Day: October 6, 2006

Acrolein Main Cigarette Culprit?

Chemical & Engineering News: Latest News – Cigarettes’ Smoking Gun?

Acrolein, one of the 4,000 constituents of cigarette smoke, has been found unexpectedly to cause DNA damage in the gene for the infamous tumor-suppressor p53, which is often disrupted by cancer. In particular, the pattern of DNA mutations caused by acrolein mimics what is often found in human lung cancer samples (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0607031103).

“If cigarette smoke is the weapon that causes lung cancer, then these mutations are fingerprints on the knife,” says author Moon-shong Tang of New York University School of Medicine, in Tuxedo. Tang was also involved in identifying another cigarette-smoke component that can induce such mutations: a metabolite of a polycyclic hydrocarbon called benzo[a]pyrene. Acrolein is present in cigarette smoke in levels of up to 1,000 times greater than benzo[a]pyrene.

So, if you remove acrolein from tobacco smoke, does that make for a much safer smoking experience? Is this a research question worth answering? FYI, I watched Thank You for Smoking last night, so, fresh on my mind!

Who’s the President?

OT for me, but this is a bizarre headline, enough said. Bubba’s still presidentifying!

Print Story: Clinton deal cuts school snack foods on Yahoo! News

Clinton deal cuts school snack foods

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer 15 minutes ago

Snacks sold in schools will have to cut the fat, sugar and salt under the latest crackdown on junk food won by former President Clinton.

Just five months after a similar agreement targeting the sale of sodas in schools, Clinton and the American Heart Association announced a deal Friday with several major food companies to make school snacks healthier — the latest assault on the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic.

“By working with schools and industry to implement these guidelines, we are helping to give parents peace of mind that their kids will be able to make healthier choices at school,” said Dr. Raymond Gibbons, president of the heart association.

The agreement with Kraft Foods Inc., Mars Inc., Campbell Soup Co., Groupe Danone SA and PepsiCo Inc. sets guidelines for fat, sugar, sodium and calories for snack foods sold in school vending machines, stores and snack bars. Those companies make everything from M&M’s, yogurt and granola bars to Frito-Lay potato chips, Snickers bars and canned soups.

Under the guidelines, most foods won’t be permitted to derive more than 35 percent of their calories from fat and more than 10 percent from saturated fat. There will be a limit of 35 percent for sugar content by weight.

Environmental Disaster, Local Edition | Apex fire spreads toxic gas

APEX – Fire crews have not begun to fight a fire at a hazardous waste plant that has spread a cloud of dangerous chlorine gas across Apex this morning, forcing more than 15,000 people to evacuate.Officials say they planned to send a hazardous materials crew in at daybreak to evaluate the fire. In the meantime, they’ve been letting it burn, out of concern that pouring water or foam on it would make things worse, said town manager Bruce Radford. The rain that started falling around 7 a.m. “doesn’t make anything better,” Radford said.

The fire that followed a series of late-night explosions at Environmental Quality Co. just east of downtown has closed all Apex schools and school bus routes that start inside the Western Wake town. In addition, the Wake County Public School System said bus transportation elsewhere in Western and Southwestern Wake County would likely be delayed this morning. Green Hope High School in Cary, which is being used a shelter for evacuated residents, will also be closed.

Officials urged people to evacuate an area bounded by U.S. 1, N.C. 55 and U.S. 64 highways in Apex and unincorporated areas. Police are blocking roads into the center of town, and Radford urged everyone to stay away.