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Scientists uncover alarming levels of dangerous plastics in children’s bodies

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Plastic by-products were found in an alarming 97-100% of blood and urine samples from 2,500 children tested between 2014 and 2017, according to a new study by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute.

Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, published the findings Saturday, which were part of a federal study focused on “human biomonitoring” of 3 to 17-year-olds. Traces from 11 out of 15 plastic ingredients were found in the test samples.

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“Our study clearly shows that plastic ingredients, which are rising in production, are also showing up more and more in the body. It is really worrying that the youngest children are most affected as the most sensitive group,” Marike Kolossa-Gehring, one of the study’s authors, told the magazine.

Researchers said that they were especially concerned about high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that were found in the study. PFOA is an extremely persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemical frequently used in non-stick cookware and in waterproof clothing.

In 20 percent of those examined, they were above the limit, in the younger children, the proportion was even higher. The study also showed children from poorer families had more plastic residue in their bodies than children from higher-income families, according to German public broadcaster ARD

“It can not be that every fourth child between the ages of three and five is so heavily burdened with chemicals that long-term damage cannot be reliably ruled out,” says Hoffmann. “The Federal Government must make every effort to protect people from harmful chemicals,” says Hoffmann, “Provision is an obligation.”

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The chemical is dangerous for the reproductive system and is toxic to the liver. While a global ban of perfluorooctanoic acid is to take effect in 2020, a group of international NGOs has criticized the EU for requiring an exemption for medical textiles from a global ban on the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) agreed at the UN Conference of the Parties (COPs) last May.

In a statement, NGOs, including the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and Arnika, expressed “deep regret and disapproval” for the request, which could “undermine an otherwise effective worldwide ban.

“Delegates from more than 180 countries agreed the prohibition of the use of the chemical, adding it to Annex III of the Stockholm Convention at the conference in Geneva. However, several exemptions for the substance, including one for medical textiles, were requested by the EU delegation – along with China and Iran – and approved

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The new German research was made available by the government upon request by a Green Party inquiry into the effects of chemicals on public health.

Hoffmann said that there has not been enough research on how plastic chemicals affect the body, and how they are ingested.

The results of the study also show an increase in exposure to substitutes for previously banned chemicals. Hoffmann sees this as a critical signal: Substances that are classified as dangerous should not be replaced by similar chemicals with likewise questionable properties, she says. In addition, it must be better researched, which entry routes chemicals enter the human body, the Green politician told Der Spiegel. The results of the study include, for example, the exposure to substances contained in cosmetics, children’s toys or medical devices.

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‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience

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The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.

The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."

Photos from the protest:

1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.

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Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report

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President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.

"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."

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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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