Toxic baby: A video discussion on pesticides and its effects on human health

In continuation of my earlier blog on BPA found in most plastics, this video discusses the effects of such toxins on our babies and our on own bodies. Linking in conjunction, with the cause and rise of breast cancer. Watch the entire video.

Press Release on Endocrine-disrupting Chemicals

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

PRESS RELEASE

Report paves way for ban on "gender bender" hormone-disrupting chemicals

Brussels, 20 February 2012 - The European Commission has today released a major report on the science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). The report examines what is needed to define and identify EDCs. This is necessary so that they can be included in categories of banned or strongly controlled chemicals under different EU laws.

Although EDCs are most widely associated with causing genital birth defects in boys and contributing to later infertility, exposure to EDCs in the everyday environment may be contributing to breast and testicular cancer, obesity, diabetes and other deadly and long-term chronic diseases. Reducing exposure to EDCs offers a major opportunity to stop the development of many of these diseases before they start.

Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) commented:

"This report is a very important contribution to the debate on how the EU should tackle hormone disruptors. It delivers good insights on how to use the opportunity of the update of the EU EDCs strategy to deal with the threat of these chemicals to public health. Up until now, our laws do not have a broadly agreed and systematic way to identify the culprit chemicals, and this retards action on reducing our exposure. EDCs need to be properly regulated in non-contradictory ways between the multiple laws involved - and this new report provides the way forward. We hope the valuable analysis and recommendations from this report will be integrated into a revised EU EDC strategy, and will equally inform the Commission’s proposal for the criteria to identify EDCs."

The report is available as a pdf at State of the Art Assessment of Endocrine Disrupters, Final Report (135 pages)

A study on the State of the Art of the Assessment of Endocrine Disruptors

Authors: Andreas Kortenkamp, Olwenn Martin, Michael Faust, Richard Evans, Rebecca McKinley, Frances Orton, Erka Rosivatz

BACKGROUND: This is a lengthy report on Endocrine Disruptors which the DG Environment of the European Commission contracted from one of the world’s leading scientists, Professor Andreas Kortenkamp and his team. It examines the state of the science on endocrine disruptors, and the ways in which the existing EU regulatory framework to identify and control these chemicals is adequately addressing the essential characteristics of these chemicals and how they can harm human health.

The study was commissioned in order to inform the EU’s work on developing the criteria that will be used to identify and regulate hormone disruptors under EU laws, notably the Pesticides, REACH and Biocides regulations, and later potentially other EU laws, such as those on cosmetics, food contact materials, and toys safety. It will also inform the revision of the European Community’s 12 year old Strategy on Endocrine Disruptors.

It covers:

· Definition of EDCs

· Frameworks for Regulatory Testing & Screening

· Scientific Results of Regulatory Significance (including Low Dose effects, critical windows of sensitivity, mixtures)

· European Regulatory Framework

· Proposals by Member State Authorities and Stakeholders.

· Testing requirements and decision criteria

· Research and development needs

See background information at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/endocrine/documents/studies_en.htm

The final report can be found by scrolling down to:

"State of the art assessment of endocrine disruptors"
"Annex 1: Summary of the state of the science"
"Annex 2: Summary of expert consultations on approaches to the regulatory assessment of endocrine disruptors"
"Annex 3: Comparative analysis of endpoints and assays by human health and wildlife endpoint"
·

Infertility linked to increased BPA levels found in urine

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

A recent article in the Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences showed that concentrations of Bisphenal A or BPA, a chemical commonly used in plastics and resin based products, (which is nearly everything…think water bottles, toothbrushes, storage containers) found in urine of animals increased the failure of embryo implantation and liter size.

This study led to the evaluation of women undergoing IVF and the associated concentrations of BPA found in their urine. Among 137 women who underwent 180 IVF cycles, 2.22 micrograms per liter of BPA concentrations was detected in their urine. 42% of those 180 IVF cycles failed to implant. The higher concentration levels of BPA found in the urine, the greater risk of implantation failure.

It come as no surprise that plastics are toxic and harmful to our health and the environment. With rising trends of infertility, women need to pay close attention to their consumption of products stored in plastics. Endocrine- disrupting chemicals are abound in our world, we have to do what we can to limit our exposure to such chemicals. This means using any product that contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce, spell or define and or is stored in a container that is not stainless steel, glass or paper.

If you are undergoing IVF cycles, check with your doctor and have your urine check for BPA levels. This may save you a lot of time, money and heartache. 

 

Citation: Ehrlich S, Williams PL, Missmer SA, Flaws JA, Berry KF, Calafat AM, et al. 2012. Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations and Implantation Failure among Women Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization. Environ Health Perspect :-. http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104307

Vermont S.199 bill

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

The S.199 bill of Vermont mandates childhood vaccinations by abolishing the parents' right to philosophical exemption. Vaccinations are a controversy issue for many and most parents want the choice in whether to vaccinate at all, when and which vaccinations to administer, etc. The good news is the senate has opened this bill again to the public for additional expert testimony. Those opposed to S.199 bill have another chance to be heard. Below you will find information on how from the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice. Check out NVIC as well for national vaccination  updates. 

The information below is from the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice (www.vaxchoicevt.com) and replies to this email will go to admin@vaxchoice.com

"Hi all,

Many of you have asked for more clarification on what is next on S199... following see the draft agenda of the House HC Committee for next week. This agenda is subject to change and so please check this link regularly and click on "current agenda" for updates.

The process:

Basically, the house healthcare committee that heard our voices on Wed. night has decided to take up the bill. They will hear invited "expert" testimony all of next week, then discuss, and then they MAY vote (or the bill dies... our greatest hope!). If the committee is "split", this will create at least some more discussion on the floor of the full house (called a second reading after a committee votes), and might even get the bill dropped or to another committee. If not - and if many vote for or against the bill - then the remaining reps in the House will probably vote based on Committee vote at that time. There are 11 on the committee, so what we are aiming for is 5-6 at least (a total defeat is of course a goal). But we cannot forget that the Senate dealt a crushing blow with their largely rushed and uninformed 25-4 vote for the bill.

VT Coalition for Vaccine Choice Status:

We have done a great job in getting to the point where many are "on the fence". BUT, we need a lot more Grassroots lobbying efforts and that begins with each and every one of you. Please, if you can find the time to speak with your rep in person or by phone this weekend (see below), to explain why this bill makes no sense, it is of the utmost importance. Democrats seem most especially leaning toward the flawed concept of the "greater good" versus parental rights.

Key messages:

VT has vax rates above CDC targets, for the required vaccinations, except chicken pox.

VT was ranked #1 healthiest state two years in a row; in this report immunization rate = 91.2%.

As evidenced by Wednesdays public hearing, parents are extremely well-informed and are being thoughtful about which vaccines or doses to opt out of when exercising the philosophical objection.

Changing the Phil Ex law won't even boost the rate the Dept. of Health is citing because those vaccines are not required.

Deliver Petition in person- March 28th 11am:

All petiton signers - come to the statehouse Wednesday to deliver this petition to the house of representatives (Cedar Creek room, 11 am). More details coming soon - but please RSVP to admin@vaxchoicevt.com. We are more likely to get press coverage if there is a good turnout expected. This can also be a great opportunity to talk to your own representative(s) in person. If possible, make an appointment now to talk with them over the lunch hour on March 28th. To find your rep, see link below.

Getting the word out:

Most reps still have not viewed the Greater Good, which is a balanced film on the politics of the vaccine issue... but they have watched the "PBS FRONTLINE" video last Sunday night and also it was circulated online. As we heard Dr. Green say in the Greater Good film, the PBS folks took 1/2 day of interview with him and did the same from several other well respected researchers and doctors but NEVER included any of it on Frontline.

Watch and share the Greater Good Film now.

FOR POLICYMAKERS AND STAFFERS:

http://vimeo.com/31036452

goodvt

FOR GENERAL PUBLIC (may get shut off today)

http://vimeo.com/29998236

greater

Daily Call-ins:

Beginning this Sunday night, and every night after that, we will hold an open conference call from 8:30-9:30 pm to provide updates on S199 for members of the VT Coalition for Vaccine Choice. This will be a good opportunity to exchange ideas and information and strategize with one another. Let me know (admin@vaxchoicevt.com) if you would like to be placed on the call-in list.

Note that next week's testimony is public, and all are encouraged to attend so we may see and hear what the Committee Members are being told. We may want to consider another rally, too.

Reach out! This bill includes college students, too

Anyone in any school including post-secondary schools in VT is impacted by S199. And this bill proposes precedent for further vaccine mandates in the state of Vermont.

College students have not yet awakened to this issue and we need YOUR help in getting there. The more we have on our petition and the more we have speaking out, the better. Write letters to the local paper, engage the press, do whatever you can to continue to speak intelligently and gain traction on this important issue of informed consent for medical procedures. And check the website, facebook and twitter for regular updates, too. Website: www.vaxchoicevt.com

Contact Information and who to call this weekend:

your rep: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/lms/legdir/districts.asp?Body=H

Plus:

Representative Shap Smith, Speaker of the House

(802) 828-2245 or speaker@leg.state.vt.us

House Health Care Committee

Mike Fisher of Lincoln, Chair – (802) 453-5517 or mfisher@leg.state.vt.us

Sarah Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Vice Chair – (802) 222-3536 orscopelandhanzas@leg.state.vt.us

Paul Poirier of Barre City, Ranking Member - (802) 476-7870 or ppoirier@leg.state.vt.us,paulpoirier33@gmail.com

Leigh Dakin of Chester, Clerk – (802) 875-3456 or ldakin@leg.state.vt.us

Jim Eckhardt of Chittenden – (802) 342-0140 or jeckhardt@leg.state.vt.us

Patti Komline of Dorset - (802) 867-4232 or pkomline@leg.state.vt.us

Mary Morrissey of Bennington – (802) 442-2092 or mmorrissey@leg.state.vt.us

Chris Pearson of Burlington – (802) 860-3933 or cpearson@leg.state.vt.us

Kristy Spengler of Colchester – (802) 864-6567 or seashre@msn.com

Mark Woodward of Johnson – (802) 635-7166 or mwoodward@leg.state.vt.us

Tips on staying healthy this cold & flu season!

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

Now that November is here, and winter is just around the corner, colds and flu season is not far behind. The following health tips are useful, preventive steps to take to maintain you and your family's health:

This may seem like a no-brainer, but washing hands is key to preventing sickness. Make it a habit to wash your hands after shaking hands with someone, coming in from outside, the grocery store, or any other public place, including the bathroom (which surprisingly enough, many don’t!). Be sure to wash your kid's hands too! They are the biggest carriers of germs especially now that school is in session.

Vitamin C is quickly consumed by the immune system during infections, by adding vitamin C to your diet will increase your immune systems ability to fight off illness.

Elderberry is a common folk remedy that has been around for centuries and used medicinally for many different purposes. Specifically, the bioflavonoids in the juice can inhibit the flu virus from infecting cells. Taken at the first onset of cold or flu symptoms, Elderberry improves the immune system and prevents upper respiratory infections and taken during illness, lessens the severity of the infection and shortens the duration.

Zinc is an essential trace element and needed in small amounts to maintain health, taking zinc lozenges help to boost the immune system and fight off colds. Water is essential during the cold and flu season.

Staying well hydrated is another no-brainer, but often hard to do. Increase your intake to help thin out fluids such as mucus and phlegm, reducing congestion in the sinuses and the lungs.  Water also helps to maintain healthy cell function,  eliminating  toxic buildup, improving your immune system. 

Nasal washes, done using the well known Neti pot, is an excellent way to prevent illness. By flushing out the nasal cavities, you reduce the chance for viruses and bacterial to invade your system. Try the neti pot daily to reduce the severity of seasonal allergies as well.

As always, food is your best defense against any illness. Eating foods that are sourced organically, locally and seasonally is not only sustainable for our environment, but it keeps you sustained as well. Reduce or if possible, completely avoid refined sugars, processed foods, and sugary drinks. Replace with more water, green or black teas, and whole foods, such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, oats, vegetables (especially kale, the super food!), and fruit. 


Useful foods as medicine: (to name just a few)

Garlic: This pungent bulb not only helps to flavor dishes, but it can fight off viruses, fungal and bacterial infections. Overall, this super food improves your immune system. Don't be shy, mince raw garlic into your dishes for an added immune boost. Worried about the pungency? Cook garlic into your food lessening the pungency, without losing the benefit. 


Ginger: This aromatic, spicy rhizome has been used for millennia as medicine. Use ginger in most dishes to add a little heat, increase blood circulation, warm chills, or use in a hot bath to induce sweating. My favorite is a fresh minced ginger with hot water and honey, add a little cinnamon for extra immune fighting power. 

Cinnamon: Feeling the classic signs of a cold or flu with a stiff, achy neck and chills, try cinnamon tea. This culinary spice is a highly prized medicine in the Chinese Materia medica that inhibits the flu virus and warms the muscles reducing achiness. Try soaking 6g in 16oz of hot water once a day. 

Finally, everyone knows how important feeling good is for your health. Well, those feel-good hormones can also reduce stress and less stress means a stronger immune system. To help brighten your mood on a dark, grey day, replace your standard watt light bulb with full spectrum lighting that provides more natural light. Plug in these bulbs closest to where you sit, read, by your bed etc., you will notice the difference. Reduce your susceptibility to illness by maintaining a lighter, happier feeling throughout the day. 

 

 

Some resources that I found useful to write this blog:

  • Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica by Dan Bensky, Steven Clavey and Erich Stoger (Sep 2004)
  • Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality
  • National Institute of Health | www.nih.gov

 

Monthly Blog is here!

by Nieve Shere, L.Ac.

Many of you have been asking me to write down my healthy tips of the trade. After much coaxing, I am finally doing it. This blog will be a place for me to share tips on preventive health and wellness, nutritional and nutriceutical recipes, product information, latest medical research, and other interesting, fun tidbits.  I welcome your feedback and suggestions as this is an ever evolving process. If you want more of something, tell me! If you would like a place for questions and answers or an online forum for discussion, tell me! This could also be a place where you share your own health stories and experiences. Sharing your own experiences is a great way to encourage and support others on their path to health and wellness!