January 17, 2010

DT Friday Freakout: Sunday S*(%storm Edition

If your house is anything like ours, it's hard to carve out even a couple of hours on Sunday in which to completely freak out over the week's health, science, safety, and parenting news:

First up, Virginia is for Ass-Scratchers:

It fizzes. It quenches. And it could also contain fecal bacteria.

Nearly half of the 90 beverages from soda fountain machines in one area in Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria.."

That'd be the 22-mile radius around Roanoke, Virginia, btw. To be absolutely safe, make sure your infant only drinks Coke from a bottle or can. [cnn via dt reader ponch]

Or maybe skip the can:

In a shift of position, the Food and Drug Administration is expressing concerns about possible health risks from bisphenol-A, or BPA, a widely used component of plastic bottles and food packaging that it declared safe in 2008.

The agency said Friday that it had "some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children."

...

But health officials said there was no proof that BPA was dangerous to humans.

"If we thought it was unsafe, we would be taking strong regulatory action," said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the principal deputy commissioner of the drug agency, at a news briefing.

Guess which half of that message the American Chemical Council chose to promote? [nytimes]

E.coli, BPA, all we need for a replay of 2007 is a good old-fashioned lead toys panic. Unfortunately, the Chinese manufacturers of cheap-ass children's jewelry have since moved on to cadmium:

Lab tests conducted for the AP on 103 pieces of low-priced children's jewelry on sale in the U.S. found 12 items with elevated levels of cadmium, which can hinder brain development in young children, according to recent research, and is known to cause cancer.

Twelve items had cadmium levels of at least 10% by weight. One piece had 91%, and others contained more than 80%. The government has no restrictions on cadmium in jewelry.

...

The worrisome results came in tests of bracelet charms sold at Walmart stores, at the jewelry chain Claire's and at a Dollar N More store. High amounts of cadmium also were detected in "The Princess and The Frog" movie-themed pendants.

U.S.-based trade groups, as well as distributors and sellers of the jewelry containing cadmium, said their products meet safety standards. Cadmium is regulated in painted toys but not in jewelry.

You know, you'd think it'd be easy enough to say that children's products should not contain known neurotoxic carcinogens, and you'd apparently be wrong. [usatoday via dt readers rolf and ponch]

And finally, it turns out Dr. Evil was wrong; there really is something like a shorn scrotum, as Dadcentric honcho and recent vasectomy survivor Jason Avant's helpful PSA clearly demonstrates. Breathtaking.

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