Children exposed to the common pollutant naphthalene show signs of chromosomal damage


Children exposed to the common pollutant naphthalene show signs of chromosomal damage.

ScienceDaily (May 29, 2012) — According to a new study, children exposed to high levels of the common air pollutant naphthalene are at increased risk for chromosomal aberrations (CAs), which have been previously associated with cancer. These include chromosomal translocations, a potentially more harmful and long-lasting subtype of CAs.

Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the new findings in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Naphthalene is found in both outdoor and indoor urban air. It is present in automotive exhaust, tobacco smoke, and is the primary component of household mothball fumes. Classified as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Cancer Research, naphthalene belongs to a class of air pollutants called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Prior research at the CCCEH has established a link between prenatal exposure to PAH and increased risk for childhood obesity, IQ deficits, and CAs. The new study is the first to present evidence in humans of CAs, including translocations, associated with exposure to one specific PAH — naphthalene — during childhood.

The researchers followed 113 children, age 5, who are part of a larger cohort study in New York City. They assessed the children’s exposure to naphthalene; a CDC laboratory measured levels of its metabolites — 1- and 2-naphthol — in urine samples. (Metabolites are products of the body’s metabolism, and can serve as marker for the presence of a chemical.) Researchers also measured CAs in the children’s white blood cells using a technique called fluorescent in situ hybridization. Chromosomal aberrations were present in 30 children; of these, 11 had translocations. With every doubling of levels of 1- and 2-naphthol, translocations were 1.55 and 1.92 times more likely, respectively, to occur.

CAs have been associated with increased cancer risk in adults. Translocations are of special concern as they result in a portion of one chromosome being juxtaposed to a portion of another chromosome, potentially scrambling the genetic script. „Translocations can persist for years after exposure. Some accumulated damage will be repaired, but not everyone’s repair capacity is the same. Previous studies have suggested that chromosomal breaks can double an adult’s lifetime risk for cancer, though implications for children are unknown,“ says first author Manuela A. Orjuela, MD, ScM, assistant professor of clinical environmental health sciences and pediatrics (oncology) at Columbia University Medical Center and a pediatric oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

To obtain a better sense of the long-term consequences of naphthalene exposure, Dr. Orjuela and other CCCEH investigators are following some of the children in the study as they reach fourth grade. While they expect to see further translocations, they do not expect to see any signs of cancer in the white blood cells. „So far, the translocations seem to be random, and there has been no evidence of the specific translocations that are known to be associated with leukemia. This is entirely expected; leukemia is very rare.“ Frederica Perera, DrPH, senior author on the paper, adds that „the findings provide yet more evidence of the vulnerability of the young child to carcinogenic air pollutants.“

The researchers hypothesized that naphthalene exposure was primarily from mothballs, which can release high levels of the chemical. Furthermore, according to previous research, some Caribbean immigrant families use mothballs as an air freshener. Other important sources of naphthalene in indoor air are tobacco smoke, paint fumes, cooking, and heating. The new findings have implications beyond the urban environment as elevated levels of naphthalene metabolites have been documented in rural communities using biomass-burning stoves (coal, wood) — another source of PAH exposure.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01ES12732, U01CA159157, 5P01ES09600, R01 ES013163, P50 ES015905, 5RO1ES08977, RO1ES111158, RO1ES012468, an d P30 ES09089), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (STAR grants RD832096, R827027, 8260901, and RR00645), and the New York Community Trust.

SSRI Horrors Grow: Women Who Take Popular Antidepressants Risk Babies With Severe High Blood Pressur


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Friday, January 13, 2012 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

 

 

 

 
Although Big Pharma and mainstream medicine continue to push antidepressants, especially the type known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Paxil and Prozac, the documented risks and side effects of these drugs remain often ignored. While it’s true the FDA finally acknowledged SSRIs are linked to suicide and violence in adolescents, other
are rarely mentioned. Neither is the mounting evidence that SSRIs pose a serious threat to unborn babies.Take the Mayo Clinic’s official web site, for example, which claims: „depression is such a horrible disease that depression treatment during pregnancy is essential. If you have untreated depression, you might not have the energy to take good care of yourself. You might not seek optimal prenatal care or eat the healthy foods your baby needs to thrive. You might turn to smoking or drinking alcohol.“Notice all the „mights“ in that plug for antidepressant use during pregnancy. The web site states the risk of pregnant womentaking SSRIs causing drug-related harm to their babies is „low.“ What’s shocking is that this information is currently up on the Mayo website when evidence has accumulated over the past year that antidepressants can, in fact, cause very serious and potentially deadly birth defects.For example, a Finnish study published last July provided evidence that exposure to SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancyincreases the risk for major congenital anomalies, particularly heart problems. In fact, the use of fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac) in the first three months of a pregnancy was linked to a two-fold risk for isolated ventricular sepal defects; another SSRI, paroxetine (Paxil), was associated with more than a four-fold increased risk for right ventricular outflow tract defects in newborn hearts.If that’s not shocking and worrisome enough, especially when you consider the CDC reports at least one in ten Americans are now taking SSRIs, including countless numbers of pregnant women. News about birth defects linked to these antidepressants just got worse. A new study just published online by the British Medical Journalreveals that women who take SSRIs during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with a very dangerous and serious condition — persistent pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs).

SSRIs can be a serious threat to the health of babies

Persistent pulmonary hypertension is caused by an increase in blood pressure in the lungs. That, in turn, leads to shortness of breath and other breathing difficulties. This is no minor problem, either, but a severe disease with strong links to heart failure.

The new study, conducted by scientists at the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, investigated 1.6 million births between 1996 and 2007 in five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In all, a total of 1,618,255 single births were included in the study.

The researchers discovered that 11,000 of the mothers had filled prescriptions for anti-depressants in late pregnancy and approximately 17,000 more had taken the drugs in early pregnancy. An additional 54,184 mothers in the study were found to have previously been given a psychiatric diagnosis but these women did not take any antidepressant medication during their pregnancies.

Babies born to the women in the study were assessed after 231 days (33 weeks). The results? Taking SSRIs appeared to clearly raise the risk of pulmonary
persistent hypertension. In all, the new study found three babies with pulmonary persistent hypertension per 1000 women taking SSRIs in early pregnancy. That number doubled if the anti-depressants were taken in late pregnancy.

The risk was not enormous. Butpulmonary persistent hypertension in a baby is a very serious disease and any increase in cases at all is extremely worrisome, especially when it could be prevented. After all, aking SSRIs is not something a woman absolutely has to do. Exercise, sound nutrition, stress relief, yoga and a host of other natural approaches have been documented to help relieve depression.

In an accompanying editorial, researchers from the Motherisk Program Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo concluded that mothers who take SSRIs in late pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with persistent pulmonary hypertension.

In a media release about the new study, Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, from the University of California, San Diego, who has also studied potential risks of SSRI use in pregnancy, said the paper confirms results of „several other papers showing small increased risks for selected specific birth defects, although not all previous studies have shown a risk.“

For more information:

http://www.bma.org.uk/

http://www.naturalnews.com/SSRIs.html

http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2011/07000/Selective_Serotonin_Reuptake_Inhibitors_and_Risk.16.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/antidepressants/DN00007

http://www.naturalnews.com/034638_SSRI_drugs_antidepressants_high_blood_pressure.html#ixzz1jKJDs5Xo

Children Go to Bed, Hungry


How Can the World’s Richest Country Let Children Go Hungry? 6 Tricks Corporate Elites Use to Hoard All the Wealth

Les Leopold
AlterNet
2011-12-21 05:51:00 sott.net

 

America is filthy rich, but the money is hidden away by the 1 percent while poverty rises all around.

„Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans, nearly 1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.“

„Study: 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty.“

„In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States.“

Student handcuffed…that student was 5 years old


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5-Year-Old Handcuffed, Charged With Battery On Officer

Dave Manoucheri
KCRA PR there
2011-11-23 17:03:00

world_gone_mad.jpg

Stockton California — Earlier this year, a Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer. That student was 5 years old.

Michael Davis is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. His mother says it has led to fights at school. But when the school district said it had a plan to change Michael’s behavior, his mother says things went wrong.

„Michael is energetic,“ Thelma Gray said. „He is one big ball of energy.“

Beating Babies in the Name of Jesus? The Shady World of Right-Wing ‚Discipline‘ Guides | | AlterNet


Beating Babies in the Name of Jesus? The Shady World of Right-Wing ‚Discipline‘ Guides | | AlterNet.

There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God.
 

There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God. Two stories recently converged to make us pay attention. Last week, a video went viral of a Texas judge brutally whipping his disabled daughter. And on Monday, the New York Times published a story about child deaths in homes that have embraced the teachings of To Train Up a Child, a book by Christian preacher Michael Pearl that advocates using a switch on children as young as six months old. 

What many people may not realize is that in the evangelical alternative universe of the home school movement, tightly knit church communities and the following of a number of big-time leaders and authors, physical punishment of children has been glorified for years.

Bill Gothard is the founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles in Illinois, which promotes a Christian home „education“ program. As quoted in the Beacon article Murray said „I remember how it was, like every day was Mission Impossible trying to keep the rules or not get caught and just …survive every single (expletive) day,“

please, read more with AlterNet about this upsetting theme!

In The Strong Willed Child (Living Books 1992), Dobson makes a parallel between beating children and beating dogs:

 

„I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me ‚reason‘ with Mr. Freud.

„What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!

„But this is not a book about the discipline of dogs; there is an important moral to my story that is highly relevant to the world of children. JUST AS SURELY AS A DOG WILL OCCASIONALLY CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS LEADERS, SO WILL A LITTLE CHILD — ONLY MORE SO.“ [Emphasis Dobson’s]

37 Giant Corporations Paid 0 in Taxes Last Year — Who Are the Cheats? | | AlterNet


37 Giant Corporations Paid 0 in Taxes Last Year — Who Are the Cheats? | | AlterNet.

 

37 Giant Corporations Paid 0 in Taxes Last Year — Who Are the Cheats?

By Andrew Leonard, Salon
Posted on November 3, 2011, Printed on November 10, 2011
http://www.alternet.org/story/152958/37_giant_corporations_paid_0_in_taxes_last_year_–_who_are_the_cheats

In 2010, Verizon reported an annual profit of nearly $12 billion. The statutory federal corporate income tax rate is 35 percent, so theoretically, Verizon should have owed the IRS around $4.2 billlion. Instead, according to figures compiled by the Center for Tax Justice, the company actually boasted a negative tax liability of $703 million. Verizon ended up making even more money after it calculated its taxes.

Verizon is hardly alone, and isn’t even close to being the worst offender. Perhaps most famously, General Electric raked in $10.5 billion in profit in 2010, yet ended up reporting $4.7 billion worth of negative taxes. The worst offender in 2010, as measured by its overall negative tax rate, was Pepco, the electricity utility that serves Washington, D.C. Pepco reported profits of $882 million in 2010, and negative taxes of $508 million — a negative tax rate of 57.6 percent.

Altogether, according to “Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10,” a blockbuster new report  put together by the Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that will have you reaching for your hypertension medicine before you finish reading the third page, 37 of the United States’ biggest corporations paid zero taxes in 2010. The list is a blue-chip roll-call.

Please, read more here:

 

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21. © 2011 Salon All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/152958/