Health updates

The following is new information regarding pesticides and the mortality of frogs, and cell phones and the increased risk of brain cancer.

Pesticide cocktails cause 99 percent mortality rate in frogs

A new study in the journal Oecologia indicates that when pesticides mix in the environment, they form “chemical cocktails” that are more toxic than previously estimated. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh discovered that when 10 of the world’s most commonly used pesticides combine, as they regularly do in the environment, the chemicals caused an astounding 99 percent mortality in leopard frogs. According to the study abstract, “Wetland communities can be dramatically impacted by low concentrations of pesticides (both separate and combined), and these results offer important insights for the conservation of wetland communities.”

Scientists warn congress about cell phones and cancer

Two scientists recently told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy that use of cell phones may raise the risk of brain cancer. The concern came from Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany. They cited a major study recently presented by Dr. Lennart Hardell of Örebro University in Sweden, which stated that people using cell phones doubled their risk of developing brain cancer and acoustic neuromas, which are tumors that damage the hearing nerve.

The study also showed that people who started using cell phones before the age of 20 years were more than five times as likely to develop brain cancer.

The European Parliament recently voted 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to impose stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, wi-fi and other radiation-generating devices — in part because children are particularly vulnerable to the risk.

 

Resource: www.organicconsumers.org and Food Consumer September 26, 2008.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 6, December 2008/January 2009.

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