun the difficult task of figuring out what effects these contaminants might have on human health. A single contaminant might do nothing. Butin combination with others, the effect could be enhanced, particularly for vulnerable groups like children or pregnant women. What sort of health effects arise from complex mixtures of chemicals in drinking water?

Bryan Brooksphoto courtesy Baylor University Bryan Brooks

Bryan Brooks has spent a lot of time wading in Pecan Creek, a small Denton stream, searching for mutant fish. For some time, Brooks and his colleagues from the University of North Texas were observing strange things in North Texas fish—males turning into females, for example—but were unable to blame them on traditional waterpollutants like metals. The environmental toxicologists thought the mutations might have something to do with other compounds like pharmaceuticals that were showing up in freshwater streams.

Over time, they collected a bunch of fish and tested their flesh in the lab. Sure enough, they found fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) and their human metabolites inevery catfish, crappie and bluegill they tested. It was the first time researchers had proved that these human drugs were showing up in wild fish.

Brooks (now at Baylor University) is part of a growing legion of scientists and regulators studying “emerging contaminants,” a loose definition of chemicals that include prescription and over-the-counter drugs, flame retardants, animal hormones, pesticides, plasticizers and cosmetics, to name a few. Many of these unregulated contaminants pass through wastewater treatment plants and end up in streams, exposing fish and other aquatic life to an exotic chemical cocktail.

More worrisome: The same chemical-infused water ends up in our drinking water.

Take Pecan Creek. During dry spells, Pecan Creek consists of effluent from Denton’s wastewater treatment plant. The stream then flows into Lake Lewisville, a drinkingwater supply for millions in Dallas-Fort Worth. The toilet-to-tap phenomenon is becoming more common as cities look to recycled wastewater to offset diminishing freshwater supplies.

Dallas, like dozens of other cities in Texas and around the nation, has detected trace amounts of emerging contaminants in its water supplies.

“You name the compound; somebody has probably found it in somebody’s watersource or the effluent coming out of the [treatment plant],” says Charles Stringer, an assistant director of Dallas Water Utilities.

The same holds for tap water. Unwittingly, Americans are drinking a cornucopia of chemicals—albeit in tiny amounts—that in many cases we know little about.

In the most comprehensive, peer-reviewed study to date, the Southern Nevada WaterAuthority tested the tap water of 15 utilities that collectively serve 28 million Americans. Thirteen had measurable levels of contaminants, including the anti-convulsant phenytoin, the pesticide atrazine and the insecticide DEET.

Such reports have roused public concern and convinced the federal government to take a tentative step. In October, the EPA announced it’s considering pharmaceuticalsfor regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In Texas, water utilities and elected officials are only beginning to grapple with the problem. A task force created by the Texas Legislature in 2009 is looking into ways to keep pharmaceuticals out of landfills and wastewater systems. On the local level, cities are not required by federal law to test wastewater or drinking water plants for emerging contaminants. Many choose not to, partly out of fear that the results will be misinterpreted.

“If you say you’ve got aspirin in your water at one picogram per liter, somebody says, oh my god there’s aspirin in the water,” Stringer says. “The cities that are trying to be proactive and look at it are getting the hell beat out of them.”

Dallas is proactive, Stringer says. In November, the U.S. Geological Survey published the results of extensive sampling in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, a drinking watersource for Dallas that is downstream from other cities’ discharges. The scientists also tested the water after it had been treated for people’s taps. The federal agency found that 38 of the 42 most frequently detected compounds in the river water—including the pesticide atrazine, the gasoline additive MTBE (banned in some states) and the toxic insecticide Diazinon, whose sale is illegal for non-agricultural purposes—made it into the tap water. While the concentrations didn’t exceed federal or state standards, the study notes that only half of the detected compounds have human-health benchmarksin those standards.

The city of San Marcos commissioned Texas State University toxicologist Glenn Longley and one of his students to test surface water there for 23 emerging contaminants—pharmaceuticals, fire retardants, fragrances, pesticides and others. While Longley found 18 chemicals in the water, only one—bisphenol A, or BPA, the controversial plasticizer found in Nalgene bottles—made it into the city’s tap water.

Most of these contaminants are not new. Some have been “emerging” in the environment for decades. But the development of ultrasensitive instruments has now enabled scientists to detect the compounds at concentrations down to parts per trillion. It’s as if a powerful new telescope suddenly picked up a galaxy in a previously dark part of the sky—the difference being that these chemicals hit uncomfortably close to home.

Toxicologists have just begun the difficult task of figuring out what effects these contaminants might have on human health. A single contaminant might do nothing. Butin combination with others, the effect could be enhanced, particularly for vulnerable groups like children or pregnant women. What sort of health effects arise from complex mixtures of chemicals in drinking water?

No one knows. One challenge, among many, is that it’s difficult to perform toxicity tests for humans. “It’s not like on the aquatic side,” says Dana Kolpin, head of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Project. “We’re doing experiments with biologists where we’re exposing minnows or other organisms to, say, effluent or spike levels. You just can’t do that with humans.”

Shane Snyder, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Arizona and co-director of the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants, says he’s been asked to brief a Congressional committee on this issue. It’s “very difficult” to do a risk assessment for mixtures, he says, especially when chemicals can simultaneously act on different pathways in the body. For example, one substance might damage the liver, while another present at the same time disrupts the endocrine system.

“You could get a more profound effect [collectively] than from each one separately,” says Snyder.

Snyder says there’s far more to learn—and perhaps fear—from what happens when emerging contaminants go through the treatment process. Some seem to disappear, but they could be subtly transformed into something more toxic by widely used disinfectants like chlorine.

“In my mind there is no question that humans are exposed to more disinfection byproducts than any other contaminants through their drinking water,” Snyder says. “Itconcerns me as a scientist and a toxicologist that those classes of compounds are understudied.”

About 20 percent of disinfection byproducts are regulated, Snyder says. Sixty percent haven’t even been identified.

While the effects on humans remain mysterious, the ecological effects of water-borne chemicals—even at extremely low levels—is becoming well established. And those effects can be downright bizarre.

Toxicologists and biologists have linked low concentrations of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants to a host of developmental, reproductive and behavioral problems in aquatic species including algae, mussels, minnows and game fish. Astudy published in 2008 by researchers at Clemson University exposed hybrid striped bass to relatively low levels of Prozac.

The results were depressing—the more Prozac in the water, the longer it took the bass to nail their prey. The fish acted strangely, too, hovering near the surface of the aquarium, sometimes with their dorsal fins poking out of the water. Others floated vertically, tails down and mouths above the water level, like a kid dog-paddling in apool.

Antidepressants like Zoloft and Prozac work in humans by increasing serotonin, anatural chemical that helps regulate brain activity and is linked to feelings of well-being.In bass, among other functions, serotonin plays a pivotal role in feeding behavior. Changes in serotonin levels can tilt the predator-prey balance and affect not just the individual, but potentially the whole ecosystem.

It’s not just antidepressants that can make aquatic life go haywire. Even infinitesimally small amounts of the synthetic estrogen in birth control drugs can induce sex reversalsin male fish and disrupt reproduction. Canadian scientists brought an entire ecosystem to the brink of collapse by introducing estrogen—at levels frequently found inmunicipal wastewater—to an experimental lake in northern Ontario.

In 2008, a researcher for Johnson & Johnson calculated that toxic effects on fish from estrogenic substances could be expected at concentrations as low as 350 parts per quadrillion.

“If you can imagine 350 parts per quadrillion,” Snyder says, “it’s unimaginably small, but yet it can have a measurable impact on fish.”

Snyder points out that well-documented impacts on wildlife are often misinterpreted to mean humans are at risk from the same levels.

“The part where people get a little bit confused is they say, well if it can impact a fish, then certainly it could impact a human,” Snyder says. “That’s just not true. You’re comparing apples to oranges.”

Consider pharmaceuticals. Drug developers are required to submit reams of pharmacological information to the Food and Drug Administration proving their drugs are safe and work as intended. They’re tested on people. The levels found in game fish and drinking water supplies, so far, are thousands of times below therapeutic levels.

Brooks provides an illustration. In a national pilot survey of five effluent-dominated rivers, the highest level of antidepressant he and the EPA found in fish tissue wasabout 19 nanograms of Zoloft per liter in a fish outside Philadelphia.

“It would take me 3,500 meals of that fish to reach one daily dose of sertraline,” Brooks says. Likewise, someone would have to drink millions of liters of tap water to reach a single dose of Zoloft.

“From what I’ve seen in the developed world, I’m just not as concerned about human health right now. I think the highest relative risk is to aquatic life,” he says.

Utility managers are sticking to that point. “What we’ve been told to tell people is that these minute traces of organics are below any known health effects,” Stringer says.

Regardless, Dallas is planning to upgrade its drinking water plants to include ozonation and biological filtration, advanced but costly processes. The utility isn’t doing it primarily to deal with emerging contaminants, but that will be an added benefit.

“What we’re hoping to see is very little organic material coming out and going into the distribution system for consumption,” Stringer says.

If a city wants to eliminate virtually all contaminants, it would need to install advanced systems like reverse osmosis, which is extraordinarily expensive.
That’s not feasible, Snyder says.

“We just can’t put the whole world’s water supply through reverse osmosis because we’re worried about emerging contaminants,” he says. “It’s going to fail. Just on the energy alone, it will fail.”

With 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States and new ones coming to market every year, the key could be keeping the most dangerous ones out of the environment in the first place. For thousands of chemicals, there are “zero data” on their toxicity, Brooks says.

The European Union has implemented a sweeping system called Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, or REACH. The system requires testing thousands of old and new chemicals for human and environmental toxicity, and could lead to bans on high-risk chemicals that aren’t regulated in the United States.

Given the power of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in this country, such asystem seems like a far-off goal. Jacobs, the environmental activist on the Texas pharmaceutical task force, says his group is advocating for something far more modest: manufacturer take-back programs in which consumers could return unused or expired drugs to pharmacies for proper disposal. He says the pharmaceutical interests on the task force are doing their best to discredit the idea.

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FOSAMAX: Woman Awarded $8M After Osteoporosis Drug-Induced “Jaw Death”

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Perhaps Merck should just quit while they are SO FAR BEHIND!!! As if the
Vioxx damage suits and wrongful death suits were not keeping their legal team
busy enough, now they are just beginning a huge backload of jaw death
cases related to Fosamax!

Fosamax is a drug I have warned of for years due to the fact that the main
ingredient in the drug is fluoride – yes the same stuff that is in your
drinking water at toxic levels. Fluoride is also the main active ingredient
in MANY of the SSRI antidepressants. It produces fluorosis which is almost
indistiguishable from neurosis as far as damage to the brain goes.

Why I have always warned against using it for osteoporosis is not only due
to the brain damage, but because fluoride hardens bone and does not know
when to stop. So the bones and teeth become so hard that they shatter on
impact because they become so brittle. Flouride also increases serotonin and
the main function of serotonin is constriction of muscle tissue. As the veins
and arteries close off so does the blood supply to the jawbone or anywhere
else the drug is targeting. Too bad science has never opted for using
wisdom along with knowledge!
________________________

Boles’ suit was the second of almost 900 lawsuits filed by more than 1,280
plaintiff groups against Merck over claims that Fosamax causes a condition
called osteonecrosis of the jaw, or death of jawbone tissue.

http://www.aolhealth.com/condition-center/osteoporosis/fosamax-tied-to-jaw-p
roblems?icid=main|htmlws-main-w|dl3|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolhealth.com%2Fc
ondition-center%2Fosteoporosis%2Ffosamax-tied-to-jaw-problems

Damage Related to ‘Jaw Death’
Woman Awarded $8M After Osteoporosis Drug Damages Jaw
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By Marrecca Fiore

A jury last week ordered Merck & Co. to pay $8 million to a Florida woman
who alleged the company’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax damaged her jaw.

The same case ended in mistrial nine months ago, Reuters reports. Merck
issued a statement saying it would challenge the verdict.

Shirley Boles, 71, of Walton Beach, Florida, sued Merck in 2006, claiming
she suffered dental and jaw problems after taking Fosamax from 1997 to 2006.

“Today’s verdict is just the first step, but it’s important because the
jury found that Merck defectively designed the drug,” Boles’s attorney Tim
O’Brien said in a statement.

Boles’ suit was the second of almost 900 lawsuits filed by more than 1,280
plaintiff groups against Merck over claims that Fosamax causes a condition
called osteonecrosis of the jaw, or death of jawbone tissue.

Although Boles’ won her suit, another suit decided in May by New York jury
found in favor of Merck.

“Both the finding and the amount of the compensatory damages are against
the weight of the evidence,” Bruce Kuhlik, executive vice president and
general counsel for Merck, said in a statement. “We believe the evidence showed
that FOSAMAX did not cause the plaintiff’s injury and that it is a safe
and effective medication that was properly designed.”

Two studies, one in 2005 and one in May of this year, found that
osteoporosis drugs such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Zometa or Reclast were
linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw. However, government regulators have said
the risks are rare and that the benefits of such drugs outweigh the risks.

When osteonecrosis of the jaw develops, the blood supply of the bone in
the jaw is interrupted and the bone dies. Pain, tooth loss, and the
appearance of exposed bone are common symptoms.

More on Osteonecrosis of the Jaw:
Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Caused by Bisphosphonates

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ANTIDEPRESSANTs: Canadian Coroner’s Jury Recommends Changes in Prescribing SSRIs

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

Just today a Canadian Coroner’s Jury has made several recommendations in
the way patients taking SSRIs are warned of the risks of taking these
medications with alcohol or other drugs!! Two decades is all it took to FINALLY
get this kind of warning even though it had to come from a courtroom rather
than from any of the antidepressant manufacturers! The population suffering
the most serious and deadly side effects of the SSRI antidepressants has
ALWAYS been those with drug or alcohol problems or those with hypoglycemia
(which is alcoholism or what is called a “dry alcoholic” – check out the
work of Dr. James Milam).

As mentioned below in the SSRIstories note what has not been included that
should have been in big bold print years ago is that ANTIDEPRESSANTS
PRODUCE OVERWHELMING CRAVINGS FOR ALCOHOL [PATIENTS ALSO REPORT SIMILAR PROBLEMS
WITH ILLEGAL DRUGS]. So, although this is a big breakthrough in warning of
the extremely serious potential of mixing antidepressants with alcohol and
illegal drugs, it does not go far enough and explain that the use of an
antidepressant itself may cause you to mix it with alcohol or other drugs.
The use of the antidepressant sets you up for the most serious side effects
in producing these alcohol cravings;
___________________________________________

In a message dated 6/28/2010 12:58:35 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
gm1000@prodigy.net writes:
Last two paragraphs read: “Among its many suggestions, the jury
recommended the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons train doctors
administering these drugs to “inform the patient of the benefits and risk ­
including rare and serious side effects of SSRIs and of reasonable alternative
treatments, and the risks of taking such medications while consuming alcohol
or narcotics.

“ ‘If those recommendations were in place a few years ago, Sara would be
alive today,’ said Neil Carlin. ‘We consider this a great victory’.”

SSRI Stories note: The Physicians Desk Reference lists “Alcohol Craving”
as an infrequent, but not rare, side-effect for Paxil. Also, SSRIs may
cause a craving for illegal drugs such as cocaine by inducing mania or mood
swings in those taking such antidepressants.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/06/28/14544386.html

Changes recommended to the way patients informed about anti-depressants
By SAM PAZZANO, Courts Bureau

Last Updated: June 28, 2010 12:37pm

An Oakville teen using an anti-depressant drug died after hanging herself
while “affected by depression, cocaine and ethanol,” a coroner’s jury
ruled Monday.

Sara Carlin, an 18-year-old scholar and outstanding athlete committed
suicide on May 6, 2007, at her Oakville home, 14 months after she had began
taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil, which is a type of drug known as
selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). She had also been using cocaine
and drinking heavily.

Carlin’s parents, Neil and Rhonda were visibly pleased after the jury
released its verdict and also made several recommendations aimed at preventing
similar suicides.

Among its many suggestions, the jury recommended the Ontario College of P
hysicians and Surgeons train doctors administering these drugs to “inform
the patient of the benefits and risk ­ including rare and serious side
effects of SSRIs” and of reasonable alternative treatments, and the risks of
taking such medications while consuming alcohol or narcotics.

“If those recommendations were in place a few years ago, Sara would be
alive today,” said Neil Carlin. “We consider this a great victory.”

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Murder Attempt: Man Took 6 Time Prescribed Dose: Canada

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (_www.drugawareness.org_ (http://www.drugawareness.org)
):

This reminds me of a case I had in Florida years ago where a young man was
staying with friends and had been a little “down” lately. He remembered
that the wife in the family had a bottle of Zoloft she had placed on top of
the fridge instead of taking it because she did not like how it made her
feel. He knew it was for depression and thought it might make him feel better
so he took one.

After a little while he did not feel any difference so he took another, and
another, and another until he had taken six pills. After that he cannot
remember anything about what happened. All he knows is what others told him
he did which was he started drinking and then stabbed a stranger over 100
times with a screwdriver killing him. He is now spending the rest of his life
in prison.
________________________________________________

Paragraph two reads: “Adrien John Lepage, 55, had told the court he
robbed and kidnapped the young woman in the hope police would kill him and put
him out of his misery. He wasn’t thinking straight and didn’t mean to hurt
anyone, he said.”

Paragraph seven reads: “Lepage testified last Friday that he suffers from
depression and that on the morning of Nov. 30, he took six times his
prescribed dose of anti-depressant medication.”

_http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/04/15/nb-attempted-murder
-verdict.html_
(http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/04/15/nb-attempted-murder-verdict.html)

N.B. kidnapper found guilty of attempted murder

Last Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010 | 3:50 PM AT

CBC News

Adrien John Lepage is escorted by police on Dec. 1, 2009. (CBC)

A Saint John man has been found guilty of attempted murder in connection
with the kidnapping of a bartender who was abandoned in a remote gravel pit
with a plastic bag taped around her head.

Adrien John Lepage, 55, had told the court he robbed and kidnapped the
young woman in the hope police would kill him and put him out of his misery.
He wasn’t thinking straight and didn’t mean to hurt anyone, he said.

Hampton provincial court Judge Henrik Tonning wasn’t convinced. He said no
matter how hard he looked for reasonable doubt, he could not find any.

Lepage, who was taking notes in the prisoner’s box throughout Thursday’s
proceedings, showed no reaction to the guilty verdict.

He will be sentenced on May 27 on the attempted murder charge, to which he
had pleaded not guilty. He will also be sentenced on charges of unlawful
confinement and theft, to which he had pleaded guilty.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence report and victim impact statement.

Left for dead

Lepage testified last Friday that he suffers from depression and that on
the morning of Nov. 30, he took six times his prescribed dose of
anti-depressant medication.

He also said he had been having problems with his girlfriend that day,
before he walked into the Barnwood Pub in Quispamsis, in southern New
Brunswick.

The bartender had testified that Lepage ordered food and drinks before
approaching her at the bar and telling her he would blow her head off if she
didn’t give him the money in the cash register.

He told her to carry the $400 outside, away from the pub’s security
cameras, she said. Then he threw her into his van and drove 55 kilometres to a
gravel pit near Lepreau. He said: “Have a nice life,” then drove away, she
told the court.

The woman, who had no coat, was soaking wet and covered in mud, with her
arms and legs bound with duct tape. She managed to free herself and walk to
Highway 1, where two drivers pulled over to help her.

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ANTIDEPRESSANT & ALCOHOL: Suicide: British Judo Star Tipped for Olympics: UK

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAUSE CRAVINGS FOR ALCOHOL!!!! [AM I SHOUTING? YES I AM SHOUTING!!! AND I HAVE BEEN SHOUTING THAT ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAUSE CRAVINGS FOR ALCOHOL FOR TWO DECADES!] LET ME REPEAT THAT: ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAUSE CRAVINGS FOR ALCOHOL!!!!!

Antidepressants cause this alcohol craving in several ways:

– by dropping the blood sugar
– by producing mania, one type of mania is known as “dipsomania” which is described as an “uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol”
– by increasing serotonin which has been shown in medical research to cause cravings for alcohol (see SSRIs & Alcoho at www.drugawareness.org)
________________________________

Paragraph four reads: “But an inquest heard he had secretly been battling depression after splitting with the mother of his daughter – and in the early hours of New Year’s Day he was found dead in his home in Mold, North Wales.”

Paragraph thirteen reads: “When their relationship broke down, he moved back into his family home where he began a course of anti-depressant drugs.”

Paragraph twenty reads: “Toxicology results showed he was more than three times the drink-drive limit. . . ”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267219/Robert-Gallagher-UK-Olympic-judo-hopeful-hangs-black-belt.html

Monday, Apr 19 2010 3PM

British judo star tipped for Olympic glory hangs himself with own black belt after breaking up with girlfriend
By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 1:39 PM on 19th April 2010

A British judo star tipped for success at the 2012 Olympics hanged himself with his own black belt after struggling to get over splitting from his girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Firefighter Robert ‘Robbie’ Gallagher, 23, was so talented in martial arts he was listed as one of the amateur sportsmen expected to shine during the London Olympics.

He was known across the Judo world for fighting in the 66kg weight category and was one of Britain’s top judo players in 2005, when he was in the British junior squad.

But an inquest heard he had secretly been battling depression after splitting with the mother of his daughter – and in the early hours of New Year’s Day he was found dead in his home in Mold, North Wales.

His father Robert Gallagher Snr, said: ‘We as a family are so saddened by Robbie’s untimely death and we miss him greatly.

‘He was into his judo and was a contender for the 2012 Olympic games and was a retained firefighter, hoping to have a future full-time in firefighting.

‘He had been a mischievous happy person and enjoyed his life. He wanted to achieve the very best.’

Mr Gallagher started judo when he was five before later taking up the sport at the highest level.

He was British judo champion three times and represented North Wales Fire and Rescue Service at the 2008 World Firefighting Games at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

A British Judo Association spokeswoman said after his death: ‘British judo is extremely saddened by the loss of Robbie Gallagher.

‘A talented judo player, Robbie will be missed by players and coaches alike.’

An inquest heard last Friday how Robbie had been with girlfriend Sophie Bell-Halfpenny for four years, and together they shared a home and daughter Evie.

When their relationship broke down, he moved back into his family home where he began a course of anti-depressant drugs.

Miss Bell-Halfpenny told the hearing her former partner had threatened suicide on several occasions, explaining: ‘He once phoned me at 4am to say he had taken an overdose of sleeping tablets.

‘Then he came up to my house and and was waving his judo belts at me saying he was going to take his own life.’

The inquest in Mold heard how the judo ace had gone to a pub on New Year’s Eve to see in 2010 with some friends but had then gone back home to hang himself.

His father said he did not realise his son had returned home early until he went to have a cigarette outside shortly after midnight, and heard a noise from their garage.

He stepped inside and made the horrific discovery of his son hanging by his own judo belt.

A post-mortem examination revealed the father-of-one had died from asphyxia caused by hanging.

Toxicology results showed he was more than three times the drink-drive limit. He did not leave a note.

Recording a verdict of suicide, North East Wales coroner John Hughes, told the family: ‘I want to tell you how desperately sad I was to hear of your misfortune, especially as it was someone as young as your boy.’

After hearing of his death last January, a spokesman for his former school, Alun School, said: ‘We are very sad to hear this news.

‘He was a very outgoing character who was well liked by all the staff. He always had a big smile on his face.

‘We remember him fondly as a very fit lad, he could turn his hand to anything, but judo was his sport.

‘Robbie was one of the most gifted athletes we had at the school. He excelled at judo and represented Wales and the UK.

‘He was an excellent judo player and at one time he was in the top group for his age.’

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CELEXA: Murder-Suicide: Two Doctors Say Celexa Caused Tragedy: Ireland

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
Always keep in mind that 7% – 10% of the population lack the liver enzyme system necessary to metabolize the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants. Because of this 7% – 10% of the population will reach toxic levels quickly due to this inability to break the medications down. Although there is a simple test that would reveal who those 7% – 10% are BEFORE they are prescribed one of these drugs it is never given to patients. Anyway in 20 years of working with thousands, I have yet to find one who reports ever having one of these P450 2D6 liver enzyme tests run before a prescription is written for an antidepressant.
___________________________________
Paragraphs four through seven read:  “The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.”

“Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behavior including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.”

“Dr Healy criticized the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

“The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram [Celexa] in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil [Celexa] which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

http://psychiatricnews.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/irish-jury-implicates-ssri-antidepressants-in-deaths/

The Wellbeing Foundation

NEWSLETTER­ 15 April 2010

Foundation demands action from Minister after verdict of ‘not suicide’ by jury in Shane Clancy inquest

THE WELLBEING FOUNDATION has demanded that Mental Health Minister John Moloney act immediately to put in place proper protections for patients, their families, relatives and friends following the ‘not suicide’ verdict in the Shane Clancy SSRI-inspired double death case. The Irish Medicines Board is still funded by the drug companies, still remains one body despite the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee, and still issues weak and ineffective patient information leaflets with inadequate warnings of the dangers of the SSRI antidepressants which drove Shane Clancy to kill a college friend and then stab himself to death.

Please help our campaign to get effective protection for patients: write or email Mr Moloney supporting the three demands we set out in the press release.

Mr John Moloney, TD | Minister of State  Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2 email

minister_moloney@health.gov.ie

**************************

Verdict in Shane Clancy inquest is a call to action by Minister John Moloney

THE OPEN VERDICT returned by the jury at the inquest into the death of Shane Clancy is| a call to action on the part of Government, and particularly the Minister for Mental Health, John Moloney, to strengthen both the patient and doctor warnings relating to SSRI anti-depressants.

The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.

Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behaviour including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.

Dr Healy criticised the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

Both doctors also stressed that the high levels of the drug were not necessarily due to an overdose, but could have resulted from a build-up of citalopram resulting from it being slower to metabolise in Shane Clancy. Prof Healy recommended that the warnings in respect of this class of drugs be strengthened to emphasise that the drug can cause the problem, and that feelings such as suicidal ideation, agitation, restlessness, hostility and others are caused by the drug rather than by  the patient’s diagnosed condition. He stated that there should be compulsory monitoring of patients prescribed SSRIs at the starting period of their treatment, as the danger period is generally within the first two weeks and usually within the first days of taking the drug.

The Wellbeing Foundation supports Prof Healy’s recommendations. We wish to point out, yet again, that while in the USA and other countries the warning about possible suicidal and violent bahaviour is compulsorily displayed at the top of the patient information leaflet, in large, bold type and enclosed in a black box with a heavy bold rule all round, in Ireland the Irish medicines Board allows a mild warning of suicidal ideation to be included far down the text of the patient information leaflet and without any form of emphasis.

Dr Michael Corry, our founder, was hounded by the psychiatric establishment for stating last October that if Shane Clancy had not been taking SSRIs, this appalling tragedy, which has deeply affected two families and wide circles of friends and relations, would not have happened. A jury has now accepted that these drugs were implicated in these deaths and injuries which occurred during an outburst of insane violence.

We call on Minister John Moloney to move instantly on this matter in order to protect other young people and their families, and indeed anyone who may be prescribed SSRIs, from the possible consequences of taking these drugs. We call on Minister Moloney to do the following right away:

1. Instruct the Irish Medicines Board immediately to introduce a strong Black Box warning, similar to those in the USA and Canada, on the patient information leaflets for all SSRIs, SNRIs, and similar antidepressants; and also to strengthen the prescribing information for doctors to include a similar warning and to stress the need for close monitoring.

2. Make it obligatory for all prescribing doctors to carefully monitor all patients prescribed these same classes of drugs, including setting at least one return appointment on the date of prescription, so that the doctor can check the patient for any tell-tale signs and take corrective action.

3. We also ask the Minister to implement the relevant recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in 2007, which he himself chaired at the time. The findings of this inquiry into the use of pharmaceuticals in Ireland included a finding that the structure and funding of the Irish Medicines Board were seriously flawed, and recommended that the IMB be broken up into two bodies, one to deal with licencing and one with pharmacovigilance or post-licencing safety monitoring. The committee also recommended that the present funding of the IMB, by the drug companies, should end and that this body should receive its funding from central government sources.

If further tragedies of this type are not to occur in future, with all the pain and suffering that they visit on parents, uncles, aunts, wives, husbands, or partners, other relations and friends of the victims, the Minister must act promptly to ensure that the public receives strong and adequate information on the real dangers posed by taking these drugs, and that anyone who is prescribed them is protected by a compulsory monitoring system.

Dr Aine Tubridy, Clinical Director of the Wellbeing Foundation, and Mr Basil Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Communications, are both available for further comment or interview.

To contact Dr Tubridy, call 01 2800084.

To contact Basil Miller, call 086 8182082

April 16, 2010 – Posted by Philip Barton | Blogroll | | No Comments Yet

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One Big Reason for Dumb Blonde Jokes & More Women on Prozac & ADHD in Kids

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): This information will give
you some insight as to why I personally have not worn lipstick nor hardly any
other kind of makeup for about 35 years now. . . .

Studies suggest the average woman inadvertently consumes about 4 pounds of
lipstick over the course of her life, licking her lips, eating fruit,
sipping tea.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics . . . “The reason we’re worried is that
lead builds up in the body over time,” Malkan said. “Even small levels of
lead, recent science shows, is dangerous at any level to developing children.”

Studies suggest that while most lead we encounter is cleared from our
bodies, some of it is incorporated into bones. During pregnancy, breast-feeding,
and again after menopause, a woman’s blood levels of lead rise as stored
calcium — and bone lead — is released, even if she’s not encountered lead
in years.

How much lead is dangerous? The Mayo Clinic says 10 micrograms of lead per
deciliter can cause brain damage in children. Lower levels have been linked
to developmental delays, aggression, attention and learning problems.

“There is no safe level of lead in blood,” Florida’s Department of Health
states in a report on lead poisoning.

FDA TESTS LIPSTICKS, FINDS LEAD IN ALL

Submitted by Drew Kaplan on June 8, 2010

We twist it, glide it, paint it on, and suddenly we feel attractive,
composed, sexy and ready for the world.

Drenched in shades of sangria, dahlia, ruby, cherry and garnet, our
lipstick-stained mouths exude health.

But looks can deceive.

Tests conducted by the FDA last year on 22 red lipsticks found lead, a
neurotoxin, in every single lipstick sample studied.

The highest levels were in three well-known and common brands: Cover Girl,
Revlon, L’Oreal. While the FDA says it’s continuing lead research on
additional cosmetic brands and colors, it’s reassuring consumers that the lead
levels it found in the red lipsticks are very small and not a health threat.

The FDA does not regulate lead in finished cosmetics, only in colors added
to the products. None of the products exceeded the 20 parts per million
limit on colors, the agency said.

An industry trade group, the Personal Care Products Council, said
manufacturers don’t intentionally add lead.

“Because lead is found naturally in air, water, and soil, it may also be
found at extremely low levels as a trace contaminant in the raw ingredients
used in formulating cosmetics, just as it is in many thousands of other
products,” the group states.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics isn’t buying it.

The lead found in Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red was 34 times
higher than the lead found in the lowest scoring lipstick, Avon’s Ultra
Color Rich Cherry Jubilee. Clearly, the manufacturers are capable of doing
better, said the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Stacy Malkan.

Cover Girl’s media center at Procter & Gamble did not respond to repeated
requests for comment.
“I think some companies are not doing a good job sourcing their
ingredients,” Malkan said.

Studies suggest the average woman inadvertently consumes about 4 pounds of
lipstick over the course of her life, licking her lips, eating fruit,
sipping tea.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is calling on the FDA to require cosmetics
manufacturers to reduce lead to the lowest achievable levels, a policy the
FDA already has adopted for candy.

“The reason we’re worried is that lead builds up in the body over time,”
Malkan said. “Even small levels of lead, recent science shows, is dangerous
at any level to developing children.”

Studies suggest that while most lead we encounter is cleared from our
bodies, some of it is incorporated into bones. During pregnancy, breast-feeding,
and again after menopause, a woman’s blood levels of lead rise as stored
calcium — and bone lead — is released, even if she’s not encountered lead
in years.

How much lead is dangerous? The Mayo Clinic says 10 micrograms of lead per
deciliter can cause brain damage in children. Lower levels have been linked
to developmental delays, aggression, attention and learning problems.

“There is no safe level of lead in blood,” Florida’s Department of Health
states in a report on lead poisoning.
Florida ranked eighth in the nation for lead poisoning cases, it said.

Some of the most dangerous and pervasive sources of lead come from leaded
gasoline and leaded paint, which have been banned in the United States for
many years. Paint dust and flakes in old homes continue to poison hundreds
of children each year in Florida. Even low levels of lead in young children
can cause developmental delays, “Florida has an estimated 433,000 homes
built before 1950 that are likely to contain lead- based paint. Other
significant sources include some pottery, imported home remedies, candy, makeup,
jewelry, toys, mini-blinds, and take-home-lead,” such as construction dust,
the health department said.

A new Environmental Protection Agency rule requires paint and home repair
contractors to be trained and certified in safe work practices. This should
help reduce some exposures, but lead in finished cosmetics continues to go
unregulated.

What should consumers do? Malkan noted that glosses generally tested lower
for lead than highly pigmented, opaque lipsticks, so that’s what she uses.

Using fewer personal care products is probably a good idea, especially the
fragranced ones, she said.
“We need to change the laws to require companies to disclose what’s in
their products,” Malkan said.

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