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Archive Poison News: January 2009
  Back to 2009 Archives
  Total News For This Month: 6 records

   Cookie scare
  - The New Straits Times, January 23, 2009

  Malaysia -   Following a ‘salmonella scare’ in peanut butter that reportedly sickened more than four hundred people and linked to six deaths in the US, Amos Chocolate Chips maker in Malaysia has recalled its product dough with peanut butter and peanut paste over fears of bacterial contamination. Checks by the Malaysian health authorities confirmed that the dough in the peanut butter and peanut paste was indeed imported from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). 
Salmonella can cause serious infection and lead to fatality, especially among children and elderly people with weak immunity systems (immuno-compromised).  Symptoms of salmonella infection include fever, diarrhoea and stomach ache.  Infection could lead to septicaemia,  endocarditis (infection of the veins) and arthritis.


   VapoRub can harm children under 2
  - New Sunday Times, January 18, 2009


Vicks VapoRub, a common cold remedy, can cause respiratory distress in very young children when inappropriately applied directly under the nose, US researchers said.  They said using the product in this way can cause a young child’s tiny airways to swell and fill with mucus, triggering severe breathing problems.  According to the researchers, ingredients in Vicks could be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airways.  Since infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of an adult, any increase in mucus or swelling can narrow them severely.


   Dangers of third-hand smoke
  - The New Straits Times, January 13, 2009


A new study found third-hand smoke poses risk to infants and children. According to researchers, third-hand smoke is what one smells when a smoker gets into an elevator, or in a hotel room where people had been smoking.  The term, third-hand smoke describes the invisible yet toxic brew of gases and particles clinging to smokers’ hair and clothing, not to mention cushions and carpeting, that lingers long after second-hand smoke has cleared the room.  The residue includes heavy metals, carcinogens and even radioactive materials that infants can get on their hands and ingest, especially if they were crawling or playing on the floor.

Some of the substances in third-hand smoke are hydrogen cyanide, used in chemical weapons; butane, which is used in lighter fluid, toluene, found in paint thinners; arsenic, lead; carbon monoxide; and even polonium-210, the highly radioactive carcinogen that was used to murder former Russian spy Alexander V. Litvinenko in 2006.


   Tainted milk sickens 296,000 children, says China
  - The Star, January 13, 2009


China said that a total of 296,000 children had fallen ill from consuming dairy products tainted with melamine.  Its health ministry also reported that 52,898 babies received treatment for kidney problems caused by the toxic ingredient. 

The discovery, last year, that melamine was mixed into baby milk, in a bid to make it look richer in protein, shocked consumers both in China and abroad. 

It was also revealed that over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics in China is responsible for killing an estimated 80,000 people annually due to patients’ adverse reaction.  The estimate was reached after medical experts investigated the deaths of 200,000 sick people in 2005, concluding that 40 per cent of the fatalities were due to the abuse of antibiotics.


   Cigarette sales in France drop
  - The Sun, January 12, 2009


Cigarette sales in France dropped to a record low in 2008, according to a British American Tobacco (BAT) survey.  The company cited bans on smoking in bars and public places as well as high prices as factors encouraging the formerly smoking-mad French to stub out their cigarettes for good.


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