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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
Study links radiation to heart trouble

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, March 6, 2008 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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            Study: C8 may increase death risks

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn., -- Exposure to the artificial acid C8 
may increase death risks from stroke and prostate cancer in 
chemical plant workers, a study in Minnesota found. In a 
study submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
high death rates were found among 4,000 workers at 3M's 
chemical plant in Cottage Grove, Minn., The Charleston 
(W.Va.) Gazette reported. Employees exposed to C8 did not 
show a high risk of death when compared to the overall Minn-
esota population, but did show an increase when compared to 
other plant employees with little to no exposure. The study 
showed the "risk of death from prostate cancer and (stroke) 
was elevated for workers with higher estimated exposure."
Two hundred percent more deaths than statistically expected 
were found in highly exposed workers, the report said. Res-
ults of the study reportedly confirm the findings of a 1993 
study 3M claimed was inaccurate, and contribute to an in-
creasing collection of research that questions the safety 
of C8.

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         Study links radiation to heart trouble

LONDON, -- A British report suggests a link between radiat-
ion exposure and heart disease for workers at nuclear power 
plants. A research team studied nearly 65,000 workers at 
four British power stations and found nuclear plant workers 
were more likely to die of a heart attack than of cancer 
caused by occupational radiation, The Daily Telegraph repo-
rted Tuesday. The finding, published in the International 
Journal of Epidemiology, said the incidence of heart attacks
and other problems were highest among workers with the high-
est levels of exposure. Researchers, however, said the study
did not rule out the possibility that diet, exercise, socio-
economic status, shift work and stress may also be a factor.
The Guardian newspaper said some of the workers began work 
in the industry as far back as 1946, with those who worked 
at nuclear sites before 1980 exposed to higher levels of 
radiation.


        House panel issues subpoena on beef recall

WASHINGTON,  -- A House oversight panel voted to subpo-
ena the president of Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. to testify 
about the United States' largest recall of beef last month.
The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Inves-
tigations unanimously voted to subpoena Steve E. Mendell to 
answer questions about the recall of 143 million pounds of 
beef, some of which was used in school lunch programs, the 
committee said in a release Wednesday. "Millions of pounds 
of recalled meat arrived in schools across the country and 
the American people deserve to know what led to this," said 
Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the Energy and 
Commerce Committee. "Mr. Mendell's testimony will add an 
important piece to the puzzle." The subcommittee's subpoena 
directs Mendell to testify March 12, said Rep. Bart Stupak, 
D-Mich."The unanimous support of Democrats and Republicans,"
Stupak said, "should send a clear message to Mr. Mendell 
that he cannot ignore congressional authority on this imp-
ortant issue which has already caused enormous problems 
for so many school districts, businesses and senior facil-
ities."
 
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                ESBL killing people, swine
  
COPENHAGEN, Denmark,  -- An antibiotic-resistant bacteria 
called Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase is killing people 
and swine in Denmark. Nyhedsavisen newspaper said the 
bacteria, which has infected more than 350 people in Denmark
since 2003, has been implicated in the deaths of several 
cancer and liver disease patients, the Copenhagen Post rep-
orted. Hvidovre Hospital hospital outside Copenhagen said 
eight patients were diagnosed as having the ESBL bacteria 
in 2006 and the number jumped 50 percent last year. Den-
mark's health officials said the bacteria is being transmit-
ted to humans through pigs but they're not sure how farmers 
and veterinarians who are not eating infected meat are bec-
oming infected. "There's no proof that they are being infec-
ted on the farms, but where else would they get it?" Luca 
Guardabassi of the University of Copenhagen said. "It's very
worrying that the increased use of antibiotics in agricul-
ture has allowed these resistant strains to spread."
 
 
  Foreign substance found in Baxter heparin
 
WASHINGTON, -- Drug counterfeiters may have added an ingre-
dient into Chinese shipments of Baxter's blood-thinner hep-
arin, linked to 19 deaths, a U.S agency said. A foreign sub-
stance similar to heparin's chemical composition was found 
in as much as 25 percent of the   material in the nine sus-
pect lots of the drug, Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting director 
of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's center for drug 
evaluation and research, said Wednesday. Conventional qual-
ity and safety testing performed by Baxter and its supplier,
Scientific Protein Laboratories, didn't uncover any variat-
ion because the substance was similar to heparin, the Chic-
ago Tribune reported. "It acts like heparin in this test, 
so it looks like everything is fine in the test," said Wood-
cock, who didn't reveal how the material was discovered. The
contaminant was present in the active pharmaceutical ingred-
ient originating from Scientific Protein's plant in China, 
the FDA said, adding it was possible the substance could 
have been added at the company's Waunakee, Wis., plant or at
Baxter's Cherry Hill, N.J., processing facility. In a state-
ment, Baxter said the cause "may be associated with the 
crude heparin, sources from China, or from subsequent proc-
essing of that product before it reaches Baxter."
  
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          Pancake and waffle mix recalled

CHICAGO,-- The Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co. has announced a
recall of several varieties of its Aunt Jemima pancake and 
waffle mix for possible salmonella contamination. Recalled 
are Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete, 5-pound box, UPC 30000 
43272; Aunt Jemima Original, 2-pound box, UPC 30000 05040; 
Aunt Jemima Original Complete 2-pound box, UPC 30000 05070; 
and Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Complete, 2-pound box, UPC 30000 
05300, the company said in a release. The boxes have "Best 
Before" dates of "Feb 08 09 H" through "Feb 16 09 H" stamped
on the top. No other Aunt Jemima, frozen Aunt Jemima or 
Quaker products are affected. Consumers having the recalled 
product should return it to the place of purchase for a full
refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company by 
calling a toll-free hotline at 1-800-407-2247 or by logging 
onto www.auntjemima.com. Quaker officials said states inc-
luded in the recall are Texas, Georgia, Alabama, South Caro-
lina, North Carolina, Illinois, Florida, Missouri, Minnes-
ota, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, New Mexico, Kansas
and Utah. Salmonella is a food-borne illness that can be 
fatal in young children, frail or elderly people and people 
with weakened immune systems.       
    
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