Health

Lead found in toys, backpacks in U.S. stores:
October 10, 2007 12:44 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Curious George doll bought at Toys "R" Us was found to be tainted with 10 times the legally-allowed lead level, and vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks also had high amounts of lead, the nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health said on Wednesday.

The Curious George doll found with high amounts of lead was made by Marvel Entertainment Group Inc, the Oakland, California-based group said in a statement. A Marvel spokesman said he was unaware of the advocacy group's finding and had no immediate comment.

Millions of toys made in China have been recalled over the last three months due to unsafe levels of lead paint, which is toxic and can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, in children.

The Center for Environmental Health also said it found high lead levels in vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks made by Sassafras Enterprises of Chicago.

Nuclear medicine now safer than ever
October 10, 2007 10:06 AM - National Physical Laboratory

Hospitals are now able to ensure that the correct dose is administered to the 670,000 patients that undergo nuclear medicine procedures every year due to a new device developed by scientists at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

Laborers happily scrap "toxic" ship
October 10, 2007 09:45 AM - Rupam Jain Nair -Reuters

After over a year of protests by environmentalists, poor workers in west India have happily begun dismantling a controversial cruise liner, ignoring potentially serious risks to their health. The breaking of the 46,000-ton Blue Lady was given the go-ahead by India's Supreme Court last month after a long-running legal battle led by environmentalists, who said the Norwegian ship contained 900 tons of toxic waste like asbestos.

Rapid analysis could cut health risks of volcanic ash
October 10, 2007 09:42 AM - Durham University

A new, rapid and cheap way of estimating the potential risk posed to human health by volcanic ash has been devised by a Durham University expert.

USDA Salmonella Alert On Some Turkey, Chicken Pot Pies
October 9, 2007 08:54 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans should refrain from eating some turkey and chicken pot pies because they may be linked to reported cases of salmonella, a food-borne illness, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Tuesday.

The USDA's public health alert applied to Banquet brand turkey and chicken pot pies and store-brand not-ready-to-eat pot pies with "P-9" printed on the side of the package, said USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

FSIS said it was investigating a Missouri establishment that voluntarily ceased operations on Tuesday "due to reported illnesses linked to their products." FSIS said it conferred over the weekend with public health officials, who said their work suggested a meat product was a potential source of contamination. FSIS sent investigators to the plant on Monday.

Low-fat diet cuts ovarian cancer risk: study
October 9, 2007 06:25 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A low-fat diet may protect women from ovarian cancer, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Researchers tracked about 49,000 post-menopausal women from around the United States for about eight years. About 40 percent of them were asked to cut nearly in half the amount of fat in their diet. The others were asked to eat their usual diet.

No difference was seen in ovarian cancer risk in the first four years of the study. But in the final four years, the women who ate a diet lower in fat were 40 percent less likely to develop this cancer than the other women, the study found.

Widespread weight loss may reap health benefits
October 9, 2007 06:22 PM -

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If a large swath of the population cut down on calories and took up exercise, the resulting health benefits could be extensive, a new study suggests.

The findings are based on an analysis of the economic crisis in Cuba from 1989 to 2000. While the circumstances were dire, and Cuban citizens' health suffered in certain ways, researchers found that significant health benefits also emerged.

Specifically, people's overall calorie intake declined, while their physical activity levels climbed -- mainly as a result of walking or biking instead of paying for public transportation.

Shopping cart goes high-tech
October 9, 2007 05:34 PM -

LONDON (Reuters) - Supermarket shoppers may soon be cruising the aisles with "intelligent" shopping carts that warn them if they're buying too much junk food, technology experts say.

While many would be happy enough if they could simply get their trolley to go in a straight line, the high-tech model will be fitted with a computer screen and barcode scanner.

It will read each product's individual code to give customers information about calories, nutrition, ethical sourcing and the environment.

National Mall To Test "Green" Lawn Care
October 9, 2007 04:57 PM -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attempting to prove to the nation that organic lawn care techniques are safe and effective, one of the highest profile lawns in the world is about to try a massive 'green' makeover.

The two-week project involves plowing a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., adding compost, other natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. The project was organized by SafeLawns.org. Representatives from the natural lawn care company will return to the Nation’s Capitol frequently in the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program on the area that measures more than four acres.

Study: Bad Relationship Can Cause Heart Attack
October 9, 2007 10:09 AM - Michael Kahn

LONDON (Reuters) - It has been the stuff of great romantic novels and blockbuster films. Doctors have long suspected it. A study of 9,000 British civil servants has at last established it is possible to die of a 'broken heart'.

The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the stress and anxiety of hostile, angry relationships can boost the risk of developing heart disease. Chances of a heart attack or chest pain rose by 34 percent compared to people on good terms with a spouse or partner.

"A person's heart condition seems to be influenced by negative intimate relationships," researchers wrote. "We showed that the negative aspects of close relationships...are associated with coronary heart disease."

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