Saturday, February 28, 2015

deflation and debt growing, $ stolen for terrorists, drugs,

Dear Professor Kaufman,

Is Yellen a bubbler like Greenspan Bernanke?  Stock prices are booming so benefits the rich.  Interest rates are still very low so benefits banks that do not have to pay much on deposits but turn around and screw poor people with usurious borrowing rates on the exploding debt.  

And the unemployment is still rather high which is also hard on the poor.   The participation rate is lower as they drop out of the labor force and go to college, prisons, hospitals, food stamps, drugs, or worse.

Oil price collapse leveled off around $50 about half of where it was last year that will devastate Texas, Alaska, North Dakota, Oklahoma,..  

Consumer prices are deflated as the money supply stolen to finance terrorists.   CPI Inflation is similar to where it was during WWII and the depression.  The poor cannot afford to buy much so prices fall.  Why does Obama allow US$ to flow overseas when it is needed here in the USA?

It looks overall that Yellen is good for crooks and the rich.  But bad for the poor, just like Greenspan and Bernanke so inequality will get worse.  

Huge growing debt: federal, student, consumer, mortgage,..  17 Trillion total.  The federal debt alone now exceeds GDP and Obama is still running a huge deficit.  

Federal Reserve holdings of debt is huge and still growing -  nearly 4 trillion $

And foreigners are buying a lot of that debt.  3 Trillion $!  Some crooks are getting rich off drugs, wars, and US$ payoffs for corrupt activities.   Those crooks buy expensive houses in LA NYC Miami ...

How can this be sustained?  Looks like a big mess headed for catastrophe.   When?  Hard to predict!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fwd: College heroin alcohol party culture



Bad in the 60s. It is much worse now. Fueled by debt Starbucks Apple ipods macbooks and high tuition. 

 I never relayed to college party culture. I think students should by studying. Preferably married. 

http://nyti.ms/1C6jLuS

NYTimes: Not the Usual College Party (This One's Sober)

When a young student incredulously asked the panel, "How do you possibly socialize in college without alcohol?"


Ms. Britt, Collegiate Recovery Program's social chairwoman, rattled off a list of its activities — sober tailgates, a pumpkin-carving night, volleyball games, dance parties, study groups, community service projects and even a film screening of "The Anonymous People" that attracted some 600 students. "But we also just hang out together a lot," she said.

Indeed, looking around the organization's lounge just before the holidays (a small, cordoned-off corner on the fourth floor of the health center, minimally decorated with ratty couches, a table and a small bookshelf stocking titles like "Wishful Drinking" and "Smashed"), it was hard to believe some of these young adults were once heroin addicts who had spent time in jail.


On the contrary, they looked like model students, socializing over soft drinks and snacks as they celebrated one student who had earned back his suspended license.

"By far the biggest benefit to our students in the recovery program is the social component," said Mr. Statman, who is hoping a current development campaign may provide more funding. (The program is currently supported by a mandatory student health tuition fee.) "Let's just say, we all wish we could be Texas Tech," he said.

The Collegiate Recovery Program was established at Texas Tech decades ago, and it is now one of the largest, with 120 recovery students enrolled (along with Rutgers University and Augsburg College in Minneapolis). Thanks to a $3 million endowment, the Texas Tech program now offers scholarships as well as substance-free trips abroad.



The students there have access to an exclusive lounge outfitted with flat-screen TVs, a pool table and a Ping-Pong table, kitchen, study carrels and a seminar room. Entering freshmen in recovery even have their own dormitory.

"We found that simply putting them on the substance-free halls didn't work," said Kitty Harris, who, until recently, was the director for more than a decade of Texas Tech's program (she remains on the faculty). "Most of the kids on substance-free floors are just there to make their parents happy."



(The Michigan students in the recovery program mostly live off campus for the same reason; they do not have their own housing.)

"Most students begin experimenting innocently in college with drugs and alcohol," said Mr. Statman, who just celebrated his 13th year in recovery. "Then there are the ones who react differently. They are not immoral, pleasure-seeking hedonists, they are simply vulnerable, and for their whole life."

Rates of substance-use disorders triple from 5.2 percent in adolescence to 17.3 percent in early adulthood, according to 2013 data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It thus makes this developmental stage critical to young people's future.

Missouri shooting rampage: marijuana smoker kills 8 dead

Missouri shooting rampage: Police identify suspect after 8 found dead

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-9-people-dead-in-missouri-20150227-story.html

Low cost electronics enable many new products

Not yet in secure home banking!   But already you can buy $50 hobbyist kits to do a variety of chores.  A professionally assembled computer could certainly do a good job on banking.

Sample popular uses:  Set up a monitor for water leaks, heat, smoke, motion, noise, burglars, drugs, smoking, carbon monoxide, cheating spouses, tornadoes, earthquakes, falling trees, and other hazards.  Alerts by buzzer or email or text to your cell phone.

Protection costs about $1 dollar per month.  Kits are for sale all over the internet such as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino.  Just pick what sensors you want and plug them in.  A water sensor costs less than a penny per month so nobody should be wasting money repairing water leaks.    If you want, you can always pay more than $1 per month:  Plenty of companies will charge you outrageous prices for solutions that are worse than you can build for yourself.

Water Leak detector
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/390864010326?lpid=82
Water Level Sensor Module Liquid Level Sensor for Ardduino brand new
US $1.66

Motion sensor burglar alarm,  Tornado warning,
http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-HC-SR04-Ranging-Detector-Distance/dp/B004U8TOE6
SainSmart HC-SR04 Ranging Detector Mod Distance Sensor
Price:    $6.15 & FREE Shipping

http://www.amazon.com/SunFounder-modules-Raspberry-Sensor-Extension/dp/B00HU0G9TO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417965375&sr=8-1&keywords=raspberry+pi+sensors#productDetails

SunFounder 37 modules Raspberry Pi Sensor Kit. developed specially for those beginners who are interested in Raspberry Pi.   A complete set of Raspberry Pi most common and useful electronic components. Detailed tutorial including project introduction and their source code will come with the kit.  There are 32 lessons in the project booklet

http://www.amazon.com/Sunfounder-Extension-H-Bridge-7-Segment-Raspberry/dp/B00HU0Z4C2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1417965375&sr=8-3&keywords=raspberry+pi+sensors

Price:    $39.99 & FREE Shipping.  Sunfounder Project Super Starter Kit w/ 26-Pin GPIO Extension Board, GPIO Cable, H-Bridge L293D, ADXL335, DC Motor, 7-Segment, Dot Matrix Display for Raspberry Pi.  This is an UPDATED Sunfounder Super Starter Kit, developed specially for those beginners who are interested in Raspberry Pi.  A complete set of Raspberry Pi most common and useful electronic components.  Detailed tutorials including project introduction and their source code will come with the kit FOR FREE. There are 17 projects in the project booklet.

http://www.amazon.com/Sensor-Module-Arduino-Raspberry-Galileo/dp/B00LVIDP0C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417965375&sr=8-2&keywords=raspberry+pi+sensors

Price:    $78.99 & FREE Shipping.  37 in 1 Sensor Module Kit for Arduino Raspberry Pi Intel Galileo.  A complete set of Arduino's most common and useful electronic components.   Easy to find samples code on arduino official website to get started.

Component list
Analog Hall Sensor x2
Switch Hall Sensor x1
RGB LED Module x2
Two-color Common-Cathode LED x2
Shock switch x1
Knock sensor x1
Infrared transmitter x1
Laser Transmitter x1
Reed switch x1
Mini Reed x1
Infrared-receiver x1
Analog-temperature sensor x1
Digital-temperature sensor x1
Active Buzzer x1
Passive Buzzer x1
Button Switch x1
Photo-interrupter x1
Tilt-switch module x1
Mercury switch module x1
Magic Cup x2
DS18B20 Temperature Sensor x1
Rotary Encoder module x1
7-color Auto-flash LED module x1
Photoresistor Sensor x1
Humiture Sensor x1
Obstacle Avoidance Sensor x1
Tracking Sensor x1
Microphone Sensor x1
High-sensitive Voice Sensor x1
Metal Touch Sensor x1
Flame Sensor x1
Relay module x1
Joystick PS2 x1
MQ-2 Gas Sensor x1
MQ-2 Smoke sensor module x1
Breadboard x1
ADC0832 x1
GPIO Extension Board x1
Jumper wires (male to female) x40
Jumper wires (male to male) x20















future crime wakeup call by Ex-LAPD turned global digital security consultant

I am reducing connections to the internet.
I may get rid of my home connection altogether.
I am trying to get back to simpler computers circa 1994, no windows.
I am back using cash and checks as much as possible.
I am getting rid of most emails.
I already got rid of smartphones completely.

Many alarming crimes are becoming possible.

Your brain can be hacked now.

Some people's body can be hijacked, they can be killed and cops cannot figure out why or how.

Driverless cars can be hijacked by terrorists.

Computer security companies antivirus software have been owned by criminals so innocent customers paid to get hacked!

Interview, Podcast today:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/02/27/2015/future-crimes-the-next-generation-of-security-threats.html

Older interviews and articles:
http://www.marcgoodman.net/

website:
http://futurecrime.com

book:
http://www.amazon.com/Future-Crimes-Everything-Connected-Vulnerable/dp/0385539002

One of the world's leading authorities on global security, Marc Goodman takes readers deep into the digital underground to expose the alarming ways criminals, corporations, and even countries are using new and emerging technologies against you—and how this makes everyone more vulnerable than ever imagined.

Review
"OMG, this is a wakeup call. The outlaws are running faster than the architects. Use this book to shake up the companies you buy from, the device makers, telecom carriers, and governments at all levels. Demand that they pay attention to the realities of our new world as outlined within this thorough and deep book. Marc Goodman will startle you with the ingenuity of the bad guys. I'm a technological optimist. Now I am an eyes-wide-open optimist."
-- Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine and bestselling author of What Technology Wants

"The hacks and heists detailed in Future Crimes are the stuff of thrillers, but unfortunately, the world of cybercrime is all too real. There could be no more sure-footed or knowledgeable companion than Marc Goodman on this guided tour of the underworld of the Internet. Everyone -- and the business world especially -- should heed his advice."
— Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and To Sell is Human

"From black ops to rogue bots and everything in between, Future Crimes is a gripping must-read. Marc Goodman takes readers on a brilliant, 'behind-the-screens' journey into the hidden world of 21st century criminal innovation, filled with one mind-boggling example after another of what's coming next. Future Crimes raises tough questions about the expanding role of technology in our lives and the importance of managing it for the benefit of all humanity. Even better, Goodman offers practical solutions so that we not only survive progress, but thrive to an extent never previously imagined."
--Peter H. Diamandis, New York Times bestselling author of Abundance; CEO, XPRIZE Foundation; Exec. Chairman, Singularity University

"Future Crimes reads like a collection of unusually inventive, terrifying plots conjured up by the world's most ingenious science fiction writer... except that almost every story in this goosebump-raising book is happening all around us right now. It's a masterful page-turner that warns of a hundred worst case scenarios you've never thought of, while also -- thank goodness -- offering bold and clever strategies to thwart them."
-- Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author of Reality is Broken

"A riveting read."
-- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, professor of engineering at NYU and author of The Black Swan

"As new loopholes open up in cyberspace, people inevitably find ways to flow through them. Future-proof yourself by reading this book. No one has a better vantage point than Goodman, and you won't want to touch another keyboard until you know what's in these pages."
-- David Eagleman, New York Times bestselling author of Incognito

"Future Crimes is the Must Read Book of the Year. Endlessly fascinating, genuinely instructive, and truly frightening. Be warned: Once you pick it up, you won't put it down. Super cool and super interesting."
-- Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author

"Technology has always been a double edged sword – fire kept us warm and cooked our food but also burned down our villages. Marc Goodman provides a deeply insightful view into our twenty-first century's fires. His philosophy matches my own: apply the promise of exponentially growing information technologies to overcome age old challenges of humankind while at the same time understand and contain the perils. This book provides a compelling roadmap to do just that."
-- Ray Kurzweil, inventor, author and futurist

"A tour de force of insight and foresight. Never before has somebody so masterfully researched and presented the frightening extent to which current and emerging technologies are harming national security, putting people's lives at risk, eroding privacy, and even altering our perceptions of reality. Future Crimes paints a sobering picture of how rapidly evolving threats to technology can lead to disasters that replicate around the world at machine speed. Goodman clearly demonstrates that we are following a failed cybersecurity strategy that requires new thinking rather than simply more frameworks, more information sharing, and more money. Read this now, and then get angry that we really haven't taken the technology threat seriously. If the right people read Goodman's book and take action, it might just save the world."
-- Steven Chabinsky, former Deputy Assistant Director of FBI's Cyber Division

"Much has been discussed regarding today's cybercrime threats as well as the cybercriminals' modus operandi. What is lacking, however, is what we can do about them. Mr. Marc Goodman's book Future Crimes brings our global dialogue on safety and security to the next level by exploring how potential criminals are exploiting new and emerging technologies for their nefarious purposes. It provides a futuristic perspective grounded on current case studies. Future Crime is an essential read for law enforcers, corporations and the community alike. It offers answers beyond what comes next to what we can do, both individually and collectively, to secure ourselves and our communities."
-- Khoo Boon Hui, former President of Interpol

"As with Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything and Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic, Future Crimes deserves a prominent place in our front-line library. Goodman takes us behind the computer screen to a dark world where Crime Inc. flourishes at our expense. When the criminal mind conceives "what if" it is only a matter of time before its dream becomes our nightmare. Goodman urges us to take responsibility for this new world we are speeding towards. If we don't perhaps the greater crime will be ours."
-- Ed Burns, co-creator of The Wire

"This is a fantastic book and one that should be read by every cyber crime fighter. Technology breeds crime. . . it always has and always will. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to use technology in a negative self serving way. Your only defense is the most powerful tool available to you - education. Read Future Crimes and understand your risks and how to combat them. The question I am most often asked in my lectures is 'what's the next big crime?' The answer is in this book."
-- Frank Abagnale, New York Times bestselling author of Catch Me If You Can and Stealing Your Life

"Hacking robots and bad guys using AI and synthetic biology to carry out bad deeds may seem like science fiction, but that is the real world of Future Crimes that awaits us. Marc Goodman, one of the world's leading experts on the field, takes the reader on a scary, but eye-opening tour of the next generation nexus of crime, technology, and security."
--PW Singer, New York Times bestselling author of Wired for War

"In this highly readable and exhaustive debut, [Marc Goodman] details the many ways in which hackers, organized criminals, terrorists and rogue governments are exploiting the vulnerability of our increasingly connected society... Goodman suggests solid actions to limit the impact of cybercrimes, ranging from increased technical literacy of the public to a massive government 'Manhattan Project' for cybersecurity to develop strategies against online threats. A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
--Kirkus starred review

"Marc Goodman is a go-to guide for all who want a good scaring about the dark side of technology."
-- New Scientist

"In the wake of North Korea's cyber-terrorist attack on Sony as well as numerous hacker break-ins throughout the corporate world, it's become increasingly obvious that neither governments nor corporations are prepared for the onslaught of problems...Goodman nails the issue and provides useful input on the changes needed to make our systems and infrastructure more secure."
-- Inc.com

"Utterly fascinating stuff... Goodman weds the joy of geeky technology with the tension of true crime. The future of crime prevention starts here."
-- NPR, San Francisco

"In Future Crimes, Goodman spills out story after story about how technology has been used for illegal ends...The author ends with a series of recommendations that, while ambitious, appear sensible and constructive...Goodman's most promising idea is the creation of a "Manhattan Project" for cyber security...[Future Crimes is] a ride well worth taking if we are to prevent the worst of his predictions from taking shape."
-- Financial Times

"[A] hair-raising exposé of cybercrime...Goodman's breathless but lucid account is good at conveying the potential perils of emerging technologies in layman's terms, and he sprinkles in deft narratives of the heists already enabled by them...A timely wake-up call."
-- Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MARC GOODMAN has spent a career in law enforcement and technology. He has served as a street police officer, senior adviser to Interpol and futurist-in-residence with the FBI. As the founder of the Future Crimes Institute and the Chair for Policy, Law, and Ethics at Silicon Valley's Singularity University, he continues to investigate the intriguing and often terrifying intersection of science and security, uncovering nascent threats and combating the darker sides of technology.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Missouri State University edits Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series A

Maybe the best outlet for my most important theoretical research that I have worked on my entire adult life.    
An A rated journal, very hard to get published.  
Helps to have constant contact with the editor in chief and his colleagues, at least 1 of which is very competent and friendly.
Also a friendly social downtown neighborhood with good weather, mild winters, not much snow Springfield Missouri.


series A includes peer-reviewed original papers and invited expository papers on theory and methods. This journal is committed to recording important new results in its field and maintains the highest standards of innovation and quality. To be published in this journal, an original paper must be correct, new, nontrivial and of interest to a substantial number of readers.

Math Journal Rankings:





Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Banting's Letter on Corpulence - The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-library/bantings-letter-on-corpulence?utm_content=buffer0e78f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

DoThe first printing of 1000 of these pamphlets that Banting called A Letter on Corpulence went fast. He then wrote an addendum and printed 1500 copies of this second edition and gave them all away. By this time the demand had become such that Banting didn't want to continue the expense of printing these booklets, so he wrote yet another addendum, called it the third edition, and charged sixpence for it, which was enough to cover its cost. Banting's Letter on Corpulence went through many more editions and started the first worldwide dietary movement.

So popular were Banting's writings that his name became synonymous with dieting. In the UK people still often speak of banting when they are talking about dieting. Other languages picked it up and use bant or some variant as their word for dieting in general, not just low-carb dieting.

I happen to own an actual copy of the third edition of Banting's Letter on Corpulence. I have scanned it and made it available online in its original size to anyone who wants it. So now you've got the first book for the core of your low-carb library. (Click here for your copy)


wnload the official 

Study: Sugar Is Worse Than Salt for Blood Pressure

The site points out that added sugar can be found in 74 percent of packaged foods, using at least 61 different names on food labels. 

If you see sucrose, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, you'll probably recognize that the food contains added sugars, but barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup (among many others) also signal added sugar. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories (and ideally less than 5 percent) come from added sugar or natural sugar. 

At 5 percent, if you eat a 2,000-calorie daily diet, this amounts to 25 grams of sugar a day. 

For comparison, the average American eats closer to 82 grams of sugar daily.8

New Dietary Guidelines Reverse Recommendations on Cholesterol

Depending on the size of the particles, 

LDL may be either harmful or harmless, so 

LDL is not necessarily "bad" across the board. 

The issue of particle sizes is discussed in greater detail in my 2013 interview with Chris Kresser, L.Ac. 

If you've had your cholesterol levels checked, your doctor most likely tested your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. 

But we now know those are not accurate predictors for cardiovascular disease risk.


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/new-dietary-guidelines-fat-cholesterol.aspx?e_cid=20150225Z1_DNL_NB_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150225Z1_DNL_NB&et_cid=DM68311&et_rid=854626937

How Fascism Creates Science-Biased Medicine in Federal Policies

The FDA has created a voluntary program that asks food companies to submit their safety assessments for FDA review. If the agency cannot find any major problems with the company's argument for GRAS status, a "no questions" letter is sent to the company. However, if questions about safety are raised by FDA scientists, the company can simply withdraw its voluntary submission, and go on using the chemical as if nothing has happened.

This legal loophole in the law allows food manufacturers to market novel chemicals in their products based on nothing but their own safety studies, and their own safety assessments—the results of which can be kept a secret. As Marion Nestle, Ph.D., Paulette Goddard professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, said:11 "How is it possible that the F.D.A. permits manufacturers to decide for themselves whether their food additives are safe?"

How Independent Are Vaccine Supporters?

Conflict of interest is pervasive not just in the food industry but also in the medical field. As attacks against those who support vaccine choice rage on at an all-time high, it is important to understand who's behind some of the most prominent vaccine supporters. In an investigation by CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, she revealed strong financial ties between the vaccine industry and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), for starters. Among them, the agency received:12

  • $324,000 from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine
  • $433,000 from Merck, the same year AAP endorsed their HPV vaccine
  • Additional contributions from Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines

The pro-vaccine group Every Child by Two has also received money from the vaccine industry, as has Dr. Paul Offit, who is one of the most outspoken defenders of vaccine safety. Dr. Offit received a reported $350,000 grant from Merck to develop a rotavirus vaccine, and has served on the scientific advisory board for Merck. He received another estimated $6 million when Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) sold the patent for the RotaTeq vaccine he developed. He was also on the CDC advisory board that approved the addition of a rotavirus vaccine to the US National Immunization Program (NIP) in 1998—a decision that paid off handsomely.


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/scientific-fraud-clinical-trials.aspx?e_cid=20150225Z1_DNL_NB_art_2&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art2&utm_campaign=20150225Z1_DNL_NB&et_cid=DM68311&et_rid=854626937

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

San Gabriel Valley executive arrested in $9-million bank fraud case

Federal authorities on Tuesday arrested a San Gabriel Valley executive accused of defrauding two banks of $9 million, including one institution that received taxpayer funds as part of the U.S. Treasury's bank bailout, according to prosecutors.

Chung Yu "Louis" Yeung, 37, of San Dimas was indicted last October on charges of bank fraud and conspiracy, but the indictment remained sealed until his arrest. A second man, Guo Xiang "David" Fan, 52, was also indicted on the same counts as well as money laundering. Fan remains at large.


San Gabriel Valley executive arrested in $9-million bank fraud case
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-gabriel-valley-executive-arrested-9-million-bank-fraud-scheme-20150224-story.html

train crash 'multi-casualty'

Bullet trains would be worse.
Use slow normal trains.

Metrolink train derails in crash with truck; 'multi-casualty' incident

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-trail-derails-30-injured-20150224-story.html

Critics fear bullet train will bring urban sprawl to Central Valley

Jerry Brown kill Fresno farms by bullet trains and freeways?

In the mid-20th century, California transportation system — and related sprawl fueled by population growth — decimate a major agricultural center: Los Angeles County.

It was the nation's leading agricultural county in 1949, producing milk, eggs, chickens, beef, fruits and vegetables. 

But as the vast tracts of rich alluvial soils in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys were crisscrossed by new freeways, farmland gave way to suburban developments and laid the foundation for the nation's second-largest city.

Within five years, the county slipped to the third-largest farming county and plummeted from there in just a generation.

Now, a major question is whether high-speed rail could play a similar role in the Central Valley. "It is a shocking prospect, but it is possible," 

"The economic stakes are astronomical."

California agriculture hit record annual production of $45 billion in 2013, making it one of the state's biggest industries. 

It employs about 450,000 people, vastly more than the entertainment business, supplies half of the fruits and vegetables consumed by Americans and accounts for 80% of the world's almond market.

Critics fear bullet train will bring urban sprawl to Central Valley

Critics fear bullet train will bring urban sprawl to Central Valley

Gov. Jerry Brown says he has a powerful new weapon in the battle against such sprawl: 

The $68-billion California High-Speed Rail system. 

The bullet train, the governor believes, will help concentrate expected growth in existing population centers of the Central Valley, sparing farm fields.

"We can't keep paving over agricultural land," Brown said at a Fresno groundbreaking ceremony last month.


Critics fear bullet train will bring urban sprawl to Central Valley
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-farms-20150224-story.html

FCC chief cites wireless industry as precedent in net neutrality proposal

His plan would impose federal oversight of online traffic to ensure that Internet providers don't give preference to video and other content from some websites over others. But he promised that the FCC wouldn't use the new authority to regulate rates or take other steps that would hinder investment in expanding fiber and wireless networks.

FCC chief cites wireless industry as precedent in net neutrality proposal

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fcc-net-neutrality-20150224-story.html

No charges filed in LAPD killing of driver in chase

"I think one of the reasons we have so many police shootings is that no one ever prosecutes the officer,"

said. "One wonders whether or not without criminal prosecution, these shootings will actually be deterred."

No charges filed in LAPD killing of driver in chase

http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-corvette-shooting-20150224-story.html

County Fire Department audit finds cheating in hiring, promotions

The Los Angeles County Fire Department found itself Monday engulfed in a growing scandal after auditors uncovered evidence that the type of cheating that undermined the agency's hiring process extended to promotional exams and other testing requirements, including for skills in emergency medical treatment.

The review by the county Auditor-Controller Department audit was launched in response to a Los Angeles Times investigation last year that found that an unusually high number of family members of firefighters were recruited by the department and that insiders had access to the interview questions and answers for job candidates.

Auditors largely confirmed The Times' findings and turned up evidence of more widespread cheating, especially in the improper sharing of test materials by employees, among them a battalion chief and 10 captains.

"Dissemination of examination content between fire personnel is not uncommon," auditors said in their report to the county Board of Supervisors.

The official who oversaw the audit said Monday that his office would give Fire Chief Daryl Osby detailed information about how EMT tests and exams for positions such as captain and dispatcher were compromised.

Robert Campbell, the acting assistant auditor-controller, said the information would be contained in a confidential report and it would be the Fire Department's responsibility to deal with employees who broke the rules.

"We're not the ultimate decision-makers in any disciplinary action," Campbell said of the audit office.

Osby, who had requested the audit, said in an email late Monday that the department "will be addressing each and every substantiated allegation" outlined in the report. He said he would be "resolute in taking the appropriate administrative action against" employees who violated department policies.

Because the audit was confined to issues raised by The Times' investigation, auditors said they did not conduct a comprehensive inquiry into other potential test violations. Investigators for the auditor's officeonly stumbled upon the other breaches while searching emails related to hiring.

They said they did not know "the entire population of examinations that were compromised," and the problem could be worse.

Meanwhile, fire officials told The Times last year that the department used a computer program to randomly select candidates to test for firefighter jobs, which are highly coveted for their six-figure salaries and generous benefits. Auditors, however, determined that the system might not have been random at all, with investigators being told that candidates instead were handpicked by managers. The audit said the managers could not provide documentation for the process used in many of the selections.

"These findings raise questions about the integrity of the selection process," auditors wrote in their report.

Osby sent an email to the Board of Supervisors over the weekend outlining steps the department had taken to reform recruitment procedures, including developing a new exam.

That was not enough for Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Citing the audit's finding that department employees improperly disseminated materials for additional tests, she said, "I find the fire chief's response to us inadequate."

"I think we need to dig further into how broadly this permeated the Fire Department and other examinations," said Kuehl, who is based on the Westside.

She said she was worried about the "talented individuals we are not bringing into the Fire Department because of this kind of cronyism or nepotism," including women and minorities.

Two other supervisors expressed similar concerns. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents South Los Angeles, said he would ask for a follow-up report on the demographics of the job candidates to see if women and minorities had been shut out.

"Absent presentation of demographic data, that's a reasonable conclusion to draw," he said.

He said of the audit's findings: "It's quite problematic, and I think corrective action is warranted, and I think the public has a right to expect it and, indeed, will see it."

The Times reported in its investigation, which was published in October, that just 1.4% of county firefighters were women. At the same time, at least 183 sons of current or former firefighters have served on the force since the start of 2012, according to an analysis of payroll, pension, birth, marriage and other records.

All told, sons represent nearly 7% of the county's 2,750 firefighters.When brothers, nephews and other relatives are included, at least 370 firefighters — 13% of the department ranks —- are related to someone now or previously on the force, The Times found.

Since 2007, the audit said, 15% of the 701 firefighters hired had family connections to the department, figures that mirrored The Times' numbers. Nearly 95% of all applicants for the jobs are rejected.

Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents the eastern portion of the county, said in a statement that she was "very troubled" by the audit's conclusions.

"The hiring process was compromised, which erodes public trust and prevents the department from identifying the best candidates," she said. 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department found itself Monday engulfed in a growing scandal after auditors uncovered evidence that the type of cheating that undermined the agency's hiring process extended to promotional exams and other testing requirements, including for skills in emergency medical treatment.

The review by the county Auditor-Controller Department audit was launched in response to a Los Angeles Times investigation last year that found that an unusually high number of family members of firefighters were recruited by the department and that insiders had access to the interview questions and answers for job candidates.

Auditors largely confirmed The Times' findings and turned up evidence of more widespread cheating, especially in the improper sharing of test materials by employees, among them a battalion chief and 10 captains.

"Dissemination of examination content between fire personnel is not uncommon," auditors said in their report to the county Board of Supervisors.

The official who oversaw the audit said Monday that his office would give Fire Chief Daryl Osby detailed information about how EMT tests and exams for positions such as captain and dispatcher were compromised.

Robert Campbell, the acting assistant auditor-controller, said the information would be contained in a confidential report and it would be the Fire Department's responsibility to deal with employees who broke the rules.

"We're not the ultimate decision-makers in any disciplinary action," Campbell said of the audit office.

Osby, who had requested the audit, said in an email late Monday that the department "will be addressing each and every substantiated allegation" outlined in the report. He said he would be "resolute in taking the appropriate administrative action against" employees who violated department policies.

Because the audit was confined to issues raised by The Times' investigation, auditors said they did not conduct a comprehensive inquiry into other potential test violations. Investigators for the auditor's officeonly stumbled upon the other breaches while searching emails related to hiring.

They said they did not know "the entire population of examinations that were compromised," and the problem could be worse.

Meanwhile, fire officials told The Times last year that the department used a computer program to randomly select candidates to test for firefighter jobs, which are highly coveted for their six-figure salaries and generous benefits. Auditors, however, determined that the system might not have been random at all, with investigators being told that candidates instead were handpicked by managers. The audit said the managers could not provide documentation for the process used in many of the selections.

"These findings raise questions about the integrity of the selection process," auditors wrote in their report.

Osby sent an email to the Board of Supervisors over the weekend outlining steps the department had taken to reform recruitment procedures, including developing a new exam.

That was not enough for Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Citing the audit's finding that department employees improperly disseminated materials for additional tests, she said, "I find the fire chief's response to us inadequate."

"I think we need to dig further into how broadly this permeated the Fire Department and other examinations," said Kuehl, who is based on the Westside.

She said she was worried about the "talented individuals we are not bringing into the Fire Department because of this kind of cronyism or nepotism," including women and minorities.

Two other supervisors expressed similar concerns. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who represents South Los Angeles, said he would ask for a follow-up report on the demographics of the job candidates to see if women and minorities had been shut out.

"Absent presentation of demographic data, that's a reasonable conclusion to draw," he said.

He said of the audit's findings: "It's quite problematic, and I think corrective action is warranted, and I think the public has a right to expect it and, indeed, will see it."

The Times reported in its investigation, which was published in October, that just 1.4% of county firefighters were women. At the same time, at least 183 sons of current or former firefighters have served on the force since the start of 2012, according to an analysis of payroll, pension, birth, marriage and other records.

All told, sons represent nearly 7% of the county's 2,750 firefighters.When brothers, nephews and other relatives are included, at least 370 firefighters — 13% of the department ranks —- are related to someone now or previously on the force, The Times found.

Since 2007, the audit said, 15% of the 701 firefighters hired had family connections to the department, figures that mirrored The Times' numbers. Nearly 95% of all applicants for the jobs are rejected.

Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents the eastern portion of the county, said in a statement that she was "very troubled" by the audit's conclusions.

"The hiring process was compromised, which erodes public trust and prevents the department from identifying the best candidates," she said. "The opportunity to work as a firefighter must be open to all, including women and members of minority groups, who must compete in an environment free of favoritism or nepotism."

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, from the San Fernando Valley area, said in a statement: "There is no excuse for impropriety in administering any of these tests and those responsible must be held accountable."

The audit cited a striking failure of memory among employees who were interviewed about sharing test materials. In one case, the report said, a captain who emailed job interview questions to another captain stepped out of the session with investigators to "confer privately with his union representative, after which he repeatedly stated that he did not recall the circumstances under which he came to be in possession of" the material.

Dave Gillotte, president of Local 1014 of the International Assn. of Fire Fighters, did not respond to requests for comment.

 the supervisors voted to set up a "strike team" to oversee the firefighter hiring.

hiring should be taken entirely out of the hands of the Fire Department and turned over to the county's personnel agency.

 given the extent of the problem, the board would have "no choice" but to revisit the proposal, or that Osby "should himself turn over the hiring responsibility to the larger human resources office."

"The opportunity to work as a firefighter must be open to all, including women and members of minority groups, who must compete in an environment free of favoritism or nepotism."

 "There is no excuse for impropriety in administering any of these tests and those responsible must be held accountable."

The audit cited a striking failure of memory among employees who were interviewed about sharing test materials. 

In one case, the report said, a captain who emailed job interview questions to another captain stepped out of the session with investigators to "confer privately with his union representative, after which he repeatedly stated that he did not recall the circumstances under which he came to be in possession of" the material.

In November, the supervisors voted to set up a "strike team" to oversee the firefighter hiring.

Supervisor Gloria Molina, who was about to be termed-out for the seat now held by Solis, said hiring should be taken entirely out of the hands of the Fire Department and turned over to the county's personnel agency.

board would have "no choice" but to revisit the proposal, or that Osby "should himself turn over the hiring responsibility to the larger human resources office."


County Fire Department audit finds cheating in hiring, promotions
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-fire-cheating-20150224-story.html

JAMA Network | JAMA Internal Medicine | Association Between Sauna Bathing and Fatal Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality EventsSauna Bathing and MortalitySauna Bathing and Mortality

archinte.jamanetwork.com/Mobile/article.aspx?articleid=2130724

Conclusions and Relevance  Increased frequency of sauna bathing is associated with a reduced risk of SCD, CHD, CVD, and all-cause mortality. Further studies are warranted to establish the potential mechanism that links sauna bathing and cardiovascular health.

Download the official 

Why Are So Many Toddlers Taking Psychiatric Drugs? - WSJ

www.wsj.com/articles/BL-258B-5148

iStock

MURALI DORAISWAMY: Prozac for babies?

Psychiatric drugs are now being given to infants and toddlers in unprecedented numbers.

An analysis of 2013 IMS Data, found that over 274,000 infants (0-1 year olds) and some 370,000 toddlers (1-3 years age) in the U.S. were on antianxiety (e.g. Xanax) and antidepressant (e.g. Prozac) drugs. This report also found over 1,400 infants were on ADHD drugs.

A 2014 Georgia Medicaid analyses led by Susanna Visser at the CDC (see a video of her fascinating talk) when extrapolatednationwide by the New York Times found that over 10,000 toddlers were put on ADHD treatments. (Dr. Visser is currently working on national estimates but believes that the estimate from the Georgia data is conservative.)

Prescriptions of powerful antipsychotics such as Risperdal for infants and very young children have also sharply risen. Office visits for childhood bipolar disorder have risen 40-fold over the past decade in the U.S.

Toddlers in the welfare system and those in foster homes are particularly vulnerable to receive drugs for behavior control. Had he lived today in a foster home, Dennis the Menace would probably have met criteria for Oppositional disorder, Temper Dysregulation Disorder, ADHD and/or Bipolar, and forced to take multiple drugs!

Most use in such young children is "off-label," posing safety concerns. For example, a 2013 study of 44,000 children found that antipsychotic drugs tripled the risk for developing diabetes–confirming our warning in 2001.

Are psychiatric diagnoses reliable in such young children? Why are tens of thousands of children getting drugs outside guidelines? What is the most humane way to manage behavior changes in children?

The causes are debatable but our culture of "a pill for every temper tantrum" is one culprit. While there are effective nondrugbehavioral therapies for preschoolers, access and incentives are not aligned to prioritize them. We also need to invest more in building resilience.

This is a complex problem but as the social reformer Frederick Douglass noted over a hundred years ago, "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy is professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center, where he also serves as a member of the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences and as a senior fellow at the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.

Butter heart Angouras (@NatashaAngouras)

Tash Angouras (@NatashaAngouras)
Meanwhile in Sweden butter sales are on the rise and heart disease is halved. @DietDoctor1 #OMHealth #LCHF2015 pic.twitter.com/WHAo249eXQ

Download the official Twitter app here

FBI hacked. http://hubs.ly/y0xkTN0

Tweet from **** SG **** (@SleekgeekSA)

**** SG **** (@SleekgeekSA)
@DietDoctor1 showing the blood sugar levels after a LCHF meal and a high sugar/starch meal #LCHF2015 pic.twitter.com/CKlgtNZsmz

Download the official Twitter app here

Flame Retardants & Cosmetic Chemicals May Jeopardize Your Health

By Dr. Mercola

Unless you live in some remote wilderness, you're likely being exposed to a wide variety of chemicals on a daily basis that can compromise your health. One class of chemicals that have become ubiquitous in the US is flame retardants.

In the 1970s, the US implemented fire safety standards that led to more and more products adopting the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) to meet the stringent regulations.

PBDEs have a molecular structure similar to that of banned PCBs, the latter of which have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and impaired fetal brain development.

And, even though certain PBDEs have since been banned in some US states, they still persist in the environment and accumulate in your body. Tests have revealed that as many as 97 percent of all Americans have significant levels of PBDEs in their blood.

Many harmful chemicals also lurk in personal care products that you apply to your body on a daily basis.

A recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives1 discusses the impact of newer flame retardants and the routes by which people are exposed to these hazardous chemicals—which, surprisingly, may include personal care products.

Hand-to-Mouth Exposures in Adults

In 2005, PBDEs used in foam furniture were voluntarily withdrawn from the US market.2 But were they replaced with harmless chemicals? Hardly.

Many PBDEs were replaced by organophosphate flame retardants such as tris phosphate (TDCIPP), and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), both of which are now used in a wide variety of consumer goods, including furniture, cars seats, carpet padding, and baby products, just to name a few.

According to the featured article:3

"TDCIPP is listed as a human carcinogen under California's Proposition 65, and a small human study found evidence that exposure to both TDCIPP and TPHP was associated with altered levels of some hormones and lower sperm concentration.

In vitro and animal data have linked TDCIPP to neurotoxicity and both TDCIPP and TPHP to endocrine disruption."

A recent study4 looked at how, and to what degree, people were exposed to these chemicals in their homes. A total of 53 men and women participated in the study, and more than 90 percent of them provided dust samples from their home.

Not only did every single dust sample contain both TDCIPPs and TPHPs, metabolites of TPHP and TDCIPP were also found in 91 percent and 83 percent of the urine samples respectively.

Flame Retardants May Hide in Women's Products

Interestingly, women had nearly twice the urinary levels TPHP metabolites than men, suggesting there must be a hidden route of exposure that women come into contact with more regularly than men... According to study author Heather Stapleton:

"This is a very unusual finding. We haven't seen that before [for flame retardants], which suggests to us that there is likely exposure through a personal care product."

Nail polish is currently being investigated as a possible source of the exposure to the flame retardant TPHP.

The study also found that those who had higher levels of organophosphate chemical traces on their hands had higher levels in their urine, suggesting that "hand-to-mouth contact or dermal absorption may be important pathways of exposure to these compounds."

According to the researchers, frequent hand washing may help reduce some of the exposure, but clearly, your best bet would be to try to determine the sources and eliminate as many of them as possible—especially if you have young children.

Ideally, we all need to start paying attention to the presence of these chemicals, because not only are they bad when ingested or absorbed, they're also bad for the environment when flushed down the drain...

Chemical Research Ruled by Politics, Not Science

A recent article by The Center for Public Integrity5 (CPI) reveals just how little is being done by the US government to protect you from these chemical hazards, thereby necessitating taking more personal responsibility.

It appears assessments of toxic chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have come to a standstill, courtesy of political wrangling.

One of the EPA's responsibilities is to determine which chemicals pose a hazard to human health, and then decide how to protect the public from those chemicals. They may decide to ban the chemical in question, or create more stringent regulations, for example.

However, any such measure will result in a loss of profits for the chemical industry, which is working hard to keep their products on the market—and they have a very powerful political lobby to ensure business keeps going as usual.

One of the tactics the chemical industry uses is simply to seed doubt when questions about potential hazards arise.

It's quite difficult to tease out exactly how much of a toxic chemical one must be exposed to before succumbing to cancer or some other malady, and the chemical industry uses that fact to argue for the chemical's safety.

This is a strategy that was originally used with great success by the tobacco industry. Another political ploy being used today is o delay scientific findings. According to CPI reporter David Heath:

"Congressional investigators found that the Bush White House put many of the EPA scientific findings on hold. In fact investigators said the delays were so endless that the scientific research being done at the EPA was virtually obsolete. 

Things would go over to the Bush administration and they'd ask a bunch of questions and they'd have to go back and start all over again...

[T]he Obama administration came in with a plan to fix it. And that called basically for doing many more chemicals assessments and to do them a lot faster. But that plan has actually failed. In the last three years the EPA has actually done fewer chemical assessments than ever before."

Damning Assessment of Arsenic Halted and 'Buried'

The EPA started working on a toxicology assessment of formaldehyde in 1998, and it's still not published. Why? According to Heath, Louisiana senator David Vitter managed to postpone the assessment by threatening to block a key EPA appointment. Ditto for the EPA's assessment ofarsenic

The agency began assessing arsenic around 2003. Then, in 2011, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson inserted language into a committee report attached to a spending bill that delayed the release of that assessment. And even though the language is not legally binding, the EPA is strongly advised to follow it, and it does.

Shockingly, Heath reports that the EPA had determined arsenic is 17 times more potent a carcinogen than previously thought, yet these findings never made it to publication.  

"What that meant was that even people drinking the legal limit of arsenic6 in drinking water were likely to get cancer from it. In fact they came up with a calculation that was 730 out of 100,000 people would get cancer from it," Heath says.

"[A]ll chemical assessments right now have been delayed. Congressman Simpson acted on behalf of two pesticide companies who make a weed killer containing arsenic.

Those companies hired a lobbyist named Charlie Grizzle, who had been a former EPA official and knew the ropes. At the same time he was also working as a lobbyist for the formaldehyde industry. And at the same time he was lobbying against the arsenic assessment, he was lobbying to delay all chemical assessments, about 50 in all."

Chemicals Abound in Personal Care Products

Chemicals like formaldehyde and arsenic can be found in many products—some of which you may be ingesting or applying to your body on a regular basis. Nail polish, for example—which is now under investigation to determine the presence of flame retardants—typically contain formaldehyde along with toxic dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene. Even Johnsons & Johnsons Baby Shampoo—a classic bathroom staple for most families with small children—contained formaldehyde when sold in the US (but not the version sold in other countries).

Last year, after years of applied pressure from public health groups, including a boycott, the company announced its famous baby shampoo had been reformulated and would no longer contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane7 (yet another chemical known for its toxic effects). Cosmetics are a major source of potentially toxic exposure for women.8

Tests suggest you can absorb five pounds of chemicals each year from your daily makeup routine alone. Many of these chemicals have been directly linked to cancer or are known to cause damage to your brain, reproductive system, and other organs. On average, women apply 126 different ingredients to their skin daily and 90 percent of them have never been evaluated for safety. A handful of the most hazardous ones include:

  • Paraben, a chemical found in deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It's present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils/bath salts. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.
  • Phthalates are plasticizing ingredients that have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems. Be aware that phthalates are often hidden on shampoo labels under the generic term "fragrance."
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.
  • Toluene, made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.

Embed this infographic on your website:

Click on the code area and press CTRL + C (for Windows) / CMD + C (for Macintosh) to copy the code.

Perfume—A Cornucopia of Toxic Ingredients

Perfumes are another common route of toxic exposure, and although not discussed as frequently, the same applies to men's colognes and body sprays as well. Of particular concern when you're reading labels is the generic term "fragrance," or "parfum." These are catchall terms for some 10,000 different ingredients, most of which have not been tested for safety. As noted above, phthalates also hide under these terms.  A recent article in Time magazine9 addressing this issue states:

"Phthalates are wonderful for cosmetics because they make things smear really well... When it comes to perfume, phthalates keep all the liquid's different elements suspended and evenly distributed... So what's the problem? Some phthalates—namely one called diethyl phthalate (DEP)—are shown to disrupt our hormones, including testosterone. That's a big concern for pregnant women, [Dr.] Patisaul says. 'There's evidence connecting phthalates to developmental disorders, especially among newborn boys'...

More research has linked DEP to poor lung function and myriad sperm issues, from lower counts to reduced motility... Which means men—particularly adolescents who fumigate their still-developing bodies with aerosolized body sprays—could be at risk... What isn't clear: Just how much phthalate exposure is too much. 'It's not like we can deliberately expose a bunch of pregnant women or boys to phthalates and see what happens,' Patisaul says. 'So coming up with hard proof is difficult.' That same dilemma helped cigarette companies dodge health regulators for decades."

These risks are particularly pronounced in the US, because here, chemicals are assumed safe until proven harmful. Many other countries place the burden of proof on the chemical producer. Subsequently, perfume ingredients that are banned in Europe are still used in American products. France, known for its penchant for perfumes, also has some of the tightest regulations on cosmetic ingredients of any nation, although that doesn't mean perfumes manufactured in France are 100 percent safe either.

How to Reduce Your Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

There are tens of thousands of potentially toxic chemicals lurking in your home, so the most comprehensive recommendation I can give you is to opt for organic or "green" alternatives no matter what product is under consideration—be it a piece of furniture, clothing, kids toys, cleaning product, or personal care item. This is by far the easiest route, as manufacturers are not required to disclose the chemicals they use to make their products comply with safety regulations, such as fire safety regulations. Your mattress, for example, may be soaked in toxic flame retardants, but you will not find the chemicals listed on any of the mattress labels.

You can certainly ask what type of fire retardants the product contains, but you may not always get an answer. And, while you likely won't find PBDEs in newer foam products, there are a number of other fire-retardant chemicals that can be just as detrimental to your health, including antimony, formaldehyde, boric acid, and other brominated chemicals. Cleaning products and cosmetics are also notorious for not disclosing all ingredients, as many concoctions are protected as trade secrets. Below are some general guidelines to consider that can help reduce your exposure to toxins in your home:

  • Be careful with polyurethane foam products manufactured prior to 2005, such as upholstered furniture, mattresses, and pillows, as these are most likely to contain PBDEs. If you have any of these in your home, inspect them carefully and replace ripped covers and/or any foam that appears to be breaking down. Also avoid reupholstering furniture by yourself as the reupholstering process increases your risk of exposure.
  • If in doubt, you can have a sample of yourpolyurethane foam cushions tested for free to be sure. This is particularly useful for items you already have around your home, as it will help you determine which harmful products need replacing.

  • Older carpet padding is another major source of PBDEs, so take precautions when removing old carpet. You'll want to isolate your work area from the rest of your house to avoid spreading it around, and use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean up.
  • You probably also have older sources of the PBDEs known as Deca in your home as well, and these are so toxic they are banned in several states. Deca PBDEs can be found in electronics like TVs, cell phones, kitchen appliances, fans, toner cartridges, and more. It's a good idea to wash your hands after handling such items, especially before eating, and at the very least be sure you don't let infants mouth any of these items (like your TV remote control or cell phone).
  • As you replace PBDE-containing items around your home, select those that contain naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool and cotton.
  • Look for organic and "green" building materials, carpeting, baby items and upholstery, which will be free from these toxic chemicals. Furniture products filled with cotton, wool or polyester tend to be safer than chemical-treated foam; some products also state that they are "flame-retardant free."
  • PBDEs are often found in household dust, so clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum and/or a wet mop often.
  • Look for a mattress made of either 100% organic wool, which is naturally flame-resistant; 100% organic cotton or flannel; or Kevlar fibers, the material they make bulletproof vests out of, which is sufficient to pass the fire safety standards. Stearns and Foster is one brand that sells this type of mattress.
  • When purchasing personal care products, look for the genuine USDA Organic Seal.  If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want to put it on your body. Ask yourself, "Would I eat this?" One way to clean up your beauty regimen is to simplify your routine and make your own products. Coconut oil, for example, can replace a whole slew of products, from skin moisturizers to hair care.
  • EWG's Skin Deep database10 can help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
  • Look for products that are fragrance-free. This applies to personal care products and household cleaning products alike. If you want a scent, consider using a pure essential oil.
  • Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic, since chemicals can leach out of plastics and into the contents. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a serious concern. Make sure any plastic container is BPA-free.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/24/flame-retardants-cosmetic-chemicals.aspx?e_cid=20150224Z1_DNL_NB_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20150224Z1_DNL_NB&et_cid=DM68350&et_rid=853451085