ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
MEN'S HEALTH
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
The Unmedicated Mind
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
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Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds

(HealthDay News) -- As the holiday shopping season begins, parents need to know that many dangerous toys are still being sold in stores across the United States.

That's the conclusion of the 24th annual Trouble in Toyland report, released Tuesday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

The report focuses on toys that pose a choking hazard, are excessively loud, or contain the toxic chemicals phthalate and lead.

Phthalates have been linked to premature delivery, reproductive defects, early onset of puberty, and lower sperm counts. Lead exposure can cause lowered IQ, delayed mental and physical development, and death in children, researchers have found.

Along with the Trouble in Toyland report, PIRG said it will unveil a new interactive tool -- accessible via computer or smart phone -- that will help parents and other purchasers avoid hazardous toys. Consumers will also be able to report dangerous toys to the new Web tool (www.toysafety.mobi).

"Now parents can shop safely and avoid purchasing potentially dangerous toys for their kids," Elizabeth Hitchcock, PIRG's public health advocate, said in a news release. "With our new, interactive tool, parents and other consumers can report toys they think are hazardous so we can investigate them and report them to the federal government," she added.

While a new law overhauling the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has led to some progress on toy safety in the past year, consumers still need to be wary, PIRG said.

Hitchcock said, "There's no magic wand to fix the CPSC, and making products safer won't happen overnight. Restoring consumer confidence in the products we buy will take continued hard work on the part of the CPSC and responsible retailers and manufacturers."

Among the findings in the new report:

* Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under 3, PIRG found toys that pose serious choking hazards. An analysis of CPSC recalls and other actions in 2009 showed that these hazards were the cause of more than 5 million products being recalled from store shelves.
* Some toys tested by PIRG exceeded 85 decibels sound level, the volume threshold established under American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
* As of February 2009, toys and other children's products containing more than 0.1 percent of phthalates were banned in the United States, but PIRG found children's products that contained concentrations of phthalates up to 7.2 percent.
* In August 2009, the allowable level of lead in the paint on children's products sold in the United States was reduced to 90 parts per million, and the allowable level of lead in children's products was reduced to 300 ppm. PIRG researchers found three children's toys or jewelry containing high levels of lead or lead paint.

In 2009, the CPSC announced recalls and other regulatory actions involving nearly 1.3 million toys and other children's products that violated the lead paint standard. In October, PIRG notified the CPSC of a preschool book that contained lead paint at 1,900 ppm -- more than 20 times the allowable maximum of 90 ppm.

"We're encouraged that Toys 'R' Us stopped the sale of this particular book after we notified the CPSC of the lead paint violation," Hitchcock said. "We hope we can continue to see this kind of progress in protecting kids from all toy hazards."

In 2008, toy-related injuries caused the deaths of 19 children and resulted in more than 82,000 emergency room visits by children under age 5, according to the most recent CPSC data.

SOURCES: U.S. Public Interest Research Group, news release, Nov. 24, 2009