Paraben, a chemical preservative present in many everyday toiletries and cosmetic products (such as face creams, underarm deodorants, hair care products, make-up products), processed food (such as sausages and pies) and pharmaceuticals (eg the Pill) has been strongly linked to breast cancer.
This latest finding was from a group of scientists from the University of Reading that carried out the research and published in Journal of Applied Toxicology. The study which was an attempt to identify links between Parabens and breast cancer showed that Parabens were present in breast cancer tissue taken from 40 women during a study.
However, it is interesting to note that majority of women involved in the study said they did not use deodorant or similar cosmetic products and thus researchers are of the believe the Parabens enter the body in a number of different ways.
Health experts are now calling for more research to be carried out to explore the findings further. It is on record that Parabens have long been suspected as a contributing cause of breast cancer but this is the first time a link has been found.
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As I was reading this interesting piece, what crossed my mind was Zamfara lead poisoning. It was reported that a panel of experts urges US government to lower the threshold for lead poisoning in children. This is in view of the fact that if the current threshold is maintained, developing brain of those exposed to lead could suffer which means lower IQ. This is a job well done for the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and the CDC of the US as the present lower level of 10 micrograms of lead per decilitre of blood would be downgraded to 5 micrograms. This lower level currently impact on about 450,000 children in the US but several millions in developing countries (eg Nigeria).
I was wondering if Zamfara issue is still receiving the right attention from the Nigeria government.
I strongly believe that there are so many unreported cases of lead poisoning in other parts of Nigeria. I also believe that with what we saw in Zamfara, some of the unexplained causes of childhood mortality and morbidity (convulsions, renal disorders, behavioural and hearing disorders etc) in Nigeria are not unrelated to lead poisoning.
I should commend W.H.O, US CDC, MSF and other International NGOs too numerous to mention for their tireless efforts on curbing the menace in Zamfara. If not because of their untiring support and commitment to issue of Zamafara lead poisoning, Nigerian Government alone would have thrown the issue long ago into the dustbin.