Health Highlights: Dec. 14, 2007

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

Recalled Valucraft Booster Cables Pose Shock Hazard

About 140,00 Valucraft car booster cables are being recalled because the clamps were assembled incorrectly, resulting in reverse polarity. This poses electrical shock and explosion hazards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

The Chinese-made cables were sold for between $12 and $20 at AutoZone stores across the United States and on AutoZone's Web site from June 2007 through October 2007.

    • Recalled Valucraft Booster Cables Pose Shock Hazard
    • More Blood Contaminants Found in People with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Study
    • Minnesota Bans Mercury in Cosmetics
    • FDA to Issue New Guidelines for Drug-Coated Stents
    • FDA Panel Supports New Sterilization Method for Women
    • Infantino Lion Teethers Recalled Due to Choking Hazard

valucraft recall

AutoZone Parts Inc., of Memphis Tenn., has received four reports of incidents of reverse polarity that led to minor property damage.

The recall includes Valucraft eight-gauge and 10-gauge booster cables, which are orange and have "8GA" or "10GA" printed on them. Consumers should stop using these cables and return them to any AutoZone store for a full refund or a free replacement.

For more information, contact AutoZone at 1-800-230-9786.


More Blood Contaminants Found in People with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Study

People with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have higher levels of environmental contaminants, such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides, in their blood than people without the disease, a Canadian study found. This suggests that the chemicals may be a factor in the disease, the study authors said.

B.C. Cancer Agency researchers collected blood samples from 900 residents of British Columbia, including 422 people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, CTV News reported.

Compared to those without the disease, the cancer patients had higher levels of almost every chemical tested for in the study. People with the greatest exposure to PCBs were twice as likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those with the least exposure.

The findings will appear in the International Journal of Cancer.

"We know that the incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been steadily rising for the past 30 years worldwide, but there hasn't been clear evidence to explain the increase," lead author John Spinelli, a senior scientist at the B.C. Cancer Agency, told CTV News.

"Our study helps to provide answers to this puzzle by showing a strong link between these specific environmental contaminants and this particular type of cancer," he said.


Minnesota Bans Mercury in Cosmetics

A new Minnesota law banning mercury in mascara, eye liner and skin-lightening creams takes effect on Jan. 1, making Minnesota the first state to forbid intentionally added mercury in cosmetics. The new law means the state will have a tougher standard than the federal government, the Associated Press reported.

While most makeup manufacturers have stopped using mercury, it's still added to some eye products as a preservative and germ killer, an industry association spokesman told the wire service.

"Mercury does cause neurological damage to people even in tiny quantities. Every source of mercury adds to it. We wanted to make sure it wasn't (in cosmetics)," said state Sen. John Marty, the Democrat who sponsored the ban, the AP reported.

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