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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 12:12 PM
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In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown revised/corrected a BAD law on flame retardants he signed in 1975.

Lessons learned?


It’s Official: Toxic Flame Retardants No Longer Required in Furniture

Amy Standen, KQED Science | November 21, 2013

Governor Jerry Brown has revised a controversial law he signed into existence during his first stint as governor, back in 1975.

The obscure-sounding “Technical Bulletin 117″, or TB 117, effectively required furniture manufacturers to inject flame-retardant chemicals into all upholstered furniture sold in the state.

With California’s law a de facto national standard, a typical sofa now hits the market with two to three pounds of chemicals that can cause cancer and reproductive problems.

Starting in January, 2014, a new flame retardant standard will take effect, eliminating the need for furniture makers to inject the chemicals into upholstered chairs, sofas, and other items.

Flame-retardants may also disappear from baby gear, such as booster seats and changing pads, which will no longer be subject to flammability standards.

“It’s wonderful, after years of work, to see this become a reality” said Arlene Blum, a visiting scholar in chemistry at the University of California Berkeley and director of the Green Science Policy Institute.

Starting in January, toxics-wary consumers can look for furniture with the “TB 117-2013″ tag, and ask whether the item has been treated with flame-retardant chemicals.

“I was practically screaming with happiness,” said Blum, who’s been working on the flame retardant issue since the 1970s.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun May 17, 2015, 02:03 AM (0 replies)

And then?


Legal Scholar Mary Holland: Letter to CA Senators Re Vaccination Bill SB277

Senators on the Judiciary Committee
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 2032
Sacramento, CA 95814

May 12, 2015

Dear Senators:

Thank you for having given me the opportunity to address the California Senate Judiciary Committee on April 28, 2015 regarding Senate Bill 277 to restrict childhood vaccination exemptions to medical ones alone. I promised to revert to you regarding California law on informed consent; I do so now, and seek to clarify my comments regarding enforcement, should SB 277 become law.

California law fully embraces the doctrine of informed consent to medical decision-making. The California Supreme Court has upheld the doctrine of informed consent and the right to refuse nonconsensual invasions of bodily integrity in Thor v. Superior Court, 5 Cal. 4th 725 (1993). There, the unanimous Court reviewed the federal common law and California precedents on bodily integrity and self-determination, noting, “we respect human dignity by granting individuals the freedom to make choices in accordance with their own values.” Id. at 737. Thor regards the right of a prisoner to refuse life-sustaining treatment. The Court notes that there are countervailing considerations in determining the scope of autonomy, including protecting innocent third parties. Id. at 738. In that case, however, the Court found no compelling countervailing reasons and required that the prison respect the inmate’s desire to refuse medical treatment. Many courts have cited the case with approval since.

While there are no California precedents specifically on informed consent and vaccination, there is a provision in the California Code of Regulations regarding informed consent and medical interventions for children in juvenile detention. Under 15 CCR § 4733, even wards of the state must be provided consent “for all medical or dental treatment.” The section states “informed consent is defined as consent which is obtained without duress or coercion and which clearly and explicitly manifests consent to the proposed medication, treatment or procedure in writing.”

If SB 277 becomes law, parents will not have the ability to consent to vaccination without coercion. As so many parents testified at the hearing, medical exemptions are not available for most families, including those with serious contraindications to vaccination, and homeschooling is an illusory option, especially for those of limited means. Indeed, the intent of SB 277 would seem to be precisely to coerce parents into vaccinating according to the state vaccine schedule, under the banner of paternalism. While protection of other schoolchildren from infectious disease outbreaks is unquestionably an important consideration regarding SB 277, the state has at its disposal the ability to suspend unvaccinated children during outbreaks.

This has worked for decades, and the state did not even choose to employ it during the much-publicized Disneyland measles outbreak. In a legal challenge, the state would be required to prove that the consideration of other schoolchildren requires the exclusion of those with exemptions. Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych’s analysis, attached, explains clearly why such

exclusion of healthy children is unnecessary and irrationally discriminatory outside the context of disease outbreaks.

Despite coercion, a substantial percentage of the parents of the estimated 225,000 children with exemptions in California out of a total of 6.2 million would likely not vaccinate their children, because to do so would violate their most deeply held religious and conscientious beliefs. Some will be able to get medical exemptions; others will be able to homeschool; but thousands of families will be unable to do either.

I asked rhetorically how the state would enforce SB 277, and whether it would engage in forced vaccination or imprisonment of parents. Unfortunately, neither of these questions is hyperbolic. “Medical neglect” is a consideration in child removal proceedings, and California’s Department of Children and Family Services has noted that a mother was “behind on immunizations” as one consideration among many in a proceeding to terminate parental rights. Brenda H. v. Superior Court of Contra Costa County, 2003 WL 21054769. Similarly, under California Penal Code Section 270.1(a) a parent or guardian of a child six years old or older may be subject to a fine or imprisonment up to a year, or both, if a child is a “chronic truant… has failed to reasonably supervise and encourage the pupil’s school attendance.” In this context, I believe my questions accurately reflected the concerns of thousands of families who oppose SB 277.

All vaccination decisions, like decisions about all invasive medical procedures, carry the risk of severe injury or death. Congress acknowledged this risk in its 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34. By preserving California’s personal belief exemption, you ensure a modicum of consent for those parents and guardians who cannot vaccinate their children in good conscience. If the state deprives them of that right, pressuring them into making decisions with potentially permanent consequences without free consent, the state would violate their most basic human rights.

Many peer countries with excellent healthcare outcomes have no vaccination mandates, only recommendations, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and Japan. California should consider these impressive examples.

I deeply appreciate your efforts to craft an ethical and effective law to protect children. Please feel free to contact me at mary.holland@nyu.edu or at (212) 998-6212 if I can be of any assistance.

Sincerely yours,

Mary S. Holland

Attachment: Letter from Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych, Ph.D.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu May 14, 2015, 11:26 AM (1 replies)

That's not the issue, is it? Step back 30 years in the US, or into another 1st-world country today.

Note the differences in the scope and timing of the RECOMMENDED (NOT MANDATED) immunization schedules. Compare overall health outcomes. Do it, be honest, share what you learn.

Seen this? Check it out: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141070770#post37
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:00 PM (0 replies)

IMO, careful scrutiny of a study by other vetted experts is wise before accepting it at face value.

Wild world we live in: http://e-patients.net/archives/2012/03/former-nejm-editors-on-the-corruption-of-american-medicine-ny-times.html

Study design is critical. Was timing a variable in the new JAMA study, as here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101672031
Dr. Mumper (published, 2013); Dr. Thomas (unpublished, 2015)

This isn't about what I think, incidentally. At the moment, however, I decline further discussion. Guess why.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Apr 21, 2015, 10:51 PM (1 replies)

Framing is wrong, it's branding. Aren't these "antivaxer" talking points, too? That word means zip.


Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2012, 2, 228-235

OJPed http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojped.2012.23036
Published Online September 2012 http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ojped/

Vaccination practices among physicians and their children

Michael Martin1, Vahe Badalyan2

1Department of Pediatrics, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Falls Church, USA
2Department of Gastroenterology, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

Received 1 May 2012; revised 3 July 2012; accepted 30 July 2012


The purpose of this study was to identify vaccination patterns of both general pediatricians and subspecialists with regards to their own children and projected progeny. A 14 question survey was sent randomly to 1000 members of the Academy of Pediatrics in 2009. Two categories of questions included 1) how physicians with children vaccinated them in the past, and 2) how all respondents would vaccinate a child in 2009. A comparison was made between the answers of general and specialty pediatricians. 582 valid questionnaires were received (58.2% response rate) of which 431 were general pediatricians and 151 sub-specialists. No statistical difference was found between general and specialty pediatricians on how they vaccinated their children up until 2009 (95% vs 93%). When asked about vaccinating a future child, a significant proportion of respondents would deviate from CDC guidelines, specialists more than general pediatricians (21% vs 9%). Generalists were more likely to give a future child Hepatitis A (OR: 3.6; 95% CI 1.3 - 10.4), Rotavirus (OR: 2.2; 95% CI 1.1 - 4.4), Meningococcal (OR: 9.9; 95% CI 3.3 - 29.9), and influenza (OR: 5.4; 95% CI 1.1 - 26.7) vaccines. Specialists were more likely to postpone MMR vaccination (OR: 4.4 95% CI 2.3 - 8.6). Safety was listed by both groups as the most common reason for altering the recommended immunization schedule. Until 2009, general pediatricians and pediatric specialists have largely adhered to ACIP recommendations, but due to vaccine safety and other concerns, both groups, albeit a higher percentage of specialists, reported greater numbers willing to diverge from these recommendations.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 18, 2015, 07:01 PM (0 replies)

Autism Speaks Walk on April 18 in Los Angeles, CA raises $1,496,069.


Walk Name City State Event Date Total Raised
Walk Now for Autism Speaks: Los Angeles Pasadena CA Saturday, April 18, 2015 $1,496,069

MORE: http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1124950

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sat Apr 18, 2015, 01:20 PM (1 replies)

I'd prefer another more serious unedited interview w Dr. Melinda Wharton but I haven't seen one.(nt)

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 07:38 PM (0 replies)


California Education Committee changes were made this morning, see http://sedn.senate.ca.gov/ for the new list.

Huff is replaced (he would have voted against SB277) by Sharon Runner (R, she voted against SB2109 2 years ago but unknown views on SB277). Senator Monning (D) was added as the 9th member, he voted for SB277 last week.

SOURCE: Comment on April 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM @ AOA


...Pan and other health experts believe the rising number of parents taking advantage of California's personal belief exemption that allows them to forgo their children's vaccines was a factor in the outbreak. In 2000, fewer than 0.77 percent of California kindergartners had vaccination exemptions. By 2014, the rate had more than tripled to 2.5 percent, or 1 in every 40 children.

Got it? NOTE: Opting out of even a single dose of a single vaccine is defined as having a "vaccination exemption."
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 04:12 PM (0 replies)

Watch previous hearings here. Tech serves the public well in California!


CA Senate Education Committee on SB277 April 15, 2014 3h41m LINK
CA Senate Health Committee on SB277 April 8, 2015 5h53m LINK
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 01:18 PM (0 replies)

American Medical Association policy on "Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians."


Opinion 9.133 Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians

"As professionals committed to promoting the welfare of individual patients and the health of the public and to safeguarding their own and their colleagues’ well-being, physicians have an ethical responsibility to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease in health care settings. Conscientious participation in routine infection control practices, such as hand washing and respiratory precautions is a basic expectation of the profession. In some situations, however, routine infection control is not sufficient to protect the interests of patients, the public, and fellow health care workers.

In the context of a highly transmissible disease that poses significant medical risk for vulnerable patients or colleagues, or threatens the availability of the health care workforce, particularly a disease that has potential to become epidemic or pandemic, and for which there is an available, safe, and effective vaccine, physicians have an obligation to:

(a) Accept immunization absent a recognized medical, religious, or philosophic reason to not be immunized.

(b) Accept a decision of the medical staff leadership or health care institution, or other appropriate authority to adjust practice activities if not immunized (e.g., wear masks or refrain from direct patient care). It may be appropriate in some circumstances to inform patients about immunization status. (I, II)

Issued June 2011 based on the report "Routine Universal Immunization of Physicians for Vaccine-Preventable Disease,"PDF FIle adopted November 2010."

LINK SOURCE: Optional, right? If curious, please see previous edit.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Tue Apr 14, 2015, 10:09 PM (0 replies)
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