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US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps

In 2013, the FDA proposed the ban, saying that using antibacterial soaps containing these chemicals “could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects”

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The FDA has banned 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps. Image source: Pixabay

September 05, 2016: The FDA has banned 19 chemicals commonly found in antibacterial soaps.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned 19 chemicals found in the antibacterial soaps which are widely used by Americans.

“Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections,” the FDA wrote in a news release.

In its ruling, the FDA said this would apply to soaps containing any of the 19 chemicals, including triclosan, found in liquid soaps, and triclocarbon, found in soap bars.

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The FDA said some soap manufacturers had already removed these ingredients.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

Antibacterial hand wipes, liquid hand sanitizers and other products used in a “healthcare setting” are not covered by the ruling.

In 2013, the FDA proposed the ban, saying that using antibacterial soaps containing these chemicals “could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.”

The agency sought further data from manufacturers that showed the soaps were effective but said such data was not provided.

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Manufacturers have one year to comply to the FDA’s ruling.

While the FDA maintains that simple soap and water is the best way to prevent spreading germs, if they are not available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. (VOA)

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Do you prefer drinking out of decorated glassware? Beware, you may be consuming large amounts of toxic lead, says new study

The presence of hazardous elements in both the paint and glaze of decorated glassware has obvious implications for both human health and the environment

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Love to decorate your glassware with paints? Beware, it could be making you unhealthy! Pixabay

London, November 6, 2017 : Love to decorate your glassware with art? Beware, the paint used can contain potentially toxic levels of lead and cadmium, increasing health risks, a study has shown.

The findings showed that in enamelled drinking glasses, flakes of paint often come off, which could be ingested over a prolonged period and prove hazardous for human health.

For the study, researchers at the University of Plymouth carried out 197 tests on 72 new- and second-hand drinking glass products, including tumblers, beer and wine glasses, and jars.

They found lead present in 139 cases and cadmium in 134, both on the surface of the glasses and, in some cases, on the rims, with concentrations of lead sometimes more than 1,000 times higher than the safe limit.

ALSO READ Daily exposure to low-levels of Chemicals in everyday Objects cost Billions in Health Care and Disability in United States

“The presence of hazardous elements in both the paint and glaze of decorated glassware has obvious implications for both human health and the environment. So it was a real surprise to find such high levels of lead and cadmium, both on the outside of the glassware and around the rim,” said Andrew Turner, lead researcher from the varsity.

“There are genuine health risks posed through ingesting such levels of the substances over a prolonged period, so this is clearly an issue that the international glassware industry needs to take action on as a matter of urgency,” Turner added.

The study, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, analysed a range of glassware using portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry.

The lead concentrations ranged from about 40 to 400,000 parts per million (ppm), while quantities of cadmium ranged from about 300 to 70,000 ppm.

According to the US Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, the limit levels for the externally decorated lip area of drinking glass are 200 ppm and 800 ppm, respectively.

“Given that safer alternatives are available to the industry, the overall results of this study are both surprising and concerning,” Turner said. (IANS)

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Donald Trump Planning to meet Putin during his Asia tour

Donald Trump's first trip to Asia is the longest international tour.

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US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump. wikimedia commns
  • US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he expected to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during his Asia tour.

“I think it’s expected we’ll meet with Putin, yeah. We want Putin’s help on North Korea, and we’ll be meeting with a lot of different leaders,” Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One before landing at the Yokota Air Base in Japan, Efe reported.

Putin is scheduled to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which Trump will also attend as part of his long Asia tour.

The North Korean nuclear threat is expected to dominate Donald Trump’s meetings in Japan and the next two stages of his tour, South Korea and China, where he will have a highly anticipated sit-down with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The remainder of the tour will be more focused on economic issues, with Trump scheduled to take part in the APEC meeting in Da Nang and then in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is the longest international tour by a US head of state since the one then-President George H.W. Bush embarked on in 1992.

Bush became ill at the end of that trip, famously vomiting on the Japanese prime minister’s lap at a formal dinner before fainting.(IANS)

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Women can Boost their Working Memory with Hormone Therapy

Benefits of oestrogen therapy in women.

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oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress
oestrogen therapy can increase working memory under stress. wikimedia commons

New York, Nov 5: Undergoing a type of hormone replacement therapy — used for menopausal treatment — may help protect as well as improve working memory for some women as they age, according to a new study.

Hormone replacement therapy uses female hormones – oestrogen and progesterone – to treat common symptoms of menopause and ageing.

The findings showed that women taking oestrogen-only therapy had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and performed better on tests of “working memory” following exposure to stress compared to women taking a placebo.

“Our study suggests that oestrogen treatment after menopause protects the memory that is needed for short-term cognitive tasks from the effects of stress,” said lead author Alexandra Ycaza Herrera, a researcher at the University of Southern California – Davis.

To measure the effect of oestrogen therapy on working memory under stress, the team recruited 42 women with an average age of 66.

Half of the postmenopausal women had been on estradiol — a type of oestrogen therapy — for approximately five years, while the others had received a placebo.

The researchers, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, collected saliva to measure the women’s levels of cortisol, oestrogen, and progesterone.

They also ran a test of working memory called a “sentence span task”, in which the women were each given a series and then asked whether each sentence made sense. They also were asked to recall the last word of each one.

While women receiving oestrogen therapy had a smaller increase in cortisol and showed no decrease in working memory function, even after being exposed to stressful situation, those taking the placebo experienced a spike in cortisol levels as well as demonstrated a decrease in working memory function.

Previous studies have pointed to potential health risks — the Ahigher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots — of the treatment.

Thus, Herrera noted that “hormone replacement therapy may not be right for every woman, but women need to be able to have the conversation with their doctors”.(IANS)