Phthalates and children’s products

The ban on phthalates is the result of a law passed in 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The law permanently bans BBP, DBP and DEHP from toys and child care products, and temporarily bans DIDP, DINP and DnOP until a scientific board (the Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel) determines for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) whether or not they are safe. A few months before the bill passed, major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Babies “R” Us promised to remove or severely restrict children’s products containing phthalates by the end of 2008. But children and adults in the U.S. are STILL EXPOSED to phthalates in many other products, including shampoo, soap, lotions, food packaging, Continue reading

Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa, and Risperdal are widely used but with dangerous side effects

For patients who suffer from depression or anxiety, it’s hard to know which medication is best. It seems everyday a new “wonder drug” is introduced, often costing 10 or 20 times as much as older medications. Things become even more confusing when doctors prescribe medications “off label.” One example is Seroquel. Not approved to specifically treat depression or anxiety, of what kinds of dangers should one be aware? Continue reading

Teenagers and cosmetic surgery: focus on breast augmentation and liposuction

Two of the most popular and controversial cosmetic procedures for adolescents are liposuction and breast implants. It this review article, the procedures are discussed. In addition, the physiological and psychological reasons to delay these procedures, including concerns about body dysmorphic disorder and research findings regarding changes in teenagers’ body image as they mature, are described. Continue reading

ADHD treatment: medications and alternatives

The use of stimulant medications to treat attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) steadily increased in the United States from 1991 to 1999. Though the medications are shown to be effective in 70-80% of children with ADHD, the skyrocketing use of these drugs is worrisome, given the cardiovascular risks that have recently come to light. As such, what are the alternatives, and what does this mean for your child? Continue reading

The facts about medication for colds and the flu

Cold and flu are two of the most common illnesses and there is no “cure” for either. Because antibiotics do not treat symptoms or cure either cold or flu, many people turn to over-the-counter medications in an effort to prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. But, do these products work, and are they safe? Are they safe for children as well? Can the risks outweigh the benefits? Continue reading