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Jun 11, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- DEET-BASED REPELLENTS SAFE FOR CHILDREN

Federal health officials recommend DEET-based repellents to prevent mosquito bites, which can transmit the deadly West Nile virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the active ingredient used in most repellents -- DEET -- is safe and effective when used according to directions. The American Academy of Pediatrics also released new guidelines on protecting children and they also include using insect repellents. The academy says products containing up to 30 percent DEET can be used on children. There is no vaccine to prevent West Nile virus but repellents, which also can help prevent tick bites, can be used on children as young as 2 months, the academy suggests.


A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says the hormone supplement androstenedione does not increase testosterone and could be dangerous. Targeted for middle-age men to boost testosterone levels, androstenedione, an anabolic steroid used by some athletes to boost performance, changes hormonal balance and could be potentially harmful if taken long term, researchers say. The results show compared with a placebo, androstenedione levels increased significantly during the first three hours after the supplement had been taken on the first day of the schedule, but a month later levels dropped by 60 percent. Also the supplement did not raise testosterone levels significantly nor did it have any effect on body fat, blood pressure or heart rate. It did, however, seem to interfere with hormonal balance by boosting levels of another weaker androgen DHEAS, the long-term effects of which are not known.


A two-minute microwave treatment combined with soaking is much more effective at eliminating germs on dentures than just brushing, a new study says. The Academy of Dentistry says 1-in-5 adults, including half of those over age 55, wear some type of dentures. A study published in General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, says wearing unclean dentures can cause denture-related stomatitis, a fungal infection in the mouth characterized by white or red sores, bleeding, swelling and burning sensations. The academy says to microwave clean dentures, put dentures that have no metal components in a microwave container at least twice as tall as the dentures, with vents in the cover. Fill the container with water and put a tablet of the denture cleanser in the water. Cover with a towel and microwave for about two minutes. Allow dentures to cool and then rinse before using them.


Summertime activities bring an increase in the chance of spinal cord injuries, which afflict about 100,000 people each year in the United States. The most common causes are car accidents, violence and sports injuries, with men ages 16 to 30 at most risk because they tend to participate in more dangerous activities, say University of Michigan researchers. Some tips on reducing the risk of injury include always using seatbelts and driving within speed limits, making sure of the water depth before diving in, wearing proper safety gear during sports, using spotters for activities such as gymnastics and ensuing ladders are stabilized before climbing. Injuries can occur at any level along the spinal cord -- from the neck to as low as the tailbone. The higher the level of injury, the less movement, feeling and control the person will experience.


(EDITORS: For more information about REPELLENTS, contact Ed Tate at (610) 821-1299 or e-mail For ANDROSTENEDIONE, Emma Dickinson, 44 (0)20 7383 6529 or, for DENTURES, Susan Urbanczyk, (312) 440-4308 or, and for SPINAL CORD, Nicole Fawcett, (734) 764-2220 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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