Tag Archives: Middle East

USA.gov … Beware of Skin Lotions Tainted with Mercury


a repost for those buying  gifts …

Beware of Skin Lotions Tainted With Mercury

Some skin lotions and antiseptic soaps claim to clean and lighten skin while removing freckles and wrinkles. Instead, these illegally imported cosmetic products make consumers ill from exposure to high levels of mercury.

The U.S. Government is warning consumers about these products after dozens of people in at least seven states were diagnosed with mercury poisoning. Victims include a woman in California who was hospitalized after using an unlabeled skin lotion for three years. Several members of her family also had high levels of mercury in their bodies, even though they didn’t use the lotion.

“Exposure to mercury can damage your kidneys and nervous system. It also interferes with brain development in unborn babies and very young children,” said Gloria Sánchez-Contreras, a spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration.

See the names and photos of some of the illegal products.

Immigrants Are at High Risk

The FDA has identified dozens of products that contain high levels of mercury, and has taken steps to deny shipments of these products into the United States. However, many of these lotions and soaps are brought into the country by mail or by international travelers. Once here, they often end up on store shelves that cater to immigrants, including Hispanics, Asians, Africans and people from the Middle East.

People who buy these products are not putting only their own health at risk, small children can also be exposed to mercury by breathing in the vapors of a skin lotion or by touching someone who has used the cream and then putting their fingers in their mouth. “That’s why it’s so important for consumers and sellers to know about the dangers of possible mercury poisoning associated with the use of or exposure to these skin products,” said Sánchez-Contreras.

“That’s why it’s so important for consumers and sellers to know about the dangers of possible mercury poisoning associated with the use of or exposure to these skin products,” said Sánchez-Contreras.

How to Avoid These Products

The FDA prohibits the use of mercury in skin lotions and cosmetic soaps manufactured abroad. To avoid skin lightening and anti-aging products tainted with mercury, stay away from products that:

  • Do not clearly list ingredients on the label.
  • Include the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” in their labels.
  • Have labels written in other languages unless they also include a clear description in English.

What to Do If Exposed to Mercury

Be alert for signs of mercury poisoning, which include irritability, changes in vision and hearing, memory loss, depression and numbness in the hands, feet or mouth. If you suspect you have been using products tainted with mercury, stop using them immediately and do the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly as well as any other part of the body that might have come into contact with the product.
  • Contact your doctor or health clinic.
  • If you have questions call the National Capital Poison Center at 1 (800) 222-1222.

You can also report the adverse effects of any drug or product on the FDA.gov website or by calling (800) 332-1088.

See the names and photos of some of the illegal products.

first posted 4/11/2012

Huge Work-Family News from the White House : A better balance


A Better Balance

 

Huge Work-Family News from the White House
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To celebrate Labor Day on Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order guaranteeing paid sick time to approximately 300,000 employees of federal contractors! Workers covered by the Order will be entitled to earn up to seven paid sick days a year to address their health needs, care for ill family members, or address personal or family needs related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The Order will take effect with new 2017 federal contracts.
We’re also thrilled to share with you that the Executive Order recognizes diverse family structures by broadly and inclusively defining family to cover “chosen family,” or loved ones who may not share a biological or legal relationship with a worker, but have a close relationship that is equivalent to family. Our joint LGBTQ Work-Family Project with Family Values @ Work is working around the country to advance family definitions like this one, and we thank the White House for leading on the issue!
President Obama chose to make yesterday’s announcement in Boston, because Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly supported a paid sick time ballot initiative last year. The Massachusetts law, which took effect this July, extended paid sick time to nearly one million workers who previously lacked even a single paid sick day. A Better Balance worked with lawmakers and partners to draft the Massachusetts paid sick time initiative, and we were delighted that the White House complimented the Massachusetts initiative as a model for other campaigns.
President Obama’s announcement—and the win in Massachusetts—reflects the incredible, growing momentum of paid sick time laws, which are now on the books in four states, 19 cities, and 1 county in the United States (read about these new laws here). We fully expect this list to continue growing in the months ahead. There is significant interest across the nation in ensuring that workers do not have to choose between their health and their jobs, and we are providing assistance to dozens of these campaigns.
Although President Obama acknowledged the far-reaching impact of the Executive Order, he noted that there is more work to do:
Right now, about 40 percent of private-sector workers — 44 million people in America — don’t have access to paid sick leave.  You’ve got parents who have to choose between losing income or staying home with their sick child.  You have victims of domestic violence or sexual assault who can’t seek medical attention or counseling because they might have their pay docked.  Let’s face it — nobody wants a waiter who feels like they have to come to work when they’re coughing or contagious.  But if they don’t have sick leave, what are they going to do?  They got to pay the rent.  That’s not good for anybody.
The President used Labor Day not only to announce this historic Executive Order, but also to call for passage of the Healthy Families Act—which would extend paid sick time to private sector workers across the country—and a national paid family and medical leave insurance program, like the FAMILY Act. We hope you will join us, and the President, as we continue to work towards a day when all workers in the United States can access paid sick time and paid family leave.

Campus sexual assault


Petitioning U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives

Don’t force survivors of sexual assault to go to the police

Petition by Jillian Murray
Carrboro, North Carolina
1,625
Supporters

“an affront to what it means to live in America.”


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the GOP opposition to Adegbile “an affront to what it means to live in America.”Debo Adegbile rallyTell the Senate to confirm Debo Adegbile’s nomination to lead the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division when Harry Reid calls for another vote.Take Action

In a startling and disappointing vote, seven Democrats joined Senate Republicans to block the confirmation of Debo Adegbile, a voting rights legal expert, to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.1

Pointing to Adegbile’s participation while working for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the filing of a “friend of court” legal brief — along with hundreds of other attorneys — asking that a Pennsylvania Appeals Court commute Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence to life in prison, Republicans embarked on an all-out smear campaign designed to distract from Adegbile’s strong record of defending the freedom to vote.2

There’s still a chance to make this right. At the last moment, Senator Harry Reid cast a procedural ‘no’ vote, leaving the door open for another vote to confirm Adegbile.3

Join us in demanding that Senator Reid call for another vote and for the seven Democratic senators who opposed to reconsider Adegbile’s confirmation. We only need three Senators to change their votes.4 It only takes a moment.

The seven Democrats siding with the Republicans were Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Walsh (D-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Chris Coons (D-DE). In a statement, President Obama called the 47-52 vote “a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”5

By all accounts, Debo Adegbile is the ideal candidate for a role at the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. He is one of the nation’s top civil rights attorneys and the leading expert on voting rights. He has defended the Voting Rights Act before the Supreme Court twice — the first time, successfully — and he was the only Black attorney to argue before the Supreme Court last term.6 At a time when right wing legislators across the country are waging all-out war on the right to vote for Black folks, women, the elderly, students, and any other demographic group that might be inclined to vote Democratic, an appointment like Adegbile’s would ensure that there was someone in the Justice Department who knows what’s at stake and will take a principled stand to defend the rights we all cherish, including the freedom to vote.

Join us in demanding another vote on Debo Adegbile’s confirmation. And when you are done, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

— Rashad, Arisha, Matt, Aimée, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team March 6th, 2014

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.

References

1. “Democrats help block Obama’s DOJ pick,” Politico, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3347?t=7&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE

2. “The Ugly Campaign To Punish A Civil Rights Lawyer Because He Helped Save A Man From Execution,” ThinkProgress, 2-10-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3348?t=9&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE

3. “Senate rejects Obama appointment of Debo Adegbile to top civil rights post,” Washington Post, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3349?t=11&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE

4. “Senate Goes ‘Nuclear,’ Changes Nominee Filibuster Rules,” ABC News, 11-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3355?t=13&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE

5.”Obama Condemns the Senate for Blocking Confirmation of Voting Rights Advocate Adegbile,” PoliticsUSA, 3-5-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3350?t=15&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE

6. “Justice’s Civil Rights nominee has resume that includes ‘Sesame Street’ and voting rights,” Washington Post, 12-31-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3351?t=17&akid=3324.1689899.HV9wvE