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A Houston judge showed leniency on Tuesday in sentencing Enron's former chief financial officer to six years in prison.
Fastow was originally charged with 98 counts of insider trading, money laundering, tax violations and other counts.
He was alleged to have run complicated partnerships that allowed Enron to hide debt and boost its profits. He was also alleged to have shifted millions of dollars through the partnerships to himself, his family and his friends.
Preschool Puberty, and a Search for the Causes
...there have been clusters of cases in which children have prematurely developed signs of puberty, outbreaks similar to epidemics of influenza or environmental poisonings. In 1979, the medical journal The Lancet described an outbreak of breast enlargement among hundreds of Italian schoolchildren, probably caused by estrogen contamination of beef and poultry. Similar epidemics in Puerto Rico and Haiti were tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the 1980’s. ...some physicians worry that children are at higher risk of early puberty as a result of the increasing prevalence of certain drugs, cosmetics and environmental contaminants, called “endocrine disruptors,” that can cause breast growth, pubic hair development and other symptoms of puberty. ...The doctors realized that the girl’s father was using a concentrated testosterone skin cream bought from an Internet compounding pharmacy for cosmetic and sexual performance purposes. From normal skin contact with their father, the children absorbed the testosterone, which caused pubic hair growth and genital enlargement. The boy, in particular, also developed some aggressive behavior problems.
While pediatric endocrinologists have implicated pharmaceutical or personal care products for causing pubertal problems in children, some environmental scientists also claim that some widespread industrial and pharmaceutical pollutants harm the normal sexual development of fish and animals. By extension, they may also contribute to earlier or disrupted puberty in children, these scientists contend. Robert Havelock, a senior reproductive toxicologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, said these concerns “caused a shift in worry from cancer to noncancer” effects of environmental pollution over the past decade. ...Robert Cooper, the chief of endocrinology at the reproductive toxicology division of the Environmental Protection Agency, says various sources of endocrine disruptors, like manufacturing chemicals, may be leaching into the environment. While their relation to pubertal problems in children remains highly speculative, he believes further study is needed.
Governmental efforts to create a systematic method to assess possible endocrine disruptors from environmental sources have stalled. ...In 1996, Congress directed the E.P.A. to develop a comprehensive screening program for possible endocrine disruptors within three years. Dr. Cooper says no such program has begun operation, a failure he attributed largely to stonewalling by chemical industry representatives who serve on an advisory committee for the program.
The endocrine pancreas in early alloxan diabetes. Including study of the alloxan inhibitory effect of feeding and some hexoses.
Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand [A]. 1977 Mar;85A(2):219-29. Boquist L.
Starved animals were sensitive to alloxan, whereas a more or less inhibitory effect towards alloxan was observed in fed animals, and in starved animals pretreated with glucose, mannose or fructose, but not in those pretreated with galactose. The islets of starved controls possessed larger B-cell mitochondria than those of fed ones. The earliest B-cell changes in the alloxan-treated animals were localized to the mitochondria which showed swelling, and disruption of inner and occasionally outer membranes. Later, many mitochondria were disintegrated, and the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex disorganized. The secretory granules were preserved, although sometimes with atypical configuration, in degenerating but non-necrotic B-cells, suggesting that insulin stored in granules is not released until the cells are necrotic. Finally, frank necrosis was seen in some B-cells, whereas others were unaffected. The Ca2+-precipitation studied by pyroantimonate technique and x-ray analysis differed in the B-cells of the alloxan-treated animals from that in the controls; the former animals exhibited no or only sparse precipitation in mitochondria and secretory granules, but a rich precipitation in the cytoplasmic ground substance, whereas the precipitation in the controls mainly was localized to mitochondria and secretory granules. The primary site of alloxan action in the B-cells is believed to be localized to the mitochondria.
Originally posted by resistor
From your posts it seems that the alloxan - diabetes link is less than conclusive. What should be clear however is that this chemical has no place in our food.
Brain chemical linked to child-abuse perpetuation
A study focusing on the role of a important brain chemical sheds new light on why victims of childhood abuse may themselves become abusers as adults, and points to a possible remedy, researchers said on Thursday. ...They looked at levels of serotonin -- a chemical that transmits impulses in the brain -- in rhesus monkeys, but has implications for understanding child abuse in people because of biological similarities in humans and monkeys, they said.
When baby monkeys in the study experienced high amounts of abuse and rejection from their mother in the month after birth, their brains often produced less serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked to anxiety, depression and aggression in monkeys and people. ...The researchers followed monkey infants from birth into adulthood. They found that female monkeys that had been abused by their mothers as infants and later became abusive mothers had about 10 to 20 percent less serotonin than females that had been abused as babies but did not become abusive parents.
Experts long have known that suffering childhood abuse raises the probability a person will become an abusive parent, and have tried to find the reason -- for example, repeating behavior learned early in life or, alternatively, long-term changes in brain processes governing emotions. ..."Our results suggest that the system is affected by early trauma, early experience, and that these long-term changes in the brain might contribute to the occurrence of abusive parenting in adulthood," University of Chicago researcher Dario Maestripieri said in an interview.
Controversy continues as Reach nears completion
With deadlines looming for final agreement on the planned European Union system of registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (Reach), the European Parliament’s Environment Committee is pushing for further amendments.
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), representing more than 30 000 producers and suppliers, claims that the committee stance – if endorsed by the full Parliament – will ‘hamper the ability of Reach to achieve its goals to drive both greater safety of products and competitiveness of the European industry’.
Cefic director general Alain Perroy said the committee recommendations on issues such as ‘substitution’ would ‘create very serious problems for the whole European industry’.
Chemicals impair kids' brains in 'pandemic' proportions
Industrial chemicals have impaired the brain development of children, knocked down IQs, shortened attention spans and triggered behaviour problems, says a new report that is calling for better regulation of 201 chemicals with neurotoxic effects. ...In a report warning of "a silent pandemic in modern society," a team from the Harvard School of Public Health says millions of children may already have been affected. ..."About half of the 201 chemicals that we list are high-volume production chemicals," says lead author Dr. Philippe Grandjean. The list includes aluminum and tin compounds, solvents like acetone and benzene, many organic substances and pesticides.
The report takes a global view of the problem, but Grandjean says there is no question Canadians are exposed and affected. ..."Most of these chemicals occur in Canadian chemical production, in the environment, in consumer goods," he says. He also says Canada stands out for exposure to the neurotoxin manganese, which has been used as an anti-knock agent in gasoline. ...Health Canada declined to comment on the report, published today in the Lancet, or say how widely used the compounds are in Canada. But the department is promising action on thousands of chemicals that were introduced into use in Canada without adequate toxicity testing.
The Lancet report says one in six children has a developmental disability, many of them learning problems, sensory deficits and developmental delays that affect the nervous system. Mounting evidence has linked industrial chemicals to such neurological disorders, and the report deplores the way the chemicals are "not regulated to protect children." ...There are "great gaps" in testing of the chemicals, and regulators will only restrict compounds if there is a "high level" of proof of damage and problems, the report says, adding this puts vulnerable developing brains at unacceptable risk.
Chemical pollution 'responsible for silent pandemic of brain damage'
MILLIONS of children worldwide may have suffered brain damage as a direct result of industrial pollution, scientists said yesterday. ...An explosive report from researchers in the United States and Denmark talks of a "silent pandemic" of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by toxic chemicals spilling into the environment. ...They include conditions such as autism, attention deficit disorder, mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
The scientists identified 202 industrial chemicals with the potential to damage the human brain, and said they were likely to be the "tip of a very large iceberg". More than 1,000 chemicals are known to be neurotoxic in animals, and are likely to be harmful to humans.
The researchers made an urgent call to tighten worldwide controls, and for a "precautionary approach" to testing. ...Tough regulations being introduced by the European Union do not go far enough, said the researchers. In the US, there are only minimal requirements for companies to carry out safety tests on chemicals, which often go unenforced.
'Silent pandemic' poisoning our children
Philippe Grandjean, visiting professor at Harvard and lead author of the review, published in the Lancet online, said: "The human brain is a precious and vulnerable organ. Even limited damage may have serious consequences ... We are talking about the brain development of future generations. There will be an enormous cost of not regulating exposure."
All 202 chemicals listed by the authors have been shown to cause serious injuries when ingested or used in suicide attempts. They include chemicals used in common household products, such as aluminium in saucepans and drink cans, acetone in nail polish remover and ethylene glycol in antifreeze.
But the main exposure is through contamination of the environment during manufacture, when the chemicals seep into the ground water, are carried in the air or contaminate food. ..."The combined evidence suggests that neurodevelopmental disorders caused by industrial chemicals have created a silent pandemic in modern society," the authors write. ..."Although these chemicals might have caused impaired brain development in millions of children worldwide, the profound effects of such a pandemic are not apparent from available health statistics. ..."Only a few chemical causes have been recognised, so the full effects of our industrial activities could be substantially greater than recognised at present." ...Fewer than half the thousands of chemicals used in commerce have been tested for toxicity and they say an accelerated testing programme is vital.
A 'Silent Pandemic' Of Brain Disorders
Exposure to industrial chemicals may be responsible for a "silent pandemic" of brain development disorders affecting millions of children worldwide, and not enough is being done to identify the risks. ...That is the contention of two researchers who have studied the effects of chemical exposures on brain development for many decades.
In an essay published online in the journal The Lancet, the researchers identified 202 potentially harmful industrial chemicals that may be contributing to dramatic increases in autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other brain disorders among children. ...Roughly half of the chemicals are in common use, but very few have been tested to determine their impact on brain development.
"The bottom line is you only get one chance to develop a brain," Philippe Grandjean, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, tells WebMD. "We have to protect children against chemical pollution because damage to a developing brain is irreversible." ..."The few substances proven to be toxic to human neurodevelopment should be viewed as the tip of a very large iceberg," ...Almost all children born in industrialized countries between 1960 and 1980 were exposed to substantial amounts of lead from gasoline. The researchers write that lead exposure in this population could be responsible for a substantial reduction in average IQ scores. ..."A generation of American children was exposed to this very dangerous neurotoxin while we were doing traditional risk assessment," Grandjean tells WebMD. "We can't afford to make the same mistake again."
Scienti sts link Industrial pollution to ‘silent pandemic’ of brain damage
Fetal and early childhood exposures to industrial chemicals in the environment can damage the developing brain and can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), a new study revealed. ...In their explosive report, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine talked about a "silent pandemic" of neurodevelopmental disorders caused by toxic chemicals spilling into the environment. They called the pandemic silent because the sub-clinical effects of individual toxic chemicals are not evident in available health statistics.
The two researchers, who have spent decades studying the effects of lead and mercury exposure on the fetus and children, linked industrial chemical to the conditions like autism (a developmental disorder), attention deficit disorder (ADHD), mental retardation and cerebral palsy (a collection of movement disorders caused by brain damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth). ...they discovered that 202 industrial chemicals have the significant potentiality to damage the developing human brain. Their list of harmful compounds includes everything from arsenic to benzene and phenol. Nearly half of the agents are universal in industrial processes and products, and could make their way into the environment through air, water and food.
"The human brain is a precious and vulnerable organ. And because optimal brain function depends on the integrity of the organ, even limited damage may have serious consequences," said Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor at Harvard School of Public Health and the lead author of the study. ...In their report, Grandjean and co-author Philip J. Landrigan, Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine concluded that millions of children may have suffered brain damage as a result of industrial pollution. ...The researchers requested the governments to tighten worldwide controls, and enforce highly efficient public health standards, such as toxicity test of chemicals. ..."Even if substantial documentation on their (the tested agents) toxicity is available, most chemicals are not regulated to protect the developing brain," Grandjean said. "Only a few substances, such as lead and mercury, are controlled with the purpose of protecting children. The 200 other chemicals that are known to be toxic to the human brain are not regulated to prevent adverse effects on the fetus or a small child." ...In the European Union, 100,000 chemicals were registered for commercial use in 1981, while in the US, 80,000 are registered.
Chemical Exposure Creating a "Silent Pandemic" of Neurodevelopmental Disorders?
An online review article published November 8 in the Lancet says environmental exposure to toxic chemicals in utero and in the early stages of life may be creating a "silent pandemic" of neurodevelopmental disorders. ...In their paper, Philippe Grandjean, MD, from the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark, and Philip Landrigan, MD, from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York, call for new, stricter approaches to chemical testing and controls that recognize the "unique vulnerability of the developing brain."
In conducting their review, the authors used the US National Library of Medicine hazardous substances data bank, supplemented by fact sheets from the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the integrated risk information system of the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify industrial chemicals that have proven neurotoxic effects in humans.
"The combined evidence suggests that neurodevelopmental disorders caused by industrial chemicals have created a silent pandemic in modern society,"... In 1981, 100,000 chemicals in the European Union were registered for commercial use. In the United States, 80,000 are currently registered, yet fewer than half of these substances have been subjected "to even token laboratory testing," they write. ..."Nearly 3000 of these substances are produced in quantities of almost 500,000 kg every year, but for nearly half of these high-volume chemicals, no basic toxicity data are publicly available, and 80% have no information about developmental or pediatric toxicity," they write. ...An expert committee from the US National Research Council concluded that 3% of developmental disabilities are the direct result of environmental exposure to such substances and that another 25% arise through interactions between environmental factors and individual genetic susceptibility. ...However, these estimates, the authors note, were based on scarce information about neurotoxicity and therefore likely underestimate the true prevalence of chemically induced abnormalities.