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Wednesday, Oct 22nd

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How war debris could cause cancer

Depleted uranium is highly valued by the military, who use it in the tips of armour-piercing weapons. The material's high density and self-sharpening properties help it to penetrate the armour of enemy tanks and bunkers. Its use in conflicts has risen sharply in recent years. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that shells containing 1700 tonnes of the material were fired during the 2003 Iraq war.

Some researchers and campaigners are convinced that depleted uranium left in the environment by spent munitions causes cancer, birth defects and other ill effects in people exposed to it. Governments and the military disagree, and point out that there is no conclusive epidemiological evidence for this. And while they acknowledge that the material is weakly radioactive, they say this effect is too small to explain the genetic damage at the levels seen in war veterans and civilians.

TVNL Comment: And when it comes to health we sould all take the word of governments and the military (whose job is it to kill people), over the scientific community.

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Medicare Stops Paying to Treat Medical Errors

If an auto mechanic accidentally breaks your windshield while trying to repair the engine, he would never get away with billing you for fixing his mistake. On Wednesday, Medicare will start applying that logic to American medicine on a broad scale when it stops paying hospitals for the added cost of treating patients who are injured in their care.

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Swimming in chlorinated pools 'increases asthma risk five-fold'

Children who swim regularly in chlorinated pools are five times more likely to develop asthma, research has found.

Swimming is recommended as a good form of exercise for asthmatics because the warm humid air is less likely to trigger attacks than other physical activities.

But mounting research is suggesting that the chlorine used to keep the pools clean could be contributing to the development of the condition.

It is thought the chlorine fumes floating around the surface of the pool may help to trigger the condition by irritating the upper airways. 

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Aspartame Consumption Again Linked to Degeneration of Brain Neurons

High intake of the artificial sweetener aspartame may lead to the degeneration of brain cells and various mental disorders, according to a research review conducted by South African scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"We propose that excessive aspartame ingestion might be involved in the pathogenesis of certain mental disorders, and also in compromised learning and emotional functioning," the researchers concluded.

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Hollywood 'paid fortune to smoke'

Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for endorsements from the stars of Hollywood's "Golden Age".

Industry documents released following anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the extent of the relationship between tobacco and movie studios. One firm paid more than $3m in today's money in one year to stars.

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Health care premiums rise again, workers at smaller firms feel the pinch

Premiums for job-based health insurance are up 5 percent in 2008 and have more than doubled since 1999, a growth rate that far outpaces inflation and the increase in workers' wages over the same period, according to an annual survey of employers.

Meanwhile, a growing number of workers at smaller firms are getting less coverage for their money as health plans with high deductibles and fewer benefits become more prevalent.

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TVNL Comment: You can kiss affordable  health care good-bye, as the financial institutions get bailed out for their crimes.

Inhalers may up heart death risk

Inhalers prescribed for serious lung disease may increase the risk of deadly heart problems, say researchers.

Trials on more than 15,000 patients found inhaled anticholinergic drugs increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death by 58%

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