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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
Number of posts: 4,959

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November 4, 2015

Choosing a Chemical Flame-Retardant Free Campus
By Joe Allen PhD and Heather Henriksen MPA

By Heather Henriksen, Director, Harvard Office for Sustainability and Joe Allen, Assistant Professor of Exposure Assessment Science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Healthy Buildings Program at the Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment

Today, Harvard becomes the first university in the nation to sign a pledge stating our preference for purchasing furniture that is manufactured without the use of toxic chemical flame retardants. We’re honored to join industry leaders like Kaiser Permanente, Facebook, and Autodesk in acting on what the science tells us is a necessary step forward for the health and well-being of our community. The path that took us to this moment reflects what we believe should be a central responsibility of any university: producing research that is relevant to people’s lives and that can be easily translated into practice on our campus and elsewhere.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency there are over 80,000 chemicals in use today, most are unregulated, and only some have undergone sufficient health testing. At Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and other Harvard Schools, including engineering and design, our researchers are working to better understand how exposure to harmful chemicals can impact human health and the environment. And through the University’s holistic Sustainability Plan and Green Building Standards, Harvard is identifying and tracking chemicals of concern in our built environment.

When public health scientists conduct their research, they think about sources (where pollutants come from and how they migrate into our environments), exposure pathways (determining how chemicals enter our bodies), and adverse health effects (how those exposures impact human health). And on flame retardant chemicals this entire pathway has been worked out thanks to research at Harvard and countless other universities, government agencies and non-profit institutions. The science is clear: halogenated and organophosphorous flame retardants have been widely used in upholstered furniture and other products for several decades; these chemical flame retardants migrate out of products and enter the air and dust in our indoor and outdoor environments, causing near ubiquitous exposure; and exposure to these chemicals is associated with adverse health effects including cancer, interference with the hormone system, impairments to neurological development, and reproductive harm.

Eliminating the use of these chemicals does not weaken fire safety. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found these harmful chemicals do not provide a “practically significant greater level” of safety than untreated furniture. And furniture containing some flame retardants actually emits higher levels of carbon monoxide, soot and smoke than untreated furniture. New fire safety standards that improve safety while allowing manufacturers to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in upholstered furniture allows Harvard, and other organizations, to make good purchasing decisions aligned with what the science tells us is necessary for public health.


Related: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014943292
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Dec 19, 2015, 07:56 PM (0 replies)

That's wrong, I'm not. We only differ in that I support informed consent, you support coercion. (nt)

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Dec 11, 2015, 07:40 PM (1 replies)

Retiring NVICP Special Master Denise Vowell modulated her convoluted legal decisions over 6 years.

National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program -> http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html

Special Master Denise K. Vowell in Wright v HHS - 9/21/15 (ii)

(ii) https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2012vv0423-91-0

“I find that M.W.’s development was, more likely than not, within normal limits prior to his July 6 vaccinations. Thereafter, it deteriorated, and eventually he received an ASD diagnosis. I am not required to find that the vaccination actually caused that diagnosis. Rather, I find that the neurological and behavioral symptoms he displayed for well more than six months after the vaccination constituted a chronic encephalopathy, which meets the diagnostic criteria for ASD.

Many, if not most, cases of ASD constitute a chronic encephalopathy. However, only rarely do the symptoms of ASD follow an acute encephalopathy, in which some of those symptoms are part of the acute encephalopathic picture. This case is one of those rare events. Because M.W. had an acute encephalopathy meeting the Table requirements, followed by a chronic encephalopathy, a presumption of causation attaches regarding his current condition.

I emphasize again that this is NOT a case in which a judicial determination has been made that vaccines actually caused a child to develop ASD. Since I was assigned to the “autism docket” in early 2007, as one of the three special masters to hear the OAP test cases, I have had approximately 1800 cases alleging vaccine causation of ASD on my docket. In my nearly nine years on this autism docket, I have not read or heard any reliable evidence in any case, including this one, that vaccines can or do cause ASD…

M.W. experienced an acute encephalopathy, with onset beginning within two hours of his Pentacel vaccination. The acute encephalopathy persisted for more than 24 hours. Although there is some evidence of an intercurrent illness, that evidence does not reach the level of preponderant evidence of alternate cause. M.W. never returned to baseline after the vaccination. He has a chronic encephalopathy which has persisted for over six months…

Petitioners are therefore entitled to compensation for M.W.’s condition as a Table encephalopathy.”


Special Master Denise K. Vowell in Snyder v HHS – 2/19/09 (i)

(i) http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/vaccine_files/Vowell.Snyder.pdf

"To conclude that Colten's condition (autism) was the result of his MMR vaccine, an objective observer would have to emulate Lewis Carroll's White Queen and be able to believe six impossible (or, at least, highly improbable) things before breakfast.”

Special Master Denise Vowell’s used these words in her stinging dismissal of the Snyder case in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings. By invoking Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Vowell was advising the petitioners and the American public that claiming that vaccines cause autism was simply preposterous. The imperious language used in dismissing the Snyder case was designed to send the message that those who claim a link between autism and vaccines are in league with the Mad Hatter.

Lengthy analysis with additional comparable footnotes: The White Queen Awaits Her Breakfast

Gee, why didn't she just quote you?
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 11:32 PM (1 replies)

Actually, here are the primary sources. Newspaper reports are secondary sources, are they not?

The meeting minutes are fascinating.


http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/ (Whats New)

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Nov 29, 2015, 01:55 PM (0 replies)

NYT Op-Ed: The Risks of Assisting Evolution

The Risks of Assisting Evolution

NOV. 10, 2015

THERE are four locked doors guarding a specialized lab at the Harvard School of Public Health. The doors are meant to prevent insects inside the lab from venturing out — which is essential, because researchers behind those doors are re-engineering mosquitoes by cutting and pasting bits of DNA with tools unimaginable a decade ago.

If researchers can figure out the right combination of genes, they’ll manufacture a mosquito resistant to malaria, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. But geneticists, bioethicists and others who understand the implications of this new technology are apprehensive. To an astonishing degree, these new tools, which include a technique called Crispr-Cas9, allow us to bend evolution to our will. But will we harness these new technologies to help our planet? Or spark an ecological catastrophe?


Just about everyone agrees that regulation is urgently needed, but no one has much of an idea what it should look like. A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on the nonhuman impact of gene drive is expected next spring. In the meantime, two actions could vastly improve prospects for successful and balanced regulation.

First, we need to clarify who has jurisdiction over gene-editing projects. Our current system is inadequate and confusing. A transgenic mosquito release in Florida by the company Oxitec is being evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration; a similar proposal for a moth release in New York is being overseen by the Department of Agriculture. Agencies vary widely in their review processes, and the current uncertainty about who’s in charge means that some ventures can fall through the cracks. The White House needs to issue clear guidelines.

Second, we need to pay for studies that explore the potential impacts of these technologies on the environment. Right now, there’s little incentive to explore the risks. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and other groups evaluating those risks have virtually no data to work with. A recent report by the Wilson Center notes that from 2008 to 2014, less than 1 percent of synthetic biology funding went toward risk research in the United States, lower than in other emerging technologies. Foundations that are investing mightily in gene-editing technologies should commit to footing some of the bill for research on the environmental risks.

And finally, we need to encourage a public conversation about these technologies. At the end of the day, the escape of a few Harvard mosquitoes will not be the most pressing problem our ecosystems will face. But to confront the big challenges, we’ll need an informed and educated public, sophisticated oversight and a broad conversation about what kinds of advances and risks we want to embrace. We need protections that are stronger than multiple doors.

Elizabeth Alter is an assistant professor of biology at City University of New York, York College.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Nov 10, 2015, 06:43 PM (2 replies)

In NJ "80 to 85 percent of the children in the (CDC) study had the most severe form of autism."

More: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101697149 post #6
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Nov 6, 2015, 04:16 PM (1 replies)

California Unveils Website To Combat Revenge Porn

Source: by Juliet Bennett Rylah in News on LAist

Oct 14, 2015 4:40 pm

California Attorney General Kamala Harris today unveiled a new website that will help victims of cyber exploitation and revenge porn.

Revenge porn is when someone distributes sexually explicit photos or video online without receiving permission from the people in the media with the intention of causing distress or extorting money from them. Often, the victims have little recourse but to deal with the humiliation and other ramifications that can occur from this cruel practice. California was the first state to declare this kind of cyber exploitation
illegal in 2013.

The new site, which can be found here, will contain numerous resources for those trying to eradicate revenge porn, either in their own lives or the lives of others.

"Posting intimate images online without consent is a coward crime that humiliates and belittles victims," Harris said, according to City News Service. "These new tools will assist law enforcement in combating cyber exploitation and support victims seeking justice."

The site contains information for victims as to how they can have photos and video removed from websites and search engines. The FAQ section for victims offers resources about what someone should do if they are a victim of a crime, including getting screenshots of the abuse, setting up search engine alerts to notify you when your name pops up online, and filing a police report. The site also provides information to those in law enforcement as to how to efficiently investigate and prosecute related cases. Additionally, the site gives guidance for tech companies looking to prevent people from posting revenge porn on their websites. Harris noted that companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft have all taken steps or have agreed to change policies in order to deal with these crimes.

Read more: http://laist.com/2015/10/14/end_cyber_exploitation.php

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Oct 15, 2015, 02:12 AM (1 replies)

And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Who'll Stop The Rain

Uploaded on Oct 26, 2007

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Oct 12, 2015, 02:37 PM (0 replies)

Efforts to roll this out nationwide are ongoing. Over 100 bills were introduced in multiple states.


CDC data show vaccine rates high but work remains

Melissa Jenco, News Content Editor

National vaccination rates are high for young children, but geographic disparities remain, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Nationwide, the median rate of medical and nonmedical vaccine exemptions for kindergartners was 1.7%. Among the states that provided data, Mississippi had the lowest exemption rate at 0.1%, while Idaho was highest with 6.5%.


Roughly 0.8% of children received no vaccinations, according to the data.



California state Sen. Richard J. Pan, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, who authored the state’s new law to eliminate nonmedical vaccine exemptions, will be giving a lunch and learn session from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, D.C.


Oct 1, 2015

I've been wondering where the American Academy of Pediatrics had been. I hadn't seen them say much yet about mandatory vaccine laws. It's only been the CMA and the AMA so far. So, I get this email from the AAP, and my heart sunk. It's an invitation to attend a special seminar at two of the upcoming AAP national conventions this year: Come hear Dr. Pan and get an insiders view of the enactment of SB 277, "a model for achieving progress in important vaccine/public health legislation." In other words, "How to make this happen in your own state."

Wait for it.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Oct 9, 2015, 01:39 PM (0 replies)

FYI: ESSENTIAL READING, IMO. Read it and think/weep/attack the messenger/reconsider ~kaleidoscope.


- -

September 23, 2015
Diana Dooley, Secretary
Health and Human Services Agency

Dear Secretary Dooley:

Re: Request for temporary exemption for use of thimerosal-containing vaccine

Due to delays in the delivery of preservative-free flu vaccine across the U.S., we request a temporary exemption be granted to allow health care providers in California to administer thimerosal-containing vaccine to children under three years of age and pregnant women.

The United States is experiencing a national shortage of Fluzone pediatric pre-filled syringes, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur. This is the only preservative-free injectable vaccine that can be administered to children ages 6-35 months under California law (California Health and Safety Code Section 124172). Additionally the delivery of FluMist, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) that is administered intranasally, is also delayed throughout the country. FluMist has no preservative and can be administered to a two-year old child if there are no contraindications. The manufacturer reports that the vaccine is delayed due to production and shipping issues.

Physicians across California are reporting that delays of preservative-free flu vaccine are resulting in significant missed opportunities for vaccination and protection of vulnerable members of our community — hundreds of parents who desire the flu vaccine for their infants and toddlers are being turned away. Many young children and pregnant women may be at risk for serious disease and even death if providers are legally prohibited from administering flu vaccine that contains thimerosal, which is safe and effective for these groups.

California Health and Safety Code Section 124172 requires that vaccines administered to children less than 36 months of age and women who are known to be pregnant be thimerosal-free unless an exemption is provided by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and agreed to by the Governor. Existing law stipulates that such an exemption can be granted in the event of a “shortage of supply of a vaccine.” (See Chapter 837, September 28, 2004)



Kris E. Calvin
Executive Director
American Academy of Pediatrics-CA

Susan Hogeland, CAE
Executive Vice President
California Academy of Family Physicians

Erika Jenssen, MPH
California Immunization Coalition

The link for the reposted letter is above reproach and SOLID. Related references on California Health and Safety Code Section 124172 are here: http://www.aapca3.org/resources/press/fluvax0602.pdf including link to actual 2006 law.

Additional Resources

The text of the new law, California Health and Safety (H&S) Code Section 124172 is available for review at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=hsc&group=124001-125000&file=124172

The source of the link for the letter is below. Obviously, I could post the letter without risking a hide, but I strive for transparency. Hey, now.


Oct 6


This happens every year, but usually not until all the mercury-free flu vaccines run out.

In case you didn't know, there is a CA law which prohibits the use of mercury flu vaccines in pregnant women and kids under three. BUT, by November or December all the mercury-free formulations are used up, and the Secretary of HHSA in CA has to get the governor to temporarily suspend the law so that the distribution and administration of flu vaccines to this vulnerable population can continue without interruption. This goes on year after year.

Now, it seems that there is a shortage in the initial supply of mercury-free doses, so the AAP, CAFP, and the California Immunization Coalition have sent a letter to the Secretary of HHSA to get the ok NOW for babies and their mommies to get mercury-containing flu vaccines - before they all die of the flu.

Dr. Pan was asked about this during the Assembly Health hearings on SB 277. He was asked point blank: "Is there still mercury in vaccines?"

Instead of answering directly, he said "There is a law which prohibits the use of mercury in vaccines in pregnant women and infants." The quotes are mine, but his answer was very close to that. I waited for someone to call him out on it, but no one did. Technically, what Dr. Pan said was accurate - there is such a law.

AND, each year that law gets suspended. I don't know if the HHSA Secretary has responded to this letter yet. We will see.

Dr. Bob

Here is a link to the letter: http://aap-ca.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ExemptionRequest-InfluenzaVaccine09-252015cm.pdf
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Oct 8, 2015, 07:37 PM (3 replies)
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