Nation/World

Teflon chemicals found in newborns

A study of 300 newborn babies has shown that virtually all were exposed in the womb to two ubiquitous chemicals used to make protective coatings, nonstick products and insecticides. Past studies have tied the compounds – at lower levels than observed in a Johns Hopkins study – to tumors and developmental toxicity in lab animals.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) in the infants’ umbilical-cord blood. They published the results April 20 in the online edition of Environmental Science & Technology.

The chemicals are used to make Teflon and also a stain repellent for carpets.

Co-author Lynn Goldman said the scientists are still trying to determine how the two compounds, which come from different sources, got in the babies’ blood.

Washington

Contaminant found in chicken feed

Chicken feed in some farms in Indiana contained byproducts from pet food manufactured with contaminated wheat gluten imported from China, two federal agencies said Monday.

The Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration said officials learned of the link as part of the investigation into imported rice protein concentrate and wheat gluten that have been found to contain the industrial chemical melamine.

The FDA and USDA said the likelihood of illness from eating chicken fed the contaminated product is very low.

Washington

Teen girls abusing prescriptions more

Females are bucking the traditional drug abuse trends when it comes to prescription drugs such as antidepressants and tranquilizers.

Normally, usage rates for illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are much higher for men than women. But for prescription drugs, the reverse is the case for teenage girls, said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Nearly one in 10 teenage girls reported using a prescription drug to get high at least once in the past year, officials said Monday. For teenage boys, the ratio was close to 1 out of 13.

Federal officials said men typically abuse drugs and alcohol for the sensation, while surveys indicate women do so to increase their confidence, reduce tension or to lose weight.

From wire reports



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