Health Highlights: Aug. 15, 2007

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Baby Bibs From China May Contain Lead: Report

Some vinyl baby bibs imported from China and sold at Toys "R" Us stores appear to contain lead, according to laboratory tests cited Wednesday by The New York Times.

The bibs include drawings of baseball bats, soccer balls, and "Winnie the Poo" characters. They cost less than $5 each and are sold under brand names such as "Especially for Baby" and "Koala Baby," the newspaper said.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Baby Bibs From China May Contain Lead: Report
    • FDA Warns Alzheimer's Drug Maker on Promotional Claims
    • Circular Saws Recalled for Safety Trigger Problems
    • Children May Inherit Craving for Junk Food
    • Re-use of Contact Lens Solution Common: Survey
    • Some Fluorescent Lighting May Harm Embryos

Tests paid for by the California-based Center for Environmental Health found lead levels in these bibs sold in the state up to three times the amount allowed in paint, the Times said. And the newspaper's separate tests on bibs bought in Maryland conducted by an independent laboratory found similar lead levels.

A Toys "R" Us spokeswoman said the company's own tests conducted as recently as May found that the bibs met lead safety standards, the Times reported. "Our uncompromising commitment to safety has been, and continues to be, our highest priority," spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh said in a statement.

Unidentified officials from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the department's tests showed that lead levels in the bibs were low enough that if a child chewed on the product, it would not expose the child to "an unhealthy dose," the newspaper reported. But the agency advised parents to discard vinyl bibs if they are ripped or deteriorated in some other way.

CPSC officials "have not pushed for a recall of lead-contaminated bibs," the Times said.

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FDA Warns Alzheimer's Drug Maker on Promotional Claims

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned Swiss drugmaker Novartis about misleading claims included in a promotion directed at doctors for the company's Alzheimer's drug, Exelon.

"The professional file card makes unsubstantiated superiority claims for Exelon, overstates the efficacy of Exelon, includes misleading risk presentations, and recommends or suggests a combination use of Exelon that has not been approved by the FDA," the agency said in a warning letter to the company, published on the FDA's Web site.

The file card promoted the drug's use with another Alzheimer's medication, Namenda, which the FDA said constituted an unapproved use as a combination therapy for Alzheimer's.

The agency urged Novartis to immediately stop publication and distribution of the information.

The company said it would review the letter and respond by Aug. 22, according to published reports.

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Circular Saws Recalled for Safety Trigger Problems

Some 811,000 Skil-brand circular saws are being recalled by maker Robert Bosch Tool Corp. because the tool may stay on after the user releases the safety trigger, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.

The product's switch also can be turned on without the use of the safety lock-out, causing the saw to start unexpectedly, the agency said.

The company has five reports of the saw staying on after the safety trigger was released, although it has no reports of injury.

circular saw recall

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