Health

Rocket Fuel Is Good for You!

A National Academy of Sciences report says up to 20 parts per billion (ppb) of the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water could be considered "safe." Perchlorate affects thyroid function, with children believed to be especially vulnerable. The Environmental Protection Agency previously set 1 ppb as the "safe" perchlorate level; the Defense Department suggested 200 ppb.

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Pushing Pills for Profit

Concerns about the safety of Pfizer's Celebrex, Merck's Vioxx and other so-called COX-2 inhibitor drugs represent "perhaps the clearest instance yet of how the confluence of medicine and marketing can turn hope into hype - and how difficult it is for the Food and Drug Administration to monitor the safety of drugs after they have been approved f

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Bhopal Anniversary Marked By Corporate Social Responsibility Hoax

On December 3, 1984 a toxic gas release from a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India killed at least 7,000 people. Two decades later, 15,000 additional people have died and 100,000 have health problems stemming from the leak of poison gases. Activists worldwide have called on Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, to take responsibility for the industrial disaster and make reparations.

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Troublesome TV Trends

"Many Americans consider television their most important source of news and information on health," but TV is also "one of the least trusted sources." A study of 840 TV news health segments by communications professor Gary Schwitzer revealed "10 troublesome trends," including extreme brevity, little or no data, exaggeration and commercialism. "Rather than reporting on a company's hopes for its product or the potential sales, journalists could better serve their audiences by reporting on the evidence for and against a product," Schwitzer writes.

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