French woman compensated for electromagnetic hypersensitivity

A woman in France has won a disability grant because she suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS). Marine Richard, 39, has won the right to claim €800 (£580) per month for three years after resorting to living in a remote area in a barn that has no electricity. EHS is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and everyday gadgets such as phones affect Ms Richard. A court in Toulouse granted the allowance, however the ruling did not formally recognise EHS as an illness. The French court’s decision has been welcomed by Electrosensitivty UK (ES-UK), a charity that campaigns for wider recognition of EHS. It stated, "Several people in the UK have been diagnosed with electrosensitivity and received help for the disability but any financial allowance usually refers to a different name for the condition or a related condition."

Monsanto's Roundup labelled as cancer-causing in California

It has been announced by the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it plans to label glyphosate as a chemical "known to cause cancer." Environmental activists are naturally celebrating this announcement and the opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal until the 5th of October. They believe this could be the first step in eventually restricting the use of the chemical. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, world usage of glyphosate is at an all-time high and Nathan Donley, staff scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation nonprofit based in San Francisco, said, “It’s nearly impossible for people to limit exposure to this toxin because it is just so widespread. That’s why we need much tighter controls on its use.” He also agrees that this sort of action could lead to more meaningful federal regulations.

The heat is being turned up further on Monsanto as five scientific experts have added their names to a class action lawsuit against the company for false advertising. There are some familiar names amongst the experts — Nancy L. Swanson PhD; Stephanie Seneff PhD; Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA; Mae-Won Ho PhD and Michelle Perro MD.

Room fresheners bad for health

UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, has published an article warning of the dangers of scented candles, air fresheners, aerosols and other room fragrances. John Naish reports on the hidden dangers, and explains that investigators warn that they can cause tumours, lung damage and asthma. Incense sticks are said to be more dangerous than cigarette smoke, causing cancerous mutations in our DNA. Chemical sprays, plug-ins and gels for home perfuming are said to contain an array of hazardous substances which may cause lung damage and tumours, interfere with our hormones and cause lifelong problems such as asthma. And scented candles include a host of potentially dangerous industrial chemicals like formaldehyde, paraffin and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). One suspects as with so many sectors of industry that there are a large number of incense and fragrance products on the market that are now a far cry from their traditional, natural predecessors.

Mothers diet during pregnancy affects risk of asthma during childhood

An article accepted by Allergy, the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has concluded that “evidence suggests a protective effect of maternal intake of each of three vitamins or nutrients (vitamin D, vitamin E and zinc) against childhood wheeze.” This is not the only study finding this; researchers from the University of Aberdeen have also found that mothers whose diets lacked vitamin D and E during pregnancy appear more likely to have children that may develop asthma. Professor Graham Devereux and Dr Steve Turner carried out two related studies and found firstly that “maternal dietary deficiencies in vitamins D and E during pregnancy have been linked to increased asthma risk in school-aged children up to the age of 10 years”, and secondly “reduced maternal vitamins D and E was linked to how the cells lining the airways of newborn infants respond to dust and infection.” The researchers plan to follow up on all of the children in their studies, and believe “the next step will be to do a proper trial where we ensure that mother’s diets are not deficient in nutrients during pregnancy and follow up their children.”

Supplements to reduce aggression in prison inmates

A Dutch prison is going to offer its inmates an assortment of fish oils, vitamins and minerals in order to see whether they help reduce their levels of aggression. Dutch daily morning newspaper, Volkskrant, reportedly said on Saturday that previous experiments at a Dutch jail involving 200 prisoners resulted in a 34% drop in aggressive incidents. The paper also said that Britain has been experimenting as well with the use of food supplements and the results are due shortly. More research was published in PLOS earlier this year following omega-3 levels in adult male prisoners in NSW, Australia being measured and the correlation with aggressive behaviour and attention deficit behavior monitored. It was concluded that, “There is a high variability in omega-3 status of a NSW prison population, and inmates with lower omega-3 index were more aggressive and had higher ADD scores.”