Health & WellnessS


New warning issued for Indian toothpaste

A popular brand of toothpaste imported from India contains dangerously high levels of harmful bacteria, Health Canada says.

Yesterday's warning comes a month after the agency revealed Neem Active Toothpaste with Calcium also contains a poison used in antifreeze.


Chemicals in non-stick pans may retard babies' growth

Chemicals used in non-stick pans, fast-food containers, carpets, furniture and a host of other everyday household products are retarding babies' growth and brain development, two startling new studies suggest.

The studies - from the United States and Denmark, both published in the past month - found that babies with increased levels of the chemical in their umbilical cords were born smaller and with reduced head sizes. Though the changes were small, reductions in weight and brain development at birth have been associated with health problems throughout life.


Italian police to investigate abortion of wrong twin

Italian police have been asked to investigate a case in which doctors treating a 40-year-old woman who was pregnant with twins aborted a healthy foetus while leaving a second, malformed one untouched.

The San Paolo hospital in Milan yesterday confirmed a report of the blunder in the daily Corriere della Sera. A statement from the hospital said the twins had changed places inside the womb between the first ultrasound scan and a second one carried out shortly before the operation, which took place in the 18th week of the pregnancy. It said it had handed the case notes to the "competent authorities".


Who gives parents a break? Not the USofA that's for sure

Who Gives Parents a Break? Here is yet another indicator that the U.S. lags behind most other countries in providing health care benefits.


Bird flu hits poultry in two Vietnam provinces

Bird flu has spread to two more provinces in Vietnam, killing hundreds of chickens and ducks, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.

The outbreak of H5N1 in the northern province of Thai Nguyen and Dong Thap to the south brought to four the number of provinces on the government's current bird flu watchlist.


H5N1 Bird Flu Reaches Germany

Dead ducks at a farm in Wachenroth in Germany have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu signaling the appearance of the virus for the third time in the country. The farm in question is located in Bavaria's Erlangen-Hoechstadt area.

The infection was suspected after some 400 ducks died mysteriously within a short time. Bavaria's environment ministry said that all the 160,000 birds in the farm would be culled to prevent the spread of infection to surrounding areas. All the 44,000 ducks may have to be killed as well.


Experts say: US childbirth deaths on the rise.

U.S. women are dying from childbirth at the highest rate in decades, new government figures show. Though the risk of death is very small, experts believe increasing maternal obesity and a jump in Caesarean sections are partly to blame.


Flashback U.S. has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says

An estimated 2 million babies die within their first 24 hours each year worldwide and the United States has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world, according to a new report.

American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway, Save the Children researchers found.


CDC Identifies Two New Norovirus Strains

A 90-year-old nursing home patient died from the stomach flu last year, marking the first time U.S. health officials confirmed that the highly contagious bug is sometimes fatal.

The North Carolina woman so far is the only person for whom lab tests confirmed norovirus as the killer, but health officials believe the virus killed at least 18 others and caused thousands of illnesses late last year.


The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products

Investigative journalist Mark Schapiro discusses why companies that manufacture hazard-free products for the European Union often produce toxin-filled versions of the same items for America and developing countries.