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Kids’ cartoon glasses contain 30pc lead

The next time you decide to buy those jazzy cartoon drinking glasses for your kids, better be careful as they have been found to exceed recommended health limits of lead by up to 1,000 times.

The research has concluded that the decorative enamel on certain merchandising glasses contain between 16 and 30 per cent of the dangerous metal, known to reduce children’s IQ.

The drinking sets of movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, are made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank, California.

The testing, conducted by ToyTestingLab of Rhode Island, found that the enamel used to colour the Tin Man had the highest lead levels, at 1,006 times the federal limit for children’s products.

Every Oz and superhero glass tested exceeded the government limit: The Lion by 827 times and Dorothy by 770 times; Wonder Woman by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 times and the Green Lantern by 677 times.
The same glasses also contained relatively high levels of the even-more-dangerous cadmium, though there are no limits on that toxic metal in design surfaces.

Prolonged use of cellphones may trigger skin allergies

They also said that from cosmetics to jewellery, body piercing to tattoos, allergies could lurk in unlikely places. “Increased use has led to more prolonged exposure to the nickel in phones,” said Luz Fonacier, ACAAI Fellow.

“Patients come in with dry, itchy patches on their cheeks, jaw lines and ears and have no idea what is causing their allergic reaction,” said Fonacier.

Nickel is one of the most common contact allergens, and affects up to 17 per cent of women and 3 per cent of men. Contact with objects containing nickel, such as keys, coins and paper clips are generally brief, so the nickel allergy may not occur on the area of contact.

However, even in these brief encounters, nickel can be transferred from fingers to the face and cause eyelid irritation. The risk is increased by frequent, prolonged exposure to nickel-containing objects, such as cellphones, jewellery, watches, and eyeglass frames.
Avoidance of direct skin contact is the best solution.

Blame low sodium for fractures and falls

A new study has shown that older adults with even mildly decreased levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia) experience increased rates of fractures and falls.

Falls are a serious health problem for the elderly and account for about 50 per cent of deaths due to injury in the elderly.

“Screening for a low sodium concentration in the blood, and treating it when present, may be a new strategy to prevent fractures,” comments Ewout J Hoorn, (Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands).

However, hyponatremia does not appear to affect the risk of osteoporosis, as defined by low bone mineral testing, so more research is needed to understand the link between sodium levels and fracture risk.

“A number of recent studies suggested a relationship between hyponatremia, falls, osteoporosis, and fractures,” Hoorn explains.

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