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Health Highlights: Aug. 26, 2011

Health Highlights: Aug. 26, 2011

08/26/11

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Massage Device Could be Deadly: FDA

Consumers are being warned about a massage device that caused one death and one near-strangulation.

Necklaces, pieces of clothing and hair can get caught in the rotating part of the ShoulderFlex Massager, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Associated Press reported.

People who own these products should "dispose of the device components separately so that the massager cannot be reassembled and used," the agency advised.

Since 2003, King International has distributed nearly 12,000 of the massagers through retail stores and Web sites in the U.S., according to the FDA. The agency said the company plans to issue a recall, the AP reported.

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U.S. Minority and White Newborn Numbers Nearly Equal

Nearly half of newborns in the United States are ethnic and racial minorities, according to an analysis of 2010 Census data.

It found that 50.2 percent of babies where white non-Hispanics, compared with 57.6 percent 10 years earlier, USA Today reported.

Since 2000, the number of states were minority babies dominate has doubled to 14, including big states such as Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and New York.

In rural areas, the number of white children declined by more than one million (nearly 10 percent) between 2000 and 2010, USA Today reported.

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U.S. Bans Mexican Papaya Imports

All imports of fresh Mexican papayas have been banned due to widespread salmonella contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

The decision was made after an FDA investigation between May 12 and Aug. 18 found that more than 15 percent of fresh papayas from Mexico were contaminated with salmonella, MSNBC.com reported.

The contaminated papayas came from 28 different companies and included all the major papaya-producing areas in Mexico. The FDA investigation began after a salmonella outbreak earlier this year sickened 100 people in 23 states, MSNBC.com reported.

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Carcinogens Released by Scented Laundry Products: Study

Scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets may raise cancer risk, according to a new study.

Researchers found more than 25 "volatile" air pollutants -- including the carcinogens benzene and acetaldehyde -- when they tested the dryer vent emissions from two homes after scented laundry products were used, CBS News reported.

"This is an interesting source of pollution because emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated," lead author Anne Steinemann, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of public affairs at the University of Washington, said in a written statement, CBS News reported. "If they're coming out of a smokestack or tail pipe, they're regulated, but if they're coming out of a dryer vent, they're not."

The study was published in the August issue of the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health.

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Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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