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Breast Implants Associated with Host of Illnesses

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According to experts and patient advocates, breast implants are ticking time bombs that are capable of causing serious illnesses when the leak or rupture. Pharmaceutical giant Allergan was forced to recall textured implants after they were associated with a rare and deadly form of a type of cancer called lymphoma. Textured implants were designed to stay in position better than their smooth counterparts, but for some reason, they are more likely to lead to the development of cancer in some women who receive them.

Breast Implant Acquired Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

According to the Daily Mail, 57 British women who received breast implants have been diagnosed with breast implant acquired anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and three women have died. But a larger health issue with breast implants has come to light and affects many times the number of women who have developed BIA-ALCL.

Studies Associate Breast Implants with Wide-Range of Illnesses

More than 75,000 women worldwide are suffering serious and debilitating health issues including the inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune condition called scleroderma, painful swelling around the breast, and skin cancer.

The health issues seem to center around implant rupture and how the immune system of the body attacks foreign materials. Silicone is a type of plastic that is used for the shells of breast implants no matter whether they are filled with saline, silicone, soya oil or something else.

Massive Study Finds Higher Rates of Serious Illness

Recently, the largest study ever conducted for long-term safety outcomes for breast implant patients was published in the Annals of Surgery. The study reported the outcomes of nearly 100,000 patients who received saline or silicone implants after analyzing data from the FDA database from 2005 forward.

For the study, researchers reviewed data involving two implant manufacturers, and found that the group with one brand of silicone implants had a 2 to 8-times higher frequency of rheumatoid arthritis, melanoma, scleroderma, and Sjogren syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the entire body and causes extensive dryness of the eyes and mouth. The other group of patients with another brand of silicone implants experienced Sjogren syndrome, scleroderma, and dermatomyositis more than two times as often as the general public.

Study authors noted that while the study did see a higher rate of patient-reported neonatal intensive care, stillbirth, and preterm birth, there was no association with miscarriage, and when compared to the general public, women with breast implants reported a lower rate of birth defects or congenital malformation. Researchers say these two areas need additional research before the issues can be understood.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast implants are used in 300,000 augmentations and nearly 100,000 reconstructions each year. Before receiving implants, women should understand that getting implants a major operation that they will have to go through several times in their life and that the devices can rupture or leak at any time after implantation.

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eBay to Remove Reclined Sleepers from Website

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Consumer Reports asks retailers to stop selling inclined sleepers, citing them as dangerous for infants. This request is for online marketplaces as well, and eBay is complying.

eBay will be banning all inclined infant sleepers from the website, not just those that have recall notices attached to them. This action is in response to a letter sent from Consumer Reports to 15 businesses in the retail industry, including eBay.

Dangerous for Babies

Inclined sleepers for infants angle babies between 10 and 30 degrees, which can be dangerous for them when they fall asleep. Consumer Reports has deemed the entire category or infant reclined sleepers as unsafe because of the overall design. Products in this category have been linked to 73 infant fatalities.

These products are dangerous because they put the babies at an incline for sleeping. The infant’s head can lean forward, putting their chin down on their chest, which can compress the airway and allow them to suffocate. Other issues with these products include soft bedding and having a rounded surface which isn’t in following of the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

eBay has already started enforcing the restrictions and banning products, such as the Hiccapop DayDreamer and Evenflo Pillo Portable Napper. The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is one of the best known and was recalled earlier in the year. In fact, over five million products in this category have been recalled. Several brands are still available to purchase even though experts have warned against using them.

Multiple organizations have advised parents, daycare centers and others not to use any infant inclined sleeper, including the AAP and Consumer Federation of America.

The companies contacted in the letter include:

  • Amazon
  • Bed Bath and Beyond
  • Albee Baby
  • Craigslist
  • Buy Buy Baby
  • Facebook
  • Macy’s
  • Kohl’s
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Magic Beans
  • You Are My Everything

Both eBay and You Are My Everything have agreed to remove the products from sale. Other companies have not replied to the letter. One of the concerns with these products is they are marketed as safe for resting or napping, but it only takes a few minutes for a baby to suffocate when they fall asleep. Experts say it’s wrong to promote them as safe for any amount of sleep. Babies have suffocated in infant reclined sleepers in less than 15 minutes, according to incident reports.

Along with the risk of suffocation, another danger is with the baby being able to roll over. They roll from their back to their stomach if they are left unrestrained, which is another position which increases the risk of suffocation. They may turn into the side of the device and smother.

The AAP recommends putting babies to bed on a firm mattress with no other bedding. They should be placed on their backs with nothing else in the bed. This is the only position which is approved by the AAP and for doctors until the baby is able to turn over by themselves.

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New Tests for Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Show No Asbestos

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According to Johnson & Johnson, new tests on Johnson’s Baby Powder show that the product is free of asbestos. Trace amounts had been found previously, as reported by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Testing for Asbestos

A test conducted by the FDA earlier had shown indications of asbestos being present in the powder. In response, the manufacturer recalled a single lot of the baby powder back in October. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has conducted 155 tests using two third-party labs and four testing methods. The samples were from the same bottle used in the FDA tests.

The manufacturer had already responded to the FDA findings by conducting a small test in October which showed no asbestos findings. However, the DFA stood by its results. Officials did say that the difference in tests could be the result of contaminants not being uniform in the product. They also admitted there is no standardized testing to detect asbestos in talc.

The tests that were done by the third-party labs showed no asbestos in the bottle or in any samples of the rest of the lot from which the bottle came. The manufacturer suggested that the FDA results were from contamination or a lab error.

About 33,000 bottles of the product were recalled in the US in October after the FDA results were noted. This was a voluntary recall by Johnson & Johnson and the first time for such a recall. However, it’s not the first time the company has faced accusations that the products cause health issues, including cancer.

Mesothelioma

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, which means it’s likely to cause cancer. In this case, it is mesothelioma, which is a deadly type of cancer that acts fast and is aggressive.

Mesothelioma results from the asbestos fibers getting into the lungs. Over time, continued exposure to asbestos causes the fibers to build up in the lungs. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining around the lungs or abdomen as well as other organs.

This is a rare type of cancer that has fewer than 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Treatments are available, but they only manage the condition rather than curing it. A person can live for several years with mesothelioma while some have had much longer lifespans after the diagnosis.

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include coughing and pain in the chest. The person may be short of breath and often loses weight. Several options for treatment exist, but the cancer metastasizes quickly. Chemotherapy may be an option as well as radiation. Surgery and other medical procedures may be recommended, but they only help with the condition rather than removing the cancer.

When mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, it happens over a longer period. Products that contain the material can release it into the environment where the person will inhale it. Slowly, enough of the asbestos will accumulate in the lungs to cause a problem. Because of it being a carcinogen, asbestos is banned from products in the US.

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Vapers May Pay Higher Life Insurance Premiums

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Reinsurers around the world are reevaluating insurance premiums and risk for those who vape. Vapers may end up paying more for insurance than smokers or even be excluded completely from some policies.

Current totals for vaping deaths stand at 47 for one mysterious lung illness that has been connected to vaping. Other health concerns have continued to grow even though some studies show that vaporizers and e-cigarettes help smokers to stop using traditional cigarettes.

Warnings to Insurers

Reinsurers are the companies that insure the insurance providers. They use their vast research tools to help insurers determine risk. While they don’t provide recommendations for pricing or require specific policies, they do give general advice on risk. They can also charge higher premiums or even fail to provide reinsurance if their advice isn’t followed.

In the past, vapers were treated like smokers when it came to insurance. Smokers already pay up to twice as much as nonsmokers for life insurance because of the higher risk for lung cancer and other health problems. Three reinsurers have updated their recommendations on vaping recently with others still considering their guidelines.

The warnings from the reinsurers includes vaping products that contain THC, which is an active ingredient in marijuana. They also focus on younger vapers, particularly insuring those who are under the age of 25 due to the recent illnesses and deaths from the vaping illness. Many of those who have had the illness have been under that age and even still in their teens.

Many insurers are treating vapers the same as smokers while refusing to insure those who are vaping products which may be likely to cause cancer. Supporters of vaping believe this step is harsh because it’s already difficult for people who smoke to get insurance.

Most insurers have already put vapers with smokers when it comes to pricing and risk. The few that didn’t in the past are beginning to change their stance now. Reinsurers are continuing to monitor the information available about vaping and health concerns.

Damage from Vaping

It’s still too early to tell the long-term damage from vaping. If more illnesses from vaping become apparent, it is expected that insurers will respond accordingly. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that people stop vaping, especially with products that contain THC or vitamin E. Experts suggest that people give up vaping completely until it’s determined what ingredient is causing the epidemic that overtook the nation during the summer.

This is another hit for vaping manufacturers who have already lost customers and support due to the negative publicity and information being presented. They continue to claim that vaping is safer than smoking, but recent deaths have placed a high concern about this idea out to the public. In fact, JUUL was one manufacturer that the FDA gave a warning to for promoting their products as a safer alternative. That claim cannot be made unless specific data is provided to support it, which JUUL did not have. The manufacturer has stopped all marketing in the US but still continues to promote products in other countries.

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