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Vincent Corbel from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Montpellier, and Bruno Lapied from the University of Angers, France, led a team of researchers who investigated the mode of action and toxicity of deet.
 Corbel said: “We've found that deet is not simply a behaviour-modifying chemical but also inhibits the activity of a key central nervous system enzyme, acetycholinesterase, in both insects and mammals.”
The findings question the safety of deet, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and they highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the development of safer insect repellents for use in public health, the study states.”

Lead, still a global health threat
A new environmental health study has revealed that exposure to lead-based consumer paint is still a global public health threat.

Scott Clark, University of Cincinnati (UC) and his team have found that 73 per cent of consumer paint brands tested from 12 countries representing nearly half the global population exceeded current US standard of 600 parts per million (ppm) for lead in paint.
“Although lead poisoning of children is widely recognised as a major public health problem, too little attention is being given to correcting the problem in many parts of the world and thousands of children continue to be poisoned by the metal, setting them up for life-threatening problems later in life,” said Clark, UC professor of environmental health.

A global ban on lead-based paint is drastically needed to protect the more than three billion people who may be exposed as well as Americans unintentionally exposed through consumer products exported to the United States, the study suggested.

Boredom pushes teens to booze
A new survey has discovered that most teenagers turn to alcohol due to boredom. The research conducted by Drinkaware, a charity that focuses on alcohol abuse, further hinted that summer holidays is the season when youngsters drink the most.
The survey claimed that almost one-in-10 teenagers aged 16 and 17 drank alcohol at least once a week because they had nothing else to do. And it expects the number of underage teenagers consuming liquor to soar over the holiday season, as it is the peak period of boredom for them.

Pot ‘as harmful as tobacco’
A new study by Canadian researchers has shown that smoking pot can cause as much damage to cells and DNA as tobacco smoke, challenging the increasingly popular belief that marijuana is less harmful than cigarettes because pot is ‘natural.’

The new study addressed the question by comparing marijuana smoke vs. tobacco smoke in terms of toxicity to cells and to DNA. Scientists exposed cultured animal cells and bacteria to condensed smoke samples from both marijuana and tobacco.
There were distinct differences in the degree and type of toxicity elicited by marijuana and cigarette smoke.

The researchers found that marijuana smoke caused significantly more damage to cells and DNA than tobacco smoke.

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