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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.”

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.

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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

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.

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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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Former Republican Congressman admits he ‘can’t explain’ Ted Cruz: ‘You’d think he’d have more self-respect’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday to perpetuate the false narrative that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, a fact that has been disproven by all of the U.S. intelligence agencies. When asked to explain what Cruz could possibly have been thinking, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) confessed he has no idea how to explain Cruz.

"So, Charlie, what's going on here?" asked CNN host Fredricka Whitfield.

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Trump busted for acting like the Saudi’s ‘press secretary’ after Florida naval yard shooting

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump for essentially becoming a "press secretary" for the Saudi Arabian government in wake of the Pensacola, Florida mass shooting.

In his column Sunday, Boot noted that the typical mass shooting sentiments like "thoughts and prayers" were absent Friday when Trump discovered that the shooting was done by a Muslim.

"It turns out that Trump actually has a triple standard, because he treats attacks by Saudis differently than those from other Muslim nations," Boot observed. "On Friday, a Saudi air force officer studying at the Naval Air Station Pensacola shot dead three Americans and wounded eight others. Instead of expressing outrage or vowing vengeance, or even waiting for all the facts to come in, Trump sounded as if he were auditioning for the job of press secretary at the Saudi Embassy."

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McConnell blocked by his own party from calling impeachment witnesses Trump wants for Senate trial: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is finding his hands tied by members of his own party who are skeptical over the appropriateness of calling some of the witnesses Donald Trump  -- and a few of his House Republican enablers  -- want to appear.

As the Times notes, "While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office."

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