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German Ministry Warns of Chemicals in Colorful Napkins

German Ministry Warns of Chemicals in Colorful Napkins

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German minister warns of carcinogens in paper plates and napkins


Germany's Food and Agriculture Ministry is warning people away from colorful paper plates and napkins on the grounds that the colorful inks can contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Colorful plates and napkins are an easy way to add a bit of novelty to a picnic or barbecue, but Germany’s Food and Agriculture Ministry is warning people to stick to the basic white variety on the grounds that the colorful dyes could contain dangerous chemicals that can seep into food.

According to The Local, Christian Schmidt, the German Minister of Food and Agriculture, is currently campaigning for tighter controls on the inks used in disposable plates and napkins, which can reportedly contain carcinogenic compounds called primary aromatic amines, which can transfer into food. A recent report from the Ministry says food served on or packaged in colorful paper was often found to contain those compounds at levels that "exceed the acceptable thresholds.”

"In the past years we have investigated the risks of these inks at the request of some of the German states," said Andreas Luch, head of chemicals and product safety at Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. According to Luch, as a result of that investigation the Institute recommended that people avoid the compounds as much as possible.

According to The Local, Schmidt intends to bring a proposal covering stricter rules about the use of colorful inks in food packaging and disposable plates, napkins, and utensils before the EU commission.

4 reasons why you’ve got to stop using scented sanitary pads. P.S. Your vagina will thank you for it

Your sanitary napkin might smell of roses, but it’s actually harbouring a lot of bacteria. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A woman in an all-white outfit steps out on the first day of her heavy period and makes heads turn—not because of her Jitender-inspired fashion statement. But because she smells so good—despite her period!

If ads for scented sanitary pads have convinced you to start using one to conceal your period odour–you could be making the biggest mistake of your life. Here’s why scented sanitary napkins are an absolute no-no:

1. Scented sanitary napkins are actually counterproductive
“When your menstrual blood mixes with chemical perfumes on sanitary pads, it can lead to foul smell. So, instead of masking the odour, it can worsen it,” points out Dr Gandhali Deorukhkar Pillai, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.

Hence, she recommends changing your pad every four to six hours regardless of how heavy or light your period flow is instead of using a scented pad in order to avoid the odour.

2. They can make matters down there even worse
“Sanitary napkins are made using absorbent material that blocks the moisture and generate heat. Using a scented sanitary napkin for a long duration can result in the growth of bacteria due to the moist and warm environment it creates down there,” points out Dr Pillai.

Those great smelling menstrual pads can actually be counterproductive! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Wait, there’s more! She further warns against the chemicals present on the top layer of the scented pad coming in direct contact with your sensitive labial and vaginal skin as they can cause a yeast infection.

3. That artificial fragrance is more harmful than you think
Obviously, the scent comes with a heavy dose of chemicals on the sanitary napkin, which can have more serious health consequences than you could imagine. “These chemicals can cause organ damage and the hydrocarbons might even be carcinogenic,” warns Dr Tripti Saran, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology department, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.

4. They are terrible for the environment too
Not only do the scented napkins add to the non-biodegradable plastic waste, which is harmful to the environment, the toxic fumes containing dioxins and furan produced by burning these chemically-laden pads can make the air pollution and the health of those inhaling the fumes worse according to Dr Saran.

So for your sake and that of the environment, stop using scented sanitary pads.

Instead, try these ways of controlling the period odour, as recommended by Dr Pillai:

  • Bathe daily and if required, even twice a day.
  • Use a mild vaginal wash to clean your intimate area thoroughly.
  • Cultivate the habit of changing your sanitary pad or tampon every 4-6 hours, regardless of how light/heavy your menstrual flow is.
  • Avoid douching or inserting anything inside your vagina to cleanse it as the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
  • Ditch tight leggings, thongs, and synthetic underwear. Instead, use breathable, cotton ones to avoid odour and irritation.
  • In case a fishy odour persists, see a doctor as it can be due to a pre-existing bacterial infection or even a STI.
/> Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.

States raise shortage of anti-fungal medicine

Amid a surge in cases of mucormycosis (black fungus), the governments of West Bengal and Haryana on Friday alerted the Centre about the shortage of Amphotericin-B -- an anti-fungal drug used to treat the infection. So far, 11 states have declared black fungus as an epidemic under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

The fungal infection, which some doctors have blamed on the high use of steroids to combat Covid-19, kills more than 50% of patients within days.

On Friday, Haryana health minister Anil Vij sounded an alarm over the shortage of Amphotericin-B, adding that a global tender is being floated to import the medicine at the earliest. “The disease called black fungus has come to fore recently due to which there is a shortage of its medicine,” he said.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, too, highlighted the shortage.

“The medicines are not being made available to us. The Centre procures these medicines,” she said. So far, the state has reported four cases.

Under the epidemic act, all states will have to report all confirmed or suspected cases of this condition, seen in recovering Covid-19 patients, to the health ministry.

During a meeting to review the pandemic situation on Friday, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, too, expressed concern over the spread of the rare fungal infection. “Rising number of Black Fungus cases is a concern. Now we are ramping up the production of drug used for the treatment of the disease. Every state has been asked to put black fungus in the notified list.”

The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi high court that as on May 19, there were 7.251 cases of mucormycosis in India.

Also Read| PM Modi warns against black fungus, mourns fatalities

Among the states and union territories that have notified the fungal infection as an epidemic are: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Telangana.

Over the past 24 hours, first black fungus cases have been reported from Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Union chemicals minister Sadananda Gowda said that five more manufacturers have been given licenses to manufacture Amphotericin-B.

About Sodium Polyacrylate

Sodium polyacrylate is also known by the common name "waterlock." The polymer is a sodium salt of acrylic acid with the chemical formula [−CH2−CH(CO2Na)−]n. The material is superabsorbent, with the capacity to absorb 100 to 1000 times its weight in water. While the sodium form of the polymer is most common, similar materials exist substituting potassium, lithium, or ammonium for sodium. While sodium-neutralized polymers are most common in diapers and feminine napkins, the potassium-neutralized polymer is more common in soil amendment products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the material in the early 1960s. Researchers sought a material to improve water retention in soils. Originally, the scientists developed a hydrolyzed product made from a starch-acrylonitrile co-polymer. This polymer, known as "Super Slurper," absorbed over 400 times its weight in water, but did not release the water back again.

Many chemical companies worldwide joined the race to develop a super absorbent polymer. These included Dow Chemical, General Mills, Sanyo Chemical, Kao, Nihon Sarch, Dupont, and Sumitomo Chemical. The first commercial products resulting from the research were released in the early 1970s. However, the first applications were for adult incontinence products and feminine sanitary napkins, not soil amendments. The first use of a super absorbent polymer in a baby diaper was in 1982. Sodium polyacrylate is also used to make the fun toy Fortune Teller Miracle Fish.

Occupational Exposure to Nickel

Nickel is widely used in industry, primarily refining, electroplating, and welding. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health warns that workers who inhale nickel laced dust and fumes are at an increased risk for lung cancer and fibrosis. [9]

The increasingly common use of nanoparticles has introduced a new generation of health concerns. with good reason. South Africa's National Institute for Occupational Health recently attributed the death of a 38-year-old man to respiratory distress caused by inhaling nickel nanoparticles during an industrial manufacturing process. [10]

Tobacco users at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Citing evidence from countries reporting COVID-19 related fatalities, the guidelines noted that people with pre-existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are more susceptible to becoming severely ill with COVID-19.

As tobacco use is a major risk factor for NCDs like cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes, tobacco users or/and smokers are at higher risk for developing severe illness when affected by COVID-19.

“Moreover, tobacco use poses a significant risk by accelerating the transmission of COVID-19 because the virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” the guidelines said.

The Ministry urged people to stop chewing tobacco products (Khaini, Gutkha, Paan, Zarda) as it increases the urge to spit. Its guidelines stated, “Spitting in public places increases health risks especially those of spreading infectious and contagious diseases like COVID19, tuberculosis, swine flu, encephalitis, etc.”

Dozens reported killed in suspected chemical attack on rebel bastion in Syria Trump warns of ‘big price to pay’

The attack occurred as troops loyal to the government pressed an offensive.

Dozens of people were killed in an apparent poison gas attack on a suburb of Damascus as troops loyal to the government pressed an offensive to take back one of the last rebel-held bastions near the Syrian capital, opposition activists and aid groups said Sunday.

Doctors and first responders shared horrific images on social media of men, women and children they said had suffocated in their homes and in makeshift shelters during an intense bombardment Saturday night of the city of Douma, in the eastern Ghouta region. Some of the videos and photographs showed piles of glassy-eyed bodies, many with white foam filling their mouths and nostrils.

President Trump blamed the Syrian government and warned of a “big price to pay” in a series of tweets that also took aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin for backing his Syrian counterpart, Bashar Assad, whom Trump called “Animal Assad.”

Trump’s condemnation of what he termed a “mindless CHEMICAL attack” raised the prospect of U.S. military retaliation almost exactly a year after the president ordered a cruise-missile strike on a Syrian air base following a sarin gas attack — a move that won him some of the highest foreign-policy praise of his presidency.

The United States and eight other countries — France, Britain, Sweden, Poland, the Netherlands, Kuwait, Peru and Ivory Coast — called for the United Nations Security Council to meet Monday to discuss the reports of another chemical weapons attack in Syria.

“The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement.

The Syrian government and its Russian allies, however, dismissed the accusations as rebel fabrications intended to win international support in the face of imminent defeat in Douma.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted an unidentified military source Sunday as saying that “an army that is progressing quickly … does not need to use any kind of chemical weapons.”

Rescue workers found at least 42 people who suffocated in their homes, according to the Syria Civil Defense, a team of first responders working in opposition areas, and the Syrian American Medical Society, a Washington-based relief organization that supports health facilities in the area.

Some 500 others were brought to medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent, including difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth, burning eyes and skin discoloration, the groups said in the statement. One person was pronounced dead on arrival, and six others died after they reached a clinic.

Members of the Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said the attack was carried out by a Syrian government helicopter, which dropped “barrel bombs” filled with a chemical agent. Barrel bombs are typically built from oil drums or water tanks that are filled with explosives and metal detritus.

It was not immediately clear what kind of chemical agent might have been used. Local medics and rescue workers said some of the victims were emitting a “chlorine-like odor.” Others showed signs of exposure to an “organophosphate element,” a reference to chemicals found in insecticides and nerve agents.

Opposition activists and first responders described whole families found suffocated, and graphic images of the tiny slumped bodies of dead or dying children were widely circulated on social media.

In one video, a person is heard commenting off camera on the “powerful smell” as he and other activists race through a building searching for victims. The smell was so intense in places that first responders were unable to evacuate the bodies, the Syria Civil Defense said.

The authenticity of the images could not be independently verified. The Syrian government and its allies — including Russia and Iran-backed militias — have Douma surrounded, making it impossible for independent journalists and aid workers to access the city.

The suspected attack took place during a barrage of airstrikes, artillery and mortar fire that killed at least 56 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition watchdog based in Britain. The group could not confirm the use of chemical weapons but said at least 21 of the victims suffocated because of smoke inhalation in their basements.

“We’re talking about hundreds of airstrikes, rockets and mortars on a small area,” Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Observatory, said by phone Sunday. “People don’t have the ability to withstand this amount of smoke.”

The Syrian government has consistently denied the use of chemical weapons during seven years of grinding civil war.

Which Food Containers Are Safe for the Microwave?

Find out which materials are microwave-friendly, and which ones you should avoid.

Some materials are fine in the microwave and some aren’t (see below). And then there’s plastic. You’ll find experts who say no plastic containers should be used in the microwave𠅎ver. “The material contains chemicals that may leach into food when it’s heated,” says Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., a scientist with the Environmental Working Group, a health-research organization. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed that plastics labeled “microwave-safe” are suitable for microwave use. “No studies have shown short- or long-term health consequences from heating microwave-safe plastics,” says Michael Herndon, an FDA spokesman. The bottom line? Right now, there isn’t one. If you choose to use plastics, stick with those labeled “microwave-safe” (but don’t allow plastic wrap to touch your food during heating). If you’re wary, use glass or ceramic dishes marked “heatproof” or “microwave-safe.”

Go for It!

  • Glass and ceramic dishes
  • Paper plates, towels, and napkins
  • Wax and parchment paper

Not So Fast

  • Aluminum foil
  • Brown paper bags
  • Cold-storage plastic containers (such as margarine, cottage-cheese, and yogurt tubs)
  • Onetime-use plastic containers
  • Dishes with metallic paint or trim
  • Foam-insulated cups, bowls, plates, and trays

Clean in 90 Seconds

To loosen your microwave’s splatters and stains in a flash, try this favorite Real Simple technique: Heat a bowl of water and lemon juice on high for 5 minutes, then wipe the oven clean with a solution made from 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon baking soda.

Free Printable Sewing Patterns For Baby and Kids

If you are like me and struggle to find something to keep the kids warm in the car, this is a great project to make! These look nice and warm.

I love this little bib pattern. It takes a simple bib and turns it into something colorful, unique, and cute!

This sweet little apron would make a great gift for any little one in your life. I love the bright colors!

I love this simple baby blanket because it can be made in just 10 minutes! So many pattern and color possibilities plus you can dress up the stitching to make it fancier.

If you have a little girl that loves 18-inch dolls, you have to grab some of these patterns!

Those little “taggie” toys are so cute and babies love them, but they are so spendy! Here’s how to make your own.

If you have an older highchair or a highchair that is just in need of covering, this will be a great pattern to use. It would also work great if you have a gender specific highchair cover and you need to change it up!

—We also have a Cheap Crafts and Homemade Gifts page with even more fun DIY projects!

Sanitary napkins to be sold for Re 1 at Jan Aushadhi stores

New Delhi: In a massive push for women hygiene, the government will slash price of sanitary napkins sold from its Jan Aushadhi Kendras to just Re 1 per piece from Rs 2.50 currently.

The biodegradable sanitary napkins 'Suvidha' will be available at the subsidised price at designated centres from August 27, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya told PTI in an interview here.

The pads are sold in a pack of four which currently cost Rs 10. These from Tuesday will be priced for Rs 4 only, he said.

"We are launching oxo-biodegradable sanitary napkins at Re 1 from tomorrow. These napkins under the brand name Suvidha will be available at 5,500 Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country," Mandaviya said.

With reduction of prices by 60 per cent, he said, Modi-led government has fulfilled the promise made by the BJP in its manifesto for 2019 general elections. "Currently, the manufacturers are supplying the sanitary napkins at their cost of production. So, we will provide subsidy to bring down the retail price," Mandaviya said, who is also Minister of State (Independent charge) for Shipping.

On being asked about the total annual expenditure on the subsidy, the minister said it will depend on the sales volume.

He said the sanitary napkins scheme was announced in March 2018 and those were made available in the Jan Aushadhi Kendras from May 2018.

"During the last one year, around 2.2 crore sanitary napkins have been sold from these stores. With reduction in the prices, we expect the sales to jump over two times. We are focusing on quality, affordability and accessibility," Mandaviya added.

At a time when average market price of a sanitary napkin is between Rs 6-8, this will give a major boost for empowering the women of India, he added.

The government will take steps to ensure that there is no diversion of these subsidised sanitary napkins, he added.

According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 per cent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers had earlier said in a statement.


  1. Vudozilkree

    Bravo, you just visited another idea

  2. Vokivocummast

    I protest against this.

  3. Fenrigis

    just super - my favorite will be there

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