Bulletin Board C o n te n ts - Chemwatch by zhouwenjuan


									Bulletin Board                                Feb. 22, 2008

(click on page numbers for links)

 ENVIRONMENTAL                                            3
 MEDICAL                                                  3
 OCCUPATIONAL                                             3
 PUBLIC HEALTH                                            3
 SAFETY                                                   3

 Calcium carbide                                          4


 1080 Decision Reduces Risk to Native Animals             6
 Wastewater quality standard for business and/or
 industrial rayon activities                              6
 FSANZ reviews some aspects of food labelling             7
 NZ: Law changes following requests for more flexible
 work                                                     7
 List of safety installations for hazardous chemical
 construction project                                     8
                                                               Contact us:
 House Letter States OSHA Could Have Prevented T2              subscribers@chemwatch.net
 Blast                                                    8
                                                               tel +61 3 9572 4700
 EPA Denies NRDC Petition to Revoke All DDVP
                                                               fax +61 3 9572 4777
 Tolerances and Cancel All Registrations; Concludes
 DDVP Special Review                                      9
 Animal Cloning and Food Safety                           9    70 Bambra Rd Caulfield North
 New ANSI Standard Addresses Workstation                       Victoria 3161 Australia
 Ergonomic Issues                                       10
 1,1’-(1,2-ethanediyl)bis(2,3,4,5,6-pentabromo)         11     *While Chemwatch has taken all efforts
                                                               to ensure the accuracy of information in
 PHMSA: Revisions to the List of Hazardous                     this publication, it is not intended to be
                                                               comprehensive or to render advice.
 Substances and Reportable Quantities                   11     Websites rendered are subject to change.

Bulletin Board
 Significant New Activity Notice No. 14834 on hexane,

 1,6-diisocyanato-,homopolymer, polyhalosubstituted-
 1-alkanol blocked adopted                           11

 UK body adopts “nano-free” product standard               12
 France suspends GM maize, citing new scientific
 evidence                                                  12
 Asbestos Licence Assessment Guide - updated               13
 EU parliament backs chemical export law revision          13

 Doctor, Doctor                                            14

 Some Wood Floor Finishes Are A Likely Source Of
 PCB Exposure                                              15
 Infant bottles, rates of bisphenol A being investigated   15
 NDMA forms from diuron                                    16
 Investigation Of Diacetyl Sought                          17
 What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless
 Communication Devices?                                    18
 Too Much Of A Good Thing May Cause Huntington’s           19
 Increased Risk Of Heart Attack Or Stroke For
 Patients Who Are Resistant To Aspirin                     19
 Wine waste shows promise for dental health                20
 China’s groundswell of environmental science and
 policy                                                    21
 U of M’s cyanide research paying off                      21
 FDA warns against cold drugs for kids under 2             22
 Virus may cause rare but deadly skin cancer               23
 Heart attack risk higher with calcium, says study         24
 Men hardest hit by iron disorder                          25
 Fish oil may prevent schizophrenia                        25
 Scientists probe tomato’s benefits beyond lycopene         26
 FDA 101: Product Recalls - From First Alert to
 Effectiveness Checks                                      27
 Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil Helps To Combat
 Degenerative Diseases Such As Cancer, Study
 Suggests                                                  28
 Mobiles linked to disturbed sleep                         28

                                Note: Open your Web
                                Browser and click on
Technical Notes                 Heading to link to section.

  Bioaccessibility of PAH from Danish soils
  Atmospheric concentrations and dry deposition fluxes of particulate trace metals in
  Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

 Predicting human skin absorption of chemicals: development of a novel quantitative
 structure activity relationship
  Organophosphorus pesticides induce apoptosis in human NK cells
  Composition and emissions of VOCs in main and side-stream smoke of research
  An in vitro study of the potential of carbon nanotubes and nanofibres to induce
  inflammatory mediators and frustrated phagocytosis
  Pinnacles and Pitfalls for Source Apportionment of Potential Health Effects From
  Airborne Particle Exposure

 Analysis of enzyme dust formation in detergent manufacturing plants
  Flow injection determination of lead and cadmium in hair samples from workers exposed
  to welding fumes
  Evaluating measurement error in estimates of worker exposure assessed in parallel by
  personal and biological monitoring
  Effect of TNT caused occupational dermal contamination on lens
  Protective clothing as a source of skin problems in industrial workers

 Air Pollution and Hospital Admissions for Congestive Heart Failure in a Tropical City:
 Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  Dental fluorosis and dental caries among 12-yr-old children from high- and low-fluoride
  areas in Lithuania
  Determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human blood by gas
  chromatography-negative chemicalionisation mass spectrometry
  Determination of lead in human whole blood by potential stripping analysis
  Speciation of Al in human serum by convectiveinteraction media fast-monolithic
  chromatography with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometric detection

 Tolerance and safety of risedronate treatment in postmenopausal women. A retrospective
  Safety of Triamcinolone acetonide (TA)-assisted pars plana vitrectomy in macular hole
  Recent advances in lentivirus vectors: from dangerous virus to safe vector

Hazard Alert
Calcium carbide                                                                  Spills:
Calcium carbide is an example where the risks and hazards posed by a             In the event of a large spill of calcium
substance may not be obvious, and where lack of knowledge can have               carbide, consult the appropriate
tragic consequences. In October 2007 the explosion of a chemical tanker          Waste Management Authority. The
truck near Durban in killed one person and injured six fire-fighters, although     suggestion for dealing with small
it had been recognised that there was a problem and the truck had been           spills is to cautiously add a large
moved to a safer location. When the South African Department of Labour           volume of water in a well-ventilated
launched a formal inquiry, it was suspected that the tanker had contained        area, preferably outdoors and burn
calcium carbide and that, “the unfortunate incident was caused by an alleged     the produced gas with a pilot burner.
chemical reaction that occurred when the calcium carbide came into contact       After 24 hours, the remaining lime
with water, thereby forming acetylene.” It was reported that sensors in the      residue should be transported in
truck had indicated the presence of flammable gas, and that the tanker was        unsealed containers to a secure
being cooled with water. The explosion occurred while the contents were          landfill.
being decanted.

Synonyms for calcium carbide, chemical formula CaCl2, are calcium acetylide
or acetylenogen. As these names suggest, it reacts to form acetylene
gas, which is highly flammable and potentially explosive. The production
of acetylene is the principal use of calcium carbide. For example, calcium
carbide was previously used to produce acetylene in lamps for mining and
caving. However, such lamps have been replaced by safer technology such
as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

Calcium carbide itself is a greyish-black, irregular hard solid, with an odour
usually described as being like garlic. It is manufactured by heating a lime
and carbon mixture in an electric arc furnace. At temperatures of ~2000
degrees C, the lime is reduced by the carbon to calcium carbide and carbon
monoxide. The purity of the calcium carbide product depends on the levels
of impurities such as magnesium, aluminium and iron oxides in the lime.

Although calcium carbide is non-flammable in a dry state, it reacts vigorously
(exothermically) with water, including with moisture in the air, to produce
highly flammable acetylene gas. The reaction itself can generate sufficient
heat to ignite the acetylene. The residue is calcium hydroxide (alkali lime)
which also reacts vigorously with acids.
Calcium carbide also reacts with methanol, hydrogen chloride, lead fluoride
and magnesium and can form explosive mixtures with silver nitrate or
sodium peroxide. When heated, it is an energetic reducing agent. At high
temperatures (~500 ºC) it reacts incandescently with sulphur vapour. Impure
calcium carbide can react to produce highly toxic phosphine.
Solutions of calcium carbide can be highly corrosive. Even reaction with
perspiration on the skin can be harmful.

Calcium carbide is regulated as a Dangerous Good for transport (UN
To transport it safely, the generation of acetylene, the presence of oxygen
and a source of ignition must all be prevented. According to Special Provision
TP7 of section of the United Nations “Model Regulations on the
Transport of Dangerous Goods” (“Model Regulations”) which is applicable
to shipment of calcium carbide classified in packing group I, in order to
eliminate oxygen:
After calcium carbide is encased in a portable tank or a bulk container, “Air

Hazard Alert
shall be eliminated from the vapour space by nitrogen or other means.”

In practice, excluding air can result in a complicated packing operation and
significant costs. It is also difficult to control ignition sources, as vibration or
shocks during transport may create sparks.
The Chinese Expert to the U Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport
of Dangerous Goods (December 2006) reported that, based on a 10-year
history of safely shipping calcium carbide on Chinese railways, provided
the acetylene content is <1% by volume (40% of the lower flammability
limit) before the container is sealed, purging with nitrogen might not be

At the time of writing, this proposal has not been adopted and purging with
nitrogen is still required by regulation. Whatever the current legislation, the
safe shipping of calcium carbide and similar substances requires careful


Asia Pacific
1080 Decision Reduces Risk to Native Animals
                                                                                   The Australian
 The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
 have released the findings from its review of 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate).
 In addition, they have announced that stronger controls will be established
 for the use of the chemical, which will help reduce impacts on native animals
                                                                                   and Veterinary
 and birds.
 The APVMA’s Manager, Chemical Review, Dr Les Davies, said that
 the decision will result in better protection for non-target animals while
 continuing to provide an effective means of managing wild dog populations         Authority
 which threaten farm livestock. The aim of the review was to address the
 concerns over the chemicals unintended effects on the environment through         (APVMA) have
the poisoning of non-target animals. Dr Davies said the review findings are
based on a comprehensive assessment by experts of a large number of
scientific studies, as well as field observations and reports. “The way to
                                                                                   released the
help minimise risk to non-target species is to use the minimum effective bait
application rate, together with appropriately targeted placement of baits,”
                                                                                   findings from
Dr Davies said. The APVMA has recommended that a nationally consistent
application rate 10 baits per kilometre be introduced. These amendments to
                                                                                   its review of
conditions for use will ensure that the environment is not adversely affected.
In the months leading up to the release of the review, NSW landholders             1080 (sodium
expressed concerns that the reduced baiting rate would not adequately
control wild dogs preying on their livestock. “Taking those concerns into          fluoroacetate).
account, we met with representatives of the NSW Farmers Association, the
NSW Department of Primary Industries and the State Council of Rural Land
Protection Boards to advise them that the APVMA would consider issuing
a permit to allow higher baiting rates in some limited areas of NSW for a
transitional period,” Dr Davies said.
Accordingly, the APVMA has issued a permit to allow continued use of 40
baits per kilometre in specific locations for a limited time. However, they
have made it clear that any longer-term continuation of these arrangements
would only be considered if further research demonstrated clearly that the
higher rates were necessary for effective wild dog control without adversely
affecting populations of native animals and birds. Sodium fluoroacetate (or
sodium monofluoracetate), commonly known as ‘ten-eighty’ (1080), is used
for the control of feral animals including rabbits, foxes, wild dogs and pigs,
and, in limited situations, native animals. Its use in controlling feral animals
such as foxes plays an important role in agricultural production and in the
protection of native animal species. Details of the review findings and the
new regulatory requirements for the use of 1080 are set out in the report
‘Reconsideration of registration of products containing sodium fluoroacetate
(1080) and their associated labels: Review Findings and Regulatory
Decision’. The report, background information and a stakeholder impacts
statement are available on the APVMA website at http://www.apvma.gov.
APVMA, 17 January 2008

Wastewater quality standard for business and/or
industrial rayon activities
On 4 July 2007, Regulation of the Ministry of Environment No. 9 of 2007
regarding wastewater quality standard for business and/or industrial rayon

activities was adopted in Indonesia. The Regulation imposes requirements
concerning the permissible quantity of wastewater discharged from Rayon
business and/or industrial activities.
Enhesa Update, December 2007

FSANZ reviews some aspects of food labelling
2008-01-18                                                                      Food
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is planning a review of
some key labelling requirements in the Food Standards Code. The aim of          Standards
this review is to determine whether current requirements in Part 1.2 of the
Code are effective in providing the sort of accurate and understandable         Australia
information that consumers want on labels, balanced against the costs to
industry. Not all labelling requirements in the Code will be addressed in       New Zealand
this review, as some of them do not need to be reviewed at this time or
are being examined though other processes. For example, labelling for
foods produced using gene technology or for irradiated foods will not be
                                                                                (FSANZ) is
examined in this review. There are some other matters, such as allergen
labelling, that we are considering as separate proposals. Earlier reviews of
                                                                                planning a
the food standards resulted in labelling changes, which were implemented
in December 2002. Some of the labelling changes introduced as part of an        review of some
earlier review of food standards and implemented in December 2002 are now
due for reassessment because: FSANZ’s monitoring and evaluation work            key labelling
has found that consumers have concerns about the accuracy of information
on food labels, in particular information contained in nutrient information     requirements
panels (NIPs) and in declarations of the percentage of characterising
ingredients. In 2007, Western Australia and New South Wales, investigated
the integrity of food labels because both found disparities between the
                                                                                in the Food
nutrient values determined by chemical analysis and the values stated on
labels. Correspondence to FSANZ and enquiries via our information officer
and the advice line indicate that there are concerns about the interpretation
and implementation of some labelling provisions. These concerns include         Code.
label legibility and the prominence of warning statements and labelling
practices for substances that may cause adverse reactions. Currently a
draft issues paper is being prepared, which will be used as the basis for
consultation with stakeholders. This consultation should provide us with
further information to guide the extent and limitations of our review.
Food Standards News, December 2007
http:// www.foodstandards.gov.au

NZ: Law changes following requests for more flexible
Recently the New Zealand Parliament passed the Employment Relations
(Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007. The new Amendment
Act comes into force from 1 July 2008. The Act will change the way some
employees and employers make and respond to requests for flexible working
arrangements. While the changes are not OHS-related, the Department of
Labour is supporting them with a campaign on work-life balance.
New Zealand Department of Labour, 22 November 2007

List of safety installations for hazardous chemical
construction project
On 10 November 2007, China’s State Administration of Work Safety issued
the Circular on Documents for Safety Installation for Hazardous Chemical
Construction Project. Two documents are included in the Circular, the List
on Safety Installations for the Hazardous Chemical Construction Project
(Trial)and the Guidance on Drafting the Design Chapter for the Safety
Installations for Hazardous Chemical Construction Project (Trial). The aim
of the Circular is to implement the requirements for hazardous chemical
construction project safety assessment, safety installation design, safety
permit and record keeping for trail operation for the hazardous chemical
construction project regulated by the Safe Production Law, the Regulation
on the Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals, the Regulation on
the Safe Production License, and the Enforcement Measures on Safety
Permission for Hazardous Chemical Construction Projects. The Circular of
10 November 2007 will formally come into force with further improvements
after a one-year trial period starting from 30 November 2007.
Enhesa Update, December 2007

House Letter States OSHA Could Have Prevented T2 Blast
OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr stressed in a letter to House legislators
on 11 January that the fatal explosion at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville,
Fla., could have been prevented had OSHA enforced stronger refinery and
chemical safety rules. An investigation by the Chemical Safety Hazard and
                                                                                  Edwin Foulke
Investigation Board (CSB) said the blast, which killed four workers and
injured a dozen others, was caused by “an out of control chemical reaction.”      Jr stressed in a
California Democrat Reps. George Miller and Lynn Woolsey stated that
modifying OSHA’s Process Safety Management Standard (1910.119) in                 letter to House
accordance with CSB’s suggestions would “most likely have covered the
reactive process at T2 Laboratories and compliance with that modified
standard might have prevented the fatal explosion.” In 2002, CSB conducted
                                                                                  legislators on
a major study of reactive hazards and identified 167 serious reactive
chemical accidents in the United States over a 20-year period. The board
                                                                                  11 January
concluded that the incidents were “a significant chemical safety problem”
and that OSHA’s standard has “significant gaps in coverage of reactive
                                                                                  that the fatal
hazards because it was based on a limited list of individual chemicals with
inherently reactive properties.” OSHA was chastised by the legislators for        explosion at T2
not heeding the recommendations made by CSB and instead focusing
more on compliance assistance and voluntary efforts. “Other workers’ live         Laboratories in
remain at risk,” the legislators wrote. “Because of the uncontrolled hazards
of reactive chemicals, revising the Process Safety Chemical Standard
to cover reactive hazards should be a high priority for OSHA.” The issue
of improving this standard was raised long before the 2002 CSB study.
According to Miller and Woolsey, five national unions in 1995 petitioned
                                                                                  Fla., could
OSHA for a revision of the standard following an explosion and a fire at a
chemical plant in Lodi, N.J. Although the agency issued an Advanced Notice
                                                                                  have been
of Proposed Rulemaking for reactive hazards on its regulatory agenda in
1998, OSHA later withdrew it because of “resource constraints and other           prevented...
priorities.” OSHA spokesperson Sharon Worthy said that Foulke and other
officials are in the process of reviewing the letter and could not respond until
they have done so thoroughly.

Occupational Hazards, 15 January 2008

EPA Denies NRDC Petition to Revoke All DDVP
Tolerances and Cancel All Registrations; Concludes
DDVP Special Review
In response to a petition from the Natural Resources Defence Council
(NRDC), EPA has concluded that “consistent with the Reregistration Eligibility
Decision (RED)”certain DDVP (dichlorvos) pesticide products still can be
used safely around the home if directions on product labelling are followed.
                                                                                 Following years
No further safety improvements are needed beyond the use deletions and
label amendments that are being implemented as a result of the Agency’s
                                                                                 of detailed
2006 DDVP RED. NRDC’s June 2006 petition asked the Agency to conclude
Special Review, reregistration, and tolerance reassessment processes and         study and
to revoke all tolerances and cancel all product registrations for DDVP. Based
on the decisions reflected in the DDVP RED, EPA is denying the NRDC               analysis, the
petition. Furthermore, EPA has determined that the risk concerns that were
the basis for initiating the DDVP Special Review were eliminated or mitigated    Food and Drug
during reregistration, and that Special Review is no longer necessary. The
DDVP Special Review will be formally concluded later in December.                Administration
EPA Pesticides Update, 7 December 2007
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides                                                    has concluded
Animal Cloning and Food Safety                                                   that meat
Following years of detailed study and analysis, the Food and Drug                and milk from
Administration has concluded that meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine
(pigs), and goats, and the offspring of clones from any species traditionally    clones of cattle,
consumed as food, are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred
animals. This is the conclusion reached following an extensive study of
animal cloning and related food safety, culminating in the release of three
                                                                                 swine (pigs),
FDA documents in January 2008: a risk assessment, a risk management
plan, and guidance for industry. Livestock species have been cloned since
                                                                                 and goats, and
1996, which started with the cloning of the famous sheep named Dolly.
When it became apparent in 2001 that cloning could become a commercial
                                                                                 the offspring
venture to help improve the quality of herds, FDA’s Centre for Veterinary
Medicine (CVM) asked livestock producers to voluntarily keep food from           of clones from
clones and their offspring out of the food chain until CVM could further
evaluate the issue. For more than five years, CVM scientists studied              any species
hundreds of published reports and other detailed information on clones of
livestock animals to evaluate the safety of food from these animals. The
resulting report, called a risk assessment, presents FDA’s conclusions that
cloning poses no unique risks to animal health, compared to the risks found
with other reproduction methods, including natural mating the composition
                                                                                 consumed as
of food products from cattle, swine, and goat clones, or the offspring of
any animal clones, is no different from that of conventionally bred animals
                                                                                 food, are as
because of the preceding two conclusions, there are no additional risks
to people eating food from cattle, swine, and goat clones or the offspring       safe to eat
of any animal clones traditionally consumed as food FDA issued the risk
assessment, the risk management plan, and guidance for industry in               as food from
draft form for public comment in December 2006. Since that time, FDA
has updated the risk assessment to reflect new scientific information that
reinforces the food safety conclusions of the draft. “Our additional review
only serves to strengthen our conclusions on food safety,” says Stephen F.       bred animals.
Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director of FDA’s Centre for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition. “Meat and milk from cow, pig, and goat clones, and the offspring
of any animal clones, are as safe as food we eat every day.” FDA’s concern
about animal health prompted the agency to develop a risk management
plan to decrease any risks to animals involved in cloning. Ion addition, they
issued a guidance to clone producers and the livestock industry on using
clones and their offspring for human food and animal feed.
“Clones are genetic copies of an animal,” says Larisa Rudenko, Ph.D., a
Molecular Biologist and Senior Adviser for biotechnology in CVM. “They’re
similar to identical twins, but born at different times.” Cloning can be thought
of as an extension of the assisted reproductive technologies that livestock
breeders have been using for centuries, such as artificial insemination, and
more recently, embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization. Animal cloning has
been around for more than 20 years. Most cloning today uses a process
called somatic cell nuclear transfer: Scientists take an egg from a female
animal (often from ovaries at the slaughterhouse) and remove the gene-
containing nucleus. The nucleus of a cell from an animal the breeder wishes
to copy is added to the egg. After other steps in the laboratory take place, the
egg cell begins to form into an embryo. The embryo is implanted in the uterus
of a surrogate dam (female parent), which carries it to term and delivers it
like her own offspring. Clones may allow farmers to upgrade the quality
of their herds by providing more copies of their best animals-those with
naturally occurring desirable traits, such as resistance to disease, high milk
production, or quality meat production. These animal clones are then used
for conventional breeding, and their sexually reproduced offspring become
the food-producing animals. FDA has concluded that cattle, swine, and goat
clones, and the offspring of any animal clones traditionally consumed as
food, are safe for human and animal consumption. Food labels do not have           ...according to
to state that food is from animal clones or their offspring. FDA has found no
science-based reason to require labels to distinguish between products from        the American
clones and products from conventionally produced animals. The main use of
clones is to produce breeding stock, not food. These animal clones-copies          Chiropractic
of the best animals in the herd-are then used for conventional breeding, and
the sexually reproduced offspring of the animal clones become the food-
producing animals. Due to the lack of information on clone species other
than cow, goat, and pig (for example, sheep), FDA recommends that other
clone species do not enter the human food supply.
                                                                                   more than half
FDA Consumer Update, 15 January 2008
                                                                                   of all working
New ANSI Standard Addresses Workstation Ergonomic
Issues                                                                             admit to having
Recently, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), a member of             back pain
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), announced a new standard
that addresses the design of workstations, furniture and computer systems
to reduce workplace-induced back pain and eyestrain among American
                                                                                   each year, an
workers. ANSI/HFES 100-2007, Human Factors Engineering of Computer
Workstations, was published in Standards Action on Nov.16, replacing
                                                                                   ailment largely
and updating the previous workstation standard (ANSI/HFS 100-1988),
which was “administratively withdrawn” in 1998. From eyestrain caused
by insufficient lighting to wrist pain from improper keyboard and mouse
use, ergonomically appropriate systems are a critical component of a safe          to poor
and healthy work environment, HFES said. Furthermore, according to the
American Chiropractic Association, more than half of all working Americans         workstation
admit to having back pain each year, an ailment largely attributable to poor
workstation posture. To help prevent such ergonomic-related injuries, the          posture.
new standard increases the number and types of input devices to include
guidelines for computer mice and other pointing mechanisms. In addition,
the standard’s displays section has been extended to cover colour devices.
In an effort to correct the misunderstanding that the 90-degree posture
referenced in ANSI/HFS 100-1988 was “the” correct working posture, the
furniture chapter now provides a total of four working postures for design
reference. Finally, the integration chapter demonstrates how individual
ergonomic elements can be integrated into a larger, ergonomically
appropriate workplace system. According to HFES, more than 50 experts
participated in the revision committee’s work over a 20-year period to
produce the new standard.
Occupational Hazards, 15 January 2008

On 3 November 2007, the Ministers of Health and of the Environment
in Canada published Ministerial Condition No. 14852 in respect of the
substance benzene. The requirements involve use restrictions, disposal,
accidental release, and reporting requirements adopted under the authority
of 84(1)(a) of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.
Enhesa Update, December 2007

PHMSA: Revisions to the List of Hazardous Substances
and Reportable Quantities
2008-01-18                                                                     announced that
PHMSA announced that it is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations
(HMR) by revising the list of hazardous substances and reportable quantities
(RQs) and by correcting editorial errors to the list of hazardous substances
                                                                               it is amending
and RQs. Superfund (i.e., CERCLA) requires PHMSA to list and regulate all
hazardous substances designated by the Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                               the Hazardous
(EPA). This final rule enables shippers and carriers to identify the affected
hazardous substances, comply with all applicable regulatory requirements,      Materials
and make the required notifications if the release of a hazardous substance
occurs.                                                                        Regulations
Office of Hazards Materials Safety, 7 January 2008
http://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/notices/rulemakehttp://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/         (HMR) by
                                                                               revising the list
Significant New Activity Notice No. 14834 on hexane,
1,6-diisocyanato-,homopolymer, polyhalosubstituted-1-                          of hazardous
alkanol blocked adopted
On 3 November 2007, the Significant New Activity Notice No. 14834 on
hexane, 1,6-diisocyanato-, homopolymer, polyhalosubstituted-1-alkanol-
                                                                               and reportable
blocked was adopted pursuant to section 85 of the Canadian Environmental
Protection Act 1999. Notification must be given to the Minister of the          quantities
Environment of any new and significant activities involving this substance.
Enhesa Update, December 2007

UK body adopts “nano-free” product standard
The Soil Association, UK’s largest organic produce certifier, has announced
a ban on man-made nanomaterials from the food, cosmetic and textile
products that it certifies. The association announced it had taken the step
because of a “regulatory vacuum” that does not require manufacturers to
disclose the presence of nanomaterials in products. The ban applies to
any man-made material with a particle size less than 2000 nanometres.
Furthermore, the association says other organic groups in Europe are
considering similar bans.
ENDS Europe Daily, 15 January 2008

France suspends GM maize, citing new scientific
evidence                                                                         ...French
On 11 January 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that
his country would invoke a EU safeguard clause enabling it to suspend
the marketing and growth on its territory of a GM crop that has EU-wide
authorisation. The crop in question is a variety of maize, MON 810, produced
by the US biotech giant Monsanto. The strain contains a gene allowing the        Sarkozy
maize to defend itself against the European corn borer, which regularly
destroys maize harvests all over Europe. MON 810 has so far been the only        announced
genetically modified crop to have market authorisation in France, one of
Europe’s largest maize growers. The decision came following a presentation
on 9 January 2008 of the findings of a study by France’s ‘Provisional High
                                                                                 that his country
Authority on GM Organisms’ on the effect of the MON 810 crop on health
and the environment. The committee, composed of 15 scientific experts,
                                                                                 would invoke a
announced that it had found “new scientific facts relating to a negative
impact on flora and fauna”. However, not all its members signed the final
                                                                                 EU safeguard
declaration, arguing that they did not have enough time to conduct the study.
These “new scientific facts” include cross-pollination of GM and non-GM           clause enabling
fields at local level and negative effects on insects, a species of earthworm
and microorganisms. Under EU law, the Commission has 60 days to decide           it to suspend
on the validity of the new scientific evidence discovered by the French
committee on GMOs. If the Commission does not consider the evidence
produced to be valid, it can force France to lift its ban, unless a qualified
                                                                                 the marketing
majority against such a decision is reached in the Council of Ministers.
Austria, Germany and Poland have previously invoked the safeguard
                                                                                 and growth on
clause without success, as the Commission has never substantiated their
applications. Moreover, EU environment ministers have repeatedly failed
                                                                                 its territory of a
to reach a qualified majority for or against the Commission’s proposals to
lift the national bans. In October 2007, Portuguese Environment Minister         GM crop that
Francisco Nunes Correia said that a majority of member states oppose the
Commission forcing them to lift such bans. He added that “the Commission         has EU-wide
proposal still prevails against the explicit will of one member state and that
is something that has to give us a pause for thought”. All the commissioners
are set to debate GMOs in early February 2008 to clarify the EU executive’s
policy stance on the issue.
Euractive, 14 January 2008

Asbestos Licence Assessment Guide - updated
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have released a guide on asbestos
licence assessment. The aim of this guide is to explain the asbestos licensing
regime and the standards required by applicants. It is intended to help HSE
inspectors and the Asbestos Licensing Unit (ALU) ensure that assessments
and licence reviews are conducted fairly, consistently and transparently. In
addition, it will be a useful guide for potential applicants, or those preparing
for assessments. A copy of the guide can be found on the HSE website.
Health & Safety Executive, 17 January 2008

EU parliament backs chemical export law revision
The European parliament has endorsed a revision of EU rules on dangerous
chemical exports agreed in principle with member states late last year.
A deal reached in December on revising EU implementation of the UN’s
Rotterdam convention on prior informed consent (PIC) was recently adopted
by the assembly in Strasbourg. Final governmental approval still awaits. A
European court ruling two years ago, that the existing regulation had been
adopted on the wrong legal base, prompted the revision
ENDS Europe Daily, 16 January 2008

Janet’s Corner - Not Too Seriously!
Doctor, Doctor
911 emergency number
Shortly after the 911 emergency number became available, an elderly and
quite ill lady appeared in a hospital emergency room, having driven herself
to the hospital and barely managing to stagger in from the parking lot.
The horrified nurse said, “Why didn’t you call the 911 number and get an
The lady said, “My phone doesn’t have an eleven.”

Quick Fix
“The doctor said he would have me on my feet in two weeks.”
“And did he?”
“Yes, I had to sell my car to pay his bill!”

The Deaf Wife
A man is talking to the family doctor. “Doc, I think my wife’s going deaf.”
The doctor answers, “Well, here’s something you can try on her to test her
hearing. Stand some distance away from her and ask her a question. If she
doesn’t answer, move a little closer and ask again. Keep repeating this until
she answers. Then you’ll be able to tell just how hard of hearing she really
The man goes home and tries it out. He walks in the door and says, “Honey,
what’s for dinner?” He doesn’t hear an answer, so he moves closer to her.
“Honey, what’s for dinner?” Still no answer. He repeats this several times,
until he’s standing just a few feet away from her.
Finally, she answers, “For the eleventh time, I said we’re having

Please note: articles for Janet’s Corner are not original, and come from various sources.
Author’s credits are supplied when available.

Some Wood Floor Finishes Are A Likely Source Of PCB
                                                                                 A new case
2008-01-21                                                                       study has
A new case study has revealed that old wood floor finishes in some homes
may be an overlooked source of exposure to the now banned environmental          revealed that
pollutants polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are persistent organic
pollutants that have been found globally in both human blood and breast
milk. They were widely used in industry as cooling and insulating fluids for
                                                                                 old wood floor
electrical equipment as well as in construction and domestic products such
as varnishes and caulks. The use of these chemicals was banned in the
                                                                                 finishes in
1970s due to their high toxicity. Previous studies have linked them to thyroid
toxicity, effects on immune, reproductive, nervous, and endocrine systems,       some homes
and cancer effects including breast cancer. The new research by the Silent
Spring Institute has found that current exposure from old wood floor finishes      may be an
may be even more significant for some people than their diet.
Researchers Ruthann Rudel and Julia Brody of the Silent Spring Institute         overlooked
and Liesel Seryak, of the Ohio State University previously measured PCBs
in indoor air and dust in homes in Cape Cod during 1999-2001. They found         source of
detectable levels of PCBs in almost one in three of 120 residences. However,
two of the homes had much higher concentrations of PCBs than the others.
These homes have now been retested to confirm the initial findings. It was
                                                                                 exposure to the
also found that the PCB concentrations in the blood of the residents are
elevated. These findings indicate that the air and dust concentrations of PCBs
                                                                                 now banned
remained elevated over five years between initial and follow-up sampling.
Furthermore, the residents in the two homes showed higher levels of PCBs         environmental
in their blood serum than the 95th percentile of a representative sample
of the US population. The researchers believe that the likely source of the      pollutants
PCBs was the use of a particular floor finish, Fabulon, in the home in the
1950s and 1960s. Researchers learned that this product contained PCBs            polychlorinated
in the past from a reference book series “Clinical Toxicology of Commercial
Products” which was published at that time. The researchers point out that
many buildings, including schools and public buildings, from this period
may harbour PCB-containing floor finishes or other products. “Our findings
suggest that the exposure potential posed by historic use of PCBs in building
materials may be significantly underestimated,” the researchers said.
Science Daily, 17 January 2008

Infant bottles, rates of bisphenol A being investigated
New studies are being undertaken by Health Canada in an attempt to
determine how much bisphenol A is leaking out of polycarbonate baby bottles
and infant formula cans. The action is part of the agency’s effort to assess
the safety of BPA, a widely used ingredient in many types of plastic, the
epoxy resins lining the insides of most tin cans, and many other consumer
products. The chemical is under review because it mimics oestrogen, and
a growing body of research has linked low-level exposures, particularly
during infancy and foetal development, to cancers and other health
conditions associated with sex hormone imbalances. In a statement, Health
Canada said that it is trying to determine the “migration rates of BPA” out
of the products, to see whether the amounts involved pose a risk to infants.
Currently, not a lot is known about the levels of the chemical leaching out of
bottles and also infant formula cans from the linings. In two separate studies
conducted last year by U.S. researchers, it was found that the compound
was in formula and leaking from bottles into the fluids they held. Concern

over the safety of bisphenol A has recently led several Canadian retailers to
pull polycarbonate water bottles from their shelves, pending the results of
Health Canada’s review, which are expected in May. In addition, a United
States congressional committee has announced that it would investigate the
use of BPA in baby formula, and sent letters to seven major manufacturers
asking for details on whether they use the chemical in their packaging and
test for it in their infant food. Among the companies were Nestlé USA Inc.
and Mead Johnson.
Both companies have previously dismissed concerns about BPA because
the chemical is licensed for use in consumer products in both Canada and
the U.S. However, Canadian federal authorities are currently conducting a
review of BPA, part of a major program to assess the safety of chemicals
in use before the country adopted its first pollution laws in the 1980s and
exempted from detailed evaluations at the time. As part of the review, 200
chemicals are being analysed in batches of about 15 every few months
for their risks to either human health or the environment. Results from the
first batch have been released in the Canada Gazette. Environmentalists
have been awaiting the results because they might give an indication of how
aggressively the government intends to move against suspect chemicals,
including listing them as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection
Act, a step that allows regulators to develop rules to curb or eliminate their
“It’s good news. The chemicals we were looking to be listed as toxic have
in fact been listed,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental
Defence, a Toronto-based organization, commenting on the first batch.
Environmental Defence said seven of the chemicals in the first batch either
caused cancer or were suspected carcinogens. Among the chemicals
the government decided to take action against by listing them as toxic is
naphthalene, used in mothballs, fragrances and perfumes, and propylene
oxide, used in cosmetics, food additives and deodorizers.
Globe & Mail, 19 January 2008
                                                                                 According to
NDMA forms from diuron
                                                                                 a new study,
According to a new study, a commonly used herbicide has been found to
increase levels of a carcinogenic disinfection by-product during wastewater
                                                                                 a commonly
treatment. The study, conducted by Wei-Hsiang Chen and Thomas Young
of the University of California Davis, confirmed that the presence of diuron
                                                                                 used herbicide
leads to an increased level of NDMA, or n-nitrosodimethylamine, in water
undergoing chlorination or chloramination. Currently the direct mechanism        has been found
of formation remains unknown. Diuron breaks down into DMA, a possible
precursor to the toxic by-product NDMA. Previous studies by researchers          to increase
from the U.S. and Germany have identified the basics of NDMA formation,
but determining what compounds lead to nitrosamine and in what quantities
have been difficult. Although NDMA is not a regulated by-product of water
                                                                                 levels of a
treatment, it may be hundreds of times more hazardous to humans than
the suite of compounds-trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids-tracked under
U.S. EPA regulations. Herbicides and pharmaceuticals with DMA chains
have long been suspected of being precursors to NDMA. Past research by
                                                                                 disinfection by-
Susan Andrews of the University of Waterloo (Canada) showed that one
herbicide, thiram, can lead to NDMA formation in drinking-water systems. In      product during
that case, the herbicide was applied inside water pipes to prevent plant roots
from destroying the delivery infrastructure. In addition, diuron, which has a    wastewater
DMA group at one end, is used widely in agriculture and in clearing land
for power lines and roads. In California, where diuron use peaks during the      treatment.
rainiest months of the year, such treatments amounted to 600,000 kilograms
(about 1.4 million pounds) in 2004, report Chen and Young. Because of
its persistence, diuron applications to the landscape could end up as a
widespread nonpoint source of the chemical.
In laboratory experiments, the researchers tracked the formation of NDMA
in various conditions. When more chlorine was present than diuron, they
found peak formation of the nitrosamine within a day of treatment. But higher
levels of free chlorine seemed to suppress NDMA formation. That finding
suggests that the transformation pathway could be very complex and that
diuron could lead to other intermediary by-products, the authors conclude.
If large amounts of diuron or any other precursor are present in water that
could lead to an “actionable” level of NDMA by-products notes David Sedlak
of the University of California Berkeley. California’s NDMA notification level
is at 10 nanograms per litre. If diuron turns out to have a high conversion
rate, 100 micrograms per litre of the herbicide could be enough to hit that
bar. However, current environmental levels are about two magnitudes lower,
Sedlak says, making diuron less problematic, “but it is an indicator of how
commonly used herbicides, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals might end up
being NDMA precursors.” “During chloramination, almost every natural or
manmade compound holding a dimethylamine group might serve as [a]
precursor for NDMA,” comments Carsten Schmidt of Technologiezentrum
Wasser (Germany). However, he clarifies, “the potency of NDMA formation
might differ from one precursor to the other considerably.” Schmidt and
                                                                                    North America’s
colleagues soon will publish a report for the Awwa Research Foundation
discussing, among other issues, the role of DMA in NDMA formation.                  largest union
Although DMA was “long thought to be one of the most reactive precursors,”
Schmidt notes, it actually forms NDMA at concentrations about 80-fold lower         for hotel,
than that of ranitidine, a drug for gastritis. Other researchers believe that the
likelihood of high NDMA concentrations from diuron remains unlikely except          restaurant,
in very specific circumstances, but some experts agree that the new study
is important because of the widespread use of diuron in U.S. agriculture
and elsewhere. “The nonpoint-source nature of diuron is intriguing because
                                                                                    and kitchen
NDMA precursors have previously been attributed to wastewater,” notes
William Mitch of Yale University, who conducted some of the first research
on NDMA formation. “It would be useful to follow up this study with field
results quantifying the percent contribution of diuron to total precursors” of      Here-has
NDMA in a watershed. Such on-the-ground data will be key in determining
what chemicals to restrict in runoff or other nonpoint sources.                     requested that
Environmental Science & Technology, 16 January 2008
Investigation Of Diacetyl Sought
                                                                                    stop using the
2008-01-21                                                                          butter-flavour
North America’s largest union for hotel, restaurant, and kitchen workers-
Unite Here-has requested that manufacturers stop using the butter-flavour
chemical diacetyl in commercial and home cooking products. Previous
studies have linked exposure to high levels of diacetyl to the lung disease
bronchiolitis obliterans, known as popcorn lung, among workers in factories
                                                                                    diacetyl in
where microwave popcorn is made. Members of the House Committee
on Education & Labor have also written a letter to National Institute               commercial and
for Occupational Safety & Health Director John Howard, asking him to
investigate the uses of the additive in flavourings and cooking oils, the            home cooking
industries where workers may be exposed, and any health effects on those
workers. The union’s concern was prompted by a study commissioned by                products.

the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper and conducted by Seattle-based
laboratory LabCor. During the study, 23 cooking oils and margarines used
by professional and home cooks were analysed. The results demonstrated
that the amount of diacetyl released from cooking oils and margarines could
result in exposures for professional cooks that are as high as or higher than
those that caused sickness in workers at popcorn plants. Hundreds of brands
of butter, cooking oil, and butter substitutes contain the additive diacetyl.
In LabCor’s test, commercially used products caused the highest diacetyl
exposures. At the moment, there are no safety standards or regulations
involving the inhalation of diacetyl.
Chemical & Engineering News, 16 January 2008

What Are The Health Effects Of Wireless Communication
                                                                                   There has
There has been significant increase in the research being conducted on
                                                                                   been significant
the potential health effects from high exposure to radiofrequency (RF)
energy emitted by wireless communication devices. A report by researchers
                                                                                   increase in the
at the National Research Council, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, identifies research that could further extend understanding
                                                                                   research being
of long-term low exposure to these devices. In the report, the committee
identified research needs and gaps based on presentations made by                   conducted on
international experts and discussion sessions with attendees at a three-
day workshop last August that evaluated disciplines and topics such as             the potential
measurement of RF energy and exposure, studies on human populations,
human laboratory measurements, and animal and cell biology. In addition,
the report outlines research needs as studies that, in the near term, could
                                                                                   health effects
increase understanding of any potential adverse effects of RF energy on
humans. Gaps are defined as research studies that are of lower priority or
                                                                                   from high
that should not be carried out until the results of current research studies are
evaluated. The committee did not evaluate the potential health effects, nor
                                                                                   exposure to
were recommendations made on how the identified research needs should
be met. The committee did identify one research need - being the study of          radiofrequency
any potential health consequences from multiple, long-term, low-intensity
RF exposure as opposed to most of the present data that evaluates acute            (RF) energy
effects on healthy adults during short exposures to RF fields. For instance,
measuring the amount of RF energy received by juveniles, children, pregnant
women, and foetuses from wireless devices and RF base station antennas
                                                                                   emitted by
could help define exposure ranges for various populations. Although it is
unknown whether children are more susceptible to RF exposure, they may
be at increased risk because of their developing organ and tissue systems.
Furthermore, Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) for children is likely to be
higher than for adults, because exposure wavelength is closer to the whole-
body resonance frequency for shorter individuals. The current generation
of children will also experience a longer period of RF field exposure from
mobile phone use than adults, because they will most likely start using
them at an early age. The report notes that several surveys have shown a
steep increase in mobile phone ownership among children, but virtually no
relevant studies of human populations at present examine health effects in
this population. Analysis on the evolving types of antennas for hand-held
wireless communication devices should also be conducted to determine the
amount of RF energy they deliver to different parts of the body so the data
would be available for use in future studies, the committee said. Studies to
understand the effects of RF energy irradiation from cell phone antennas on
the human head have already been conducted. However, for most of these

studies, the research has assumed that cell phones have pull-out linear
rod antennas and are held against a person’s ear. Many newer telephones
use built-in antennas for which additional SAR data are needed, the report
says. Additionally, wireless technology is now used in laptop computers
and hand-held texting and Web-surfing devices, in which the antennas are
close to other parts of the body. The committee identified other research
needs including a prospective study of adults in a general population and
a retrospective group with medium to high occupational exposures; Further
human laboratory studies that focus on possible effects of RF electromagnetic
fields on neural networks and the brain’s electrical activity; Human population
studies of children and pregnant women, including childhood cancers and
brain cancer; Evaluating effects of RF doses at the microscopic level;
Characterising radiated electromagnetic fields for typical multiple-element
base station antennas and exposures to affected individuals.
Science Daily, 18 January 2008

Too Much Of A Good Thing May Cause Huntington’s
Researchers have discovered that Huntington’s disease is caused by an
abnormal version of huntingtin protein. New findings reported by Baylor
College of Medicine molecular biologist Juan Botas and colleagues help to
explain the link between the protein and the disease. During the study on        discovered that
fruit flies, the researchers found that accumulation of the abnormal huntingtin
within presynaptic neurons increases levels of Ca2+ in the neurons.              Huntington’s
The extra calcium induces the presynaptic neurons to release excess
neurotransmitters, which contributes to the development of the disease           disease is
(Neuron 2008, 57, 27). Genetically reducing neuronal calcium content to
normal levels in the flies prevents the increase in neurotransmission and
the resulting neurodegeneration. These findings support the hypothesis that
                                                                                 caused by
Ca2+ is involved in increased neurotransmission in the disease. In addition,
the results indicate that treatments may be developed to delay the onset
                                                                                 an abnormal
and progression of the disease including compounds that would modulate
neurotransmission or that would block the membrane pores through which           version of
calcium enters neurons.
Chemical & Engineering News, 16 January 2008                                     huntingtin
Increased Risk Of Heart Attack Or Stroke For Patients
Who Are Resistant To Aspirin
According to a new study, published in the British Medical Journal, patients
that are resistant to aspirin have four times the risk of suffering a heart
attack, stroke or even dying from a pre-existing heart condition. The
study relates to patients who are prescribed aspirin long term as a way of
preventing clots from forming in the blood. Patients who are labelled “aspirin
resistant” have blood cells (platelets) that are not affected in the same
way as those of patients who are responsive to the drug, ie people who
are “aspirin sensitive.” There is currently no agreed method of accurately
determining who is and isn’t aspirin resistant and the reasons why someone
might be aspirin resistant are currently a cause of controversy. Relatively
few studies have looked at whether aspirin resistance has any impact on
clinical outcome so the Canadian authors carried out a review of all the
available data to better understand the relationship between the two. During
the study, the researchers identified 20 studies, involving 2,930 patients with
cardiovascular disease, all of whom had been prescribed aspirin as a way
of preventing clots from forming in the blood. 28% were classified as aspirin
resistant. The researchers found that all of the patients that were aspirin
resistant, regardless of their underlying clinical condition, were at greater
risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or even dying. In particular they found
that 39% of aspirin resistant patients compared to 16% of aspirin sensitive
patients suffered some sort of cardiovascular event. Furthermore, they found
that taking other drugs to thin the blood, such as Clopidogrel or Tirofiban, did
not provide any benefit to these patients. The authors conclude that there
needs to be further studies on aspirin resistance to identify the most useful
test to determine the condition. In addition, they said aspirin resistance: “is
a biological entity that should be considered when recommending aspirin as
antiplatelet therapy.”
Science Daily, 18 January 2008

Wine waste shows promise for dental health
                                                                                   New studies
New studies have found that compounds from grapes can assist in impeding
the development of dental caries. The study, a collaboration between
                                                                                   have found that
researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Centre and the New
York, and funded by the USDA, has found that specific polyphenols that are          compounds
present in large amounts in the skin and seeds of wine grapes (material
usually thrown away during the wine-making process), can stand in the              from grapes
way of bacteria contribution to the formation of dental caries. The aim of
the study was to determine the make-up of polyphenols from different wine          can assist in
grape varieties, and to investigate how these interfere with Streptococcus
mutans, (the bacteria that produces substances behind tooth decay),
acid, and glucans (the building blocks of plaque). During the study, the
                                                                                   impeding the
researchers obtained red wine grapes and pomace from wineries in the
Finger Lakes area of New York state, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc,
                                                                                   development of
Baco Noir, and Noiret, and prepared polyphenolic extracts from these. The
researchers found that all of the polyphenol extracts were seen to inhibit         dental caries.
bacterial enzymes called glycosyltransferases (GTFs) that produce sugary
glucans that stick bacteria to the surface of the tooth and protect the bacteria
colonies by as much as 85 per cent. The most effective extracts were those
from the Cabernet Franc, with Pinot Noir in second place. Furthermore, the
extracts were observed to cause S mutans to produce significantly less acid.
One proposed reason for this proposed by the researchers is that they could
inhibit glycolisis, the process that turns sugar into energy, of which acid is a
None of the extracts resulted in the killing of the bacteria. Despite these
positive early results, lead researcher Hyun Koo said that the findings
should not be taken as a signal to drink more wine. “Most foods contain
compounds that are both good and bad for dental health, so the message is
not ‘drink more wine to fight bacteria’.” However, the researcher added that
the aim is to isolate the key compounds in winemaking waste that disarm the
bacteria, and to use these in consumer products. One such product he sees
as a possibility is a mouth rinse. The researchers say that further chemical
analysis is required to determine the best mix of polyphenols. While the
researchers say the findings could be of particular interest in the development
of drugs to support oral health and potentially to replace antibiotics, they
add to a growing body of evidence for compounds found in fruit to support
oral health. For instance, Koo and team have previously investigated the
effects of the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin from cranberries, and
their corresponding glycosides on the inhibition of GTF associated with
plaque formation. They found that solutions containing 250 micrograms per

millilitre of the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin inhibited the activity of
GTFs by about 55 per cent in solution and by as much as 40 per cent on
the hydroxyapatite. Expression of the gene responsible for producing the
glucosyltransferase enzymes was said to be repressed. The use of waste
material from an industrial process is an economical and environmentally
friendly way to find benefit for nutrients that would otherwise be thrown away
or end up in animal feed. More than 80 per cent of all grapes grown are used
to make wine, and the fermented waste, known as pomace, is understood to
contain at least as many polyphenols as the whole fruit.
Nutra Ingredients, 3 January 2008

China’s groundswell of environmental science and policy
                                                                                     Dirty air,
Dirty air, water, and soil top China’s environmental problems, but the
country’s scientific enterprise is quickly catching up, as are its leadership and
                                                                                     water, and soil
environmental policies. China’s environmental problems have come to the
fore, with the impending Olympic Games in Beijing. Currently, there are more
                                                                                     top China’s
than 30 papers illustrating environmental science’s expansion in China. The
suite of topics includes site-specific views of contaminants, such as PAHs            environmental
and organochlorine pesticides in the Pearl River Delta and antibiotics in
urban waters, and also looks at furthering methodology and the implications          problems, but
for environmental processes at cellular to ecosystem levels. A huge injection
of capital and attention to environmental science has come in advance of the
2008 Summer Olympics, for which Beijing and other major cities have set up
                                                                                     the country’s
numerous air-monitoring sites, says Vaughan Turekian, a geochemist and
chief international officer of the American Association for the Advancement of
Science. Turekian cites the collection of results in ET&C as representative of
how China’s scientists are identifying problems in local areas and publishing
                                                                                     enterprise is
their findings in the scientific literature. “But at the end of the day, this is not
only for the beauty and advancement of science, but ultimately will be for           quickly catching
on-the-ground problems that will need policy and technology to solve,” he
says. The U.S. EPA seems to be making a push to get China past some                  up, as are its
policy and regulatory hurdles by making data and other resources available
through its new website, China Environmental Law Initiative. “The ideal for
this webpage” is to “restock China’s environmental tool kit,” says Jennifer
                                                                                     leadership and
Turner of the Woodrow Wilson Centre’s China Environment Forum, a partner
in the online portal. “They have a lot of laws,” she comments, but may be
lacking specific regulations and risk assessments in a workable regulatory
Environmental Science & technology, 16 January 2008

U of M’s cyanide research paying off
Early in the 1990s, Prof. Herbert T. Nagasawa came up with an idea for a new,
fast-acting antidote to cyanide poisoning. However, at the time University of
Minnesota chemist couldn’t find anyone willing to pay for the research. Now,
at age 80, he’s finally started to see his idea pay off. Now, a new study
by Nagasawa and several colleagues, has found that his discovery, a new
type of drug, works faster and may be more effective than existing cyanide
antidotes. At this stage, it has only been tested in mice, but if they can prove
it works in people just as well, it could go a long way toward meeting a
Defence Department goal of a “three minute solution” for mass casualties in
a cyanide attack. The researchers said it might save countless lives in the

event of a terrorist attack. In addition, it could aid firefighters and industrial
workers who may be exposed to cyanide on the job. “Theoretically, you can
take a pill [in advance] and it will protect you,” Nagasawa said. Or, if a lot
of people are exposed, it can be distributed quickly. Now, cyanide antidotes
must be injected into a vein, and they can take up to 30 minutes to work,
according to Steven Patterson, who is heading the research as associate
director of the university’s Centre for Drug Design. That is where the problem
lies, because “If you have a lethal dose [of cyanide], it can kill you within
minutes,” he said. The researchers found that the experimental drug, called
sulfanagen, worked twice as fast as conventional antidotes when given to
lab mice exposed to a nonlethal dose of cyanide. In some cases, it worked
in as little as six minutes, Patterson said. Nagasawa, a university researcher
for 45 years, retired to California three years ago, but he still spends about
half his time on the project. “I like to work, and I think it’s very important,” he
said. “Whatever I can do to accelerate the process, I’d like to do it.”
The new drug is made from a naturally occurring substance -- called 3-
mercaptopyruvate, which the body produces to rid itself of small amounts of
cyanide, which can be found in some foods such as pitted fruits. Nagasawa
first tried to get government funding to develop the drug during the first Gulf
War in 1991. “I’m watching TV and I’m seeing these soldiers putting on gas
masks,” he recalled. But the government turned him down. “So we shelved
it,” he said. “Then the second Gulf War comes along. I said, ‘Hey, wait a
minute.’ Again, the same thing: soldiers donning gas masks. I said, ‘You
know, we have a good cyanide antidote, I think -- at least hypothetically.’” This
time, he sought an Army grant without success. But Robert Vince, a scientist
who heads the university’s centre for drug design, took a gamble and gave
him funds to get started. Within two years, Nagasawa had several versions
ready for testing. Last year, the National Institutes of Health poured $2.5
million into the research. “Now it’s a big priority,” he said. The researchers        U.S. health
hope to start testing the best version of the new drug in people in the next
two to three years, Patterson said. After that, it might take another four to         authorities have
five years to get it on the market. “And that’s if things go perfectly,” he said.
But the scientists say it’s worth the effort. “We hope that a terrorist never
releases cyanide among the population,” Patterson said. “But I think that’s
                                                                                      announced that
something that we need to be prepared for.”
Star Tribune, 27 December 2007
                                                                                      children under
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health                                           the age of 2,
FDA warns against cold drugs for kids under 2                                         should not be
U.S. health authorities have announced that children under the age of 2,              given over-
should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold medicines because
they are too dangerous for that age group. Deaths, convulsions and rapid              the-counter
heart rates have been reported in rare cases in children younger than 2, the
Food and Drug Administration said. “We strongly recommend that over-the-
counter cough and cold products should not be used in infants and young
                                                                                      cough and
children under 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening
side effects can occur,” said Dr. Charles Ganley, head of the FDA office that
                                                                                      cold medicines
reviews nonprescription drugs. Ganley said the medicines “have not been
shown to be safe or effective in children under 2” and noted they treat only
symptoms and will not cure a cold. The agency has not yet decided if the
widely sold medicines made by companies such as Wyeth and Johnson &                   they are too
Johnson are appropriate for children of other ages. Officials are evaluating
data on use in kids ages 2 to 11 and hope to rule by spring, Ganley said.             dangerous for
While these remedies have been sold for decades, the FDA generally has
not required manufacturers to prove they work for children. Instead, data             that age group.
were extrapolated from adults. “Children metabolise and react to medications
differently than adults, often in unanticipated ways,” the American Academy
of Paediatrics said in a statement. “Studies have shown cough and cold
products are ineffective in treating symptoms of children under six years old
and may pose serious risks,” the group added in endorsing the FDA’s move.
FDA has never endorsed providing medicine to children under 2 years of
age and last year they issued a caution against doing so without specific
instructions from a doctor.
Makers say the products are safe and effective when used as directed for
children age 2 and older.
In October 2007, major manufacturers voluntarily pulled 14 cough and cold
products for children up to age 2. That same month, a panel of FDA advisers
recommended that nonprescription cough and cold medicines not be given
to children under age 6. A group of paediatricians and public health officials
had petitioned the FDA to restrict sales to children younger than 6 years old.
Currently, the agency advises that parents carefully follow dosing directions
on all over-the-counter medications. To get a precise dose, parents should
only use measuring spoons or cups made specifically for medicines, officials
said. Furthermore, they urged checking product labels to make sure they
are not giving more than one product with the same ingredient. Many of the
problems reported in children were attributed to overdoses or accidental
ingestion. Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Centre for
Women & Families, said the consumer group was disappointed the FDA
did not extend the warning to children under 6. “The FDA decision ignores
the clear scientific evidence, taking the side of industry against patients,”
Zuckerman said in a statement. The Consumer Healthcare Products
Association (CHPA), which represents over-the-counter drug makers, said
on Thursday it supported the FDA action. The ruling “reaffirms the correct
course of action taken by the leading makers of these medicines last fall,”
CHPA President Linda Suydam said in a statement.
Reuters, 18 January 2008

Virus may cause rare but deadly skin cancer
                                                                                    If further testing
According to a new study, a previously unknown virus may be to blame for a
rare but deadly form of skin cancer, opening the prospect of new ways to treat
                                                                                    proves that
and prevent the condition. Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) mainly affects older
people and those whose immune system has been compromised by AIDS or
                                                                                    the virus is the
organ transplant drugs, raising suspicions it could have an infectious cause.
However, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute now           cause, it should
believe they have found the culprit, after identifying viral DNA sequences
present in 80 percent of Merkel cell tumours. The foreign DNA belongs               give new leads
to a virus, dubbed Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), which integrates into
the tumour’s own genome in a way suggesting it is a trigger for cancerous           for treating a
growth. If further testing proves that the virus is the cause, it should give new
leads for treating a particularly aggressive cancer. Experts suspect the virus
is deadly because it produces a cancer-causing protein or knocks out a gene
that suppresses tumour growth. “Information that we gain could possibly
lead to a blood test or vaccine that improves disease management and
aids in prevention,” said Dr Patrick Moore, who with colleagues published
the findings in the journal Science. Merkel cell carcinoma develops from             cancer.
specialised nerve cells that respond to touch or pressure. Its incidence
has tripled over the past 20 years and there are now about 1,500 cases
a year in the United States. Approximately 50 percent of patients with the

advanced disease, live nine months or less. Merkel cell carcinoma is not the
first cancer linked to a virus. The best known cancer-causing virus is HPV, or
human papillomavirus, which can lead to cervical cancer and is the target of
two new anti-cancer vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, from Merck & Co Inc
and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common malignancy
in AIDS patients and the most common cancer in Africa, is also caused by
a virus.
Reuters, 17 January 2008

Heart attack risk higher with calcium, says study
2008-01-22                                                                               According to
According to a new study, taking calcium supplements, a common treatment
for strengthening bones can increase the risk of older women suffering a                 a new study,
heart attack. The study, conducted by New Zealand researchers, followed
nearly 1500 women for up to five years - half of whom took calcium, while                 taking calcium
the rest took a placebo. The results showed “upward trends” in rates of heart
attack, stroke and other heart problems among women taking the calcium.                  supplements,
These findings contradict some previous studies, which suggested calcium
may have a protective effect on the heart. However, the extent of any
increase in heart risk is hard to determine from the new study. The women
                                                                                         a common
directly involved in the research, all of whom were healthy and aged over 55,
appeared to have double the relative risk of heart attack if they took calcium.
                                                                                         treatment for
However, the authors noted that this risk was halved - to the point where it
might no longer be statistically significant - after they used hospital admission         strengthening
data to factor in other heart incidents that were not picked up during the trial
itself. The authors said that these results were “not conclusive”. Although              bones can
they did “suggest that high calcium intakes might have an adverse effect”
on heart health, particularly in elderly people with poor kidney function.               increase
“The present data do not permit definitive conclusions to be reached in this
regard but do flag cardiac health as an area of concern in relation to calcium
use,” wrote the authors, from the University of Auckland. Australian experts
                                                                                         the risk of
praised the researchers’ methods but said the findings should not scare
people away from calcium if their dietary intake was deficient. John Eisman,
                                                                                         older women
director of the Bone and Mineral Research Program at Sydney’s Garvan
Institute of Medical Research, said the results showed that over the five                 suffering a
years of the study, there was a difference of just 10 women who had heart
attack, stroke or sudden death between the 732 women in the calcium group                heart attack.
and the 739 women who took dummy pills. “That means if you had 1000
women treated (with calcium) for a year, it’s potentially possible that three
women would have one of these events,” Professor Eisman said. “It’s hard
to know if this (effect of calcium) is real or not. “I think all you can say is, there
might be a small risk - and that people shouldn’t think that calcium is some
sort of panacea that cures everything.” He added that people who have diets
that are deficient in calcium should continue to take the supplements, while
those with adequate diets might want to reconsider, he said. Another expert,
Professor Jack Martin, from the Bone, Joint and Cancer Unit at St Vincent’s
Institute in Melbourne, said the study was small and the results “would need
to be replicated in larger trials before any change in current practice were to
be considered”.
The Australian, 19 January 2008

Men hardest hit by iron disorder
According to recent research, an iron disorder that affects more than 100,000
Australians is 30 times more likely to cause major complications in men. The
iron overload disease, called haemochromatosis, is hereditary and triggers
a range of other debilitating conditions from arthritis to chronic fatigue.
However, only some people genetically predisposed to it seem to be at risk.
Melbourne researchers set out to find patterns and discovered 28 per cent
of men who were at genetic risk of haemochromatosis actually developed it.
For women, this was just one per cent. “We can now more accurately assess
the cost effectiveness of population-based genetic screening programs for
haemochromatosis,” said study leader Professor Katie Allen, of the Murdoch
Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne. The study involved 31,192 people
aged between 40 and 69 who were tested for their genetic risk and then
monitored for 12 years. The disease caused damage to the liver and other
organs, with arthritis, chronic fatigue and liver disease commonly arising as
a result, Prof Allen said. “However these complications can be avoided by
donating blood regularly,” she said.
The Australian, 17 January 2008

Fish oil may prevent schizophrenia
                                                                                 A recent study
A recent study found that taking daily fish oil may prevent young people
vulnerable to schizophrenia from developing the condition. An international
                                                                                 found that
psychiatry conference in Melbourne was told that omega-3 fatty acids,
believed to be beneficial for conditions from heart disease to ADHD,
                                                                                 taking daily fish
could also help delay or prevent the onset of severe mental illness. These
findings could offer a safe way to treat a crippling condition and potentially    oil may prevent
prevent schizophrenia, without the drastic side-effects of anti-psychotic
medications, say experts from the Orygen Research Centre in Melbourne.           young people
“This is an amazing result in a natural product that really puts it out as a
serious treatment for people seen most likely to develop psychotic illness,”     vulnerable to
said lead researcher Professor Paul Amminger. “It performed even better
than the traditional medications in this particularly vulnerable group so this
really shouldn’t be overlooked.” During the study, the researchers recruited
81 ‘high risk’ young people aged 13 to 24 who had previously suffered brief
hallucinations or delusions. Typically, if left untreated one-third of these
                                                                                 from developing
individuals will go on to develop a sustained psychotic disorder. Half were
treated with capsules of fish oil, a rich source of omega-3 fats for three        the condition.
months, while the rest took a fishy-tasting dummy substitute. After 12 months,
the researchers found that three percent of the subjects taking the fish oil
supplements had developed schizophrenia. This compared with 28 per cent
of those who had swallowed the placebo. Previous studies have suggested
that anti-psychotic drugs when used early in illness reduce the rate to about
12 per cent. However, their use is controversial as they have severe side-
effects like heavy weight gain and increased risk of heart disease. “What we
have here, it seems, is a very good and non-invasive alternative that could
be safely used on at-risk people where only a proportion were ever going
to develop the condition,” said Prof Amminger. A larger, multi-centre trial is
now being planned with the aim of confirming these results. Orygen director
Professor Patrick McGorry said the findings hold out great hope for young
people and their families. “This unique study shows that, just like in cancer
and heart disease, early diagnosis is the key to safer and more effective
treatments at lower cost and with less disruption to peoples’ lives and future
potential,” Prof McGorry said. Omega-3 oils have been touted as a possible
treatment for a range of conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder,
rheumatism, heart disease and cancer. Furthermore, they have been found
to improve concentration and learning in children with ADHD and autism,
and reduce aggression among prisoners.
The Age, 29 November 2007

Scientists probe tomato’s benefits beyond lycopene
                                                                                     A new
A new study has reported that phytoene and phytofluene, lesser known
compounds from tomatoes, also accumulate in significant quantities in key
                                                                                     study has
organs, and may play a role in the health benefits previously attributed to
lycopene. Researchers from the University Illinois at Urbana-Champaign               reported that
feeding rats a diet containing a tomato powder. They found that all three
compounds accumulated in the prostate of the animals, research that fills             phytoene and
in gaps in our knowledge. “This experiment is the first study to provide new
insight into differential tomato carotenoid bio-distributions in a rat model         phytofluene,
pre-fed with tomato powder,” wrote lead author Jessica Campbell in the
journal Nutrition Research. Previous studies have reported the link between
lycopene and risk of prostate cancer, but doubts have been raised about
                                                                                     lesser known
the benefits of the carotenoid after the FDA reported finding no credible
evidence supporting lycopene intake and a reduced risk of prostate, lung,
colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian, endometrial, or pancreatic cancer. The
FDA has approved a claim on the role of tomatoes in reducing the risk of             from
prostate, gastric, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, indicating that the other
compounds found in the whole fruit may be conferring benefits, possibly               tomatoes, also
in synergy with lycopene. The most likely candidates to-date are phytoene
(PE) and phytofluene (PF), but research into these compounds is limited,              accumulate
said the researchers behind the new study. “Because of the substantial
quantities of PE and PF in tomatoes and research studies supporting the
relationship between increased tomato consumption and reduced prostate
                                                                                     in significant
cancer risk, it is essential to begin evaluating the potential biologic effects of
PE and PF, in addition to lycopene,” they added. During the study, Campbell
                                                                                     quantities in
and co-workers, pre-fed four-week old male Fisher 344 rats an AIN-93G
powder diet supplemented with tomato powder (10 per cent). The PE, PF,               key organs,
and lycopene content of the tomato powder were calculated to provide,
respectively, 0.015, 0.012, and 0.011 grams per kilograms of diet. After             and may play
following the feeding programme for 30 days, liver concentrations of PF
(168 nanomoles per gram) were higher than PE or lycopene.                            a role in the
On the other hand, lycopene concentrations, then PF, accumulated the most
in the prostate. “By using an animal model that has a prostate homologous            health benefits
to that of humans, these novel results may be translatable to conditions in
the human prostate,” added Campbell. Then, the researchers subsequently
fed the tomato-powder-fed animals a single dose of PE or PF (2.7 mg),
and found significant increases in the carotenoid concentrations in all the
tissues studied, except the adrenal gland. “Results from this work provide a
                                                                                     attributed to
better understanding of relative PE and PF tissue accumulation, compared
to lycopene (information not previously known),” wrote Campbell. The
researchers say that further studies are required to continue the evaluation
of PE and PF in prostate cancer prevention. These include the synthesis of
phytoene and phytofluene in the laboratory that contain radioactive carbon-
14 in order to perform tracer studies. “Precise qualitative and quantitative
identification of 14C-carotenoid metabolites throughout the body, with an
emphasis on the prostate, is essential to evaluate potential mechanisms of
actions by which tomato carotenoids may act in prostate cancer prevention,”
they concluded.
Nutra Ingredients, 3 December 2007
FDA 101: Product Recalls - From First Alert to
Effectiveness Checks
                                                                                    When an FDA-
Once a product is in widespread use, unforeseen problems can sometimes
lead to a recall. Examples include last years recall of contaminated spinach
under multiple brand names. In both cases, FDA responded immediately
                                                                                    product is
to minimize harm. When an FDA-regulated product is either defective or
potentially harmful, recalling that product, removing it from the market
                                                                                    either defective
or correcting the problem, is the most effective means for protecting the
public. In most cases, a recall results from an unintentional mistake by the        or potentially
company, rather than from an intentional disregard for the law. Recalls are
almost always voluntary. Sometimes a company discovers a problem and                harmful,
recalls a product on its own. Other times a company recalls a product after
FDA raises concerns. Only in rare cases will FDA request a recall. But in
every case, FDA’s role is to oversee a company’s strategy and assess the
adequacy of the recall. FDA is generally informed of a problem with a product
in one of four ways:
                                                                                    that product,
FDA first hears about a problem product in several ways: When a company
discovers a problem and contact them; upon conducting a FDA inspection
                                                                                    removing it
at a manufacturing facility, which uncovers the potential for a recall; when a
report is received of health problems through various reporting systems; or
                                                                                    from the market
when they are contact by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC).                                                                              or correcting
When it comes to illnesses associated with food products, Dorothy J. Miller,
Director of FDA’s Office of Emergency Operations, says that FDA generally            the problem,
first hears of these kinds of problems from CDC. “CDC hears about such
problems from state health departments that have received and submitted             is the most
illness reports,” she says. “An ongoing outbreak means that we have an
emergency, and when there’s a public health crisis like this, you need to tell      effective means
the public immediately.”
FDA will only publicise a recall when it believes the public needs to be alerted    for protecting
to a serious hazard. When a recalled product has been widely distributed,
the news media is a very effective way to reach large numbers of people.
FDA can hold press conferences, issue press releases, and post updates
                                                                                    the public.
to its Web site regularly, to alert people. “It’s about being as transparent
as possible,” says Catherine McDermott, a Press Officer in FDA’s Office
of Public Affairs. “If we feel there is that much of a health risk, we will offer
media updates every day to give new information, and all that we know gets
posted to FDA’s Web site.”
Not all recalls are announced in the media. However, all recalls go into FDA’s
weekly Enforcement Report. This document lists each recall according
to classification (see “Recall Classifications” box), with the specific action
taken by the recalling firm. FDA evaluates whether all reasonable efforts
have been made to remove or correct a product. A recall is considered
complete after all of the company’s corrective actions are reviewed by FDA
and deemed appropriate. After a recall is completed, FDA makes sure that
the product is destroyed or suitably reconditioned, and investigates why the
product was defective in the first place. Recall classifications are guidelines
that categorise all recalls into one of three classes, according to the level of
hazard involved: Class I: Dangerous or defective products that predictably
could cause serious health problems or death. Examples include: food
found to contain botulinum toxin, food with undeclared allergens, a label
mix-up on a lifesaving drug, or a defective artificial heart valve. Class II:
Products that might cause a temporary health problem, or pose only a slight
threat of a serious nature. Example: a drug that is under-strength but that
is not used to treat life-threatening situations. Class III: Products that are

unlikely to cause any adverse health reaction, but that violate FDA labelling
or manufacturing laws. Examples include: a minor container defect and lack
of English labelling in a retail food. The following is a list of products that are
regulated by FDA that are subject to recall:
* human drugs
* animal drugs
* medical devices
* radiation-emitting products
* vaccines
* blood and blood products
* transplantable human tissue
* animal feed
* cosmetics
* about 80 percent of the foods eaten in the United States
FDA Consumer Update, 1 January 2008

Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil Helps To Combat
Degenerative Diseases Such As Cancer, Study Suggests
                                                                                      According to
2008-01-22                                                                            several studies
Many studies have been conducted on the health benefits of the Mediterranean
diet as well as benefits of olive oil. According to several studies performed in
Italy, Spain and Greece (the main olive-oil-producing countries), the incidence
                                                                                      performed in
of diseases is lower in these countries than in Northern Europe. In a new
study by the Environmental, Biochemical and Nutritional Analytical-Control
                                                                                      Italy, Spain and
Research Group, directed by Professors Alberto Fern·ndez GutiÈrrez and
Antonio Segura Carretero, the most advanced analytical techniques were                Greece (the
used to determine the antioxidant properties of olive oil, characterized by its
polyphenolic composition and its potential to combat degenerative diseases.           main olive-
The study was completed with the collaboration of the Institut of Nutrition
and Food Technology of the Universidad de Granada and the Nutrition                   oil-producing
Team of the Hospital Virgen de las Nieves (Granada). Together with the
Research Group, they have determined that consumption of olive oil rich
in polyphenols (natural antioxidants) improves the lives of people suffering
                                                                                      countries), the
from oxidative stress, and is also highly beneficial for the prevention of cell
aging and osteoporosis. After analysing samples from 15 olive oil mills,
                                                                                      incidence of
researchers have demonstrated that olive oil is very rich in polyphenols.
According to Professors Alberto Fern·ndez and Antonio Segura, “as                     diseases is
preventive substances, polyphenols help to combat any oxidative disease
associated with the degenerative process.” The Environmental, Biochemical             lower in these
and Nutritional Analytical-Control Research Group of the Universidad de
Granada has carried out several related studies, such as the creation of a            countries than
system aimed at guaranteeing the quality of bee honey and determining its
geographical origin, or the polyphenolic characterisation of food products
such as honey, beer and propolis.
                                                                                      in Northern
Science Daily, 21 January 2008                                                        Europe.

Mobiles linked to disturbed sleep
According to a new study, using a mobile phone prior to going to bed could
stop you getting a decent night’s sleep. The study, funded by mobile phone
companies, suggests radiation from the handset can cause insomnia,

headaches and confusion. In addition, it may cut your amount of deep sleep,
interfering with the body’s ability to refresh itself. The Mobile Manufacturers
Forum funded the study, carried out by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute
and Wayne State University in the US. During the study, the researchers
examined 35 men and 36 women aged between 18 and 45. Some were
exposed to radiation equivalent to that received when using a mobile phone,
others were placed in the same conditions, but given only “sham” exposure.
Those exposed to radiation took longer to enter the first of the deeper
stages of sleep, and spent less time in the deepest one. The researchers
concluded, “The study indicates that during laboratory exposure to 884 MHz
wireless signals components of sleep believed to be important for recovery
from daily wear and tear are adversely affected.” Researcher Professor
Bengt Arnetz said, “The study strongly suggests that mobile phone use is
associated with specific changes in the areas of the brain responsible for
activating and coordinating the stress system.” Another hypothesis is that
radiation may disrupt production of the hormone melatonin, which controls
the body’s internal rhythms. It was determined that approximately half the
people in the study believed themselves to be “electrosensitive”, reporting
symptoms such as headaches and impaired cognitive function from mobile
phone use.
 But they proved to be unable to tell if they had been exposed to the radiation
in the test. Alasdair Philips is director of Powerwatch, which researches the
effects of electromagnetic fields on health. He said, “The evidence is getting
stronger that we should treat these things in a precautionary way. “This
research suggests that if you need to make a phone call in the evening
it is much better to use a land line, and don’t have your mobile by your
bedside table.” Mike Dolan, executive director of the Mobile Operators
Association, said the study was inconsistent with other research. He said,
“It is really one small piece in a very large scientific jigsaw. It is a very small
effect, one researcher likened it to less than the effect you would see from
a cup of coffee.” Last September a major six-year study by the UK Mobile
Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHRP) concluded
that mobile phone use posed no short-term risk to the brain. However, the
researchers said they could not rule out the possibility that long-term use
may raise the risk of cancer. In the UK, mobile services operate within the
frequency ranges 872 to 960 MHz, 1710 to 1875 MHz and 1920 to 2170
BBC News, 21 January 2008

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