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Talcum powder products may be harmful to lungs, possible cause of ovarian cancer: feds

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  • TORONTO — Consumers are being warned to avoid inhaling talcum powder or using the products on the female genital area, as exposure may cause potentially serious respiratory problems  and possibly ovarian cancer.  

    Baby powder should also be kept away from a child’s face to avoid inhalation, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada said Wednesday in releasing a draft screening assessment of products containing talc.

    The draft assessment focuses on the safety of talc in such self-care products as cosmetics; baby, body, face and foot powders; diaper and rash creams; and genital antiperspirants and deodorants.

    “When you inhale talc, the fine talc particles will get lodged inside of the lung, and over time there’s a cumulative effect associated with that,” said David Morin, director general of the safe environment directorate.

    Inhaling talc, a naturally occurring mineral, can cause difficulty breathing, decreased lung function and pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs.

    Products containing talc have also been linked to ovarian cancer in some women, and the Canadian Cancer Society identifies its use on the female genitals as a possible risk factor for the malignancy.

    A number of class action lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada launched against Johnson & Johnson contend that longtime use of its talcum powder for feminine hygiene resulted in the development of the plaintiffs’ ovarian cancer. The cosmetics giant has denied its product, which has been on the market since 1894, causes the disease.   

    Despite studies suggesting a link, Health Canada has not mandated that labels on talc-containing products carry specific warnings about the possible link with the development of ovarian cancer or the respiratory risks to adults who inadvertently inhale talcum powder particles.

    Ottawa only requires label warnings related to the use of loose talc powder for infants and children, said Tolga Yalkin, head of the consumer products safety directorate.

    “Essentially, those warnings are: ‘Keep out of reach of children’ and ‘Keep out of the way of a child’s face to avoid inhalation, which can cause breathing problems,'” he said.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society also advises against the use of talcum powder — long used by parents to prevent diaper rash — for infants and babies.

    Muhannad Malas, toxics program manager for Environmental Defence, said Health Canada’s screening assessment shows that the effects of talc can be “really serious.”     

    “What we want to see here is some regulatory actions in terms of banning talcum powder in cosmetics and personal care products that pose significant risks to women and to children,” he said in an interview.

    The environmental action organization is also calling for “much stronger health warnings that would clearly identify the risks and clearly tell consumers why talcum is a problem and why we should avoid exposure to it,” he said. 

    Yalkin said the government is investigating the possibility of updating its cosmetic ingredient hotlist and possibly expanding warnings on product labels, but any decision would follow a 60-day consultation process and the final version of the screening assessment.

    The consultation will offer members of the public, talc-products manufacturers, academics and others to provide comment and information on the issue. Their input, as well as any new scientific evidence, will help inform the final assessment.

    “It’s possible you will see additional warnings that are mandated by Health Canada,” Yalkin said.

    Morin added that if the final screening assessment confirms that talc in certain products is harmful to human health, regulatory action will be taken to manage the identified risks.

    But Malas said he’s concerned about how long that process could take, from finalizing the screening assessment to taking regulatory action if deemed warranted.

    He said it took four to five years for the government to finalize a risk assessment for triclosan, an antibacterial chemical used in cleaning and personal care products, following release of its draft document, and another a few years more before it decided on what measures to take.

    “We want to avoid that,” he said. “I think what we’re looking for is some concrete and immediate actions in terms of reducing Canadians’ exposure, especially women’s exposure to talcum powder and also infants’ exposure.”

    Federal law requires companies to list the ingredients on cosmetic and personal care products, noted Yalkin.

    “So in the meantime, Canadians who are concerned about their exposure can check to see if (talc) is on the product that they’re considering using and make a decision accordingly.”

    The draft screening assessment will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and will be open for public comment until Feb. 6. The Canada Gazette containing public notices, official appointments and proposed regulations from the federal government is published every Saturday, but available online Fridays at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

    — Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.

    Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press




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    Health

    Prairie police chiefs call on Ottawa for help as meth-fuelled crime skyrockets

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  • OTTAWA — Police chiefs say methamphetamine is fuelling a crime wave in some of Western Canada’s biggest cities as use of the highly addictive drug skyrockets across the Prairies.

    Calgary’s interim police Chief Steve Barlow told a House of Commons health committee Tuesday that the city’s crime rate is going through the roof as the price of meth drops.

    “When I look at the tools on an officer’s belt, there isn’t a single one to help a person in the throes of addiction,” Barlow said. “We will not arrest our way out of this problem.”

    Meth is behind some recent violent and unprovoked attacks, Barlow said. On one occasion, he said a woman stabbed three random people in 20 minutes. In another, a senior sitting on a downtown bench was stabbed multiple times.

    A woman was left paralyzed last month after she was pushed into the path of an oncoming transit train. The suspect is believed to have been high on meth, Barlow said.

    The drug is also motivating residential break-ins, car theft and other property crimes.

    It’s driven by a rise in the amount of meth on the street and a dramatic drop in the addictive drug’s cost — to about $50 a gram now from about $150 in 2015. That means one hit of meth costs about $5.

    Officers are worn out and more resources are needed to address the root causes of addiction and to help people get clean, Barlow told the committee.

    He predicts 2018 will see a record number of meth seizures in his city — more than 1,769 — which is 130 per cent above the five-year average.

    Winnipeg’s police Chief Danny Smyth told the committee his officers have seized more than 20 kilograms of meth this year — nearly double what was seized in 2017.

    Barlow and Smyth said the meth on their streets is being smuggled into British Columbia from Mexico.

    Drug-related crime, in turn, is causing a big backlog in responses to calls for service in Winnipeg, because officers are tied up in health-care facilities with meth users, Smyth said.

    “It prevents us from getting into the community and doing proactive work.”

    Numbers from Winnipeg’s health authority show a 1,200 per cent increase in people going to hospitals because of methamphetamine — up from 12 in April 2013 to 218 this past April.

    Documents obtained by the Manitoba NDP under freedom-of-information legislation also show a rise in communicable diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis which are associated with intravenous drug use.

    Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman told the committee Ottawa must include meth in a national strategy on illicit drugs, strengthen border protection and provide more resources for mental health.

    “Meth doesn’t distinguish between the area of the city in which you reside, your family’s income,” he said. “Addictions and mental health really know no bounds and we are seeing that here in the city of Winnipeg.”

    — By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg

    The Canadian Press



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    A LUXURY SPA experience in the heart of Central Alberta

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  • Safari Spas welcomed its first guests in 2003 with a goal of creating a truly exceptional luxury experience for residents in Red Deer and Central Alberta.

    Our team visits luxury spas all over the world in an effort to continually improve what we do.  We want our guests to feel like they are on a mini vacation each and every time they visit.  Our customer surveys tell us we hit the mark on a very consistent basis!

    Come relax in our beautiful spa, where we’ve created a deluxe environment: everything from glass mosaic and Italian tiles, fireplaces, frosted glass, lighted mirrors and extra plush chairs. Safari Spa & Salon offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, body wraps, body polishes, aromatherapy, waxing, and hair styling for men, women and children, among other services.

    Our level of service is over the top.

    We cater to our guests at every turn. We have created an experience within Red Deer that you would expect at a resort spa. It’s all about helping you recharge your batteries, getting your body, mind and soul back into alignment.

    We have a staff of 45, including four managers who ensure your experience is always 5 star. As long term members of our team, they care for the business as if it was their own.  Janelle has been with us since we opened. Chana started as a  hair stylist  and is now an integral part of our management team. Heather and Natasha are newer to the team and are our Customer Service gurus, always taking care of every little wish and desire of our guests.

    We are very proud of our deep roots in this community and support many worthwhile organizations and events.

    Of particular note is our annual Red Deer Festival of Trees, supporting the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.  We’ve been an active sponsor of this amazing community event since we opened in 2003.

    We offer a variety of sublime services in a luxurious environment.  Click to take a virtual tour.

    We are proud to be the only AVEDA Lifestyle Spa in the region.

    Here are some of our most popular packages:

    Safari Ultimate $355

    Shampoo and Style, 60 minute Chakra massage, 90 minute customized facial, Aveda Spa manicure and pedicure.

    Couple’s Escape $485

    This is the perfect way to spend a relaxing day together. You will each receive a one hour relaxation massage, men’s spa facial for him, customized Aveda facial for her, then enjoy a spa snack and refreshment while sitting next to each other experiencing spa pedicures in our whirlpool pedicure spa chairs with fully adjustable heated massage chairs.

    Oasis $405

    Complete luxury in a serene atmosphere. This ultimate package includes: 1 hour relaxation massage, aromatherapy body wrap, customized Aveda facial, spa manicure, and spa pedicure. Relax in our serenity area and enjoy.

    Savanna $320

    Complete treatment for the body. One hour relaxation massage, spa facial, body polish and shampoo & style.

    Safari Indulge $300

    Sixty minute customized facial, 60 minute hot stone massage, pedicure, shampoo, condition and style.

    Safari Head To Toe $245

    Get pampered from head to toe with our customized Aveda facial, spa pedicure and one hour relaxation massage.

    Rain Forest $225

    A mini sampling of the spa experience. This package includes a customized Aveda facial, spa pedicure and spa manicure with paraffin wax.

    Gentlemen’s Oasis $245

    This package is created for the special man in your life. One hour relaxation massage, men’s spa facial and a spa pedicure.

    Stress Fix Pamper Package $230

    Stress can really take its toll on your physical and spiritual health.  Try our French Lavender infused Stress Fix Massage, pedicure and manicure to help reduce everyday stress.

    Pamper Package $195

    This is for those deserving to be pampered. Included in this package is a spa pedicure, spa manicure and one hour relaxation massage.

    Browse some photos and please click here to learn more about Safari Spa and Salon.   We are located in Unit 100, 31 Clearview Market Way, Red Deer.

    Please contact us through email clearview@safarispa.com or phone 403.314-9628.

    We have really convenient hours:

    Monday – Friday 9:00am to 9:00pm, Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm

    We are closed on the following days:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Family Day (February)
    • Easter Sunday
    • Labour Day (September)
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day
    • Boxing Day

    We are open from 9:00am -3pm on Good Friday, Victoria Day (May), Canada Day (July 1) and Heritage Day (August).

    We are open from 9-5 on Christmas Eve so you can start your Christmas celebration off right.

    Getting ready to celebrate the New Year?  We have you covered from 9-5 on New Year’s Eve.

    We open at noon on Remembrance Day so that we, along with our guests,  can attend services throughout the region.

    Please visit and let us spoil you soon!


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    december, 2018

    wed21nov - 21decAll DayAlberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum - Deck the Hall 31 Days of Giving-31 Days of giving(All Day) Event Organized By: Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

    sat15dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    sat15dec12:00 pm- 6:00 pmArtisan Market Sale for Nuit Blanche Winter CarnivalArtisan Market12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    sat22dec10:00 am- 4:00 pmParkland Garden Centre Craft and Market Sale10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 2:00 amBlack & White ballRed Deer\'s Party of the Year!7:00 pm - (january 1) 2:00 am

    mon31dec - 1jandec 317:00 pmjan 1- 1:00 amOne Eleven Grill New Year's Eve with Claude Godin and his Groove EnsembleCall 403.347-2111 to reserve for New Year7:00 pm - (january 1) 1:00 am

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