1% of 84,000 Chemicals Have only Been Tested

women make-up

women make-up

There are around 84,000 chemicals on the market, and we come into contact with many of them every single day. And if that isn’t enough to cause concern, the shocking fact is that only about 1 percent of them have been studied for safety.

In 2010, at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, Lisa Jackson, then the administrator of the EPA, put our current, hyper-toxic era into sharp perspective: “A child born in America today will grow up exposed to more chemicals than any other generation in our history.”

Just consider your morning routine: If you’re an average male, you use up to nine personal care products every single day: shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, hair conditioner, lip balm, sunscreen, body lotion and shaving products — amounting to about 85 different chemicals. Many of the ingredients in these products are harmless, but some are carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.

Women are particularly at risk because they generally use more personal care products than men: 25 percent of women apply 15 or more products daily, including makeup and anti-aging creams, amounting to an average of 168 chemicals. For a pregnant woman, the risk is multiplied as she can pass on those toxins to her unborn child: 300 contaminants have been detected in the umbilical cord blood of newborns.

Many people don’t think twice about the chemicals they put on their bodies, perhaps thinking that the government regulates the personal care products that flood the marketplace. In reality, the government plays a very small role, in part because it doesn’t have the legal mandate to protect the public from harmful substances that chemical companies and manufacturers sell in their products. Federal rules designed to ensure product safety haven’t been updated in more than 75 years. New untested chemicals appear on store shelves all the time.

“Under federal law, cosmetics companies don’t have to disclose chemicals or gain approval for the 2,000 products that go on the market every year,” notes environment writer Jane Kay in Scientific American. “And removing a cosmetic from sale takes a battle in federal court.”

It’s high time these rules are revisited. Not only have thousands of new chemicals entered the market in the past several decades, there is overwhelming evidence that the public is unnecessarily exposed to health hazards from consumer products. In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a report that found “robust” evidence linking “toxic environmental agents” — which includes consumer products — to “adverse reproductive and developmental health outcomes.”

Formaldehyde is a good example. It is a known carcinogen used as a preservative to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms in a wide range of personal care products, from cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and lotions to deodorants, nail polishes and hair gels. It is also used in pressed-wood products, permanent-press fabrics, paper product coatings and insulation, and as a fungicide, germicide, disinfectant and preservative. The general public is also exposed to formaldehyde through automobile tailpipe emissions. Formaldehyde has been linked to spontaneous abortion and low birth weight.

While the main concern about formaldehyde exposure centers around industrial use (e.g., industrial workers, embalmers and salon workers), the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, an independent panel of experts that determines the safety of individual chemical compounds as they are used in cosmetics, recommends that for health and safety reasons cosmetics should not contain formaldehyde at amounts greater than 0.2 percent. It’s a small amount, but the problem is that the FDA doesn’t regulate the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics (except for nail polish), and companies aren’t required by law to follow CIR’s recommendations.

 

Source:  alternet.org

Women lie for Profit Recognized as Medical Condition

Women liar

Women liar

Apparently unaware or dismissive of the consequences, there is an epidemic of sorts of people faking serious illness and advertising it on the internet. The Guardian reviews the case of wannabe cancer victim Belle Gibson and beyond:

How would you fake cancer? Shave your head? Pluck your eyebrows? Install a chemo port into your neck? These days you don’t need to. Belle Gibson’s story is a masterclass on faking cancer in the modern age. She fooled Apple, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Penguin. She fooled the hundreds of thousands who bought her app, read her blog and believed that her story could be their story.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour aged 20, Gibson had four months to live. She blogged her journey of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, treatments she shunned after eight weeks. Instead, she cut gluten and dairy and turned to oxygen therapy, craniosacral treatments and colonic irrigation. Against all odds, she made it. Her followers were inspired. If Belle could make it, maybe they could too.

Gibson launched The Whole Pantry app in 2013, filled with healthy living tips and recipes. She promised a third of proceeds from the 300,000 downloads ($3.79 per download) to charity. Elle named her “The Most Inspiring Woman You’ve Met This Year”, Cosmopolitan awarded her a “Fun, Fearless Female award” and Penguin published her cookbook. Apple pre-installed her app on Apple Watch and flew her to its Silicon Valley launch.

Then cancer re-emerged, and Gibson announced on Instagram: “It hurts me to find space tonight to let you all know with love and strength that I’ve been diagnosed with a third and forth [sic] cancer. One is secondary and the other is primary. I have cancer in my blood, spleen, brain, uterus, and liver. I am hurting.”

Last week, Gibson admitted it was all a lie. “No. None of it’s true. I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet.”

She is now being investigated over the disappearance of $300,000 of promised charity donations. Months earlier, she spoke of her four-year-old son and the short time they had left together: “[Oliver] sees me on days that I can’t get out of bed. The only thing that breaks me is [the idea of] not being able to see Oli grow. He’s so incredible I just want to squish him all day forever. I don’t want those moments to end. I’m just going to miss him.”

The diagnosis of Münchausen syndrome has dominated analysis of Gibson’s case. It comes under the rubric of a wider term, factitious disorder: the intentional production (feigning) of disease in order to assume the role of a sick person…

 

Source:  disinfo.com

Women more likely to be assaulted in developed countries

Women are more likely to be physically assaulted in developed countries, study shows

Women are more likely to be physically assaulted in developed countries, study shows

When researchers examine violent assault numbers, historically the data has pointed to higher rates of female victimization in developing countries.

But a study by a West Virginia University sociology professor finds that women in developed countries — like the United States — are actually more likely to be physically assaulted than women in developing countries.

In “Individual and Structural Opportunities: A Cross-National Assessment of Females’ Physical and Sexual Assault Victimization,” Professor Rachel E. Stein examines how individuals’ daily routines and elements of country structure create opportunities prime for victimization.

“Research on developing countries will often lump sexual assault, physical assault and robbery together and sometimes studies expand to examine all types of victimization to increase the report record count,” Stein said.

Using data from the International Crime Victimization Survey from 45 countries, Stein reviewed physical and sexual assault victimization statistics at the national level to determine whether the societal structures around victims played a part in the frequency of attacks.

Sexual victimization is defined as incidents where, “people sometimes grab, touch, or assault others for sexual reasons in a really offensive way.” Physical victimization is defined as “being threatened or personally attacked by someone in a way that really frightened you.” The sample was limited to females only.

A variety of factors contributing to victimization exist. These can range from how often a female goes out for leisure activities (go to a bar, to a restaurant, to see friends), whether she lives alone, and age.

“Because individuals’ routines matter for victimization risk, it is important to educate people so they can become more aware of how their everyday activities might increase their risk for certain types of victimization,” Stein said. “However, individual routines are not the only contributing factor to victimization.

A woman’s surrounding environment also plays a risk, Stein said.

“One example is the unequal distribution of resources, such as formal conflict resolution, in countries with high levels of inequality. If policies are to effectively reduce the risk of victimization, they need to consider not only the lifestyles of individuals, but the context in which these activities take place.”

The paper was featured in the December 2014 issue of the International Criminal Justice Review and was recognized with the 2014 Richard J. Terrill Paper of the Year Award.

This is the second time Stein has been recognized with this award, receiving it in 2010 for her paper “The Utility of Country Structure: A Cross-National Multi-Level Analysis of Property and Violent Victimization.”

 

Source:  sciencedaily.com

Women Are Obese Before Pregnancy

Nearly 1 in 4 Women Are Obese Before Pregnancy:

Pregnant-Woman

Pregnant-Woman

Nearly 1 in 4 women now are obese when they become pregnant, according to a new study that includes information from most of the United States.

Researchers analyzed birth certificates from 36 states and Washington D.C. in 2011, which listed how much the mother weighed before she became pregnant.

On average, 23.4 percent of mothers in these states were obese — meaning they had a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater — when they became pregnant, according to the report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Utah had the lowest rate of obesity before pregnancy, at 18.0 percent, while South Carolina had the highest, at 28.6 percent.

Mothers were more likely to be obese if they were over age 20, compared with younger mothers. Black and Hispanic women were also more likely to be obese than white women, the report said.

Given the current high rate of obesity in the United States (nearly 36 percent of U.S. adults are obese), it’s not surprising that nearly 25 percent of mothers are obese, said Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., who was not involved in the report. However, Rabin pointed out that the study did not include information from all U.S. states, so it is not representative of the whole population.

Still, “it’s important for women to normalize their body weight before they become pregnant,” to reduce pregnancy risks for themselves and their babies, Rabin said.

Being overweight or obese during pregnancy is linked with an increased risk of gestational diabetes, cesarean delivery and preeclampsia (high blood pressure) for the mother; as well as prematurity, stillbirth and excessive weight at birth for the fetus, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Rabin said she recommends that women who are already obese when they become pregnant speak with their OB-GYN to make sure they gain the appropriate amount of weight for their health and their baby during pregnancy.

The Institute of Medicine recommends normal-weight women (BMI between 18.5 and 24.9) gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy, and underweight women (BMI of less than 18.5) gain 28 to 40 pounds, but overweight woman (BMI between 25 and 29.9) gain 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women (BMI of 30 and over) gain 11 to 20 pounds.

Women who are overweight or obese during pregnancy should be offered nutrition counseling, and encouraged to follow an exercise program, ACOG says.

Sexist Iranian’s ban females from university

 

Iranian university bans on women causes consternation:

Iranian university bans on women causes consternation

Iranian university bans on women causes consternation

With the start of the new Iranian academic year, a raft of restrictions on courses open to female students has been introduced, raising questions about the rights of women to education in Iran – and the long-term impact such exclusions might have. More than 30 universities have introduced new rules banning female students from almost 80 different degree courses. These include a bewildering variety of subjects from engineering, nuclear physics and computer science, to English literature, archaeology and business. No official reason has been given for the move, but campaigners, including Nobel Prize winning lawyer Shirin Ebadi, allege it is part of a deliberate policy by the authorities to exclude women from education. “The Iranian government is using various initiatives… to restrict women’s access to education, to stop them being active in society, and to return them to the home,” she told the BBC. Higher Education Minister Kamran Daneshjoo has sought to play down the situation, stressing Iran’s strong track record in getting young people into higher education and saying that despite the changes, 90% of university courses are still open to both men and women. But many in Iran fear that the new restrictions could now undermine this achievement. “I wanted to study architecture and civil engineering,” says Leila, a young woman from the south of Iran. “But access for girls has been cut by fifty per cent, and there’s a chance I won’t get into university at all this year.” It is not yet clear exactly how many women students have been affected by the new rules on university entrance. But as the new academic year begins, at least some have had to completely rethink their career plans. “From the age of 16 I knew I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, and I really worked hard for it,” says Noushin from Esfahan. “But although I got high marks in the National University entrance exam, I’ve ended up with a place to study art and design instead.” Over the coming months campaigners will be watching closely to track the effects of the policy and to try to gauge the longer-term implications.

 

China Jails and beats women activists

China Jails Disabled Rights Activist

 

In this June 30, 2010 file photo, Ni Yulan is helped by her husband Dong Jiqin while heading back to a hotel in Beijing.

China has sentenced disabled human rights lawyer Ni Yulan to two years and eight months in prison on charges of causing a disturbance and committing fraud, prompting complaints by rights activists.  A Beijing court sentenced the 51-year-old lawyer on Tuesday. Her husband, Dong Jiqin, was also jailed for two years on similar charges.  Both deny the charges, and their supporters say the charges were intended to silence their criticism of the government. The two were arrested a year ago as part of a wider crackdown on political dissent following anonymous online calls for protests in China after a series of uprisings in Arab countries.  Sarah Schafer, a Hong Kong-based China researcher with Amnesty International, told VOA the sentence is “absolutely unfair.” She charged that Ni Yulan was targeted because she and her husband have been outspoken advocates for victims of land rights violations.  “Ni Yulan has suffered countless abuses at the hands of authorities, trying to defend people from forced evictions,” she said. “In fact, she herself is a victim of a violent forced eviction, and she began giving aid to other victims to other victims of these types of evictions in 2001.”

Outside the heavily guarded courtroom in suburban Beijing, European Union official Raphael Droszewski read a statement expressing “deep concern” about the sentences and calling for Ni’s immediate release.  “The delegation of the European Union in China is deeply concerned by news of the sentence handed down to human rights defenders Ni Yulan and Dong Jiqin,” said Droszewski The EU firmly upholds the rights of a person to address any human rights on behalf of individuals or groups, as enshrined in the United Nations declaration on human rights defenders.”  He also said the EU is “preoccupied with the deterioration of the situation for human rights defenders in China,” and will continue to closely monitor such cases.  Ni was jailed in 2002 and 2008 for “obstructing official business” and “harming public property” after fighting against the government acquisition of her home in Beijing. She says she was tortured while in prison and is now wheelchair-bound.  During her four-hour court hearing in December, Ni was forced to use an oxygen tank and recline on a bed because of poor health. Activists, including Schafer, say the hearing did not meet international standards for a fair trial.  Her case is the latest in a series of lengthy prison terms given to Chinese human rights activists and other dissidents. Schafer says she expects the crackdown to widen as China’s Communist Party nears the date of a sensitive leadership transition later this year.  “As the leadership transition approaches, I think we’ll see more arrests, more detentions, more harassment of activists and dissidents,” Schafer said.  She says Ni’s lawyer plans to appeal the verdict, although he has not been allowed to meet with either Ni Yulan or her husband.