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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Calling all Momma's and Daddy's

DID YOU KNOW:

Nearly 2.5 million people reported an unintentional exposure to poison in 2006. And while more than half of those involved children under 6, it is a testament to poison prevention campaigns, child resistant caps and other measures instituted over the past decade that children accounted for just over 2 percent of 1,229 total unintentional poisoning fatalities (51 percent of 2,403,539 reported exposures).
Children’s exposure to poison most often involves common at-home substances, like drugs, pesticides and cleaning products. Of the exposures reported in 2006, 93 percent took place in a home.
Generally, there are four forms of poisons:
Solids (medicine pills, powders, granular pesticides, etc.)
Liquids (soap, furniture polish, lighter fluid, syrup medicines, lotions, etc.)
Sprays (spray paint, insecticides, cleaning products, etc.)
Gas (carbon monoxide, air pollution, gas fumes, etc.)
While some sources of poisonings have obvious risks, others are less recognized. Some less obvious poisons include adhesives and glues; arts, crafts, and office supplies; batteries; cosmetics and personal care; deodorizers; paints and stripping agents; pharmaceuticals and vitamins; plants; and tobacco products.
Pesticides are found in about 80 percent of American households. Pesticides include any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or mitigating pests. Misuse, especially when pesticides are inappropriately applied or in the wrong quantity, can cause illness, injury and even death.
Many people assume that household-use pesticides and other poisonous products are safe to use because they are readily available at retail stores. This is not necessarily the case. Most unintentional poisonings are preventable, however. It is critical to follow label directions for all products, including medication dosages and proper storage of potentially toxic products.
Following are tips for keeping children safe:
Keep the nationwide poison control center's number (1-800-222-1222) and your doctor's phone number handy.
If a household chemical has been ingested, call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222) immediately. Have the label ready when you call. Induce vomiting only if a physician or a poison control center instructs you to do so.
Keep products in original containers with labels and out of children’s reach. (Even if you don't have small children, this can be important; many poisonings occur in homes that children visit.)
Get down to a child’s height and evaluate potential hazards from that perspective.
Make sure children wash hands after using the bathroom and before eating.
If your children are in day care, check where the day care provider keeps cleaning products, medicines and other potentially hazardous products. Make sure these products are locked up and out of children's reach.
Use hazardous products away from children, toys, food, and pets, as directed.
Properly dispose of unused or unnecessary household products and unused or expired medicines.
Check playground equipment where your children play to be sure that none of the wood has been treated with potentially hazardous chemicals.

I found all of that information on the National Safety Council website! It is amazing. What is even more amazing to me is that in many of our household chemicals, they use formaldehyde! You heard it! The stuff that they use to preserve dead bodies! What in the world are they thinking? It even used to be used to make draft beer! Now they use other chemicals! I also was looking on my toothpaste ingredients the other day when talking to my friend LaWanda. She was telling me a story about when Alexis was a baby, so as I look I see Sorbitol listed as an ingredient. It is sugar alcohol! wikapedia says this about sugar alcohol:

Sorbitol, also known as glucitol, is a sugar alcohol that the body metabolises slowly. It is obtained by reduction of glucose changing the aldehyde group to an additional hydroxyl group hence the name sugar alcohol.

Uses

[edit] Sweetener
Sorbitol is used in "sugar-free" mints and various cough syrups and is usually listed under the inactive ingredients.
Sorbitol is a sugar substitute often used in diet foods (including diet drinks and ice cream) and sugar-free chewing gum. It also occurs naturally in many stone fruits and berries from trees of the genus Sorbus[1]. Sorbitol is also referred to as a nutritive sweetener because it provides dietary energy: 2.6 kilocalories (11 kilojoules) per gram versus the average 4 kilocalories (17 kilojoules).

[edit] Laxative
Sorbitol can be used as a non-stimulant laxative as either an oral suspension or suppository. The drug works by drawing water into the large intestine, thereby stimulating bowel movements.[2] Sorbitol has been determined safe to use in the elderly although it is by no means recommended. [3]

[edit] Miscellanea
Sorbitol is often used in modern cosmetics as a humectant and thickener. Some transparent gels can only be made with sorbitol as it has a refractive index sufficiently high for transparent formulations. It is also used as a humectant in some cigarettes.[4]
Sorbitol is used as a cryoprotectant additive (mixed with sucrose and sodium polyphosphates) in the manufacture of surimi, a highly refined, uncooked fish paste most commonly produced from Alaska (or walleye) pollock (Theragra chalcogramma).[citation needed]
Sorbitol, combined with kayexalate, helps the body rid itself of excess potassium ions in a hyperkalaemic state. The kayexalate exchanges sodium ions for potassium ions in the bowel, while sorbitol helps to eliminate it.[citation needed]
Sorbitol when combined with potassium nitrate has found some success as an amateur solid rocket fuel.[5]
Sorbitol is often used in mouthwash, as it said that when mixed with other certain ingredients it can help fight plaque.
Sorbitol is identified as a potential key chemical intermediate [6] from biomass resources. Complete reduction of sorbitol opens the way to alkanes such as hexane which can be used as a biofuel. Sorbitol itself provides much of the hydrogen required for the transformation.
19 C6O6H14 → 13 C6H14 + 36 CO2 + 42 H2O
The above chemical reaction is exothermic and 1.5 mole of sorbitol generates 1 mole of hexane. When hydrogen is co-fed, no carbon dioxide production takes place.

[edit] Overdose effects
Ingesting large amounts of sorbitol can lead to some abdominal pain, gas, and mild to severe diarrhea. Sorbitol ingestion of 20 grams/day (g/d) as sugar-free gum has led to severe diarrhea leading to unintended weight loss of 24 lbs in a 114 lb woman; another patient required hospitalization after habitually consuming 30g/d.[7] Sorbitol can also aggravate irritable bowel syndrome and fructose malabsorption. [8]
Even in the absence of dietary sorbitol, cells produce sorbitol naturally. When too much sorbitol is produced inside cells, it can cause damage.[9] Diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy may be related to excess sorbitol in the cells of the eyes and nerves. The source of this sorbitol in diabetics is excess glucose, which goes through the polyol pathway [10].[citation needed]

[edit] Safety
Sorbitol’s safety is supported by numerous studies reported in the scientific literature. In developing the current U.S. food and drug regulation which affirms sorbitol as GRAS, the safety data were carefully evaluated by qualified scientists of the Select Committee on GRAS Substances selected by the Life Sciences Office of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). In the opinion of the Select Committee, there was no evidence demonstrating a hazard where sorbitol was used at current levels or at levels that might be expected in the future. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation for sorbitol requires the following label statement for foods whose reasonably foreseeable consumption may result in the daily ingestion of 50 grams of sorbitol: “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect.”
The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has reviewed the safety data and concluded that sorbitol is safe. JECFA has established an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for sorbitol of “not specified,” meaning no limits are placed on its use. An ADI “not specified” is the safest category in which JECFA can place a food ingredient. JECFA’s decisions are often adopted by many small countries which do not have their own agencies to review food additive safety.
The Scientific Committee for Food of the European Union (EU) published a comprehensive assessment of sweeteners in 1985, concluding that sorbitol is acceptable for use, also without setting a limit on its use.

As I research some of these things I sit in awe of what could be happening to each of us ingesting via the air, absorbtion through skin, etc. This can be so dangerous! Be careful of what you have around for your children. I even got an e mail stating that the chemicals used to make swiffer wet jet liquid can cause the liver to shut down. Children and pets have been killed because of this!

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