Illegal (to children), immoral (to Baptists), and causing cancer

Alcohol now is shown to increase cancer risk.

As always, moderation is the best policy. Note that alcohol might have some cardiovascular health benefits.

I’m glad I’m not in this man’s shoes

Some guy trips over his shoelaces and shatters some prized Chinese vases.

The germ theory of obesity

Some researcher hypothesize that some causes of obesity are viral.

Whether this hypothesis will lead to a vaccine against obesity remains to be seen.

EPA asks companies to eliminate Teflon™ precursor output

Teflon™, the product used to make nonstick cookware, includes a chemical called PFOA(perfluorooctanoic acid), which has a long half-life in the body (detectable levels for four years), and can cause health problems. The EPA is asking companies to cut output.

I regret having bought cookware with this compound (not as a result of this article, but from earlier investigations). If you use such cookware, beware of cooking at high temperatures.

Them’s bugs yer eatin’

The FDA tackles regulations on the use and labeling of carmine, a red dye derived from an insect and used in everything from food to drugs to cosmetics.

Maybe placing someone from CFSAN(Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) into a locked room with my daughter after she’s had a small dose of FD&C Yellow #6 would illuminate the issues of food coloring for them.

Discover magazine on mercury

Via “Pat Sullivan’s blog”: I came across an “article on mercury”: by Discover magazine. It briefly mentions the autism issue as well as fish, waste from power plants, and dental fillings. I’ve “mused elsewhere”: that testing for mercury in autistic patients would help the debate, and suspected that testing would be a lot easier said than done. Well, it’s even worse than that:

Chronic low-level exposure to mercury is difficult to quantify because analyses of blood, urine, and hair will reflect only recent acute exposure, not past exposure. If acute mercury poisoning is diagnosed, administering compounds that bind to mercury and draw it out of the tissue—a process called chelation therapy—can remove elemental or inorganic mercury. However, chelation cannot remove methylmercury.

Mercury has a strong affinity for the brain, especially the fetal brain. Methylmercury has been shown to alter the construction of structural components of the brain called microtubules and influence the development of neurons. [from page 3]

So, there are two issues here. First, it’s possible that mercury does its damage and then gets out, or that mercury just hides out in the cells and destroys proteins while evading any type of testing we can do. Second, the article notes that chelation therapy does not remove methylmercury (and presumably ethylmercury, the type found in the vaccine preservative thimerosal). Now, it is possible for methylmercury to be metabolized into inorganic Hg^2+^ which is how it does its damage, and which may open it up for chelation therapy if it is accessible to the chelation agent.

At any rate, it’s still pretty unclear why chelation therapy seems to be successful for some children, but not for others. The polarity of the thimerosal and chelation debates does not seem to cover the ground necessary to understand what’s really going on.

I am clear on one thing, though. I want to limit mercury exposure from all sources.

Happy birthday!

Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He still entertains us all, and mystifies scientists with the Mozart effect.