Category Archives: cancer

Diesel Exhaust Definitely Causes Lung Cancer, Confirms WHO

Diesel engine exhaust is definitely carcinogenic in human lungs, according to a scientific working group of the World Health Organization after a week-long meeting to review the evidence. Follow the story on


The Racket Known As Flame Retardants

Illustration thumbnail: Reducing your risk                                                 

As Nicholas Kristof writes in this weekend’s column, Are You Safe On That Sofa?, the Chicago Tribune series, Playing with Fire,  is a must-read. (Click here to see the package) It’s about the history behind the “protective” toxins in our furniture known as flame retardants.

The chemicals embedded in our household upholstery are toxic to humans, and, according to this investigation, useless. But that’s not the news. Experts have known for some time that endocrine disruptors and other ubiquitous chemicals are linked to cancer, fetal damage, child development problems and fertility problems.  The real story? It turns out that flame retardants’ whole reason for being was just to protect the tobacco industry.  The “protect-people-from-fires” thing was just a smokescreen.

I hope my mom reads this report.  This is the reason I insisted on organic cotton clothing for my newborn and why we need real public health policies and laws like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to protect us from industrial chemicals and the corporations that profit from them.

Bravo to reporters Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne!

Related content:  Toxins on Shoes and Other Environmental Exposures to Avoid; Lyme Disease Alert! + DEET alternatives that protect without toxins;  Air Pollution Linked to Kids’ Anxiety and Attention Problems; What Siberian Husky Sled Dogs Reveal About Human Bodies.

Toxins on Shoes & Other Environmental Exposures to Avoid

Note to self: Be more strict about taking off my shoes as soon as I get home!

Thanks to Jeffrey Bland for passing on this information about new guidelines regarding environmental exposure risk by researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. You can read about flea and tick collars and other sources of common environmental toxins here, or watch this slideshow.

Related alternahealthgrrrl content:

Lyme Disease Alert! (& DEET alternatives that protect without toxins)

Herbal Medicine Under the Microscope

I love it when the Wall Street Journal covers CAM–especially when they do it well! Read about the 4 herb combo cancer treatment known as  PHY906 in Chinese Medicine Goes Under the Microscope by Shirley S. Wang.

Related alternahealthgrrrl stories:

Hooray for Holistic Healthcare!

Natural Cholesterol Helpers: Safe Alternatives to Statin Drugs

Lyme Disease Alert! + DEET alternatives that protect w/o toxins

Thanks to the mild weather and its effect on ticks, and their ecosystem, tick season is starting early—and spreading further—this year.  Recent reports in Pill Advised, The New York Times and Scientific American highlight the potential negative public health impact the rise in tick-borne disease could have on the Northeast.

Luckily, at the end of last year’s tick season, Tula Karras and I crafted this comprehensive guide to fighting off ticks and mosquitoes without dousing yourself in DEET. Here, the best ways to protect yourself without exposure to too many chemicals.

Massage + Therapy = Medicine

Well that hit the spot!  It’s gotta to be a good sign when the Wall Street Journal reports on the medical benefits of getting a massage. Check out Andrea Petersen‘s Don’t Call It Pampering: Massage Wants to Be Medicine.

Related alternahealthgrrrl story: Why a Post-Workout Massage Feels So Good

Hooray for Holistic Healthcare!

More proof that holistic is the way to go when it comes to feeling good and maintaining good health: Integrative medicine is effective for treating everyday problems, according to a national survey by the Bravewell Collaborative.

Some 75 percent of integrative health centers said they had successfully treated chronic pain.  And more than half reported positive results for treating gastrointestinal conditions, depression and anxiety, cancer and chronic stress. Food and nutrition, supplements, yoga, meditation, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, massage and pharmaceuticals were among the most cited approaches.

What’s more, the multidimensional team approach is cost-effective, personalized and empowering for patients. To learn more about the results, check out  Integrative Medicine in America: How Integrative Medicine Is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States.