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.

921 total views, 3 views today

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
Print
EmailMore
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

573 total views, no views today

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.”

598 total views, 1 views today

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.

486 total views, 1 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Patients Report 20 Times More Side Effects Than Doctors Report

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

In answer to the question asked in the title of this article,
“Why don’t psychiatrists notice when patients experience medication side
effects?,” I should remind you of the comment made by the psychiatric nurse who
attended one of my lectures a couple of years ago. After listening to me discuss
the potential side effects of SSRI antidepressants she stood and said, “Dr.
Tracy we never get to hear what you have shared with us here tonight, but I know
it is true because I am on Lexapro and have suffered nearly every one of the

side effects you mentioned. But you do not know what is going on out here. At
least 75% of the doctors and nurses I work with are on these drugs! The drug
reps are telling them they are in a stressful profession and will surely end up
suffering depression as a result so they need to get started on these drugs now
in order to help prevent that.”

Of course my first response was, “With these drugs affecting
the memory so strongly as to cause “amnesia” as a frequent side effect, if you
cannot even remember who you are, how do you remember what your patients
need?”
She admitted that they do not remember and have to constantly
remind one another and then they attribute it to old age setting
in.
So perhaps by the time these doctors get around to reporting
the patientsside effects they have forgotten what those side effects were that
they were to report. Of course these drugs also produce much more business
for the doctors by producing side effects and bringing patients back in for
follow up treatment so there is also a financial incentive to not report and
give the drugs a bad record. No matter the reason it is clear that the
situation is causing a very serious situation for patients and public safety in
general.
Paragraph three reads:  “The investigators followed 300
patients who were in ongoing outpatient treatment for depression
over six weeks. The authors compared what the patient reported on a
standardized scale of 31 different side effects (Toronto Side

Effects Scale; TSES) with the information recorded by the treating psychiatrist
on each patient’s chart. The main finding: A stunning disconnect between
psychiatrists and their patients. The average number of side effects
reported by the patients on the TSES was 20 times (!) higher than the number
recorded by the psychiatris.
When the investigators concentrated on
those side effects that were most troubling to the patient, patients still

reported 2 to 3 times more side effects than were recorded by the treating
psychiatrist.”

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/charting-the-depths/201004/why-dont-psychiatrists-notice-when-patients-experience-medication-si

Why don’t psychiatrists notice when patients experience medication side
effects?

If side effects fall in the forest, do they make a sound?

Published on April 20, 2010

A rich scientific study raises more

questions than it answers.

This point is exempified by new work conducted
at Rhode Island Hospital and published in the Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry
.

The investigators followed 300 patients who were in
ongoing outpatient treatment for depression over six weeks. The authors compared
what the patient reported on a standardized scale of 31 different side effects
(Toronto Side Effects Scale; TSES) with the information recorded by the treating
psychiatrist on each patient’s chart. The main finding: A stunning disconnect
between psychiatrists and their patients. The average number of side effects

reported by the patients on the TSES was 20 times (!) higher than the number
recorded by the psychiatris. When the investigators concentrated on those side
effects that were most troubling to the patient, patients still reported
2 to 3 times more side effects than were recorded by the treating
psychiatrist.

The authors summarize their provocative findings in mild
language, “The findings of the present study indicate that clinicians do not
record in their progress notes most side effects reported on a side effects

questionnaire by psychiatric
outpatients receiving ongoing pharmacological treatment for depression.”

Obviously
all is not well in the state of Demark. Although the findings concern the
treatment of depression, they raise broader questions about the doctor-patient
relationship.

Why is there such a massive disconnect between what
psychiatrists and patients report, on something so basic as whether prescribed
medications are having untoward effects? Do psychiatrists not ask enough
questions about side effects? Do psychiatrists not dig deep enough into

patients‘ responses? Are psychiatrists hearing what patients say, but not
documenting it in their notes? Or is the problem more on the patient side? Are
patients reluctant to speak candidly to their doctors about side effects (i.e.,
yes, I am having problems with sexual functioning)? Or do patients freeze up and
forget their experiences when asked in the heat of the moment (it is easier to
respond to a standardized list of side effects using pencil and paper)? Or is it
the situation that is to blame for this disconnect? Are patient-doctor
interactions in this day and age simply too rushed to insure efficient or
effective transfer of information?

Whatever the explanation,
psychiatrists appear to believe that patients are having fewer problems with
medications than they truly are. It is hard to see how psychiatrists can act in
the best interest of their patients if they do not know what their patients are
experiencing!!!!

The researchers recommend the use of a self-administered
patient questionnaire in clinical practice to improve the recognition of side

effects for patients in treatment. This study reveals a chasm of
misunderstanding between doctors and patients. This recommendation is a
sensible, but baby, step towards narrowing
it…

456 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & ALCOHOL: Death: Ireland

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

Death by misadventure!” What is that? “Death by medicine” is
far more accurate! When antidepressants CAUSE overwhelming cravings for alcohol

or Dipsomania (an uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol) why was this case not
determined to be murder by medicine? That is what it was. When the drug causes
you to mix a deadly combo that takes your life then it is murder by medicine in
my book!

______________________________________
First three paragraphs read:  “AN A&E consultant has
warned of the “lethal” consequences of combining alcohol and prescription
medication
following the death of Bertie Ahern’s
nephew from a mixture of drink and anti-depressants.”

“Dr Chris
Luke said people were admitted every day suffering from the effects of legal
drug and alcohol cocktails. Dr Luke, a consultant at Cork University Hospital,
said legal drugs were as dangerous as illegal drugs
and the public needed to be made aware of the dangers”.

“He was
commenting after an inquest found that Dylan Ahern, the son of former Dublin
City Councillor Maurice Ahern, had been killed by a combination of
anti-depressant medication and alcohol.
A jury returned a verdict of

death by misadventure.”

http://www.herald.ie/national-news/booze-and-pills-alert-after-bertie-tragedy-2139007.html

Booze and pills alert after Bertie tragedy

Thursday April 15 2010

AN A&E consultant has warned
of the “lethal” consequences of combining alcohol and prescription medication
following the death of Bertie Ahern’s nephew from a mixture of drink and
anti-depressants.

Dr Chris Luke said people were admitted every day
suffering from the effects of legal drug and alcohol cocktails. Dr Luke, a
consultant at Cork University Hospital, said legal drugs were as dangerous as
illegal drugs and the public needed to be made aware of the dangers.

He
was commenting after an inquest found that Dylan Ahern, the son of former Dublin
City Councillor Maurice Ahern, had been killed by a combination of
anti-depressant medication and alcohol. A jury returned a verdict of death by
misadventure.

Toxic

“Every week on our observation ward at CUH, we
have several cases of people who have poisoned themselves with booze and
whatever was in the medicine cabinet,” Dr Luke said.

“When giving talks
to parents, teenagers and colleagues, I always start by saying the first drug is

alcohol and it’s always the first chapter in any story of substance abuse.

“Nine out of 10 times when people poison themselves, it involves
alcohol. We would rarely get a case of an overdose of anti-depressants or other
drugs without alcohol being consumed first.

Alcohol also sensitises
parts of the body like the heart, brain and stomach lining, making them more
susceptible to being affected by other drugs.

“It amplifies the toxic
effect of each compound so the synergy they have is greater than the sum of
their parts in their effect on the body.”

Dr Luke said the effect could
be either a more intense tranquilising effect, or a paradoxical stimulation,
leaving people either almost comatose, or “off their heads”.

He said a
large number of people who self-harmed with alcohol and drugs did so either
accidentally or impulsively.

They can become aggressive, violent and
paranoid and can suffer from a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure or
“electrical chaos” in the brain, leading to seizures or even heart attacks and
fatal strokes. “Booze and drugs are always a dangerous combination,” he
added.

hnews@herald.ie

– Andrew
Phelan

656 total views, no views today

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.’

680 total views, 1 views today

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

588 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT & PAIN MED: War Vet Kills Self In Front of VA Medical Center: OH

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy: If this young man was wanting to make a statement by taking his life I cannot think of a better place to make such a statement than in front of the VA Medical Center! Why? Because they have been one of the very worst at pushing these kinds of meds. They hand them out like candy and have for decades! I am sure he was frustrated with the treatment he was getting from the VA as they continue to push these drugs as the only “answer” when they DO NOT WORK and only make the initial problem worse!

Paragraph five reads:  “Scott Labensky, whose son lived with Huff, agreed. He said the veteran was injured by a ground blast while serving inIraq and received ongoing treatment for a back injury and depression.”

SSRI Stories Note:  The most common treatment for depression is an antidepressant, usually a newer antidepressant such as SSRIs or SNRIs.  The suicide rate among soldiers is now higher than the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FDA Black Box warning for antidepressants and suicidality covers those aged 24 and under. The majority of the soldiers in Iraq/Afghan are 20 to 24 years of age.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/veteran-commits-suicide-infrontof-dayton-vacenter-656012.html

Did war vet kill self to make a statement?

Man had been in VA emergency room earlier in the morning.

By Lucas Sullivan and Margo Rutledge Kissell
Staff Writers Updated 11:23 PM Friday, April 16, 2010

DAYTON  Jesse Charles Huff walked up to the Veterans Affairs Department’s Medical Center on Friday morning wearing U.S. Army fatigues and battling pain from his Iraq war wounds and a recent bout with depression.

The 27-year-old Dayton man had entered the center’s emergency room about 1 a.m. Friday and requested some sort of treatment. But Huff did not get that treatment, police said, and about 5:45 a.m. he reappeared at the center’s entrance, put a military-style rifle to his head and twice pulled the trigger.

Huff fell near the foot of a Civil War statue, his blood covering portions ofthe front steps.

Police would not specify what treatment Huff sought and why he did not receive it. Medical Center spokeswoman Donna Simmons declined to answer questions about Huff’s treatment, citing privacy laws. But police believe Huff killed himself to make a statement.

Scott Labensky, whose son lived with Huff, agreed. He said the veteran was injured by a ground blast while serving in Iraq and received ongoing treatment for a back injury and depression.

“He never got adequate care from the VA he was trying to get,” Labensky said. “I believe he (killed himself) to bring attention to that fact. I saw him two days ago. He was really hurting.”

Simmons said Huff received care at the center since August 2008 and his care was being handled by a case manager.

The suicide rate among 18- to 29-year-old men who have left the military has gone up significantly, the government said in January.

The rate for those veterans rose 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The military community also has struggled with an increase in suicides, with the Army seeing a record number last year. Last May, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base focused on suicide recognition and prevention after four apparent suicides involving base personnel within six months.

Huff arrived early Friday in a cream-colored van police found parked about 200 yards from a south entrance of the medical center. The van contained some U.S. Army clothing, a carton of Newport cigarettes and a prescription bottle of Oxycodone with Huff’s name on the side.

Oxycodone is often used to treat severe pain.

As a precaution, bomb squad technicians blew apart a backpack Huff carried before committing suicide.

707 total views, 1 views today

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.

441 total views, no views today