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11/29/2005

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HELP MAKE MOTHER EARTH HEALTHY
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HEALTH NEWS

MULTIPLE CHEMICAL SENSITIVITIES
More than 12% of the population reports extreme sensitivity to low levels of common chemicals found in our homes. A study published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” finds 1.8% of the population has experienced the lose of their job as a result of this illness. Approximately 12.6% of the U.S. population suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). Extrapolated to a U.S. population of 290 million, today's study means as many as 36.5 million Americans are suffering from MCS, and more than 5.2 million may lose jobs as a result. MCS is a condition in which individuals have an acute hypersensitivity to the chemicals in everyday substances, including household cleaning agents, pesticides, fresh paint, new carpeting, building materi als, newsprint, perfume, and numerous other petrochemical-based products. Individuals with MCS may experience headaches, burning eyes, asthma symptoms, stomach distress/nausea, dizziness, loss of mental concentration, and muscle pain. Some individuals also suffer fever or even loss of consciousness.

MCS can produce a wide range of symptoms, and individuals with hypersensitivity can encounter great difficulty functioning in normal working and living environments. MCS is often triggered, or initiated, by an acute one-time exposure to a specific toxic agent, or chronic exposure to one or more toxic substances, even at low levels.

Reference: Health Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More information is available online at http://www.ehponline.org

CHEMICALS AND OUR CHILDRENS HEALTH
As parents we are concerned for the safety and well being of our children. We try to ensure their well being as infants and growing children. We've addressed the risks involved when swallowing or ingesting a toxic household product. Did you realize that inhalation and absorption through the skin are two more ways that toxins enter the body? Many experts believe that absorption and inhalation can be more debilitating than ingestion of a toxic substance. When toxins are ingested the stomach immediately begins to break them down. When a hazardous chemical is absorbed or inhaled the toxins travel directly to the major organs through the blood stream within minutes

CHILDREN ARE VULNERABLE TOTOXIC SUBSTANCES IN THE ENVIRONMENT
The US has seen a worrisome increase in certain childhood diseases, and researchers are working hard to determine whether this increase is linked to environmental exposures. Childhood asthma has increased by more than 40% since 1980, affecting more than 4.2 million children under the age of 18 nationwide.
The incidence of two types of childhood cancers has risen significantly over the past 15 years: acute lymphocytic leukemia is up 10% and brain tumors are up more than 30%.
Although there are no registries for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders among children, there has been growing attention in recent years to an apparent increase in both.

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11/26/2005

STOP CHILD POISONING!

POISON PREVENTION FOR CHILDREN
1. Keep all household chemical products and medicines out of reach and out of sight of young children and locked up when not in use.
2. Use medications with child-safety caps; they have been shown to be effective in preventing childhood poisonings.
3. Always use safety packaging properly by closing the container securely after use.
4. Keep all potentially hazardous products in their original containers, with their original labels.
5. Never switch medicines or potentially dangerous household products into food containers or unmarked containers that can be mistaken for something harmless.
6. Never refer to medicine as "candy" and avoid taking medications in front of children.
7. Clean out the medicine cabinet periodically and safely dispose of unneeded medicines when the illness for which they were prescribed is over.
8. Stay alert while using poisonous products around the home. Most accidental poisonings occur while parents are using household chemical products such as bathroom cleansers.
9. Keep poisonous plants out of the reach of children. Parents should either remove poisonous plants or make them inaccessible to children.
10. Grandparents and other care givers also need to poisonproof their homes to prevent accidental poisonings. Grandparents' medicines can be very dangerous for small children. They need to take extra precautions with their medications and over-the-counter products when
grandchildren are visiting them.4

KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN FROM COMMON HOUSEHOLD POISONS.
Home should be a safe haven for children. But even the most well-meaning parents expose their children to accidental poisoning by not taking proper precautions with medications, household cleansers, and alcohol.

The Pennsylvania Poison Control Center estimates that more than 90% of all poisonings are accidental. Common household products such as cleaners, detergents, mouthwashes, and even plants are involved in more than 50% of all poisonings. The remainder come from common
pharmaceutical products—cough and cold medicines, vitamins, and prescription drugs.
Accidental overdoses of iron-containing supplements are the leading cause of pediatric poisoning deaths under age si x in the Unit States.
FDA has recently passed legislation to ensure that health-care providers and consumers are aware of the dangers associated with iron overdoses, including pediatric multivitamins that contain iron.
The kitchen, bathroom, and garage are the areas of the home that are most commonly associated with accidental poisonings. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision
(CPSC) has developed a series of checklists and recommendations to correct situations that may lead to poisonings. 1
In spite of all the recent advances, the number of ingestions and or exposures to household medications and chemicals continues to climb. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that in 1994 over one million children under the age of 5 were potentially exposed to poisonous substances. In that same year there were 26 children under the age of 5 who died because they accidentally swallowed medications and household substances.

Protecting children from the toxic exposure of drugs, chemicals, and other potential household hazards is an important role for parents. Poison prevention begins by educating parents, grandparents, and others who are entrusted with the care of our children about what types of substances can be harmful to children. We must learn to think from a child’s perspective and viewpoint when considering how the home environment may pose potential risks that could lead to an episode of accidental poisoning. Lastly, adults must know where and how to get help for poisonings when needed. 2

Other non-prescription drugs are useful -- but they can still be poisonous to children. For xample, aspirin is the leading cause of accidental drug poisoning for children in this coun try.
Formerly, it was available in flavors to make it attractive to children. If you still have some of this flavored aspirin, d iscard it. You should know that today, aspirin is considered unsafe for
all children under 19, because of the possibility of a serious condition called Reye’s Syndrome. Instead, children should be given only non-aspirin pain relievers. If you choose to use aspirin products yourself, keep them in a childproof container and well out of reach.
Iron tablets are also useful, but even a small amount is dangerous to children. They are doubly dangerous because they are often pleasantly flavored and sold in large quantities. Of course, prescription medicines should be kept away from children. Even if you keep prescriptions in a locked medicine chest, what about your purse? Curious little children often play with their mothers' purses, and will eat the medicines they may find there.

Here are some steps to take to poison-proof your home. First, collect and secure all cleaning, painting, and insect control substances. Hiding them under the kitchen sink or in the garage is not enough. If possible, lock them up. Next, get rid of useless drugs and home remedies. For useful drugs and prescriptions, make sure the containers are truly childproof. Keep all drugs in a single, locked place. Don't leave them on the dresser or kitchen table. And remember, don't leave your person attended. Some children with chronic problems such as allergies take
medications often. When the your child repeatedly complains of a stuffy nose, you may want to say, "All right, go take an Actifed." Don't do this. Instead, you give the child appropriate
medication. Reinforce the idea that only Mom or Dad can give medicine at home. Children must never take medicine by themselves. Finally, you should know what to do if your child has
swallowed something hazardous. First, call your local Poison Emergency Center or other emergency information service for help. When calling; be prepared to describe what was
swallowed. To make this possible, be sure all prescription labels include the name of that particular drug. To treat a case of poisoning, the doctor must know what the substance is.
Second, begin treatment as soon as possible. Do not try to get the child to vomit if you do not know what the child had swallowed. Call the Poison Center for instructions. In the case
of household products, the label usually includes instructions for what to do if swallowed.

ACCIDENTAL POISONING IN CHILDREN
During the last forty-five years much progress has been recorded as a result of a nationwide effort to decrease the incidence and fatalities associated with accidental poisoning in the United States. Our nations first poison control center opened in Chicago in 1953, after a study of accidental deaths in childhood determined that a large percentage were the result of accidental poisoning. Since those initial efforts, the overall death rates associated with accidental poisonings
have been significantly lowered largely because of a combination of public education efforts, the mandated use of child-resistant safety caps, the widespread availability of poison control centers and advances in medical care.

POISONS IN YOUR HOME
Almost all homes contain substances that can poison children; and children have been known to experiment with all of them, no matter how unlikely they are or how awful they taste. Many household products like furniture polish, bleach, and caustic cleaning compounds such as lye, must be locked away or stored well out of reach of small children. Children also get into poisons in the garage: gasoline, kerosene, and paint thinner; insect powders and sprays, and ant and roach killers.

Also, children are often poisoned by common nonprescription drugs. Some are old-fashioned remedies that are still kept around, even though they're not medically recommended. For example, boric acid is no more effective as an eyewash than plain water with a touch of salt dissolved in it. But boric acid is poisonous if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Liniments containing oil of wintergreen are poisonous and their minty smell makes them attractive to
children. Camphorated oil and ammoniated mercury ointment both have long histories of poisoning children. If you have one of these items in your medicine chest, throw it out. 3

RESOURCES
1. http://bewell.healthgate.com/healthy/parenting/1997/poison/index.asp

2. http://www.odh.state.oh.us/New/archive/news17.htm

3. http://www.healthatoz.com/atoz/centers/parenting/poison.asp

4. http://www.the-healthpages.com/education/poisons_in_home.html

11/16/2005


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11/10/2005

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Did You Know...

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