Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Bills Take Aim at Reforming Asbestos Laws

Written by Nancy Werner

Two bills recently introduced to the Senate seek significant changes to U.S. asbestos law. The first bill, the “Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database Act of 2015” (READ Act), would create a public database of asbestos-containing products in the United States. The second bill, named the “Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act,” would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act and explicitly calls for a ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products. 

Contrary to popular belief (not to mention common sense and public health), asbestos—a carcinogenic mineral fiber that causes approximately 10,000 deaths in the U.S. each year—is still legal in the United States. Reforms in the 1970s placed bans on certain types of asbestos products, including insulation, patching compounds, and artificial fireplace embers, but an outright ban on asbestos has never been enacted.

In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would have outlawed most asbestos-containing products, but the asbestos industry fought back and succeeded in having the rule overturned. As a result, asbestos products continue to be used in the United States.

The Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), seeks to reform the TSCA in such a way that an EPA ban on asbestos would not be prevented through an asbestos industry-friendly legal interpretation as it was in 1989. The Boxer-Markey bills would also require the EPA to act quickly to consider an asbestos ban.

Although asbestos is not banned in the U.S., it hasn’t been mined here since 2002. Asbestos imports, however, to the tune of 8.2 million pounds of raw asbestos imported since 2006, in addition to shipments of asbestos-containing products, ensure that industries continue to get their hands on the deadly substance. The chlor-alkali chemical industry is the leading user of asbestos. It can also be found in construction products and automotive breaks—some of which can be purchased on Amazon

Incomplete asbestos imports and product information records, however, mean that Americans are woefully uninformed about which products contain asbestos. The READ Act, introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), hopes to amend that by establishing a public database of asbestos-containing products and requiring public disclosure of asbestos products that are made, processed, distributed, and used in the U.S. The READ Act would provide greater transparency of asbestos products than is currently provided by the Asbestos Information Act of 1988, which, according to a press release from Durbin’s office, was established before the Internet became mainstream and is difficult for most Americans to access.

The ability of asbestos to cause cancer—including mesothelioma and lung cancer—has been understood by the asbestos industry for nearly a century. But the same companies that profit from asbestos have fought against a ban on it, resulting in an epidemic that was entirely possible. Over the next three decades, an estimated 300,000 Americans will die from asbestos-related diseases.

The protections offered by the READ ACT and the Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act, while long overdue, are a step in the right direction down the path towards an asbestos-free future. 

Bio:  Nancy Werner has been a freelance writer since the early 1980s. She writes primarily about health, health related issues and nutrition although she is capable of providing quality and insightful writing for almost any niche. She is an avid reader, tea drinker, and likes to write semi-fictionalized short stories about growing up on a farm in the mid-west. Nancy has written and ghost written countless articles and blogs for insurance companies, news sites, law firms, and many other industries.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nutrition for Kids: Guidelines to A Healthy Diet

Written by Diabetic Pick

Nutrition for kids is based on same principles as nutrition for adults. Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Minerals and vitamins are important elements of the total nutritional requirements for your child. Because the human body itself is unable to produce adequate amounts of many vitamins, they should be obtained from the diet. The body needs these vitamins in tiny amounts, and in a balanced, healthy diet they are present in sufficient quantities in foods your youngster eats. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages.

Essential Nutrients for Children

A growing kid needs a balanced, healthy diet full of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.  Check out these nutrition basics for boys and girls at various ages. Consider these nutrient-dense foods:

Fruits. Encourage your kid to eat a variety of canned, fresh, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice, make sure it is 100 percent juice and limit his or her servings.

Protein. Choose lean meat, seafood, and poultry, beans, eggs, peas, soy products, and unsalted seeds and nuts.

Vegetables. Serve a variety of canned, fresh, or frozen vegetables — especially dark green, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas.

Dairy. Encourage your child to drink and eat fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, cheese or fortified soy beverages.

Grains. Choose whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, popcorn, or wild or brown rice.

Important Vitamins that should be Included in Foods or Consumed as Supplements

As much as possible, try to maximize vitamins your kid receives in his or her regular meals. Following are some of the minerals and vitamins necessary for normally growing children, and some of the foods that retain them.

Vitamin A

A healthy diet for kids must include foods containing Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin, normal growth, and tissue repair, and helps in night and color vision. Rich sources of Vitamin A include dairy products, yellow vegetables, and liver.

B Vitamins

A balanced diet for kids should include foods containing B Vitamins. The B vitamins promote red blood cell formation and assist in a variety of metabolic activities. They are found in poultry, meat (including liver), soybeans, fish, eggs, milk, and whole grains, enriched cereals and bread.

Vitamin C

A healthy diet for children must include foods containing Vitamin C.  Vitamin C strengthens muscles, connective tissue, and skin, hastens the healing of bones and wounds, and enhances resistance to infection. Vitamin C is found in strawberries, citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes bone and tooth formation and regulates the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Sources include fish oils, fortified dairy products, egg yolks and fortified margarine. Sunlight contributes to dietary sources of vitamin D, stimulating conversion of a naturally occurring compound in the skin to the active form of the vitamin.


Especially during periods of rapid growth, iron is essential for the production of blood and building of muscles. When iron levels are low, your child can demonstrate symptoms such as listlessness, irritability, depression, and an increased susceptibility to infection. However, a deficiency of iron is more common in adolescence than in middle childhood. Once girls commence menstruation, they need more iron than boys do. The best sources of iron include turkey, beef, liver and pork. Beans, spinach, and prunes retain modest amounts of iron.

Aim to limit your child's calories from added sugar and solid fats, like cake, butter, and soda. Look for ways to replace solid fats with nut oils and vegetables that provide vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Oils are naturally present in nuts, olives, seafood, and avocados.

Bio:  Bipasha is a professional nutritionist who is enthusiastic about writing helpful and informative articles related to diet, heath, fitness and diseases. She has done her masters in Food and Nutrition from a reputed University and presently pursuing higher studies in the same field. Check us Out at Diabetic Pick & Diabetic Pick - Blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Honey Scrubs

by April Renee 

A dear friend used to tell me to wash my face with honey and sugar.  She swore by it.  I always battled acne so the suggestion came with welcome response.  After all, I was willing to try anything.  I tried it a few times, but without any positive result.  

Then I became a writer.  A writer of words and when necessary, lots of research. So, I did some research recently on honey scrubs.  It’s definitely more than just a sweet treat.

I can honestly say, I wish I had been listening to my friend all those years ago.  She had beautiful skin and I just should have listened.  Mind you, I was only twenty-something without much care about pore size and all the other benefits of this natural delight, used in the correct method.  I only wanted to get rid of my acne.

Here’s the thing.  People have been using honey for medicinal purposes, on many levels, for centuries.  Most notably for skin health.  Honey is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and other healing compounds.  Thus it is said to help moisturize, fight aging and fight bacteria [on the skin]. 

I wondered what I had done wrong all those years ago and dug a little deeper:
It is stated that the best benefit of honey in terms of skin care comes from Pure, Unfiltered blends.  That means that the honey is in its purest form.  I had failed to consider that when trying to use a natural product, any processing means that it has been altered in some way.  Needless to say, when buying honey the trick is to look for labels that boast Unpasteurized or Raw.  Don’t just go after the clover honey in your local grocery aisle.

Keep in mind that there are many different varieties of honey, according to their flower source.  Manuka Honey has more antibiotic properties and a strong pH balance, thus promoting itself as an active acne remedy.  It tends to be the general recommendation for facial scrubs.  Though any dark honey works fine.

Try this simple recipe that I’ve been using.  I think you can just use sugar and honey as my friend had suggested all those years ago… but this one works too:

1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

Mix it all up in the palm of your hand and then scrub your face with it, gently of course.  The honey works as it will, the baking soda exfoliates and the coconut oil moisturizes, all in one shot.

You can find out more about these honey facts in my article here: 

Isn’t it time to enjoy washing your face?  Give this honey thing a try - you won’t regret it.

Authors Bio:  April Renee is a Freelance Writer and Enthusiast.  She currently studies English and Humanities with a focus in Writing Communications.  Her dedication to writing spans many years across topics of many interests.  She is niched in:

-- Travel
-- Environmental and Agricultural/Gardening Fare
-- Health and Fitness
-- Arts/Humanities
-- Philosophies
-- Pets
-- Mortgage/Real Estate/Banking

April has a culturally diverse technique related to promotional marketing and consumer product sales/reviews, including website content and maintenance.  She also has relative experience in advertising and website design pertaining to entrepreneurial startups.

Twitter - @Scarlet_Nathan

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