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Chemicals

Food packaging chemicals may be harmful to human health over long term

Posted February 20, 2014

The synthetic chemicals used in the packaging, storage, and processing of foodstuffs might be harmful to human health over the long term, warn environmental scientists. This is because most of these substances are not inert and can leach into the foods we eat, they say. Despite the fact that some of these chemicals are regulated, people who eat packaged or processed foods are likely to be chronically exposed to low levels of these substances throughout their lives. And far too little is known about their long term impact.

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Chemical in Many Antibacterial Soaps Impairs Heart and Muscle Function

Posted December 18, 2013

A study reveals that triclosan, a common ingredient in many antibacterial soaps and other personal care products, may have some frightening effects on public health. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , researchers found that exposure to this chemical is associated with impaired muscle function that can potentially contribute to heart disease and heart failure.

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Natural chemical boosts organ regeneration

Posted July 31, 2013

Your body naturally contains a chemical that can boost organ regeneration and speed up wound healing. Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) help new blood vessels to form, so Dipak Panigrahy at Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues wondered whether they might also accelerate other types of growth. To find out, they injected mice with EETs straight after the surgical removal of a lung or part of their liver.

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Plastics chemicals linked to diabetes in women; blacks and Hispanics most exposed

Posted July 30, 2012

A group of chemicals found in household plastics and medical supplies is linked to higher rates of diabetes in women – up to double the rate for women with the highest levels, according to new research led by Harvard scientists.

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Antioxidants in chickweed may help with eczema, hemorrhoids, and cancer

Posted April 30, 2012

There is probably not one gardener in North America or Europe who would have difficulty identifying chickweed and thus, have pulled it out of their lawn or garden. While scorned by gardeners, chickweed’s straggly green stems with tiny white star-shaped flowers are favored by both chefs and herbalists. Chickweed (Stelleria media) contains a succulent flavor that enhances raw vegetable salads. Herbalists have found that chickweed is effective in treating hemorrhoids, eczema, and other irritating skin conditions.

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