Health Highlights: Sept. 5, 2007

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

Mattel Recalls Thousands of Additional Toys Made in China

Mattel is recalling 848,000 Chinese-made Barbie and Fisher-Price toys that may contain excessive lead, the third huge recall by the world's top toymaker in five weeks, the Bloomberg news service reported Wednesday.

The latest recall includes Barbie kitchen and furniture accessories, Fisher-Price trains, and Bongo Band drums. The number of recalled toys since August now tops 21 million, Bloomberg said, although no injuries have been reported. Mattel produces 65 percent of its toys through China.

WHAT TO KNOW
    • Mattel Recalls Thousands of Additional Toys Made in China
    • Connecticut Man Acquired Anthrax From Drum
    • Pavarotti's Health Worsens: Report
    • Exercise May Help Heart Fix Itself
    • Poor More Likely to Be Hospitalized for Diabetes
    • FDA Warns Against Use of Tanning Supplement
    • Popcorn Fumes Could Be Dangerous: Expert
    • New Drug Effective in Fighting Cholesterol: Study

Mattel said consumers should visit its Web site to learn if they have any of the recalled products.

"We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys," Mattel chief executive officer Robert Eckert said in a statement.

Last month's recalls of more than 20 million toys involved Barbie, Pollie Pocket, Batman, Sesame Street, and Dora the Explorer items, Bloomberg reported. Most were for containing excessive lead-based paint, but others involved small magnets that if swallowed could clump together and cause intestinal damage.

Lead can be toxic if ingested by children, causing brain damage, behavioral and learning problems.

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Connecticut Man Acquired Anthrax From Drum

A Danbury, Conn., man has contracted cutaneous anthrax from handling African drums, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The man was not identified, but the city's mayor, Mark Boughton, told a local newspaper that the roads around the man's home had been cordoned off, the wire service said.

Terrorism is not suspected in the case, and no additional details were available.

Cutaneous anthrax, the most common form of anthrax infection, is a non-contagious skin infection and is usually successfully treated with antibiotics. Inhalation anthrax, by contrast, kills about 75 percent of its victims after it infects the lungs, the AP said.

In February 2006, a similar case was reported in which a New York City man who handled African drums made from goat skins contracted anthrax and was hospitalized for weeks, the wire service said.

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Pavarotti's Health Worsens: Report

The health of opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who has been struggling with pancreatic cancer, has worsened and he's in "very serious" condition, BBC News reported Wednesday, quoting Italian media.

Pavarotti, 71, had been released from an Italian hospital on Aug. 25 and is being treated at his home in the northern city of Modena, surrounded by family and friends.

The famed tenor came down with respiratory problems during the summer while on vacation at his villa on the Adriatic coast. He has undergone five rounds of chemotherapy since his cancer surgery last year, the BBC said.

Pavarotti, who's planning a farewell tour, last sang in public in Italy in 2006 during opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Turin.

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Exercise May Help Heart Fix Itself

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