Archive for March, 2010

Tanning Beds Should Be Regulated! The New Haven Register 3/10/10

Tanning beds should be regulated
By Nancy Alderman
The World Health Organization ranks tanning beds alongside cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos for their ability to cause cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology has declared that the evidence linking tanning beds to melanomas is overwhelming.
The American Cancer Society warns that young women, who are the heaviest users of tanning beds, are at the greatest risk of causing harm to themselves and that the use of tanning beds should be avoided.
The Lancet Oncology Medical Journal published in its latest edition that using tanning beds could increase the risk of developing cancer by 75 percent, particularly if used by children and young adults.
With the overwhelming amount of evidence linking tanning beds to skin cancer, particularly melanomas, why is a whole generation of teenagers, mainly female, using these salons?
First, most people do not know the dangers tanning beds present. In Connecticut, if you are 16 or younger, you need a parent or guardian’s signature in order to use a tanning bed. We know parents would not give permission if they knew the beds are dangerous, so we know most people are simply unaware of the dangers.
When you go into a salon, you are asked to sign a waiver that says that you understand the risks of using tanning beds. Do you think all teenagers understand the risks when they sign that waiver?
When you get your hair cut in a hair salon you do not need to sign a waiver. Shouldn’t being asked to sign a waiver at a tanning salon be a warning?
Some teenagers are using tanning beds many times a week. There are no state regulations on how many times they can be used.
The beds emit two kinds of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB.
UVB rays do not penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays. UVB rays are known as the “burning rays” because they can cause redness and blistering of the skin. Tanning salons do not want people to get red and blister, so their tanning bulbs emit more UVA rays than UVBs.
UVA rays penetrate more deeply. Because of this, they are capable of causing much harm. Besides being a skin cancer risk, they cause loss of skin elasticity, resulting the skin wrinkling and aging prematurely.
UVA rays also can penetrate the eyes. Tanning salons ask you to wear special goggles, as sunglasses are not protective enough in tanning beds. If UVA rays penetrate the eyes, they can cause cataract formation and burn the retinas.
The country has invested millions of dollars educating people on the dangers of sun exposure and to use sunscreens when outdoors. How is it that while sunscreen lotions are being recommended, people are marching into tanning salons and exposing themselves to ultraviolet rays with little regulation from the government?
Environment and Human Health Inc. is asking the state legislature to ban the use of tanning salons for those age 18 and under. The protective laws in this state require one to be 18 to buy cigarettes and 21 to drink alcohol – surely, teenagers should have equal protections concerning tanning salons.
It took decades from the time the country knew the dangers of cigarette smoking to the time the country regulated it. We cannot afford that again. We know the health risks of using tanning beds and we need stricter regulations to better protect the public, especially teenagers.

Yale study details how and why of BPA’s dangers – March 9, 2010 – New Haven Register

New Haven Register Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Yale study details how and why of BPA’s dangers
By Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor
NEW HAVEN – Exposing a female fetus to a chemical found in plastics causes permanent changes in a daughter’s uterus that might result in cancer – and a research team led by a Yale doctor has figured out why.
Bisphenol A is commonly found in plastics (those with a “7” code on the bottom), in the lining of aluminum cans and in dental sealants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed concern about potential effects of BPA on the brain and reproductive organs, though the link is not definitive.
Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility section of the Yale School of Medicine, said even brief exposure to BPA in the uterus causes permanent damage.
“We already know that mice that are exposed to BPA already have a higher risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and infertility,” he said.
In this study, one group of mice was exposed to BPA as fetuses and compared to a control group to see how much the DNA in the uterus had been modified. The findings, Taylor said, reveal that BPA strips off a part of the DNA, which permanently alters the genetic structure.
“It chemically modifies the DNA by removing methyl groups from the DNA backbone and that makes the DNA more accessible,” he said. The genes then become permanently altered to be supersensitive to estrogen, which can lead to cancer and other consequences.
He said the damage might occur in females after birth as well.
“It’s not as clear,” he said. “It very well may be. I think that’s still more controversial. I think pregnancy is the more dangerous time.”
Taylor said the effect of BPA is reminiscent of the problems with DES (diethylstilbestrol), which was prescribed to women from 1938 to 1971 to prevent miscarriages, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. DES was linked to a rare form of vaginal cancer.
“Now it looks like (as they grow older) those women who were exposed as a fetus have a higher risk of breast cancer,” Taylor said. He also is studying a potential link between BPA and breast cancer.
Taylor said it’s a good idea for women who may become pregnant to avoid BPA, especially products that are brand new and unwashed or old and cracked. Plastics with BPA shouldn’t be microwaved, he said.
Environmental groups also have called for BPA to be removed from consumer products; some companies have begun manufacturing BPA-free items, such as water bottles.
“I always tell my patients, as a physician as well as a scientist … to me it’s an easy decision. There’s so much benefit of eating fresh vegetables instead of (eating) out of a can,” he said.
The new findings were reported in the March issue of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.


7 Companies You Can Trust to Use BPA Free Cans

Dr Landrigan’s Autism & Learning Disabilities Study on Fox News Sunday February 28, 2010!!!

It discusses the potential link between toxic chemicals in our environment and increasing rates of autism and learning disabilities in children.