A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a link between tainted drinking water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in North Carolina and increased risk of serious birth defects and childhood cancers.
The long-awaited study was released last Thursday by the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The CDC surveyed the parents of 12,598 children born at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985, the year most contaminated drinking water wells were closed. The study was designed to see if there was a link between exposure to certain chemicals and certain health problems that developed later. The CDC confirmed 15 cases of spina bifida and anencephaly, 24 cases of oral clefts, and 13 cases of cancer. Continue reading
On a recent episode of his popular talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz warned women that carrying a cell phone in your bra creates a possible cancer risk.
Dr. Oz devoted the December 6 episode of the show to the issue, featuring a woman who had carried her phone in her bra for four years, Examiner.com reports. When diagnosed with breast cancer, the woman realized the tumor was located just where she had stored her phone. Many women find it convenient to carry their phones in their bra when they’re not carrying a purse or do not have a pocket for the phone, such as when exercising or out for a walk. Continue reading
The genetic testing service 23andMe, under pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has agreed to discontinue providing information on health risks while the test undergoes regulatory review.
The decision came in response to a warning letter the FDA sent to the company two weeks ago, alerting 23andMe that it considered the genetic test a medical device that requires FDA approval, The New York Times reports. Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe’s chief executive, said the company remains committed to its “mission to help people everywhere have access to their own genetic data and have the ability to use that information to improve their lives.” She added that the company would work cooperatively with the FDA. Continue reading
The red plastic portable gasoline containers consumers use to fill lawnmowers, snow throwers, and other equipment pose an explosion hazard under certain conditions.
Lab tests indicate that under certain rare conditions, gas vapor mixtures can explode inside those cans and cause significant injuries, an NBC News investigation reports. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at the request of NBC News, analyzed incident and injury databases and counted at least 11 reported deaths and 1,200 emergency room visits involving gas can explosions during the pouring of gasoline since 1998. Continue reading
In a December 2 court filing in federal court in Charleston, West Virginia, lawyers for women suing Johnson & Johnson over its transvaginal mesh implants contend that the company destroyed or misplaced thousands of documents it had been ordered to preserve.
J&J’s Ethicon unit, maker of the Gynecare Prolift implant, lost or disposed of potentially hundreds of thousands of documents in the last decade although they were supposed to be preserved, Bloomberg News reports. As a result, the attorneys say, there are gaps in the story and the company should not “benefit from the gaps in plaintiffs’ story that defendant created.” Continue reading
Another medication has been tied to a dangerous, sometimes fatal, skin reaction. This time, an oral cancer medication, Capecitabine (Xeloda), has been tied to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).
SJS and TEN are typically the result of medication use and are potentially fatal disorders that involve cell death in the skin and mucus membranes. SJS blistering usually occurs in the mouth, eyes, and vagina; blistering can spread to internal organs. SJS can also cause patchy areas of rash that ultimately peel off the skin, scarring, and blindness. TEN, an extremely severe form of SJS, occurs when over 30 percent of the body is involved. Both SJS and TEN typically require hospital burn unit treatment. Continue reading
In its second warning this month, Intuitive Surgical Inc., the manufacturer of the da Vinci robot surgery system, advised physicians that friction in the arms of some devices might cause unit stalls.
The Urgent Medical Device Recall notice was issued on November 11 and involved 1,386 da Vinci systems across the globe, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bloomberg.com reported. The stalls may lead to a sudden, so-called “catch-up” should the surgeon push through the resistance, according to the FDA. Continue reading
Two passengers who were traveling on the Metro-North train that derailed just outside of Manhattan this weekend have filed a notice of claim against the railroad.
The move is the first step in lawsuits that seek damages tied to the accident, according to CNN. Four people perished in the crash. Another 67 were injured, some seriously.
Retired Army colonel and dentist, Denise Williams alleges that she suffered fractures to her spine, collarbone, and ribs and was trapped inside an overturned train car for about one hour, according to her attorney. The lawsuit will accuse the commuter rail—not the train engineer—of negligence because negligence claims must be filed against the railroad and cannot legally be filed against the engineer, who has admitted to nodding off when the train sped into a sharp curve, according to CNN. Continue reading
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted sale of a device—the BSD-2000—which is used to combat cervical cancer in women who are too ill to undergo chemotherapy. At issues is that the device has not been fully tested.
The BSD-2000 uses intense heat to kill off cancer cells and is only used in very specific circumstances when women are extremely ill from cervical cancer, according to The New York Times. In the two years since the device was sold, those few hospitals that purchased the BSD-2000, a $500,000 device, have not participated in a patient study that the manufacturer agreed to perform as part of the device’s approval. In fact, cancer experts have said they were surprised the regulators cleared the BSD-200 to begin with. Continue reading