Toy Recalls Database 2014 – 1974 & Toy Safety Guidelines

Toy Recalls Database 2014 – 1974









































Toy Safety Guidelines: Threats, Advice & Regulations

2014 Toy Recalls

November 10, 2014 Hello Kitty Birthday Lollipop Whistles Recalled
October 28, 2014 Halloween Projector Flashlight Recalled
October 15, 2014 Toy Toaster Sets Recalled
October 4, 2014 Little Tikes Expands Recall of Toy Workshop and Tool Sets Due to Choking Hazard
April 11, 2014 Whalen Recalls Stainless Steel Tool Chests
March 27, 2014 Minga Fair Trade Imports Recalls Wooden Flipping Acrobat Toys
March 26, 2014 Wal Mart Recalls Dolls
March 19, 2014 Ganz Recalls Grumpy Cat Stuffed Animal Toys
March 19, 2014 Vera Bradley Recalls Bear Ring Rattles and Bunny Toys
February 27, 2014 Cork Block Stacking Toys Recalled by A Harvest Company
February 21, 2014 Infantino Recalls Teething Toys
January 28, 2014 Horizon Hobby Recalls Remote Controlled Model Helicopters
January 22, 2014 Baby Rattles Recalled by Midwest-CBK

2013 Toy Recalls

December 16, 2013 “Doodlebutt Recalls Jelly BeadZ Jumbo BeadZ and Magic Growing Fruity Fun Toys Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
December 5, 2013 Manhattan Group Recalls Baby Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
December 4, 2013 Manhattan Group Recalls Baby Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
December 4, 2013 Manhattan Group Recalls Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
November 13, 2013 Step2 Recalls Ride-On Wagon Toys Due to Fall Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Toys R Us
October 31, 2013 Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines Recalled by LaRose Industries Due to Risk of Mouth Injury
October 23, 2013 Infinitoy Recalls Softimals Toy Sets Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazard
September 29, 2013 Toys R Us Recalls Journey Girl Travel Trunks Due to Laceration Hazard
September 10, 2013 Be Amazing! Toys Recalls Monster Science Growing Spiders Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
September 10, 2013 Eco-Novelty Recalls Jumbo Size and Jumbo Multipurpose Cosmo Beads Toys Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
August 29, 2013 Build-A-Bear Recalls Stuffed Animal Toy Due to Choking Hazard
August 8, 2013 Holgate Toys Recalls Playmat Sets Due to Choking Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Wegmans Food Stores
August 7, 2013 Toysmith Recalls Toy Light-Up Frogs and Ducks Due to Choking Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Cost Plus World Market
August 2, 2013 Be Amazing! Toys Recalls Monster Science and Super Star Science Colossal Water Balls Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
July 24, 2013 Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Activity Jumpers Due to Impact Hazard; Sun Toy Can Snap Backward
July 8, 2013 Toys R Us Recalls Remote-Controlled Helicopters Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
June 27, 2013 Fred & Friends Recalls Baby Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
June 7, 2013 Adobe Recalls High-Powered Magnets Distributed with Promotional Materials Package (Recall Alert)
May 31, 2013 Fred Meyer Recalls “Chicken Dance” Easter Chicks Due to Hearing Damage Hazard
May 12, 2013 Six Retailers Announce Recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes High-Powered Magnet Sets Due to Ingestion Hazard
April 30, 2013 The Land of Nod Recalls Plush Dollies Due to Choking Hazard
April 17, 2013 Small World Toys Recalls Spin-A-Mals Farm and Safari Puzzles Due to Choking Hazard
April 16, 2013 Small World Toys Recall of Children’s Puzzle
April 15, 2013 Recalls High-Powered Magnet Sets Due to Ingestion Hazards
April 15, 2013 Toys R Us Recalls High-Powered Magnet Sets Due to Ingestion Hazards
April 5, 2013 Dynacraft Recalls Urban Shredder Ride-On Toys Due to Fall Hazard
April 2, 2013 Remote-Controlled Helicopters Recalled by Midwest Trading Group Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
March 27, 2013 West Music Recalls Egg-Shaker Toy Instruments Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazards
February 13, 2013 Purr-Fection Stuffed Animals with Flashlights Recalled by MJC Due to Laceration Hazard, Sold Exclusively at Cabela’s
January 31, 2013 High Powered Magnet Balls Recalled by SCS Direct Due to Risk of Ingestion; Sold Exclusively on
January 31, 2013 Kringles Toys and Gifts Recalls High Powered Magnets Due to Ingestion Hazard; Sold Exclusively on

2012 Toy Recalls

December 21, 2012 Sassy and Carter’s-branded Hug N’ Tug Baby Toys Recalled Due to Choking Hazard
December 17, 2012 Dunecraft Recalls Water Balz, Skulls, Orbs and Flower Toys Due to Serious Ingestion Hazard
December 13, 2012 High-Powered Magnet Sets Recalled by Reiss Innovations Due to Ingestion Hazard; Sold Exclusively on
November 28, 2012 Children’s Riding Toy Recalled by Step2 Due to Fall Hazard
October 31, 2012 Imagine Nation Books Recalls Double Dazzler Light Show Toys Due to Burn Hazard
October 8, 2012 Captain Cutlass Pirate Toy Guns Recalled by Dillon Importing Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 13, 2012 True Innovations Recalls Prestigio Office Chairs Due to Fall Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Office Depot
September 13, 2012 Bluestem Brands Recalls Range Rider Ride-on Toy Cars Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
August 30, 2012 BatteriesPlus Expands Recall of Battery Packs Used with Cordless Tools Due to Explosion Hazard
August 22, 2012 Kickboard USA Recalls Children’s Scooter Due to Laceration Hazard
August 15, 2012 Baby Seats Recalled for Repair by Bumbo International Due to Fall Hazard
August 1, 2012 Toy Cars Recalled for Choking Hazard
July 31, 2012 Green Toys Recalls Mini Vehicles Due To Choking Hazard
July 31, 2012 Green Toys Recalls Mini Vehicles Due To Choking Hazard
July 13, 2012 Chicco Polly High Chairs Recalled Due to Laceration Hazard
July 12, 2012 Troxel Recalls Flexible Flyer Swing Sets Due to Fall Hazard
June 18, 2012 Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Sold Exclusively in Walgreens Recalled Due to Fire and Burn Hazards by TWIE
May 31, 2012 Toys R Us Recalls Imaginarium Activity Center Due to Choking Hazard
May 14, 2012 Remote-Controlled Helicopters Recalled by Imagine Nation Books Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
March 30, 2012 Toy Truck Gifts with Purchase Recalled by Happy Shirts Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Kohl’s
March 28, 2012 Baby Dolls Recalled by Lakeshore Learning Materials Due to Choking Hazard
March 13, 2012 Guidecraft Recalls Children’s Play Theaters Due to Tip-over Hazard
March 6, 2012 Recalled Products Originally Sold By Meijer Found to Have Been Resold By Discounters After Recall Date
February 17, 2012 Tumblekins Toys Recalled by International Playthings Due to Choking and Laceration Hazards
January 27, 2012 Mexican Wrestling Action Figures Recalled by Lee Carter Co. Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 26, 2012 Infant Rattles Recalled by Lee Carter Co. Due to Choking Hazard

2011 Toy Recalls

December 28, 2011 Build-A-Bear Recalls Colorful Hearts Teddy Bears Due to Choking Hazard
December 20, 2011 Build-A-Bear Workshop Recall of Stuffed Bears
December 13, 2011 Toys Distribution Inc. Recalls Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
November 17, 2011 Build-A-Bear Recalls Teddy Bear Swimwear Set Due to Strangulation Hazard
November 3, 2011 Battat Recalls Magnetic Sketchboards; Magnetic Pen Tip Poses Choking Hazards
October 22, 2011 Guidecraft Recalls Twist ‘n Sort Toys Due to Choking Hazard
October 2, 2011 Toy Keys with Remote Recalled by Battat Due to Choking Hazard
September 29, 2011 Musical Wooden Table Toys Recalled by Battat Due to Choking Hazard
September 29, 2011 LM Import & Export Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 8, 2011 Dolls Recalled by Pottery Barn Kids Due To Strangulation Hazard
September 2, 2011 Wooden Rattle Recalled by Manhattan Group Due to Choking Hazard
August 16, 2011 Riding Toy Recalled by Radio Flyer Due to Fall Hazard
July 31, 2011 Bravo Sports Recalls Disney-Branded Pogo Sticks Due to Fall and Laceration Hazards
July 28, 2011 Fisher-Price Recalls to Repair Little People Builders’ Load ‘n Go Wagons due to Laceration Hazard
July 7, 2011 Mini Stars Building Sets Recalled by Edushape Due to Choking Hazard
June 30, 2011 Cost Plus Inc. Recalls Wooden Animal Drum Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
June 13, 2011 Excite USA Recalls Toy Helicopters Due to Laceration Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Rite Aid Stores
June 8, 2011 EKSuccess Brands Recalls American Girl Crafts Jewelry Kit Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
June 3, 2011 Musical Shaker Instrument Recalled by Woodstock Percussion Due to Laceration and Choking Hazard
June 2, 2011 Model Helicopters Recalled by Horizon Hobby Due to Impact and Laceration Hazards
May 19, 2011 UJ Trading Recalls Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters Due to Fire Hazard
May 5, 2011 G.A. Gertmenian and Sons Recalls Toy Story 3 Bowling Game Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 4, 2011 Infantino Recalls Toy Activity Trucks Due to Choking Hazard
March 10, 2011 Kid O Products Recalls Wooden Puzzles Due to Choking Hazard
March 3, 2011 Manhattan Group Recalls Parents Wooden Activity Toys Due to Choking Hazard
March 3, 2011 Rattles Recalled by Rhino Toys Due to Choking Hazard
January 29, 2011 Kid O Products Recalls Baby Rattles Due To Choking Hazard
January 25, 2011 Kang Sheng Group Recalls Butterfly Push Toy Due to Choking Hazard
January 25, 2011 Family Dollar Stores Recalls Remote Controlled Toy Tanks Due to Burn Hazard
January 20, 2011 Toy Mobile Phones Recalled by Discovery Toys Due to Choking Hazard
January 12, 2011 Toy Mobile Phones Recalled for Choking Hazard

2010 Toy Recalls

December 23, 2010 Zoom Buggy Cars and Dream Pillow Stars Recalled by Kindermusik Due to Choking Hazard
November 11, 2010 Big Ideas Marketing Recalls to Repair Horse-on-a-Stick Toys Due to Strangulation Hazard
November 10, 2010 Rocking Horse Depot Recalls to Repair Rocking Horse Toys Due to Strangulation Hazard
October 19, 2010 Bathtub Toys Recalled by Munchkin Due to Risk of Injury
October 1, 2010 Fisher-Price Recalls Infant Toys with Inflatable Balls Due to Choking Hazard
September 30, 2010 Fisher-Price Recalls Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway Due to Choking Hazard
September 17, 2010 Giant Starbuilders and Giant Stars Building Sets Recalled by Edushape Due to Choking Hazard
September 16, 2010 Chuck E. Cheese’s Recalls Light-up Rings and Star Glasses Due to Ingestion Hazard
September 15, 2010 Fun Stuff Recalls Children’s Toys Due to Choking Hazard
September 13, 2010 The Land of Nod Recalls Toy Vegetables Due to Laceration Hazard
September 8, 2010 Step2® Recalls Children’s Transportation Station Toys Due to Choking Hazard
August 15, 2010 P. Graham Dunn Recalls Toy Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
August 5, 2010 Fisher-Price Recalls Little People Play ‘n Go Campsite™ Due to Choking Hazard
June 10, 2010 Rhino Toys Inc. Recalls Bead Toy Due to Choking Hazard
June 4, 2010 One Step Ahead Recalls Children’s Stacking Toys Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazard
May 28, 2010 Buckyballs® High Powered Magnets Sets Recalled by Maxfield and Oberton Due to Violation of Federal Toy Standard
May 28, 2010 Children’s Deaths Prompt Recall of Toy Dart Gun Sets Sold Exclusively at Family Dollar Stores
May 12, 2010 Step2® Recalls to Repair Riding Toys Due to Risk of Injury
May 3, 2010 Sportime Recalls Sports Balls Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
May 3, 2010 Step2® Recalls Basic Rhythms Drum™ Toys Due to Choking Hazard
April 28, 2010 Discount School Supply Recalls Double Egg Shakers Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 6, 2010 Gund Recalls to Replace Baby Books Due to Choking Hazard
March 16, 2010 Mall of America Recalls Plush Toy Due to Choking Hazard
February 25, 2010 Sportime Recalls Children’s Floor Hockey Sets Due to Lead Paint Hazard
February 16, 2010 Pull Toys Recalled by Manhattan Group LLC Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazards
February 11, 2010 Tiny Love Recalls Wind Chime Toys Due to Puncture and Laceration Hazards
February 3, 2010 Dollar General Recalls Toy Guns Due to Choking Hazard
February 3, 2010 Children’s Toy Jewelry Sets Recalled by Playmates Toys; Charms Violate the Total Lead Standard
January 27, 2010 RadioShack Recalls Knight Hawk Toy Helicopters Due to Fire Hazard
January 27, 2010 Jide Trading Recalls Toy Military Figure Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 26, 2010 Horse Toy Figures Recalled by Blip Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

2009 Toy Recalls

December 30, 2009 Wooden Toys Recalled by Kendamaspot Due to Violation of Lead Paint Ban
December 17, 2009 Child’s Asphyxiation Death Prompts Recall of Toy Dart Gun Play Set by OKK Trading
December 11, 2009 Toy Trucks Recalled by Variety Wholesalers Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 9, 2009 Snap Beads Recalled By Edushape Due to Choking Hazard
December 8, 2009 Evenflo Recalls Cake Toys on Children’s Activity Centers Due to Choking Hazard
December 3, 2009 Doll Clothing Sets Recalled by Manhattan Group Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 13, 2009 Swim ‘N Score Dive Sticks Recalled by Modell’s Due to Risk of Impalement Injury to Children
November 13, 2009 JA-RU Recalls Toy Trains Due To Choking Hazard
November 5, 2009 Toy Xylophones Recalled by King Import Warehouse Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 27, 2009 CPSC Urges Parents and Caregivers to Stop Using “My Baby Soother” Pacifiers Due to Choking Hazard
October 8, 2009 Wooden Toys Recalled by Daiso Due to Choking Hazard
October 7, 2009 Daiso Recalls Children’s Toys, Purses and Pen Cases Due to Violation of Lead Paint and Phthalate Limits
August 27, 2009 Liquidation Outlet, Inc. Recalls Action Figure Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively at Dollar Stores
August 20, 2009 Weight Watchers Recalls Plush Hungry Figures and Magnets Due to Puncture Hazard
August 13, 2009 Little Tikes™ Recalls Children’s Toy Workshop Sets and Trucks Due to Choking Hazard
July 23, 2009 LeapFrog Recalls Electronic Plush Toys Due to Choking Hazard
July 21, 2009 LEGO Systems Announces Recall of Remote Controls Due to Burn Hazard
July 20, 2009 Evenflo Recalls Telephone Toys Due to Choking Hazard
July 9, 2009 American Greetings Corp. Recalls Sport Balls Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
May 14, 2009 Folding Toy Beach Chairs Recalled by Build-A-Bear Workshop Due to Laceration Hazard
April 30, 2009 Dinosaur Play Sets Recalled by DND Imports Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 17, 2009 Toy Maracas Recalled by Tupperware U.S. Due to Choking and Suffocation Hazards
April 1, 2009 Lakeshore Learning Materials Recalls Children’s Toy Boxes Due to Choking Hazard
March 26, 2009 State Farm® Recalls Good Neigh Bears® Due to Choking Hazard
March 13, 2009 Pure Fishing Recalls Children’s Fishing Games Due to Violation of Ban on Lead in Paint
March 11, 2009 Infantino Recalls Infant Toys Due to Choking Hazard
March 9, 2009 Various Toys Recalled by CBB Group Due to Choking Hazard and Violation of Lead Paint Standard
February 19, 2009 Evenflo Recalls Children’s Activity Centers Due to Fall Hazard
February 18, 2009 Old Navy Recalls Stuffed Toys; Button Eyes Can Detach and Pose a Choking Hazard to Young Children
February 13, 2009 Disney Store Recalls Toy Tool Sets Due to Choking Hazard
February 11, 2009 Toy Xylophones Recalled by The Land of Nod Due to Choking Hazard
February 10, 2009 Golfer’s Billiard Games Recalled by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 30, 2009 DDI Inc. Recalls Toy Construction Play Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 29, 2009 JAKKS Pacific® Recalls Spa Factory™ Aromatherapy Kits Due to Explosion and Projectile Hazards
January 16, 2009 Infantino Expands Recall of Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
January 15, 2009 Infantino Recalls Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
January 13, 2009 TDI International Recalls Toy Cars Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

2008 Toy Recalls

December 27, 2008 Tot Tower Blocks Recalled by eeBoo Corp.; Children’s Toy Can Pose Choking Hazard
December 23, 2008 Woodstock Percussion Inc. Recalls Toy Drums Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 17, 2008 Xtreme Toy Zone Recalls Toy Dinosaurs Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 3, 2008 OKK Trading Recalls Toy Army Figures Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 20, 2008 ImagiPLAY Recalls Bead Maze Toys Due to Laceration Hazard
November 19, 2008 Target Recalls Dive Sticks Due to Impalement Hazard
November 7, 2008 Schylling Associates Recalls Collectable Toy Robot Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 7, 2008 Schylling Associates Recalls Dizzy Ducks Music Box Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 7, 2008 Additional Spinning Top Recalled by Schylling Associates Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 4, 2008 OKK Trading Recalls Toy TVs Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 30, 2008 Wooden Toys Recalled by Earth Friendly Due To Choking Hazards
October 29, 2008 Halloween Figurines Recalled by Coyne’s & Company for Lead Hazard
October 23, 2008 Rage Wireless Guitars Used with Popular Video Gaming System Recalled Due to Chemical Burn Risk
October 20, 2008 Toy Boats Recalled Due to Burn Hazard
October 9, 2008 Hasbro Inc. Recalls to Repair Nerf Blasters; Child’s Skin Can Get Caught in Plunger of the Toy
September 30, 2008 Toy Boats Recalled by Buzz’s Boatyard Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 25, 2008 Toy Police Cars Recalled by TCB Imports Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 22, 2008 Wood Abacus Recalled by LTD Commodities LLC Due to Choking Hazard
September 11, 2008 Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Recalled by Protocol Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
August 28, 2008 Wooden Infant Toys Recalled by Habermaass Corp. Due to Choking Hazard
August 19, 2008 Hobbico Inc. Recalls Batteries Used In Radio-Controlled Helicopters Due to Fire Hazard
August 7, 2008 Fisher-Price Recalls Learning Pots and Pans™ Toys Due to Choking Hazard
July 29, 2008 Wooden Toys Recalled by Earthentree Due To Choking and Strangulation Hazards
July 25, 2008 Children’s Stuffed Toys Recalled By Daiso Due to Choking Hazard
July 25, 2008 Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Recalled by Innovage Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
July 24, 2008 Kids II Recalls Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
July 2, 2008 Redcat Racing Recalls Remote Controlled Toy Vehicles Due to Remote Control Defect
June 26, 2008 Westminster Inc. Recalls Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Due to Risk of Fire
June 5, 2008 eStyle Recalls Mini Chef Toy Kitchens Due to Choking and Tip-Over Hazards
May 31, 2008 Imaginarium Activity Centers Sold at Toys “R” Us Recalled Due to Choking Hazard
May 29, 2008 Kids Station Toys Recalls Little Tikes Toy Cell Phones Due to Choking Hazard
May 23, 2008 West Music Recalls Shaker Guiro Instruments Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
May 22, 2008 Floppy Friends Horse Toys Recalled by Toy Investments Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
May 22, 2008 Disney Store Recalls Tinker Bell Wands Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
May 20, 2008 Master Toys & Novelties Inc. Recalls Little Rider Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 16, 2008 Push Toys Recalled by Santa’s Toy Corp. Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 14, 2008 Hobby-Lobby Int’l Recalls Battery Chargers Used with Helicopters Due to Fire Hazard
April 9, 2008 OKK Trading Recalls Toy Robots Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
April 9, 2008 Children’s Board Book Sets Recalled By Dalmatian Press Due to Choking Hazard
April 9, 2008 Magnetic Dart Boards Recalled By Henry Gordy Int’l; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
April 8, 2008 Plush Insect Toys Recalled by Dollar Tree Stores Due to Choking Hazard
March 28, 2008 Plush Rocker Toys Recalled By Tek Nek Toys Due to Fall Hazard
March 26, 2008 Educational Insights Recalls Ring Toss Games Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
March 25, 2008 Plan Toys Inc. Recalls Toy Penguins Due to Laceration Hazard
March 21, 2008 Hobby Lobby Stores Recalls Easter Egg Containers and Spinning Egg Tops Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
March 20, 2008 Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively by QVC
March 18, 2008 MEGA Brands Recalls Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-School Magnetic Toys; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
March 18, 2008 Battat Recalls Magnetic Construction Sets; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
March 17, 2008 MEGA Brands Recalls MagnaMan Magnetic Action Figures; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
March 17, 2008 West Music Recalls Egg-Shaker Toy Instruments Due to Choking and Aspiration Hazards
March 14, 2008 Battat Recalls Additional Magnetic Construction Sets; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
March 14, 2008 Toy Sundae Sets Sold at Target Recalled by Battat Inc. Due to Choking Hazard
March 12, 2008 Toy Airplanes, Cars, and Motorcycles Recalled by S.U. Wholesale Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
February 22, 2008 Family Dollar Recalls Magnetic Dart Boards; Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
February 19, 2008 Cinderella Battery-Powered Toy Cars Recalled by Dumar International USA Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
February 13, 2008 Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys Recalled By Soft Air USA Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
February 5, 2008 Children’s Toy Gardening Rakes Recalled by Downeast Concepts; Violates Lead Paint Standard
January 31, 2008 Kids II Inc. Recalls Crib Toys Due to Choking Hazard
January 24, 2008 Toy Wooden Block and Train Sets Recalled By Christmas Tree Shops Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 23, 2008 Toy Racing Cars Recalled by OKK Trading Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 20, 2008 Sears and Kmart Recall Play Stoves Due to Tip-over Hazard
January 17, 2008 Cranium Cadoo Board Games Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 16, 2008 Toy Wrestler Figures Recalled by A.A. of America Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
January 4, 2008 Toy Wagons Recalled by Tricam Industries Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard

2007 Toy Recalls

December 21, 2007 Super Magnet Toys Recalled by MTC Due to Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
December 19, 2007 Stuffer Bear Recalled Due to Choking Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Victoria’s Secret Internet site
December 19, 2007 AAFES Recalls “Soldier Bear” Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 13, 2007 Children’s Toys Recalled by Dollar Tree Stores Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 13, 2007 Children’s Water Globes Recalled Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
December 13, 2007 Fishing Games Sold at Grocery Stores Recalled by Far East Brokers Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
December 5, 2007 Bell Racing Recalls Collectible Mini Racing Helmets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 22, 2007 Children’s Snow and Sand Castle Kits by Paricon Recalled Due to Sharp Edges; Sold Exclusively at LL Bean
November 13, 2007 Curious George Plush Dolls Recalled By Marvel Toys Due to Risk of Lead Exposure
November 8, 2007 Spin Master Recalls Aqua Dots – Children Became Unconscious After Swallowing Beads
November 7, 2007 Schylling Associates Recalls Duck Family Collectable Toy Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 7, 2007 Toy Cars Recalled by Dollar General Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 7, 2007 International Sourcing Ltd. Recalls Toy Dragster and Funny Car Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
November 6, 2007 Swimways Corp. Recalls “Skippy” Pool Toys Due to Laceration Hazard
November 6, 2007 Laugh & Learn™ Kitchen Toys Recalled by Fisher-Price Due To Choking Hazard
October 31, 2007 Toy Figures Recalled by Henry Gordy International Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 31, 2007 Toys “R” Us Recalls Elite Operations Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 31, 2007 SimplyFun Recalls Ribbit Board Games Due to Risk of Lead Exposure
October 25, 2007 Jo-Ann Stores Expands Recall of Children’s Toy Garden Tools Due to Violation of Lead in Paint Standard
October 25, 2007 Fisher Price Recalls Go Diego Go Boat Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 21, 2007 Dunkin’ Donuts Recalls Glow Sticks Due to Choking and Strangulation Hazards
October 19, 2007 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Recall of Toy Sets
October 18, 2007 The Gymboree Corp. Recalls Toy Swords Due to Breakage and Laceration Hazard
October 11, 2007 J.C. Penney Recalls Disney™ Winnie-the-Pooh Play Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 11, 2007 Bendable Dinosaur Toys Recalled by Kipp Brothers for Excessive Lead
October 7, 2007 CKI Recalls Children’s Decorating Sets Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard; Sold Exclusively at Toys “R” Us
October 4, 2007 Eveready Battery Co. Recalls Toy Flashlights Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 4, 2007 Kids II Recalls Baby Einstein Color Blocks Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 4, 2007 KB Toys Recalls Wooden Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
October 2, 2007 Target Recalls Plush Boys Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
September 28, 2007 Lan Enterprises Recalls Doll Strollers After Child’s Finger Tip was Severed; Product Also Poses an Entrapment Hazard to Young Children
September 26, 2007 Guidecraft Inc. Recalls Children’s Puppet Theaters Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 26, 2007 Children’s Toy Rakes Sold Exclusively at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Recalled Due to Violation of Lead in Paint Standard
September 26, 2007 RC2 Recalls Knights of the Sword Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 26, 2007 Target Recalls Children’s Toy Gardening Tools and Chairs Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 26, 2007 RC2 Corp. Recalls Additional Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 4, 2007 Fisher-Price Recalls Bongo Band Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 4, 2007 Fisher-Price Recalls Geo Trax Locomotive Toys Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
September 4, 2007 Mattel Recalls Various Barbie® Accessory Toys Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard
August 22, 2007 Thomas and Friends, Curious George and Other Spinning Tops and Tin Pails Recalled By Schylling Associates Due To Violation of Lead Paint Standard
August 21, 2007 Hampton Direct Recalls Magnetic Toy Train Sets Due to Lead Exposure Risk
August 14, 2007 Additional Reports of Magnets Detaching from Polly Pocket Play Sets Prompts Expanded Recall by Mattel
August 14, 2007 Mattel Recalls Doggie Day Care™ Magnetic Toys Due to Magnets Coming Loose
August 14, 2007 Mattel Recalls Barbie and Tanner™ Magnetic Toys Due to Magnets Coming Loose
August 14, 2007 Mattel Recalls “Sarge” Die Cast Toy Cars Due To Violation of Lead Safety Standard
August 14, 2007 Mattel Recalls Batman™ and One Piece™ Magnetic Action Figure Sets Due To Magnets Coming Loose
August 8, 2007 The Orvis Company Recalls Children’s Toys Sold with Sleeping Bags Due to Choking Hazard
August 2, 2007 Fisher-Price Recalls Licensed Character Toys Due To Lead Poisoning Hazard
July 28, 2007 Target Recalls Toy Barbeque Grills Due to Laceration Hazard
July 24, 2007 Risk of Explosion and Hearing Damage Prompts Recall of Remote Control Airplanes
July 19, 2007 New Easy-Bake Oven Recall Following Partial Finger Amputation; Consumers Urged to Return Toy Ovens
July 19, 2007 Infantino Recalls Children’s Toy Castles Due to Choking Hazard
July 18, 2007 AAFES Expands Recall of “Soldier Bear” Toy Sets Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
July 7, 2007 Serious Intestinal Injury Prompts Kipp Brothers Recall of Mag Stix Magnetic Building Sets
June 14, 2007 RC2 Corp. Recalls Various Thomas & Friends™ Wooden Railway Toys Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
June 7, 2007 Gemmy Industries Corp. Recalls Flashing Eyeball Toys Due to Chemical Hazard
May 30, 2007 Toy Drums Recalled by The Boyds Collection Ltd. Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
May 23, 2007 AAFES Recalls “Soldier Bear” Toy Sets Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
May 23, 2007 Tri-Star International Recalls Children’s Toys Due to Choking Hazard
May 18, 2007 Bookspan Recalls Discovery Bunny Books Due to Choking Hazard
May 17, 2007 Bookspan Recalls Clip-on Baby Books Due to Choking Hazard
May 3, 2007 Small World Toys Recalls Children’s Take-Apart Townhouse Toys; Detached Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
May 3, 2007 Battat Inc. Recalls Parents® Magazine Toy Cell Phones for Choking Hazard
May 2, 2007 Graco Children’s Products Recalls to Replace Soft Blocks Towers on Activity Centers Due to Choking Hazard
May 2, 2007 Target Recalls Anima Bamboo Collection Games Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard
April 19, 2007 Magnetix Magnetic Building Set Recall Expanded
April 11, 2007 Small World Toys Recalls Children’s Wooden Sound Puzzles with Knobs for Choking Hazard
April 4, 2007 Target Recalls Activity Cart Toys Due to Choking Hazard
April 4, 2007 OKK Trading Recalls Baby Dolls Due to Choking Hazard
March 28, 2007 Regent Products Corp. Recalls Stuffed Ball Toys Due to Lead Hazard
March 27, 2007 Estes-Cox Radio Control Airplanes with Lithium Polymer Batteries Recalled for Fire Hazard
March 27, 2007 Sportcraft Recalls Inflatable Bounce Houses Due to Impact Injury Hazard
March 18, 2007 Toys “R” Us Recalls “Elite Operations” Toy Sets Due to Lead and Laceration Hazards
March 15, 2007 Jazwares Inc. Recalls Link-N-Lite™ Magnetic Puzzles, Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
February 15, 2007 Fisher-Price Recalls “Laugh and Learn” Bunny Toys Due to Choking Hazard
February 13, 2007 Battery Packs for Toy Vehicles Recalled by JAKKS Pacific Due to Fire Hazard
February 6, 2007 Easy-Bake Ovens Recalled for Repair Due to Entrapment and Burn Hazards
January 18, 2007 Geometix International LLC Recalls MagneBlocks™ Toys, Ingested Magnets Pose Aspiration and Intestinal Hazards
January 18, 2007 Target Recalls Baby Rattles and Ornaments for Choking Hazard

2006 Toy Recalls

December 18, 2006 Remote-Control Helicopter Toys Recalled Due to Burn Hazard
December 15, 2006 Nintendo of America Initiates Replacement Program for Wrist Straps Used with Controllers for the Wii Video Game System
December 14, 2006 Wal-Mart Recalls Stuffed Christmas Beagles Due to Choking Hazard
December 13, 2006 BRIO Corp. Recalls Bell Rattles for Choking Hazard
November 21, 2006 Serious Injuries Prompt Recall of Mattel’s Polly Pocket Magnetic Play Sets
November 18, 2006 Target Recalls Various Toys Due to Lead and Laceration Hazards
November 15, 2006 Target Recalls “Play Wonder” Puzzle Tables for Choking and Laceration Hazards
November 9, 2006 Remote-Control Helix Micro Helicopter Toys Recalled for Burn Hazard
November 9, 2006 Gund Inc. Recalls Woodles™ Activity Toys for Choking Hazard
November 2, 2006 RC2 Recalls Toy Keys Due to Choking Hazard
October 18, 2006 Baby Cookie Monster Toys Sold with DVD at Wal-Mart Recalled for Choking Hazard
September 28, 2006 Suave Kids Bath Sets Sold at Wal-Mart Recalled for Choking, Other Hazards
September 22, 2006 Playskool Voluntarily Recalls Toy Tool Benches after the Death of Two Toddlers
September 20, 2006 LEGO Recalls Toy Trucks Due to Puncture Hazard to Young Children
September 7, 2006 LeapFrog Recalls to Repair Children’s Activity Centers Due to Arm Entrapment Hazard
August 30, 2006 Pool Toys Recalled by Wild Planet Toys Due to Risk of Impalement Injury to Children
August 22, 2006 Spin Master Radio-Controlled Toy Airplanes Sold Exclusively at Toys R Us Recalled for Burn Hazard
August 22, 2006 School Specialty Publishing Recalls Children’s Science Kits for Thermal Burn Hazard
August 17, 2006 Cage Bell Musical Instruments for Babies Recalled for Choking Hazard
August 17, 2006 Lead Poisoning Hazard Prompts Recall of Fun Express Children’s Toys Given Away at Libraries
August 10, 2006 Children’s Cooking Sets with Glass Lids Recalled for Laceration Hazard
August 5, 2006 Tiffany and Company Recalls Paloma Rattles for Aspiration, Laceration Hazards
July 5, 2006 Small World Toys Recalls Toy Vehicles for Choking Hazard
June 29, 2006 Electronic Toy Guitars Recalled, Small Parts Pose Choking Hazard
June 8, 2006 Ruby’s Diner Inc. Recalls Giveaway Yo-Yo Toy for Choking Hazard
May 2, 2006 Toy Phones Recalled for Choking Hazard
March 31, 2006 Child’s Death Prompts Replacement Program of Magnetic Building Sets
March 30, 2006 Children’s Jewelry Sold at American Girl Stores Recalled for Lead Poisoning Hazard
March 30, 2006 Radio Control Toy Trucks Sold by QVC Recalled for Fire Hazard
March 29, 2006 RadioShack Corp. Recalls Toy Pliers Due to Choking Hazard
March 8, 2006 BRIO® Corp. Recalls Pull-Along Snail Toy Due to Choking Hazard
March 2, 2006 Children’s Toy Jewelry Recalled Due to Aspiration Hazard
March 2, 2006 The Little Tikes Co. Recalls Animal-Shaped Flashlights Containing Lead Paint Sold at Target
February 24, 2006 Remote Control Flying Saucers Sold by QVC Recalled for Fire Hazard
February 23, 2006 Chicken Limbo Party Games Recalled After 23 Reports of Injuries
January 18, 2006 Fisher-Price Recalls Infant Musical Toy Chair Posing Strangulation Hazard

2005 Toy Recalls

December 14, 2005 Maxim Enterprise Inc. Recall of Mini Learning Cube Toys Sold at Target
December 8, 2005 Chuck E. Cheese’s Recall of Plastic Siren Whistles
November 22, 2005 International Playthings Inc. Recall of Toy Vehicles
November 22, 2005 International Playthings Inc. Recall of Viking Chubbies Toy Cars
November 10, 2005 American Greetings Corporation Recall of Fairy Wand Party Favors
October 27, 2005 Dorel Juvenile Group USA Recall to Repair Battery-Powered Ride-On Vehicles
September 19, 2005 Douglas Company Recall of Plush Toys
September 13, 2005 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Recall of Certain AC Adaptors Sold with Slim Version PlayStation® 2 Systems
August 26, 2005 Hidden Hills Productions, Inc. Recall of Floor Mat Map Games
August 19, 2005 Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. Recall of Toy Boxes
July 19, 2005 Target Recall of Children’s Toy Trucks
July 8, 2005 Pokémon USA Recall of Pokémon Plush Toys
June 20, 2005 Shakespeare Fishing Tackle Division Recall of Children’s Fishing Poles
June 16, 2005 Wal-Mart Stores and Infantino Recall of Fun Frog Soft Gyms
May 16, 2005 Pamela Drake Inc. Recall of Wooden Push Toys
May 10, 2005 Fisher-Price Recall of Push Toys
May 10, 2005 Fisher-Price Recall of Pogo Sticks
April 20, 2005 California International Trading Recall of Pacifiers and Two Electronic Toys
April 15, 2005 Zebco Recall of Children’s Fishing Poles
April 13, 2005 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Recall of Karaoke Cassette Player/Recorders
April 13, 2005 Baja Products Recall of My First Crayon-Balls™ and My First Crayon-Ball™ Activity Sets
March 3, 2005 QSP, Inc. Recall of Flying Saucer Toys
March 2, 2005 Ocean Desert Sales Inc. Recall of Children’s Stuffed Yarn Bunnies
February 25, 2005 Tiffany and Company Recall of Farm Teether Rattles
February 25, 2005 Dollar Tree Stores Inc. Recall of Electronic Musical Toys
February 16, 2005 Dollar General Corp. Recall of Dive Sticks
February 15, 2005 Wal-Mart Stores Recall of Reef Rocker Infant Toys
February 10, 2005 New Star Toys & Gifts Inc. Recall of Toy Cars
January 19, 2005 Kids Station Inc. Recall of Children’s Musical Drum Sets Sold Exclusively at Toys “R” Us
January 11, 2005 Riviera Trading Inc. Recall of Children’s Costume Bracelets

2004 Toy Recalls

December 29, 2004 AA Importer Inc. Recall of Push and Electronic Toys
October 22, 2004 International Playthings, Inc. Recall of Earlyears® Spirolly Rattle
October 21, 2004 Tai Tung International Recall of Car and Washing Machine Toys
September 9, 2004 Hasbro Inc. Recall of Monster Rockets
August 6, 2004 TOMY Company Recall of Pokémon Plush Toys
August 6, 2004 HearthSong Recall of Children’s Toy Balls
August 6, 2004 Determined Productions Recall of Plush Toys Sold at Kohl’s Department Stores
July 22, 2004 Kmart Corporation Recall of Pool Pump Water Guns
July 15, 2004 Recall of Summerville™ Toy Truck Sets
July 8, 2004 Recall of Metal Toy Jewelry Sold in Vending Machines
June 22, 2004 Lakeshore Learning Materials Recall of Doll Sets
June 15, 2004 Associated Electrics Inc. Recall of Battery Chargers for Radio Control Race Cars
June 9, 2004 Far East Brokers and Consultants Inc. Recall of Kiddie Car Cruisers Sold Exclusively at Big Y Stores
May 27, 2004 Front Porch Classics Recall of “Old Century Dread Pirate™” Coffee Table Games
May 13, 2004 DK Publishing Recall of Children’s Board Books with Sound Makers
April 20, 2004 Kids II Recall of Children’s Mirror Books
April 15, 2004 Mattel, Inc. Recall of BATMAN™ BATMOBILE™ Toy Vehicles
April 14, 2004 Tek Nek Toys Recall of Ride-On Toys
April 14, 2004 Nikko America Recall of Radio-Control Toy Trucks
March 30, 2004 Babies “R” Us and Playwell Recall of Snail Push Toys
March 4, 2004 FAO Schwarz Inc. Recall of Fire Engine Pull-Along Toys – Toys Must Be Returned by March 31 to Receive Refund
March 2, 2004 Brand Imports, LLC Recall of Children’s Rings
February 26, 2004 Schylling Associates Recall of Wooden Music Radio Boxes
February 19, 2004 Mary Meyer Recall To Replace Plush Spider Baby Toys
February 6, 2004 PlayWell Toy Company Recall of Activity Cubes
January 20, 2004 Hasbro Recall of NERF® Big Play Footballs™
January 20, 2004 K’NEX Industries Recall of Children’s Toys
January 15, 2004 Graco Children’s Products Recall of Bumble Bee Toys with Blue Antennae
January 14, 2004 Kindermusik International Recall of “Lily Pad Clacker” Instruments
January 1, 2004 Curiosity Kits Inc. Recall of Discovery Kids Pottery Wheel Kits Sold at Discovery Channel Stores

2003 Toy Recalls

December 29, 2003 Avon Products Inc. Recall to Repair Jack-In-the-Box Toys
December 12, 2003 First & Main Inc. Recall of Plush Toys
December 12, 2003 Schylling Associates Inc. Recall of More “Jack-In-the-Box” Type Toys
November 18, 2003 Schylling Associates Inc. Recall of Jack-In-the-Box-Type Toys
November 16, 2003 American Greetings Corp. Recall of Crazy Bounce Balls
November 7, 2003 Advantage Publishers Group Recall of Children’s Activity Books
November 6, 2003 BRIO® Recall of Toy Drums
October 29, 2003 Neurosmith Recall of Children’s Plush Toys
October 9, 2003 Magic Cabin Recall of Wooden Toy Cars
September 24, 2003 Results of Investigation of Yo-Yo Water Ball Toys
September 10, 2003 L.M. Becker & Co. Inc. Recall of Toy Necklaces
August 21, 2003 CDX Trading Inc. Recall of Toy Jets
August 4, 2003 HearthSong Recall of “Happyvillagers” Toy Sets
August 4, 2003 MagicCabin Recall of Toy Trucks
July 31, 2003 International Playthings Inc. Recall of Toy Stacking Rings
July 2, 2003 Small Small World Recall of “Egg Dippers” Easter Plush Toys
July 2, 2003 JAKKS Pacific Recall of “Spit Smatter” Spray Foam
June 19, 2003 Fisher-Price Recall of Crib Mobile Toys
May 22, 2003 The Step2 Company Recall of Toy Drumsticks
May 22, 2003 International Playthings Inc. Recall of Toy Vehicles
May 19, 2003 Swimways Corp. Recall of Pool Dive Sticks
April 23, 2003 Fisher-Price Recall of Little People® Animal Sounds Farms
April 17, 2003 Battat Recall of Drumsticks Sold with Toy Drum Sets
April 15, 2003 Playskool Recall of Magic Start Crawl ‘n Stand Toys
April 8, 2003 TNT Fireworks Recall of Party Popper
April 4, 2003 Learning Curve Int’l Inc. Recall of Lamaze Activity Toys
April 3, 2003 Dollar Tree Stores Inc. Recall of Plush Bears and Snowman Dolls
March 30, 2003 Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Recall of Woody Dolls
February 27, 2003 The Betesh Group Recall of “Busy Bug” Plush Toys
February 25, 2003 BRIO Recall of Toy Trumpet
February 20, 2003 Playnation Play Systems Recall of “Fun Buckets” on Backyard Play Sets

2002 Toy Recalls

December 27, 2002 Kmart Recall of Wooden Toy Vehicles
December 23, 2002 Lovee Doll & Toy Co Recall of Talking Dolls
December 20, 2002 Zutano Recalls Stuffed Bunny Toys
November 21, 2002 Disney Store Recall of Monsters, Inc. Character Plush Dolls
November 15, 2002 Halo Burger Recall of Flashlights and Batteries Sold in Kids Meals
November 12, 2002 Eveready Battery Co. Inc. Recall of Kidz Club Flashlights
October 17, 2002 IKEA Recall of Stuffed Teddy Bears
October 10, 2002 BRIO® Corporation Caterpillar Pull Toy Recall
October 10, 2002 Dollar Tree Stores Inc. Stuffed Pool Animal Recall
October 10, 2002 Dollar Tree Stores Inc. Toy Sponge Recall
September 18, 2002 Chicago Bears Bobble Head Figurine Recall
July 25, 2002 Pottery Barn Kids Wooden Clacker and Ride-On Toys Recall
July 25, 2002 Radio Flyer Inc. Steering Wheel on Toy Car Recall
July 25, 2002 Small World Toys Sorter Toys Recall
July 25, 2002 Lauri® Inc. Toddler Activity Sets and Puzzles Recall
July 25, 2002 BRIO® Corporation and Small World Toys Snail Pull Toy Recall
June 18, 2002 Radio Flyer Inc. Repair Ride-On Push Cars Recall
June 12, 2002 Graco Toy Track on Activity Centers Recall
June 12, 2002 Little Tikes Pop ‘n Scoot Ride-on Toys Recall
June 6, 2002 Megatech Recall of Rechargeable Battery Packs for Radio Controlled Airplanes
June 1, 2002 Kolcraft Toy Steering Wheels Sold on Strollers Recall
June 1, 2002 Prestige Toy Recall of Duckie Ring Rattle/Teethers
May 31, 2002 Lands’ End Recall of Soft Farm Set
May 31, 2002 Southern Wood Products Recall of Children’s Toy Box
May 30, 2002 The Sportsman’s Guide Announce Recall of the Big Red Wagon
May 30, 2002 California Company Agrees to Pay $125,000 Fine for Importing Illegal Toys
May 25, 2002 Spin Master Toy Plane Recall
April 2, 2002 Discovery Toys Recall of Children’s Toy
March 14, 2002 Rose Art Children’s Soap Making Kit Recall
February 21, 2002 Replacement Instructions for Graco Activity Trays
February 20, 2002 Unilever Recall of Plush Snuggle® Bears
February 20, 2002 Alpha International Recall of Pedal Cars

2001 Toy Recalls

December 12, 2001 Kids II Inc. Recall of Pop Links Toys
December 12, 2001 Baby Buzz’r International Recall of Toy Baby Buzz’r
December 6, 2001 BRIO® Corp. Recall of Curious George Toys
December 1, 2001 Lite Machines Recall of Motor Speed Controller
November 28, 2001 Manley Toy Direct Zapper Toys Recall
November 28, 2001 KB Gear Toy Car Computer Mouse Set Recall
November 28, 2001 HandsOnToys, Inc. Rattle Recall
November 20, 2001 JA-RU “Blast Balls” Toy Recall
November 6, 2001 Candlewick Press Recall Children’s Board Books
October 31, 2001 Sassy Rattle Recall
October 23, 2001 Discovery Toys Children’s Toy Phone Recall
October 15, 2001 Palliser Furniture Ltd. Recall Toy Boxes
September 6, 2001 Racing Champions Ertl, Inc. Recall Children’s Toy Toolboxes
September 6, 2001 Kids II Recall Butterfly Baby Toys
August 20, 2001 STK International Recall Children’s Toys
August 20, 2001 XL Machine Ltd. Recall Dollhouse Furniture Sets
July 31, 2001 Burger King and Alcone Recall of Two Kids Meal Toys
July 31, 2001 Burger King and Alcone Kid’s Meal Toy Recall
July 23, 2001 Inca Imports Recall Stuffed Bears
July 11, 2001 Toy Feeding Sets Recalled by Imperial Toy Corp.
July 11, 2001 Toy Kittens Recalled by DSI Toys
July 2, 2001 Preschool Toys Recalled by Chicco USA Inc.
June 19, 2001 Remote Controlled Toy Race Car and Galileo Weather Thermometer Recalls
June 19, 2001 Remote Controlled Toy Race Car and Galileo Weather Thermometer Recalls
June 13, 2001 BRIO® Recall of Toy Baking Sets
May 24, 2001 Push’n Pop Toys Recalled by Raymond Geddes & Co. Inc. of Baltimore, Md.
May 22, 2001 Spin Master Toys Recall of Water Rocket Toys
May 10, 2001 Unilever Home and Personal Care USA Recall of Snuggle® Teeny Bean Bears Included with Fabric Softener
April 26, 2001 Creative Consumer Concepts Inc. and Whataburger Inc. Recall of Kid’s Meal Toys
March 29, 2001 Fisher-Price Recalls Infant and Toddler Toys
March 19, 2001 Zapper Toys Recalled by Eight Firms
March 19, 2001 Children’s Wands Recalled by Meijer Inc.
March 13, 2001 Radica USA Ltd. Recalls Baseball Video Games to Replace Bats
March 5, 2001 McDonald’s “Scooter Bug” Happy Meal Toy Recall
March 1, 2001 Toy Drums Recalled by Eden LLC
March 1, 2001 Educational Games Recalled by Lakeshore Learning Materials
March 1, 2001 Children’s Brooms Recalled by EMSCO Inc.
February 21, 2001 BarbieTM Sunglasses Recalled by IMT Accessories
February 8, 2001 “Planet Discovery” Kid’s Meal Toy Recalled by Chick-fil-A Inc.
February 8, 2001 Toy Vehicles recalled by Supreme Toys
February 7, 2001 Wooden Dog Pull Toys Recalled by Pottery Barn Kids
January 19, 2001 “Busy School Bus” Toys Recall/Replacement by Playskool

2000 Toy Recalls

December 28, 2000 Bath Toys Voluntary Recalled to Remove Squirting Fish by Sassy, Inc.
December 13, 2000 Stuffed Toys Recalled by Pier 1 Imports
December 13, 2000 Firms Announce Recall of Stuffed Animal
December 11, 2000 CPSC, LeapFrog Announce Recall to Repair “Alphabet Pal” Educational Pull Toys
December 8, 2000 CPSC, Playskool Announce Recall of Additional 170,000 Busy Poppin’ Pals Toys
November 21, 2000 Plush Rabbit Toys Recalled by Small Small World
November 16, 2000 Curious George Musical Pull Toys Recalled by Prestige Toy Corp.
November 2, 2000 Toy Xylophones by Dolgencorp Recalled
October 30, 2000 “John Lennon” Crib Mobiles by the Betesh Group Recalled
September 26, 2000 Toy Bars Recalled by Maya
September 14, 2000 Klackeroo Infant Toys Recalled by Playskool
August 29, 2000 Toys Included with Kids Meals Recalled by Fazoli’s
August 24, 2000 “Get Up & Go” Toy Walkers Recalled by Fisher-Price
August 16, 2000 Busy Poppin’ Pals Toys Recalled by Playskool
August 11, 2000 Tangled Treeples Toys Included in Kids Meal Recalled by KFC
July 25, 2000 Plush Shape Sorters and Stacking Toys Recalled by Gymboree
July 21, 2000 Children’s Play Tables Recalled by Shelcore
July 21, 2000 Caterpillar Toys Recalled by Child GuidanceTM
July 21, 2000 Baby Jumper Seats & Construction Toys Recalled by Fisher-Price
July 12, 2000 Doll Feeding Sets Recalled by Dollar Tree
June 30, 2000 Toy Cars Recalled by Kellogg
June 28, 2000 Sky Dancers® Flying Dolls Recalled by Galoob®
June 27, 2000 Spinning Ride Toys Recalled by Today’s Kids
June 22, 2000 Toy Baby Phone Recalled by Vtech
June 1, 2000 Children’s Picnic Sets Recalled by Mervyn’s
May 25, 2000 Tweety Rattles and Sandals Recalled by Warner Bros. Studio
May 10, 2000 Wooden Stacking Toys Recalled By Jack Rabbit Creations
March 22, 2000 Precious Keepsakes Rattle Recalled by Russ Berrie & Co.
March 20, 2000 Bead Coaster Recalled by Maxim Enterprise and Zany Brainy
February 8, 2000 Enchanted Garden Inchworm Pull Toys Recalled by Manhattan Group
February 8, 2000 Race Car Collectibles Recalled by Action Performance Companies
February 4, 2000 Toy Chests Recalled by Thornwood Furniture Manufacturing
January 13, 2000 Skateboard Keychains Sold With Teddy Bears Recalled by Vermont Teddy Bear

1999 Toy Recalls

December 28, 1999 Pokemon Balls Recalled by Burger King
December 21, 1999 Magnet Games Recalled by Safari
December 17, 1999 “Selecta” Wooden Toys Recalled by Käthe Kruse Doll Co.
October 11, 1999 CPSC, Gateway Announce Recall of Foam Rubber Toy Cows
September 29, 1999 Ohio Company Sentenced for Selling Recalled Toys
September 22, 1999 Toy Flashlights Recall
September 3, 1999 Precious Moments® Tender Tails® Stuffed Toys Recalled by Enesco
August 19, 1999 General Mills Recalling Mini-projector Flashlights
August 6, 1999 CPSC, Tiger Electronics, Ltd. Announce Recall to Replace “Pooh Poppin’ Piano” Toys
August 4, 1999 CPSC, Toys “R” Us Announce Recall of “Bathtub Baby” Doll Sets
June 25, 1999 CPSC, Firms Announce Swimming Pool Dive Stick Recall Because of Impalement Risk to Children
June 24, 1999 CPSC, Hasbro Announce Recall to Repair Star WarsTM LightsaberTM Toys
June 17, 1999 CPSC, Restoration Hardware Inc. Announce Recall of Stuffed Sock Monkeys
June 15, 1999 CPSC, Firms Announce Recalls of Toys
June 7, 1999 Beanbags Sold With Barney™ Hopscotch Game Towels Recalled by Franco
May 6, 1999 Firms Announce Recall of Wooden Shape Sorter Toys
March 26, 1999 Colorbök Announce Recall of Blue’s Clues™ Toy Notebooks
March 24, 1999 Peg Perego Announce Recall of Children’s Riding Vehicles
March 18, 1999 Safari Ltd. Announce Recall of Toy Puzzles
March 9, 1999 Chariot Victor Publishing Announce Recall of VeggieTales’ Dave and the Giant Pickle Playset

1998 Toy Recalls

December 22, 1998 CPSC, Manufacturers Announce Recall to Replace Toy and Youth Basketball Nets
December 22, 1998 Toy Manufacturers Announce Recall to Replace Toy Basketball Nets
December 14, 1998 Summer Infant Products Inc. Announce Recall of Crib Rail Toys
October 22, 1998 Fisher-Price Announce Recall to Repair Power Wheels Ride-On Battery-Powered Vehicles
October 15, 1998 Playwell Toy Announce Recall of Xylophone Mallets
October 8, 1998 CPSC, Kmart Corp. Announce Recall of Inflatable Baby Floats
September 2, 1998 CPSC, Tara Toy Corp. Announce Recall of Flying Dolls
July 28, 1998 CPSC, Almar Sales Co. Announce Recall of Children’s Jewelry Sets
July 23, 1998 CPSC, Crate & Barrel Announce Recall to Repair Toy Chests
July 16, 1998 CPSC, T.S. Toys Announce Recall of Activity Block Sets
July 10, 1998 CPSC, In-Mar Trading Inc. Announce Recall of Jet Fighter Toy and Various Squeak Toys
June 30, 1998 CPSC, Laiko International Announce Recall of Knock-A-Block Wooden Toy
June 30, 1998 CPSC, Michael Friedman Corp. Announce Recall of Rattles
June 25, 1998 CPSC, STK International Announce Recall of Baby Rattles
June 11, 1998 CPSC and Safety 1st Announce Recall to Replace Bouncing Buggy Toys
June 9, 1998 CPSC, KB ToysTM Announce Recall of Bubble BeautiesTM Floating Balls
June 2, 1998 CPSC, Oscar Mayer Announce Recall to Replace Decals on Pedal Cars Because of Lead Hazard
May 18, 1998 CPSC, Payless ShoeSource Announce Recall of Child’s Novelty Purses
May 8, 1998 CPSC, Arby’s Announce Recall of Toy Saxophones
April 28, 1998 CPSC and Sanrio Inc. Announce Recall of Mascot Plushes Animal Toys
April 9, 1998 CPSC, Atico International Announce Recall of “Eyeball” and Smiley Face Floating Balls
April 8, 1998 CPSC, Warner Bros. Stores Announce Recall of Tweety Key Rings
March 2, 1998 CPSC, Fisher-Price Announce Recall of Infant Toys
February 20, 1998 CPSC, The First Years Announce Recall to Repair High Chair Gym Toys
February 17, 1998 CPSC, Rite Aid Corp. Announce Recall of Two Flying Dolls
January 30, 1998 CPSC, Effanbee Doll Company Announce Recall of Miniature Rocking Chairs
January 28, 1998 CPSC, Nancy Sales Co. Inc. Announce Recall of Bean Bag Crab Toys

1997 Toy Recalls

December 24, 1997 CPSC, Toys “R” Us Announce Recall of Children’s Soap Craft Set
November 6, 1997 CPSC, BRIO Announce Recall of Wooden Clown Toys to Replace Hats
November 6, 1997 CPSC, STK International Announce Recall of Clock Tambourine Toys
October 30, 1997 CPSC, Novi Kids Announce Recall of Halloween Bounce Balls
October 13, 1997 CPSC, Nadel & Sons Toy Corp. Announce Recall of Stuffed Bears
October 8, 1997 CPSC, Al-Dan Trading Inc. Announce Recall of Wooden Vehicle Toys
October 7, 1997 CPSC, Multiple Firms Announce Recall of Children’s Toy Jewelry
October 2, 1997 CPSC, United Tradeline Announce Recall of Toy “Hot Pet Car”
August 27, 1997 CPSC, Placo Announce Recall of Star Wonders Flying Dolls
August 18, 1997 CPSC and Kreiner Imports Announce the Recall of Kinder Chocolate Eggs Containing Toys
July 17, 1997 CPSC, Ohio Art Company Announce Recall of Splash Off Water Rockets
July 16, 1997 CPSC, Al-Dan Trading Inc. Announce Recall of Infant Toys
July 10, 1997 CPSC, Creative Products Inc. Announce Recall of Toy Jewelry Sets
June 19, 1997 CPSC, Klutz Inc. Announce Recall of Chinese Jump Ropes
June 12, 1997 CPSC, IKEA Announce Recall of Stuffed Animals
May 19, 1997 CPSC, Fisher-Price Announce Recall of Toy Police Cars
May 2, 1997 CPSC and The Mazel Co. Announce Teddy Bear Recall
April 17, 1997 CPSC, Etna Products Inc. Announce Recall of Wooden Toy Cars
April 17, 1997 CPSC and Division Sales Inc. Announce Wooden Toy Truck
April 16, 1997 CPSC, Playskool Announce Recall of “Weebles Tractor” Toys
April 15, 1997 CPSC, Catton Brothers Corp. Announce Recall of Disney Babies Romper Sets for Boys and Girls
March 10, 1997 CPSC and Determined Productions Inc. Announce Recall of Wendy’s Felix the Cat Roller Fun Balls
January 29, 1997 CPSC, Tonka Announce Recall of Soft Walkin’ Wheels Toy Vehicles
January 15, 1997 CPSC and Division Sales Announce Recall of Baby Buzz Infant Toys
January 6, 1997 Cabbage Patch Kids® Snacktime Kids Dolls Refunded by Mattel
January 6, 1997 CPSC and Dairy Queen Recall Toy Water Batons

1996 Toy Recalls

December 24, 1996 CPSC and MDK Inc. Recall Model Trains
December 23, 1996 CPSC and PriceCostco Recall Animated Santa
December 17, 1996 CPSC and Importers Announce Recall of Toys and Rattle
November 26, 1996 Price Stern Sloan Announce Exploring Nature Science Activity Kit Recall
November 13, 1996 Dolgencorp Inc. Announce Recall of Toy Telephones
October 24, 1996 Direct Source International Announce Plastic Halloween Bucket Recall
October 21, 1996 CPSC and Radio Flyer Announce Recall of Little Wood Wagon
September 11, 1996 CPSC and Gerber Products Co. Announce “Flip Fingers Rattle” Recall
August 1, 1996 CPSC and Christmas Tree Shops Announce Toy Truck Recall
July 19, 1996 CPSC and Kids II Announce Recall of SnackTime Stroller Toy Bar
June 26, 1996 Hedstrom Issue Safety Warning for My Pet Bear Ride-On Toy
June 11, 1996 CPSC and Gibson Greetings Announce Stuffed Animal Recall
May 30, 1996 CPSC and Man’s Trading Co. Announce Recall of Rolling Clock Push Toy
May 15, 1996 CPSC and Jade Express Inc. Announce Baby Rattle Set Recall
May 6, 1996 Dan-Dee International Announce Teddy Bear Recall
April 23, 1996 CPSC and Playskool Issue Safety Alert for Moon Bouncer
April 11, 1996 CPSC and Toy-O-Rama Announce Stuffed Animal Recall
April 2, 1996 The Americas Wooden Armadillo and Turtle Recall
March 19, 1996 Division Sales Announce Wooden Caterpillar Recall
February 22, 1996 CPSC and Everything’s A Dollar Announce Toy Truck Recall
January 16, 1996 Tuesday Morning Inc. Announce Cobbler Bench Toy Recall

1995 Toy Recalls

December 22, 1995 Little Tikes Co. Announce Toddle Tots Dinosaur Mountain Playset Recall
December 20, 1995 Just Toys To Recall “Quick N’ Easy Micro-Bake”
December 19, 1995 Division Sales, Inc. Announce Wooden Toy Truck Recall
December 19, 1995 Accoutrements Announce Squeak Toy Recall
December 18, 1995 Gymboree Announce “Gymrattle” Recall
December 6, 1995 CPSC and Charpente Announce Pull Toy Recall
December 5, 1995 Imperial Toy Corporation Announce Toy Recall
November 14, 1995 Fao Schwarz Announce Children’s Sewing Board Recall
September 21, 1995 Small World Toys Announce Toy Bracelet, Vehicle Recall
July 28, 1995 Four Seasons General Merchandise Announce Pull Toy, Paper Weight, and Liquid Timer Recalls
May 26, 1995 CPSC and Dakin Inc. Urge Consumers To Remove Small Pom Poms
May 19, 1995 Consolidated Stores Corp. Announce Mini Puzzle Recall
March 22, 1995 Sanitoy Announce Recall Of “Rolling Ball Rattle-Teether”
March 22, 1995 Division Sales Announce Recall Of Funtasty Speed Boat Toy
March 22, 1995 Zoll Woodworks Announce Recall Of “Fudge Pop” and “Lolly Pop” Rattles
March 22, 1995 CPSC and Hebron Imports Announce Pom Pom Drum Toy Recall
March 22, 1995 CPSC and The Bazaar Inc. Announce Recall Of Vinyl Squeeze Toys
March 9, 1995 Patagonia Inc. Announce Penguino Stuffed Toy Recall
February 23, 1995 Arcotoys Announce Disney Play ‘N Pop Activity Toy Recall
February 10, 1995 CPSC and Dan Brechner Announce The Recall Of Toy Bracelets and Wooden Dump Trucks
February 6, 1995 Wompkee Inc. Announce Recall Of “Wompkee” Stuffed Doll
January 25, 1995 CPSC and Kenner Announce Recall Of “Colorblaster” 3-D Spray Art Toy
January 19, 1995 Dollar Tree Stores Announce Wooden Toy Truck Recall

1994 Toy Recalls

December 21, 1994 CPSC and Jade Express Inc. Recall Baby Rattle Sets
December 21, 1994 CPSC, Target Stores Recall Inflatable Snoopy Christmas Toys
December 19, 1994 CPSC and M. Pressner & Co. Recall Toy Necklace
December 19, 1994 Kidpower Recalls Cars In “Zap Zap Racetrack” Sets
December 19, 1994 Amscan Recall of Bracelet and Necklace Party Favor Toys
December 1, 1994 Small World Toys Recalls Two Toy Necklaces
December 1, 1994 Kid Dimension Inc. Recalls “Littlest Pet Shop Tea Set”
December 1, 1994 Big Save International Corp. Recalls Toy “Play Tool Truck”
December 1, 1994 Imaginarium Recalls Toy “Fun Music Center”
November 15, 1994 Black & Decker Recalls Surge The Reversible Shar-Pei Dog Hand Puppet; Possible Choking Hazard
November 3, 1994 The Berton Company Recalls Infant Toy “Roll-Back Toy”
November 3, 1994 Four Seasons General Merchandise Recalls Educational Toys
November 1, 1994 CPSC and Wholesale Warehousing Recall Toy Truck
October 28, 1994 Link & Pan Of Texas Inc. and CPSC Recall Stuffed Bears
October 20, 1994 Stacking Toy Recalled For Choking Hazard Risk
October 17, 1994 Parents Urged To Remove Pom-Pom From Santa Barney; Choking Risk Cited
September 7, 1994 Shure Products, Toys R Us Recall Art Set With Lead Poisoning Hazard
August 1, 1994 Star Sales Company Inc. Recalls “Baby Snack” and “Boat and Trailer” Toy Sets
May 31, 1994 “Surprise Party Time Ball” Toy Contains Look-Alike–Drug Capsules
May 26, 1994 Candy Filled Toy Funglasses Are A Choking Hazard
May 26, 1994 Etna Products Company, Inc. Recalls Toy Wagon Due To Choking and Lead Hazard
May 24, 1994 Toy Puzzles Recalled Due To Potential Choking Hazard
May 17, 1994 Baby’s Bucket-Sorting Toys Recalled Due To Potential Choking Hazards
May 17, 1994 Toy Bi-Plane Recalled Due To Potential Choking Hazards
May 6, 1994 Colbert Collection Recalls Wooden Armadillos
April 22, 1994 172,000 Children’s “Thunderbat” Noisemaker Plastic Bats Recalled
April 5, 1994 CPSC Announces Recalls Of Imported Crayons Because Of Lead Poisoning Hazard
March 22, 1994 Certain Crayons Recalled by Concord Enterprises
March 1, 1994 Pier 1 Imports Recalls Pull Toys
February 8, 1994 Reeves International, Inc. Recalls Kouvalias Music Toy Due To Potential Choking Hazards
January 31, 1994 Dillon Importing Company Recalls Toy Jewelry

1993 Toy Recalls

September 28, 1993 Toy Racing Cars Recalled by Mccrory & Crest Industries
August 27, 1993 Oriental Trading Company, Inc. Recalls Five Toys
August 17, 1993 Fisher-Price Recalls Kiddicraft Racing Rover Car
August 13, 1993 Fisher-Price Recalls Snuggle Light Doll
July 20, 1993 New York Firm Recalls Toy Police Car and Dumper
June 24, 1993 Toy Helicopters Recalled by Suarez Toy House
June 8, 1993 San Pacific International, Inc. Recalls Bamm-Bamm’s Drum & Flute Toy
May 24, 1993 Playskool Inc. Announces Recall Of Its Playskool Teddy Bear
May 5, 1993 Coynes, Inc. Recalls Musical Cordless Toy Telephone
April 12, 1993 Taco Bell Corp. Announces Voluntary Recall Of Promotional Items
April 5, 1993 Palkar Recalls Plastic Building Blocks Sold In Toys “R” Us Stores
March 29, 1993 Brik Toy Company Recalls “The 3-In-1 Construction Table” Due To Potential Choking Hazard
March 4, 1993 Lead Paint Hazard Found In Four Children’s Puzzles
February 24, 1993 Wang’s International, Inc. Recalls Wooden Christmas Toy Trucks Due To Choking Hazard
February 8, 1993 Mccrory Corporation Recalls Sweet Family Blessings Baby Doll
January 7, 1993 Lights, Camera, Interaction!, Inc. Recalls Fuzzy Puzzles

1992 Toy Recalls

November 23, 1992 Value Merchants Inc. Recalls Patty and Her Puppy and Triplet Dolls
November 16, 1992 Handi-Craft Company Recalls Three Toys
September 24, 1992 Toys R Us Recalls Magic Feeding Bottles
September 9, 1992 Target Stores Recalls “My First Buddys Pop Pop Cars” Due To Potential Choking and Aspiration Hazards
September 8, 1992 The Dollywood Company Recalls Plastic Rattle & Flute Toy Due To Choking Hazard
August 18, 1992 Creative Products, Inc. Recalls Lovely Sonny Doll Due To Choking Hazard
July 31, 1992 T.P.I. Of Illinois, Inc. Recalls Three Toys
July 30, 1992 Lord Howards Inc. Recalls Toy Helicopters
July 13, 1992 Everything’s A Dollar, Inc. Recalls Toy Wooden Block Truck Due To Choking Hazard
June 11, 1992 Toy Power, Inc. Recalls Two Toys Because Of Potential Aspiration and Choking Hazards
June 2, 1992 Choking Hazard Prompts Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. To Recall Bunny On A Stick
May 28, 1992 Chilton-Globe, Inc. Recalls Evenflo Mini Nursers Doll Care Set Due To Choking Hazard
May 26, 1992 M. Ginsburg & Co. Recalls Toy Nursing Bottle Due To Choking Hazard
May 26, 1992 Everything’s A Dollar, Inc. Recalls Fish Style Jolly Rattles Due To Choking Hazard
May 18, 1992 Toy Bunny Rabbits Recalled
May 8, 1992 CPSC and Mcdonald’s Notice Of Doc Delorean Exchange
April 6, 1992 Aldi, Inc. Recalls Mykids Bump-And-Go-Wonder Loco Due To Choking Hazard
April 6, 1992 Tara Toy Corporation Recalls Sesame Street Push Power Toys
March 18, 1992 Blue Box Toys Inc. Recalls Activity Water Ball
January 16, 1992 Hyman Products, Inc. Recalls Jingle Bell Cat & Jingle Bell Dog Due To Choking Hazard
January 10, 1992 North American Bear Company Recalls Two Stuffed Animals

1991 Toy Recalls

December 31, 1991 Value Merchants, Inc. Recalls Symphony Loco Train
December 26, 1991 Tara Toy Corporation Recalls Sesame Street Nursery Set
December 24, 1991 Jak Pak, Inc. Recalls Rain Or Shine Dolls
December 24, 1991 Mccrory Corporation Recalls Play Cars Because Of Choking Hazard
December 19, 1991 Water Toys Recalled
December 11, 1991 Aprica Ride-On Toy Recalled
December 5, 1991 Infant Playmats and Stuffed Skunk Toys Recalled
November 18, 1991 Mattel Voluntarily Recalls Disney Poppin’ Sounds Pull Train
November 14, 1991 Ranger International Corp. Recalls Wooden Puzzles
November 4, 1991 LJN “Sling ‘Em-Fling ‘Em” Wrestling Ring Toy Recalled
October 29, 1991 Wal-Mart Recalls Plastic Halloween Toy Trumpets
September 5, 1991 SLM Corporation Recalls Toy Motorized Zippers Airplanes
August 12, 1991 600,000 Toy Nursing Bottles Recalled
July 30, 1991 Lederer Industries Recalls Wisdom Blocks Train Set
July 22, 1991 Unitrade Marketing Group Recalls Peg Pounder
June 20, 1991 Mccrory Corporation Recalls Funny Zig-Zag Copter and Wind-Up Circus Wagon
June 20, 1991 Star Sales Company Recalls Teddy Pet With Cassette
June 18, 1991 Remco Baby, Inc. Recalls Roll Back Wheel Toy
May 30, 1991 TDT Toy Company Recalls Plastic Telephones Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
May 29, 1991 Nylint Corporation Recalls Thomas The Tank Engine Toys
May 29, 1991 Stuffed Bunnies Recalled
May 28, 1991 Harco, Inc. Recalls Rescue Truck
April 2, 1991 Faratak, Inc. Recalls Musical Dolls Due To Potential Choking Hazards
March 28, 1991 Bee International Recalls Ma and Baby Bunny Due To Choking Hazard
March 28, 1991 Direct Connection, Inc. Recalls Musical Dolls Due To Choking Hazard
March 27, 1991 U.S. Toy Company, Inc. Recalls Four Toys Because Of A Potential Choking Hazard
March 22, 1991 Kellogg Company Recalls Bunny Rabbit Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
March 19, 1991 Inventory Liquidators Corp. Recalls Action Copter Happy Bird and Action Land-Cruiser Wanderer
March 18, 1991 Chadwick-Miller, Inc. Recalls Toy Train Due To Choking Hazard
February 11, 1991 Musical Rocking Horse Recalled

1990 Toy Recalls

September 6, 1990 E. Fomil & Sons, Inc. Recalls Eight Toys
September 6, 1990 Woolworth Recalls 34,000 “Pom Pom Animals”
September 6, 1990 Mccrory Stores, Inc. Recalls Toy Car Because Of Choking Hazard
July 31, 1990 New York Importer Announces Refund Program For “Funny Clown” Dressing Doll
July 11, 1990 Replacement Program For Sesame Street Rhythm Band Set
July 3, 1990 Artsana Of America Inc. Recalls Decoy Duck Pull Toys
June 14, 1990 Tai Tung International, Inc. Recalls Musical Ice Cream Vans and Lovely Dolls
June 14, 1990 Acme Premium Supply Corporation Recalls Siren Whistles
June 4, 1990 General Toys Recalls Wind-Up Toys
May 23, 1990 Playskool Offers Free Gift For Busy Elephant Cord; Entanglement Risk Cited
May 21, 1990 San Francisco Music Box Company Recalls Plush Animals Because Of Choking Hazard
May 16, 1990 Small World Toys Recalls 262 Spinflower Rattles
May 12, 1990 Toy Public Telephone Recalled By Goldwell International
May 9, 1990 Target Stores Recalls Trucks and Dolls Because Of Choking Hazards
April 18, 1990 Oriental Trading Company, Inc. Recalls Two Wooden Trains Because Of Choking Hazard
April 18, 1990 Henry Gordy International Recalls Eggscavators Toy Trucks
April 16, 1990 Easy Aces, Inc. Recalls Boo Pumpkins Because Of Dangerous Small Parts
April 3, 1990 Hasbro, Inc. Recalls “Love A Bye Baby”
March 29, 1990 Toys “R” Us, Inc. Recalls Press’n Roll Boat Because Of Potential Choking Hazard
March 29, 1990 Toys Recalled Due To Potential Choking Hazard
March 28, 1990 Activity Center Recalled
March 28, 1990 Sandberg Manufacturing Company Recalls Caterpillar Pull Toys
March 26, 1990 International Marketing Source, Inc. Recalls 600 Alphabet Block Sets
March 20, 1990 Riding Rabbit Wind-Up Toy Recalled
February 14, 1990 Hayes Siren Whistles Recalled
January 23, 1990 Dennis Foland Inc. Merchandising Service Recalls Chuck E. Cheese Tambourine
January 22, 1990 The Mitchell Import Company Recalls Siren Whistle Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazard

1989 Toy Recalls

December 14, 1989 JA-RU Offers To Replace Parts Of Play To Learn Furniture Set
November 21, 1989 Nebraska Importer Recalls “Funny Clown” Dressing Doll
November 21, 1989 James Industries, Inc. Recalls Slinky Pull Toys
November 2, 1989 Johnson & Johnson Recalls Spin-A-Sound Toy
November 2, 1989 Toys and Rattles Recalled By Kaybee Toy & Hobby Stores
November 1, 1989 Toys “R” Us Inc. Recalls Crib Pals Play Shapes Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
October 31, 1989 Applause, Inc. Recalls Stuffed Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
October 18, 1989 Chick-In-Egg Squeaker Toy Recalled
October 4, 1989 Potential Choking Hazard Leads To Recall Of Rattles Distributed With Baby Bibs
September 28, 1989 Toys “R” Us, Inc. Recalls Wooden Shaky Head Rattle Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
September 28, 1989 Division Sales Recalls “Train Alphabetic Spelling” Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazard
August 28, 1989 Arcotoys Offers Parts Exchange For Disney Donald Fun Farms And Disney World Airport Toys
August 28, 1989 Toys “R” Us, Inc. Recalls Siren Whistle Toy Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
August 2, 1989 Mackie International Inc. Recalls Fruit Drink Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
July 27, 1989 Commission Announces Larami Fire Company Recall
July 26, 1989 Illco Toy Company Recalls Spin Around Playhouse
July 26, 1989 Illco Toy Company Recalls Mickey Mouse In N’ Out School Bus
July 26, 1989 Playskool Recalls Its Color In Contrast Busy Box
July 24, 1989 Replacement Program For Baby Doll Pacifier
July 20, 1989 Craft Dolls Recalled; Arms May Present Choking Hazard
July 20, 1989 K-Mart Recalling Two Rattles
July 14, 1989 Hardees Recalls Its Ghostblasters Toys
July 11, 1989 Banned Clown Dolls Seized By Feds: Choking Hazard Cited
June 27, 1989 Replacement Of “On” Switch Offered For Big Wheel Battery-Operated Riding Toy
June 19, 1989 L’il Tots Crib Toy Recalled
June 15, 1989 Choking Hazard: Firm Recalls Rattle Caps For Baby Soap, Cologne
June 13, 1989 American International Recalling Doll Because Of Potential Choking Hazard
June 13, 1989 “Creative Years” Blocks Toy Train Are Recalled
June 6, 1989 Toys “R” Us, Inc. Recalls Toot Toot Tug Boat Because Of Potential Choking Hazards
May 30, 1989 Coca-Cola Foods Recalls Its “Cool Cuffs”
May 28, 1989 Artsana Of America (Chicco) Voluntarily Begins A Corrective Action On “Spinning Bee” Toy
May 16, 1989 Christmas Stocking Decorative Bear Recalled As Choking Hazard
May 16, 1989 Lionel Leisure, Inc. Recalling Snoopy Wind-Up Train Because Of Small Parts
May 16, 1989 Christmas Stocking Decorative Bear Recalled As Choking Hazard
March 14, 1989 Toys R Us Recalling 12,000 Baby Rattles
March 14, 1989 Choking Hazard Prompts Recall Of Crib Toys, Dolls
March 14, 1989 “Cutie Pie” Dolls Recalled For Potential Choking Halzards
February 28, 1989 Choking Hazard Leads To Recall Of 2 Dolls
February 23, 1989 Blue Box Crib Toy Recalled
February 13, 1989 Potential Strangulation Risk Prompts Toys R Us To Recall Crib Toy
February 9, 1989 Franklin Sports Recalls Baseball, Soccer Training Sets
February 2, 1989 Toy Fire Boat Recalled By Target Stores
February 2, 1989 Choking Hazard Prompts Recall Of Flower Rattle
February 2, 1989 Toy Kitchen Is Recalled; Parts May Cause Choking
January 13, 1989 Customs’ Seizure Leads To Recall Of Toy Rattles
January 13, 1989 Craft Dolls And Rattles Recalled For Possible Choking Hazards

1988 Toy Recalls

December 29, 1988 Cool Flute and Binoculars Recalled by Kellogg
December 20, 1988 Safety Pin Rattle Recalled by Fiber-Craft Materials Corp.
December 20, 1988 Imported Toys Recalled by Lil’ Mort Sales
December 20, 1988 Race Cars, Jetplanes & Speedcycles Recalled by Acme Premium Supply
November 30, 1988 “Silver Rail Express” Toy Train Recalled By New Bright Industries
November 22, 1988 Toy Motorboat Recalled by Child World
November 17, 1988 Crib Pals Rattles Recalled By Toys-R-Us
November 17, 1988 Disney Baby Play Gyms Recalled by Illco Toy Co.
November 4, 1988 “Love Me Tender” Dolls Recalled By Tonka Products
October 13, 1988 Plastic Toy Figures Recalled by Sells Floto
October 13, 1988 Squeeze Toys & Telephone Rattles Recalled By KMart
October 3, 1988 Shake ‘N Sort Rattles Recalled By Playskool
September 7, 1988 Baby Rattle With Whistle Recalled By Everlast Industrial Co. of NY
September 7, 1988 “Squeaky Ducky” Toy Recalled By Kiddie Products
August 8, 1988 Two Rainbow Bell Baby Rattles Recalled By TDT Co.
August 4, 1988 Pull Along Bear Brother & Pull Along Happy Bear Recalled By Falcon Impex
August 4, 1988 Rainbow Kids Dolls Recalled By Oriental Trading Co.
August 4, 1988 “Royal” Baby Rattles Recalled By Full House Manufacturer
August 2, 1988 Craft Dolls Recalled By Wang’s International
July 27, 1988 “Pop-Up Playhouse” Modification by Fisher-Price
July 27, 1988 Toy Stationery Sets Recalled By Toys-R-Us
July 14, 1988 Water Toys & Toy Snake Recalled By Beachcombers International
July 14, 1988 Toy Cars Recalled by Li Peng Enterprises
July 13, 1988 Toy Train Recalled By Merchandisers Association
July 13, 1988 Chicco Crib Toy Recalled by Artsana of America
June 8, 1988 Stuffed Bear Recalled by Toycraft
May 26, 1988 Sweet Home Shoe House Playset And Ice Cream Doll Recalled by Wisconsin Toy
May 11, 1988 Rainbox Bell Baby Rattles Recalled by LI Peng Enterprises
May 11, 1988 Baby Rattle & Colorforms Puzzles Recalled by Toys-R-Us
April 20, 1988 Speed Wheels Riding Toy Repair by Schaper Manufacturing

1987 Toy Recalls

December 2, 1987 Probe VI Riding Toy Repair by Hedstrom
December 2, 1987 “Probe VI” Battery-Powered Riding Toy Repair by Hedstrom
November 25, 1987 Painted Wooden Puzzles Recall by Little Headworks
October 15, 1987 “Wonder” Spring Ride-On Horses Recalled By CBS
September 24, 1987 Cheerios With “Powerball” Premium Sales Recalled by General Mills
September 11, 1987 Windmill Rattle Recalled by Artsana of America
September 10, 1987 Stuffed Animal Mobiles Recalled by Calderon
September 3, 1987 Stuffed Plush Teddy Bear Banned by C.M. Paula Co.
May 20, 1987 Rattles & Pull Toys Recalled by Pay ‘N Save
March 25, 1987 Toy Train & Music Box Recalled by Enesco Imports
February 26, 1987 Animal Voices Musical Toys Recalled By Toys R Us
February 3, 1987 Ambi Mini Racer Recalled by Toy Importers

1986 Toy Recalls

December 8, 1986 WL 322 Flying Copter Recalled by M.W. Kasch
November 24, 1986 Stuffed Toy Bears Recalled by Superior & NIKE
November 18, 1986 Toy Train With Small Parts Recalled by Electra Plastics
November 12, 1986 Voltron Lion Toys Recalled by Matchbox
November 10, 1986 LEGO Building Set Toys Recalled by McDonald’s
November 6, 1986 Wooden Toy Fire Trucks Recalled by Marlon
November 3, 1986 Baby Rattles Recalled by U.S. Toy
October 24, 1986 Crib Toys Recalled by Johnson & Johnson
October 8, 1986 “Peek-A-Boo Clown” Baby Toys Recalled by F.J. Strauss
October 1, 1986 My Baby Pumpkin Dolls Recalled by S & H
September 26, 1986 Flying Toy Helicopter Recalled Recalled by Reeves International
August 19, 1986 Model WL-322 Flying Copter Recalled by Go Fly A Kite
August 16, 1986 Flying Helicopter Toy Recalled by Woolworth
July 26, 1986 “Splash & Stack Bluebird” Toys Recalled by Fisher-Price
July 22, 1986 Flying Copter Recalled by International Playthings
May 13, 1986 12 Inch Teddy Bear Recalled by Country Cozy’s
April 14, 1986 Ambi Jack in the Ball Toy Recalled by Five Importers
March 25, 1986 Woodworks Lace Up Horses Recalled By Reeves International
March 4, 1986 “Official Chopper 9″ Flying Toy Helicopter warned by Whimports

1984 Toy Recalls

October 10, 1984 Crib Toy Safety Alert issued by Fisher-Price
October 8, 1984 Toy Airplanes Recalled by T.G. & Y
September 25, 1984 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Cutoy
May 2, 1984 Musical Computer Toys Recalled by Tiger
April 12, 1984 Cupie Dolls #6342 Recalled by 5th Avenue Dolls
March 19, 1984 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Danara International
March 6, 1984 Stuffed Animal Toys Recalled by Enesco
February 3, 1984 Smurf Musical Crib Train Toys Recalled by Durham
January 26, 1984 Helicopters Recalled by Blue Box

1983 Toy Recalls

November 18, 1983 Toy Trains Recalled by Janex
July 13, 1983 Crib Toys Recalled by Durham Industries
April 13, 1983 Stuffed Chicks And Ducklings Recalled by New Angles
April 13, 1983 Stuffed Baby Chicks Recalled by New Angles/Wallace Oaks & Hickory Valley

1982 Toy Recalls

December 16, 1982 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Crib Mates & Baby World
November 10, 1982 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Electra-Plastics
November 3, 1982 Playmobil Toys Recalled by McDonald’s
September 2, 1982 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Danara
July 27, 1982 Rattles Recalled by Montgomery Schoolhouse & Schowanek
May 24, 1982 Squeeze Toys Recalled by Reliance

1981 Toy Recalls

February 27, 1981 Stuffed Teddy Bear Toys Recalled by Far East International

1980 Toy Recalls

December 30, 1980 “Squeeze Me Bear” Toy Animals Recalled by Atlanta Novelty
October 31, 1980 “Pot Belly” Toy Animals Recalled by Daekor
October 3, 1980 Two “Bristle Block” Components Discarded/Replaced by Playskool
August 21, 1980 Toy Mobiles Recalled by Albert E. Price
August 7, 1980 Crib Decorations Recalled by Rainbow Artisans
May 23, 1980 Gym Sets Recalled by Creative Playthings
May 14, 1980 Crib Exercisers Recalled by Play Spaces
March 10, 1980 Children’s Outdoor Water Toy Corrected by Wham-O
February 11, 1980 Trolley-Ride Toys Repaired by Davis-Grabowski

1979 Toy Recalls

November 29, 1979 Infant’s exercising Toy Recalled by F.A.O. Schwarz
November 21, 1979 Stuffed Toy Mobiles Recalled by R. Dakin
November 9, 1979 Toy Telephone Sets Recalled by Montgomery Ward
October 26, 1979 Blow-Gun Toys Recalled by Western
October 3, 1979 Giggle Stick Toys Recalled by CBS Toys
October 1, 1979 Toy Telephones Recalled by Durham
August 9, 1979 Toy Cork Rifles Recalled by F.J. Strauss
June 29, 1979 Plastic Ring Caps For Toy Guns Recalled by Acme Specialties
February 5, 1979 Toy Cork Gun Recalled by Eagle Family Discount Stores
January 11, 1979 Battlestar Galactica space toys Replaced by Mattel

1978 Toy Recalls

December 11, 1978 Riviton Sets Recalled by Parker Brothers
August 25, 1978 Stuffed Toys Recalled by Knickerbocker
April 13, 1978 Water Wiggle Toy Recalled by Wham-O

1977 Toy Recalls

December 8, 1977 Wooden Toy Alphabet Blocks Recalled by M.W. Kasch
November 29, 1977 Toy Golf Clubs Recalled by H-G Toys
September 2, 1977 Lead-Containing Paint Ban
April 15, 1977 Electric Train Transformers Recalled by Boyd Models
April 11, 1977 Road Racing Sets & Power Pack Toy Transformers Recalled by Strombecker
March 4, 1977 Electric Toy Train Transformers Recalled by Reeves
March 1, 1977 Electric Rock Polishers Recalled by RAPCO
January 14, 1977 Toy Phonograph Recalled by Electronic Creations

1976 Toy Recalls

December 7, 1976 Toy Balloon Recalled by Imperial

1974 Toy Recalls

February 25, 1974 Toy Chest Warning by Jackson Furniture


Toy Safety Guidelines: Threats, Advice & Regulations

Labels and age limitations

This should not be avoided or taken lightly in any manner. There are age limitations and warnings signs on toys, before you buy them-pay close attention to what is written on those labels. It is mandatory that these labels exist. A Safety standard for ALL manufactured Toys is always implemented before toys get to a retail store. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a place ALL toys are submitted to before they can move onto the retail level and into the consumer’s hands and homes. Be sure not to bypass the small print.

Required Cautionary Label Statement

Required Cautionary Statement Number
CHOKING HAZARD – Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years.
CHOKING HAZARD – Children under 8 yrs. can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.
CHOKING HAZARD – This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs
CHOKING HAZARD – This toy contains a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD – This toy is a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD – This toy contains a marble. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD – This product contains (a) small magnet (s).
Seek immediate medical attention if magnet (s) are swallowed or inhaled.
Not for children under the age of 3.


Safety List

  • Before buying the new toy intricately inspect it at the store or online.
    1. Research the toy if you are in fact concerned about chemicals within the toys material.
  • Try and choose reputable and well-known brands when choosing toys for your children.
  • Keep a close eye on warning & safety labels, also pay attention to age limitations.
  • Never let children who do not meet the correct age for the particular toy have the toy object in their possession, the age limitation is obviously there for a reason. Do not be the exception as toys are a threat to our children.
  • Read all directions & precautions.
  • Inspect toys each time before children play with them in order to ensure they are still safe.
  • Have attention to detail and keep an eye out for broken wires, sharp pointing out pieces, small broken pieces, etc. (anything that looks strange-immediately remove it from the child’s possession).
  • Be sure to monitor all children at all times as they are playing.

Electrocution Threat

With toys that plug into walls, there is always that extra worry of electrocution and shock from being improperly pulled out of the outlet, sticking fingers inside of the outlet, or other misuse of plugs.  Keep all corded and battery-operated devices away from water or wet surfaces at all costs! It is common sense to the adult that water combined with an electrical device will lead to electrocution, but a child does not know this, so treat this this life saving knowledge as if it is not commonly known. Every caretaker needs to directly supervise any children who are in fact playing with electronic toys. 

Children figure out odd ways to play with toys, which can in fact become dangerous, just be aware.  Supervisors and coaches in sports exist for reasons, as there are always going to be some injuries when play exists among children. Toys can be dangerous, but it should definitely not be because of the fact that its manufacturers are negligent. In fact, negligence should be the last reason as to why toys are dangerous.

Something like a football or a soccer ball too can be dangerous, so it is important to teach kids how to use the toys and equipment the right way the first time, keep reiterating safety, and eventually they will learn by trial and error. Another thing to keep in mind is that buying second hand electrical toys should be a huge no-no! Second- hand items, especially ones that are not in mint condition, increases the likelihood of hazards such as electrocution.  Sure it is nice seeing your child completely ecstatic about this exciting new but used toy, it is still better to buy your children new toys. If you absolutely have to buy them electrical toy items that are second – hand (not recommended), make sure there is no electrical currents being exposed and be sure to monitor them and the toy at all times.

Toy Choking Hazard

Small Items

Keep small toys hidden & high from children under the age limitation – CPSIA- Consumer Product Safety Commission-Rules & Regulations.

Legos is a great example! These building blocks are notorious for getting into the hands of tiny children; from simply overlooking one little hidden piece on the ground-something horrific could happen. Every person who is supervising children must look very carefully at every single object in the room, because one minute a head is turned, the next moment a child is uncontrollably choking. Make sure areas are very clean around young children that are present in order to avoid toy related choking hazards.

Battery Safety

“Injuries to children caused by batteries have been documented in the medical literature and by poison control centers for decades. Of particular concern is the ingestion of button batteries, * especially those ≥20 mm in diameter (coin size), which can lodge in the esophagus, leading to serious complications or death (3–5).”

Make sure that you prepare your child’s toy beforehand if it does need batteries in order to start; make sure that the latch is tight, and explain to children that they need to keep the battery area closed or the toy will not work and can become dangerous.

Communication and honesty is key when explaining this imperative information to children.  A lot of instances have happened when children lodge very small round batteries into their throat by accident and they end up choking to death because of this. Parent’s need to make sure to lock up batteries and they need to store batteries in high spaces that kids can not have easy access to. In an article blog regarding Mother’s and their experiences, they have a discussion about how a childdied during the holidays by lodging a button battery into his throat.

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Surprise! Imagine that it is your child’s birthday party- friends and family are over and so are all of the neighborhood kids. Presents, a cake, plus candles, and don’t forget the balloons! Pop! That is the surprise! The most common cause of toy death is usually because of good old’ rubber balloons. As we know, children like to try and blow up balloons and us adults usually always try to teach children to blow them up.

This seemingly innocent step in the teaching process of blowing the balloon up, then requires the child to put the balloon in their mouth, and now there is no telling what will happen next-a fatality in fact could ensue, actually in fact is has before.

Children do dumb things, simply for not knowing any better, and they sometimes chew on or put balloons in their mouth – this then leads to them choking on the balloon and even dying as a result. Parents’ beware and stop giving your young children balloons to play with! If for some reason you must allow your child to play with balloons, at least do not let your children play with balloons unsupervised, as children as old as eight could become an unfortunate statistic added to the list of toy deaths (refer to article

Make sure balloons are off limits for your little ones! Absolutely no exceptions! Also, explaining the hazards to children who meet the age limitation is usually a great idea! Be the educator, the teacher, and save a life! According to “Latex balloons are a leading cause of choking deaths to children who are 8 years of age or younger.”

Choking Hazard Lawsuits

Of course it’s had to have happened- suing over choking. Yes it has been done and there are more cases to come every single year.  Parents have sued in the court of law over their children choking on toys  According to some toy manufacturers breach safety laws and put children at risk for more hazards. See for more information. 

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Seeking Advice on Toy Safety

If you have any kind of concern about the safety and or use of toys, first do your research, second do not hesitate to ask the manufacturer, the pediatrician, or a doctor for more professional advice. The Internet will always provide you with a myriad of information, but it is up to you, the individual, to determine and to use your best judgment when it comes to factual knowledge about safety of toy hazards.

A nurse hotline is also available 24 hours a day. Simply Google nurse hotlines in your area and you will find that they are readily available looking to help you with any medical questions that you may have. It is always better to be safe than not.

Toy Related Deaths

There have been many toy related deaths that are directly related to the hazards that toys cause.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), choking rates are highest for babies under one year old.  The majority of kids’ choking injuries are caused by food” (

Of course anything as simple as food can even be dangerous for our children and it can be a mysterious, yet random, and dangerous event; it can catch anyone off guard. “Vacations should be a time for fun. Unfortunately this was not the case for one New York family. "J.T." died after choking on a hot dog while on vacation. In response to this preventable death, New York State enacted legislation to help parents, caregivers and providers recognize common choking hazards for children and prevention tips. The choking prevention legislation is known as " J.T.’s Law" (, 3.) 

So the key in point is, direct supervision, especially with extremely young children is a necessity. The same way children can easily choke on food; children can choke on toys as well.

Do not Let Children Select Toys without Verifying Safety

Never for one-second let the child be the leader! All adults need to take active leadership when it comes to buying safe toys and they also need to follow instructions, warnings, and age limitation guidelines that come with the toys.

Adults must then educate their children about the new toy that they will be playing with.  The supervisor and or adult/leader need to take initiative and keep a vigilant eye on ALL children.

Additionally, it is highly recommended to keep pet’s toys away from young children. Children who crawl and are very young will put your pet’s toys in their mouth.

Educating Adults & Children

Parents NEED to educate children about the dangers of toys. Teach kids with books that you can easily check out at your local library and simply explain to them the dangers of what could happen if they improperly play with their ‘new’ or existing toys.

If you are in fact good at theatrics, perhaps you can show them in a light skit by demonstrating different hazardous scenarios that could result in injury or death from misusage of toys. Use a concerned voice and pay very close attention to your voice diction in order for the child to take the speech seriously. 

Education is power and knowledge will save lives at some point or another. It is always good to provide children with enough adequate literature and direct communication that clearly and concisely explains the dangers of everyday objects that they come into contact with on a day-to-day basis.

Proper Cleaning of Toys, Avoid Disease, Flu’s, and Cold’s in Children

Not only are toys dangerous, but also dirty! Think of daycares and how many children that come into contact with the toys. It is a perfect environment for breeding illness and passing it along.

Keep your child and yourself away from dirty toys; make sure to thoroughly wash the toys with antibacterial soap when needed. Having filthy toys is a toy hazard and it’s a sure way to affect a healthy immune system. So always be sure to not only check and inspect the toys before play, but to also make sure that the toys are actually clean and expunged of harmful bacteria.

Lead in Toys

First and foremost, every parent should always pay special attention to recalls. 

Led poisoning, especially in children starts silent, then it becomes deadly with an affect on brain development and growth. It is the type of disease that creeps up on you. Keep an eye and ear out for recalls; it will save a child, perhaps your child. There is plenty of controversy about the topic of lead in toys and the hazards- some people are solely concerned about lead, while the opposition side brushes it off saying-it is not a real concern to children. 

“Lead-paint toys are not the biggest risk-Old paint on the wall and small playthings such as rubber balls pose a much greater threat than recalled products, experts say. You may handle your toy for a few moments a day, but if you’re in a home going through remodeling, you generate dust throughout your whole house," … "So you’re exposed everywhere you go, not just when you’re playing." –(LA TIMES).

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Toy Regulations

Toys are required to meet certain regulations and criteria in order to move forth within the distribution process. Legally an owner can’tjust make something and expect to sell it. The regulations are very specific and a lot of paperwork is involved.

This alone should put parents at a milder ease when it comes to the toys that are being put on consumer shelves. Manufacturers are monitored and tracked, which makes it easier to communicate to the manufacturer if in fact any safety and or regulation is breached.

Toys are getting safer and safer considering that the CPSIA has tremendously stepped up their efforts.

The 20 year old toy safety legislation was revised and enhanced by the new Directive 2009/48/EC which entered into application in July 2011. This new directive contains safety requirements that are among the strictest in the world. It sets out very strict safety rules, for example with regard to hygiene or toys contained in food, and very strict obligations for economic operators, for example with regard to traceability (

Refer to for more information.

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Toy Safety/Testing Standards

According to at–standards/statutes/the-consumer-product-safety-improvement-act/ ALL distributors have to pass a safety test, their item is then tested out in a laboratory that is CPSC accredited, a certificate is then given to the owner of the product, and then they are provided with a tracking number.

The CPSC is set to make their testing for children’s toys more rigorous. It is going to be harder to get approved. Products now have to pass strict guidelines and things have been noticeably different after the major China Mattel recall incident happened. Since the news outbreak of this story, the CPSC has started to tighten their ship in a high attempt to avoid a bad reputation.

Toy creators must put their two feet forward and just simply make sure they comply with all of the written literature regarding toy safety. Companies like Conformance Limited actually help people with all of the legal forms when it comes to filing for a product certificate.Conformance Limited specialize in CE marking and product safety consultancy and have helped over 4000 manufacturers and importers to meet their legal obligations.”(

Parent’s, distributors, and manufacturers have plenty of resources available. Now everyone needs to keep in mind that adults need to be the main resource in a child’s life; this ends with- the fact that safety needs to be included and communicated with all parties.

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W.A.T.C.H. stands for World Against Toys Causing Harm. This Organization is a non- profit organization basically researching and warning the public about toy safety in a nutshell. The information that this company provides, aides caretakers and parents to make better and more informed decisions regarding toy safety. (

Some toys that were labeled most dangerous in 2014 were: 

  1. Air Storm Firetek Bow, it was number one on the list, it’s hazardous warning: eye injury.
  2. Radio Flyer came in second as children can fall and get a head or body injury while riding the toy.
  3. Catapencil came in third, as it is a pencil and a sling shot all- in- one, it is notorious for stabbing children when the pencil is sharpened.
  4. Fourth place was Rock & Stack Pull Toy, which has been accused of causing possible strangulation among children. The toy is marketed to children who are 18 months +, a string is attached to the toy so the child can pull it, what a brilliant idea…Not!

Do Your Homework

Always make sure to keep up to date about recalls and noteworthy news regarding toys and the latest updates. Children are our future and it is up to the adults to supervise them in the utmost responsible way. Another major key factor to preventing choking on toys from occurring is to learn CPR and to get the proper certification.


This entry was posted in: Blog.


Earthquakes Data Magnitude 5.0 and Over 2005 – 2014

Last updated: Dec 15, 2014





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Largest / Most Devastating Earthquakes 2005 – 2013

North Korea (nuclear detonation) / 12 February 2013

This 2013 nuclear detonation conducted underground by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (or North Korea) with the power of 9 kilotons of TNT and a yield of 5.4 – 40 kilotons maximum from the estimates done by different nuclear research centers and nuclear monitoring bodies worldwide is the largest of a series of three within the decade.

This nuclear explosion originated underground in Kilju County, a major nuclear test site of North Korea, generated intense negative international criticism and Japan’s call to convene the United Nations Security Council to impose appropriate sanctions against North Korea. This detonation is significant as the first after the succession of Kim Jong-won as the head of the government of North Korea. Nuclear monitoring bodies, on the other hand, did not detect radioactivity from this blast which raised doubts whether it was, in fact, nuclear in character.

Seismic activity of 4.9-5.1 in magnitude with a depth of one kilometer  was detected in the area of the blast by the United States and China and reports of buildings cracking and swaying in North Korea itself filtered through channels to the West.  Both  governments of Japan and South Korea given their close proximity to North Korea convene meetings among their security and military agencies in the aftermath of the detonation to increase their countries’ readiness to cope with this nuclear based aggression by a highly militarized neighbor. These actions were initiated by the heads of state after CTBTO’s confirmation that this blast was of the same genre as North Korea’s previous test detonations in 2006 and 2009.   (

Sumatra Earthquake / 30 September 2009

Magnitude 7.6
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16:09 UTC
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:16:09 PM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 0.725°S, 99.856°E
Depth 81 km (50.3 miles) set by location program
Distances 60 km (35 miles) WNW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia225 km (140 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia

475 km (295 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

975 km (600 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 4.2 km (2.6 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=405, Nph=405, Dmin=534.3 km, Rmss=0.92 sec, Gp= 18°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A


An earthquake of 7.6 magnitude and a depth of 80 kms  followed by a second the next day  6.6 in magnitude occurred in  the island of Sumatra in Indonesia and devastated the island leaving 250,000 families (or 1,250,000 people) homeless.

This island within the Ring of Fire, the area that stretches from the west side of North and South America to its east flank in East Asia and Southeast Asia is one of the centers of intense volcanic and earthquake activity in the world. Aftershocks higher than magnitude 5 followed the two earthquakes which were felt in and affected Jakarta in the adjoining island of Java, Malaysia, and Singapore. The devastation was extensive and relief work was difficult because countless people in dense population areas like Padang were trapped in the collapsed buildings and needed to be rescued from the rubble.

The speed of relief work was hampered by the destruction of roads, highways, and bridges and the absence of communications, power and basic utilities. The chaos and confusion of relief and rescue were hampered by the lack of coordination among local government entities. Numerous countries, international organizations, the United Nation humanitarian organizations, the Red Cross, and charitable institutions like Oxfam, World Vision, IFRG, and Muslim Charity contributed substantially to relief and rescue initiatives which came in the form of money, food, clothing, hardware, shelter, and medical supplies and equipment. (; )

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Samoa Earthquake / 29 September 2009

Magnitude 8.0
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 17:48:10 UTC
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009 at 06:48:10 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 15.509°S, 172.034°W
Depth 18 km (11.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 190 km (120 miles) ENE of Hihifo, Tonga190 km (120 miles) S of APIA, Samoa

710 km (440 miles) NNE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga

2700 km (1680 miles) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.2 km (3.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=403, Nph=403, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=0.97 sec, Gp= 22°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=V


The September 29 earthquake at American Samoa is the largest in 2009 at 8.1 in the Richter scale. This submarine earthquake was followed by tsunami which recorded a rise of 3 inches of sea levels and 14 metres (46 feet) of waves lashing and destroying coastal villages despite the evacuation that followed the tsunami alert.  46 aftershocks were recorded averaging 5+ in magnitude. 

There were 189 casualties and hundreds were injured in this disaster. Destruction was extensive in Pago-Pago with the rise of flood waters which overturned vehicles and damaged ports, business establishments, infrastructures, and utilities such as electrical, water, and transport systems.

This earthquake affected Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, and New Zealand. American Samoa is within the Ring of Fire that lines the Pacific Ocean Rim that includes the West Coast of the United States, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Columbia, Chile, Peru, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea and China. 

These areas are the world’s center of intense and major volcanic and earthquake activity. President Obama declared this dependency a major disaster area which set into motion massive relief and rescue operations from the mainland through the leadership of Federal Emergency Management Agency to facilitate the restoration of order and normalcy in people’s lives, the airlifting of food, medical, and emergency supplies, and the repair of damaged infrastructures, public buildings and facilities, and communication, electrical and other utilities.   International relief for reconstruction and disaster mitigation were also initiated by New Zealand, England, the European Union, and international humanitarian organizations. This earthquake experience underscore the difference in the crisis management practices of developed nations vis-à-vis poor nations where rescue and relief operations are significantly delayed and hampered by lack of coordination and professionalism. (;

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West Java Earthquake / 2 September 2009

Magnitude 7.0
  • Wednesday, September 02, 2009 at 07:55:01 UTC
  • Wednesday, September 02, 2009 at 02:55:01 PM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 7.783°S, 107.285°E
Depth 48.1 km (29.9 miles)
Distances 95 km (60 miles) SSW of Bandung, Java, Indonesia110 km (65 miles) SSE of Sukabumi, Java, Indonesia

120 km (75 miles) WSW of Tasikmalaya, Java, Indonesia

190 km (120 miles) SSE of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.6 km (3.5 miles); depth +/- 10.6 km (6.6 miles)
Parameters NST=293, Nph=293, Dmin=357.4 km, Rmss=0.96 sec, Gp= 29°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A


The earthquake in West Java near Bandung on 2 September 2009 was 7.0 in magnitude and the strongest in Indonesia since the Pangandaran earthquake of 2006.

Seventy-nine people were killed, 1250 were injured, and approximately 210,000 were left homeless.

The earthquake was strongly felt in Jakarta and was followed by an aftershock 4.9 in magnitude. Five days later an offshore 6.2 earthquake occurred near Yogyakarta which is related to the September 2 main shock.  The damage of this earthquake is extensive with the partial or total devastation of 18,300 offices and homes. This figure was later revised to 87.000 which included mosques and prayer halls.

The destruction wrought by this earthquake destroyed structures in Bandung and Tasikmalaya which are cities proximate to its epicenter. The tremors were felt in Jakarta which is 200kms from the epicenter and resulted in the evacuation of office buildings and other highly populated edifices.  Landslides adversely affected many villages and destroyed homes. In valleys of the region, casualties were high because landslide covered homes completely and chances of human survival were minimal. The government deployed rescue and medical teams to the stricken areas aided by volunteers from the nearby universities composed of students and professionals. Casualties could have been minimized if buildings were better constructed with the use of steel and pillars.  The destruction of roads, highways, bridges, and other public infrastructures made rescue and relief difficult and slow. The transport of food and medical supplies and rescue and relief was hampered by limited financial resources provided by the local government of West Java and the national government. (

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Honduras Earthquake / 28 May 2009

Magnitude 7.3
  • Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 08:24:45 UTC
  • Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 02:24:45 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 16.733°N, 86.220°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 125 km (75 miles) NNE of La Ceiba, Honduras220 km (135 miles) N of Juticalpa, Honduras

310 km (195 miles) NNE of TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras

1185 km (730 miles) SSW of Miami, Florida

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 3.6 km (2.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=377, Nph=377, Dmin=317 km, Rmss=1.1 sec, Gp= 29°,M-type=centroid moment magnitude (Mw), Version=R


The 30-seconds Honduras earthquake on May 2, 2009 was 7.3 in magnitude with a depth of 10kms and aftershocks with an average magnitude of 4.8.

This off-shore earthquake was felt in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Panama, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Costa Rica.

There were seven casualties and left 40 persons injured. It damaged levees, ports, and destroyed five buildings and left 80 damages. Tsunami alerts were raised to warn coastal towns and villages of the possible need for evacuation. Thirty-five buildings were destroyed or 80 were damaged in Izabal, Guatemala and 5 were destroyed and 25 damaged in Belize. The Ulua Bridge was partially damaged in El Progreso, Honduras. In Honduras, damaged structures included hotels, churches, public buildings, schools, factories, bridges, a hospital and an airport.

The epicenter of the earthquake was Roatan, one of the islands of Honduras, a favorite scuba-diving destination. According to eyewitness accounts, the earthquake startled people near the epicenter and many fled to higher ground for fear of a tsunami onslaught while others fled to the streets away from tall buildings. Power went out in many resorts in the area of the epic center and people witnessed the crashing of appliances and household objects as a result of the strong tremors. In one narrative, a woman saw water spilling out of the pool as the ground shook. The early morning quake left Honduras dark with the loss of power and people scampered to the streets seeking for safely. Calm was restored and panic subsided with the return of power in many of the tourist haunts near the epic center of the earthquake. (;

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North Korea (nuclear detonation) / 25 May 2009

Magnitude 4.7
  • Monday, May 25, 2009 at 00:54:43 UTC
  • Monday, May 25, 2009 at 09:54:43 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 41.306°N, 129.029°E
Depth 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program
Distances 70 km (45 miles) NNW of Kimchaek, North Korea95 km (60 miles) SW of Chongjin, North Korea

185 km (115 miles) SSW of Yanji, Jilin, China

375 km (235 miles) NE of PYONGYANG, North Korea

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 3.8 km (2.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 75, Nph= 75, Dmin=371.4 km, Rmss=0.57 sec, Gp= 72°,M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=A


On May 25, 2009, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea detonated an underground nuclear device with 2.35 kilotons of TNT.  The estimated yield of this explosion, according to the data provided by different monitoring stations worldwide is 2.4-20 kilotons. The tremors generated by this explosion are between 4.7-5.3 in magnitude. North Korea informed the United States and China one hour before the detonation rationalized by its attempts to strengthen its defense and nuclear deterrence. This detonation was universally condemned and the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1874 tightening military and economic sanctions against North Korea. The tremors from this blast were felt in Yanbian Prefecture in China adjacent to its border with North Korea resulting in the evacuation of students from schools.

Tests of surface-to-air missiles were also conducted by North Korea on the same day as the 2009 detonation which lasted until May 29. These series of aggressive moves by North Korea started a call for another series of six-party talks on regional security measures by Japan, China, South Korea, the United States, and Russia which started in the 1980s until a framework was approved in 1994 designed towards limiting the nuclear activities of Pyongyang in exchange for economic aid and support.

The result of this renewed nuclear threat from North Korea after the 2006 detonation was resonated in significant drop in the stock markets of East Asia and Southeast Asia. Analysts claim that this nuclear sabre-rattling from North Korea is a consequence of its desire to establish the legacy of Kim-Jong-Il as a leader who fulfilled the dream of North Korea to become a nuclear power. (

L’Aquila Earthquake / 6 April 2009

Magnitude 6.3
  • Monday, April 06, 2009 at 01:32:39 UTC
  • Monday, April 06, 2009 at 03:32:39 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 42.334°N, 13.334°E
Depth 8.8 km (5.5 miles) set by location program
Distances 75 km (45 miles) W of Pescara, Italy85 km (55 miles) NE of ROME, Italy

115 km (75 miles) SE of Perugia, Italy

145 km (90 miles) S of Ancona, Italy

Location Uncertainty Error estimate not available
Parameters NST=321, Nph=321, Dmin=6 km, Rmss=0 sec, Gp= 14°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A
  • Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome, Italy


The 2009 L’Aquila earthquake at the magnitude of 5.8-5.9 and depth of 9.46 kms was one of the most devastating with the damage costing $16 billion, 308 casualties, 40,000 homeless and more than 1500 injured persons. Among the victims were residents of different nationalities in Italy. This deadly near-the –surface earthquake, the strongest that hit Italy since 1980, was felt all over Italy radiating from its epicenter, L’Aquila, the capital of Abruzzo.

This medieval city suffered the damage of its historic structures churches which also destroyed many adjacent villages within the two days of aftershocks after the main earthquake. Casualties mounted because of poor substandard building construction in many areas. Accounts record the appearance of luminous lights in the skies at night before and after the main earthquake. Media also report predictions of the prospective occurrence of this earthquake at least one month prior to this disaster: A laboratory technician G.Guilliani noted an increase in radon emissions and appeared publicly on television with a warning-observation over the possibility of the occurrence of an earthquake. His report was dismissed as an alarmist hoax.

The BBC reports an account of the sensational trial of six reputable Italian academics and scientists and a former government official for multiple manslaughter as a result of the devastation of the L’Aquila earthquake. These professionals were accused of “negligence and imprudence” and for providing an “approximate, generic, and ineffective assessment of the seismic activity” and for giving “incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information” on the prospective disaster which claimed so many lives and loss of property. The court sentenced these individuals to 6 years of imprisonment. (;

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Tonga Earthquake / 19 March 2009

Magnitude 7.6
  • Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 18:17:40 UTC
  • Friday, March 20, 2009 at 06:17:40 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 23.050°S, 174.668°W
Depth 34 km (21.1 miles) set by location program
Distances 220 km (135 miles) SSE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga490 km (305 miles) S of Neiafu, Tonga

495 km (305 miles) ESE of Ndoi Island, Fiji

1845 km (1140 miles) NE of Auckland, New Zealand

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.5 km (3.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=323, Nph=323, Dmin=760.8 km, Rmss=0.96 sec, Gp= 14°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=A


The 2009 Tonga earthquake of March 19 had a moment magnitude of 7.6 occurring off the coast of Tonga with a depth of 34 kilometers or 21 miles from its hypocenter.  A series of aftershocks followed with average magnitudes ranging from 5.0-5.4. Tzunami warnings were issued and later lifted. An undersea volcanic eruption took place in the vicinity four days  before this earthquake although no relationship can be established between these two natural events by geologists.

This intense activity of volcanoes and the moving tectonic plates typifies the behavior of geological features in this area of the Pacific Ocean rim, the site of the largest and deadliest volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the world, which encompasses East Asia, Island Southeast Asia, the Pacific Island including Hawaii, South and Central America, North America including Alaska and Russia in Asia.

In 2004, a massive  tsunami onslaught devastated kilometers of coastline in 14 countries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans  and killed nearly a quarter of a million people. Referred to as a “double whammy” earthquake by an article published by BBC, this 2009 Tonga earthquake of 8.1 magnitude followed immediately by second 8.0 tremor. The tsunami of four waves more than five meters in height  struck the coast and killed 192 people. Unique to this event is the fact that the main shock occurred outside of the boundaries of the shifting tectonic plates nearly 100 kilometers away from the nearest tectonic plate. This event is the largest of its genre in 100 years of earthquake monitoring. This unusual phenomenon of a plate snapping in its middle while being dragged down by another moving plate is not an everyday phenomenon in geology. (;

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Sweden Earthquake / 16 December 2008

Magnitude 4.3
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 05:20:01 UTC
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 06:20:01 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 55.531°N, 13.474°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 30 km (20 miles) E of Malmo, Sweden60 km (35 miles) ESE of COPENHAGEN, Denmark

180 km (110 miles) NNE of Rostock, Germany

505 km (315 miles) SW of STOCKHOLM, Sweden

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.7 km (3.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=110.1 km, Rmss=1.09 sec, Gp= 58°,M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=V


The Sweden 2008 earthquake on December 16 was 4.2-4.3 in magnitude on the Richter scale whose epicenter was five kilometers west of Sjobo which is 60 kilometers east of Malmo. Its tremors affected Poland and Denmark and were felt in Copenhagen as well.  Also known as the Skane earthquake, this tremor occurred in an area where there is a low possibility of earthquake occurrence since the 14th century.

This early morning quake caused havoc on an unsuspecting population that has little experience with tremors. The last recorded earthquake in Sweden occurred in Koster Islands 1904 with a magnitude of 6.0. Hence, it has been more than 100 years since the last earthquake in the country. The most proximate earthquake in the region happened in 2004 when a 5.3 quake happened in Russia.

Accounts from the local English newspaper are rich in narratives of the earthquake and its impact on a country of low-population density. Hysteria and phone calls kept government agencies and emergency entities busy with reports of 20 second long quake and its loud roar woke up many people and knocked off household things and appliances. University of Uppsala reported a strong earthquake between 4.5-5.0 on the Richter scale strongly felt in the southern part of the country. Swedish seismic sources also estimated the depth of the earthquake to be 18 kms underground in the vicinity of Malmo’s airport. Ground shaking and buildings swaying were reported various degrees in the affected areas including Copenhagen. Damage was minimal which was, at worst, the cracking of the walls of some structures. (; )

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Los Angeles Earthquake / 29 July 2008

Magnitude 5.4
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 18:42:15 UTC
  • Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:42:15 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 33.953°N, 117.761°W
Depth 14.7 km (9.1 miles)
  • 4 km (3 miles) SW (235°) from Chino Hills, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NNE (19°) from Yorba Linda, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) SE (135°) from Diamond Bar, CA
  • 12 km (8 miles) S (182°) from Pomona, CA
  • 46 km (29 miles) ESE (104°) from Los Angeles Civic Center, CA
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph=181, Dmin=9 km, Rmss=0.33 sec, Gp= 18°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=S
  • California Integrated Seismic Net:


The 2008 Los Angeles Earthquake on July 29, the strongest since 1994 occurred with a magnitude of 5.5 with its epicenter in Chino Hills 28 miles (0r 45 kms) southeast of Los Angeles.

The population of the city was caught by the tremor in the middle of a working day so the downtown areas had to be evacuated to avoid casualties. In fact, there are no fatalities in this earthquake, but some structures were damaged and numerous amusement parks (Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Knotts Beery Farm etc.) were evacuated and closed.

The minimal damage to structures is easily explained by the vulnerability of the state and its neighbors to tremors given the presence of faults including San Andreas. The earthquake was caused by oblique slip faulting generated by the Yorba Linda with a depth or hypocenter of 14.6 km trend. Given this, the efficient building of earthquake –resistant structures is closely supervised to avert disaster and loss of life.  This earthquake had 100 aftershocks and a foreshock. Commotions occurred after the main shock with power outages, displaced commodities in groceries and shopping centers. Experiences of this earthquake are captured by New York Times.

These ranges from a general feeling of dizziness for many, the cracking of some buildings and structures, the interruption of transport services, breaks in the water system, the mass gathering of evacuees in the business districts, etc.  The response was immediately undertaken by engineers and other professionals to ensure safety and security with the inspection of buildings, public infrastructures, homes, utilities and other services. (;

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Sichuan Earthquake / 12 May 2008

Magnitude 7.9
  • Monday, May 12, 2008 at 06:28:01 UTC
  • Monday, May 12, 2008 at 02:28:01 PM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 30.986°N, 103.364°E
Depth 19 km (11.8 miles) set by location program
Distances 80 km (50 miles) WNW of Chengdu, Sichuan, China145 km (90 miles) WSW of Mianyang, Sichuan, China

350 km (215 miles) WNW of Chongqing, Chongqing, China

1545 km (960 miles) SW of BEIJING, Beijing, China

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5 km (3.1 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=357, Nph=357, Dmin=592.1 km, Rmss=1.38 sec, Gp= 14°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=R


The May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake is one of most devastating earthquakes in this century with a magnitude of 7.9-8 on the Richter scale and  casualties at 69,195,  18,392 missing persons, and five million were left homeless in the wake of the disaster. It was strongly felt in Beijing and Shanghai 1500-1800 kilometers away from the epicenter in Wenchuan County. 

The tremor lasted for 80 seconds running to about 30 kms with a depth of 10 kilometers from its hypocenter. The damage caused by this surface earthquake was extensive which was felt in Macao, Hongkong, Vietnam, Mongolia, Taiwan, Bangla Desh, Nepal, and Pakistan within 3-8 minutes after the occurrence of the main shock.

The epicenter of this earthquake is the area of the Tibetan Plateau. Deaths in this earthquake were caused by the absence of structures of earthquake-resistant quality which buried many victims in rubble. Public work structures like bridges, highways, water systems were severely damages, schools collapsed burying students, and rivers were blocked by landslides. Rescue and relief initiated by international agencies, country donors, and the Chinese government were extremely difficult because of the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake. Sichuan (or Wenchuan) province is not easily accessible after the damage earthquake wrought and immediate relief and rescue were badly needed to minimize the loss of lives. One of the worse areas of damage is livelihood and agriculture which will need time to normalize given the fact that Sichuan is a poverty-stricken area with a huge population which is geographically and topographically vulnerable to disasters like earthquakes. (

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Illinois Earthquake / 18 April 2008

Magnitude 5.4
  • Friday, April 18, 2008 at 09:37:00 UTC
  • Friday, April 18, 2008 at 04:37:00 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 38.450°N, 87.890°W
Depth 11.6 km (7.2 miles) set by location program
  • 7 km (5 miles) NNE (13°) from Bellmont, IL
  • 9 km (6 miles) E (88°) from Bone Gap, IL
  • 11 km (7 miles) N (350°) from Keensburg, IL
  • 60 km (38 miles) NNW (331°) from Evansville, IN
  • 206 km (128 miles) E (95°) from St. Louis, MO
Location Uncertainty Error estimate not available
Parameters NST=185, Nph=185, Dmin=36.4 km, Rmss=0 sec, Gp= 22°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=Q
  • Center for Earthquake Research and Information, Memphis, Tennessee, USA


The Illinois Earthquake of April 18, 2008 was the largest in the Midwest region for the last few decades.

This earthquake originated from the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone adjacent to the New Madrid Seismic Zone and had a magnitude of 5.4 and a Missouri, Atlanta, Michigan, Ontario, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Destruction from the earthquake varied from the closure of viaduct in Missouri, the evacuation of university dormitories and a mine, falling bricks, power outages, the collapse of several chimneys and church steeples, and the shaking of houses and skyscrapers in Indianapolis and the Chicago Loop.  Twenty-six aftershocks were recorded ranging from 1-4.6 in magnitude. There were two casualties from this tremor.  Interestingly, TV and News stations covered the earthquake as it struck and documented its aftershocks as well. Fox News reports on eyewitness accounts of experiences with this tremor range from the ground shaking 5-20 seconds, to being roused from sleep, to the shaking of houses and the displacing of household objects, the creaking of beds and ceiling panels, and a possible earthquake-related highway damage on Edens Expressway in Chicago that disrupted travel. Like the Los Angeles earthquake, experts estimate that a tremor originating from the adjoining New Madrid Seismic zone might be more disastrous than one originating from Wabash Valley given the fact the region’s violent experiences with earthquakes originating from this zone in the early 18th century of 5.0 magnitude. This prospective tremor could damage buildings, destroy houses; disrupt public utilities and public works infrastructures, and communications systems.  (;

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Lincolnshire Earthquake / 27 February 2008

Magnitude 4.8
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 00:56:45 UTC
  • Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 12:56:45 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 53.321°N, 0.314°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 40 km (25 miles) S of Kingston upon Hull, England, UK75 km (45 miles) NE of Nottingham, England, UK

80 km (50 miles) E of Sheffield, England, UK

210 km (130 miles) N of LONDON, United Kingdom

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.8 km (4.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST= 50, Nph= 50, Dmin=291.4 km, Rmss=1.02 sec, Gp= 54°,M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=7
  • British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


On 27 February 2008, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Lincolnshire 2.5 miles (or 4 kilometers) north of Market Rasen near Grimsby in England, an area which faces the continent. It was a sudden rupture along a strike-slip fault 18.6 kilometers (or 12 miles) beneath Lincolnshire and lasted for 10-30 seconds.

The  interplate earthquake at Lincolnshire  is typical of North European earthquakes which are not proximate to  the boundaries of the world’s tectonic plate system. This is the largest tremor experienced by the British Isles since 1984.

The 1984 earthquake registered  5.4 on the Richter scale. This tremor was felt all throughout the British Isles and the continent, in  France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. There are no deaths reported in this earthquake, but BBC reports that it was the strongest tremor in the region in the last twenty-five years. In contrast to Asian disasters of the same genre, the earthquake in Lincolnshire is relatively small in magnitude. But, it remains large by United Kingdom standards. This tremor resulted in power outages, the structural damage to homes, buildings, and public structures and the collapse of chimneys and church steeples.  Nine aftershocks were recorded with an average magnitude of 2.8. BBC documents first-hand experiences related to this earthquake which ranged from injuries suffered from collapsing structures, complaints of the terrifying roar emanating from under the ground as the tremor starts described as a “ramble and a bang” or a “sudden assault by a team of burglars by an eyewitness, the widespread panic and frantic calls that clogged the communications networks, etc. (;

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Sumatra Earthquake / 12 September 2007

The earthquake of September 12, 2007 at 8.5 in magnitude on the Richter scale  with an epicenter located  north of Pagai off the coast in  the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is one of the most devastating during this decade. 

It occurred in rupture of an overactive fault in the vicinity of  Mentawi Archipelago  at  the depth of 30 kilometers ( or nineteen miles) from its hypocenter. This offshore earthquake significantly affected other islands in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and  Malaysia.This earthquake, in fact, is a series of earthquakes that followed  the 8.5 tremor with earthquake 2 bearing a magnitude of 7.9, and earthquake 3 at 7.0 magnitude. Aftershocks occurred  the next two days  with magnitudes ranging from 6.4-6.7. The tremors lasted for several minutes and buildings swayed in Jakarta 600 kilometers. Although there we no casualties, tremors were severe in the high-rises in the cities of the region. Tsunami alerts were sent out to countries in the Indian Ocean area. Tsunamis rose in varying levels in  coastal areas along the Indian Ocean.  Earthquake-report  documents the death of 25 people and 161 injured  in this earthquake with 56,425 buildings and structures were damaged and destroyed, roads  and highways became impassable and communications and power outages occurred in many areas in the region including the Indian Ocean and the Inland Sea of Indonesia. Sinkholes were found in some areas in Malaysia and seiche in Thailand.  A Japanese Daichi satellite with a PALSAR sensor focused on this earthquake records the emergence of a submerged coral reef, the creation of six islands, and expanded existing islands.  (www.earthquake-report,com;

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Peru Earthquake / 15 August 2007

Magnitude 8.0
  • Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 23:40:57 UTC
  • Wednesday, August 15, 2007 at 06:40:57 PM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 13.354°S, 76.509°W
Depth 39 km (24.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 50 km (30 miles) W of Chincha Alta, Peru110 km (70 miles) NW of Ica, Peru

150 km (95 miles) SSE of LIMA, Peru

210 km (130 miles) SW of Huancayo, Peru

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.2 km (3.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=275, Nph=275, Dmin=155 km, Rmss=0.84 sec, Gp= 29°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9


The Peru  Earthquake of  August 15, 2007 at a magnitude of 8.0 on the Richter scale was a devastating event which brought extensive damage to the country. This disaster left 519 persons dead, 1,366 injured, and destroyed and damaged property.

This midnight earthquake occurred 150 kilometers south of the capital, Lima and lasted for three minutes.

Peru, itself, has a long history with earthquakes of large devastating magnitudes. Caused by a thrusting fault at the interface between two plates proximate to  the boundary of the Nazca and the South American tectonic plates, this earthquake was accompanied by a tsunami 16 feet in height. Tzunami alerts were issued in the region of the east Pacific segment of the Ring of Fire including Hawaii.  The  tremors lasted for nearly three minutes which wrecked havoc on  structures and  a sleeping population near its epicenter.  A dozen aftershocks  followed the main shock at an average magnitude of 5.0-5.9.  Areas in Peru severely affected by  the earthquake were the cities of Pisco, Ica, Chincha Alta, and San Vicente de Canete. In these colonial centers, buildings collapsed and others were severely damaged. These include hospitals, prisons, colonial churches and cathedrals, and  homes.  Rescue and relief  operations were chaotic and  made difficult by the lack of coordination among units of local government and international relief agencies and country donors. The Peruvian earthquake dramatizes the problems that beset disaster  relief, rescue, and restoration operations undertaken in  poor countries in contrast to the systematic processes of disaster intervention and mitigation that happen in developed nations where speed and organized operations are vital to the saving of lives and property.  (;

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Solomon Island Earthquake / 1 April 2007

Magnitude 8.1
  • Sunday, April 01, 2007 at 20:39:56 UTC
  • Monday, April 02, 2007 at 07:39:56 AM at epicenter
  • Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 8.481°S, 156.978°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 45 km (25 miles) SSE of Gizo, New Georgia Islands, Solomon Isl.205 km (125 miles) SSE of Chirovanga, Choiseul, Solomon Islands

340 km (215 miles) WNW of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

2145 km (1330 miles) NNE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 8.8 km (5.5 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=156, Nph=156, Dmin=343 km, Rmss=1.19 sec, Gp= 32°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8


The deadly earthquake at Solomon Islands located at the northeast  of Australia on April 2, 2007 at 8.1 magnitude on the Richter scale registered by the USGS with a depth of only six miles or 10 kilometers below its seafloor into its hypocenter.

This tremor was followed by a series of aftershocks that averaged 6.2 in magnitude and a tsunami that left 52 persons dead and thousands homeless.

Larger waves lashing half a mile inland   hit  and destroyed  coastal villages which included homes and public service facilities including hospitals. This earthquake that affected Papua New Guinea severely was the result of movement along the Solomon arc and the Pacific plate which is the site of high seismic activity in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Reports of the outbreak of diarrhea, malaria, and other diseases among the survivors. Island-building resulted out of the tsunami onslaught which raised an island to three meters and some coral reefs out of the ocean waters. Feedback from fishermen shows that this phenomenon destroyed some fishing grounds in the area. International aid poured into Solomon Island in the aftermath of the earthquake-tsunami with significant financial contributions from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea  and the United States, rice stocks and emergency supplies from France, field hospitals and camps for displaced persons from the United Nations agencies, medical teams from Australia and Canada,  a light plane from Papua New Guinea etc. The UNICEF  and the Red Cross focused a campaign for contributions earmarked for this disaster. (;

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Kuril Islands / 15 November 2006

Magnitude 8.3
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 11:14:16 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 10:14:16 PM = local time at epicenter
Location 46.607°N, 153.230°E
Depth 30.3 km (18.8 miles)
Distances 445 km (275 miles) ENE of Kuril’sk, Kuril Islands505 km (310 miles) SSW of Severo-Kuril’sk, Kuril Islands, Russia

1650 km (1030 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

7185 km (4460 miles) NE of MOSCOW, Russia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 4.8 km (3.0 miles); depth +/- 12.2 km (7.6 miles)
Parameters Nst=253, Nph=253, Dmin=813.9 km, Rmss=1.03 sec, Gp= 43°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=S

The Kuril Islands earthquake on November 15, 2006 had a magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale  and a depth of 30.3 kilometers to its hypocenter. This tremor that affected Russia and Japan generated a tsunami with a large wave following small ones at the height of 15 meters.

Another tsunami crossed the northern Pacific and reached Hawaii and damaged the harbor of Crescent City in California. This is the largest since 1915 when an earthquake of an 8.0 magnitude hit the islands. Evacuation of the coastal towns of Honshu and Hokkaido were undertaken and tsunami alerts were raised in Alaska, Hawaii, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. California experienced strong currents which destroyed docks and boats and coastal areas bringing the destruction to an estimated cost of $ 9M. In Japan, tsunami hit the coastal areas of Kagoshima, Okinawa, Miyakejima, and Tohoku. Another earthquake hit central Kuriles  in 2007 during winter. Scientists who visited these uninhabited theorize that studying geological evidence points to the fact that the 2006 earthquake was stronger than the one that followed it. The tsunami alerts received by California from the Alaska station were cancelled a few hours before the tsunami hit Crescent City followed by a second surge two hours later. The tsunami damage inflicted upon Crescent City is very instructive for all stakeholders and professionals and media support and the public at-large in disaster containment and management. It was informative in terms of  appreciating the vulnerability of coastal town to earthquakes and tsunami surges. (

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Hawaii Earthquake / 15 October 2006

Magnitude 6.7
  • Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 17:07:48 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time
  • Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 7:07:48 AM = local time at epicenter
Location 19.820°N, 156.027°W
Depth 29 km (18.0 miles) set by location program
  • 11 km (7 miles) NNW (348°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 20 km (13 miles) N (351°) from Kailua, HI
  • 21 km (13 miles) SW (234°) from Puako, HI
  • 99 km (62 miles) W (278°) from Hilo, HI
  • 250 km (155 miles) SE (131°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 3.9 km (2.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst=288, Nph=288, Dmin=24.5 km, Rmss=1.05 sec, Gp= 22°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=S
Source U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawaii, USA


The Hawaii Earthquake of October 25, 2006 occurred offshore of  the island of Kona near the airport with a magnitude of 8.0 and aftershocks with an average magnitude of 6.1. it  had a depth of 29 kilometers or 18 miles from its hypocenter. 

No tsunami warning was raised and no lives were lost in this disaster. However, the tremor was felt in the other islands  and damaged homes, structures, roads and bridges  in Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii and caused landslides and blackouts. On the ground reports from USA Today show the extent of the damage and destruction wrought by the calamity. Governor Linda Lingle declared a state of calamity and the mayor of Oahu confirmed that no serious injuries  happened as a result of the tremor.  With the cooperation of other  state officials and senators, these two officials  conducted an investigation of the extent of the disaster and the magnitude of the power failure that hit the islands in varying degrees and paralyzed operations and communications and other facilities.   Many visitors were stranded in the airports of the islands with the minimum of facilities available, a source of negative criticism for many. In fact, all in-bound flights from the mainland and other places were suspended because of the non-operation of technical facilities. Inland travel was difficult because of the destruction of roads, highways, and bridges caused by the tremors and obstructive landslides. The Federal Emergency Management Agency immediately conducted a comprehensive  inspection of the damage of  all affected areas to determine the most appropriate emergency response. (;

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North Korea (nuclear detonation) 9 October 2006

Magnitude 4.2 (Light)
  • Monday, October 9, 2006 at 01:35:27 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time
  • Monday, October 9, 2006 at 10:35:27 AM = local time at epicenter
Location 41.277°N, 129.114°E
Depth 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program
Distances 65 km (40 miles) N of Kimchaek, North Korea90 km (55 miles) SW of Chongjin, North Korea

185 km (115 miles) S of Yanji, Jilin, China

380 km (235 miles) NE of PYONGYANG, North Korea

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 10 km (6.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst= 19, Nph= 19, Dmin=373.6 km, Rmss=0.97 sec, Gp= 83°,M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=9


On October 9, 2006, North Korea detonated  a test-type nuclear device of .5 kilotons of TNT in Kiljn County. It was the first country to announce a detonation six days before the event.

Although, radioactive traces were detected, the blast was smaller than estimated with a  yield of  approximately .48 kilotons.

This detonation was the product of North Korea’s attempts to establish itself as a nuclear power since the 1980s which was negatively received worldwide. In 1994, the United States and North Korea agreed on the framework for cooperation to prevent,  limit, and thwart  North Korea’s military ambitions. This framework included  commitments  on the part of the United States to provide technical support for the construction of non-military nuclear facilities in North Korea for development purposes and sustained support in providing food for North Korea’s starving population. North Korea, however, resumed the  conduct of a series of nuclear tests in 2002  which culminated in the detonation of 2006 and accompanied by missile launches. The international condemnation of North Korea was massive as a result of this detonation. The threat of a nuclear war brought six stakeholder nations to the negotiating table: the United States, Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan vis-à-vis North Korea commenced  negotiations on December 18, 2006 for the blast that had a magnitude equivalent to a 3.58 earthquake. This explosion which was recorded worldwide and monitored by the nuclear test-ban agency, CTBTO,  was felt in China including Hongkong and saw the phenomenon of plummeting of stock market trading in Asia. Economic sanctions embodied in UNSC Resolution 1718 imposed on North Korea resulted out of this 2006 detonation. (      

Java Earthquake / 26 May 2006

Magnitude 6.3
  • Friday, May 26, 2006 at 22:53:58 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time
  • Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 5:53:58 AM = local time at epicenter
Location 7.962°S, 110.458°E
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 20 km (10 miles) SSE of Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia110 km (70 miles) S of Semarang, Java, Indonesia

150 km (95 miles) SE of Pekalongan, Java, Indonesia

455 km (285 miles) ESE of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.5 km (4.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst=130, Nph=130, Dmin=220.2 km, Rmss=1.4 sec, Gp= 43°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9


The earthquake in the island of Java on May 27, 2006 had a magnitude of 6.3 resulting from a strike-slip fault near the Opak fault near Yogyakarta.

This earthquake has a shallow depth of ten kilometers or 6.2 miles which resulted in 6234 deaths and the destruction of 60000 homes.

This tremor was preceded by the eruption of Mt. Merapi in the region by a few days. This intense activity of the earth’s plates in the region is easily rationalized by the Ring of Fire of volcanoes and moving  tectonic  plates  surrounding  the Pacific Rim that includes the North and South America, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. Aftershocks occurred of lesser magnitude and tsunami alerts were raised but none resulted out of this earthquake. The extent of the damage to Java brought massive help and support  from international agencies, country donors, and other relief organizations. The Indonesian president sent the military to aid in the rescue and relief operation despite the fact that government was severely criticized for its slow response to the crisis. Substantial financial support were sent by  Japan, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, the Kingdom of Jordan, the European Union, Canada, Australia, China, India, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Norway. The Mormons, Oxfam, the Red Cross, the Jesuit Relief, Muslim Charities, and other ngos sent materials  for reconstruction including medical supplies and equipment. Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan sent medical teams and the United States sent a military contingent for rescue and relief operations.   The destruction of  public works, buildings, and utilities was massive, but a significant dimension to this disaster is the damage it wrought on many Hindu-Buddhist historical monuments in the island which are UNESCO cultural heritage sites. (

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Tonga Earthquake / 3 May 2006

Magnitude 8.0
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2006 at 15:26:39 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time
  • Thursday, May 4, 2006 at 4:26:39 AM = local time at epicenter
Location 20.130°S, 174.164°W
Depth 55 km (34.2 miles) set by location program
Region TONGA
Distances 160 km (100 miles) NE of NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga165 km (100 miles) S of Neiafu, Tonga

460 km (285 miles) S of Hihifo, Tonga

2145 km (1330 miles) NNE of Auckland, New Zealand

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 5.3 km (3.3 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst=209, Nph=209, Dmin=732.7 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 22°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=Q

The Tonga early morning earthquake on May 4, 2006 was an underwater tremor with a magnitude of 7.9 -8.0 on the Richter scale  followed by a series of small aftershocks.

Tsunami alerts were raised from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center  in Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand for this tremor which originated in this island 2145 kilometers northeast of Auckland, New Zealand and Hawaii. The tsunami warnings were later lifted The damage was limited to cracks  later found in churches of the island. No lives were lost and only a few injuries were reported. The strong earthquake upset goods in groceries and supermarkets, power outages occurred, cracks appeared in a wharf, sank a vessel laden with copra, another wharf was damaged, telephone lines broke and water pipes burst.

This earthquake confirms the intense activity of volcanoes and the earth’s tectonic plates surrounding the rim of the Pacific Ocean which stretches from the North and South America, the Pacific region, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. This arc is the origin of the world’s deadliest and largest volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Eyewitness accounts of the Tonga Earthquake were  documented by BBC reports and Ron Vea of the Tonga Radio Station. These first-person narratives show  that the inhabitants of the island group were jolted out of their slumber by the magnitude of the tremors, roaring and crackling sound, and the strong shaking of buildings and structures. Those who lived near the epicenter of the earthquake experienced more intense ground shaking that lasted for a minute. This 2006  earthquake is the largest experienced by the islanders in several decades. (; )  


  • acceleration  is  the change of speed of the ground vibration focused on a geographical location measured in 100 units of gravity  equal to 980 cm/s2 .
  • accelerogram  is the data derived  from an accelerograph showing changes in ground vibration based on seconds and minutes.
  • Accelerograph is laboratory tested equipment that stores messages and information  from the instrument that measures the changes of the speed in ground vibration of a geographical point.
  • accelerometer is an instrument used to measure the changes in velocity of vibration  and its impact on the ground and structures within a geographical location.
  • acceptable risk is  the maximum level of capacity for  tolerance of  human activities or livelihood  factors resulting out of a  disaster that  guides the design and configuration of structures  or the  pursuit of human activities and livelihood  interventions to contain and/or mitigate calamity.
  • active fault See fault, active
  • aftershock  are vibrations  or tremors  of lesser magnitude that occur in a series after the ground shaking of the largest magnitude has occurred in a given area.
  • Alluvium is  mixture of scattered soil elements, stones and gravel brought to a low-lying area usually a delta by the movement of water systems downstream.
  • amplification (seismic) is the comparative  heightening of surface ground motion of certain  portions of soil and soft ground elements in relation to movement in well-compacted features of nature.
  • amplitude (wave) is the documentation of  out-of-normal movement of a force moving in a looping  fashion.
  • aseismic is an area where there is no documented occurrence of ground shaking of any magnitude.
  • Asthenosphere  a an area that lies below the earth’s lithosphere of unconfirmed composition observed to obstruct the movement of  looping energy or  disturbances from its origins below the planet’s surface to the ground.
  • Attenuation  is  the lessening of the force and the expansion of the looping movement of  energy as its encounters obstructions in its passage through the different types of materials from its origin inside the earth to the surface.
  • b value  is the data derived on the strengths and number of occurrence of major tremors worldwide.
  • basement  is  the layer below the earth’s soil and ground composed of hardened  material derived from volcanic activity and/or formations produced by in the earth as it evolved in geological time which are found near the border of the shifting plates of the planet.
  • basin and range structure is the configuration of an area made of hardened material on the earth’s surface  that is characterized by a series of elevated and low topographies  where faults lie. Any ground shaking in these areas are attributed to the movement in the faults and bear the name of this topographical feature.
  • bedrock refers to hardened compacted materials  that are usually vertically visible or found beneath the soil and other  loose solid materials on the ground.
  • body wave  are vibrations  of p and s types moving in a loop  from its source inside the earth towards the ground level of the earth’s surface.
  • body-wave magnitude See magnitude, body wave.
  • brittle behavior is a dissipation of energy  during critical stress resulting from a break in a fault or, as is generally believed,  by the rough movement of a dislocated fault.
  • caldera is bowl-like feature of  a volcanic structure  which holds the different exit points of its molten material and other residue.
  • capable fault See fault, capable .
  • compressional wave See P wave.
  • core is the central part of the earth, beginning at a depth of about 2900 km, probably consisting of iron-nickel alloy; it is divisible into an outer core that may be liquid and an inner core about 1300 km in radius that may be solid.
  • creep (fault) is discernible motion proximate to a fault  that does not result in a major tremor or ground-shaking.
  • critical facilities are infrastructures whose importance in calamities  cannot be underestimated and are essential for disaster mitigation and management. These include nuclear power plants or large dams, major communication, utilities, and transportation systems, involuntary or high occupancy buildings such as prisons or schools, and emergency-response services such as hospitals, police,  and fire stations.
  • crust (of the earth) is the ground layer of the earth composed of loose material of various kinds and solid natural features ranging between 35-45 kilometers from the surface. Tremors coming from inside the earth travel through the crust with a velocity of 3-7.5 kilometers per second.
  • debris flow is the descent  of an assortment of earth materials larger than the size of sand following the course of gravity.
  • Density is  the size of the space measured by a specified unit occupied by an object.
  • design acceleration is the estimated maximum possible speed of tremors  at a site used to guide the design of earthquake-resistant structures.
  • design earthquake  is the estimate of the largest magnitude of a tremor  that might  occur in a certain location used to  guide the  design of earthquake-resistant structures.
  • dilatancy (rock) is the expansion of space occupied by a hardened natural feature caused by disturbance or tension.
  • Dip  is  the direction  of the thrust of a  fault or similar solid and angular  geologic features relative to the horizon.
  • dip-slip fault See fault, dip-slip .
  • displacement is a spatial geological adjustment of the location of a natural feature like a fault  before and after the occurrence of a tremor.
  • ductile deformation occurs when solid natural features lose the contours of  their original  form by flowing instead of disintegrating at the highest point of tension.
  • duration (earthquake) is length in seconds of  a tremor within a specific location that among others displays its strength, origin, and depth.
  • earthquake  is the surge and vibration on the earth’s surface within a certain location caused by the collision or shifting of segments of underground hardened natural formations called faults .
  • earthquake hazard is a possible negative and/or destructive effect that tremors of large magnitudes can generate.
  • earthquake hazard reduction describes the process of limiting or containing or mitigating  the negative effects  of  tremors of large magnitudes on life, property, infrastructures. and resources.
  • earthquake loss is the reported and documented destructive and ill-effects of tremors of large magnitudes on life, property, infrastructures, and resources.
  • earthquake risk is the total estimate of the possible damage that tremors of large magnitudes can inflict on life, property, livelihood, infrastructures, and resources within a chronological-geographical location  in relation to  the movement of natural phenomenon measured against a set of values.
  • earthquake source is  the  point of origin under the surface of the planet from where the earthquake releases its energy.
  • elastic deformation is temporary shift in the contours of a natural feature which reverts to the original upon the elimination of the change agent.
  • elastic rebound happens when tension created by the shifting of the planet’s plates   changes to energy that generates a tremor of  large magnitude on the earth’s surface..
  • epicenter  is the geographical location on the surface of the planet’s crust where the surge,  explosion, and vibration of a tremor of a large magnitude takes place. .
  • exceedance probability describes  the possible occurrence of  an event in a particular chronological context that supersedes an original  scientific  estimate of the effect on life, property, livelihood, resources, and infrastructures of a tremor of a large magnitude,
  • exposure (earthquake) is a scientifically configured estimate of the negative effects on life, property, livelihood, resources, and infrastructures categorized in segments of a tremor or tremors of large magnitude within a specific geographical location. 
  • fault is a spatial configuration of a certain length and breadth that lies in between shifting fragments of solid natural formations in the earth’s crust and collide and move against each other.
  • fault, active is  a spatial configuration of a certain length and breadth that lies in between shifting fragments of solid natural formations in the earth’s crust that create tremors of  magnitude when these collide or move against each other.
  • fault, capable is a spatial configuration that is constant site of collisions and movements which generate tremors of magnitude on the earth’s surface.
  • fault, dip-slip is a spatial configuration between two shifting fragments of the earth’s crust  where  the collisions and movement occur at its downward edge.
  • fault, left-lateral  is a strike-slip fault where the resulting movement shifts the fragment of the earth’s crust  to its left on the same plane.
  • fault, normal is a movement  when the shifting fragment of the earth’s crust  moves underneath  the fragment originally located under it.
  • fault, oblique-slip is a spatial configuration that combines the movements of the shifting  fragments in the strike slip and the slip-dip paradigms
  • fault, right-lateral    is a strike-slip fault where the resulting movement shifts the fragment of the earth’s crust to its right on the same plane.
  • fault segment is a vaguely discernible portion of  the gap between two shifting fragments of the earth’s with clear demarcations that are observed to break separately.
  • fault, strike-slip is  created by the partition of a fragment of the earth’s crust into two segments lying on the same plane configured diagonally.
  • fault, thrust or overthrust  is a dip-slip fault that occurs  when segment  of the fragment of the earth’s crust shifts vertically creating two planes that could stretch through long distances.
  • fault, transform is strike-slip fault that is located at the terminal point of actively shifting fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • fault plane is a  flat surface of the shifting fragments of the earth’s crust where the likelihood of breaks and cracks happen.
  • fault-plane solution records of the features of  tremor waves travelling  from their source under the earth documented by several stations which provide information on the size, height, and changes in contours of the fault.
  • fault scarp is a step-like geological feature that physically illustrates the changes in land contours produced by the movements in the shifting fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • fault trace is  the conjuncture where the gap(s) between the  shifting fragments under  the earth  meets  the surface which is used to indicate the  position of the gap(s).
  • fire or conflagration is the most conventional and expected destructive effect of tremors of large magnitude.
  • first motion is the traceable movement of the P-wave on the surface of the earth captured by a  seismometer  and provides information on the features of the tremor, its size, and  its origin below the surface of the crust.
  • floating earthquake is the recorded  magnitude of tremors whose occurrence cannot be rationalized and explained by the existing land forms in the area which indicate  such movements may take place anywhere and at any time in the area.
  • focal depth is the hypocenter or focus or  the location of the origin of ground shaking on the surface underneath  the earth’s crust.
  • focus or hypocenter is located below the surface of the earth where ground-shaking and vibrations originate.
  • Foreshocks are vibrations  of lower and differing magnitudes that come before the ground-shaking of the highest magnitude within the same geographical location.
  • free field is  the ground motion measurement  that have no bearing on the presence of built structures.
  • Frequency is  the measure of  the occurrence of a  completed activity or movement of a single genre within a specific time frame.
  • fundamental period is the duration of ground-shaking on the earth’s surface which indicates the maximum strength, endurance, and resilience of built structures.
  • geodesy is the discipline focused on the contours, mass, and volume of natural formations on this planet.
  • geodimeter is a laboratory-tested equipment  that  indicates the size of the gaps between locations on the ground level of the planet.
  • geologic hazard is a landform or natural phenomenon that might generate negative effects on humans and built forms.
  • geomorphology  is the discipline that focuses on the formation, changes, and features of geological  features.
  • geotechnical is the deployment  of laboratory-tested methodologies and processes from the exact sciences and engineering to expand and utilize earth-based knowledge for practical and scientific applications.
  • gouge is the sedimentation of solid earth material located in the gaps between shifting fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • graben is an elongated fragment of solid material from the planet’s crust found adjacent or underneath  solid landforms on the earth’s surface that indicate the existence of shifting fragments of the crust underneath.
  • gravity anomaly is a character of the force that  results in the even location of semi-solid and solid objects on the earth’s surface.
  • ground motion and ground response  describe the features and character of the movement or earth-shaking  discernible on the earth’s surface resulting from the energy produced by the shifting fragments of the planet’s crust.
  • group velocity is the speed  on which a series of looping units of  energy moves from its  point of origin.
  • Hertz (Hz) is a measure of occurrences with reference  to the number of completed activities within a certain unit of time.
  • Holocene is the period in the formation of the physical features of the planet 10,000 ago.
  • Horst is is an elongated fragment of solid material from the planet’s crust  raised higher than adjacent solid landforms at the earth’s surface that indicate the existence of shifting fragments of the crust underneath.
  • hot spot  lies at the opening of a volcano 100 to 200 km in diameter and provides vents  for  the expulsion of  magma and other residues.
  • hypocenter is located below the surface of the planet where the gaps of the shifting fragments of the crust are situated that generate the tremors of different magnitudes that are felt on the surface.
  • intensity (earthquake) is  measure of the strength of the tremors and the impact of vibrations on ground level as these affect  lives and  property
  • interplate earthquake is  ground-shaking that originates in the gaps between two shifting fragments of the earth’s crust..
  • intraplate earthquake is  a ground-shaking  that originates  inside a shifting fragment of the earth’s crust.
  • isoseismal  is a cartographic legend  indicating the locations where ground-shaking of the same strength occurred for a particular tremor of magnitude.
  • Isostasy is the interaction  between layers of the earth’s of varying density and mobility from solid to semi-liquid where solid segments have denser under layers. Adjustments on the solid surface and/or water content informs the stability of these layers.
  • landslide is the loosening and the descent of earth materials, along a vertically-oriented  surface that provides  no significant obstruction caused by ground shaking.
  • lateral spreads are  the loosening and the descent of earth materials, along a vertically-oriented  surface that provides  no significant obstruction caused by tremors producing a change of density and the liquefaction  of the materials on the highest layer.
  • left-lateral fault See fault, left-lateral.
  • lineament  is  a natural landform that reveals the existence underneath of a land form of a different topographic taxon.
  • liquefaction is the result of tremors when the water content of loose earth materials generate a momentary fluid movement for this mass of solids.
  • lithosphere is the layer of the earth nearest to the surface or ground level above the shifting fragments of the crust and the upper mantle.
  • longitudinal wave See P wave.
  • loss estimation and loss reduction are quantitative calculations of the cost of the negative and destructive  effects resulting out of  tremors of  large magnitude.
  • Love wave  is the motion of  energy generated by tremors  across the surface of the earth opposite the direction of the motion of energy as it travels to the surface from its hypocenter underneath the earth.
  • magnetic anomaly is the character of the force acting upon the planet that facilitates the almost-even location of objects on the earth’s surface.
  • magnitude (earthquake) is a measure of the strength of ground-shaking on the surface of the planet as documented by a seismograph with reference to the point where the tremor starts on the surface.
  • magnitude, body-wave [m b  ] is  the measure of the strength  of ground-shaking using  the documented path of the P waves.
  • magnitude, local [M L]       is the numerical quantification  of the strength  of a ground tremor  first calculated by Charles Richter who based this on the size and speed of energy-bearing waves recorded by seismographs.
  • magnitude, moment [M] is  the strength of a tremor based on the initial burst of energy at ground level.
  • magnitude, surface-wave [M S] is the strength of a tremor based on the looping motion of energy at ground level as detected and recorded by instruments.
  • mantle (of the earth) is the layer of the earth between ground level and the shifting fragments below the surface and the center of the planet.
  • maximum credible earthquake  is the estimation of the strongest possible tremor that might or could  occur within a certain geological location.
  • microzonation is the systematic arrangement of sites plotting possible strengths of tremors and their projected negative and their disastrous impact.
  • Mohorovicic (moho) discontinuity lies at the point of convergence of the crust and mantle where a significant shift occurs  in the speed of the movement of waves toward the earth’s surface.
  • moment (earthquake) is a quantitative configuration of the initial burst of a tremor  based on the strength of the vibration giving indications of the character of its origins underneath ground level and the magnitude of displacement that occurred as the fragments of the crust shifted and collided.
  • natural frequency is the occurrence of  a number of completed activities within a time frame  which determines the regular motion of a system after the  first vibration.
  • normal fault See fault, normal .
  • oblique-slip fault See fault, oblique-slip.
  • outcrop is the location of a solid geological feature where  it  becomes visible at ground level.
  • overburden is a clump of loose elements of earth and non-configured solids located on top of a solid geological feature.
  • P wave  is a loop-like configuration of energy moving at the highest speed  from the direction of its source underneath the earth’s surface to ground level where its impact precedes all other forms of energy.
  • paleoseismology is the discipline that focuses on tremors and ground-shaking that occurred during this geological period.
  • period (wave) is the chronological frame which records the single completed movement of the loop-shaped energy from beginning to completion.
  • Phase is  a segment in the movement of a process calculated and determined by a constant and documented angular measure.
  • physiographic describes the features and the location of geological structures on the the planet’s surface.
  • plastic See ductile .
  • plate (tectonic) is a constantly shifting fragment of solid geological features found underneath the earth’s surface whose movement generates tremors and ground-shaking.
  • plate tectonics is the body of geological knowledge that rationalizes the energy produced by the constant shifting of the large solid geological fragments  underneath the surface of the planet as the source of disturbances on the surface such as tremors, ground-shaking, volcanic eruptions. etc.
  • Rayleigh wave is an surface vibration moving at an ellipsis following the path of the energy as it moves upward from its point of origin to ground level.
  • recurrence interval is the computed chronological  estimate of the period in between occurrences of natural processes within a physical location.
  • reflection (seismic wave) describes the impact of the movement of energy that restores layers of natural objects different elastic properties to their original configuration.
  • refraction (seismic wave) describes the impact of the movement of energy that changes the physical attributes of an object with different elastic properties.
  • resonance affirms that  at the point when the vibrations approximate the natural frequency of the human body, the width of the energy wave  expands.
  • response spectrum  is the highest possible feedback derived from the exposure to ground-shaking  by a series of simple harmonic oscillators of different natural frequencies.
  • return period See recurrence interval.
  • right-lateral fault See fault, right-lateral.
  • rigidity is the sharp-edged  physical configuration that results out of the force and weight of sheer stress on a natural form. See shear modulus
  • risk (seismic) See earthquake risk.
  • risk evaluation, risk reduction, and risk management  are areas of concern that  need to be effectively managed to mitigate and minimize the negative effects of disasters in general on human existence, resources, and infrastructures.
  • rock avalanche is the rapid descent on an inclined surface of  disintegrated fragments of solid geological materials.
  • rock fall describes the rapid descent of fragments of solid geological materials influenced by the magnetic pull of the earth.
  • rupture velocity is the rate of movement of  the energy  as it moves along the crack located between two shifting fragments of the crust from its point of origin.
  • S wave is the looping  behavior  of energy as it moves in the opposite the direction  from the tremor’s  point of origin underneath ground level.
  • sand boil is the residue of liquid and particles expelled from the surface of the earth  produced by liquefaction of the upper portions of the crust during tremors.
  • Scarp is a sharp incline on the earth’s surface which is the product of the shifting of fragments of the earth’s crust and/or any natural phenomenon. See fault scarp.
  • seiche is the visible vibration or movement  of a water system that has no exit to the sea resulting out of  tremors or other processes or elements.
  • seismic hazard See earthquake hazard.
  • seismic hazard analysis is  a scientifically configured numerical  process designed to determine the degree of exposure of a geographical area to the negative and destructive effects of tremors.
  • seismic moment See moment (earthquake) .
  • seismic risk See earthquake risk .
  • seismic wave  is the curl-like movement of energy produced by the vibrations produced by the collision and/or shifting  of fragments of the crust.
  • seismic zonation is a spatial configuration of sections of the planet indicating the   possible occurrence of tremors and their estimated negative and destructive effects.
  • seismic zone is a site or location with unchanging pattern for scientifically managing  the impact  of tremors and vibrations of significant magnitudes.
  • Seismograph is  is an equipment that documents the movement of energy and its characteristics  generated by the constant shifting of large fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • seismology is the discipline or body of knowledge that focuses on tremors and their characteristics  and the energy that is generated by the constant shifting of large fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • seismometer  is the apparatus that captures the energy  that results out of tremors and changes this into electricity.
  • seismotectonic zone or province is a location on the surface of the planet  with shared or homogenous natural features and processes including tremors.
  • shear modulus is the quantification of the proportion of shear stress to shear strain of a material during simple shear.
  • shear wave See S wave .
  • site is a location on the planet which is the focus of an assessment of the estimated and documented impact of tremors.
  • slip (fault) is alteration of the contour or position of portions of  the shifting fragments of the earth’s  crust below the surface.
  • slip rate is the computed mean speed of the alteration of the contour or position of portions of the shifting fragments of the earth’s surface.
  • snow avalanche is a fast descent of frozen particles along a slope towards the surface of the earth.
  • soil is the upper portion of the surface of the planet above the layer of solid hardened geological features  composed of soft materials that sustains plant life.
  • soil profile is the configuration of layers of  loose organic materials sustaining plant life on top of their  original source.
  • stick-slip is a downward snap movement of solid geological materials bound together by the contact of rough surfaces.
  • strain (elastic) is the degree of alteration in physical attributes and characteristics of an object and/or natural or geological feature.
  • stress (elastic) is the application of energy on a the surface of a confined physical space.
  • stress drop is the disparity of the measurable strength of the energy generated by the shifting fragments of the earth’s crust during the pre-tremor and the post-tremor periods.
  • Strike is  the reference point located in the upper section where  the gap between shifting  fragments of the crust meets a flat plane.
  • strike-slip fault See fault, strike-slip.
  • strong motion (ground) is  the significant magnitude or size of ground-shaking caused by tremors or detonations  that generates concern for closer examination in terms of the possible occurrence of negative and destructive effects.
  • structural features are visible and perceptible  geological features resulting out of the impact of forces and energy after the formation period of these solid natural features.
  • subduction  happens when a shifting fragment of the earth’s surface relocates itself underneath another shifting solid fragment.
  • surface faulting (surface fault rupture) is the movement  of the land or undersea surface of the planet resulting from the shifting of the fragments of the earth’s crust.
  • surface waves are  curl-like movements of  energy that move from its  origin across the surface of the planet.  (Love and Rayleigh waves ).
  • swarm (earthquake)  is the occurrence of a number of tremors of relatively insignificant magnitudes  within a certain location and time frame.
  • tectonic earthquake is a  ground-shaking produced by the shifting and/or collision of moving fragments of the earth’s crust below ground level.
  • tectonic province is  an area with homogeneous geographical and natural forms and processes.
  • Tectonics is  a discipline or body of knowledge that focuses on the composition and metamorphoses of  the layer of the planet immediately  below its surface.
  • thrust fault See fault, thrust .
  • transform fault See fault, transform .
  • travel-time or time-distance curve is a quantitative configuration of  the record documented by stations of the path of  the energy generated by tremors computed using the variables of time and distances.
  • tsunami  is  a moving wall of displaced water that is generated by the impact of tremors and volcanic activity on a  large body of water.
  • velocity (seismic) is the quantification of the speed of energy generated by tremors originating from the planet’s crust moving from its point of origin as it passes through solid material.
  • velocity structure is a qualitative configuration articulating variations of the different speeds of the energy generated by tremors.
  • viscoelasticity  occurs on materials that contort based on the element of time when based from seconds to hours, the material possesses  elastic solid properties and a viscous plastic over long periods of long-term natural evolution.
  • volcanic earthquakes is a tremor that is generated by the natural processes that occur in volcanoes.
  • water table is the layer of ground water nearest to the surface.
  • waveform (seismic) is  a record of the shifts in position resulting from the looping movement  of tremors in the context of time.
  • wavelength is the quantitative computation of distance between two high points and low points of the loop-like energy movement  that is generated by tremors.
  • wavelet is a energy beat occurring in the size  of 1½ or 2 cycles.


Bates, Robert L., and Julia A. Jackson, eds., American Geological Institute. Dictionary of Geological Terms , 3d ed. New York: Doubleday, 1984.

Bolt, Bruce A., University of California, Berkeley. Earthquakes. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1988.

Shah, Haresh, “Glossary of Terms for Probabilistic Seismic-Risk and Hazard Analysis.” Earthquake Spectra (Earthquake Engineering Research Institute) 1, no. 1 (November 1984): 3340.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences . Smith, David. G., ed-in-chief. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc./Cambridge University Press, 1981.

Ziony, J.I., ed. Evaluating Earthquake Hazards in the Los Angeles Region­An Earth-Science Perspective . U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1360, 1985.


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Foodborne Illness

Foodborne Illness: Symptoms, Causes, Most Common Causes, Types of Food Poisoning, Preventing Illness, Foodborne Illness Surveillance

Foodborne Illness

A foodborne illness (fbi) is any sickness caused by the food you eat. Common symptoms of fbi include nausea, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and chills. More frequently termed as ‘food poisoning’ it is also called foodborne infection. Whichever the term, foodborne illness is a universal, expensive and totally preventable public health malaise. Though the human body is endowed with remarkable resilience, which increases with each generation as they are progressively equipped with an increased immunity quotient in their genes at birth, almost every person falls prey to it at least once in his/her lifetime.  Many cases are simple infections which disappear on their own overnight.

Some agencies or doctors say that foodborne illnesses are infections or irritations of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract caused by food or beverages that contain harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, or chemicals. ]Long term statistics show that foodborne diseases can prove to be extremely expensive. Officials in health management estimate that every year, the cost of preventing and curing all foodborne diseases in the USA touches between US$5 to 6 billion as defrayment of direct medical costs coupled with lost productivity as workers are rendered hors de combat. There are more than 250 foodborne diseases that have been charted, analyzed and for which remedies have been suggested.

Each year, fbi causes

  • about 76 million (1 in 6 Americans) cases of illnesses
  • 325,000 hospitalizations
  • 5,000 deaths in the U.S.,

though America’s food supply is amongst the safest in the world, rated 21st after leaders Denmark and Australia.

By and large, the patient falls sick on eating or drinking polluted foods or beverages. The number of disease-causing microbes, or pathogens (germs, microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, parasites) that can infect foods are vast and variegated, so the foodborne infections are equally vast and variegated. Apart from pathogens, the other causes of fbi are toxic chemicals, or other poisonous substances that are present in the food or beverage consumed.  

Foodborne Illnesses in Developed and Non-developed Countries

Developed countries tend to report the highest rates of food poisoning, which is rather strange, considering that their food supply, both internal and imported, is so stringently checked. On the other end of the scale lie the less developed countries, where cases of food poisoning are rather high, but lower than expected. This is because of a much larger base of immunity genes passed from generation to generation in the latter case. While this is, prima facie, a pejorative statement, it is actually beneficial to those countries as they have other serious problems to cope with. As matters stand, these countries are aided by a volunteer medical workforce from the UN as their own resources are virtually non-existent and the UN force is already stretched widely. They could do without food poisoning.

A well documented case is the Delhi Belly. Though pathogens affect almost every single person who arrives in Delhi from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland and about half those who come from the USA, the percentage of visitors from England affected is less than 10 percent. Evidently the British, who ran the British Raj in India, took back a fair amount of immunity when India became independent in 1947. Almost all visitors to India from these countries are warned about food, water and the noisome pollution levels prevalent in India. The Delhi Belly gained notoriety because visiting Cricket teams from Cricket playing advanced countries would have quite a few players on the sick list for the first few days.


An interesting related fact is that richer nations that have better infrastructure and awareness, i.e., have more supplies, spend more on research and have better food logistics systems finally spend less per head on food. On the average, OECD households spend about 20% of their income on food, while the most insecure countries in Sub-Saharan Africa spend more than 50% (sometimes up to 70%). The richer countries also have a calorie surplus. On the average, Americans have access to 3,700 calories a day−well above the recommended 2,300. The poorest, such as Haiti and Burundi, on the average, have 100 calories less than minimum−though for the very poorest, it’s much worse than that. The Democratic Republic of Congo has a grim per-person food supply of 1,605 calories, or 43% below requirement.

Please note that these are average values.

Irritations of the GI tract

Irritations of the GI tract is a fair explanation. The number of bacteria present on or in your body is quite large, but not enough to overcome the human’s immunity systems. Virtually every meal that has lain dormant for hour or so above 4.°4 C (40° F) before you eat it also has a fair amount of bacteria, but not enough to beat the body. It is, however, recommended that any food items exposed to temperatures above 4.°4 C for more than two hours should be discarded. Such mismanagement is appalling, considering that globally, over 840 million people starve every single day. A new-born baby feeds on breast milk, which is naturally anti-bacterial. Toddlers drink safe milk, processed by the mother or guardian. As you grow, your resistance to food poisoning increases, up to a ripe old age when regression sets in. The single most powerful reagents in your body are the acids in your stomach, which kill most pathogens. This acid is strong for human flesh with pH ranging from 1 to 4, but is controlled to a level which does not damage the walls of the stomach. The dead bacteria are excreted as feces. Food is generally pushed through the stomach for further processing. If all pathogens present are not exterminated, infection is likely to set in, causing food poisoning.

The GI tract is part of the digestive system, which includes other components, like the digestive organs and their accessories. The whole GI tract is about nine meters (30’) long. It is responsible for releasing hormones that regulate the digestive process, including the acids in the stomach, i.e., gastrin, secretin, cholecystokinin, and ghrelin. It consists of two sections, the upper and lower tracts. The two are separated by the base of the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The duodenum, along with the esophagus and stomach form the upper GI tract. The lower GI tract includes most of the small intestine and all of the large intestine. The stomach passes processed food to the 6 meter (20’) long small intestine, which empties its contents into the large intestine, the end of which is the anus.

The major function of the upper GI tract is to absorb the products of digestion, like lipids, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins into the bloodstream. Any acid exiting the stomach is neutralized by an alkaline fluid produced by the duodenum. The lower GI tract consists of the intestines, the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. The primary function of the lower GI, specifically the large intestine, is to absorb water. The time taken for food to move through the GI tract varies, depending on a number of factors. On the average, it takes 45-50 minutes after a meal for 50 percent of the stomach contents to move into the lower intestine. Total emptying takes an hour longer. Next, 50 percent of the small intestine takes 1 to 2 hours to move into the colon. Exit through the colon takes from 12 to 48 hours, varying from person to person.

The GI tract is also a prominent part of the immune system. The surface area of the digestive tract is estimated to be equal to the surface area of a football field (5,000 sq m/50,000 sq ft.). With such a large exposure, the immune system works overtime to prevent pathogens from entering our blood and lymph (ibid).

Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses

Symptoms of foodborne illnesses generally start within 2 – 6 hours of ingesting the food. This time may be longer or shorter, depending on the cause of the food poisoning. In fact, the incubation period may even extend to a week. Symptoms of food poisoning include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea (stool may be bloody)
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and unusual fatigue

If you decide to go to your doctor and narrate your symptoms, he, in all probability, will look for signs of food poisoning, particularly pain in the stomach and signs of dehydration. This latter malady is insidious and rehydration is critical. Apart from dehydration, both urine and stool tests will be done to identify which germ is causing your malaise. He would be pleased if you could provide him a sample of the food eaten. If tests do not reveal the stomach bug, he might ask you to undergo a sigmoidoscopy, where a mini-camera mounted on a thin pipe is inserted into your anus and your insides checked.

Abdominal cramps

We’ve all had those horrible bouts of sickness and diarrhea and recovered in a couple of days. We think we’re well informed through experience, but there are many things we are absolutely unaware of.

We know that a stomach upset, the mildest form of foodborne disease, is caused by germs. One effect is abdominal cramps, the sudden feeling of tightness in the gut, which may or may not be accompanied by pain. Such a cramp is generally eased by going to the toilet. It is rarely a standalone malaise, often preceded by dehydrating loose, watery motions, generally four to five times a day, and accompanied by nausea and a feeling of being unwell.

If you get prominent abdominal pulsations not accompanied by any of the symptoms mentioned, but by a deep boring pain in the lower back or flank, it is essential you get to your doctor immediately. You could have an abdominal aortic aneurysm playing up. The aorta is the large artery that exits the heart and delivers blood to the body. The portion of the aorta that is located in the abdomen is referred to as the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta extends from the diaphragm to the mid-abdomen where it splits into the iliac arteries that supply the legs with blood. A section of the abdominal aorta has possibly weakened and is starting to balloon. You need immediate treatment.

Usually, aortic aneurysms are found in older people and are associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. It is hereditary, so you probably know of other cases in your family. Moreover, it is exacerbated by smoking.


Dehydration is yet another concern, because you’re losing fluids in the loo, more when vomiting, and sweating if you have a fever. Symptoms invariably include headache, dizziness, infrequent micturition, dry mouth, dark stools and weakness. Small children and babies are at a higher risk of dehydration since they don’t need to lose much fluid to upset their body fluid balance. Be principally wary of dehydration in the under-ones, particularly kids under six months and kids small for their age or who were premature. Pregnant women and older, frail people are at increased risk of dehydration too. Old folks are quite likely to be under medication, using diuretics (water tablets) to control their blood pressure, and dehydration will obviously affect their body fluid balance. Remember, fluid intake is critical to avoid getting dehydrated. Drink water, drink more water and drink then some more!

In babies and infants, signs to look out for include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth, tongue or lips
  • Fewer wet nappies
  • Lethargy or unusual irritability

Cold hands or feet, rapid breathing, pale or mottled skin or drowsiness can be signs of severe dehydration in children – seek medical help urgently.

General Tips to Avoid Foodborne Illnesses

If travelling anywhere outside Western Europe, the USA or Australia/New Zealand:

  • Wash your hands before you eat anything. This is a rule applicable no matter where you stay.
  • Where food and drink is concerned, boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it!
  • Avoid ice in drinks – it’s made from the local water.
  • Take a travel kettle to boil drinking water or ask your chemist about water sterilising tablets.
  • Avoid food containing raw or partly cooked eggs.   
  • Avoid shellfish, especially if it’s raw.

Causes of Foodborne Illnesses

Foodborne illnesses are caused by Bacteria, Mycotoxins, Parasites and Natural toxins. More than 250 different diseases can cause fbi.

Bacteria : Bacteria and viruses are the most common cause of food poisoning. The symptoms and severity of food poisoning vary, depending on which bacteria or virus has contaminated the food. Some of the bacteria and viruses that cause the most illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States are:

  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • E. coli
  • Listeria
  • Clostridium Botulinum
  • Clostridium perfringens.
  • Norovirus (Norwalk Virus)
  • Mycotoxins: Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. The number of medically important fungi is quite low; those responsible for human and veterinary diseases include aflatoxin, citrinin, aspergillosis, ergot akaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, patulin, trichothecenes, and zearalenone. Fungi on animal hosts produce diseases of the family called mycoses, while dietary, respiratory, dermal, and other exposures to toxic fungal metabolites produce the diseases collectively called mycotoxicoses. Mycoses range from the irritating, e.g., athlete’s foot to the life-threatening, e.g., invasive aspergillosis. Mycotoxicoses, or “poisoning by natural means” is caused by exposure to pesticides or heavy metal residues.
  • Parasites: Parasites are creatures that derive their feed and shelter from their hosts. Such organisms are transmitted by water, soil, or physical contact. Their sizes vary from tiny, mono-celled organisms to large easily visible worms.  The most common foodborne parasites in the US are protozoa, roundworms, and tapeworms. The foodborne parasite that causes the most hospitalizations and deaths in this country is Toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis.  Another parasite, the rare Cyclospora cayetanensis, causes Cyclosporiasis, while a third, Giardia intestinalis is responsible for Giardiasis.
  • Natural toxins: Some cases of food poisoning can be linked to toxins. These could be either natural, like those in some types of mushrooms and pufferfish, or chemical toxins such as pesticides or melamine. While some molds are desirable in foods (such as blue cheese), other molds can produce toxins that cause illness.

The most common cause of food poisoning

The most common cause of food poisoning is eating stale food. For instance, on festive  occasions in the less developed countries, large amounts of food are cooked well before they are to be served as the number of stoves available is insufficient to cook all dishes simultaneously. Ambient temperatures tend to be on the high side, around 75-90° F(24-32° C), which is a comfortable physical range for natives. Unfortunately, this range is also the most suitable for pathogens to breed and infect the stored food. Food poisoning can thus affect one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food. It also occurs fairly often after picnics, when cooked food is taken along to the picnic site in standard vessels exposed to ambient conditions. The most common bacteria are Staphylococcus.

There are at least 40 species of Staphylococcus, many of which are nontoxic and are found in huge numbers on the skin and mucous membranes of humans and other organisms worldwide. The species found on human skin is called Staphylococcus epidermiditis; the other genera found in or on the human body number fifteen. Though harmless in nature, a preponderance of Staphylococcus can cause a wide variety of diseases in the GI tract of humans through either toxin production or penetration. A simple bath cleans up the varieties outside the body; Lack of personal hygiene sees Staphylococcal cells in unwanted abundance and, when added to those produced by bacteria growing in improperly stored food items, can overcome human tolerance limits and create toxins that cause food poisoning.

Sialadenitis, an inflammation of the salivary gland, is caused only by Staphylococci, leading to low grade fever and mild pain / swelling mainly after meals as the food pipe gets obstructed and narrows. Food pushing past causes the mild pain. The Parotid or Submandibular glands are also affected and the standard treatment is therapies such as warm water gargles, hydration, analgesics and sialogogues, which is a stimulant for salivary output. Persistent cases are treated with antibiotics.


When a person swallows bacteria that cause food poisoning, there is some delay before symptoms appear (incubation period). This is because some of these bacteria pass through the stomach and need time to gestate in the intestine. The incubation period depends on the type of bacteria, how many are swallowed and how strong it is. It could be hours, even days. The bacteria attack the cells lining the intestine and destroy these cells, overwhelming them by sheer numbers or by the toxins (poisons) they produce. Some bacteria produce toxins when they grow in food. Since the toxins are harmful by themselves, the bacteria don’t need to multiply in the intestine to create illness, so the symptoms become obvious very quickly. As the bacteria entered the body through its digestive system, that’s where the first symptoms will appear.

Bacteria grow in warm and moist conditions. Reproduction is amoebic, i.e., by dividing themselves, so one bacterium becomes two become four and so on. . . One bacterium could become several million in 8 hours and several billions in 12 hours. Think of food with a few bacteria left out of the fridge overnight at a temperature of 20° C (68° F). Millions of bacteria per mouthful next morning! That’s enough to make even Bactman ill. If you’d put that food in the fridge, it wouldn’t have killed any bacteria, but would have stopped them from multiplying. Always assume that bacteria are omnipresent. Since they are invisible and have no taste or smell, maintain good hygiene to stay safe.


Campylobacter is the most common known cause of food poisoning. It is found mostly in poultry, red meat, unpasteurized milk, untreated water or through contact with infected infants or pets. Although it doesn’t grow in food it spreads easily, so only a few bacteria in a piece of undercooked chicken could cause illness. Infection caused by campylobacter can be serious in people with weak immune systems. In the odd case, campylobacter can cause unrelated problems such as arthritis or neurological debility.


Salmonella is the second most common cause of food poisoning after campylobacter. A bacterial infection, it can be passed on to humans from domestic and wild animals, including poultry, pigs, cattle, and pets. But most often, it is caused by drinking unpasteurized milk or by eating undercooked poultry and poultry products like eggs. Food prepared on surfaces contaminated earlier by raw chicken or turkey can also pick up salmonella. It will survive if food is not cooked properly and multiply unless chilled. It is also possible that the illness stems from food contaminated by a food worker.

People with salmonella should take great care with personal hygiene because they infect others on contact. For instance, if a carrier doesn’t wash his/her hands properly after going to the toilet, he could have infectious salmonella on his hands. Contaminated air ducts can spread salmonella! Bacteria could escape from the intestine, enter the bloodstream and infect other organs. It could become a persistent infection in some people, who evince no symptoms, yet spread the disease to others.


Named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first discovered it almost 120 years ago, Shigella is an anaerobic rod-shaped bacteria closely related to Salmonella. It is a type of bacteria that causes dysentery, an acute form of diarrhea. Shigella was accepted as a genus only in the 1950s and the disease they cause is called Shigellosis. These bacteria are grouped into 4 species: Shigelladysenteriae (Group A), Shigellaflexneri (Group B), Shigellaboydii (Group C), and Shigellasonnei (Group D). Each group has many sub-types called serotypes 1,2 and so on.

Surprisingly, different types of Shigella are found to be the cause of shigellosis on a geographic basis. Shigelladysenteriae serotype 1 causes deadly epidemics, and is usually found in the developing world; it is estimated that Shigellosis is responsible for close to 90 million cases of severe dysentery, resulting in at least 100,000 fatalities each year, mostly among children. Shigellaboydii is restricted to the Indian subcontinent; Shigellaflexneri and Shigellasonnei are prevalent in developing and developed countries respectively. Shigellaflexneri bacteria is the cause of the worldwide form of bacillary dysentery. The United States shows up Shigellasonnei (Group D) which runs a course of a week but rarely requires hospitalization. Treatment at home is adequate.  

Shigellosis is endemic in less developed countries where sanitation is poor. Humans are mostly affected. No natural food products harbor Shigella bacteria, but a variety of foods may be contaminated. Shigellosis is spread by means of fecal-oral transmission. Other modes of transmission include ingestion of contaminated food or water, contact with a contaminated inanimate object, and certain modes of sexual contact. The common housefly can spread the disease by physically transporting infected feces.

Another unusual aspect of shigellosis is that the infectivity dosage is extremely low. As few as 10 Shigelladysenteriae bacilli can cause clinical disease; 100-200 bacilli are enough for Shigellasonnei or Shigellaflexneri infection. The reasons for such a response are not yet clear. Perhaps virulent Shigellae can withstand the pH of gastric juice since intestinal adherence favors colonization in vivo. Tests have shown that most Shigella bacilli survive acidic treatment at pH 2.5 for at least 2 hours.

Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli, or E.coli is the typification of a bacterium that lives in the GI tracts of humans and animals. There are many types of E. coli; most of them are harmless, but some can cause bloody diarrhea. Some strains of E. coli bacteria (such as O 157: H 7) may also cause severe anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death.

Different strains of E. coli can cause urinary tract or other infections. You get an E. coli infection by coming into contact with the feces, or stool, of humans or animals, possibly when you drink water or eat food contaminated by such feces. E. coli can get into meat during processing. If the infected meat is not cooked to 71° C (160° F), the bacteria can survive and infect you when you eat the meat. This is how people in the US are infected with E. coli. Any food that has been in contact with raw meat can also become infected.

Other foods that can be infected with E. coli include:

  • Raw milk or dairy products. Bacteria may transit from a cow’s udders to its milk. Pasteurization destroys bacteria.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, or unpasteurized fruit juices that have come in contact with infected animal feces.

Human or animal feces infected with E. coli sometimes get into lakes, pools, and water supplies. You can become infected if accidentally swallow contaminated water while swimming in a lake, pool, or irrigation canal. The bacteria spreads from one person to another, generally when an infected person does not wash his or her hands well after a bowel movement. E. coli can spread from an infected person’s hands to other people or to objects.

The main symptoms of E. coli O 157: H 7 infections are:

  • Bloody diarrhea.
  • Stomach cramps.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Often, symptoms are not noticed by people. Children are more prone to have symptoms than adults. Symptoms typically start 3 / 4 days after you come in contact with the E. coli. Quite often, people recover in 5-7 days without knowing that E. coli was behind their problems.

When E. coli causes serious problems with the blood or kidneys, symptoms include:

  • Pale skin
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Bruising
  • Passing small quantities of urine


Listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes is an important public health problem in the US as it can be fatal. It is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning. Listeria strikes viciously at pregnant women, newborn kids, older adults and those with immune systems weakened by cancer, cancer treatment, diabetes, kidney or liver problems and HIV/AIDS. Listeria is known to cause miscarriage and meningitis. Most people found to have Listeria infection require hospital care and about 1 in 5 people with the infection die. People without these risk factors can also be affected, but to a much lesser degree. The risk is negated by safe food preparation, consumption, and storage.

Listeria is challenging because:

  • When someone eats food contaminated with Listeria, sickness or miscarriage may not occur until weeks later when it is difficult to identify which food was the source.
  • Listeria can infect many foods we don’t usually cook, like deli meats, cheeses and sprouts.
  • Some foods we might not suspect can be contaminated with Listeria and cause sickness and outbreaks, such as cantaloupe and celery.
  • Listeria can even grow on refrigerated foods.
  • Listeria can hide unnoticed in the equipment or appliances where food is prepared, including in factories and grocery stores.

Listeriosis was traced to fast foods like the Hot Dog and deli meats in 1990 and precautionary measures adopted. Infections reduced over that decade, but have not yet gone down in this millennium. Some foods where Listeria is known to hide include raw sprouts, raw (unpasteurized) milk, deli meats and hot dogs (cold, uncooked), soft cheeses and smoked seafood.

Botulism (Clostridium Botulinum)

Botulism is a rare but life-threatening bacterial illness. Clostridium Botulinum bacteria grows on food and produces toxins that, when ingested, cause paralysis. Such poisoning is extremely rare, but so dangerous that each case is considered a public health emergency. There is a 35 to 65 percent chance of death for patients who are not treated immediately and effectively with botulism antitoxin. Infant botulism is the most common form of botulism.

Symptoms of Botulism

Botulism neurotoxins block neurotransmissions, inhibiting motor control. The victim experiences paralysis from top to bottom; when paralysis reaches the chest, death occurs from inability to breathe unless the patient is ventilated. Symptoms usually appear 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food.  With treatment, illness lasts from 1 to 10 days. 

Full recovery from botulism poisoning can take weeks to months. Some people never fully recover.

In general, symptoms of botulism poisoning include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Dry skin, mouth and throat
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle Weakness and Body Ache
  • Paralysis
  • Lack of fever

Infant botulism takes on a different form. Symptoms in an infant include lethargy, poor appetite, constipation, drooling, drooping eyelids, a weak cry, and paralysis.


If found early, botulism can be treated with an antitoxin that blocks circulation of the toxin in the bloodstream. This prevents the patient’s case from worsening, but recovery still takes several weeks.

Prevention of Botulism

Since botulism poisoning most commonly comes from foods improperly canned at home, the most important step in preventing botulism is to follow proper canning procedure. To prevent infant botulism, do not give even a small amount of honey to an infant, as honey is one source of infant botulism.

Clostridium perfringens

Clostridium perfringens is the third most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and the US though it can sometimes be ingested and cause no harm. It is always found in decaying vegetation, marine sediment and the GI tract of dead humans. Its action on corpses is known to mortuary workers as tissue gas, and can be halted only by embalming.

Clostridium perfringens usually causes diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, occasional nausea but it doesn’t cause vomiting or fever. Unlike other bacteria that cause fbi, clostridium perfringens isn’t fully destroyed by ordinary cooking. This is because it produces heat-resistant spores. Bacteria are killed at cooking temperatures, but the heat-resistant spores survive and may even be stimulated to germinate by the heat. If the food is not eaten immediately but allowed to cool, the bacteria produced when the spores germinate multiply rapidly. Unless the food is reheated so that it is piping hot (60o C to preferably 75o C), the bacteria will survive. After ingestion, if there are sufficient numbers present, the bacteria will produce toxins and the toxins will cause symptoms.


Norovirus comes from a bunch of diverse single-string RNA in the Caliciviridae family and are all taken to be derivatives of the Norwalk virus. It is the single most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the US. It causes twenty million illnesses each year, contributes to 70,000-75,000 hospitalizations and 700-800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the US.

Norovirus is highly contagious. You can pick up norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by simply touching contaminated surfaces. Your stomach or intestines or both get inflamed causing typical symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, and repeated bouts of diarrhea and vomiting (acute gastroenteritis). You have to watch out for dehydration; children who are dehydrated may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

Anyone can be infected with norovirus. What’s more, you can have norovirus sickness many times in your life. This illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults. The best way to avoid norovirus is to wash regularly and maintain good personal hygiene. There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection. If you have norovirus illness, all you can do is prevent dehydration.

Some other foodborne diseases are:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Cyclosporiasis
  • Giardiasis
  • Q fever
  • Vibrio infections

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. This is one of many types of hepatitis viruses that inflame and affect your liver’s functionality. You’re most likely to contract hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with someone who’s infected. Mild cases require no treatment, and most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage. The best way to safeguard yourself against hepatitis A is by practicing good hygiene, including washing hands frequently. Vaccines are available for Hepatitis A. Interestingly, it is also a sexually transmitted disease, both heterosexual and homosexual.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A typically do not appear until you’ve had the virus for a few weeks, may include unusual ones like:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, another severe liver infection, is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Some people have hepatitis B for a period exceeding six months, i.e., the infection becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis B is dangerous as it increases the risk of your developing liver failure, cancer of the liver or cirrhosis — where the liver is permanently scarred. That portion becomes deadweight.

Most adults with hepatitis B recover fully, even from severe conditions. Infants and children are more prone to chronic hepatitis B. A vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, but there’s no cure if you have it. If you’re infected, take precautions to prevent passing HBV to others. HBV is often transmitted by:

  • Sexual contact. You may become infected if you have unprotected sex with an infected partner whose blood, saliva, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body.
  • Sharing of needles. HBV is easily transmitted through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood.
  • Accidental needle pokes. Hepatitis B is a concern for health care workers and anyone else who comes in contact with human blood.
  • Mother to child. HBV-afflicted pregnant women with can pass the virus to their babies during childbirth. However, the newborn can be vaccinated to avoid getting infected. Get yourself tested for hepatitis B if you are pregnant or wish to become pregnant.


Cholera, an infectious disease, causes severe diarrhea, dehydration and even death if untreated. It is mostly caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

About 10 cases of cholera are reported each year in the US. Contaminated seafood has caused an outbreak of cholera in the US. Cholera outbreaks are a major health problem in other parts of the world, where 3 to 5 million people are affected, causing over 100,000 deaths every year. The disease is endemic in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine, including parts of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched)
  • Dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids
  • Low blood pressure
  • Thirst
  • Muscle cramps

If not treated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours.


Typhoid is a severe illness associated with fever most often caused by the Salmonella typhi or paratyphi bacteria. These bacteria enter water or food through fecal contamination by a human carrier and then spread across the area.

Around 5,700 cases are reported annually in the US, usually in people who recently have traveled to endemic areas. Mexico, South America, India, Pakistan, and Egypt are the most common areas for US citizens to contract typhoid fever. Worldwide, typhoid affects more than 21 million people annually, with fatalities exceeding 200,000.


As stated earlier, Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. People blessed with healthy immune systems recover without treatment. At times, when not treated, there may be a relapse. The standard prescription is Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX), sold under the trade names Bactrim, Septra, and Cotrim in the US. Prescribed anti-diarrheal medicine may help reduce diarrhea.


Giardiasis is a major diarrheal disease seen across the world. It is caused by an intestinal parasite, Giardia intestinalis. As may be expected, it is common in poorly sanitized parts of the world. In developing countries, the disease, if untreated, could lead to death. Water-borne and food-borne outbreaks are common. Antibiotic therapy is standard in treating Giardiasis.

Q Fever

Q fever was first recognized as a human disease in Australia in 1935 and in the United States in the early 1940’s. The ‘Q’ stands for ‘query’ and was used when the agent causing it was unknown.  Human Q fever is now known to be the result of infection with the bacterium, Coxiella burnetii. Cattle, sheep, and goats are commonly infected and may transmit infection to humans when they give birth. Coxiella burnetii can survive for long periods of time in the environment, and may be spread by wind and dust. Illness among patients with recognized and reported Q fever may be severe with complications requiring hospitalization that may include endocarditis, encephalitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, and splenomegaly.

Vibrio Infections

Vibrio vulnificus (V. vulnificus) and Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. parahaemolyticus) are bacteria that occur naturally in warm coastal areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico. These bacteria are found in higher concentrations in the summer months when water gets warmer. People who consume tainted seafood are prone to vibrio infections.

  • V. parahaemolyticus typically causes non-bloody diarrhea. 
  • In persons with liver disease, cancer, or another immune-compromising condition, V. vulnificus infects the bloodstream, causing a life-threatening illness. About half of V. vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal, and death can occur within two days. In addition to transmission by raw shellfish and oysters, V. vulnificus can enter the body via a wound that is exposed to warm seawater.

Preventing Illness Caused by Seafood

The basics of food safety remain unchanged. Additional care should be taken when storing or eating seafood. Like other food, keep seafood cold at temperatures below 4.4° C (40° F) to help preclude pathogenic bacteria. Adequate cooking will destroy any pathogens that remain. Proper sanitation and hygiene are and have always been key factors in food safety. Try and avoid cross contamination, i.e., transferring harmful bacteria from one food to another, or to a food from cutting boards, utensils, or your hands. To avert cross contamination when storing or cooking seafood, keep raw seafood and their juices away from already cooked or ready–to–eat foods. As repeatedly stressed, it is crucial to wash your hands after touching raw food or non–food surfaces or other dirty objects, and after using the toilet.

Prevention is the best way to avoid all foodborne illness. In respect of seafood, consumers must:

  • Wash hands, utensils, and cooking surfaces often.
  • Cook seafood to a minimum of 63° C / 145°F for 15 seconds.
  • Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to avoid cross–contamination.
  • Store seafood in the fridge below 4.4° C /40°F or in the freezer below -18° C /0°F.

Higher Risk Consumers

Individuals who have an increased chance of getting a type of foodborne illness called listeriosis should shun certain types of seafood and other foods to reduce chances of getting listeriosis. They should avoid refrigerated types of smoked seafood such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel. These items can be labeled as ‘nova–style,’ ‘lox,’ ‘kippered,’ ‘smoked, or ‘jerky’, and are found in the refrigerated section of grocery stores and delicatessens. You need not worry about getting listeriosis if these products are cooked in a dish such as a casserole or if they are canned or shelf–stable (do not require refrigeration).

Moreover, to reduce risks of illness from bacteria in food, the US Department of Agriculture advises that persons at risk do not eat the following foods:   

  • Raw fin fish and shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops.
  • Raw or unpasteurized milk or cheese.
  • Soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue–veined, and Mexican–style cheese. (Hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt need not be avoided).
  • Raw or lightly cooked egg or egg products including salad dressings, cookie or cake batter, sauces, and beverages such as egg nog. (Foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat).
  • Raw meat or poultry.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, clover and radish).
  • Unpasteurized or untreated fruit or vegetable juice (These juices will carry a warning label).

Prevention of Food-Borne Illnesses

You must know how to guard against fbi, particularly if there are children in the house. Set a good example for children in general and personal hygiene, with overall cleanliness, proper hand washing, careful preparation and proper storage of food. It boils down to the standard three basic facts when preparing or cooking food:

  1. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Bacteria multiply exponentially in foods that are lukewarm or at room temperature.
  2. Cook foods of animal origin and wash vegetables and fruits that are eaten raw thoroughly. Bacteria are normally present in raw foods.
  3. General and Personal Hygiene:
    • Bacteria and viruses can easily transit from our bodies to food and from one food to another.
    • Wash hands frequently and encourage your children to do the same. Ensure you wash hands thoroughly after clearing your pet’s feces or visiting the toilet.
    • Never put a spoon used to taste food back into food without washing it.
    • Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate.
    • Wash knives, cutting boards, and other utensils used for preparing one food before reusing for another.

Cut down the overall risk of fbi by selecting foods in good condition and following a few basic rules for handling, storage, and preparation.

Buying Foods

  • If you notice unsatisfactory food handling at markets or restaurants, bring it to the manager’s attention as well as that of the public.
  • Check ‘Sell by’ and ‘Best before’ dates to avoid buying outdated items.
  • Don’t buy damaged cans or packages.
  • Make sure frozen foods are frozen solid, with no ice or water marks indicating the product has thawed and since been refrozen.
  • Check that foods from the refrigerator case are cold when purchased.
  • Inspect eggs and reject any that are dirty, cracked, or unrefrigerated; check freshness dates on the carton.
  • Bag meats separately from fresh produce.
  • Avoid unpasteurized or raw juices and milk, as well as cheese made from unpasteurized or raw milk (ibid).

Storing Foods

  • Store foods at correct temperatures. Storage at improper temperatures is the most common cause of outbreaks of food-borne illness.
  • Refrigerate or freeze foods as soon as you unpack them. Wrap raw meat, poultry, and fish so they don’t come into contact with other foods, especially foods that are eaten raw.
  • Keep refrigerated produce in the crisper.
  • Keep other fruits and vegetables at cool room temperature.
  • Protect potatoes from light (a paper shopping bag works well) to guard against the formation of toxic (solanine) compounds, which are indicated by a green color. Discard potatoes that have turned green and sprouted.
  • Store and use cans and packages in date order.
  • Store grains and cereals in cupboards or in opaque containers; their vitamin content deteriorates on exposure to light. Similarly, store oils away from light to prevent them from turning rancid.

Preparing Food

  • Wash hands for at least 10 to 20 seconds with soap and warm water before preparing foods, and wash again periodically as necessary.
  • If children are helping, tell them to wash long enough.
  • If you wear rubber gloves, wash your hands with the gloves on.
  • Follow the safe-handling labels on prepackaged raw meat and poultry.
  • Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or under running cold water, not on the countertop or in a bowl of water at room temperature.
  • Use separate cutting boards for preparing raw meats and raw produce.
  • After using a cutting board or a knife for raw meat, fish, or poultry, wash it with soap and hot water. Rinse the cutting board with a mild bleach solution (¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water) before reusing it for any food. Wash plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher, if you have one.
  • Cook meat to the recommended temperature; use a thermometer if you have difficulty judging when meat is done. Beef and lamb can be eaten rare to medium, provided the internal temperature has reached 63° C/145° F, which will kill most bacteria (ibid).

Foodborne Illness Surveillance

The key to recognizing fbi lies in routine surveillance, where surveillance is the regular collection, summarization and analysis of fbi data. The purpose of fbi surveillance is to interrupt the transmission of disease to susceptible persons by:

  • Seeking notification of illness through timely reporting.
  • Identifying outbreaks and investigating outbreaks.
  • Interpreting investigative data and disseminating findings. 

Information to Be Collected

Two main categories of information should be collected as part of an fbi surveillance system: Descriptive Information and Investigational Findings.

1. Descriptive Information.

First, information is needed regarding the time(s), place(s), and person(s) connected with a particular complaint. Collecting this descriptive information will enable one to decide whether a complaint is valid. For example, when notified of a potential foodborne illness, one should gather the following information in a standard format:

  • WHO became ill and what are the characteristics of this person(s) (age, sex, vocation)?
  • WHEN did the person(s) become ill?
  • WHAT foods, beverages, or meals are suspect?
  • WHERE did the ill person(s) eat or purchase these foods and when did they consume them?

2. Investigational Findings

Based on the information from above, a foodborne illness investigation may be initiated. A second category of information will be collected as an investigation proceeds. These investigational findings are a crucial component of a foodborne illness surveillance system because such findings enable public health officials to more clearly understand the causes of foodborne illness (ibid). Findings may include the answers to some or all of the following questions:

  • What specific food item(s) or ingredient(s) was linked to the illness?
  • What type of contaminant (bacterium, virus, parasite, toxin or chemical) caused the illness?
  • What were the factors leading to the contamination, survival, or growth of a particular contaminant in an implicated food item? (Was the item improperly cooked or stored? Did an infected food handler prepare the food?)

The data collected from these studies provides the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and State agencies a solid foundation for developing a national retail food program model that can be used by federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to:

  • Identify implemented food safety program performance.
  • Assess strengths and deficiencies in the design and structure of program services.
  • Launch programs and intervention strategies to reduce the occurrence of fbi risk factors.
  • Create a mechanism that justifies program resources and allocates them to program areas that will provide the most significant public health benefits.

Foodborne Disease Outbreak Tracking and Reporting

The initial step to prevent an outbreak of fbi and enhance our comprehension of its impact on human health are tracking and immediate reporting of the foods and settings where outbreaks occur.

Determining the food sources responsible for fbi may seem straightforward, but its far more complex than expected. This happens because it is generally close to impossible to figure out which food made which individual sick, or to determine if it was food that caused the illness. People rarely know what made them ill, making a difficult task impossible. When a group of people become ill together in an fbi outbreak, investigation could sometimes figure out which food was responsible, providing a link between the fbi and a food. Such information is hard to gather outside of an outbreak.

CDC maintains a log to collect, collate and report data periodically on the occurrence and causes of fbi outbreaks in the US, providing valuable insights into the causative agents and foods that cause fbi and the settings of the occurrence. The Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System collects data on fbi outbreaks, providing important information on how the disease spreads, which foods caused an illness and how to prevent recurrence.

State, local and territorial public health departments are tasked with identifying and investigating outbreaks and reporting outbreaks to CDC. Data is then collated:

  • Date and location of the fbi outbreak.
  • Number of people who became ill and their symptoms.
  • Food implicated in the outbreak.
  • Setting where the food was prepared and eaten.
  • Pathogen that caused the outbreak.

The surveillance team analyzes the data then makes it available online via the Food Outbreak Online Database (FOOD) to one and all, including consumer advocacy groups, public health workers, the medical community, food industry, media, and the public.

Emerging Foodborne Diseases

The face of foodborne diseases is changing grossly as new pathogens emerge and older pathogens are seen to associate with new foods, thus increasing in prevalence. Apart from acute gastroenteritis, many emerging fbi may cause chronic disability. For instance, Listeriosis can cause miscarriages or meningitis. Toxoplasmosis is now identified as a cause of congenital malformation, and E coli O 157: H 7 infection is a leading cause of acute kidney failure in children in the US. Salmonellosis can cause invasive diseases or arthritis, and, in the advanced world Salmonella serotype Enteritidis (SE) has become the predominant strain. Investigations reveal that its emergence is largely related to consumption of poultry or eggs. The common campylobacteriosis can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome, leading to flaccid paralysis in the US.

These changes in the emergence of fbi are due to globalization and variations in human demographics and behavior, technology and industry, and international travel and commerce; microbial adaptation; economic development and land use; and the breakdown of public health measures with increasing populace.

Human Demographics

Demographic changes in industrialized nations has increased the ratio of the population at risk of severe foodborne infections. In the US, HIV has increased the segment of immunocompromised population, exacerbated with advancing age due to higher longevity or underlying chronic disease. Cases of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and listeriosis were higher among HIV-infected persons than those not infected with HIV. Salmonella and possibly Campylobacter infections are likely to become severe or persistent in this population. Extraintestinal disease caused by Salmonella is predicted to become more likely in HIV-infected persons than in the population at large. Advanced medical technology has extended the life span of persons with chronic diseases, unfortunately increasing the number of people already prone to severe fbi.

Human Behavior

Changes in the pattern of food consumption have shown up unrecognized microbial foodborne hazards. For instance, fresh fruit and vegetable consumption has nearly doubled in the last 50 years. Since fresh produce can be contaminated during growth, harvest, and distribution, their surfaces could well be contaminated by animal feces. Pathogens on the skins of produce like melons can contaminate the insides during cutting and multiply if the fruit is not refrigerated. In the US, we have seen a series of fbi outbreaks in foods such as sliced cantaloupe, green onions, freshly squeezed orange juice, lettuce, raspberries and frozen strawberries, among many others.

Food eaten away from home has increased due to our changed life styles. Fast-food restaurants have become primary sites for meals in today’s fast-paced society. Outbreaks outside the home account for almost 80 percent of reported outbreaks in the US. Such food venues may also contribute to fbi through unwelcome practices such as the pooling of eggs, holding of hazardous foods at temperatures above 40° F, incomplete cooking of meals like hamburgers, and cross-contamination of cooked foods. Moreover, behavioral changes leading to fbi are furthered by reduced opportunities for food safety instruction both at school and at home.

Other Changes

The current trend towards wider geographic distribution of food products from huge centralized food processors carries an inherent risk. When such food products are contaminated at a low level, illnesses may appear dispersed rather than part of an outbreak.

International travel has surged dramatically. Travelers may contract fbi unknown in their nation of residence, thus complicating diagnosis and treatment when they fall ill after returning home. As the diversity of foods available has increased manifold, illnesses are now being associated with globally distributed foods, making it hard to pin down any one source.

To complicate matters, microbes have evolved to adapt to unfavorable environments, making them drug-resistant. Antimicrobial-resistant strains of Salmonella are becoming increasingly prominent. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium Definitive Type 104 (DT 104) emerged in the UK and became the second most common cause of human salmonellosis in England and Wales. Ninety percent of all DT 104 isolates were resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulphonamides, and tetracycline!

Prevention and Control

Each link in the production, preparation, and delivery of food can be a hazard to health. The prevention of fbi depends on careful food production, handling of raw products, and preparation of finished foods (ibid). Technology may prevent many fbis. Just as the 20th century’s revolution in food sanitation and hygiene (including refrigeration, chlorination of drinking water, pasteurization of milk, and shellfish monitoring) was a consequence of applied technologies, industrial engineering is possibly the key to food safety in the 21st century. Current technologies that deserve evaluation are chlorination of drinking water sources for food animals; sanitary slaughter and processing of meat, poultry, and seafood; irradiation and other microbial reduction steps for raw agricultural commodities.


This entry was posted in: Blog.


Autism Spectrum Disorders

Challenge of Studying the Brain, ASD expained, Newborn Brain Development, Causes of Autism, Scientific Research, Types of Autism, Vaccines, When to See A Doctor, ASD Treatment and more.


The human brain is the most complex organism, even in today’s world of extremely advanced computers. Neurologists and scientists in human development have been studying the brain for hundreds of years, but we can safely put to side the work of physicians before the 1980s, no matter how celebrated, since they lacked access to current day devices that facilitate observation and analysis of this unbelievably intricate organism.

Whatever little we have learned about the brain− the process of its development from the day a child is born, and its progressive growth into adulthood− has clarified a few of the myriad issues of its development under normal conditions.

The yawning gap between the understanding of how genetics and environmental factors affected its development has narrowed somewhat. In a wider perspective, it has been seen that genes inherited from parents definitely shape the development process, governing how our predilections are expressed. At the same time, our experiences, mostly the outcome of how we interact with others, have a major effect on how these very predispositions are expressed.

Recent research has revealed that many abilities considered to be imbued at birth are, in fact, a function of the integration of a series of experiences brought forward with heredity. Both these factors govern the optimal development of that staggering masterpiece of design, the human brain. Why then does the brain malfunction, in certain cases from birth itself? We hear that some people are autistic; what is autism?

Challenge of Studying the Brain

Before we define anything related to the brain, it is essential to understand why the brain has apparently not been studied as exhaustively as other human organs. In order to study any organ, it is often required to distort or destroy a part of it and record what the outcome is, as is done with laboratory born and bred mice and rabbits. This is indirectly possible with every organ a human being has, in that progressive degradation can be monitored over time, as can recoveries post treatment, without damaging the person.

Hearts can be removed and examined while their owners are on a ventilator. A deceased person’s healthy organs can be removed and used to replace defective organs in others, with prior permission. But the brain cannot be fully studied, except in participatory exercises, nor can it be removed, since it governs itself and its innermost recesses cannot be reached, unlike the other organs of the human body.

Invasive techniques, like positioning electrodes in the brain, or disabling a part of this organ to observe and evaluate end effects on behavior may be used with non-human species, but ethical reasons forbid extensive experimentation with humans. But then, human beings are the sole subjects who can provide a rational response to multifarious verbal instructions.

The only recourse left is to use low output non-invasive techniques like electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings or functional neuroimaging on humans vis-á-vis non-humans.


Important topics, like language, cannot be studied at all, other than in humans. It is possible that human and non-human studies complement each other: Individual brain cells can only be studied in non-humans; complex cognitive tasks can only be studied in humans.

Tissue samples for biopsy for suspected brain tumors are a separate issue. Today’s gauntlet for neuroscience is the combination of these two sources of information, which, when put together, yield a comprehensive functional insight of the human brain.

The Make-up of The Human Brain (need correction here)

The brain is the most powerful organ in the body, yet weighs only around 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). Its texture is that of a firm jelly. Its volume is close to 1130 cubic centimetres (cm3) in women and 1260 cm3 in men, though variations can be substantial. Neurological differences in volume between the genders do not correlate with IQ or cognitive performance. The main components of human brain are neurons, glial cells and blood vessels. The neurons number about 86 billion, with an almost equal number of cells called glia.

The brain has 3 main parts:

  • The cerebrum, which, along with its cortex fills up most of the skull. It controls memory, deduction, thought processes, feeling and movement.
  • The cerebellum, which lies beneath the cerebrum, at the rear of the head. It looks after balance and overall coordination.
  • The brain stem, which lies under the cerebrum and ahead of the cerebellum. It joins the brain and the spinal cord and controls life-related functions like breathing, pulse rate, blood pressure and digestion (ibid).   

The human head is rather small, but the size of the brain fitted inside is large. The cerebral cortex, a layer of neural tissue that covers most of the brain, is folded in such a manner that it increases the surface area of the brain fitted in the space available. This folding pattern is common between individuals, with small variations. The cortex is split into four lobes, the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobe, and occipital lobe respectively.

The human brain is prone to both damage and disease. It is protected by the skull with its thick bones and cerebrospinal fluid, and segregated from the bloodstream by the blood–brain barrier. The most common type of physical damage is head injuries caused by a blow to the head, a stroke, or poisoning by neurotoxins. A blow to the head causes contusions and concussion.

The most common and least serious type of traumatic brain injury is called a concussion. CDC statistics show as many as 3.8 million sports, recreation and accident-related concussions occur each year in the U.S.

A concussion is most often caused by a sudden direct blow or bump to the head. The brain is cushioned by spinal fluid and encased in the protective shell of the skull. When you sustain a concussion, the impact can jolt your brain. Your brain then doesn’t function normally. If you’ve suffered a concussion, vision may be disturbed, you may lose equilibrium and fall. In short, the brain is confused. If the after effects last longer than one day, it is called Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD). Concussions often occur in young children because their heads are disproportionately large compared to the rest of their body. As kids enter adolescence, they experience rapid height and weight gain, factors that make them more prone to accidents than adults. According to the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 1 million children each year suffer concussions. More than 30,000 incur long-term disabilities as a result of the traumatic brain injury. Source:


The cells that make up the brain survive on the oxygen and nutrients brought to it in the blood pumped from the heart. If this supply is denied to the cells or reduced, they first suffer damage and then die. Such a condition is called a stroke.

A stroke may thus be caused by a blockage in an artery (ischemic stroke) or by a leak in blood vessel or even a burst (hemorrhagic stroke). People often experience a short term interruption of blood coursing through their brain (transient ischemic attack, or TIA).

Ischemic Stroke

Almost 85% of strokes suffered are ischemic strokes. An ischemic strokes takes place when the arteries from your heart to your brain narrow down or get blocked, resulting in a major reduction of blood flow (ischemia). The most common ischemic strokes include:

  • Thrombotic stroke. A thrombus is a blood clot that is formed in one of the many arteries that provide blood to your brain. If this thrombus leads to a stroke−as it certainly will− you would have undergone a thrombotic stroke. The clot is exactly the same as those that cause a myocardial infarction or heart attack and is caused by the same reasons, i.e., fat deposit (plaque) in arteries that narrow it and reduce blood flow (atherosclerosis) or by other specific artery conditions.
  • Embolic stroke. An embolus is a loose blood clot travelling through arteries and when it gets lodged in an artery in the brain, it causes a stroke. The lodging of an embolus is called an embolism and if this happens in an artery in the brain, it is called a pulmonary embolism.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

If a blood vessel in your brain ruptures, leaks or bursts, you will suffer a hemorrhagic stroke. Brain hemorrhages may be caused by one of many conditions that affect your blood vessels, like hypertension (high blood pressure) and aneurysms, weak spots caused by thinning of the walls of a blood vessel. A brain hemorrhage is labeled according to precisely where it occurs in the brain. Bleeding anywhere inside the skull is called an intracranial hemorrhage. Bleeding within the brain itself is known as an intracerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding can also occur between the covering of the brain and the brain tissue itself, called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)

A transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a mini stroke is a short period of time when you exhibit symptoms similar to those in a stroke. The TIA is caused by a short term decrease in blood supply to a part of your brain and could last less than five minutes. A TIA doesn’t leave lasting symptoms because the blockage is temporary. You must seek emergency care even if your symptoms seem to clear up. If you’ve had a TIA, it means there’s likely a partially blocked or narrowed artery leading to your brain, or a clot source in the heart. A TIA should be construed as a serious warning that a major stroke is round the corner.

None of the above cause Autism Spectrum Disorders.

So what is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a serious neurological disorder in a child’s development that restricts or even prevents its ability to communicate and interact with others.

Earlier, five disorders were classified under a blanket category officially termed Pervasive Developmental Disorders, or PDD. These five disorders were:

  • Autism
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Rett syndrome
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDDNOS)

ASD is now defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a single disorder that includes disorders that were previously considered separate — autism, Asperger’s syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. Rett syndrome has been left out. Asperger’s syndrome was to be removed this year from this spectrum or range.

Though overall birth rate is on the decline, the number of children afflicted by autism spectrum disorder is on the rise. This could be due to improved detection technology, facilitating better detection and reporting, or a genuine increase in the disease, or both. 25 years ago, the stated rate was pegged at 2-6 per 1,000. Today, it is 1 in 88. Even though there is no known allopathic cure for autism spectrum disorder, focused early treatment could make a serious positive difference in the day to day lives of many unfortunate children.

Symptoms of Autism

As mentioned earlier, autism spectrum disorder affects how a child perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in crucial areas of development — social interaction, communication and behavior. ASD can manifest itself at any stage of childhood. Some children exhibit symptoms soon after birth. Others could grow normally for the first couple of months, even years of life, but then, out of nowhere, start displaying symptoms such as becoming withdrawn or cantankerous or lose the ability to use already demonstrated language skills.

Each child is different from another, and, with ASD, may show individual behavior patterns at varying levels of severity. The level of severity is decided by others, on the basis of cognitive impairment, reduction of social communications, classic restrictive behavior repetition along with effects of such disabilities. The Mayo Clinic has done a lot of work in this field.

The standard symptoms are (ibid):

A: Social Communication and Interaction

  • Fails to respond to his or her name or appears not to hear you at times
  • Resists cuddling and holding and seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her own world
  • Has poor eye contact and lacks facial expression
  • Doesn’t speak or has delayed speech, or may lose previous ability to say words or sentences
  • Can’t start a conversation or keep one going, or may only start a conversation to make requests or label items
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
  • May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them
  • Doesn’t appear to understand simple questions or directions
  • Doesn’t express emotions or feelings and appears unaware of others’ feelings
  • Doesn’t point at or bring objects to share interest
  • Inappropriately approaches a social interaction by being passive, aggressive or disruptive

B: Patterns of Behavior

  • Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping, or may perform activities that could cause harm, such as head-banging
  • Develops specific routines or rituals and becomes disturbed at the slightest change
  • Moves constantly
  • May be uncooperative or resistant to change
  • Has problems with coordination or has odd movement patterns, such as clumsiness or walking on toes, and has odd, stiff or exaggerated body language
  • May be fascinated by details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but doesn’t understand the "big picture" of the subject
  • May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, and yet oblivious to pain
  • Does not engage in imitative or make-believe play
  • May become fixated on an object or activity with abnormal intensity or focus
  • May have odd food preferences, such as eating only a few foods, or eating only foods with a certain texture

Most children afflicted by ASD are slow learners, with IQ below par. Others with ASD are normal or better than par in the IQ department — they pick up things quickly, but fall foul when it comes to communication and application of what they seem to know in routine life and adapting to social situations.

A minor percentage of children with ASD are savants — they display extraordinary skills in a defined arena, such as abstract math, number crunching or music. There is no fairy tale ending here. Some may grow up and become social, exhibiting rational behavior. Those with the least problems as kids could well lead close to normal lives. But most will, unfortunately, remain aggressive and regressive.

How The Newborn Brain Develops

The basic matter of a brain is a nerve cell, the neuron. Interestingly, when kids are born, they already have almost all the neurons they will require in their life-span, totaling more than 85 billion. Yes, some neurons do develop well after birth, in adulthood; the neurons kids are born with are those they will utilize as they grow, from childhood to adulthood.

While still a fetus, neurons are created and join up into an infantile brain. As neurons move, they begin to respond to chemical signals. This is a unique bottom up process, with migration from the less developed segments of the brain to the more elaborate. The first areas of the brain that must develop in totality are the areas called the brainstem and the midbrain, because these areas govern all bodily functions needed to live, called the autonomic functions. At birth, these portions of the nervous system have to be and, indeed, are well developed because they will be required instantaneously after delivery, whereas the higher zones, like emotions, thought processes, etc., are still at a primitive stage.

Immediately after birth, a new born baby has many new things to do to live, like breathe, eat, sleep, see, hear, smell, make noise, feel sensations, etc. It has to be ready to react at T0, as delivery reaches its final phase. The 85 billion neurons help them do just that. The newborns’ brains are on the go from moment T1, when they are exposed to the atmosphere as they move down, head first in normal deliveries, to the exit of the birth canal. With the passage of time, the brain cells will have much development work at hand.

Most of brain growth and subsequent development starts to take place soon after birth, especially in the higher brain regions involved as just explained. Each region knows and manages the functions that will be assigned to it using a complex progression, mainly using chemical messengers, also known as the vital force (such as neurotransmitters and hormones) to help forward information to other sections of both the brain and the body.

Brain development, manifested as learning, is actually a micro-electric process of grouping neurons, at times a trial and error procedure.

When required, a new neuron will be created; existing neurons will be strengthened by reinforcement, and misplaced neurons will be isolated from the connection highway, to be restored to its correct place at the appropriate moment.

This connection is called a synapse, a structure that allows a neuron to transmit an electrical or chemical message to another cell. Synapses reorganize the floating structure of a brain under formation by creating pathways connecting the required parts of the brain that govern all that we do—from breathing and sleeping to thinking and feeling, all set like a sprinter on his starting blocks at T0 and activated at T1. This is how the brain develops after birth, because at birth, only the critical synapses have been formed, those vital for living outside the comfort of the womb.

The synaptic growth rate after birth is astronomical, to govern bodily functions other than heart rate, breathing, eating, and sleeping. Virtually every occurrence is a new experience for extremely young children, and synapses react thereto by multiplying in response. At its zenith, a healthy kid’s cerebral cortex may generate up to two million synapses per second. By the time a child reaches an age of 3, its brain could well have close to 1012 (1,000 trillion) synapses, way in excess of the amount they might ever need. The brain itself decides which synapses it will need and these synapses are retained and strengthened; many others are gradually weeded out.

This pruning of synapses is a perfectly normal process of child development. In fact, as the children reach the adolescence stage, close to 50 percent of their synapses would have been disposed of, retaining only those they will need to live out their lives. Brain development is a continuous procedure and will carry on throughout their lives. In other words, the brain continues to learn, memorize, and adapt to changed circumstances (ibid).

The brain is self adaptive. It adopts another new and important process in its development, viz, myelination. Myelin is a white fatty tissue encapsulating fully grown brain cells in a sheath, to ensure unambiguous transmission between synapses. This is why young children take time to process information; their brain cells are deficient in the myelin needed for rapid, unambiguous transmission of nerve impulses. Myelination starts in the areas of the brain stem and cortex, which are the main areas for the growth of motor and sensory response, before migrating to the higher-order zones that have developed by now to manage thought processes, memories, and emotions. Moreover, the tempo of growth of myelination is affected by the experiences the child undergoes, continuing into adolescence.

By the time a baby is three years old, its brain would have reached close to 90 percent of the size it will carry through into adulthood. Strangely, the brain is an excellent example of Newton’s laws: The more the stimulation each region of the brain receives, the more the activity incited in that region. It is this stimulation that provides the baseline for education.

Plasticity—The Influence of Environment

Plasticity is, in effect, a researcher’s term for brain elasticity. It describes the ability of the brain to adapt to changed circumstances as a response to continuous stimulation. The degree of plasticity depends on what stage the development process is in and the specific brain system affected. For example, the lower segment of the brain, which we know controls primary yet essential functions like breathing and pulse rate, is more rigid than the higher level of functioning cortex, which regulates thoughts and feelings. Cortex plasticity reduces with age, although plasticity remains, but to a lesser degree. It is this plasticity of the brain that permits us to learn progressively into adulthood and thereafter (ibid).

The continuous adaptation of a brain still developing is the outcome of a combination of genetics and experience. Our brains get us ready to anticipate specific experiences by creating the synapses needed to react to those experiences. For instance, our brains are trained to respond to speech; when infants hear speech, their neural systems responsible to react to speech/language are stimulated to function as organized. The more infants are exposed to speech, the better their language-related synapses become. If such an exposure does not take place, the synapses developed in expectation could be discarded, i.e., "use it or lose it." It is via these intertwined procedures of forming, strengthening and abandoning synapses that our brains readapt to changing environment.

The capability to adapt to changing environment forms part of normal development. For instance, kids growing up in freezing Iceland, on farms, or in large groups quickly learn how to adapt to those environments. That said, all children require stimulation and sustenance to stay healthy. If these are deficient—if a child’s custodians are indifferent or antagonistic—that child’s development of the brain could be damaged. Since the brain becomes accustomed to that environment, it will get used to a negative environment as easily as it would to a positive one. Even so, a slightly underformed brain, which would become normal in a positive environment in time, is at a risk of autism (ibid).

It is believed that there are windows of time for developing certain abilities, i.e., when specific components of the brain are most vulnerable to exacting experiences. Animals artificially blinded in their sensitive period when they develop vision might lose the ability to see, even if the artificial blinding device is removed at a later stage. Such an experiment cannot be carried out on a human being.

Why such an experiment cannot be done on humans needs no explanation. It is infinitely more complicated to assess periods of human sensitivity. But then, if certain synapses are not frequently activated, they may be abandoned, and the associated abilities diminished. For instance, babies have a genetic predilection to bond strongly with their primary caretakers. But if this caregiver is indifferent or hostile, the attachment procedure is impaired and the infant’s ability to shape any meaningful relationships during his or her life could be destroyed.

Even so, the plasticity of the child’s brain often permits them to recover to normal despite missing gainful experiences. Recovery of missed experiences become more difficult in the later stages in life, but hope should never be lost. This is particularly true in the case of young children deprived of specific stimuli, resulting in improper pruning of synapses pertinent to those stimuli and the ensuing deprivation of neuronal pathways. All the same, normal children have the resilience to bounce back from impaired progress past the developmental stage, to learn and regulate each step in concordance with the capability of their brains to build an efficient synaptic network.

The organizing scaffold for kids’ development is based on re-creation of memories. If repetitive experiences fortify a specific neuronal pathway, that pathway first becomes encoded, eventually becoming a memory. For instance, tiny tots quickly learn to put one foot in front of the other to walk, words to convey their sentiments, a smile is usually reciprocated. At a point in time, these evolve from processes to memories using a pathway created to facilitate a smooth and effective transmission of information. Creating memories is essential in adapting to our environment. Our brains try to fathom our world and regulate interactions with our world to enhance productive survival and growth. If the initial environment is offensive or negligent, our brains might generate memories of such negative experiences that could color our impression of our world throughout our existence adversely (ibid).
Babies are known to be born with the ability of implicit memory, meaning that they perceive the prevailing environment and can recall it in subconscious ways. They recognize their mother’s voice from some subconscious memory. Such implicit memories could well have a noteworthy impact on a kid’s attachment relationships later in life. Very young children who have been maltreated or suffered other ordeals may not be able to access memories for their adverse experiences. These implicit memories can have serious deleterious repercussions in the form of flashbacks, nightmares and other unmanageable reactions.

What Causes Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The number of ASD cases diagnosed has been rising at a steady pace over the past decade.

At the turn of the millennium it was 2-6 in 1,000, increasing to 1 in 110 and currently estimated at 1 in 88.

We know that ASD is a mental condition in which children struggle with social interaction and communication, usually coupled with a narrow range of interests and a proclivity for a fixed routine.

One of the leading questions psychiatrists specializing in child psychiatry are regularly asked is, "What causes autism?" Unfortunately, the candid answer is that so far, nobody really knows. The individual asking the question very likely has a reason behind it and he is left dissatisfied. Thus the answer moves into the sphere of generalization, with a blanket reply that it is possibly due to a wide variety of factors, the important causes being ‘genetic’ and ‘environmental’ influences. If the reason is not known, the answer must remain general.

The causes of ASD can be described in two ways:

  • Primary ASD (also known as idiopathic ASD) – where no underlying factors can be identified to explain why ASD has developed.
  • Secondary ASD – where an underlying medical condition or environmental factor thought to increase the risk of ASD is identified.

About 90% of cases of ASD are primary, and about 10% are secondary.

Factors Thought to Increase the Risk of Developing ASD

Factors thought to increase the risk of developing ASD, known as ‘risk factors’, can usually be divided into five main categories (ibid):

  • Genetic factors – certain genetic mutations may make a child more likely to develop ASD.
  • Environmental factors – during pregnancy, a child may be exposed to certain environmental factors that could increase the risk of developing ASD.
  • Psychological factors – people with ASD may think in certain ways that tend to heighten their symptoms.
  • Neurological factors –problems with the development of the brain and nervous system may contribute to the symptoms of ASD. Pruning is inefficient, leading to a block in storage space.
  • Other health conditions.

Note the use of the word ‘may’.

The media is perhaps spreading wrong information, given the current thrust of recent reports that claim to have evidence of yet another "risk factor" to autism. The scope of links found vary from air pollution to maternal antibodies, leaving the father blameless; gluten sensitivity, genetic mutations and a folic acid deficiency have all been touted as probable causes of this disorder. This naturally begs the question: why is it almost impossibly difficult for doctors and scientists to isolate the cause for this serious condition, especially because it seems to be waxing large.

What the general public must know is that there is no "typical" autistic person. ASD encompasses such a wide and sundry group of patients with multiple combinations of exhibited symptoms and an equally wide diversity in functional severity that diagnosis has remained general. This has some doctors now saying, "When you have seen one person with autism, you have seen one person with autism." It also helps to explain why the term spectrum in ASD has become a better method of discussing this woeful condition. This is antithetic to the perspective of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

There is no definitive CAT/PET or brain MRI scans for ASD. It is believed that some innovative technologies are in the research studies/ being developed phase to pinpoint the malaise earlier. That said, diagnosis of ASD in clinical practice is still based on child behavior, along with observations about his psychomotor response and brain processing, i.e., how he thinks, relates, communicates and responds. Child behavior devolves from diverse causes. For the moment, consider a child who can’t walk. There could be any number of reasons why that child can’t walk — some obvious, some more complex to determine. It could be a painful toe, a broken ankle, some infection, a pulled muscle or a predicament with the child’s nervous system. Diagnose that child simply on behavior (the child is unable to walk) and we may end up with a conclusion of "immobility spectrum disorder." Figuring out immobility is far easier than comprehending ASD, a "brain disorder." After all, there are less than 100 bony joints plus muscles in our leg, with the nerves employed by the muscular system hardly as complex as the 100 billion neurons, and trillions of synapses in the brain (ibid).  

So what are we left with? Innumerable variations in brain development, the enduring combination of environmental exposures or genetic disturbances that could lead to ASD, with detrimental concomitant effects on social communication, language and behavior. Autism is best seen as a spectrum, a brood of "autisms." If indeed so, news about yet another link to or cause of ASD should not surprise us. This challenge, in itself, is not unique. We regularly diagnose so many other brain disarrays, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder and virtually every other mental imbalance on the basis of clinical appraisal — patient history, family observation, the patient himself when communicative, teachers, other dependable sources, as well as comprehensive examination of the patient. To complicate matters, other conditions have been observed to exist alongside ASD, like ADHD, which is thought to be present in a third of children with autism.

Scientific Research

So far, we have believed that ASD is genetically biased. Now, scientists stress the fact that escalating cases of autism can’t be elucidated only by genetic change, as our genes are just not changing as rapidly. Thus far, large-scale genetic research can explain only about 20 percent of ASD cases. We also know that there is more than one gene responsible. Who knows, there could well be several hundred genes interrelating to bring about ASD. Autism genetic research is increasingly relying on experts in computing and statistics to be able to separate and decipher the "signal" to "noise" ratio, to determine what is actually noteworthy in larger genetic research.

Progress has been made in understanding ASD and ADHD. Researchers are developing specialized eye-tracking technologies aimed at diagnosing ASD earlier than ever before (and early detection and intervention are crucial to long-term functioning in youth affected by this condition). By detecting subtle changes in eye gaze, researchers have been able to identify ASD in children as young as 18 months of age. These eye tracking technologies, however, remain experimental and are not currently in routine clinical use. However, the FDA has just approved the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) system as an aid to making a diagnosis of ADHD. This NEBA system measures different formats of brain waves, thereby enhancing ADHD diagnosis accuracy when conducted alongside clinical appraisal. With luck, similar technologies might be approved for analyzing ASD in the years ahead permitting us to build more specific interventions to cater for the multifarious "autisms." Till such time as the cause for ASD is established, we will perforce have to stay with generalization.

Types of Autism

Two of the five listed types of Autism have been/will be removed from that list of five. These are:

  • Rett Syndrome: Primarily affecting females, Rett syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder. Its symptoms begin after a period of normal development that lasts between 6 and 18 months, after which the child’s mental and social development regresses. Scientists have discovered that a mutation in the sequence of a single gene can cause Rett syndrome. This discovery may also lead to methods of screening for the disorder.
  • Asperger syndrome: Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, is mostly a ‘hidden disability’. This means that you can’t tell that someone has the condition from their outward appearance. People with the condition have difficulties in three main areas. They are:
  • social communication
  • social interaction
  • social imagination

All autistic patients have these three disabilities as well. People with Asperger syndrome have fewer problems with speaking and are often of average, or above average, intelligence. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with autism, but they may have specific learning difficulties. These may include dyslexia and dyspraxia or other conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and epilepsy. With the right support and encouragement, people with Asperger syndrome can lead full and independent lives (ibid).

As of now, there is no ‘cure’ or specialized treatment for Asperger syndrome. Children with Asperger syndrome will grow into adults with Asperger syndrome. However, as general understanding of the debility improves and medical services continue to develop, afflicted people will have excellent opportunities to reach their potential to the full. 

Is ASD Caused by Vaccines?

There are two schools of thought, one believing that the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine was causing stomach disorders in some children and autism in others. The counter to this is that if MMR was the cause of Autism, then the number of victims should have been in the hundreds of millions, not in the 1 in 88 category.

MMR Causes Autism

At the outset, it is worth remembering that it’s worth remembering that the exact same people who own the free world’s drug companies also own America’s news outlets. Finding unbiased information has been and will still be difficult.

In 1996, Dr. Andrew Wakefield of Austin, Texas noticed the link between stomach disorders and autism, and taking his research one step further, the link between stomach disorders, autism and the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine. His research was published in 1998, and the good doctor became the hit man of a world-wide smear campaign by drug corporations, governments and media companies, losing his license to legally practice medicine. He became a best-selling author instead.

But in recent months, courts, governments and vaccine manufacturers have quietly conceded the fact that the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine most likely does cause autism and stomach diseases. Pharmaceutical companies have paid out massive monetary awards, totaling in the millions, to the victims in an attempt to compensate them for damages and to buy their silence. The news that vaccines cause autism has now spread across the US despite a coordinated media black-out.

In December 2012, two landmark decisions were announced that confirmed Dr. Wakefield’s original concern that there was a link between the MMR vaccine, autism and stomach disorders. The news went unreported, but independent outlets like The Liberty Beacon finally published the pathbreaking news. The news was published online, “In a recently published vaccine court ruling, (December 13, 2012) hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi, whose parents described how MMR vaccinations caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).

The Liberty Beacon described the second court ruling that month, as well as similar previous verdicts, “The government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism. The cases follow similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling, Bailey Banks, Misty Hyatt, Kienan Freeman, Valentino Bocca, and Julia Grimes) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.”

The ant-vaccine groups say that thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system and responsible for an alarming rise in rates of autism among children in the United States and around the world. Since the world has slowly become aware of the dangers of the MMR vaccine, parents around the globe have refused to get their children vaccinated. Further investigations revealed the callous attitude and antipathy of the manufacturers and governments alike.

The Counter Argument to the MMR Causes of Autism

One of the key pillars of the “vaccines cause autism” argument is that with the increase in the number of childhood vaccines on the schedule over the years, autism prevalence has increased, as well. The immune system doesn’t count the number of shots. It counts what’s in those shots, the molecules known as antigens, which trigger the immune response. And the number of antigens children encounter by way of today’s vaccine schedule is thousands fewer than it once was.

Now that key pillar has been eroded. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics on 06 March 2013 added up the antigen number in the vaccines administered to 1008 children, 25% with autism, and found no correlation whatsover between autism and increasing antigen number through completion of the vaccine schedule up to age 2. The study was funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These children were born from 1994 to 1999, during a time when a single DTP shot could contain more than 3000 of the molecules that fire up the immune system. Today’s vaccine-related antigen exposure is considerably less. The authors say: “Thus, even though the routine childhood schedule in 2012 contains several more vaccines than the schedule in the late 1990s, the maximum number of antigens to which a child could be exposed by age 2 years was 315 in 2012 …”

From 3000 in a single shot to 315 total today.

Researchers also examined both autistic disorder and autism associated with regression. In neither case did they find a link to increasing vaccine-related antigen exposure through infancy. Their work had some limitations. For example, not all antigens are created equal. Some have more immune triggering areas on them than others. The study did not incorporate the relative intensity of the immune response to each antigen. Yet, the authors note that the 314 antigens infants encounter via vaccines in their first two years of life is a drop in an ocean of antigen exposures: Beginning at birth, an infant is exposed to hundreds of viruses and other antigens, and it has been estimated that an infant theoretically could respond to thousands of vaccines at once.

The major argument is that if the MMR vaccine was indeed the culprit, then there should have been millions of more children/youths afflicted with ASD. "There is no evidence whatsoever linking the development of autism to childhood vaccines," The Guardian of May 20, 2014, reported. A new study involving more than a million children found no evidence of a link between childhood vaccines and autism or autism spectrum disorder. Researchers pooled the results of studies that have assessed the relationship between vaccine administration and the subsequent development of autism spectrum disorder. No significant associations were found between vaccinations and the development of the condition. The researchers included five cohort studies involving 1,256,407 children, and five case-control studies involving 9,920 children.

Many respected medical institutions have scrutinized the evidence from the United States and abroad, and have come to the conclusion that there is no link between autism and exposure to thimerosal. What’s more, the preservative has been removed from most childhood vaccines in the United States and the storage system changed at greater cost to manufacturers.

When to See A Doctor

The symptoms listed earlier should alarm parents. It is essential for a child’s future that it be checked for ASD and preventive treatment started, if only to limit the malaise.
This is a guide to what your child should be doing at 11/2-2 years of age:

  • Shows interest in his / her siblings or peers
  • Brings you items to show you
  • Follows your gaze to locate an object when you point
  • Engages in “pretend play” (e.g. feeding a doll or making a toy dog bark)
  • Uses many spontaneous single words and some-two word phrases

Some of the following may be early indicators of ASD. It has been observed that no single symptom necessarily signals autism – generally, a child would exhibit several indicators from the list below:


  • Has inexplicable tantrums
  • Has unusual interests or attachments
  • Has unusual motor movements such as flapping hands or spinning
  • Has extreme difficulty coping with change


  • Afraid of some everyday sounds
  • Uses peripheral vision to look at objects
  • Fascination with moving objects
  • High tolerance of temperature and pain


  • Not responding to his/her name by 12 months
  • Not pointing or waving by 12 months
  • Loss of words previously used
  • Speech absent at 18 months
  • No spontaneous phrases by 24 months


  • Prefers to play alone
  • Very limited social play (e.g. “Peek-a-boo”)
  • Play is limited to certain toys
  • Plays with objects in unusual ways such as repetitive spinning or lining up

Early diagnosis and intervention are very important for children with ASD. The USA caters for such children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Children with ASD may be eligible for early intervention services (birth to 3) and an educational program that has been designed appropriate to their individual needs. Apart from pure academics, special education programs for students with ASD (ages 3 to 22) have also been made with its focus on improving communication, social, academic, behavioral, and daily living skills. Idiopathic problems that obstruct learning are left to professionals particularly knowledgeable about ASD to develop and implement a syllabus for both home and school.

The classroom should be so structured that training programs are consistent and logical. It has been noted that students with ASD learn best and without confusion when information is presented audio-visually. Interaction with understanding nondisabled peers is significant, as these students become models of language, social, and behavioral skills. Since consistency and continuity are critical for children with ASD, parents should be part of the overall development plan for their child, so that school activities and experiences are carried into the home and community. It is possible that children undergoing such programs coordinated with specialized adult support services will grow to live, work, and participate fully in their communities.

Tips for Teachers

  • Learn more about ASD (ibid).
  • Check out research on effective instructional interventions and behavior.
  • Ensure directions are given step-by-step, verbally, visually, and by providing any support or prompts, as needed by the student. Be as explicit as possible in your instructions and feedback to the student.
  • Find out what the student’s strengths and interests are and emphasize them. Give positive feedback and lots of opportunities for practice.
  • Build opportunities for the student to have social/collaborative interactions throughout the regular school day.
  • If behavior becomes an issue, call in the experts (including parents) to understand the behavior pattern and develop a unified, positive approach to resolving them.
  • Have consistent routines and schedules.
  • Reward students for each small success.
  • Work alongside the student’s parents to implement the educational plan devised.

Tips for Parents

  • Learn about ASD. The more you learn, the better you can help your child (ibid).
  • Interact with your child in ways most likely to adduce positive response.
  • Know what may trigger a breakdown for your child and minimize them. The earliest years are the toughest, but it does get better!
  • Learn from professionals and other parents how to meet your child’s special needs.
  • Stick to structured, consistent schedules and routines.
  • Behavior, communication, and social skills are areas of concern for a child with ASD. Maintaining a loving and structured approach in caring for your child helps greatly.
  • Learn about assistive technology that can help your child, from simple picture boards to sophisticated communication devices, consistent with age.
  • Work with professionals in early intervention. Include related services, supplementary aids and services and a positive behavioral support plan, if needed.
  • Be patient, and stay optimistic. Your child, like every child, has a whole lifetime to learn and grow. 

ASD Treatment

There is no medication that can cure ASD or treat the core symptoms, though there is medication that can aid some people afflicted with ASD function better. Treatment already exists for inability to focus, hyperactivity, depression, seizures, etc. These can be used as advised by a specialist in ASD. Medications may affect different children differently, which is why it is important to work with a professional who is a specialist in ASD. Watch for negative side effects. At the same time, remember your child has to undergo routine medical checks along with all other kids.

Many types of treatments are available, under the following categories:

  • Behavior and Communication Approaches
  • Dietary Approaches
  • Medication
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Behavior And Communication Approaches to aid children afflicted by ASD are those that provide structure, direction, and organization for the child in addition to family participation. A noteworthy approach for treating people with ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is widely accepted by specialists and used both in schools and clinics. ABA is a variation of Different Strokes, encouraging positive behavior while disparaging negative behavior to progress a skill set. The child’s development is tracked and plotted.

Dietary Approach

Some dietary approaches have been built up by known therapists, but lack scientific support desired for extensive recommendation. An unproven treatment might help one child, but may not help another. Grandma’s potions will not work here.


As already stated, medication may help control hyperactivity, inability to focus, depression, or seizures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of antipsychotic drugs (like risperidone and aripripazole in the USA) to treat, at stipulated ages, children with ASD who suffer from violent tantrums, aggression, and even injure themselves.

Complementary and Alternative Treatments

At times, parents and doctors use treatments normally not recommended by a pediatrician to assuage ASD. Such treatments are called complementary / alternative treatments (CAM). They might include chelation (removal of heavy metals from the body), biologicals (e.g., secretin), or body-based systems (like deep pressure). Some might go in for Homeopathy, Acupuncture, etc.

Organizations That may be of Assistance

Achieve Beyond

Association for Science in Autism Treatment

Autism Treatment Center

AUTCOM – The Autism National Committee

Autism Research Institute

Geneva Centre for Autism

Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC)

Autism Consortium

Autism Ontario

Autism Society

Autistica – Funding Pioneering Autism Research

Center for Autism and Related Disorders

The Dan Marino Foundation

Autism Center – University of Washington – Seattle, Tacoma

The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation – A National Autism Organization: Granting a Future to Adolescents and Adults

Families for Early Autism Treatment

Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

National Fragile X Foundation

Jenny McCarthy’ Autism Organization

The Golden Fund for Autism

Hollyrod Foundation

Illinois Center for Autism

IMHRO (One Mind Institute) – Global Innovation for Brain Health

Lakeside Center for Autism

The Mifne Swiss House

NARPAA | National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism

National Autism Association | Help and Hope for Families Affected by Autism

New England Center for Children

Organization for Autism Research

Rocky Mountain Autism Center – Colorado

South Carolina Autism Society

Talk About Curing Autism (TACA)

The Color of Autism Foundation African American Support

The Help Group

Train 4 Autism


This entry was posted in: Blog.

Lead in Lipstick

Lead in Lipstick Overview: Policy, Toxic Substances in Cosmetics, Tests, Recommendations, Stakeholder Initiatives & More

The raging controversy of lead in cosmetics, particularly lipstick, is a two decades old worldwide multi-stakeholders debate among international bodies, government health regulatory agencies, women, health, and environment advocates, scientists and academics, the media, consumers, and cosmetic manufacturers. The internet and the academe provide convenient platforms for these engagements and the protracted discussion over this issue on the cumulative/long-term effects of lead on the health of consumers/users of lipstick and other cosmetic and personal care products.

Researches conducted by consumer, health, women, and environmental groups, independent refereed journal publishing academics, and government agencies and findings published by these entities and selectively popularized by media agencies and bloggers and independent non-professional reviewers have failed, thus far, to resolve the issue. Urban legend spinners have popularized the issue extensively and fueled the raging debate with sensationalized popular versions of the findings of many researches alongside recommendations to use home-grown lead testing methods.

This discussion focuses on the debate over the presence of lead in cosmetics and personal care products, particularly, lipstick. In this context, existing legislations and policy declarations and articulations of international health agencies and government regulatory bodies and their perceived limitations will be examined within their historical contexts. Independent initiatives of other stakeholders will be analyzed given the disparity of views between advocates for the safe use of cosmetics and government agencies. The most recent scientific researches pertinent to the lead in lipstick issue will be discussed as possible bases of the re-thinking of public policy and the adoption of more effective progressive legislation for the protection of consumer health.

Lead in Lipstick as a Public Issue: An Overview of its Terrain and Contours

Concerns over the presence of  lead in cosmetics, particularly lipsticks trace its origins centuries ago when lead was used as paint for the beautification of the face and people died from this ( The ban of the use of lead  in the manufacture of  paints  because of its toxic properties was instituted  worldwide and in the US in 1978 ( decades ago (  The  internet is the platform of this debate and the aggressive campaign of consumer advocates for stricter legislation towards the elimination of lead and other toxic metals like aluminum, arsenic, mercury, nickel, beryllium, thallium, selenium, cadmium, chromium, and manganese (; in the manufacture of  cosmetics, lipstick, and other personal care products (

This original text from the FDA website on frequently asked questions (fqa) situates with precision and accuracy the debate over the lead in lipstick issue:

What is FDA’s legal authority over cosmetic safety?

FDA regulates cosmetic safety under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FD&C Act requires that cosmetics marketed in interstate commerce be safe when used as directed in the labeling or under customary conditions of use. Cosmetics are not subject to pre-market approval by FDA. However, pre-market approval is required for the color additives used in cosmetics (including those in lipsticks), with the exception of coal-tar hair dyes. To learn more, see FDA Authority Over Cosmetics.

Has FDA set limits for lead in cosmetics?

No, FDA has not set limits for lead in cosmetics. FDA has set specifications for lead in color additives used in cosmetics. FDA approval of color additives is based on safety evaluations that consider the color additives’ intended uses and estimated consumer exposure resulting from those uses. FDA-approved color additives are listed in Title 21 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). To learn more about FDA-approved color additives, see Color Additives.

What are FDA’s limits for lead in color additives?

FDA limits lead in color additives to maximum specified levels, typically no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) for color additives approved for use in cosmetics. In addition, the color additives listed under regulations in 21 CFR Parts 74 and 82 are required to be batch-certified by FDA, which includes testing each batch for lead, before they may be used in cosmetics. (

 In the 1990s,  a report derived  from the research of a commercial testing laboratory  confirmed the presence of traces of lead in lipstick  (  Rumors circulated by email in 2003 substantially expanded public awareness and generated strong consumer advocacy  of the lead in lipstick issue in the United States (; The 2007 research which antedates any government initiative on the issue of lead in lipstick  was  conducted by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), the largest advocacy group  with partners from the women and environmental sectors. The transcript/summary of this study showed that some lipsticks available in retail outlets contained lead (  

The US Food and Drug Administration conducted a scientific study on the lead content of a selection of commercially available lipsticks and confirmed the  presence of the toxic metal ( . The same study was expanded to four hundred samples in 2010 with Frontier Global Service of Seattle performing the analysis for individual samples ( The findings  of both FDA studies were  published with the data on the samples and their individual lead content ( 

FDA Survey Results

Sample # Brand Parent company Lipstick line
Shade #
Lot #a Lead
1 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Pink Petal
FF205 7.19
2 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FE259 7.00
3 NARS Shiseido Semi-Matte
Red Lizard
0KAW 4.93
4 Cover Girl Queen
Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Color
Ruby Remix
9139 4.92
5 NARS Shiseido Semi-Matte
Funny Face
9DLW 4.89
6 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Tickled Pink
FF224 4.45
7 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor
FD306 4.41
8 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Warm Brick
9098 4.28
9 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Mauve Me
FF201 4.23
10 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
103 c
180808 4.12
11 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
103 c
180808 4.06
12 Revlon Revlon Matte
Fabulous Fig
08262 3.32
13 Sonia Kashuk Target Corporation Luxury Lip Color
14 Avon Avon Beyond Color
Mad For Mauve
AR01 3.08
15 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Mauve Amour
FD339 2.87
16 Revlon Revlon ColorStay
Ripened Red
09040 2.84
17 Burt’s Bees Clorox Company Lip Shimmer
1130801 2.81
18 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Luminous Pink
09097 2.81
19 Sonia Kashuk Target Corporation Luxury Lip Color
20 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Satin Plum
08351 2.77
21 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Iced Plum
5353 2.74
22 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
180808 2.71
23 Fashion Fair Johnson Publishing Company Forever Matte
Forever Gold
H2 2.68
24 Avon Avon Beyond Color
Uptown Pink Rose
KL9 2.59
25 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Smokey Rose
8261 2.56
26 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Incredifull Lipcolor
Ripe Raspberry
8226S1 2.52
27 Revlon Revlon Renewist
08043 2.52
28 Revlon Revlon ColorStay Soft & Smooth
Natural Cashmere
09233 2.44
29 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Cherry Brandy
5258 2.42
30 Revlon Revlon Renewist
Naturally Revealing
08077 2.40
31 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Rosy Wine
5102 2.28
32 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Metallic
Work It!
18G101 2.28
33 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
Metal Maven
AC9 2.28
34 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Color
Cherry Bomb
7290 2.27
35 Stargazer Stargazer Fantasy
Crystal Fuschia
010306 2.27
36 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Really Red
5251 2.26
37 Revlon Revlon Renewist
Plum Luck
07339 2.25
38 Burt’s Bees Clorox Company Lip Shimmer
3000901 2.24
39 Revlon Revlon ColorStay Soft & Smooth
Pink Indulgence
09141 2.24
40 Avon Avon Beyond Color
Pink Lemonade
KW9 2.23
41 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Color
Toast Of The Town
7297 2.22
42 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
Pink Pearl
9986-20 2.21
43 Fashion Fair Johnson Publishing Company Finishings
Berry Bourgeois
8900-70 2.18
44 Revlon Revlon Matte
Really Red
09259 2.12
45 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Sheer Blush
MT10 2.09
46 Jafra Jafra Cosmetics International Ultra Creamy
Pure Blush
9233 2.08
47 M.A.C Estée Lauder Amplified Creme
Show Orchid
AC9 2.08
48 Estée Lauder Prescriptives Estée Lauder Colorscope Shimmer
Apricot Blossom
A97 2.07
49 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Rose Cashmere
9104 2.00
50 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Bronzed Peach
8345 2.00
51 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Naked Ambition
FD274 2.00
52 Rimmel London Coty Lasting Finish
Drop Of Sherry
9056 1.98
53 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
141207 1.98
54 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
RH11 1.96
55 Avon Avon Beyond Color
KD91 1.95
56 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Rose Cashmere
9104 1.94
57 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Get Nutty
FF293 1.94
58 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Color
7297 1.93
59 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Iceblue Pink
9356 1.92
60 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops
Heather Frost
2Y1 1.91
61 Clarins Clarins USA Rouge Appeal
Strawberry Smoothie
HC 1.88
62 Revlon Revlon ColorStay Soft & Smooth
Pecan Pleasure
09296 1.88
63 Rimmel London Coty Lasting Finish
Drop Of Sherry
9056 1.88
64 BeneFit LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Pearl
Bold & Beautiful
3L1A 1.86
65 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Apricot Fantasy
09154 1.85
66 NARS Shiseido Shimmer 1021 Venice 9XAD 1.84
67 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Gentlemen Prefer Pink
09069 1.84
68 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
07005 1.82
69 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Mocha Freeze
MT13 1.82
70 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops Frost
Amethyst Smoke
09328 1.81
71 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FF152 1.80
72 Revlon Revlon Renewist
Perfect Pastel
07087 1.80
73 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
AA9 1.78
74 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Madison Mauve
FF340 1.78
75 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Fabulous Fuchsia
9264 1.76
76 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Effects
Cocoa Bronze Pearl
8KAK 1.76
77 Revlon Revlon ColorStay Soft & Smooth
Juicy Plum
09257 1.75
78 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
09260 1.75
79 Jafra Jafra Cosmetics International Ultra Creamy
Pure Ruby
9234 1.74
80 Avon Avon Beyond Color
LN9 1.73
81 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Eternally Mauve
FF016 1.72
82 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Wine On Ice
WD1361 1.71
83 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops Frost
Crystal Cut Coral
07080 1.70
84 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
Plum Pearl
06340 1.69
85 Gabriel Gabriel Cosmetics Color
Copper Glaze
9226 1.69
86 Gabriel Gabriel Cosmetics Color
Copper Glaze
9226 1.69
87 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Peach Fuzz
FF324 1.69
88 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Captivating Coral
FE012 1.69
89 NARS Shiseido Sheer
Beautiful Liar
8WGD 1.69
90 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FF135 1.63
91 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Nearly There
FF319 1.61
92 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Champagne On Ice
09309 1.61
93 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
AB9 1.57
94 Stargazer Stargazer Glitter
0708 1.57
95 Dior LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Rouge Dior
VIP Pink
9T03 1.56
96 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Wine With Everything
10062 1.55
97 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops Frost
Copperglaze Brown
08206 1.54
98 BeneFit LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Full-Finish
8E2A 1.53
99 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
010606 1.53
100 Estée Lauder Prescriptives Estée Lauder Colorscope Sparkle
Bronze Lustre
A79 1.50
101 M.A.C Estée Lauder Glaze
A10 1.49
102 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Frosted Rose
RR22 1.49
103 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Sugar Plum Ice
WB1591 1.48
104 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Mineral Power
Pink Pearl
FE190 1.47
105 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Summer Sunset
FF275 1.46
106 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Wine With Everything
10062 1.46
107 Avon Avon Beyond Color
Peach Daiquiri
KP9 1.45
108 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Undeniably Mauve
FF023 1.45
109 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Really Rose
FF243 1.44
110 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Mocha Ice
WD1421 1.41
111 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
681B 1.40
112 Avon Avon Perfect Wear
Forever Pink
SBK01 1.39
113 Mary Kay Mary Kay Tinted Lip Balm
TC26 1.39
114 Colorganics Colorganics Hemp Organics
Purple Haze
e 1.38
115 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Golden Splendor
FF364 1.38
116 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
180808 1.38
117 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder All Day
ADL 39
Frosted Apricot
AA9 1.37
118 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Mineral Power
FE158 1.37
119 Colorganics Colorganics Hemp Organics
Purple Haze
e 1.36
120 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
Classic Red
AA9 1.35
121 Almay Revlon Ideal Lipcolor
086724-16 1.34
122 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever Shine
Natural Glimmer
18F302 1.34
123 M.A.C Estée Lauder Glaze
AC9 1.34
124 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Metallic Sand
B78 1.33
125 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
A69 1.32
126 Revlon Revlon Renewist
Full Bodied Wine
08040 1.32
127 Estée Lauder Origins Estée Lauder Flower Fusion
Calla Lily
A39 1.31
128 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever
Enticing Rose
18E104 1.31
129 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Paradise Pink
MK31 1.30
130 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops Creme
Persian Melon
08156 1.28
131 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect 27 Perfect Amethyst 9CA 1.27
132 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
651X 1.26
133 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
MR26 1.26
134 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Nearly Violet
AB8 1.24
135 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Matte
Berry Berry
A89 1.24
136 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Sparkling
8345ZA 1.23
137 Almay Revlon Hydracolor
651X 1.22
138 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Crimson Joy
FF203 1.21
139 Chanel Chanel Rouge Hydrabase
Wild Tulip
0121 1.20
140 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Le Rouge Absolu
Beige Cashmere
18F200 1.20
141 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Heidi Klum Perfect
Exotic Spice
9223ZA 1.19
142 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Citrus Rose
A89 1.18
143 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Sheen
Vintage Rose
18G203 1.18
144 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Coffee Bean
09110 1.18
145 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Sheer Gloss Stick
X139 1.18
146 Fashion Fair Johnson Publishing Company Lipstick
Crystal Crimson
B3 1.17
147 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Moisturizing
9541 1.17
148 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
Ice Bloom
B79 1.15
149 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Pink Shimmer
RH30 1.15
150 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Too Faced
Free Love
ABO 1.15
151 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine C2 Heather Moon A79 1.13
152 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever
Beige Everyday
18DO02 1.13
153 Almay Revlon Ideal Lipcolor
86724-04 1.12
154 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Metallic
Poodle Skirt
18F902 1.11
155 Chanel Chanel Aqualumière
9601 1.10
156 Stargazer Stargazer Fantasy
Crystal Pink
010306 1.10
157 Clarins Clarins USA Lip Colour Tint
Wild Berry
F5 1.08
158 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
In The Buff
FF218 1.08
159 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
Bronze Shimmer
AB9 1.08
160 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Berry Berry Nice
SKC91 1.07
161 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
After Party
AB9 1.07
162 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L‘Absolu Rouge
18G101 1.07
163 Revlon Revlon Moon Drops Creme
Lilac Champagne
08217 1.06
164 Chanel Chanel Aqualumière
1302 1.05
165 Estée Lauder Prescriptives Estée Lauder Colorscope Cream
Currant Affair
AC7 1.04
166 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Bronze Coin
FF149 1.04
167 Revlon Revlon Beyond Natural
821B 1.04
168 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
A10 1.03
169 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Very Cherry
FF341 1.03
170 Stargazer Stargazer Glitter
1009 1.03
171 BeneFit LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Silky-Finish
Candy Store
9K1A 1.02
172 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Lipstain
9634 1.02
173 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Pink Satin
MV11 1.02
174 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Double Wear
DWL 01
Stay Rose
A59 1.01
175 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Adore U
AB9 1.00
176 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Le Rouge Absolu
Pink Eclipse
7K016 1.00
177 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
A99 1.00
178 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Dusty Rose
MM20 0.97
179 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Double Wear
DWL 03
Stay Pinkberry
A79 0.96
180 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L‘Absolu Rouge
Amande Sucrée
18G100 0.96
181 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Metallic Lip Color
Baby Peach
AA9 0.95
182 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
A10 0.95
183 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
London Life
AB9 0.95
184 NARS Shiseido Sheer
7FLD 0.95
185 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Fuchsia Fusion
09167 0.95
186 Stargazer Stargazer Glitter
0708 0.95
187 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG L 10
Radiant Rose
A89 0.94
188 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Berry Berry Nice
SKC91 0.93
189 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Plum Sable
WC1871 0.93
190 Rimmel London Coty Lasting Finish
7246 0.93
191 M.A.C Estée Lauder Baroque Boudoir
Baroque Boudoir
A99 0.92
192 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
RF29 0.92
193 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
010306 0.92
194 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
All Heart
A89 0.91
195 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever
Rock Icon Fuchsia
7D178 0.91
196 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Apricot Glaze
RD19 0.91
197 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Color Sensational
Cinnamon Stick
FF303 0.91
198 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect
Perfect Currant
9AA1 0.90
199 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Plum Sable
WC1871 0.90
200 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 06
Lush Rose
A88 0.89
201 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Rose Luster
WD2081 0.89
202 Chanel Chanel Aqualumière
1501 0.88
203 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder All Day
ADL 18
Starlit Pink
A10 0.88
204 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
Baby Kiss
A89 0.86
205 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Effects
Sugarplum Shimmer
K9JA2 0.86
206 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FF236 0.86
207 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Berry Kiss
MV04 0.86
208 Clarins Clarins USA Joli Rouge
RU 0.85
209 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
2201 0.84
210 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
All Heart
A89 0.84
211 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 31
Spiced Coral
A89 0.84
212 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Double Wear
DWL 02
Stay Pink
B49 0.83
213 Mary Kay Mary Kay Tinted Lip Balm
TF23 0.83
214 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Perfect Plum
AB9 0.82
215 Dior LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Addict High Shine
Runway Red
9Wo1 0.82
216 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FF236 0.82
217 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Sugar Plum
FF245 0.82
218 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
Pink Spice
AA9 0.81
219 Stargazer Stargazer Fantasy
Crystal Cinnamon
010306 0.81
220 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 31
Spiced Coral
A89 0.80
221 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal
Crystal Pink
AA9 0.80
222 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Moisturizing
Wild Thing
9BU3 0.80
223 Mary Kay Mary Kay Tinted Lip Balm
TC30 0.80
224 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Metallic
Copper Desire
18FN11 0.79
225 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Metallic Lip Color
AC9 0.78
226 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 07
Rich Berry
A98 0.78
227 Estée Lauder Origins Estée Lauder Flower Fusion
A59 0.78
228 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 63
Divine Red
A68 0.77
229 Burt’s Bees Clorox Company Lip Shimmer
3530901 0.76
230 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Intensely Moisturizing Lipcolor
FD033 0.76
231 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Orchid Frost
WC3491 0.76
232 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Shine
Shiny Parfait
8113U2 0.75
233 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 33
Apricot Sun
A39 0.75
234 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Black Cherry
RH24 0.75
235 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
A10 0.74
236 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 15
Woodland Berry
B79 0.74
237 M.A.C Estée Lauder Slimshine
Rock Out
AB7 0.74
238 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme 014373 Pink Melon RF27 0.74
239 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever Shine
18DD00 0.73
240 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Blushing Berry
FF306 0.73
241 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Pink Melon
RF27 0.72
242 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
180808 0.72
243 Chanel Chanel Aqualumière
1901 0.70
244 Mary Kay Mary Kay Tinted Lip Balm
TD01 0.70
245 Rimmel London Coty Lasting Finish
Jet Set Red
9295 0.70
246 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L‘Absolu Rouge
Absolute Rouge
18G200 0.69
247 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L‘Absolu Rouge
Absolute Rouge
18G200 0.69
248 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Extreme Spice
FF222 0.69
249 M.A.C Estée Lauder Satin
Viva Glam II
A20 0.69
250 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Exceptional
8PA3 0.68
251 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl
Wink For Pink
09162 0.68
252 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Signature
SIG 36
Black Cherry
A99 0.67
253 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Chocolate Obsession
FF216 0.66
254 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Matte Cream
76 0.66
255 Rimmel London Coty Lasting Finish
In Vogue
9279 0.64
256 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
RF19 0.63
257 Revlon Revlon Beyond Natural
951 0.63
258 M.A.C Estée Lauder Glaze
AB9 0.62
259 M.A.C Estée Lauder Slimshine
A69 0.62
260 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Whipped Berries
RH28 0.61
261 Stargazer Stargazer Fantasy
Crystal Copper
010306 0.61
262 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
A78 0.60
263 M.A.C Estée Lauder Cremesheen
On Hold
AC9 0.60
264 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
MR08 0.60
265 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
MK30 0.60
266 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
1801 0.59
267 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
1801 0.59
268 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Plum Wine
FF050A 0.59
269 Avon Avon Perfect Wear
Enduring Wine
SBB01 0.58
270 Avon Avon Perfect Wear
Forever Fuschia
SKK91 0.58
271 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
1401 0.58
272 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
Golden Brandy
A99 0.58
273 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
Raspberry Glace
A10 0.57
274 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
Apple Berry
RK21 0.57
275 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Instant Mocha
SLG91 0.56
276 M.A.C Estée Lauder Frost
A10 0.56
277 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
SJF91 0.55
278 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Mineral Power
Plum Wine
FE184 0.55
279 Estée Lauder Prescriptives Estée Lauder Lipshine
A69 0.54
280 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
2201 0.53
281 M.A.C Estée Lauder Glaze
AC9 0.53
282 Clarins Clarins USA Joli Rouge Perfect
Cedar Red
6N 0.52
283 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Fresh Watermelon
AA9 0.52
284 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L’Absolu Rouge
Rose Mythique
18G101 0.52
285 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Milan Mode
AC8 0.52
286 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Royal Red
FE354A 0.52
287 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L’Absolu Rouge
Rich Cashmere
18G101 0.51
288 Chanel Chanel Rouge Allure
1001 0.50
289 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal
Elizabeth Pink
A89 0.50
290 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal
Crystal Rose
A79 0.50
291 Avon Avon Perfect Wear
Sunkissed Ginger
SBC91 0.49
292 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Shine
Shiny Port Wine
8170U2 0.49
293 BeneFit LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Full-Finish
Do Tell
8F1A 0.48
294 Estée Lauder Prescriptives Estée Lauder Lipshine
Raspberry Ice
A49 0.48
295 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
SJL91 0.47
296 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Moisturizing
Black Brandy
8AK1 0.47
297 Wet ‘n’ Wild Markwins International Mega Last Lip Color
Think Pink
931201 0.47
298 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
A10 0.46
299 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color Crystal
Crystal Beige
B48 0.45
300 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
AC9 0.45
301 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Creme
09308 0.44
302 Shiseido Shiseido Shimmering
FPKD 0.44
303 Burt’s Bees Clorox Company Lip Shimmer
3070901 0.43
304 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
A89 0.43
305 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Shine
A89 0.43
306 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L’Absolu Rouge
Pink Sapphire
18EO02 0.43
307 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
AB9 0.41
308 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Laugh A Lot
AB9 0.41
309 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Creamy Lip Color
Retro Pink
AC9 0.40
310 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Crushed Grape
A99 0.40
311 Cover Girl Queen Collection Procter & Gamble Vibrant Hues Shine
Shiny Wine
8320U2 0.40
312 M.A.C Estée Lauder Satin
A99 0.40
313 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Apple Brandy
A89 0.39
314 Estée Lauder Origins Estée Lauder Rain and Shine
Pink Sparkle
A39 0.39
315 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Utter Fun
A79 0.39
316 M.A.C Estée Lauder Amplified Creme
AC9 0.39
317 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Moisture Extreme
Peach Mocha
WC2261 0.39
318 Shiseido Shiseido Shimmering
NNGS 0.39
319 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
A89 0.38
320 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
SLI91 0.37
321 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Utter Fun
A79 0.37
322 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
AA9 0.37
323 Clarins Clarins USA Sun Sheer
Sunset Cinnamon
M1 0.35
324 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Perfect
9BZ1 0.35
325 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder All Day
ADL 19
Rich and Rosey
AA9 0.33
326 Shiseido Shiseido Shimmering
NLEL 0.32
327 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
17210 0.32
328 Wet ‘n’ Wild Markwins International Mega Last Lip Color
931301 0.32
329 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Extreme Pink
A99 0.31
330 Dior LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Addict Lipcolor
Scarlet Siren
9X02 0.31
331 M.A.C Estée Lauder Amplified Creme
A20 0.31
332 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Red 2000
SJL91 0.30
333 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Fired Up
FD268 0.30
334 M.A.C Estée Lauder Satin
AB9 0.30
335 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
090808 0.30
336 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Cider Berry
A49 0.29
337 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Le Rouge Absolu
Rhum Riche
18F100 0.29
338 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Endless
Real Raisin
FF232 0.29
339 Mary Kay Mary Kay Creme
RF31 0.29
340 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
It’s Your Mauve
9346 0.28
341 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Volume Seduction XL
Peachy Flush
WE020 0.28
342 Revlon Revlon Super Lustrous Creme
Chocolate Velvet
09236 0.28
343 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Go Fig
A59 0.27
344 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design
Red Stiletto
18G101 0.27
345 M.A.C Estée Lauder Cremesheen
Creme In Your Coffee
A89 0.27
346 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Cream
All Done Up
18E218 0.26
347 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last Soft Matte
Vintage Wine
A99 0.25
348 M.A.C Estée Lauder Slimshine
A49 0.25
349 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
AA9 0.24
350 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
Rose Aglow
A10 0.23
351 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Fever Shine
Tempt Me
18DN26 0.23
352 M.A.C Estée Lauder Amplified Creme
AC9 0.23
353 Maybelline L’Oréal USA Volume Seduction XL
Seductively Nude
WF197 0.23
354 NARS Shiseido Satin
Afghan Red
8UDD 0.23
355 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Creamy Lip Color
Blue Raspberry
AC9 0.22
356 Clinique Estée Lauder Butter Shine
Cranberry Cream
A89 0.22
357 Wet ‘n’ Wild Markwins International Mega Last Lip Color
Ravin’ Raisin
933001 0.22
358 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Cherry Jubilee
SJT91 0.21
359 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
A Different Grape
AB9 0.20
360 Estée Lauder Origins Estée Lauder Rain and Shine
A10 0.20
361 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Le Rouge Absolu
18ED00 0.20
362 Lancôme L’Oréal USA L‘Absolu Rouge
Berry Noir
18FO00 0.20
363 M.A.C Estée Lauder Satin
AC9 0.20
364 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Poppy Love
SJZ91 0.18
365 Cover Girl Procter & Gamble Continuous Color
Toasted Almond
9230 0.18
366 Clinique Estée Lauder High Impact
Nude Beach
A89 0.17
367 Lancôme L’Oréal USA Color Design Cream
All Done Up
18E218 0.17
368 Elizabeth Arden Elizabeth Arden Exceptional
9AA 0.16
369 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Infallible
FE093B 0.16
370 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
A89 0.15
371 M.A.C Dsquared2 Estée Lauder Lustre
Blood Red
A69 0.15
372 Stargazer Stargazer Lipstick
121008 0.15
373 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
Gilded Pink
FF339 0.14
374 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Lipstain
Strip Tease
8CS1 0.13
375 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Spice It Up!
A10 0.13
376 Wet ‘n’ Wild Markwins International Mega Last Lip Color
Red Velvet
932301 0.13
377 Avon Avon Ultra Color Rich
Tuscan Russet
SL291 0.12
378 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Lip Color
Hot Cocoa
A38 0.12
379 M.A.C Estée Lauder Lustre
Lady Bug
AC9 0.12
380 M.A.C Estée Lauder Matte
Viva Glam I
A20 0.11
381 BeneFit LVMH Perfums & Cosmetics Full-Finish
La La Land
8F1A 0.08
382 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Riche
FD111 0.08
383 M.A.C Estée Lauder Amplified Creme
A20 0.08
384 M.A.C Estée Lauder Matte
A10 0.08
385 Clinique Estée Lauder Different
Guava Stain
AC9 0.07
386 Clinique Estée Lauder Long Last
Sugar Bean
A99 0.07
387 Victoria’s Secret Limited Brands Pout
Pink Champagne
9217ZA 0.07
388 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Lip Color
AA9 0.06
389 Bobbi Brown Estée Lauder Lip Color
AA9 0.06
390 Fashion Fair Johnson Publishing Company Lipstick
Magenta Mist
H1 0.06
391 Fashion Fair Johnson Publishing Company Lipstick
Earth Red
H1 0.05
392 Iman Cosmetics Iman Cosmetics Luxury Moisturizing
Iman Red
J2 0.05
393 M.A.C Estée Lauder Matte
Lady Danger
A10 0.05
394 Lori Anne Mood Magic Mood
e 0.05
395 Estée Lauder Estée Lauder Pure Color
Pink Parfait
BA9 0.04
396 M.A.C Estée Lauder Satin
M.A.C Red
A10 0.03
397 Lori Anne Mood Magic Mood
e 0.03
398 Clinique Estée Lauder Almost
Black Honey
A79 <0.026
399 L’Oréal L’Oréal USA Colour Juice
Cherry On Top
FF082 <0.026
400 Wet’n’ Wild Markwins International Mega Mixers Lipbalm
Bahama Mama
927101 <0.026
          Average   1.11


Policy Articulations on Lead in Lipstick Issue

Policy articulation on the issue of  the presence of lead in cosmetics and lipstick in particular is international and national in magnitude and in scope. The United Nations World Health Organization, for instance, maintains a comprehensive stand on the minimal use or total elimination of lead for household and personal care products including toys because of its long-term toxicity which is harmful for both adults and children ( WHO takes pride in the success of the worldwide campaign for the total elimination of lead in paint in the 1970s ( The European Union banned the use of more than a hundred toxic substances and chemicals, both natural and synthetic and United Kingdom strictly enforces this ban and closely supervises the manufacture and sale of cosmetics, perfumery, and related products ( The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) helps monitor the safety measures contained in national and EC legislations which ban the use of lead cosmetics and hair coloring ( 

Through  federal and state legislation  channeled for implementation through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States government, in principle, articulates a general policy of toleration for lead and similar toxic substances in cosmetics and personal care products  within limits not hazardous to health ( This is evident in  the findings and conclusions of the FDA in the context of the completed research on the 2009 research on lead in lipstick and its expanded survey in 2010. Both survey results articulated the FDA (and the official government) conclusion that while lead was present in the samples tested, the agency concluded that lead was present in quantities that were not harmful to human health ( The American Cancer Society concurred with these findings and the FDA conclusion (  Similar findings are resonated by EPA in relation to the impact of the presence of these toxic substances in the environment in the context of the provisions of the  1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (;      

These ambiguous policy articulations based on scientifically validated researches based in the United States generated negative criticism nationwide and increased furor among stakeholders who have intensified their campaign for a total ban of toxic substances in cosmetics, particularly lead in lipstick (;; A doze of sensationalism, the  selective reporting of official  FDA findings, conclusion, and articulations, and the popularization of  home-grown  methods like the gold-ring (lead) testing  are mainstream fodder for  expanding public  involvement in the issue through the internet (;; www.edition,cnn,com;  

A Closer View of Lead as a Toxic Substance in Cosmetics and Lipstick in particular

The frenzy of lead in lipstick advocacy and the increasing media alarmist near-hysteria  reportage on the issue are  based on certain areas of consensus regarding the negative long-term  effects of the presence of lead and other substances in varying degrees of toxicity in cosmetics and personal care products. This is harmful for adult users and children who are vulnerable and are exposed to these substances.  Many popular and research-based (of non-validated methodologies) articles nevertheless converge on certain points of consensus regarding the harmful effects of these substances.  

The National Safety Council released an undated  factsheet/fqa on lead poisoning focusing on its prospective victims, its sources of exposure within the context of the household, its health effects, minimizing its hazards, prevention of exposure, and the existing legislations supporting its management, control, and elimination (; The NSC defines lead as “a highly toxic substance” that affects the health of both adults and children with millions of victims, specifically, children under six years of age (www.nsc.or/news; .

Exposure at home is the setting of lead poisoning. Deteriorating house paints, dust surfaces,  painted  ceramic decorations and utensils, bare soil, cosmetics, personal care products, air, drinking water, food etc. are sources of this microscopic substance that accumulates in the blood ( Hence, the biggest culprit and source of lead poisoning is house paint which in its state of deterioration contaminates its surroundings ( . Contamination is extensive particularly for structures built before 1978 when legislation ordering the elimination of lead in the manufacture of  paints was passed (; On the other hand, the utilities within a household might be sources of lead present in batteries, water pipes, cables, and wires (  NSC advises those undertaking renovation at home to control and manage possible air-borne contamination that affects soil, water, food, and household articles including children’s toys (

The health effects of lead poisoning among children are mental deficiency and retardation, slow physical growth, behavioral problems, IQ reduction, kidney problems among others. Adult victims with excessive lead content in their blood develop health problems with  high blood pressure, nerve disorders, muscle pains, fertility, emotional instability among others (;  The National Health Institutes, on the other hand,  includes the following  in its list of symptoms for lead poisoning : abdominal pain, cramps, anemia , irritability, headaches, insomnia, low energy, constipation, etc. ( These health problems might be rooted in workplace conditions and occupational hazards that relate to construction, manufacturing, transportation, mining and manufacturing ( Moreover, a fetus might be affected by the presence of lead in the blood stream of a pregnant woman (

Most importantly, recent scientific research explains that  no level of lead exposure which used to be measured “in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood” is safe: Traditionally set at 10 micrograms for children, the scale  was lowered to  5 micrograms or less  following the results of a study published in a New England journal which found lead harmful at lower levels (;;www.safecosmetics,org ) .

Given these, National Safety Council  highly recommends that household routine follow certain guidelines to prevent and/or  eliminate  lead contamination and poisoning. The removal of pre-1978 paint and the regular  maintenance of house paint, the conduct of lead testing procedures by professionals or off-the-counter formulas, and the cleaning of the house of all dust are suggested as fundamental steps in eliminating lead sources at home ( Checking lead content of water sources by Environmental Protection Agency experts  is particularly important ( A good healthy diet containing “iron, calcium, and zinc” consisting of  eggs, greens, legumes, dairy products,  lean  red meat  and raisins and the avoidance of fatty food  substantially reduce lead content in the body ( . Thus, a  healthy diet and the maintenance of  cleanliness and hygiene prevent lead exposure.  Reminders regarding the use of painted ceramics, storing wine in glass containers, and covering bare soil are included by NSC in this lead exposure prevention-reduction list (

Federal legislation to eliminate the toxicity of lead is focused on lead paint for structures.  The Lead-Based  Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 also known as Title X (ten) covers the rent or sale of homes built before 1978 in terms of the elimination of  lead and addressed to regulating and enforcing agencies, real estate brokers, and property owners. This landmark legislation ensures lead-free habitation for the citizens through the enforcement of regulations that eliminates lead as a hazard in homes.

Unfortunately, NSC affirms  through non-inclusion that no legislation of this magnitude in the area of cosmetics and personal care products has been passed. Hence, consumers are continuously exposed to lead contained in these items which are part of the routine of their daily lives.

The presence of lead is problematic enough in terms of its effects as a health hazard. However, lead’s presence in cosmetics is always complicated by the presence of other metals. Environmental Defence, a Canada based organization and partner of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics published the results of a research project that included the metal testing of cosmetics (including lipstick) used regularly by six women and available  in  retail outlets ( This metal testing was focused on the quest for  four metals of “most” concern which are banned as intentional ingredients in cosmetics in Canada as health hazards and for their  toxicity: cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. Four others,  beryllium, nickel, selenium, and thallium,  are metals of concern and are banned as intentional ingredients in Canada except nickel( The study affirms the health dangers posed by the accumulation of these metals in the human body over the long-term: the weakening of the cardio-vascular, skeletal, respiratory, immunity and other systems, emotional problems, cancer, renal problems, hair loss among others ( The findings of this research project confirm the presence of heavy metals in cosmetic products in problematic quantities:

Facts Various Makeup Tests

  • Seven of the eight metals of concern were found in 49 different face makeup items.
    On average, products contained two of the four metals of most concern and four of the eight metals of concern.
  • Only one product, Annabelle Mineral Pigment Dust (Solar), was found to not contain a single metal of most concern. All products contained at least two metals of concern.
  • Benefit Benetint Pocket Pal (RedTint) contained the most metals of concern with seven of the eight metals detected.
  • The Benefit Benetint lip gloss also contained the highest level of lead at 110 ppm, over 10 times higher than the 10 ppm limit set out in the Health Canada Draft Guidance on Heavy Metal Impurities in Cosmetics.
  • Five products—one foundation, two mascaras, and two lipsticks/tints/glosses—contained the second-most metals of concern as six of the eight metals were found.
  • None of the heavy metals were listed on the product label. (Environmental Defence, p 3)

The above summary of findings shows that despite the ban of metals in Canada, manufacturers ignore the health dangers posed by these cosmetics and openly distribute these products in the market. The fact that no information is provided by manufacturers to warn the public of the hazardous risk of consuming these products is a clear violation of public policy.




















(ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE testing of 49 different face makeup items from a total of 35 different face makeup products, p.4)

The above table shows the quantitative results of scientific testing for heavy metals in cosmetic products found in retail outlets show the heavy concentration of lead (at 96%) and Cadmium (at 51%), labeled as metals of “most concern” and Nickel (at 100%), Beryllium (at 61%), and Thallium (at 61%), labeled as metals of “concern” in this research study.

This report also affirms scientific findings found in other non-Canadian researches that in the instance of lead in cosmetics, particularly lipstick and related products, no level of exposure is safe which rationalizes the Canadian ban of this metal as an intentional ingredient. Given these, the study propose the following:

Recommendations for The Cosmetics Use

People have the right to know what is in their products and to make their own decisions regarding safety.

Building on ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group’s prior report (Not So Sexy) on harmful substances in fragrances, ENVIRONMENTALDEFENCE has concluded that stronger federal regulations are needed to give consumers better peace of mind regarding their cosmetics.

These improvements should include:

1) GUIDANCE ON HEAVY METAL IMPURITIES IN COSMETICS. Canada should take cumulative exposure into account and improve the draft guidelines on impurities in cosmetics to better reflect what is technically avoidable, then officially adopt them without delay. These guide lines have been in the draft stage since March 2009.

2) A EUROPEAN-STYLE BAN ON HARMFUL AND RISKY SUBSTANCES. Canada currently has a general ban on harmful substances in cosmetics and a cautious list (“the Hotlist”) of substances it has singled out as concerning. Europe, on the other hand, has 5 annexes to their Cosmetics Regulation, classifying thousands of substances as permitted for certain uses (e.g. preservatives, UV filtration, colouring agents), restricted, or banned outright in cosmetics.

Canada must follow Europe’s lead and expand the Hotlist to include a ban on all substances banned in the European Union and substances known or suspected to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductive toxicants, developmental toxicants, neurotoxicants, and hormone disruptors.

3) COMPLETE AND PRIOR PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF MATERIALS IN THE PRODUCTS. Right now, the government doesn’t even have to know what is in cosmetics and personal care products until after they are on store shelves. Even then, cosmetics companies are not obliged to report on the kinds of “impurities” found in this study. Manufacturers should be required to disclose all substances, intentional ingredients (including fragrance substances) and unintentional ingredients (including impurities), in their products without exception, and this information should be found on labels and be freely available online before products hit the market. The proposed US Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 suggests that all ingredients, including those currently protected by trade secret laws (i.e. fragrance)unless protected as a trade secret by other laws, will have to be labeled on cosmetics. However, contaminants will not have to be labeled if present at levels below technically feasible detection limits (US Congress, 2010). It is recommended that Canada take a similar approach.


In the context of the lead in lipstick issue, this research project report articulated the concern that the presence of  lead in lipstick is more of a  health hazard in contrast to other topically applied cosmetics (ie foundation, blusher, eye-shadows, eye-liners, powders etc.)  because of  the possibility of its ingestion and its multiple application daily (;; Moreover, studies also show that lip gloss contain the highest concentration of lead among lipstick products (; 

US consumer and safe cosmetics advocates in partnership with environmental and women organizations who are strategic stakeholders in the lead in lipstick issue continue to interrogate government official articulations on this concern in many areas.

One well-worn area of debate is the level of toxicity of lead. Indeed, recent scientific studies and articulations from the National Safety Council, the World Health Organization,  the research on Heavy Metal Hazards in Canada , and the publication of the New England journal reject the existence of a  safe toxicity level for lead,  in general, and with special reference to lead content found in cosmetics and lipsticks and related products (;; ). Despite these findings, the FDA, as shown by its website articulations, stands   firm in its conclusion based on the 2009 research and the 2010 expanded survey that the lead content found in lipstick samples should not be a source of health concern for consumers ( A profile of contrasts reveal the finer points of the difference between Canadian and US policies:

However, there is a difference between what is safe and what is technically avoidable. Take lead for instance. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted its own analyses of lead impurities in lipstick that show lead impurities much lower than 10 ppm are feasible. Of the 20 lipsticks tested, the highest amount of lead content was 3.06 ppm and the lowest was a mere 0.09 ppm, while the average was 1.07ppm (US FDA, 2009). Therefore, levels above these should be considered technically avoidable, and Canada’s draft guidelines could and should be lowered to reflect this. According to the above draft Canadian guidelines, manufacturers are only considered able to technically avoid lead levels greater than 10 ppm in cosmetics. Health Canada considers this and the other limits to provide a high level of protection to susceptible subpopulations (e.g., children) (Health Canada, 2009a). But lead levels of 10 ppm or less are not necessarily safe. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (2010), there is no known safe blood lead level; even the current “low” levels of exposure in children areassociated with neurodevelopmental deficits (Bellinger, 2008). The CDC has even gone so far as to recommend that parents avoid using cosmetics on their children that could be contaminated with lead (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009). (Heavy Metal Hazard, 20)

Another source of contention are the limitations in the powers bestowed by legislation on FDA with regards to the regulation of  toxic substances found in cosmetics ( FDA continues to be informed  by an anachronistic law crafted and passed in 1938 which does not include the power to ban toxic substances, to prevent the sale of cosmetics after these have entered the market, and to take measures to ensure the safety of cosmetics before they are sold in the market (

Stakeholders Initiatives in the Manufacture of Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

During the last decade, stakeholder activity and initiatives in the United States and Canada in the context of concerns over lead in lipstick, cosmetics, and other personal care products were frenzied and highly innovative. Converging research findings from the advocacy, manufacturing, academic, and government sectors which affirm the indisputable presence of lead and other health-threatening toxic substances and metals in lipstick, cosmetic, and personal care products have inspired a vigorous movement toward the elimination of this problem.

Thus, safe cosmetic advocates in the United States and Canada seek the  total ban of heavy metals and toxic substances present in cosmetics and personal care products including perfume ( The template for these  safety measures is the European Union which   effectively manages and controls the  circulation of  health-threatening toxic substances:

A EUROPEAN-STYLE BAN ON HARMFUL AND RISKY SUBSTANCES. Canada currently has a general ban on harmful substances in cosmetics and a cautious list (“the Hotlist”) of substances it has singled out as concerning. Europe, on the other hand, has 5 annexes to their Cosmetics Regulation, classifying thousands of substances as permitted for certain uses (e.g. preservatives, UV filtration, colouring agents), restricted, or banned outright in cosmetics.

Canada must follow Europe’s lead and expand the Hotlist to include a ban on all substances banned in the European Union and substances known or suspected to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproductive toxicants, developmental toxicants, neurotoxicants, and hormone disruptors.(Heavy Metal Hazards)

At the same time, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is seeking public support for the enactment of  the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of   to supersede the 1938 legislation which continues to inform the exercise of the  regulatory and other functions of the FDA and the EPA (www.edition, Sharima Rasanayagam, Director of the Breast Cancer Fund clarifies that

The law regulating cosmetics passed Congress in 1938 and has never been updated. The FDA possesses no legal authority to make sure products are safe before they are sold. Nor is the agency empowered to pull dangerous products from store shelves. It’s the Wild West for cosmetics companies, which have very few rules restricting chemical ingredients used in everything from shampoos to lotions to lipsticks. As the contamination of lip products with heavy metals makes it clear, allowing the industry to police itself is not the best idea.

We need the FDA to be empowered by Congress and to take action so women won’t face any health risks when they put on makeup. Cosmetics companies should be required to adhere to a standard for best manufacturing processes to limit metal contamination (

This  Safe Cosmetics legislation proposed in  2010 in the House of Representatives and re-introduced in 2011 seeks the passage of a law  to effectively implement the following:

  • restrict or phase out chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and developmental harm;
  • create a health-based safety standard for cosmetics that includes protections for children, the elderly, workers and other vulnerable populations;
  • close labeling loopholes by requiring full ingredient disclosure on product labels and company websites, including the constituent ingredients of fragrance and salon products;
  • require data-sharing to avoid duplicative testing and encourage alternatives to animal testing; and
  • provide the FDA Office of Cosmetics and Colors the resources it needs to ensure effective oversight of the cosmetics industry, including recall authority for cosmetics (Market Shift Report, 2011, 13).

Harmful Chemicals in Personal Care Products

  • The average American woman uses 12 personal care products a day, resulting in exposure to more than 120 chemicals, many of which are likely linked to cancer, birth defects, asthma, allergies and other health problems. Many of these chemicals end up in our bodies, our breast milk and our children; contaminate drinking water and wildlife; and build up in the food chain.
  • More than 1 in 5 of all personal care products contain chemicals linked to cancer.11
  • As documented in the Campaign report No More Toxic Tub: Getting Contaminants Out of Children’s Bath & Personal Care Products, products often contain hidden carcinogens that are not listed on labels, such as formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane that are found in children’s bath products.
  • Chemicals with the potential to disrupt hormones are found in a large majority of personal care products. A study of teenage girls found an average of 13 hormone-disrupting cosmetics chemicals – including parabens, phthalates, triclosan and synthetic fragrance musks – in their urine.
  • Dangerous heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and cadmium have been found in a wide variety of cosmetics products, including lip gloss.
    • Campaign product tests documented in the report Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance revealed the widespread use of synthetic musks in perfume, cologne and body sprays. Some of the same musks identified in fragrances (Galaxolide and Tonalide) have also been found in the cord blood of newborn babies, as well as in blood, breast milk and body fat. These musks may interfere with normal hormonal functioning (Market Shift Report, 2011, 5).

The unique character of Compact lies in the cooperation and involvement  of numerous  manufacturers who share the concern for  the elimination of toxic substances in cosmetics and personal care products matched only by  the zeal of the consuming public and advocates. Manufacturers’ activities in the context of Compact include extensive research and the quest for appropriate  natural products  and organic substitutes for existing ingredients “of concern” to maintain and enhance  product quality and ensure public health safety at the lowest possible cost (Market Shift, 2011). This is contrasted to the mainstream idea among advocates that the cosmetics and personal care manufacturing industry cannot be trusted to monitor itself based on the resistance of this sector to positively and innovatively respond to public health concerns, particularly lead in lipstick  and their indifference to this call given the reassuring conclusion  of the FDA 2009 and 2010 research findings that the presence of lead in lipstick is no cause for public alarm ( ; Another important aspect of manufacturer’s involvement in Compact is transparency and accountability. Full disclosure of ingredients and their quantities, accurate labeling of perfumes, cosmetics, and personal care products, and the inclusion of warnings regarding risks lie at the core of manufacturers’ commitment to Compact.

Compact as a major initiative is a public information and education campaign towards an informed use of cosmetics and personal care products requiring consumer vigilance and monitoring and the use of vital information sources like the Environmental Working Group’s  Skin Deep database which is the largest resource containing safety  guidelines for cosmetic use (Market Shift Report,  2011).

Compact follows a rigid  process to ensure the safety of the users of cosmetic and personal care products:

The Process of Determining Compact Compliance

As part of the Compact, companies were required to enter ingredient information for all their products currently available for sale into EWG’s Skin Deep database. The database provided a mechanism to publicly reflect progress in meeting this pledge. Companies were able to view their status and compliance with each of the provisions by logging into the database. When companies logged into their password-protected “manufacturer’s pages” on Skin Deep, they were able to see each of the six provisions for compliance, along with details about any gaps they needed to address to meet the provisions.

Because the Campaign and many of the Compact signing companies shared the same vision of expanding the market for safer, healthier personal care products, the Campaign worked closely with these companies to identify areas for improvement.

Staff members at EWG verified the information submitted to Skin Deep, and Campaign staff provided Compact signers with technical support and guidance on their efforts to meet the benchmarks for complying with the Compact. Additionally, the companies that entered their data dedicated a great deal of staff time to participating in the process, giving the Campaign feedback on how to improve the process so that it better matched the realities of their businesses and sharing their insight on what was possible in developing safer alternatives for the marketplace.

Tracking the safety of cosmetics products was a complex task. Every product in the Skin Deep database contains anywhere from a few to a few dozen ingredients. Some of the contents are hidden, either through the trademark-protected category of fragrance or as contaminants. In addition, companies were continuously reformulating products or introducing new products to the market, which required them to be constantly updating their ingredient submissions to Skin Deep.

Companies that met Compact requirements maintained up-to-date product listings in EWG’s Skin Deep database. EWG maintained up-to-date information on chemical hazards, ingredient safety assessments, and the regulatory status of ingredients in other countries, to allow for a complete review of Compact signer products against the criteria laid out in the Compact (Market Shift Report 2011, 11).

Compact for Safe Cosmetics Compliance Requirements

Compliance Requirement


Compliance Measured

Comply with the EU
Cosmetics Directive.

Companies were required to comply with the requirements of the EU Cosmetics Directive upon signing the Compact.

Companies indicated they met this requirement upon signing. Products entered into Skin Deep were flagged if they contained ingredients with use restrictions in the EU.

Disclose all ingredients. 

Companies were required to disclose all ingredients, including constituent ingredients of fragrance and other proprietary formulations.

The Skin Deep database flagged the use of proprietary ingredients. Companies were
required to disclose the constituents of their proprietary ingredients in order to reach compliance. In some cases, suppliers of proprietary ingredients would not allow
manufacturers to disclose constituents of proprietary ingredients. In order to achieve
compliance, these companies were required to submit a non-disclosure letter from the supplier.

Publish and regularly update product information in EWG’s Skin Deep database.

Companies were required to enter product details for all the cosmetics and personal care products they sold into EWG’s Skin Deep database and to update their product listings annually.

In Skin Deep, companies were required to indicate the number of products they manufactured and the date of their last review. If the number of products indicated matched the number entered, and companies had both logged in and certified the date of their
last product update, then companies were considered compliant.

Comply with ingredient prohibitions and restrictions under the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and substitute ingredients of concern with safer alternatives.

Companies were required to comply with restrictions and prohibitions outlined by the Campaign. These restrictions were a compilation of international restrictions for ingredients used cosmetics and personal care products.

Companies using ingredients deemed as prohibited were required to reformulate any products using those ingredients. Companies with restricted ingredients were required to either provide documentation proving that
their product met the specific restriction or reformulate their products so that they would
comply with the restrictions.

Substantiate the safety of all products and ingredients with publicly available data.

Companies were required to provide data that indicated the safety of their products and/or ingredients. This data could include any materials the company used to substantiate the safety of their products prior to putting them on the market. Examples include
results of ingredient and/or product testing and Material Safety Data Sheets.

After a one-year trial period, this compliance requirement was discontinued.

Participate in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Companies were required to participate in the Campaign.

Activities that fulfilled this provision included logging into Skin Deep and participating in Campaign meetings. 21 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

(Market Shift Report, 2011, Appendix D, 20)

Compact, thus, proved that what was,  in fact,  safe (toxic-free cosmetics) was profitable as well. Apart from the discovery, development, and use of alternative  natural products as ingredients in cosmetics and personal care,  other benefits were derived from involvement in Compact:

Lessons from the Compact for Safe Cosmetics

  • Hundreds of leading companies are already making safe, effective products without using hazardous chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products.
  • Hundreds of leading companies are already disclosing all ingredients, including those that make up “fragrance,” showing that it is not necessary for these ingredients to be kept secret from the public.
  • More than one thousand companies were eager to work with the Campaign to raise the bar for safer personal care products. Business-nonprofit organization partnerships such as this are an excellent model for driving markets to safe, sustainable products and practices.
  • Making healthier products is good for business. Companies do not have to choose between having a strong business and using safer chemicals (Market Shift Report 2011,9).

This news article on cosmetics use featured a significant feedback on the impact of Compact as a progressive and landmark initiative in terms of eradicating health threat through the elimination of the use of toxic substances in cosmetics and personal care products:

Natural Replacement of Controversial Ingredients is Widespread

On October 31, 2011, an online news source about the cosmetics industry, posted an article documenting “that raw material and ingredient suppliers have jumped on the consumer driven natural bandwagon. There is now a multitude of natural replacements for the most popular and most common ingredients. Suppliers are generating new ways for using natural ingredients which increase functionality of ingredients in a multitude of applications…With all the natural ingredients being made available for formulation, the next wave of consumer driven natural products will have spectacular ingredients at a marketable price, a coup d’état for all consumers.“ A  coup d’état indeed. Thanks to all of the Champion, Innovator and other Compact-signer companies that have led the way to meet the consumer demand for safe products and helped push the industry toward safer production (Market Shift Report 2011,10)

Re-thinking of Public Policy in the Lead in Lipstick Issue

The shifts  in the contours of the lead in lipstick issue in the United States, thus far after nearly two decades of struggle,  have been the mainly the result of relentless consumer advocacy. The significant elimination of the threats of lead poisoning is attributed to the shrinking of  market for notorious  toxic-bearing cosmetics and personal care products through the success of Compact and  its progeny, the Safe Cosmetics Business Network.  322 champions (companies which are  celebrated for full compliance to Compact) and 111 innovators (companies who have yet to achieve full compliance to Compact) (Market Shift, 2011, 14-16) appreciate the benefits of positive branding, dynamic  public support,  and  the enhanced profitability of business enterprises which are vanguards of public health and safety.

Another  strategic  arena of stakeholders’  participation that could lead towards the significant  re-thinking of public policy is the  expanding wealth of academic scientific research on the issue. Parallel to advocacy,  academic research projects published in refereed journals address public concerns on the lead in lipstick and  related issues. N. Lourith and  M. Kanlayavattanakul published  an article, “Natural surfactants used in cosmetics: glycolipids”  on natural surfactants with biodegradability, low toxicity, and ecological acceptability  vis-à-vis the use ofmchemical surfactants to function as detergents in cosmetics. These natural surfactants can be derived from  glycolipids, which are microorganisms with the same efficacy and efficiency as their chemical counterparts  (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2009).

Another article  on  Self-preserving  cosmetics  published A. Varvaresou, S. Papageorgiou, E. Tsirivas, E. Protopapa, H. Kintziou, V. Kefala and C. Demetzos focuses and advocates the use of preservative-free cosmetics applying  the principles of “hurdle technology” through the use of “multifunctional antimicrobial ingredients and plant-derived essential oils and extracts” as natural preservatives (IJCS June 2009).
“Simultaneous determination of heavy metals in cosmetic products” authored by S.-M. Lee, H.-J. Jeong and I. S. Chang discuss a more effective, accurate, and faster method of detecting the presence of heavy metals in cosmetics  evaluated by ion chromatography. These heavy metals are considered as impurities that cause skin allergy when absorbed by the skin (IJCS October 2008).

Scientific research can significantly inform and positively influence the initiatives to eliminate the presence of toxic substances and metals in cosmetics not unlike the efforts exerted by multi-million in-house researches conducted by multi-national cosmetic companies  (ie L’Oreal, Revlon, Nivea, etc) for product development and increase profitability for stockholders ( At best, the issue has brought together into closer collaboration scientists, corporate business, advocates, and consumer and other stakeholders.

What seems to be conspicuously absent in this debate of lead in lipstick  and other cosmetics and personal care products of nearly two decades is the  government sector and its legislative and implementing agencies. Policy articulations from the World Health Organization and the stringent policies adopted by the European Union  have not succeeded in inspiring US agencies and legislators to take pro-active positions in relation to the lead in lipstick and other related issues. 

The chronology found in Market Shift (2011) on consumer advocacy shows that this movement started in 2000 with the focus on toxic substances, particularly phthalates present in nail polish  and expanded into a research advocacy project which included cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, hair gels in 2002. The  2004  European Union ban of 1,100 toxic chemicals present in cosmetics and personal care products is a landmark accomplishment of the decade vis-à-vis the 11 chemicals banned by the United States. 2004 is an advocacy coalition building and networking year with the start of Compact, partnerships with the Environmental Working Group, the Breast Cancer Fund, the founding of the largest data-base on cosmetics, Skin Deep, and the successful  campaign among corporations for greater involvement in the elimination of toxic substances in cosmetics. During this year, major international cosmetic companies expanded the European Union ban of toxic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products to the United States.

A significant piece of state legislation, the 2005 California Safe Cosmetics Act, was passed through the efforts of  consumer,  health, women, and environmental advocates. The same group successfully secured the removal of toxic substances in nail polish from corporate giants, OPI, Sally Hansen, and Orly in 2006. The campaign for the elimination of lead in lipstick commenced with the findings of the 2007 research conducted by  Campaign for Safe Cosmetics  that lead is present in 2/3 of 33 samples. Leading mass-retailers also joined Compact in 2007 in the campaign for the use of natural, organic, and non-toxic substances in the manufacture of cosmetics. 2008 is a landmark year in the expansion of Compact with the involvement of more  retail stores, pharmaceutical firms, and other corporate  signatories who seriously pursued the goal of total compliance.

  • 2009 was  a significant year celebrating the formal involvement of FDA in the issue to match the intensified campaign by advocates  for greater and more  state involvement the previous year. Moreover, a Senate bill for safe cosmetics was filed by Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY). FDA in 2009 responded with a preliminary research study which confirmed the presence of lead in lipstick using an assortment of retail outlet samples.
  • 2010 was a dynamic year for CSC with the introduction  of  a proposed bill for Safe Cosmetics in the House of Representatives. FDA, this year, also expanded  its 2009 survey to include 400 lipstick samples which further confirmed the widespread presence of lead in lipstick. The state of California based on the provisions of the Safe Cosmetics Act banned the  Brazilian Blowout for the presence of toxic substances in this hair straightening product.
  • 2011 marked  the close of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics project with a record accomplishment of 322 companies with  full compliance (champions) and 111 companies progressing towards compliance (innovators). Another project, Safe Cosmetics Business Network opened to pursue similar goals for the total elimination of toxic substances and metals from cosmetics and personal care products.
    Thus, prospective government infrastructures and initiatives  might replicate  this dynamic advocacy template initiated by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics towards the effective elimination of toxic substances in cosmetics and personal care and related products.


Primary Documents

Environmental Defence.  (2011). Heavy Metal Hazard.    
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. (2011). Market Shift.
National Safety Council. (n.d.). Lead Poisoning

Journal Sources

Lee, S.M.,  Jeong, H.J.  and Chang, I.S.  Simultaneous determination of heavy metals in cosmetic    products . International Journal of  Cosmetic. Science.  September/October 2008.
Lourith and M. Kanlayavattanakul.  Natural surfactants used in cosmetics: glycolipids.  International Journal of  Cosmetic Science August 2009 .
Varvaresou ,  A.  Papageorgiou,  Self-preserving cosmetics.  International Journal of Cosmetic Science.   June 2009.

Other Sources

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How to Keep Food Safe During an Emergency Caused by Nature

How to Keep Food Safe During an Emergency Caused by Nature

REPORT SUMMARY: Survival Without Food And Water, Likely Disaster In Your Area, Hurricane Strikes Since 1950, Measures Against Hurricanes, Assembling An Emergency Food Supply, The Aftermath Of The Disaster, Prepare Food Without Power & More.

An emergency caused by nature may be defined as a set of circumstances created by nature that poses a serious and immediate threat to your life, well being, possessions or environment. Almost all such emergencies call for urgent intervention and assistance to prevent the situation getting out of hand. Regrettably, there will be situations when mitigation is not possible; all that can be offered in such a situation will be palliative care to forestall the ill effects that ensue as the aftermath.

In the USA, common emergencies caused by nature are violent hurricanes that leave a trail of death and destruction behind them, tornados which have similar consequences but are much smaller in scale when compared to hurricanes, and the unpredictable earthquakes in California caused by the San Andreas Fault.

A flood, fire, national disaster, prolonged heat wave, tsunami, volcano or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice can put the safety of your food in jeopardy. Knowing how to establish if the food available is safe to eat and how to keep that food safe for the longest possible period will help reduce the potential loss of food while reducing the risk of disease carried by the food you’re likely to eat.

This article will help you make the right decisions for keeping your family safe during an emergency.

How Long Can You Survive Without Food and Water

The length of time a human can survive without food and water is totally dependent on the conditions obtaining and therefore, is a function of one or a combination of more than one factor. The most important is your will to survive. Going without water or food are two different stories, so they can be examined separately.

Caloric Intake Facts

The average man is 1.75 m (5’9”) tall, weighs 65 kg (156 lbs) and eats 2,400-2600 Kcal (calories) per day. You require about 1,600 residual calories distributed around your body as carbohydrates, fats and proteins when asleep before you wake up next morning to retain your figure. So, when you eat, you are adding to your residual calories, which is fine because your body needs 1,600 base calories for your internal systems to function. You need to shed those 2,400-2,600 calories you ate to stay trim. If you’ve gained 4-500 calories extra after a sumptuous meal, these are very easily shed so you can become trim again. One friendly jog for five minutes will knock off 50 cal. Or, walk up stairs for 10 minutes a day for five days. One full day without food will take 1,500 calories off you. It is a good habit to fast for one day a fortnight and give your digestive system a rest.

A calorie is a calorie, whether it comes from fat or carbohydrate. Any calories eaten in excess can lead to weight gain. You can lose weight by eating fewer calories and by increasing your physical activity. Your brain will adapt to the changed system and reduce your base calorie count to, say, 1,400. An impoverished man has a base value programmed from his early days at, say, 750 calories. His working, eating and drinking revolves around this figure of 750 calories.

Reducing the amount of total fat and saturated fat that you eat is one way to limit your overall calorie intake. In fact, 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories, whereas 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate equals less than half the number of calories (4 calories each). By reducing total fat intake, you help reduce your calorie intake.

Survival Without Food (with water)

Humans have far more stamina than they know and can manage a long period of hunger, provided they are well hydrated. The self-evident factors are your physical fitness, total body weight and type of body mass and the prevailing weather. The answer to this question cannot be derived easily since no two persons are alike. For that matter, prevailing conditions may not be the same either. The factors at play are many in number.

  • Among the factors that determine how long you can go without food, will power, mental health and determination play a definite part. A number of people have gone on hunger strikes for political and religious reasons for a month! There are many cases of people getting lost in the wilderness and given up for dead by rescue teams suddenly reappearing, having survived for a long time without food. Perhaps the best documented example is that of the crash of the Uruguayan Air Force aircraft in the Andes on 13 Oct. 1972 when a passenger aircraft with 45 souls on board crashed and 16 survivors were rescued on 23 Dec. 1972, seventy two days after the accident. The 16 were pushed so hard to survive that they ultimately ate the flesh of their dead co-passengers, friends and colleagues.
  • There is a consensus of opinion that healthy human beings can manage without food for 50-60 days so long as water is available. Exceptions exist and people have survived longer, whereas people have died of starvation in much less time. A healthy body and good physical condition generally helps you to survive longer, as does that extra adipose tissue or body fat. We all know that food eaten is converted into energy required to live. This energy is stored as fat, proteins and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates are used up first when more food is not coming in. The fat goes next, which explains why people with more of it can survive longer. Next go the proteins. This is when the threat factor sets in. If your body is consuming proteins, it is becoming a ‘cannibal’ in that it is eating your core structure, the nucleus of your body.
  • Your metabolism is also involved. Metabolism is the process of converting food ingested into energy. If you can slow down your metabolism, you’ll consume the food you ate at a matching slow rate and be able to go longer without replacing the food energy. If you do not eat food, your metabolism (brain) senses that intake was low and outgo must be adjusted, unless there is a requirement to produce a high performance, much like amateur boxers who need to shed half a kilo just before weigh-in time. The brain is supracomplex and will adjust your metabolism to slow it down – pitching in for survival.
  • Climate is yet another major factor. Both cold and hot weather are detrimental if you lack food to eat, in their own unique ways. Hot weather dehydrates you, cold weather requires more energy to be burned so that your body temperature stays normal at 37° C (98.6° F). In fact, you won’t have the time to starve to death before the solitary reaper claims you as victim. If you’re stranded in mild temperatures, you’ll survive a couple of hours extra without food.

The basic symptoms you will see if you start a starvation diet for an extended period of time are:

  • Weakness
  • Confusion
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Irritability and poor decision making
  • Deficiency in immunity

Advanced starvation has serious repercussions. It will force your organs to shut down one after another. People experiencing severe starvation fall prey to the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions and muscle spasms
  • Irregular heartbeat

Survival Without Water

You can survive 2-5 days without water, depending on your build, your location and how much you sweat, urinate, or shed as tears. At any given time, a human is 70 percent water. Your blood is mainly water; your brain is 75 percent water, your muscles are also almost 75 percent water and all joints use water as lubricants. Every single system in your body functions on water. If the body were to lose water and you had the option, just lie down and stop any exertion of any kind, till some person finds you and gives you water to rehydrate.

As a spectator at highly physical matches like hockey, football and tennis, you must have players rehydrating regularly. Even in what is considered a slow game, cricket players start to cramp on a warm day. The standard solution is a 250 cc bottle of water with a spoonful of glucose and salt added.

Survival With Food, but no Water

Returning to the situation when you have food but no water− that food is dangerous. The moment you take a bite, the brain will release fluids (water) to digest it, starting with saliva, gastric fluids (even though they are acids) as well as fluids in the intestines, kidneys, liver, you name it. There have been miracles, no doubt, but that’s what they were, miracles. A 97 year old woman survived 8 days without drinking or eating anything under the rubble of her home after an earthquake occurred in Iran in January 2004. Nearly all newborn babies, later became known as Miracle Babies, were found and rescued after being 7 days under the wreckage of Hospital Juarez in Mexico City earthquake in 1985.

Foods with High Water Content

In addition to the water we drink, approximately a fifth of our fluid intake is acquired through food and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables contain as much as 90 percent or more water, making them the ideal choice for a meal or even a snack to keep your water intake high. Fruits like coconuts are over 97 percent water; fruits like watermelons, grapefruit, cantaloupes, peaches, other melons, grapes, strawberries, cranberries, orange and raspberries all have 90 percent water or more, though their energy content, except for coconuts, is somewhat low.

The list of vegetables with high water content has cucumber and lettuce, consisting of 96 percent water. Zucchini, radish and celery are comprised of 95 percent water. Ninety-four percent of a tomato’s weight is water, and green cabbage is 93 percent water. Vegetables that contain 92 percent water include cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage and spinach. Broccoli is 91 percent water by weight.

In a study carried out by the University of Aberdeen Medical School in 2009, it was reported that after completing an intense workout, eating a watermelon or cucumber rehydrated your body twice as effectually as a glass of water. This is because such types of high water content fruits and vegetables replace the natural sugars, vitamins, amino acids and mineral salts lost in the workout and is far more effective than plain water or a sports drinks. Sports drinks combine the hydrating and energy replacing components of most of the fruits and vegetables listed above as high in water content and also have artificial colors and flavors which are, by and large, harmless. The difference lies in the fact that their combination is arbitrary, or generic, designed for the average person. But then, you are you-a discrete human with specific requirements as dictated by the constitution of your body and brain. The consumption of high water content foods is highly advantageous in that they provide a feeling of fullness while transferring minimal calories to your physique.

Preparing for the Likely Disaster in Your Area

You now know how long you can survive:

  • Without food but with water
  • With food but without water
  • Without anything

You are now in a situation where you have a solution. So what is the question? That one question is: Can you and your family survive in an emergency? There are follow up queries too. We know what an emergency means, but are you living in an area prone to emergencies? What is the average American’s chance of facing an emergency? Are reactions to all emergencies the same?

Napa Valley gets struck by the largest earthquake in 25 years. Hurricanes churn through the Atlantic. Floods claim four lives as they sweep through parts of the Northeast. Every region in America faces its own dangers, but when you account for all kinds of natural disasters–from earthquakes to winter storms to tornados–what place is safest of them all? The honor goes to Sweet Grass County, Montana, according to an analysis of more than a half century of weather patterns and destructive natural events across the USA. Sweet Grass is home to 3,000 people who are fortunate enough to live far from wildfires to the west and twister country to the east, not to mention 900 miles from any trouble caused by the sea. Ocean County, New Jersey, is the country’s most dangerous county, when it comes to frequency of natural disasters. Jersey Shore communities in Ocean County are vulnerable to tidal surges and storms like Sandy. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration USA

Figure 2: Safe/Unsafe Counties in the USA

Use the map above to see where your county ranks.  This link will take you to a page on Time Magazine, and you can check out how safe you are on their interactive map.

The Disaster Index

Researchers at Time Magazine have calculated what they call the disaster index. All records were taken from the database maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on earthquakes and tornados from 1950 and 42 other disaster since 1996. Based on their findings, they have listed the Counties listed in Chart 2 as the 15 Most Dangerous Counties in the USA.







Ocean County





Orange County





Cape May County





Monmouth County





Los Angeles County





Clinton County





Burlington County





San Diego County





Franklin County





Riverside County





San Bernardino County





Atlantic County





Chittenden County





Grand Isle County





Camden County




Chart 2: The 15 Most Dangerous Counties in the USA
Source: Time Magazine

Using the same criteria, the following Counties are the safest in the USA







Sweet Grass County





Washington County





Wheatland County





Sherman County





Emporia city





Fergus County





Luna County





Liberty County





Grant County





Malheur County





Potter County





Hill County





Silver Bow County





Canyon County





Golden Valley County




Chart 3: The 15 Safest Counties in the USA
Source: Time Magazine

What is striking is that the safest counties have virtually no population to speak of. Evidently, there is some unwelcome factor prevalent in these counties that people are avoiding living in them en masse.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Events measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA, research include earthquake, hurricane (typhoon), cold wind chill, astronomical low tide, coastal flood, avalanche, dense fog, drought, dust devil, dust storm, excessive heat, extreme cold/wind chill, flash flood, flood, freezing fog, funnel cloud, hail, heat, heavy rain, heavy snow, high surf, high wind, ice storm, lakeshore flood, landslide, lightning, rip current, sleet, storm surge/tide, strong wind, thunderstorm wind, tornado, tropical depression, tropical storm, tsunami, waterspout, wildfire, winter storm and winter weather (ibid).

Figure 3: Hurricane Strikes since 1950
Source: NOAA

Hurricane Strikes Since 1950

Since 1851, 290 North Atlantic hurricanes have produced hurricane-strength winds in 19 states on the Atlantic coast. Some may have remained offshore, yet producing hurricane- strength winds on land; some may have weakened to a tropical storm before landfall yet produced hurricane conditions on land while still a hurricane and some of them made landfall in an adjacent state but produced hurricane conditions over multiple states.

All categories of disasters listed are not equally dangerous. The most disastrous have been hurricanes, as three to four of different scales may strike in one year; some years have been hurricane free in that they have died out just before encountering land or reduced to a large storm. Hurricanes have claimed over three thousand five hundred lives in the U.S. since 1996 while wildfires have taken 130 lives during the same period. Many counties have seen hundreds of incidents over the years, specifically hurricane prone New Jersey and quake-prone California.

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina has been the most destructive Atlantic tropical cyclone this millennium. It is also the most damage causing natural disaster in the history of the United States. Katrina has the dubious distinction of being the 7th deadliest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, and 2005 has seen three of the six most intense Atlantic hurricanes recorded (along with #1 Wilma and #4 Rita). 1,833 people are known to have died in the hurricane and the inevitable other disasters that follow, like floods, power outage, disconnection from the world at large and non-availability of fresh food or water other than what was supplied by rescue officials. The damage to property was projected at $108 billion (2005 USD).

If a hurricane is going to hit your house, there is nothing you can do. Prudence demands that you take safety measures in advance and pray that the intensity of the hurricane is low. As a resident of New Jersey (Chart 2), you should have an action plan ready and your entire family aware of what can happen and how they can help you in weathering the storm. Historically, the maximum property damage occurs in coastal areas, like beachfront towns. Nine out of ten can expect severe floods.

Measures Against Hurricanes

If you intend to safeguard yourself and your family from a hurricane, plan for four stages. These are the precautionary stage, the prelude, the storm and the after effects.

1. Precautionary Stage

  • There will be more than adequate warning before a hurricane strikes. That said, there is no guarantee that a hurricane will stick to its predicted path after hitting land. This can work both ways, for and against you. If you are in the path, the hurricane may pass you by, but considering its size, you may still be hit by its peripheral clouds, which will have very strong winds but less than expected rain. Buy emergency supplies now, well before it happens. The power outage may last days. Avoid the crowd by getting in early at the mart. Let’s also assume your house is 40 miles from the coastline (two hours travel time for the hurricane).
  • Consider moving to a relative’s house in say, Chicago or further west. Make sure you leave in time. Hurricanes move fairly slowly, about 25-30 mph or 40-48 kmh at that latitude, but the wind speed under its swirling cloud mass can touch 120+ mph, or 190 kph+. It is these winds and lashing rain that cause physical damage, but floods are caused by both the rain and poor drainage systems, as proved in New Orleans after a post-mortem of Katrina.
  • If you decide to stay, as generally happens, then shore up your basement. You will have to endure the strong winds when safely ensconced in your basement. After the worst is over, you will have to face the ordeal of waiting till life recovers to normal. If floods are to follow, they will convert your basement into a swimming pool. If you do not have a second floor, things could be touch and go in your house. Be prepared to evacuate in the worst case scenario. If you live in an apartment, there is no need to move anything; all you have to do is ‘batten down those hatches’ and stock up whatever is relevant from the list below.
  • You will require these items in your basement:
    • Hurricane lamps.
    • A set of torches and spare batteries.
    • Attach iridescent stickers on flashlights for easy location in little or no light.
    • Candles, four to five dozen and candle stick holders. Be careful not to start a fire.
    • Matches and disposable lighters.
    • A charging system.
    • An inverter with two high power batteries, 48 V each. You will also need an adapter to plug the inverter into any electrical power socket. Charge the batteries fully and ensurethey have enough distilled water.
    • Electrical cables, preferably two rolls of 50 ft each, colored red and green.
    • Battery-powered space heater.
    • Extension cords, long enough to reach your neighbor’s house.
    • Rubber gloves and gum boots for all.
    • Hand tools such as hammer, screwdriver, nails and wood saw.
    • Firewood and charcoal.
    • A gas camping stove or hibachi grill.
    • Extra blankets.
    • Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils.
    • First-aid kit and manual.
    • Fire Extinguisher.
    • Whistle.
    • Spare toiletry bag, with enough soap, shampoo, toothbrushes for all, toothpaste, basic medicines like aspirin and vitamins.
    • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
    • Prescription medicines for any affected person/persons, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, and hearing aid batteries.
    • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils, including a can opener.
    • Photocopies of credit and identification cards.
    • Cash and coins with everybody.
    • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers, bottles, and pacifiers.
    • Clothing to keep your family warm, underwear and socks. Wear double layers in cold climates, and keep your head covered to retain loss of heat.
    • Space heaters that automatically shut off if they are moved or fall over.
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags or newspapers to put on your bed/makeshift bed at night.
    • Knowledge that refrigerators and freezers are at their coldest settings in the house.
    • Extension to your phone line.
    • Mini-gas cylinder with attached lamp.
    • List of emergency phone nos. in huge print.
    • Mosquito repellent.
    • Fuel for your hurricane lamps.
    • Battery operated radios and clocks.
    • Knowledge that food is stored on shelves safely out of the way of flood waters.
    • Confirmation that an order for dry ice and ice blocks has been placed.
    • An 18 cubic foot standalone freezer. There should be 50 lbs (23 kg) of dry ice in this gadget when power goes. Use only this freezer. It will be the first device to be rendered ineffective, within 44-52 hours, but it would have done its job.
    • Coolers available and easily accessible. Styrofoam coolers work great.
    • Freezer bags filled with ice to make ice packs/ freezer-pack inserts.
    • Stocked ready-to-eat foods.
    • Shelf-stable items that are not canned. Look for juice boxes, stock and broth in boxes, dried fruits and snack items, and others that can be stored without refrigeration.
    • Some engaging, non-electronic games like cards and Scrabble, etc.
    • Bags to carry the equipment in, with inventory cards.

2. The Prelude

  • This is the phase when you get to know that the hurricane is close to the coast. In fact, high cirrus clouds (crow’s nest or mare’s tail) would have started appearing at least 60-90 hours earlier, with menacing clouds appearing about 2-2½ days later. A drizzle will set in, gradually becoming light, then heavy rain with very strong winds. Recheck the outside of your house to see that there is nothing that can fly off and hurt others just before the drizzle sets in.
    • Satellite dishes should be dismantled and brought in.
    • Recheck windows that might flap open in strong winds are nailed down.
    • Bring all flower pots into your garage.
    • Triple check your garage for safety, as they are weak structures, particularly their roofs. Cover glass surfaces of your car with Styrofoam. Cover the car securely with canvas.
    • Collect your order for dry ice and ice blocks as the drizzle starts. The exact timing is a function of how far your home is from the coastline and the market.
    • Freeze refrigerated items such as milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
    • Group food together in the freezer – this helps the food stay cold longer. A fully packed freezer keeps food safe longer than a lightly loaded one. Think ‘safety in numbers’!
    • Check that water repellent tarps, life jackets, inflatable raft if you have one, and kid’s swimming pools are inside the house.
    • Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer on the first floor. An appliance thermometer indicates the temperature in the container. In case of a power outage, it helps determine the safety of the food. The freezer should be as close to -18°C (0°F) as possible, while the fridge should be at or below 4°C (39°F).
    • Keep another appliance thermometer in your standalone freezer in the basement. Put all your perishable eatables and leftovers in this freezer. The temperature should be as close to -18°C (0°F) as possible.
    • Fill Ziplock bags, empty soda bottles, and other plastic containers with water and freeze. Use these to keep items in the freezer, refrigerator, and coolers cold.
    • Fill freezer bags with ice to make ice packs/buy freezer-pack inserts. This is mainly for the standalone freezer you’re going to eat from in the first two days and then for the refrigerator and its freezer compartment.

Note: Bacteria cannot survive temperatures below 4.°4 C (40° F). When the temperature rises above 40° F, it will take about two hours for all ice flakes to drop off. This is an indicator that conditions have changed in favor of bacteria, which thrive in such conditions and multiply very rapidly. There is only one thing you may do now: Throw away all food items that have crossed the two hour limit.

3. The Storm

  • Watch the storm from within the safety of your home. Look up to see if loose objects are flying around. Watch the windspeed pick up and batter your walls, windows and doors. Learn from the experience. As the intensity increases, head for your basement. It is only a matter of time before you have a power outage, if it hasn’t already gone.
    • There is nothing you can do but wait. Monitor progress on a smartphone.
    • Listen to a broadcast to find out if tidal waves have surged inland. Heed all warnings.
    • The rain will not let up for at least two days, while wind strength will keep varying.
    • Several agencies would have initiated precautionary action about five days before the storm intensified into a hurricane, like The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Police Department, the United States Coast Guard, National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service.
    • In due course, the hurricane will either move away or die out.
    • Pray that the accumulated water outside drains quickly.
    • NEVER taste food to check if it is safe-never!

These three phases are the most manageable phases. All your supplies will hold, nothing will run out of stock in these couple of days, unless you have mismanaged the situation. The problems start now, in the recovery phase, particularly if there is flooding. The after effects of what was a controlled situation are what cause great mental trauma. We will look at the aftermath later.

Assembling an Emergency Food Supply

Your emergency supplies should consist of food, water and other supplies for at least five days. Your entire family should know where it is, what it contains, how it is to be utilized and who will look after it. All food will be in the fridge or freezer. Surplus cans must be stored on the highest shelves, keeping them safe from flood water. In case of a power outage, nobody should open any cooling equipment, except for the person in charge.

Water: Store at least one gallon of water per person per day for five days. An average person drinks one-half gallon of water every day, though this will reduce if there is a temperature drop. Remember:

  • Individual needs vary, depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate.
  • Children, nursing mothers, and ill people need more water.
  • Temperatures above 95°F (35°C), though unlikely, will increase the amount of water by 50%.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water in the precautionary stage.
  • If you are using council supplied tap water, stock it in large bottles. Use two-liter plastic soft drink bottles. Clean the bottles thoroughly with dishwashing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of 1 teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water and swishing vigorously. After sanitizing the bottle, rinse out the sanitizing solution thoroughly with clean water.
  • Filling water containers: Fill the bottle to the top with regular tap water. If the tap water has been commercially treated from a water utility with chlorine, you need not add anything else to the water. If the water you are using comes from a well or water source that is not treated with chlorine, add two drops of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to the water. Tightly close the container using the original cap (ibid).
  • Many fruits and vegetables will hold their quality at room temperature, so buy them. Apples, tomatoes, grapes, heads of lettuce, squash, onions, potatoes, celery, peppers, and other produce will store well as long as they are stored in a cool and dark place.
  • Canned foods: canned beans, olive oil, tuna, chicken, small bottles of mayonnaise and salad dressing, canned meats and seafood, evaporated milk, soups, oil, canned juices, fruit, mustard and ketchup, brown bread, vegetables, dried foods, dried soup mixes, pastas, vegetables, meat, powdered milk, bouillon cubes and granules, spices, dried sauce mixes, pesto mixes, fruit, mushrooms and instant pudding mixes.

Food: Keep the following in mind when stocking your food supplies in the precautionary phase:

  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty. Choose salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content.
  • Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water, or special preparation. You may already have many of these on hand. Do include a manual can opener.
  • Keep a handy stock of plain milk chocolates.
  • Include special dietary needs (ibid).
  • Multivitamins.
  • Nuts and trail mixes, preferably in vacuum-packed containers which keep them fresh.

Canned Foods

“Canned foods maintain mineral content for entire shelf life. Vitamins A & C will decrease rapidly after fruits and vegetables are picked and cooked. Vitamins are lost during heating processes; however, once canned, vitamin A & C loss slows to 5- 20% per year. Other vitamins remain close to fresh food levels.”

Several factors limit the shelf-life of canned foods:

  • Cans or metal lids on glass jars can rust. When rust is deep enough, tiny holes open in the can or lid that may let spoilage agents in. Shipping accidents that dent or crush cans cause problems.
  • Can corrosion. Food reacts chemically with the metal container, especially high-acid food like canned tomatoes and fruit juices. Over several years, this causes taste and texture changes. It eventually lowers the nutritional value of the food.
  • Temperatures over 38° C (100° F) are harmful to canned foods. The risk of spoilage jumps sharply as storage temperatures rise. At prolonged storage temperatures above 24° C (75° F), nutrient loss in canned foods increases. Light can cause color changes and nutrient losses in foods canned in glass jars.

To store canned food wisely:

  • Store in a cool, clean, dry place where temperature is below 85 degrees (between 50-70 degrees is good) but not freezing temperatures.
  • Rotate foods so the oldest is used first. Try not to keep canned foods more than one year.
  • Use canned meats and seafood within 12 months.
  • Use low-acid canned foods within 8-12 months.
  • Use high-acid foods within 12 to 18 months. Foods stored longer will be safe to eat if the cans show no signs of spoilage or damage but may deteriorate in color, flavor and nutritive value.
  • Canned fruit juices can be stored up to 3 years.

Never use foods from containers with spoilage warning signs like loose or bulging lids on jars; bulging, leaking or badly dented cans (especially along the top, side and bottom seams); or foods with a foul odor (ibid).

The Aftermath of the Disaster

Power Outages

As soon as you lose power, unplug the freezer and refrigerator, as well as other appliances, to protect them from electricity surges when power returns. The inverter will give you 72 hours or more backup for one TV + 3 bulbs + 3 fans. Use your TV sparingly; recharge smartphones freely. Wrap the refrigerator/freezer in blankets, making sure they don’t touch the compressor, to create extra insulation. The same holds good for the standalone freezer.

If you have followed these directions to a T, there is very little chance of you running out of food. In any case, rescue teams will be making the rounds as soon as it is safe to do so. Items in the freezer can potentially stay frozen for 2 to 4 days, depending on the size of the freezer, how full it is, and how well insulated it is. These steps have been listed already. A full freezer that had been operating at 0°F will keep foods frozen for about 48 hours if the doors remain closed.

The blocks of dry ice are most useful in extended power outages. Use a twelve pound block of dry ice in the freezer and it will keep the contents frozen for one extra day, since you are not going to even touch it till the standalone freezer has done its job. Do wear gloves or use tongs when handling dry ice. The ideal method of using dry ice, apart from wearing gloves, is listed below:

  • Put heavy cardboard on top of packages of frozen food in each compartment of your freezer and put the dry ice on top of the cardboard.
  • If possible, place meat and poultry on a tray or seal them in a tough plastic bag so that their juices do not leak onto other foods if they ever begin to thaw.
  • Ensure you have a few days’ stock of foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
  • The safest way to determine a food’s safety is to use a kitchen thermometer. If a food’s temperature registers at 4.4°C (40°F) or below, it is safe. If not, destroy or discard it.
  • Feed infants and young children with care.
    • Breastfed infants should continue breastfeeding. For formula-fed infants, use ready-to-feed formula if possible. If using ready-to-feed formula is not possible, it is best to use bottled water to prepare powdered or concentrated formula. If bottled water is not available, use boiled water. Use treated water to prepare formula only if you do not have bottled or boiled water. You should have one week’s quantum of formula.
    • If you prepare formula with boiled water, let the formula cool sufficiently before giving it to an infant. Use your kitchen utensils over a regulated flame/fire to boil water.
    • Clean feeding bottles and nipples with bottled, boiled, or treated water before each use.
    • Wash your hands before preparing formula and before feeding an infant. You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer for washing your hands if the water supply is limited.
    • Ensure you have enough wipes/diapers (and plastic bags for disposal) in the house.
    • Recheck that you can cater to every need of the toddler for one full week, including light blankets, laundry detergent and medication, if any.

When Floodwater Enters Your House

  1. Keep Stored Water Safe: Once you realize that your house will get flooded, take all the items in the basement to the second floor and keep them under tarpaulins. If you do not have a second floor, keep all items as high as you can, covered with waterproofing material like tarpaulins, plastic or rubber sheets, etc. Thereafter:
    • Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
    • If you don’t have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present.
    • If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloth or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling.
    • Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
    • If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water.
    • If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloth or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection.
    • Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach per each gallon of water. Stir it well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes before you use it.
    • Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
    • If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.
    • If flood waters reach food stored on shelves and in cabinets, many food items that came in contact with flood water are unsafe. A guide of what to keep and what to discard follows:
      • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water – this includes raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
      • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water.
      • Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw‐caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
      • Check canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or rushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel‐type can opener. Do not taste any food to check if it is still edible.
    • Salvaging canned items: Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all‐metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf‐stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:
      • Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
      • Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
      • Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
      • Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
      • Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
        • Place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
        • Place in a freshly made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
      • Air‐dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
      • If the labels were removable, then re‐label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiry date (if available), with a marker.
      • Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
      • Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all‐metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water (ibid).

How to Prepare Food Without Power

If some disaster causes a power outage, you could use the gas camping stove or hibachi grill, or cook over an open fire. It may or may not be practical or possible to do so every meal, or for an extended period of time. So what are your options for uncooked meals without a working freezer or refrigerator?

You’ll be making a meal from stored food. Canned fruits and vegetables are not a problem. So the issue becomes staple foods: grains, potatoes, etc. There are several food options: instant oatmeal, quick barley, instant mashed potatoes, ramen, tabouli and couscous.

Use only clean safe drinking water. Preparation of stored food without cooking can contain bacteria. This food must be eaten immediately after preparation, to preclude bacterial growth which makes the food unsafe to eat. Instant oatmeal with non-fat dry milk, prepared without heat, though not as good as when it is cooked, is one of the better options for preparing food when you don’t have power to cook. It’s a great breakfast option.

Barley is a good staple food, which is high in protein and carbs. Quick barley will store well long-term if kept cool, sealed, and dry. This is definitively a good food for storage. Instant mashed potatoes take up room temperature bottled water quickly and well. The taste seems unaffected by the lack of cooking. You probably like your mashed potatoes hot, but that is situational. Try opening a small bottle of mayonnaise sauce and finish it. Instant mashed potato, ketchup and mayonnaise is a decent meal.

Making couscous at room temperature bottled water, takes 15 minutes or more. If the couscous turns out crunchy, add more water and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Taste-wise, couscous prepared in this manner is almost indistinguishable from cooked couscous, except that it is not hot. Add oil and vinegar, with some spices and salt to taste. Couscous is made with wheat, just like regular pasta, and it is just as nutritious. Tabouli and ramen are two more options.

Prepare ‘heat only’ foods like canned soup, stew, chili or ‘just add water’ foods like instant soup or oatmeal on a canned heat stove, prepare raw foods or canned foods that do not need heating, or prepare easy to cook meals on a one burner butane stove.

The one burner butane stove has many advantages. It will accommodate larger size cookware than the canned heat stove and normal kitchen cookware can be used. The butane stove can be used indoors with good ventilation. The gas flame is easier to regulate than canned heat and is hotter. These advantages allow the preparation of recipes rather than just heating up of canned foods thus giving more variety to menus while the power is out. A list of recipes for meals that can be prepared in 20 minutes or less (to conserve fuel) is at Pantry Cooking: Unlocking Your Pantry’s Potential.

Keeping Food Safe During an Ice Storm

Even a thin coating of ice can result in a travel nightmare, while heavier amounts will severely damage trees and power lines. Strong winds can add extra force to already weighed down tree branches and power lines, increasing the likelihood of significant damage.

Ice Storm Facts

  • Ice can increase the weight of branches more than 25 times.
  • A 0.5 inch accretion on electrical lines can add 500 pounds of extra weight between successive pylons.
  • In 2009, a heavy ice storm between northern Arkansas and the Ohio Valley shut down power to 1.3 million homes.
  • An ice storm between northern New York and northern New England in 1998 damaged trees by the millions. Ice accretion was as much as 7.5 cm (3”) thick!

These ice accumulations are caused by freezing rain. Freezing rain is the consequence of snow dropping through an above-freezing level warm layer in the atmosphere, wherein snowflakes melt into rain. These raindrops transit through a thin layer of air below freezing temperature at the surface of the earth, freezing immediately when it makes contact with land, trees, cars, etc.


  • Avoid driving on icy roads for your safety and the safety of emergency personnel.
  • Make sure you have several ways to communicate with others, like landline phones, cell phones, texting, etc.
  • Children should be stopped from playing around ice-covered trees for fear of injury.
  • Never use portable generators, camp stoves and grills inside your home or garage to forestall carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Use flashlights during power outages instead of candles to prevent the risk of fire. Attach a luminous strip of fluorescent paper to your torches.

Refrigerator Foods

When to Save and When to Throw It Out


Held above 40 ºF for over 2 hours



Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes


Thawing meat or poultry


Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad


Gravy, stuffing, broth


Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef


Pizza – with any topping


Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”


Canned meats and fish, opened




Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco


Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, Provolone, Romano


Processed Cheeses


Shredded Cheeses


Low-fat Cheeses


Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)




Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk


Butter, margarine


Baby formula, opened




Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products


Custards and puddings






Fresh fruits, cut


Fruit juices, opened


Canned fruits, opened


Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, dates




Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.

Peanut butter


Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, pickles


Worcestershire, soy, barbecue sauces, Hoisin sauce


Fish sauces (oyster sauce)


Opened vinegar-based dressings


Opened creamy-based dressings


Spaghetti sauce, opened jar




Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas


Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough


Cooked pasta, rice, potatoes


Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigrette


Fresh pasta




Breakfast foods –waffles, pancakes, bagels






Pies – custard






Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices


Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packaged


Vegetables, raw


Vegetables, cooked; tofu


Vegetable juice, opened


Baked potatoes


Commercial garlic in oil


Potato Salad


Chart 4 Source: Keeping_Food_Safe_During_an_Emergency.pdf

Frozen Food

When to Save and When to Throw It Out







Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meat



Poultry and ground poultry



Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)



Casseroles, stews, soups



Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products

Refreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor     loss.






Refreeze. May lose some texture.


Eggs (out of shell) and egg products



Ice cream, frozen yogurt



Cheese (soft and semi-soft)

Refreeze. May lose some texture.


Hard cheeses



Shredded cheeses



Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheeses











Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.

Home or commercially packaged

Refreeze. Will change texture and flavor

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.






Discard after held above 40° F for 6 hours.

Home or commercially packaged or blanched

Refreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss

Discard after held above 40° F for 6 hours.




Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard fillings)



Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling



Pie crusts, commercial and
homemade bread dough

Refreeze. Some quality loss can occur

Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.




Casseroles – pasta, rice based



Flour, cornmeal, nuts



Breakfast items –waffles, pancakes, bagles



Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie,convenience foods)




How to Get Rid of Bad Smells in Your Fridge

While it is not necessary that a natural disaster will lead to your fridge and freezer picking up a noxious odor, the fact remains that a long power outage where you cannot get back to your fridge freely or floodwaters will go a long way in generating that rotten egg / decaying meat smell. Unfortunately, your fridge is made of various plastics, compounds, rubberized linings and metal. It is the plastic elements and the rubberized section that retain the odor. The metallic portion can be scrubbed clean, but you cannot touch any electrical system for fear of damaging it.

More often than not, people do manage to get rid of the odor in a couple of days. There are always some tricky ones that will trouble you. It is a lengthy DIY process and perhaps the best option is given here. If the fridge is done in, then remove the door and dump the two separate portions of the dead fridge widely apart. This is a statutory law in the state of Michigan.


This entry was posted in: Blog.

Economic Effects of Climate Change

Economic Effects of Climate Change

REPORT SUMMARY: Climate Change Background (causes, consensus), Impacts of Climate Change on Growth & Development, Estimated Costs in Developing Countries, Effects on Global Food Supply (agriculture, production), Diseases, Climate Change Policy, Technological Innovation, Carbon Tax, Low Carbon Economy

What is climate change?

Climatologists commonly refer to climate as the mean or average weather in a given place or region.

This description is usually stated in statistical forms showing variations such as averages and extremes. Climate comprises of humidity, patterns of temperature, wind, seasons, and rain or snow.  A recent science-based report shows that the quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other forms of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere continues to rise to such levels that the Earth get warmed resulting in a broad range of environmental effects such as melting ice and snow, rising sea levels, drought and wild fires, extreme storms, rainfall and floods.


More resources:

Causes of Climate Change

The earth’s climate is naturally variable on all time scales. However, its long-term state and average temperature are regulated by the balance between incoming and outgoing energy, which determines the Earth’s energy balance.

Any factor that causes a sustained change to the amount of incoming energy or the amount of outgoing energy can lead to climate change.

As these factors are external to the climate system, they are referred to as ‘climate forcers’, invoking the idea that they force or push the climate towards a new long-term state – either warmer or cooler depending on the cause of change.

Different factors operate on different time scales, and not all of those factors that have been responsible for changes in earth’s climate in the distant past are relevant to contemporary climate change.

Factors that cause climate change can be divided into two categories ­- those related to natural processes and those related to human activity. In addition to natural causes of climate change, changes internal to the climate system, such as variations in ocean currents or atmospheric circulation, can also influence the climate for short periods of time. This natural internal climate variability is superimposed on the long-term forced climate change.

Natural Causes

The Earth’s climate can be affected by natural factors that are external to the climate system, such as changes in volcanic activity, solar output, and the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Of these, the two factors relevant on timescales of contemporary climate change are changes in volcanic activity and changes in solar radiation. In terms of the Earth’s energy balance, these factors primarily influence the amount of incoming energy. Volcanic eruptions are episodic and have relatively short-term effects on climate. Changes in solar irradiance have contributed to climate trends over the past century but since the Industrial Revolution, the effect of additions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has been about ten times that of changes in the Sun’s output.

Human Causes

Climate change can also be caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these human influences on the climate system have increased substantially. In addition to other environmental impacts, these activities change the land surface and emit various substances to the atmosphere. These in turn can influence both the amount of incoming energy and the amount of outgoing energy and can have both warming and cooling effects on the climate.  The dominant product of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The overall effect of human activities since the Industrial Revolution has been a warming effect, driven primarily by emissions of carbon dioxide and enhanced by emissions of other greenhouse gases.

The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to an enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect.  It is this human-induced enhancement of the greenhouse effect that is of concern because ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases have the potential to warm the planet to levels that have never been experienced in the history of human civilization. Such climate change could have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social, and economic consequences.


Short-lived and long-lived climate forcers

Carbon dioxide is the main cause of human-induced climate change. It has been emitted in vast quantities from the burning of fossil fuels and it is a very long-lived gas, which means it continues to affect the climate system during its long residence time in the atmosphere. However, fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, agriculture, and forestry-related activities emit other substances that also act as climate forcers. Some, such as nitrous oxide, are long-lived greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, and so contribute to long-term climate change.

Other substances have shorter atmospheric lifetimes because they are removed fairly quickly from the atmosphere. Therefore, their effect on the climate system is similarly short-lived. Together, these short-lived climate forcers are responsible for a significant amount of current climate forcing from anthropogenic substances.

Some short-lived climate forcers have a climate warming effect (‘positive climate forcers’) while others have a cooling effect (‘negative climate forcers’).

If atmospheric levels of short-lived climate forcers are continually replenished by ongoing emissions, these continue to exert a climate forcing. However, reducing emissions will quickly lead to reduced atmospheric levels of such substances. A number of short-lived climate forcers have climate warming effects and together are the most important contributors to the human enhancement of the greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide.

This includes methane and tropospheric ozone – both greenhouse gases – and black carbon, a small solid particle formed from the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and wood for example).

Other short-lived climate forcers have climate cooling effects, most notably sulphate aerosols. Fossil fuel combustion emits sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere (in addition to carbon dioxide) which then combines with water vapour to form tiny droplets (aerosols) which reflect sunlight.

Sulphate aerosols remain in the atmosphere for only a few days (washing out in what is referred to as acid rain), and so do not have the same long-term effect as greenhouse gases. The cooling from sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere has, however, offset some of the warming from other substances. That is, the warming we have experienced to date would have been even larger had it not been for elevated levels of sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere.

The Effects of Sea Level Rise and Climate Change

Strong evidence from scientific research obtained from core samples, tide gauge readings and satellite measurements show that global mean sea levels have been rising since the mid-19th century.

Available records indicate that during the 20th century, the global mean sea levels (GMSL) rose by about 15-20 centimeters which roughly equals 1.5 to 2.0 millimetre per year and the rate at which the GMSL increased towards the end of the 20th century was greater than at the early years of the century. The rate of increase of the GMSL in the first ten years of the 21st century has been found to be around 3.1 mm per year which is much higher than the average rate recorded for the 20th century.

Future projections estimate the GMSL to rise by around 1 meter by 2100 but if the rate at which Greenland ice sheet melt increases, sea level might rise by roughly 2 meters by 2100.

The three major processes leading to a rise in sea levels are:

  • Thermal expansion: Water expands normally as its temperature rises just like air and other fluids. Ocean temperature increases as climate change increases leading to sea level rise because of the expansion of its water through the application of heat (thermal expansion). Evidence suggests that thermal expansion could have contributed almost 2.5cm of sea level rise from mid-20th century. Projections by the IPCC in its Fourth Assessment suggests that sea levels will rise by about 17-28 cm (with an uncertainty rate of 50% plus or minus) over the 21st century.
  • Melting of glaciers and ice caps: Climate scientists say that melting of glaciers and ice caps are less likely contributors to sea level rise. The Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC estimated that the melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps in the second half of the 20th century increased sea level by around 2.5cm and projected that melting of ice and ice caps will lead about 10-12cm (plus or minus of one third) increase in sea level in the 21st century.
  • Loss of ice mass from the Greenland and West Antarctic sheets: The West Antarctic sheet retains an equivalent of 5 meters of sea level while the ice on Greenland holds around 7 meters of sea level. If all the ice on Greenland and the West Antarctic were to melt away completely in a process that could last for many centuries, both will contribute about 12 meters of sea level rise. The West Antarctic ice sheet is highly vulnerable because it is rooted below sea level. Though the East Antarctic ice sheet holds around 55 meters of sea level but it is less vulnerable to loss of its ice.

The potential impacts of these three processes include more rapid coastal erosion, rising water tables, changes in tidal prism, slat water intrusion into aquifers and surface waters, increased storm damage to coastal infrastructure, and changes in shoreline including the possibility that protective natural barriers will be lost totally. 

Ocean chemistry will definitely change when ocean level rises due to climate change. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could make water bodies to become more acidic and warmer sea water will have more carbon dioxide dissolved in it resulting in less oxygen. Sea level rise will cause harm to marine ecosystems, it will alter ocean’s biodiversity, and also affect the tiny plankton which produces much of the oxygen in the atmosphere.

More information on sea levels and climate change

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

There is an overwhelming level of scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. Over 95% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that the earth is warming and that human activity is the cause. In spite of this agreement, only about 50% the general public think that scientists have reached a consensus on human-caused climate change. Two sources of the discrepancy are the unbalanced portrayal of the situation in the media, and the Manufactured Doubt Industry. – source:

    Climate Change and the Media

    According to a poll done by (WPO) after the 2010 election, 45% of voting Americans think that most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring. WPO goes on further to estimate that this percentage has actually increased over the past ten years. A recent Pew study found that an overwhelming majority of Americans like science, have a positive regard for scientists, and think that science "contributes a lot to society’s well-being." So if there’s obvious consensus among scientists, why is that information not making it to the public?

    Never Rarely Once a week 2-3 times a week Almost every day
    Fox News 30 37 45 36 60
    CNN 51 40 39 25 25
    MSNBC 49 34 35 35 20
    Network TV news broadcasts 59 37 41 36 35
    Public Broadcasting (NPR or PBS) 49 41 36 21 13
    Newspapers & news magazines (in print or online) 48 43 41 24 40


    Table 1. Of people who responded that they agree with the statement "most scientists believe that global warming is not occurring," 60% watch Fox News almost every day. (Source)

    The Economics of Climate Change

    In their characteristic manner, economists generally weigh costs and damages. Therefore, economics of climate change focuses on identifying the economic implications of climate change and, hence, offer relevant, normative, and realistic policies for bringing the menace under control.

    Though the economics of climate change relates to other aspects of environmental economics but because of a number of factors such as the nature and extent of uncertainties involved with it, its distinctive and global nature, its international scope, its long term scale, and the possibilities of distributing policy benefits unevenly, it is often given a unique focus.

    Projections by Goulder and Pizer (2005) suggests that spending on energy infrastructure could exceed $16 trillion by 2030 leading to a rise in carbon emission by 60%. Therefore, the importance of looking at the economics of climate change now in order to develop the right choices for mitigating climate change cannot be overemphasized.

    In a working paper titled ‘Climate Change and Economic Growth’ and produced by the Commission on Growth and Development led by Nobel Laureate Mike Spence, the author, Robert Mendelsohn, remarked: ‘whereas the grim descriptions of the long term effects of climate change have led many to believe that the consequences of climate change will threaten long term economic growth but contrary to this impression, the impacts of climate change on the global economy will likely be very small over the next five decades and severe impacts by the end of the century is quite unlikely.’

    While this statement may sound quite puzzling, it does make a lot of sense to economists and to clarify further, the author says: ‘the greatest danger that climate change poses to the global economy in the long term arises from potentially excessive near-term mitigation efforts’ meaning that there is the need to keep up with the current global economic growth while allowing the greening of the economic growth strategy.

    The priority of many of the economists concerned with climate change advocate developing the ‘right economic choices’ for mitigating the potential impacts of the global phenomenon but this position is at variance with the views of scientists and environmentalists who advocate that more extreme mitigation policies be applied in the near term.

    The Impacts of Climate Change on Economic Growth and Development

    One of the main drivers of climate change is economic growth.

    As the demand for energy and goods that uses fossil fuels intensively increases, the economy expands and the quantity of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere will also increase.

    However, economic growth may bring about a change in technological know-how leading to the inventions of more products that are energy efficient and, hence, slow down the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    Some impacts of climate change are directly linked to market transactions and invariably affect gross domestic product (GDP) while some are non-market impacts because the effects could only be noticed on human health and ecosystems and not on market transactions.

    Climate change impacts that are market impacts could be measured as economic cost but it is difficult to calculate non-market impacts on an economic scale.

    The uncertainties in scientific measurement about how climate change will unfold makes estimating the economic impacts of climate change rather difficult. Nevertheless, economists have attempted making economic analysis of the potential impacts climate change would have on growth and development of a state and the global economy.

    • Smith et al., (2001) warns that climate change would further widen economic inequities between individuals and nations. Smith also says that a slight increase in global mean temperature of about 2oC over the 1990 levels could lead to net negative market sector and net positive market sector in many developing and developed nations respectively.
    • Pearce et al., (1996) suggests that based on available economic research, only a limited sector of the market economy such as agriculture, tourism, energy, coastal resources, forestry, and water is susceptible to climate change but in contrast, Stern (2006) claims that the entire global economy and the well-being of people across the globe may be at risk.
    • Mendelsohn (2009) reasoned that even if the impact of climate change turns out to be severe, it is doubtful if climate change can hurt the global economy that much since the sectors listed above make up around 5 percent of the global economy and it is expected that the share of each sector will shrink over time. The thinking is that most sectors of the global economy are not sensitive to climate change. However, Mendelsohn holds the view that on a comparison basis, the economies of some nations would be more susceptible to climate change when compared with the global average. Those countries that might be hit harder are countries that have a larger share of their economies in agriculture and forestry. In general, Mendelsohn says developing countries are more vulnerable. This is probably because many developing countries appear to be in the low geographical latitudes where the impacts of climate change on the market economy sectors earlier mentioned will be the most severe. Already, the major economic sectors of some countries in Africa have been noted to be vulnerable to observed changes in climate conditions meaning that future climate change could impact these countries further more. However, Smith et al., (2001: p. 940-941) predicted that a number of the developing nations would have the wherewithal to efficiently cope with the challenges of climate change.

    Though the uncertainties over climate sensitivities may pose difficulties in calculating the real economic impacts that climate change could have on growth and development yet analysts consider these uncertainties as the only important factor needed to determine the costs of carbon in the atmosphere, and, hence, climate sensitivity is important as an economic measure of climate change impacts.

    Low-income countries will remain on the frontline of human-induced climate change over the next century, experiencing gradual sea-level rises, stronger cyclones, warmer days and nights, more unpredictable rains, and larger and longer heatwaves, according to the most thorough assessment of the issue yet.

    East Africa can expect to experience increased short rains, while west Africa should expect heavier monsoons. Burma, Bangladesh and India can expect stronger cyclones; elsewhere in southern Asia, heavier summer rains are anticipated. Indonesia may receive less rainfall between July and October, but the coastal regions around the south China Sea and Gulf of Thailand can expect increased rainfall extremes when cyclones hit land.

    Estimates of the incremental costs of adaptation in developing countries ($bn per annum)

    Study 2010-2015 2010-2020 2030 2010-2050 Method
    World Development Report (2010) 30-100 Compiled several estimates of adaptation costs (including others in this list) with scenarios of 450ppm, 2005 US$
    World Bank EACC (2010) 70-100 Average annual adaptation costs from 2010 to 2050 in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure, water resource management, and coastal zone sectors, including impacts on health, ecosystem services, and the effects of extreme-weather events. In 2005 US$.
    Project Catayst (2009) 13-38 Estimates only public funding needs in vulnerable countries using costs from NAPAs, increased funding of public goods and disaster support. Assumes 450 stabilization, $1.25 to €1 exchange rate
    UNFCCC (2007) 27-67 Including: agriculture, forestry and fisheries, water supply, human health, coastal zones, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Excluded: mining and manufacturing, energy, retailing, tourism and ecosystems. In 2005 US$ between 450 and 550ppm
    Oxfam (2007) >50 Based on World Bank (2006), plus extrapolation of costs from NAPAs and NGO projects
    UNDP HDR (2007) 86-109 Builds on World Bank (2006), plus cost of adapting Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and strengthening disaster response
    World Bank (2006) 9-41 Costs of climate proofing ODA, foreign and domestic investment
    Stern Review (2006) 4-37 Aiming for 450ppm stabilisation


    Additional Resources on The Economics of Climate Change:

    Economics of climate change

    The Impacts of climate change on growth and development

    How climate change will affect people around the world

    Implications of climate change on development

    Costs of climate change in developing countries

    Projecting the Growth of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    It is the standard practice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use future emissions projections of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases as a basis for determining how cost-effective short-term mitigation alternatives and future policy can impact greenhouse gas emissions.

    This is because though carbon dioxide (CO2) are the main constituents of greenhouse gas emissions, there are other non-CO2 gases like nitrous oxide, methane, and fluorinated greenhouse gases that are major contributors to climate change. When considered on a per-ton basis, these non-CO2 greenhouse gases contribute more to climate change impacts than CO2 and some of these gases have significant effects on a short-term basis than carbon dioxide.

    There are series of reports published by EPA that projects the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. EPA usually provide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reports by gas and by sector.

    The sectors commonly reported include

    • transportation
    • energy
    • industrial processes
    • agriculture
    • land use
    • land-use change
    • waste
    • forestry


    The common gases in most reports are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), nitrous oxide (N2O), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

    The quantities of future GHG levels are highly uncertain but there are a wide range of data illustrating emission projections that have been generated quantitatively. A number of emissions projections combined anthropogenic emissions as a single figure which is termed carbon dioxide equivalent (CDE). The CDE describes the quantity of global warming that could be caused by a given type of GHG by using the concentration of carbon dioxide as the reference.

    Using the baseline scenarios of emissions projection, it is projected that by 2030, there will be an increase of 25% and 90% in greenhouse emissions relative to the 2000 level.  It was also projected that for carbon dioxide only, two-thirds to three-quarters of the increase would be recorded in developing nations of the world.  But the same report also projected that the average per capita carbon dioxide emissions in developing nations would remain significantly lower than those in the developed world.

    The projections of carbon dioxide equivalents for 2100 varied from a reduction of about 40% to an increase in GHG emissions of 250% above the levels recorded for 2000.
    Source: SRES Final Data (version1.1, July 2000)

    A research report says that the estimated total atmospheric concentration of long-lived greenhouse gas emissions was about 455 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide equivalent .  When deduction is made for the effects of deforestation and other land-use changes and aerosol, then the physical effect which is also referred to as radiative forcing reduces the carbon dioxide equivalent to between 311 and 435 ppm. The estimate recorded for 2011 carbon dioxide equivalent concentrations is 473 ppm.

    Six of the IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) SRES emissions scenarios, that is the base line scenarios, have been used to project the possible future changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations equivalent. For example, the emissions projections for 2100 has been fixed between 540 to 970 parts per million (ppm).

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    Global Food Supply and Climate Change

    Though crops, livestock and fisheries depend on specific weather conditions, it is difficult to understand the overall effect that climate change could have on food supply.

    In some instances, slight warming and high concentration of carbon dioxide may help some crops to grow faster yet agricultural yields may reduce with severe warming and floods and drought can cause further damage to agriculture and, hence, reduce food supply.

    The potential effects that climate change could have on world food supply and security have been documented , and some of the risks posed by concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere include negative effects on grain, fruit crops, vegetable, livestock and fisheries among others.

    • Vietnam is one of the hot spots where climate change through potential global sea level rise threatens rice production.
    • The Yakima River which is in the south central and eastern Washington state annually produces mostly perennial crops valued around $1 billion but many of the crop growers around this basin have been facing water shortages. In fact, reduced water allocation from the Yakima Basin that occurred in 2001 led to economic losses worth between $140 million and $195 million.

    Some of the practical effects of climate change on agriculture and food supply include reduction in yields, the need to deploy irrigation more than before, decreased arability; he possibility that insect and pests may reproduce more when the atmosphere becomes warmer, delay in planting and harvesting, and untold risks to fisheries.

    It’s not economic development that matters in this case, it’s the location on the surface of the Earth. Without better crop varieties or other agricultural technology improvements, irrigated wheat yields, for example, will fall at least 20 percent by 2050 as a result of global warming, and south Asia as well as parts of sub-Saharan Africa will face the worst effects.

    Potential Effects of Climage Change on Agriculture and Food Production

    The potential effects that climate change could have on agriculture and food production are many. For example, the rate of production of food crops, livestock, and dairy yields, may decline when temperature rises or due to drought-related stress. Several parts of the world that have been depending on natural and regular supply of water from rainfall each year during planting seasons may now require artificial supply of water through irrigation leading to higher costs for the farmers and possibly communal conflict when access to water becomes a battle for the fittest.

    In another scenario, climate change may make warmer conditions to shift to higher latitudes, where the soil lack adequate nutrients that could support crop production, making farmers to contend for lower-latitude areas that are less productive. Also, if the seasonal rainfall patterns continues to be irregular due to climate change, that could lead to more severe precipitation events such as flooding resulting in delay in planting and harvesting agricultural crops.

    The IBSNAT crop models were used to estimate how climate change and increasing levels of carbon dioxide may alter yields of world crops at 112 sites in 18 countries. (Figure 9.1). The crop models used were CERES-Wheat (Ritchie and Otter, 1985; Godwin et al., 1989), CERES-Maize (Jones and Kiniry, 1986; Ritchie et al., 1989), CERES-Rice (Godwin et al., 1993) and SOYGRO (Jones et al., 1989).

    The IBSNAT models are comprised of parameterizations of important physiological processes responsible for plant growth and development, evapotranspiration, and partitioning of photosynthate to produce economic yield. The simplified functions enable prediction of growth of crops as influenced by the major factors that affect yields, i.e., genetics, climate (daily solar radiation, maximum and minimum temperatures, and precipitation), soils, and management practices. The models include a soil moisture balance submodel so that they can be used to predict both rainfed and irrigated crop yields. The cereal models simulate the effects of nitrogen fertilizer on crop growth, and these were studied in several countries in the context of climatic change. For the most part, however, the results of this study assume optimum nutrient levels.

    The IBSNAT models were selected for use in this study because they have been validated over a wide range of environments (e.g., Otter-Nacke et al., 1986) and are not specific to any particular location or soil type. The validation of the crop models over different environments also improves their ability to estimate effects of changes in climate. Furthermore, because management practices, such as the choice of varieties, planting date, fertilizer application and irrigation, may be varied in the models, they permit experiments that simulate adaptation by farmers to climate change.

    Insect and Pests

    The problem that insect and pests constitute may be higher when the atmosphere becomes warmer on a prolonged term because they are known to survive or even reproduce more rapidly each year if the warm weather conditions persist.

    Crop growers in Canada and the NE Washington know that this is already happening because pine bark beetles are multiplying rapidly and are causing devastation to large tracts of forests .

    Migration of insect and pests from one region to another is possible when climate changes leading to changes in humidity and temperatures.

    Commercial fisheries may also be affected when different type of fishes shift from one region to the other in response to changes in weather conditions and temperature.

    Really, the threats of global food supply won’t affect countries and regions of the world equally. If a country loses its arable land due to climate change, the resources or favorable weather to pursue cost-effective alternatives and maintain its food security may be lacking. Though we hope that advancement in technology would bring succour to humanity in the worst case scenarios of climate change but since some countries are more susceptible to unfavorable international trade agreements than others, food distribution may be disrupted in some parts of the world.

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    Climate Change and Diseases

    The health effects of climate change is one of the most important nonmarket impacts of climate change.

    Stress induced by a rise in heat level may increase heat strokes, dehydration, and deaths resulting from changes in weather . Allergies and respiratory health may also be triggered by climate change .

    Vector borne diseases (VBD) often thrive more rapidly due to the effects of climate change. Life-cycles of pathogens can be affected by changes in climate. For example, drought and hot summer temperatures have been found to rapidly increase the number of West Nile virus incidents. California could be at risk of a break out of exotic vectors like those responsible for yellow fever and dengue fever if raining season gets unduly prolonged.  

    In addition, VBDs may cross geographical boundaries and extend beyond current ranges making more people to be at risk of contracting VBD. Extreme events occasioned by severe changes in climate could threaten lives and where people fail to adapt, untold suffering may occur.

    The deadly dozen that may increse due to climate change:

    • Bird flu: H5N1 infections are becoming the rule rather then the exception in farmed poultry worldwide, and even wild birds are showing signs of infection more often. It has forced the culling of millions of ducks, chickens and geese globally—and has killed more than 240 people—resulting in at least $100 billion in economic losses.
    • Babesiosis: This malarialike disease carried by ticks is endemic in the tropics, but has cropped up everywhere from Italy to Long Island, N.Y. It is rare in humans at present and seldom deadly (treatable with antibiotics) but may become more problematic as the globe warms, providing more welcoming environments.
    • Cholera: This bacterium thrives in warmer waters and causes diarrhea so severe that it can kill within a week. Without improved sanitation, rising global temperatures will increase deadly outbreaks.
    • Ebola: This virus is lethal to humans and other primates, and has no cure. In addition, it is unclear where the disease, which causes fever, vomiting and internal or external bleeding, comes from—though scientists suspect fruit bats. What is clear is that outbreaks tend to follow unusual downpours or droughts in central Africa—a likely result of climate change.
    • Parasites: Many spread easily between humans, livestock and wildlife. Higher average temperatures and more rainfall will help many parasites, such as the tiny worms known as Baylisascaris procyonis that are spread by raccoons, to thrive in the wild before finding a host.
    • Lyme disease: This bacterium-caused disease will spread as climate changes extend the ranges of the ticks that carry it.
    • Plague: Changes in temperature and rainfall will affect rodent populations globally as well as the infected fleas they carry.
    • "Red tides": Poisonous algal blooms in coastal waters may increase as a result of warming temperatures or changes in littoral sea life.
    • Rift Valley fever: A newly emergent virus, carried by mosquitoes that causes fever and weakness, has spread quickly through Africa and the Middle East, killing people, along with camels, cattle, goats and sheep.
    • Tuberculosis: Both the human and livestock varieties of TB are likely to increase, particularly the latter as droughts bring livestock and wildlife into closer proximity at watering holes.
    • Yellow fever: Mosquitoes spread this disease, which causes fever and jaundicelike symptoms, between wildlife and humans, and will likely spread into new areas as the climate changes.

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    Climate Change Policy

    Evolving a climate change policy that works can take many forms that includes individual action, political action government action and actions of watchdogs like the environmental protection agency (EPA).

    The EPA is saddled with many responsibilities that include:

    • collecting and publishing emissions data
    • developing regulatory framework geared towards promoting a clean energy economy
    • gathering and evaluating policy options
    • forming international partnership towards advancing minimizing carbon footprint
    • advancing the science

    This agency also helps communities prepare for climate change and how adapt to it.

    In 1988 the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) set up theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an expert body that would assess scientific information on climate change. As a reaction to the concerns raised in the IPCC’s First Assessment Report the UN General Assembly established the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in May 1992 and entered into force in 1994. The convention included the commitment to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by 2000.

    Agreed in 1997, the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol is a first step towards achieving more substantial global emission reductions. It sets binding emission targets for developed countries that have ratified it, such as the EU Member States, and limits the emission increases of the remaining countries for the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012. The 15 pre-2004 EU Member States (the EU-15) have a joint emission reduction target of 8 % below 1990 levels. Through the internal EU "burden-sharing agreement", some EU Member States are permitted increases in emissions, while others must decrease them. Most Member States that joined the EU after 1 May 2004 have targets of -6 % to -8 % from their base years (mostly 1990).

    Individual Action on Climate Change

    The individual action involves making various choices that limit and/or reduce the potential impacts posed by climate change on our environment. For example, choosing a diet low on carbon will minimize carbon footprint on the long run.

    A research report gave an estimate of the carbon footprint from the U.S. food system to be about 20 percent of the aggregate of the greenhouse emissions from the entire nation.  This estimate might be very conservative since it was based on the direct sources in the U.S. without considering food imported into the U.S. Industrial meat, industrially produced food and dairy among others constitute high carbon diet. The carbon footprint for food is not only measured based on waste of food but also on the entire chain involving production, processing, packaging, transport, and the actual stages involved with the preparation of food.

    Vegan Choices: A report by the United Nations Environment Programme advocated a shift from high carbon food choices to vegan diet where less fossil fuel would be required to complete the chain from production to the point where the consumer prepares the food and, hence, less carbon dioxide will be released to the atmosphere.

    Political Actions on Climate Change

    There are many ways political action could be deployed to save the Earth from carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.

    • Direct lobbying
    • Protests
    • Letters to representatives
    • laws on greenhouse gas emissions limits
    • Tax incentives
    • Regulations that specify market-based approaches and grant economic incentives for controlling emissions of pollutants
    • Government policies

    The U.S. and the Challenge of Climate Change Policy

    Recently President Barack Obama endorsed a long-term measure meant to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases considerably by 2050 to 80% below the levels recorded in 1990.

    The American Clean Energy and Security Act which target 2050 and advocate for 83% reduction below 2005 levels was recently passed by the U.S. House but the bill has not yet received the consent of the U.S. Senate.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its regulatory duties on environmental issues with a new regulatory framework on minimizing carbon footprint launched in 2011.

    In addition, several billion dollars are being proposed by the Obama administration towards developing green energy technologies to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

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    Climate Change Technological Innovation

    Experts have claimed that embracing technological innovation can reduce the cost of minimizing the impacts of climate change. Egg heads in Silicon Valley are working round the clock to discover cheap and reliable clean energy that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

    Concerted efforts are being made to design technological systems that would make one of the commonest green energy options – solar, wind or nuclear – energy relatively cheap and reliable.

    Some of the technological innovations:

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development suggests

    Provision of long-term policy signals that are sustainable to enable potential innovators and adopters of climate mitigating technologies gain the confidence to embark on the investments.

    Placing a price on greenhouse gas emissions through tradable permits or taxes to provide incentives to complete the stages of the innovative idea.

    Provision of a mix of relevant policy measures to strengthen innovators to face all barriers to the development and diffusion of all climate change limiting technologies.

    Innovation in the energy sector

    The way in which some of these basic principles of innovation play out in practice varies radically between different sectors. Information technology and pharmaceuticals, for example, are both characterized by high degrees of innovation, with rapid technological change financed by private investment amounting typically to 10-20% of sector turnover (Neuhoff, 2005). However this offers a dramatic contrast with power generation, for example, where the same fundamental technology has dominated for almost a century and private sector RD&D has fallen sharply with privatisation of energy industries to the point where it is under 0.4% of turnover (Margolis and Kammen,1999).

    There may be several reasons for this low inherent innovation-intensity. Processing large amounts of energy may inherently involve big capital investment and long timescales, which naturally increases risk and deters private finance; each stage in the innovation chain can take a decade, and diffusion is equally slow. Perhaps more fundamentally however, the R&Dintensive sectors (like IT and pharmaceuticals) are ones in which competition is essentially all around product differentiation (a better computer / mobile phone; a better drug) whereas innovation in power generation is basically about efficiency and price in delivering the same product (electrons). This is a far weaker driver. And compared to a new product that captures public imagination and commands a large market combined with a high price premium, price-based competition has dramatically less scope for offsetting big risks against the prospect of huge rewards.

    More Resources on climate change and technological innovation:

    Creating a Global Price for Carbon

    Carbon pricing which is also known as cap-and –trade is the climate change mitigating measure most preferred by business leaders and economists .

    This strategy of curbing greenhouse emissions is hinged on the idea that those who emit carbon dioxide and pollute the atmosphere should be made to pay a price for their actions. Carbon pricing is either a direct carbon tax or an allowance paid for permits to emit carbon. Where a permit is granted, it is tradable privately and emissions are limited to the cap (the total number of permits granted), hence, carbon pricing is also cap-and-trade system of minimizing carbon emissions.

    A few international businesses like Walmart, Google and Shell have started introducing the use of internal carbon pricing into their investment planning as an incentive and a tool for strategic planning that could give them competitive edge in the long-term. Though internal carbon pricing being practiced now by a few global companies won’t significantly lead to a reduction in global emissions yet it is a good decision that would create significant impact if embraced on scale.

    Monetary Value of Carbon Emissions

    A recent World Bank report shows that 39 national and 23 sub-national jurisdictions have implemented or about to implement carbon pricing strategies that includes carbon taxes and emissions trading systems. In addition, the global emissions trading schemes have been estimated to be worth around $30 billion with the second largest carbon pricing market now sited in China with about 1,115 million tons of CO2 emissions.

    The World Bank reported the total value of the global carbon market to be $176 billion in 2011 which illustrates a rapid growth rate from $11 billion reported for 2005 . Countries, companies and sub-national jurisdictions around the world are being encouraged by the World Bank to be a part of the growing movement that supports carbon pricing.

    More resources on pricing carbon

    Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

    There are great opportunities and enormous challenges ahead as the world strives to transition to a low-carbon economy. In the first instance, the emerging eco-friendly technological innovations will present an opportunity for commercialization which can further catalyze global economic growth while also carving out a niche market.

    On the other hand, it will require a significant capital investment to transition from the present state where the global economy is largely dependent on carbon energy supply. The challenge is even greater when we consider the extent of the transition we will have to undergo from our present state.

    To give you an order of magnitude of the capital required, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates we need $10.5 trillion in incremental investment globally in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency by 2030. This estimate is across all sectors, including power, transport, residential and commercial building equipment, and industrial sectors, in order to limit global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius, the threshold that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified as necessary for “avoiding catastrophic climate change.”

    The literature after the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report explored in much more depth the role of technological change in economic modelling and how policies might induce and accelerate such change. The models suggest that international coordination could lead to faster technological change and more benefits. In particular, the Innovation Modelling Comparison Project (IMCP)1 co-ordinated modelling teams in a study of the achievement of 450 ppm CO2-only stabilisation, which (under special assumptions about the abatement of the non-CO2 GHGs) can be converted to 550 ppm CO2-e. The key feature of the study is that it compared scenarios with and without induced technological change (ITC).


    There are three central aspects of the problem:

    Urgency – the critical constraint on avoiding a 2ºC degree warming will be the time taken to develop and deploy the industries of the low-carbon economy.

    The Catch 22 of low-carbon industrial development – many zero and low emission commodities are currently low volume and therefore high cost. They will naturally increase in volume and decrease in cost – even to the point of being cheaper than fossil fuels (as has already occurred with solar hot water, biomass and wind power in several countries). But the issue of urgency means that this process has to be short-circuited so that high volumes are developed and deployed even at high cost.

    Developing countries are where the climate challenge will be won or lost, but the deployment of high cost, low-carbon solutions represents a real opportunity cost compared to short term poverty eradication, and a competitive disadvantage to third party funders.

    Addtional resources, papers and discussion on transition to low carbon economy:


    Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the last 2,000 years, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and the Climate, and Division on Earth and Life Studies (2006). Surface temperature reconstructions for the last 2,000 years, National Academies Press, Washington DC.

    Kaufman, D.S., Schneider, D.P., McKay, N.P., Ammann, C.M., Bradley, R.S., Briffa, K.R., Miller, G.H., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Overpeck, J.T., Vinther, B.M., and Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members (2009). Recent warning reverses long-term Arctic cooling, Science 325, 1236-1239.

    Mann, M.E., Zhang, Z.H., Hughes, M.K., Bradley, R.S., Miller, S.K., Rutherford, S., and Ni, F. B. (2008) Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105, 13252-13257.

    The 2007 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to the United Nations.

    Scientific Consensus on Climate Change.

    William Collins, Robert Colman, James Haywood, Martin R. Manning and Philip Mote (2008): The Physical Science behind Climate Change.

    National Geographic: Sea Level Rise.

    Climate Institute: Oceans and Sea Level Rise.

    Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP): Climate Change and Impacts of Sea Level Rise.

    Carl Zimmer (2010): A Looming Oxygen Crisis and its Impact on World’s Oceans.

    Graeme C. Hays, Anthony J. Richadson, and Carol Robinson (2005): Climate Change and Marine Plankton.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol. 20 No. 6 June 2005.

    Lawrence H. Goulder and William A. Pizer (2006): The Economics of Climate Change. National Bureau of Economic Research.

    Robert Mendelsohn (2009): Climate Change and Economic Growth. A working paper produced by the Commission on Growth and Development.

    Sathaye, J. et al. (2007). "Sustainable Development and Mitigation" in B. Metz et al. Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

    Smith, J. B., et al. (2001). "Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons for Concern: A Synthesis. In: Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (J.J. McCarthy et al. Eds.)". Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, N.Y

    Pearce, D., W. Cline, A. Achanta, S. Fankhauser, R. Pachauri, R. Tol, and P. Vellinga. 1996. “The Social Cost of Climate Change: Greenhouse Damage and the Benefits of Control.” In Climate Change 1995: Economic and Social
    Dimensions of Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

    Stern, N. 2006. The Stern Review Report: The Economics of Climate Change. London:
    HM Treasury.

    Robert Mendelsohn (2009): Climate Change and Economic Growth. A working paper produced by the Commission on Growth and Development.

    Boko, M., et al. (2007). M. L. Parry et al. Eds., ed. "Africa. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change". Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, and New York, N.Y. pp. 433–467.

    Hope, C. (14 January 2005), "Economic Affairs – Minutes of Evidence (HL 12-II), 18 January 2005"Memorandum by Dr Chris Hope, Judge Institute of Management, University of Cambridge (low-resolution html). High-resolution PDF version: pp.24-27. In: HOL 2005. Referred to by: Yohe, G. W., et al., Ch 20: Perspectives on Climate 

    Fisher, B. S., et al., ‘Issues related to mitigation in the long-term context’ Sec 3.1 Emissions scenarios

    Rogner, H.-H., et al., "1. Introduction", Total GHG emissions

    Munasinghe, M., et al., Applicability of Techniques of Cost-Benefit Analysis to Climate Change

    Banuri, T., et al., Equity and Social Considerations", 3.3.3 Patterns of greenhouse gas emissions.

     USGCRP (2009). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States Karl, T.R., J.M. Melillo, and T.C. Peterson (eds.). United States Global Change Research Program. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA.

    Gunther Fischer, Klaus Frohberg, Martin L. Parry, Cynthia Rosenzweig: The Potential effects of climate change on world food production and security. Natural Resources Management and Environmental Department

    Canada’s Action on Climate Change

    Rosenzweig, C., M.L.Parry, G. Fischer, and K.Frohberg, 1993. Climate Change and World Food Supply. University of Oxford.

    Agriculture Breakout Session:

    Joseph H. Casol, Jennifer E. Kay, Amy K. Snover, Robert A. Norheim, Lara C. Whitely Binder (2005): Climate Impacts on Washington’s Hydropower, Water Supply, Forests, Fish, and Agriculture.

    CCSP (2008). Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human system. A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. Gamble, J.L. (ed.), K.L. Ebi, F.G. Sussman, T.J. Wilbanks, (Authors). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA.

    USGCRP (2009). Global climate impacts in the United States. Karl, T.R., J.M. Melillo, and T.C. Peterson (eds.). United States Global Change Research Program. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, USA.

    NRC (2010). Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change. National Research Council. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA.

    California Department of Health. Vector-Borne Diseases and Climate Change.

    P.R. Woodhouse. Why Do More People Die in Winter?

    Stacie Stukin, ‘’The Low Carbon Diet’’, Time Magazine, Oct.30, 2006.,8599,1552237,00.html

    Felicity Carus. UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet. The Guardian, 2 June 2010.

    Brunnermeier, S.B. and M.A. Cohen (2003), ‘’Determinants of environmental innovation in US manufacturing industries’’ Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 45. pp. 278-293. 

    Robert Kunzig in Meridian Mississippi National Geographic: Clean Coal Test: Power Plants Prepare to Capture Carbon.

    Andy Jones et al., (2013) The Impact of abrupt suspension of solar radiation management (terminal effect) in experiment G2 of the Geoengineering model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP).

    Lenny Bernstein (2013). Sicentists studying solar radiation management as a way to cool planet. Washington Post.

    Promoting Technological Innovation to Address Climate Change. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    Why Business Leaders Support a Price on Carbon. World Bank Feature Story August 11, 2014.

    State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2012; World Bank


    This entry was posted in: Blog.

World Food Day

World Food Day

IN THE REPORT: Inequalities of Food Distribution, FAO (purpose, history, progress), Global Undernourishment, Climate Change and Food, Future Food Systems, World Food Day 2014

Land Mass vs The Population Density

  • The total land area of all continents is 148,429,630 square kilometers (57,308,738 sq mi), or 29.1% of Earth’s surface (510,067,450 km2 or 196,937,240 sq mi).
  • The inhabitable portion of Earth is only 43 percent of its land mass, 63,824,740 sq km (24,642,584 sq mi).
  • The total population of all seven continents is an estimated 7.12 billion as of mid-2014 and global population density works out to 111.55 per km2.

In other words, each person on earth has as much as 8,965 sq m to live in, discounting the use of land for any purpose. That seems a lot, but is hardly the case in real life as explained later.

Ancient Greek sailors predate the Roman and it fell to their lot to name the land masses they came across. They named such land masses on either side of the waterways of the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea as Asia and Africa. The Aegean Sea was the center of their world; anything to the east was Asia, to the north and west Europe, and to the south, Africa.

Population Density

The popular seven-continent view is best suited to show how population density is to be considered when relating food availability to the number of people to feed.

The first factor to consider is their relative population density. Asia is the most densely populated continent, housing a large number of people who do not get two square meals a day. Europe, with very high population density, has no such problems. The deduction is simple: better education and knowledge of optimal crop growing and livestock rearing techniques make for a better output, leading to self sufficiency in food.

Most of Black Africa is in dire straits. North America has surplus food and is the largest exporter of foodgrain. It is also the largest donor of such foodgrain as well as processed food, like powdered milk, to various countries affected by famine, whether sporadic, regular or otherwise. South America is comprised of too many countries to be as magnanimous as its northern neighbor.

Population Density Chart

A chart of population density as of today is given below, as Chart 1, followed by charts on Continental data as Charts 2 and 3.

ASIA 4,264,252,000 60.00% 44,579,000 98.4
AFRICA 1,072,234,000 15.00% 30,065,000 35.67
NORTH AMERICA 562,056,000 8.00% 24,256,000 23.3
SOUTH AMERICA 402,555,000 6.00% 17,819,000 23.2
ANTARCTICA 5,000 0.00% 13,209,000 0
EUROPE 778,199,000 11.00% 9,938,000 76.44
AUSTRALIA 30,127,000 0.40% 7,687,000 3.2
TOTAL 7,119,428,000 100% 148,429,000 48.18

Chart 1: Population Percentage and Density

Chart 2: Continents as a Percentage of Land Mass

Chart 3: Comparison of Intra-continental Area (by Tens of Millions of Sq Km) and Population (Billions of People)

Child Mortality Rate

Eons back, there was sufficient food for everybody. As population grew, so did food production, since the numbers and quantities required remained very low. Child mortality was high since there were no medical facilities to speak of. Longevity was also low, and many people died in their prime in epidemics of untreatable diseases like malaria, smallpox, bubonic plague, tuberculosis and others. Famines and droughts, though prevalent, were a rarity. Women were married at puberty and gave birth at 13-14 years; people were considered old at 40 and 55-60 years was a ripe old age to die at.

Matters, as they stand today, are becoming alarmingly grave in a perverse but necessary perspective. Consider child mortality. Child mortality is the death of a child below five years of age and is often called Under-5 mortality. Close to 50 percent of child deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Chart 4.  Child Mortality in Millions

Improved medical care and technology is reducing child mortality. The same improved medical care and technology is permitting aging people to live longer, so that the number of mouths to feed is increasing. There are two ways of looking at this. The first is joyful, happily so. And the second?

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

History of the FAO

Each successful birth and each successful life extended translates into the snipping off of lebensraum, living space. The global average works out to 234,200 additional lives per day. Whether these people are rural or urban is of little consequence, since they require both food and shelter. Where can this food and land come from? More food requires more arable land. Going vertical is only a part-time solution to reduce loss of land to housing, and will create immense infrastructural complexities to solve in the cities that go vertical. Paris, London, Delhi, most metros and several US cities already have severe parking problems. People will need more water for drinking, washing and bathing and more piped gas for cooking. In the final analysis, the extra land required will come from farm land, one way or the other. This means that the arable land required to grow foodstuff will keep reducing day by day. The world would be better off if it could revert to the population numbers prevailing in 1900 AD, insofar as the food situation is concerned, without being as acerbic as Eric R. Pianka, “For everyone presently on this planet to enjoy the lifestyle of an average American, we would need about ten planet Earths. We have only one. For everyone to live like an American, Earth can only support about one-tenth as many people. To increase the average quality of life, the number of people on Earth must be reduced.” Fortunately, most US citizens have a balanced and rational opinion. The point here is that the American way of life is considered the global standard, to be emulated in toto.

This matter of hunger did not go unnoticed. Most of Africa and South Asia was found to be undernourished, after acquiring and assessing relevant statistics in 1935, when the ‘marriage of health and agriculture’ was first promulgated at the League of Nations. Just before being dragged into WW II, the US did forge a general plan to look into global hunger and attempt to assuage it. However, it was only after WW II ended that the US could relook at its past venture. Late in 1945, the United Nations set up a committee to look into the global food situation and what the pressing needs were. The driving force behind this movement came from the USA and Canada. The date was 16 October and the committee The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The venue was Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; the number of participating countries: 42. This is an important date to remember.

The General Rules of the Organization stated that the seat of the Organization would be situated at the same place as the headquarters of the United Nations Organization. Pending a decision regarding the headquarters of the UN, the headquarters of the Organization was to be in Washington.

The United Nations was founded eight days after FAO, in New York. It then became clear to the FAO hierarchy that the huge metropolitan centre would not suit an organization that dealt with or would be dealing with food, fisheries, agriculture and forestry. A different site therefore had to be found, and the General Rule changed. It took four years, till the FAO Conference in end 1949, for a final decision to be made. Nobody wanted to leave the Big Apple, but the HQ reluctantly moved to Rome by 1951. Interestingly, even the Gods did not like the idea of the move, since one of its ships, carrying 15 percent of FAO equipment, was all but wrecked in a storm over the Atlantic.

The Purpose of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The FAO is the designated agency of the United Nations tasked with leading international efforts to battle hunger at its source and overcome it so that every human being sees fructification of his right to live. The FAO’s long term aim is to achieving food security for all– to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. Their three main goals were:

  • Eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition
  • Elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all
  • Sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

Decentralization of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Early in the 1990s, the FAO embarked on its most highly goal oriented study: To check whether there was any barrier to both vertical and lateral communications, the fundamental objective being to bridge and close gaps and take FAO as close as possible to its members. This called for the widest-ranging reorganization since its founding. The allied problem to be solved was that reorganization was not possible without a decentralized structure, a management system with increased delegation of authority, and an environment that encouraged creativity and initiative. While decentralization has its pros, in this specific case, FAO found that it was overspending in certain areas, at times duplicating effort and cost. After verifying that lack of proper integration was indeed costing them €35 million per year in 1994, FAO decentralized its departments and offices.

1 Agriculture and Consumer Protection Corporate Communications and External Relations
2 Corporate Services, Human Resources and Finance Evaluation
3 Economic and Social Development Inspector-General
4 Fisheries and Aquaculture Knowledge Exchange
5 Forestry Research and Extension
6 Natural Resources Management and Environment Strategy Planning, Resource Management and Support
7 Technical Cooperation Decentralisation

Chart 5: The Departments and Offices of FAO

Further Decentralization

  • Regional Offices: Regional Offices were created for Africa, in Accra, Ghana; for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok, Thailand; for Europe and Central Asia, in Budapest, Hungary; for Latin America and the     Caribbean, in Santiago, Chile and for the Near East, in Cairo, Egypt (moved to Rome in 1956 due Suez War).
  • Sub-regional Offices: Sub-regional Office were created for Central Africa in Libreville, Gabon; for Central America in Panama City, Panama; for Central and Eastern Europe in Budapest, Hungary; for Central Asia in Ankara, Turkey; for Eastern Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; for North Africa in Tunis, Tunisia, for Southern Africa and East Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe; for the Caribbean in Bridgetown, Barbados; for the Pacific Islands in Apia, Samoa and for Western Africa in Accra, Ghana.
  • Liaison Offices: Liaison Offices were created for North America, in Washington, D.C.; with Japan, in Yokohama; with the European Union and Belgium, in Brussels; with the United Nations, in Geneva and with the United Nations, in New York (ibid).

Their strategic objectives were relooked at and expanded as listed below:

Expanded Objectives of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

  • Help Eliminate Hunger, Food Insecurity and Malnutrition.

FAO realized that there was sufficient global capacity to grow enough foodstuffs to feed everyone adequately; yet, despite the progress made since 1994, 842 million people still suffer from chronic hunger.

Global Undernourishment Problem

  • One person in nine goes hungry.
  • Among children, about 162 million children below the age of five years are malnourished.

Micronutrient deficiencies, or eating food with no nutritive values affect over two billion people worldwide, hindering human and socio-economic development and causal to the vicious cycle of malnutrition and underdevelopment. At the other end of the scale, around 500 million people are obese. The loss to mankind is huge, when malnutrition hampers productivity, health, well-being, the ability to learn, all seen as  reduced fulfillment of human potential.

Number and Percentage of Undernourished Persons

1990-1992 1015 19% 5432   Billion
2000-2002 957 15% 6380   Billion
2005-2007 907 14% 6479   Billion
2008-2010 878 13% 6754   Billion
2011-2013 842 12% 7016   Billion

Chart 6


The South-South Cooperation (SSC) Program

During the past decade, over 600 Chinese experts and technicians have been deployed in Nigeria to share their agricultural skills with local farmers. The South-South Cooperation (SSC) program, which has been fully funded by the Government of Nigeria and facilitated by the FAO, has benefited over one million people. The introduction of a wide range of technologies, from fish cage culture to drip irrigation, intensive poultry production to apiculture, has increased productivity and rural incomes. It is also helping the Government achieve the objectives of its Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which seeks to increase production, reduce food imports and provide millions of new jobs for young people. Nigeria has allocated significant resources from its annual budget amounting to US$ 42 million in support of the first five-year phase (2003–2007) of the SSC project implementation. During this first phase a total of 496 Chinese experts and technicians were deployed to 36 states in Nigeria. Based on the achievements recorded in the first phase, the Federal Government of Nigeria approved the continuation of the program and launched the second phase of five years in 2009 at a cost of US$ 19.6 million. The second phase has the same objective of assisting Nigeria develop its agricultural sector through the introduction of simple and low-cost Chinese agricultural technologies to farmers. Information provided by the states suggested that over one million people have been trained on the use of various technologies introduced by the SSC program.

Making Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries More Productive and Sustainable

Global population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050. The highest rates of growth are expected to occur in areas that depend heavily on their crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries, yet cannot reduce the prevailing rates of food insecurity. Improved agricultural output is the best method of cutting down poverty while acquiring food security. Innovation is needed in this sector to increase productivity, preserve natural resources using inputs effectively. Such an approach will need collective participation of small holders, women, locals and marginalized groups. The odds may seem stacked against the small or family farmer, but it is a battle that, when guided properly, can be won.

Natural resources, such as oceans, land mass and water are a constant entity, and the more forward looking will quickly harness their latent potential. Labor presently available for production will reduce as lifestyle changes take place in rural areas. Continuous changes in practices will foster new or mutated pests and diseases. Climate change will degrade natural resources and impact the agriculture sector. Since these are a source of concern to FAO, its vision looks across this entire sector to focus on:

  • increasing efficiency, achieving higher productivity at a reduced volume of input.
  • managing ecological as well as economic risks linked to production systems in the agricultural sector, including vermin, illnesses and climate change;
  • identifying how ecosystem services work as well as their inputs to environmental conservation and enhancing them.
  • facilitating access to new technologies.
  • Reduce rural poverty

The rural poor are day-to-day provenders, family farmers, landless agricultural hands and include fisherfolk, nomads who raise livestock on natural pastures and forest-dependent people with no or limited access to productive means. Hunger and food insecurity are known expressions of rural poverty and the majority of the world’s destitute live in rural areas. Reducing rural poverty becomes central to FAO’s mission. FAO has been instrumental in lifting many rural areas out of poverty over the past decades. In 1990, 54% of people living in rural areas in developing countries survived on less than $1.25 a day. By 2010, this number was brought down to 35%. Even today, rural poverty is endemic in South Asia and Africa. Getting more humans out of rural poverty is essential to retain the dignity of mankind; it is a vital ingredient of sustainable food security.

Enabling Inclusive and Efficient Agricultural and Food Systems

A side effect of globalization has been the inclusion of Agriculture in a high-tech Supply Chain Management (SCM) system. Apart from convoluting the push-pull balance of demand by Less Developed Countries, the SCM is threatening to isolate small players from the chain by elevating the threshold to levels beyond their economic capability. The roots of hunger lie in inequalities in access to resources. Right now, many farmers in poor countries—the people who grow the food the world relies on—don’t have the power to access the resources they need to thrive. As agriculture becomes more techno and capital intensive, undereducated players are seeing their dim hopes receding even further. Against this setting, FAO is trying to intercede on behalf of the smaller players to help them address the new challenges they have to face across the value chain.

Increasing Resilience of Livelihoods from Disasters

Natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, pests and disease outbreaks, droughts, etc., have occurred since Noah’s days, but climate change seems to be increasing their frequency and power. So far, humanitarian agencies were required to focus primarily on disaster relief. A new paradigm is needed that emphasizes reducing risks to enhance resilience to shocks. This approach, requiring bottom to top action from local to global levels through their country, intends to make sure that humanity can forecast, cope with and bounce back from all setbacks efficiently and sustainably. And we can do without unwanted additions like wars!
The World Food Day Since Inception

In a concept of capsule plans on a yearly basis, it was decided in the 1945 to move towards removal of rural poverty in small steps, with a meeting every year where progress would be highlighted, areas of failure identified and remedial measures instituted while setting up the targets for the following year. In 1979, it was decided to bring global problems to the forefront and make the public at large aware of happenings on the food front. One issue to be highlighted was that a war in any part of the world would be detrimental to the global cause. Regrettably, countries flush with money from oil production and sale took little heed of the noble cause, secure in the knowledge that could buy their food, cost irrespective.

It was also decided that the 16th of October of every year starting 1981 would be known as The World Food Day of that year.

Year FAO Global Theme and Materials U.S. Teleconference Theme
2014 Family Farming : “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”
2013 Sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition
2012 Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world
2011 Food prices – from crisis to stability
2010 United against hunger
2009 Achieving food security in times of crisis
2008 World Food Security: challenges of climate change & bioenergy Choices for a Warm and Hungry Planet
2007 The right to food Climate: Changes, Challenges and Consequences
2006 Investing in agriculture for food security Power of the People: Bottom-up Solutions to Hunger
2005 Agriculture and intercultural dialogue Reflections on Fighting Hunger: Roads not Taken; Goals not Met; The Journey Ahead
2004 Biodiversity for food security Politics of Hunger: What’s at Stake?
2003 Working together for an International Alliance to End Hunger Collaboration or Calamity: Africa in Peril
2002 Water: Source of Food Security Hungry Farmers:  A National Security Issue for all
2001 Fight Hunger to Reduce Poverty World Food System: Serving Some or Serving All
2000 A Millennium Free from Hunger Poverty and Hunger: The Tragic Link
1999 Youth Against Hunger Tomorrow’s Farmers: An Uncertain Future
1998 Women Feed the World Food for All: Right or Goal
1997 Investing in Food Security World Food Summit: Promises and Prospects
1996 Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition People Power: Harvest of Hope
1995 Food for All Fighting Hunger: Looking Back. Looking Ahead
1994 Water for Life Sharing Water: Farms, Cities and Ecosystems
1993 Harvesting Nature’s Diversity Seeds of Conflict: Biodiversity and Food Security
1992 Food and Nutrition Nutrition: Linking Food. Health and Development
1991 Trees for life The Hunger Puzzle
1990 Food for the future Food for the Future: Science. Policy and Ethics
1989 Food and the environment Food,  Environment and Development
1988 Rural youth Global Food Security: Focus on Africa
1987 Small farmers Right to Food: From Awareness to Action
1986 Fishermen and fishing communities Hunger Amidst Plenty
1985 Rural Poverty Food & Poverty: Perspectives. Policies. Prospects.
1984 Women in Agriculture 1984 – World Food Conference – Ten Years Later
1983 Food Security
1982 Food Comes First
1981 Food Comes First

Chart 7  Sources: & /

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) : 1945-1979

WW II had destroyed agricultural production across billions of acres. Factories related thereto were destroyed or switched to make armament. Existing channels in the global distribution of agriculture-related products were either obliterated or disrupted. FAO was struggling in extremely difficult times, along with the reconstruction of nations as existential, per se. Seen dispassionately, nothing seemed to be happening on the FAO front, other than lip service. It was only after the Vietnam War had run its course that the US could increase focus on internal issues.

The principal drivers behind FAO have remained the USA and Canada, with other advanced nations chipping in. The USA was busy fighting wars on other countries’ territories for various reasons or organizing their reconstruction. A major chunk of its finances was lost there, with internal repercussions and reduced aid to countries it had pledged assistance to. A timeline 1945-1979 is listed below:

  • 1945 – 55. US forces present in China, Japan, Philippines, Austria.
  • 1945–49 – Occupation of part of Germany, countering the USSR threat.
  • 1945–49 – Post-World War II occupation of South Korea; North Korean insurgency in Republic of Korea. 1947 sees India and Pakistan becoming independent.
  • 1950–53 – Korean War.
  • 1950–55 – Formosa (Taiwan).
  • 1955–64 – Vietnam.
  • 1959–75 – Vietnam War. This war is now seen as unnecessary and extremely expensive in terms of finance and human lives. 20 years were spent in a lost cause, since South Vietnam has ceased

to exist. Ironically, USA assisted in the Vietnamization, or bonding, of the two separate halves.

  • 1962–75 – Laos.
  • 1970 – Cambodian Campaign.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): 1981-2013

American intervention in the affairs of other nations reduced to external support, though some wars were either forced or prolonged. Technology cut down action periods from years to weeks! Some operations conducted are listed below:

  • 1987–88 – Persian Gulf.
  • 1990 – Saudi Arabia: Operation Desert Shield.
  • 1991 – Iraq and Kuwait: Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1992–96 – Bosnia and Herzegovina: Operation Provide Promise.
  • 1992–2003 – Iraq: Iraqi no-fly zones.
  • 1995 – Bosnia: Operation Deliberate Force.
  • 1996 – Kuwait: Operation Desert Strike.
  • 2001 – War in Afghanistan.
  • 2010–11 – War in Iraq: Operation New Dawn.

Comparison with Chart 6

1990-1992                    1015 19% 5432   Billion
2000-2002 957 15% 6380
2005-2007 907 14% 6479
2008-2010 878 13% 6754
2011-2013 842 12% 7016

Chart 8 (Repeat of Chart 6)

This comparison shows that reduction of poverty stricken individuals is directly proportional to the downsizing of American forces deployed in battle conditions. This is not to say that the US is the sole country providing aid under the FAO plan, but to reinforce the concept that it is the principal driving force behind reducing poverty and poverty-related problems. Statistics do not lie.

Another point that needs reiteration is population density. If you were to stand up and say that one percent (1%) of the population of Asia had AIDS, it would imply that a number 1.4 times the population of the entire continent of Australia was affected. More people travel at any given time on the rail network in India than the population of Denmark. Bangladesh, with a population density of 2,595.74 per sq mile tops the list of reasonably sized countries, followed by South Korea at 1,273.50, Japan at 873.42 and India at 851.04. The USA is at 79.55, ranked 142 out of 192 countries.

The FAO and UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda

The UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MDG) agenda is the overall framework within which the High Level Panel on the UN’s 15-year Development Agenda falls. The aim of this panel is to chart a 15-year program with defined targets for the period. The 2000-2015 report has been released, and the achievements listed. It runs as follows:

Remarkable Achievements Since 2000

After the MDGs were adopted, dozens of developing-country planning ministries, hundreds of international agencies and thousands of civil society organizations (CSOs) rallied behind them. Together, they have contributed to remarkable achievements; half a billion fewer people in extreme poverty; about three million children’s lives saved each year. Four out of five children now get vaccinated for a range of diseases. Maternal mortality gets the focused attention it deserves. Deaths from malaria have fallen by one-quarter. Contracting HIV is no longer an automatic death sentence. In 2011, 590 million children in developing countries – a record number – attended primary school. This unprecedented progress was driven by a combination of economic growth, government policies, civil society engagement and the global commitment to the MDGs.

Given this success, it would be a mistake to start a new development agenda from scratch. There is much unfinished business from the MDGs. Some countries achieved a great deal, but others, especially low-income, conflict affected countries, achieved much less. In our discussions, we became aware of a gap between reality on the ground and the statistical targets that are tracked. We realized that the next development agenda must build on the real experiences, stories, ideas and solutions of people at the grassroots, and that we, as a Panel, must do our best to understand the world through their eyes and reflect on the issues that would make a difference to their lives.

As may be expected, the bottom line of both the FAO and the UN’s Post-2015 Development Agenda are the same; just the wording is separate. As the Executive Report puts it:

  1. Leave no one behind.

We must finish the job. After 2015 we should end extreme poverty, in all its forms. We should ensure that no person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.

  1. Put sustainable development at the core.

Only by mobilizing social, economic and environmental action together can we eradicate poverty irreversibly and meet the aspirations of eight billion people in 2030.

  1. Transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth.

A quantum leap forward is required in economic opportunities and a profound economic transformation to end extreme poverty and improve livelihoods.

  1. Forge a new global partnership.

We must build a new partnership underpinning mutual respect and mutual benefit involving governments and others: people living in poverty, those with disabilities and traditionally marginalized groups.

As far as the FAO is concerned, the word poverty is symbolic of both hunger and malnutrition. That is why World Food Day 2014 is so important. It should reflect progress on the lines of those put forward by global leaders as summarized above.

Relation Between FAO and the World Health Organization

The relation between FAO and the World Health Organization: The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is an international expert scientific committee that is administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It has been meeting since 1956, initially to evaluate the safety of food additives and gradually increasing its ambit.

JECFA has since checked 2,500 + food additives, around 40 contaminants and toxicants that are natural, besides remnants of close to 90 veterinary drugs. A set of guidelines and principles have been created to assess existing toxic agents, update them in consonance with technical advancement in toxicology as well as relevant sciences, and validate them. Importers subject food items coming from outside the state and react according to the test results. The recent ban on import of mangoes from India by the EU is a case in point.

Their area of work thus is focused on assessment of risks, if any and the safety appraisal of all additives to food, whether intentionally added or not. They also check out processing aids and flavoring agents, natural toxins and the risk involved in working with such additives. A comprehensive list of items checked for safety and quality is listed on their website. The Codex Alimentarius is the lexicon listing the food standards and guidelines and the certified codes of practice considered by the WTO as the benchmark for compiling regulations at the national level for food safety.

FAO assists its member countries encouraging them to develop and expand their capacities so that food safety as well as quality become key in guarding the health/well-being of locals while advising them how to go about accessing their domestic and regional markets before going global. Capacity Development then becomes the process wherein stakeholders can improve their utility from farm to table. They then become responsible in providing a guarantee with respect to the same two vital factors, viz, the safety and the quality of food destined for internal consumption or for export. The main issues they lay stress on are:

  • Needs assessment
  • Policy advice
  • Food regulations
  • Food inspection
  • Risk analysis
  • Good hygiene practices and Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP)
  • Effective participation in Codex
  • Voluntary standards & schemes
  • Public education and communication

All agencies related to food also participate in the World Food Day Celebrations, including the World Food Program and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.


The USA is the global leader in corn production and export. Corn comprises 80 percent of the country’s grain harvest. On the international front, the U.S. corn crop is more than the sum of China’s grain harvests (rice and wheat). Corn now tops global grain production way ahead of wheat while almost twice that of rice. It can thus be called the world’s No 1 foodgrain.

Spring 2012 saw U.S. farmers planting close to 96 million acres in corn, a record breaking figure over 75 years. The warm early days of spring got them off to a dream start, with exuberant analysts predicting a record harvest. Corn is a demanding grain−mild heat and plenty of water. Shortage of one or both has serious results. 2012 turned into a farmer’s nightmare: soaring heat leading to dehydration. From a record crop, it dropped to a normal crop. In June, deflated analysts called it a flop crop. As expected, costs soared to record highs.

This case study clearly shows how climate change can affect food security. What is of great interest is the fact that the entire world hoped that the tide would turn, since a good grain harvest in the U.S. translates into a good carryover in grain stocks. This, in turn, regulates grain prices across the world. 2013 costs were predicted to be higher than average, an accurate forecast of gloomy news.

Then comes the cascade. High grain costs force exporting countries to maintain a buffer stock through Govt control. Importing countries enter a tailspin and middlemen make a killing. The biggest stockist of grain is China, a fact revealed only in August 2014. A partial solution lies in innovation: better biological strains, induced hardiness to resist dehydration, optimal utilization of water and then the magic words-Population Control. The panacea to all global problems!

Unnecessary Impediments: The 2014 Crimean Crisis

All good intentions are negated by loss of international goodwill. The recent annexation of Crimea by Russia followed by the war in Donbass is a case in point. The ban on Russian imports by a number of countries led by the USA, the EU and Canada and the reciprocal total ban by Russia of imports from the European Union, United States, Norway, Canada and Australia is a retrograde step for the FAO. Its annual achievements are slender and such moves could set FAO back several years.

Fortunately, the countries involved do not fall in the category of countries requiring assistance to reduce rural poverty. Both sub-Sahara Africa and Asia should not be affected significantly, but internal ramifications, particularly financial, may still affect donor countries’ contributions this year and the next. The Food Day 2014 report might show a relatively small change since the imbroglio started in February but international sanctions were emplaced only in August.

United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda: Where FAO Stands

The core of the 2015-2030 agenda, with MDG and targets in mind, revolves around the following categories:

  • The Poverty Apex: It is possible to end extreme poverty and start the extension of prosperity to most people globally. The requirement would be unrelenting equitable economic growth coupled with access to credit and opportunities to move into entrepreneurship for the poor.
  • Human Needs and Capacities: Push to overcome unmet challenges of the past in areas like education, health, emancipation of womankind, specifically where linked to poverty and its obliteration.
  • The Resource Triad: Strengthen the defined resource triad (water and sanitation, energy and climate, and agriculture and food) to further concretize the props of sustainable development.
  • Enabling Environment: Look only at good governance that respects human rights, aims at peace and sustainability, and enables contemporary and green physical infrastructure.
  • Introducing the Corporate world and businessmen to MDGs.

A concentrated assault on poverty should be made to restore human dignity, because poverty is the main obstacle to progress. The aim should not be crossing the definition of wage poverty as $1.25 per day. Note the location of food and agriculture.

Note that poverty eradication has reached no. 3 spot in global opinion.

Cybernated Farm Systems: An Interesting Concept

Sustainability is no longer enough. That may shock you, but seen objectively, sustainability is only the beginning.  SUS + or Sustainability Plus has supplanted the concept calling for a move to overtake sustainability, thereby adding an extra dimension. That may sound heretic in an era where ‘sustainability’ is the programmed end result. On the other hand, we have depredated the globe to such an extent that we must remedy the damage done to the planet; sustainability can only be the beginning.  To go a step further, self sustenance is a homonym for a state of limbo, neither here nor there.

Cybernated Farm Systems (CFS) is pushing the concept of SUS+ while explaining that we need to move out of limbo and give something back to the planet.  A good example would be the standard car. “It is sustainable to develop a vehicle that does not pollute, but it would be SUS+ if, by design, that vehicle also created potable water as a byproduct of its very operation,” say the staff at CFS, which is looking to go SUS+ in providing food.

In the educated 21st century, why should anyone go hungry? Why can’t the shocking wastage of food at the current rate be eliminated? Why are gallons of fresh water used in catering for archaic agricultural practices? Yet we claim to be an advanced country in agricultural infotech capabilities. We have Smart Phones, Smart this, Smart that and more- where are our Smart Greenhouses?

The gap between ‘advanced production’ of food and its distribution as clean, nourishing food to all people on the planet can be removed. CFS has devised a self-sustaining aquaponic system that will provide the hungry fruit, fish and half a dozen vegetables without using land. That makes them green at the start itself, ecologically conscious and vigorous in performance, and, as claimed, SUS+.  All that is required at the outset are enough fish to sustain a fish farm and enough fish food, plus a freshwater tank and interlink the two. Add solar panels, wind power generators and capacitors to store power and the system becomes self sustaining. It uses less than 10 percent the water a normal farm would use.

Looking ahead, self-reliant partners like governments and organizations like Oxfam will be required to help create a Second Agricultural Revolution. The revolutionary point here is that there is no plan to feed people commercially, or recover land lost to antiquated 17th century agricultural systems which wasted fresh water and ravaged their topsoil. People will need to learn the simplest of methods of producing food, so that they rapidly acquire their needs for immediate survival.

This advanced concept of food production should abolish any barrier between production and food distribution globally. Since their facilities are self sustaining, they can be emplaced in those parts of the world which has no infrastructure, thereby feeding the desperately hungry immediately. Location is no big deal; they can be snugly fitted into apartment complexes or areas under housing development, etc. In effect, they can be located on demand. The more arid the desert, the more the space available.

When we see disturbing images of totally skeletal infants, with equally gaunt mothers, it triggers intense emotions within us. Nothing has changed in decades upon decades. A sense of guilt is not enough. Poverty was, is and will remain the major issue insofar as the development of humanity is concerned which is why this issue has stayed with us for centuries. The Internet is a global borderless communication network for free flow of information, and its utilization is growing exponentially. If that be so, why have we not yet been able to cater for the basic needs of one another? Why is nearly half the world without sufficient resources to survive? Can we rectify this ongoing atrocity? Of course we can.

Today, poverty is not just unnecessary, it is an unacceptable reality in a fatalistic society that assumes it is just a way of life and that’s that. A lot of money has been donated but to no avail in the broader perspective. If we look at it from a different angle, we find it’s not the money that people need but access to food and resources directly through local means. This should be the thrust area, to give people access to resources by technological advancements and create an abundance of food and basic necessities we need to survive.

People can bypass governments, have global connectivity, the power and tools to come together and share world changing ideas with millions and shape reality. Just one of CFS’ buildings can produce enough food to feed up to 600 people with half a dozen different types of fruits and vegetables each, giving a thrust to local food production to sustain the people and the community in need.

World Food Day 2013
In India, six percent of its people are being fed with grain produced by pumping groundwater. For China, 12 percent face the same problem. Water depletion looms large over harvests in China, India and the United States, the big three that together produce 50 percent of the world’s grain. Will water shortages affect harvests in the big three? Yes, it will. When? That’s the 64 million dollar question.   

Case Study: What Happens When the Wells Go Dry

Man can survive without food for up to 10 days, but not more than 48 hours without drinking water. There can be no substitute for water. Even food production depends on adequate water. The average human consumption of water is three liters a day, but that meal on your plate took 1,500 liters of water.

Foodgrain is the prime supplier of our calories, supplemented by non-vegetarian intake. Vegans have a tough time getting their calories. Today, more than half the global grain harvest is grown on irrigated land. Irrigation thus plays a focal role in the growth of grain. Statistically, global irrigated land increased from 100 million hectares (250 million acres) in 1951 to 285 hectares (700 million acres) in 2000, a threefold rise. But the rise between 2010 and 2000 is less than 10 percent! The lesson behind this assumption by Lester R. Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute and prolific writer on food related topics is, unfortunately, less than watertight. Drip irrigation is the preserve of the affluent and less than 10 percent of land irrigated in the Indian subcontinent is by the efficient drip method. The remainder is watered by the inefficient gravity feed system. Over 25 percent of water meant for irrigation is lost between the fount and the field and another 15 percent lost in routing the incoming water. If assistance is provided to countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Brown’s figures will change dramatically. As it stands, India has just about started drip irrigation. The problem here is that the source of water in India is the aquifer/borewell.

Irrigation water comes either from rivers or aquifers. Historically, irrigation water came from lakes behind dams across rivers. This water led to a network of gravity-fed canals, until the 1960s when building dams became anathema for a variety of reasons, mainly the consequent loss of poor farmers’ agricultural land. Farmers then turned to sinking wells into underground water resources.

These water resources expanded global food production; the demand for food will keep climbing, as will the water pumped. Some day, extraction will exceed recharge from precipitation, water tables will fall, wells will go dry and the pumped water-based food bubble will burst.

Some 18 countries are overpumping their aquifers, including China, India, the United States, Pakistan, Iran and Mexico. The most dramatic case is Saudi Arabia, water-poor if oil-rich. The 1973 Arab oil fracas saw the Saudis trying to gain self-sufficiency in wheat by developing irrigated agriculture based on underground water. They announced failure in 2008; wheat planting would cease in 2016. All 15 million tonnes of wheat, corn, barley and rice, required by its people would be imported. Syria, Iraq and Yemen will follow soon. Iran and Pakistan are next.

Among the big three, USA, China and India, only 20 percent of the harvest in the US is from irrigated land. Most of the crop is rain-fed. Still, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 400,000 acres of farmland dried up statewide between 2000 and 2005. Falling water levels are already hurting China, almost as large as the United States, the global leader. India has difficult days ahead, since 27 million+ irrigation wells have been drilled by farmers to extract underground water. Grain harvest in India’s has been on the upslope, but for the wrong reason, i.e., over-pumping. 175 million Indians eat grain produced with over-pumped water.

In the United States, farmers are over-pumping in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. These states have not only raised wheat yields but shifted from wheat to corn, a higher-yield crop. Kansas’ production of corn now exceeds that of wheat.

Irrigation based agriculture draws water from Ogallala aquifer, which is a huge underground reservoir. Unfortunately, this aquifer is fossil-based, and cannot be recharged. Once drained, back you go to dry land farming or giving up farming. Over-pumping, whether in the Middle East or the U.S., leads to aquifer depletion and shrinking grain harvests. For some countries this has become a stark reality.

The world has quietly transitioned into a situation where water, not land, has emerged as the principal constraint on expanding food supplies. There is enough land to produce food if water were available. Harvests are shrinking in some countries because of aquifer depletion, in others because of soil erosion. Among the more vivid examples of soil erosion are Mongolia and Lesotho.

Water constraints, exacerbated by soil erosion; the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses; a stagnation of yields in large producing areas, and climate change are increasingly making world food production more difficult. Are we likely to see a cessation of growth in world grain growth? No, say scientists.

While reviewing the progress of the FAO since inception, they agreed that the time frame was not exactly ideal seventy years ago. The FAO had been setting small targets since inception in 1945, as listed earlier in Chart 7 on page 9. The ultimate aim was to eradicate hunger by the only method possible, viz., growing enough food to feed every human being on the planet. 1945 was a different era; it is difficult to imagine what life was like then. More than 85 percent of people of that era have died and the remainder is dispersed all across the globe. The number of countries in 1945 which were recognized internationally was 72, which has risen to 192 today.

To most, the FAO was just another organization that met every year to enjoy an all expenses paid holiday, since no outcome was seen. While this may be a cynical diatribe, the fact remains that neither the UN nor the FAO progressed significantly. Besides, the world was in a state of turmoil, with large scale wars disrupting global progress. It was a period of the one step forward and two backward syndrome. But time is a great healer and both the UN and the FAO seemed to stabilize in the late 70’s.

Toward the end of the past millennium, the UN and its various bodies had gained acceptance and enough clout to wield a punitive stick. For instance, the World Trade Organization (WTO) which supervised and liberalized international trade since 1 January 1995, having replaced the 1948 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), was successfully drawing the Multi Fiber Agreement regulating world trade in textiles and garments from 1974 through 2004 to a successful close in their new avatar as the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC), with new policies allowing less developed countries (LDC) greater opportunities in the global market for apparel through a series of negotiated agreements.

The FAO was given due recognition and respect and created a charter to be followed in letter and spirit, with palpable emphasis starting in the new millennium. The yearly aims were no longer a bagatelle-a concerted effort was to be made to ensure that they were met. This time, there was to be the one step forward and no retrogression. It wasn’t as though the aim was achieved 100 percent, but at least a whole-hearted attempt would have been made. The theme for 2013 was Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.

Feeding 7.12 billion mouths is a serious problem. Yet, many scientists think that loss of biodiversity is a far more serious problem. They suggest that these two issues should not be considered separately and remonstrate that they are closely connected and, if their synergies can be leveraged, both aims can be met with greater success. That is why farmers should care about conservation and conservationists should care about agriculture. Recently, leaders from these two sectors have put a new concept into motion, called Bridging Agriculture and Conservation (ibid). Their aim is to prove how optimal utilization of ecological systems will foster resilience in agricultural systems while simultaneously improving the conservation of biodiversity. They issued an interesting statement, “We believe that achieving the dual goals of food security and biodiversity conservation will require more science, not less (ibid).” The unspoken implications are increased depth in knowledge and enhanced technology. By putting science into farming at every level, the income for thousands of smaller farmers could well increase multifold. They have already demonstrated a 100 percent rise in productivity, promising much higher financial returns.

World Food Day 2014

842 million people will starve today, or, at best, manage a couple of scraps of food. Global population is close to 7.1 billion, of whom 6.3 billion will get the 1,800 odd calories required for   sustenance. Try and imagine one scenario, no matter how unrealistic: These 6.3 billion skip one meal on Global Food Day. If the ingredients that constitute that one meal can be collected and distributed to the starving, the 842 million will get enough to cook eight full meals, or ten meals if utilized sparingly. The point here is not so much the redistribution of one meal skipped, but the fact that every time you eat three meals a day per month, the global poor are missing out the ONE meal they can subsist on every day for one full month. USA figures in the list of hungry countries!

Hunger in the USA

Surprisingly, one in six Americans does not have enough food to eat. The South Bronx has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, 37 percent, compared with 16.6 for New York City as a whole. One in eight Iowans often goes hungry, with children the most vulnerable to food insecurity. Congressional cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) last fall of five billion dollars have reduced benefits from $205 to $172 a month and this $1.10 cut per day is hurting. Food pantries and soup kitchens have gone up to 50,000 from a few hundred in 1980.

The 2013 benefits totaled $75 billion, but most households got lower payments. Recipients usually manage to hold their monthly allotment for three weeks, then willy nilly turn to food pantries. Who qualifies for SNAP? Households with gross incomes no more than 130 percent of the poverty rate. For a family of four that means $31,005 a year. Gross incomes in Alaska and Hawaii are higher than in the U.S. (ibid). The country that wastes the maximum cooked food is, you guessed right, the USA. 30% of all food in the USA, worth US$48.3 billion, is dumped each year. It is also estimated that about half the water used to produce this food also goes waste, since agriculture is the largest human use of water. It is ironic that the world’s richest country cannot feed 90 million people, yet wastes the maximum food!

World Food Day: 2014: Family Farming

Family farming is inextricably linked to national and global food security. Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector. Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities, and it is linked to several areas of rural development.

The theme for 2014 World Food Day is Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”. This theme has specifically been chosen in order to bring the profile of small family farming into the limelight as also the lot of farmers with a small farm holding. The idea is to focus global attention on the prominent role family farming can play in eliminating hunger as well as poverty, bolstering food security along with nutrition, enhancing livelihoods, regulating and controlling natural resources, safeguarding the environment while attaining sustainable development, specifically in non-mainstream rural areas. This theme is a repeat of 1987(Chart 7).

The UN General Assembly designated 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming,” sending a positive indication that the global community takes cognizance of the major contribution that family farmers make to universal food security.

Of the 570 million farms across the globe, 500 million+ may be called family farms. Most of these global farms are relatively minute, with 475 million+ farms smaller than 2 hectares in area. Put together, they occupy a vast area, but, as it turns out, they form a small percentage of our world’s farmland.

Farmland distribution thus seems unequal at world level, but is improving in low, lower – middle – income countries and in the odd regional group. Unfortunately, census data on farmland distribution is inadequate, but it is essential to create a representative image of the number of farms, the number of family farms, farm size as well as global farmland distribution.

Now that the entire background of factors affecting availability of food for the poor have been seen, it will become easier to envisage what can be expected of World Food Day 2014, rather, what we can contribute to making this momentous day a success.

Some points to be kept in mind are:

  • There is a global misconception that people go hungry because the quantity of foodgrain available cannot support them. Actually, there is enough food available right now to feed the entire global population of 7.12 billion for almost 40 days, with huge amounts being added every day. Sadly, laws extant today make it well nigh impossible for the poor to reach this food over the shoulders of the middleman.
  • In India, the foodgrain that rots every year due lack of storage space can feed its entire population for a fortnight with three meals a day. This is unacceptable.
  • You have no control over what Vladimir Putin intends to do on 16 October. For that matter, you may not be able to persuade even your neighbors to cooperate.
  • Will the SFIS keep quiet that week/day? You cannot predict the movement of radicals.
  • Very few countries will actually contribute meaningful sums, particularly the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. This is ironic, since the last two countries named have almost a third of our global population living on their soil, and known to have vast numbers below the poverty line of US$1.25. It is not likely that any of these four will ask for aid either. That said, most countries provide students in Govt schools up to the age of nine one free meal.
  • A random analysis of contributions in this millennium shows lots of words and actions that did not translate into the need of the hour, foodgrain or hard cash.

What Can you Do?

So what can you do? When you look at the problem optimistically, there are many things you can do, both individually and as a group. First of all, go to the website for the US and Canada. Read through it. When you reach the Act page, you’ll see 12 options. Read through them and do what is attainable by you. All steps are listed. The options are:

  1. Host a World Food Day meal.                                  7.  Spread the word through social media.
  2. Organize a food packaging event.                             8.  Activate your campus.
  3. Walk to end hunger                                                   9.  Engage your local schools.
  4. Arrange a food and fund drive.                                10.  Inspire your faith community to take action.
  5. Grow a garden.                                                        11.  Join your local hunger coalition.
  6. Live on $1.25 a day.                                                 12.  Volunteer your time.

There are many more links on the website and you can follow the lead and do your bit. Would you call this doing your bit? Responding to suggestions made by some unknown bloke who set up the webpage? The suggestions may well be helpful but they haven’t come from you-you are doing what someone else is telling you to do. Be original. Or stay conventional-the choice is yours.

The Presbyterian Mission is organizing a Food Week of Action (12-19 Oct.), the International Day for Rural Women (Oct. 15), the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17) and World Food Day on the 16th. Their focus Sunday to Sunday is on Resiliency:

  • Resilient livelihoods, communities and relationships
  • Resilient farming production and food chains
  • Resiliency promoted through policy

They also have a set of Actions and Activity Ideas. You will be able to download their printable flyer. Print 200 copies and ask for the newspaper delivery boy’s help in distribution. The idea of making a video and uploading it is appealing, so if you have any film-oriented ideas, jump right in. The activities are duplicated on the flyer, for easy reading. The generous prizes are incentive enough! You could then read the para on Faith in Action! It is self-explanatory. If you are an Oxfam type, go to


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The Definitive Nursing Guide (2014)

The Definitive Nursing Guide (2014)

Last Updated Aug 5, 2014

Overview, History, Education, Requirements, Responsibilities, Salaries, Advanced Practice Areas & Glossary


The first image that comes to mind when the word Nurse is uttered is that of The Lady with the Lamp, Florence Nightingale. A crisp and clean pastel colored uniform, an equally imposing white apron, a friendly and winning smile, a neatly balanced cap and a practical no-nonsense attitude. This is one vocation that has not seen much of a change insofar as dress and attitude are concerned. Yes, starched cotton has given way to modern technical textiles, the color need not be white, the attitude may still be the same, but the aptitude and demands of both medical knowledge and hands-on capabilities have increased manifold. Nursing is a thankless job, wherein the nurse empathizes with her patient while remaining dispassionate in a holistic sense. Death can never be a friendly companion.

Some war has been raging in some part of the globe every single day since the beginning of the last millennium. It might have been equally so for the preceding millennium, but proper records for that period are not available. Millions of people must have died due to injuries sustained in wars which were not attended to in the manner seen today. Starting circa 1855, a few persons did conduct medical care in a uniform but the majority of the wounded were attended to by nuns and priests and in most military forces of today, nurses are addressed as ‘Sisters’. The role of the Christian churches has been documented, making it the pioneering organization in nursing. Most sanatoriums were run by Christian monasteries. Islam too has a role for nurses, except that male patients could be attended to only by male nurses, while female patients were taken care of by women. Pagans reportedly left the wounded to fend for themselves. Jesus Christ’s edicts gave weight to caring for the infirm, giving nurses the moral fibre to care for victims struck down by extremely hazardous diseases like smallpox. Outcasts like lepers were also attended to, in the prevailing but mistaken belief that Leprosy was contagious.

Definition of a Nurse

The perception of nursing varies from person to person, state to state and even country to country. Wikipedia provides a very broad-based opinion, “Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.” Perhaps the clearest definition is provided by the American Nurses Association, “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.” 

Brief History: The Rise of Nursing as a Career

Florence Nightingale, an upper class British lady turned nurse and born in Italy perhaps inspired many women to join her, though her nursing career spanned only three years. She brought in a Nursing Uniform for identification; nuns and priests had their habits and cassocks. The Catholic Church started to sponsor hospitals and introduced specific orders to care for the wounded, disabled and aged. The Protestants followed suit and, in 1836, titled their nurses Deaconesses. Since Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant movement was German, most Deaconesses were initially German. Over time, The Little Sisters of the Poor (aged care), Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of St. Mary, St. Francis Health Services, Inc. and Sisters of Charity managed to raise funds from the Prelate and well wishers and used this money to set up large hospitals and hospices internationally, shaping contemporary hospital and nursing systems of the today.


Florence Nightingale’s vociferous complaints about the appalling medical situation in the Crimean War galvanized the hierarchy to set up training centers for field doctors and nurses in 1860, and successful candidates took part in the many Boer Wars as well as WW I. WW II, however, changed the lives of the nursing sorority totally, particularly for those from the US. Apart from inspirational stories of heroism, the remuneration offered was munificent and educational qualifications required basic. This led to a rush from women from the relatively lower rungs of society. All nurses were women and officers, helped out by enlisted women (WACs) as hospital orderlies. In the case of the UK, nurses were given officer ranks, but weren’t commissioned. They were Class II gazetted officers. This situation changed as the war drew to a close, with Nursing Services Officers getting a Royal Commission.

Types of Nurses

The field of Medical Science has diversified greatly, leading to an incredible number of specializations. Three decades ago, you would have heard a common term like Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist, your ‘go to’ man whenever your ear, nose or throat needed attention. Today, that ENT Specialist is called an Otolaryngologist. He still performs the tasks the ENT Specialist did, but to a somewhat limited degree. Often times, he will refer you to an Otologist/Neurotologist, Otoneurologist, Neurologist, Audiologist, Ophthalmologist, Neuro-ophthalmologist and more. If viewed in totality, a nurse trained in Otolaryngology should be able to adapt to any of the other fields mentioned. This is, however, not the case. A nurse assisting a Neuro-ophthalmologist would need to have specialized knowledge and experience in this field, as surgery might well be required. That said, the commonality factor in nursing in terms of pure patient care, which is the starting point of all healthcare training, is far greater than in the Medical Sciences field, making specialization a mite easier for them.

There are various types of nurses, depending entirely on their level of education in the health care field, their certification and licensing. If inclined towards nursing, it is possible for you to start with a specific role in mind and push through till the end. What is most likely is that along your path of education, subtle changes in role present themselves and, given the conditions obtaining, you might elect to modify your aim. Even as you reach the terminal phase, a range of types of nursing roles may become available to you as you finish with the process of your education and related certification.

Nursing roles are categorized somewhat disparately, without becoming mutually exclusive. The governing factor regulating the nursing career opted for by you is invariably the end product of a mix of the education and experience imbibed by you in the early days of your career. Consider education or certification. These two elements, i.e., education level and degree held by you, or your certification, can help in categorizing nursing roles. Other groupings could be related to the patient’s age or gender. If you who wish to look after people in their dotage, you could opt for geriatric care. At the other end of the age scale is the new-born baby and you could go in for pediatric care. If you wish to help only women, a vast panoply opens up.

Your choice could be location-dependent. If you live close to a school and have one or two of your own children studying there, you could opt to become a school nurse. Similar constraints could lead you into becoming a hospice nurse, or, for that matter, a normal nurse based in a hospital. Nothing stops you from focusing on your skillset in a specific medical specialty like surgery, oncology, gastroenterology or another medical specialty. As seen, a combination of your education, certifications, and experience will determine the career path you take within the field of nursing.

There are six types of nurses, starting at the lowest category in order of importance and income:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN / LVN)
  • Associate Degree Nurse (ADN)℗
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) ℗
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)*

℗ ADN and BSN, 2 & 4 year courses respectively, grant you a Registered Nurse (RN) status and allow you to appear for your license to practice as an RN. RNs from the BSN course often get preference over those from the ADN course.

* Certain states ban the prefix of Doctor for DNPs, while some other states require them to clarify that they are not physicians.

There are 104 nursing specialties, each with its own set of categories, education levels and characteristics.

Role of Education in the Nursing Industry

A few years ago, field experience combined with an average education would give a nurse preference over another who was highly read, but had little hands-on experience. Things have changed totally. Today, education holds pride of place in the race to a flourishing career, both medical and financial, in the nursing industry. Theoretically, it is possible to envisage a scenario where job seekers with years of hands-on experience may be summarily eliminated from the interview list to make way for a candidate brandishing a degree, i.e., higher education, but with little experience.

While education level may be subjective, the fact remains that an education certified on paper is mostly paramount to prospective success. Spending increasing amounts of time on studies indicates a motivated drive and dedication to first learn and then apply the acquired information, ideas, data, theories and concepts to acquire a higher range of goals. The two skills you cannot do without are those of communication and mathematics.

Communication skills: In the U.S., communication skills would imply an ability to converse freely in English, and, in the Hispanic Southwest, Spanish as well. Communication skills are a managerial ‘must have’ in every role – whether you’re talking to co-workers, doctors, subordinates or patients since you have to explain to the patient what has happened, what the remedy is, what the next step is and why, in a bedside manner different from that of the MDs.

Math skills: Math is a branch of science and a part of daily life. You need to know how to use your head in basic computations, like calculating dosages, totting up surgical supplies or tallying figures.

In the healthcare industry, salaries are based on educational qualifications, the final proof of the importance of education. A generalized scale is given below:

  • Medical jobs, no college degree: Pay $20,000-40,000 annually, on average
  • Allied Health Careers, two years of college: Pay from $40,000-60,000 annually.
  • Nursing Careers, Associate’s or Bachelor Degree: Pay $40,000-55,000 on average annually.
  • Advanced Nursing Careers, Master’s Degree required: Pay $60,000-90,000+ annually.

The trend is more than obvious. The more you study, the greater are your chances of finding employment as a nurse at a better than average salary. What has happened is that patients have been led to believe that once they place their lives in the hands of doctors, they can relax mentally in the mistaken notion that they have secured their longevity. If something untoward happens, they can sue the hospital for malpractice, a process that is on an upward slope. Nobody wants to see a patient denied the best treatment available under the prevailing circumstances. Barring isolated cases caused by paranoid or psychotic people, every individual in the field of healthcare gives off his/her best in the interest of the patient’s well being. Doctors and high profile nurses have rather long working hours. Good intentions notwithstanding, Damocles’ sword of malpractice looms over every practitioner’s head. The focus has therefore shifted to the knowledge level of the entire team, from the doctor handling the case and the nurse as she/he is in constant contact with the patient; the surgeon(s) if surgery is involved and the pre-op nurses who prepare the patient for surgery, the nurse(s) in theOperating Room (OR) assisting the surgeon; the doctor and nurse in the post-op recovery room and Intensive care unit, going back to the first pair of doctor/nurse for prescribed follow-up treatment prior to discharge.

The immediate fallout is that the applicant must be better educated than his/her competitor, now that the Internet is available to both applicant and patient and the latter asks many more pertinent questions before being satisfied. Even administrative assistants, who have little to do with patient care, need college degrees, something unheard of just a decade ago. Statistics show that in advanced nations, information scanned by just surfing the web is absorbed more easily by an uncluttered mind. A six-year  old gen next child has the same level of understanding of communication media as a 45-year old, even with their digital quotient scores equal at 100. A simplistic way of putting it is: The number of doors that will open when you knock is proportional to the number years you have studied.

In a field that has more aspirants than jobs, the fastest way of narrowing the field is by stipulating high educational requirements. Today, employers tend to select candidates who have a decidedly superior level of education. This phenomenon has always been prevalent in better occupations; it has inexorably filtered down to virtually every field requiring interpersonal relationships. Even as a barrier has been erected through educational requirements, the other end of this spectrum has also evolved to prepare for the anticipated barrier.

Schools and colleges have always imparted education; now they teach you how to apply the knowledge gleaned. They also focus on interpersonal skills, observing and then honing your interactive ability. They use this datum to enhance your skills at communication, concentrating on cogent articulation to persuade whoever is on the other end without rancor. Teamwork is improved by melding specific aptitudes to mesh perfectly, without stepping on anybody’s toes.

Management theories have been imported to understand time and job management, getting down to the basics of defining the ideal mean path, so crucial in program evaluation techniques; as well as internal and external analysis of strengths and weaknesses to learn how best to achieve deadlines by managing projects efficiently. These tools come in addition to what these institutions stand for−learning from others by using updated textbooks, understanding your instructor’s aims, admixing your own achievements and achieving formal educational degrees.

As just seen, education plays a great role in achieving your aim; while applicable to everyone, there is a greater bias towards education in the healthcare sector. This is simple to understand. The human body is the most researched subject in the world and some new finding crops up almost every day. If it was cloning the other day and stem cell research today, genome sequencing to avert inheritable diseases is on the anvil with artificial intelligence on the not too distant horizon. Proponents involved will require extremely high levels of academic knowledge, but as support staff in the Healthcare industry, you will also need to stay up to date with developments at your level. This will be possible only if your grounding in the medical sciences and technology is rock solid, not to forget the parallel flow of mathematics.

The bias comes in because human lives are at stake now, not laboratory-born mice and rabbits. Looking after the health and survival of contemporaries places a huge moral and ethical responsibility on you. They depend on you and you cannot let them down. In effect, signing on as a qualified nurse no longer means that you can throw your books away. Education has now become a regular process and you need to know how best to modify and apply it to every single person under your wing; it is highly possible that two different entities requiring two different treatment techniques come under each of your two wings or more. That’s a further addition to your medical knowledge requirements.

Small wonder that medical degrees and recognized certifications are mandatory before you can be permitted to set foot in regular practice. Put together, they will get you that much needed license to don your jacket and stethoscope. You will need to be associate degree qualified, at the very least, for various healthcare roles; to become a Registered Nurse, you will need an associate or bachelor’s degree and if you are thinking of advanced practice in nursing, you will need a lot of experience in post-grad training before you can apply for a Master’s, perhaps a Doctorate.

Nursing Student Loans and Financial Aid

Advanced studies are always expensive and the nursing field is no exception. You need to know or find how many grants, loans, scholarships, work-study and loan forgiveness programs are available to you and where to find them. Grants are “free” money—you do not need to pay grants back. There are well over a thousand Govt grants in the US totaling $400 billion, and managing a student grant will you save you thousands of dollars. Some schools consider you for grants at their own initiative when you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit an application to join that school. Do visit the resources listed below for more info.

Nursing scholarships are competitive, but a popular resource as they, like federal grants, are not repaid.

Some loans have to be repaid, or have conditions / limitations and it would be prudent for you to visit their websites. Surf through the u/m sites for better and comprehensive knowledge:

Loan Forgiveness Programs

Federal or state loans are provided under what is called a loan forgiveness program, where the recipient does not repay the loan in cash, but through services rendered in remote or unpopular areas or areas critically short of nurses. The following websites are well worth a visit:

The University of Missouri has a many financial aid programs, including Grants, Scholarships, Loans, etc. Some of the better known Grants are the Federal Pell Grant and the War Veteran Grant. The maximum amount is $5,550. Each Grant or packet of financial aid is subject to a number of conditions, like residence status, prior qualifications, etc.

Becoming a Nurse: Education, Requirements, Responsibilities, Salaries

Surprisingly, the first country to register nurses on a national scale was New Zealand, in 1901. Since the term Nurse is recognized globally as a person who provides practical human health care, their controlling bodies in Government tend to have a common aim, that of care for one and all. While the richer nations ensure quality, poor countries have to depend on the largesse of well-off countries for a modicum of quality. Though each nation has its own educational path to a career in nursing, one factor remains common: the study of accepted core theories of nursing and its practical application, including a lengthy period of supervised hands-on training to acquire the requisite clinical skills. Moreover, since each patient is an individual entity with unique personal needs, the final part of training includes both arts and sciences, like psychology, sociology, technology and, in some cases, particularly in the oriental nations, an insight into spirituality. This training program is invariably followed by external comprehensive tests. In the US, all aspirants-like you- have to appear for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to get a license for practicing at the entry level.

The NCLEX is devised and conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the four territories of American Samoa; Guam; and the Northern Mariana & the Virgin Islands. There are two types of the exam, one for practical nurses, the NCLEX-PN, and the other for registered nurses, the NCLEX-RN, to be revalidated every two years.

LPN training is generally done at hospitals over three years, with the first month at a college to study the basics in anatomy, diet, physiology and chemistry. You then return to the hospital and after a total of three years, are granted a Diploma. You can look for a job on passing the licensing exam. Many prospective nurses opt for the low-paid jobs when they do not have the money for a college course, build up their bank balance and / or obtain Govt. aid where possible and move upwards. LPNs go in for a two-year college course to get the Associate Degree in Nursing tab, one step up the ladder. The lowest level of trained nurses fall in the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) category and command the smallest salaries, as seen earlier. At times, they are paid by the hour.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) need not have college degrees. Training is focused on getting a post-secondary non-degree certificate or diploma. An educated CNA may be called upon to wear different hats at different times. (This post used to be called Nursing Orderly earlier). A CNA’s major role is that of providing basic care to inpatients, besides assisting them in routine daily activities which they have difficulty with by themselves, like bathing. The type of job tends to be personal; CNAs should be patient, compassionate, have good communication skills and take pleasure in helping others in need. As may be envisaged, in daily nursing or in long-term adult care facilities, CNAs become a patient’s de facto main caregiver. In today’s cyberworld, CNAs may be asked to operate medical technology services, like billing or general medical information and records software. In some institutions, CNAs are permitted to give medicines to patients, but this will obviously depend on the CNAs aptitude and experience, apart from state regulations. CNAs rarely operate independently. They are delegated tasks by RNs and LPNs, and they provide them the required feedback.

A CNA’s job has downsides too. It could require physically demands, coupled with unpleasant responsibilities; an incontinent patient can be annoying but then, that is the very reason he’s there. He could turn things around and build lasting and gainful relationships with his patients. While CNAs may work in hospitals, most of them prefer nursing and home-care facilities, where they interact with their patients more frequently and can even get acquainted personally. If you wish to join this booming field, a CNA could be a good starting point. Once in, you can work your way around to become an LPN and keep moving up the value chain. To succeed, you’ll need to meet the criteria listed below.


You are…

   You should have…
Compassionate Strong decision-making skills
An excellent listener Excellent attention to detail
Supportive Good communication skills
Dependable Problem-solving skills
Physically fit Good ethical standards
Good-natured Ability to maintain interpersonal relationships


  • Help patients bathe, dress, get out of bed and other daily activities
  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients
  • Take patients’ temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs
  • Answer patients’ calls
  • Document patients’ health issues and report to nurses
  • Feed patients, measure and record food and liquid intake
  • Clean rooms and bed linen
  • Help with medical procedures and dress wounds


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15, the median expected annual salary for certified nursing assistant is $24,420. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a host of other factors.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) / Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Licensed Practical Nurse

If you have some problem with entering college yet want your foot put into the door for nursing quickly, get yourself a certificate titling you a licensed practical nurse (LPN) [licensed vocational nurse (LVN)in California and Texas]. To get your LPN/LVN certificate, you’ll have to undergo a lengthy training schedule at a technical or trade school or a community college. Bear in mind that you are studying at one level below an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). This drawback is countered by the fact that if you’re an LPN/LVN, you can enroll in an LPN-to-RN program, where credits earned during your LPN/LVN training are put toward your Registered Nurse (RN) coursework.

LPN training is generally done at hospitals over three years, with the first month at a college to study the basics of anatomy, emergency care, physiology, medical-surgical nursing, nutrition and chemistry. You will then return to the hospital and after a total of three years, get a Diploma. You can look for a job on passing the licensing exam. Many prospective nurses opt for the low-paid jobs when they do not have the money for a college course, build up their bank balance and / or obtain Govt. aid where possible and move upwards. LPNs often go in for a two-year college course to get the Associate Degree in Nursing tab, one step up the ladder.

Licensed Practical /Vocational Nurses provide basic nursing care. Their duties vary depending on the work setting, but they typically do the following:

  • Monitor patients’ health – such as checking their blood pressure
  • Administer basic nursing care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters
  • Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress
  • Discuss health care with patients and listen to their concerns
  • Report patients’ status to registered nurses and doctors
  • Keep records on patients’ health
  • Experienced licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses oversee and direct other LVNs and unlicensed medical staff.

LPNs have to undergo a specific accredited program where subjects taught in class, like nursing itself, biology, and pharmaceutical products are coalesced with clinical experience under local supervision. After getting their certificates in practical nursing, the LPNs/LVNs-to-be take the NCLEX-PN exam. A license is obtained on passing to work in that capacity across all states.

LPNs can progress to becoming an RN using a bridging course at any appropriate college, to become an Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing (ASN), though the preferred course is a four-year bridging course at college to become a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Then they can sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to gain nomination as a Registered Nurse, going through the procedure for licensing.

Median salary for LPNs was around $41,500 per year, whereas median salary for RNs was around $65,500 per year in 2012 and has increased since then. These figures should not be taken for granted as there is plenty of small print to read and quite a few hurdles to cross before you can reach your posted starting salary, particularly if you apply for a job through an agency.

Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)

The requirement for Registered Nurses (RN) is expected to grow at 19% between today and 2022. The requirement for CNAs is slated to rise at 22%. The requirement for ADNs, sandwiched in between will be close to 20%. The ADN post is the most popular entry level post in nursing, closely followed by the RNs. The rationale is simple. It provides you a rock solid career base in the field of healthcare. ADNs have historically mixed well with RNs, with work content not too different as entry-level nursing posts. 36% of RNs have come up as ADNs, so the empathy factor is palpable.

An ADN can be earned over a course of two years and the curriculum will include not only nursing, but also liberal arts. After you earn your ADN, you’ll need to pass a national licensing examination, NCLEX-RN, in order to begin working as a registered nurse.

The principal benefit in obtaining your ADN is that you can complete it in just two years, making this program a good option for those interested in health care, but under external compulsion to get to working at the earliest, generally a finance driven obligation. The ADN program prepares you with a lucid understanding of the how, why and wheretofores of the nursing arena and the duties expected of you. As always, the course syllabus will include a host of topics, most important of which is the preparation to obtain your nursing license.

The salary is generous and theoretically equal to that of an RN who has come up through four years of college. Real life situations are different. If salary is your only criterion, you can drop anchor here. If you wish to progress further, as you must, you will need to take up the additional two years in college to earn the right to append a BSN degree to your name and look ahead. General education prerequisites are covered so you will not need to repeat them in a subsequent bachelor’s degree program. This will entail concurrent working and studying, so you need to anticipate the stress vs time factor in meeting work deadlines and organize your short-term future accordingly. Always remember that thousands of people have done it before you so you can and will hack it. You also have the option of the increasingly popular online courses if you do not wish to go for the on-campus program.

The popularity of an online nursing program stems from the flexibility it offers, allowing students to decide optimal schedules. Online nursing programs are best suited to

  • Single parents: Coordinating on-campus schedules with the vicissitudes of single parents can be a real nightmare. Online courses, done when your child has left for school or is asleep, offer flexible alternatives.
  • Students from remote areas: Excessive distance between college/hospital and home or frequent relocation can render an on-campus program impossible. The answer: online programs. Moreover, most online programs refrain from charging out-of-state tuition fees.
  • Professionals wishing to change careers: If you wish to switch over to nursing as a career, the best way of achieving your aim is via online programs that let you continue working so that tuition costs are covered while you attend school whenever you get free time.
  • Freedom in Timeframe. You can work at your own speed. Some online programs offer you the facility of faster programs, allowing you to achieve your aim quickly.

ADN programs are available at quite a few community colleges, and included as a two-year course in some institutions that run four-year courses. Such a program will combine field training with classroom studies. The basic or foundation courses you will have to undergo will be no different from those required of LPN/LVNs, except for their depth of detail.

A typical set of duties are:

  • Observe patients and report on their wellbeing
  • Keep a thorough record of patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Perform diagnostic tests on patient samples and analyze the results
  • Operate medical equipment
  • Administer medicines and treatments to patients
  • Come up with treatment plans for patients’ care
  • Teach patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries at home

Registered Nurse (RN)

The principal aim for most candidates joining the nursing industry is to become a licensed Registered Nurse. You can become a Registered Nurse by obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an accredited nursing program. Thereafter you need to pass the NCLEX –RN exam to get your License. This license is valid only for the state you appeared in, but is easily transferable if you move. You’ve already seen that the BSN will take you four years to finish while the ADN and diploma will take you two to three years.

In all nursing education programs without exception, you will take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, as well as in liberal arts. Moreover, all programs include clinical experience under supervision.

In the two additional years for a BSN, you will undergo further education in physical as well as social sciences, communication, leadership, and critical thinking. This training gives you more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s degree or higher is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching. The American Nursing Association prefers your taking the four-year BSN program route as the entry level for nursing practice, which also makes getting a job easier than an RN from an ADN. Some hospitals show a preference for BSNs; some states like California impose specific restrictions on certain posts, like mandating a BSN for workers in public health. In most cases, supervisory positions are reserved for BSNs, who obviously are paid more. Home healthcare agencies tend to select BSNs.

BSNs are at an advantage if the hospital they work in intends to get a certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Two types of certifications are possible, The Pathway to Excellence Program® and the Magnet Recognition Program®. Both certifications recognize health care organizations and long term care institutions for positive practice environments where nurses excel. Both programs have listed parameters that will be checked by ANCC representatives, and deal mainly with the quality of staff care, both medical and medico-administrative. RNs who have come to that hospital through a BSN Program tend to get better reviews, increasing their chances of accreditation in any one or both programs. Obviously, a hospital with twin accreditation will be rated higher than those with just the one. The Magnet Recognition Program® has found takers overseas, in countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia, etc., and is therefore rated higher than The Pathway to Excellence Program®. One of the main questions asked of nurses in a confidential survey is about their satisfaction level. Nurses rate salary, recognition, work environment and job satisfaction as the prime ingredients controlling their satisfaction level, which is one reason such hospitals prefer BSNs.

Multiple qualifications can make a career in the healthcare sector very lucrative. For instance, a person with a business degree can take up nursing and, once qualified and licensed, move into the healthcare administration field. The Medical Course will generally take two years as the supplementary information gained in acquiring the previous degree counts towards total time required to obtain a BSN. The avenues for employment open to a healthcare administrator are multifold, like health insurance companies, healthcare associations, hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices and clinics. Salaries in this vast field will vary for each industry, although the median pay for a medical and health services manager in 2010 was a lavish $82,470.  As a matter of fact, a healthcare/nursing degree is currently rated the highest paying College degree.

The US Bureau of healthcare statistics has rated certain parameters as vital for RNs, but a more comprehensive and detailed chapter on their attributes lists the following:

  • Empathy. By definition, the epicenter of nursing is caring and empathy.
  • Detail Oriented. Nursing is a zero error syndrome job as you are dealing with a person’s life.
  • Communication. The ability to quietly interact with all kind of patients can work wonders.
  • Intuition. The ability to notice minutiae and subtle nuances can help chart a patient’s treatment.
  • Emotional Stability. Nurses cannot afford to lose focus in gruesome cases or when relatives / acquaintances are the patients involved.
  • Critical Thinking. The ability to react immediately and correctly is a crucial factor.
  • Coordination of Services. The nurse is the focal point around whom everybody in that patient’s medical team revolves.
  • Patience. The ability to stay calm under all circumstances reassures the patient involved.
  • Dedication. The ability to provide the best possible care under any circumstances, irrespective of any personal discomfort.
  • Physical Endurance. The need to often work 12 hours nonstop causes extreme fatigue, but it should not exact its toll in the form of medical errors. Nurses must learn how to stay fit. Fatigue was cited as the main reason for the fairly high rate of turnover in the nursing field.

A study on the age of RNs showed that the average age of RNs, both male and female, was 41.5 years with about 16 years of experience as an RN; most RNs upgraded their status by the age of 48; only 13 percent of the 829 nurses interviewed were below the age of 30, which age group also had the highest turnover. Approximately 30 percent had come through a diploma program, 13 percent were ADNs, 53 percent were BSNs, and 4 percent had earned graduate degrees in nursing.

Job Profile

Registered nurses provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. They work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Specialized RNs work within their specialty, e.g., as an oncology nurse, you would be in a cancer ward; as a surgical nurse, you would be in a surgical ward, etc. Some RNs, usually BSNs supervise LPNs and CNAs. Essentially, the basic tasks RNs perform are:

  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms and give them their medicines and treatment.
  • Observe patients and record observations; discuss these with the doctor assigned.
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment and help perform diagnostic tests.
  • Teach patients and their families what to do once discharged from hospital.

According to the Bureau of Labor Resources, RNs held close to 2.7 million jobs in 2012 as the largest healthcare occupation. The top five industries that employed the most registered nurses in 2012 were as shown in Chart 1 below:

employment 2012Chart 1

median 2012Chart 2


Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Resources, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $65,470 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than  $45,040 and the top 10 percent earned more than $94,720. It must be noted that different employers offer different perks, like flexible work schedules, childcare, educational benefits, and bonuses. A chart (Chart 2) depicting median annual wages for RNs is placed supra.

Nurse Administrator

The role of a Nurse Administrator is to manage and oversee all work done by nurses, with an eye towards the improvement of quality and efficacy of patient care. The Administrator is also involved in budgeting, expenditure control, selecting and inducting new staff and the general coordination of training and creating work schedules. Since most of their job is cost control related vis-à-vis quality of patient care, the administrators should have a flair for thinking out of the box and being innovative.

A bachelor’s degree is adequate for a Nurse Administrator’s job. The trend, however, is to acquire a master’s degree in healthcare management, which has a surfeit of the higher degree programs. The content of these programs is focused on advanced nursing practices, networked with ethics and system policy, i.e., the syllabus will be heavily biased to the role of a nurse administrator with its concomitant challenges. The contents of the syllabus will include:

  • Organizational management
  • Leadership
  • Human and Fiscal Resource Management

On passing a written exam, the American Nurses Credentialing Center will certify you as a nurse administrator on the capacity of Nurse Executive or Advanced Nurse Executive, which has to be renewed every lustrum. You will require an active RN license, a BSN or higher in nursing and a specific administrative background for at least two years in the past five years. As an MSN without any administrative background, you will require 30 hours of continuous training in this field in the past three years. The only difference in the Advanced Certification is the experience factor. It is necessary to have held some admin post at an executive level for nurses OR been on the faculty in a full-time post teaching nursing administration at the executive level for two years (or equivalent) in the preceding five years. According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15, the median expected annual salary for healthcare administrators is $88,580, subject to many variables and imponderables. It is one of the better jobs for people with administrative skills.

Chart 3


Nurse Informatics Specialist

The job of a Specialist in Nurse Informatics is fairly new, in that hospitals are becoming fully computerized and computer specialists are required in every department, fully networked to provide the patient enhanced care. The one difference from geeks is that this specialist must be an RN, that too through a BSN degree. Some institutions manage with RNs, irrespective of how they achieved that distinction. If properly integrated, there will be fewer medical errors, improved patient security as well as confidentiality, on a need to know basis. Since technology is involved, an additional test of your knowledge of modern computer technology will be taken. On earning your degree, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) will certify your credentials. Tyros (< 5 years experience) will need to pass the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CAHIMS) exam.

According to a survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), “57 percent or respondents said their main responsibility was providing systems preparation, training and continued support to users, while 53 percent spent most of their time on systems development, where they customize or update systems or create a new homegrown system.” Additionally, certification is available from HIMSS based on years of service in healthcare infosystems.

As technology evolves, salary levels will rise alongside. Currently, a Social Science Research Assistant is paid a median salary of $37,140, rising to $54,638 for a Clinical Research Coordinator and $79,680 for a Computer Systems Analyst. has pegged the median expected annual salary for Clinical Informatics Coordinators at $76,503, no mean sum. This is one area where you can get a good job as this is a relatively new career opening in nursing, where most nurses in the field are not sufficiently trained in IT, leaving the door for candidates looking to plug the gap between clinical care and technology open.

salariesChart 4



Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

As is the case with all Master’s, a commitment to acquire a Master’s in Nursing (MSN) takes dedication and hard work, impacting your success in the field of nursing. The Master’s degree in nursing is often the ultimate goal of nurses. Apart from the connotation it carries, it opens the door to a large number of vocations, fresh vistas and opportunities, one of which may be ideally suited to you. Higher pay and greater responsibilities are related adjuncts. You could even shatter the glass ceiling.

A master’s degree provides you with the ability and higher levels of hands-on training you will require to provide top grade nursing care in specialized roles, e.g., nurse practitioner. In real life, your MSN lets you deliver healthcare services similar to those provided by physicians. Physicians tend to be overbooked or beyond the means of some patients, thereby advancing your position.

Advanced Practice Areas

The advanced practice areas for you are quite diverse in content and could be:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
  • Nurse Educator (NE)

On completion and accredition, you would fall into the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) category. The CRNA, though an APRN, would categorize you as a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP). All these degrees, especially NPs, can have sub-specialties, each in the APRN category. Moreover, these degrees are terminal degrees.

The more ambitious nurses could consider even more rewarding jobs in terms of degrees and salary. These are the twin-qualification programs of:

  • MSN/MPH: Where you combine your MSN with a master’s in public health.
  • MSN/MBA: Where you combine your MSN with a master’s in business administration.
  • MSN/MHA: Where you combine your MSN with a master’s in health administration.

Part of the MSN syllabus is training in the business aspect of nursing. The topics covered will include down to earth programs like leadership, man and resource management, health policies and the financial aspect of advanced training. An MSN program generally takes two years. Most MSN programs include work experience as mandatory and generally stipulate the following add-ons:

  • A BSN
  • An RN license
  • Minimum GPA and GRE scores, which depend on the program in mind
  • Clinical experience, once again dependent on the program in mind

A non-medical graduate could also qualify to become an MSN. These tend to be three-year programs, with the first year dedicated to entry-level nursing and the next two dedicated to MSN- related courses. At the end of it all, the NCLEX-RN has to be cleared. You can attend college or university for your MSN, but the trend is to study online, providing that you meet laid down criteria similar to, or the same as discussed earlier.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners (NP) originally worked in the children’s health department. Today, that role has changed and become more broad-based, as NPs are allowed to home in on a specialty such as adult care, family care or women’s healthcare. An NP is a high-demand high-pay job with a current shortage in staff. They have been clamoring for equal footing with MDs, stating that APRNs offer services beyond traditional office hours, serving patients and families that might not otherwise be able to secure primary care services.

NPs focus on overall preventative healthcare with customized treatment for each patient. There are many types of NPs:

  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Perinatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Rural Nurse Practitioner

In a landmark decision, nurse practitioners in New York will soon be able to operate more independently of doctors. The Nurse Practitioners Modernization Act 2014 removes the requirement of a written practice agreement between an experienced nurse practitioner and a doctor as a condition of practice. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.  The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) strongly opposed the decision.  MSSNY referred to studies that showed that increasing the use of NPs does not lower costs as the patients of NPs tended to have higher rates of medical service utilization. However, NPs and CNSs will be paid less for an identical service rendered by an MD.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

The life span of most Americans has increased considerably, partly due to increased awareness about health, assessing their own health and involvement in their own medical care. The need for healthcare professionals, including CRNAs, is projected to grow at a better-than-average rate. Today, CRNA opportunities have gone beyond a traditional OR setting, as there is, and will remain a need for nurse anesthetists in hospital delivery rooms, and as primary providers of anesthesia in field military clinics.

Salary: CRNAs are the highest paid category of healthcare specialists. The median pay is $1,70,000. Starting salary is in the $120,000 range, while highly experienced CRNA professionals take home over $220,000 a year. Per hour rates are over $100!

Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Clinical Nurse Specialists are APRNs with a master’s or doctoral degree in a specialized area of nursing practice.  The area of specialization may be in:

  • population (e.g., pediatrics, geriatrics, women’s health)
  • a setting (e.g., critical care, emergency room)
  • a disease or medical subspecialty (e.g., diabetes, oncology)
  • type of care (e.g., psychiatric, rehabilitation)
  • type of health problem (e.g., pain, wounds, stress)

Apart from traditional nursing responsibilities to help patients prevent or resolve illness, CNS’ scope of practice includes diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries and disabilities within their field of expertise. They provide direct patient care, act as expert consultants for nursing staff and are proactive in improving healthcare systems.

Certified Nurse-Midwives

Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) are APRNs who counsel and provide gynec care during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. CNMs, along with certified midwives (CMs) also provide family-oriented primary healthcare to women throughout their reproductive lives. Skilled midwifery reduces high-tech intervention for most women in labor, but CNMs also are trained in using up to date scientific procedures to assist in normal deliveries.  CNM-attended births account for 10% of all spontaneous vaginal births in the US, and 7% of all US births in total.  Of these deliveries, 97% occur in hospitals, 1.8% in freestanding birth centers and 1% at home.

Many people harbor the wrong impression that midwives only assist with births. While attending births is the integral part of their job, it is only a fraction of what midwives actually do. On average, CNMs/CMs spend 10% of their time taking direct care of women giving birth and newborn children.

Comparativechart 5


Comparative Salaries of MSNs

Nurse Educator (NE)

Nurse educators are registered nurses with advanced education who also teach. Most work as nurses for some time before dedicating their careers (part or full-time) to educating future nurses. They serve as faculty members in nursing schools and teaching hospitals, imparting their knowledge and skills to the next generation of nurses for efficient practice. Most of them have extensive clinical experience, and continue patient care even after becoming educators. Nurse educators need to stay current with evolving nursing methodology and technologies, to stay abreast of advancing clinical practices.

Nurse Educators are in high demand, because the US is facing a serious shortage of nurses. One key reason given is the paucity of nurse educators to teach and train future nurses. Campaigns have been launched to encourage the younger generation to opt for a career in nurse education. One example is the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow Coalition, launched in 2004.

The campaign was launched by a coalition of 43 leading nursing and healthcare organizations to address the nursing shortage, and is touting their cause with a slogan, “Nursing education … pass it on.” The aim is to increase the number of nurse educators, the shortage of whom is forcing nursing schools

to turn away prospective students.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), a member of Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow, nursing schools in the United States turned away more than 11,000 qualified applicants in 2003. Almost 65 percent of the reporting nursing schools cited faculty shortages as the reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level baccalaureate programs.

The comparative salaries of MSNs vs that of a Registered Nurse is listed in Chart 5.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a professional degree that prepares graduates to provide the most advanced level of nursing care for recipients. This includes direct care of individual patients, management of care for individuals and populations, administration of health care and nursing systems, and the development and implementation of health policy. If you have completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, you should be able to:

  • Assume organizational and system leadership in the analysis, delivery, and management of nursing care, within system limits.
  • Implement the highest level of advanced nursing care to produce high quality, cost-effective outcomes for widely divergent groups of patients.
  • Use theories, concepts, and analytic methodologies learned to design, implement, and evaluate practice by applying your mind to improve extant nursing systems.
  • Contribute to the knowledge of best-practices and dissemination of outcomes through professional papers with or without a mentor, discourses and presentations.
  • Develop practice standards based on the integration of ethics, sociology and evidenced-based nursing care.

Within the nursing spectrum, you have four types of nursing doctorate degrees to choose from. Each degree stipulates specific path to follow.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): This degree stresses clinical practice-oriented leadership training.
  • Doctor of Nursing (ND): This degree looks at further development of exhibited advanced specialist skills.
  • Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc): This degree relates to investigative and research skills.
  • Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD): This degree is inclined towards scholarly research and inquiry.

Note 1: A DNP is a degree for practice in a clinical set up, whereas a PhD is geared towards research.

Note 2: The DNP degree is set to become the degree for entry to advanced practice nursing by 2015.

There are two other options, which are joint programs.

  • MSN/PhD: A master’s degree holder gets a doctorate in an accelerated program.
  • BSN-PhD: A program generally limited to BSN-holders who hold out plans to become researchers or nursing instructors.

A Doctorate is the ultimate in the nursing field. You cannot sit back on your laurels, because the Doctorate brings with it expectations of the highest levels of efficiency in every aspect related to nursing. You will become the father figure and need to set an example worthy of emulating. All responsibility will fall on your shoulders, though you would delegate both responsibility and authority to your senior staff members. Ultimately, your reputation is at stake.

A doctorate in nursing takes, on the average, four to six years to attain. This gives you adequate time to prepare. You can accelerate matters a bit, depending on your confidence level. Your pay packet also increases a fair bit. The doctor of nursing practice degree is set to become the degree for entry to advanced practice nursing by 2015, to the dismay of nurse practitioners. The salary difference is of the order of $8,000. But then, these DNPs degrees (67%) were obtained by NPs with 6 to 15 years’ experience. The median salary of DNPs with 0-2 years of experience in that post was $102,500. These would naturally increase as incremental pay linked to years of practice.

THE NURSING PARADOX: America’s Health Worker Mismatch

The recession saw high unemployment in almost all sectors, but jobs in the healthcare industry increased by more than 1.2 million, with high salaries of over $60,000. The need for these very workers will keep increasing. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare is a complete overhaul of the US healthcare system and is projected to add 32 million people to insurance coverage over the years to come. The aging of the US, as death rates are dropping with each passing year, will fuel the need for healthcare as geriatric numbers and concomitant diseases must also increase.

US healthcare workers should be rejoicing, but that is hardly the case. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013 listed Registered Nursing (RN) among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022. The RN strength in 2012 was 2.71 million and forecast to grow to 3.24 million in 2022, increase numbers by 526,800 or 19%. The Bureau also listed replacements in the industry at 525,000 raising the overall job openings for nurses due to retirements to 1.05 million by 2022.

Despite so many vacancies, medical professional schools are rejecting applications from almost eighty thousand qualified US citizens and plugging the gap by recruiting foreign workers in tens of thousands. Today, about 33,000 healthcare workers are foreign-born and trained, including 25 percent of all physicians. The primary reason is the deplorable state of healthcare schools, which, for some unknown reason, is disregarding the demand/supply curve. The cost of higher education has increased over the past twenty-five years and the cost of educating graduates has shot up rapidly. Over the same time frame, public medical school tuitions have gone up by a mindboggling 312 percent, compounding the problem. The shortage of nursing staff is projected to increase to 260,000 by 2025.

Only 60 percent of the nurses work in hospitals. The remaining 40 percent work in schools, correctional facilities, private companies, home health, nursing homes, government agencies, social assistance agencies and research labs. One out of every four RNs works part time. At the same time, the rising number of patients suffering from complex diseases has called for more complex and specialized skill sets. In-demand specialties include traveling nurses, nurse informatics specialists, acute nurse practitioners, geriatric nurses, hospice nurses, and home care nurses. The greatest need is for Nurse Educators.

The Govt Institute of Medicine, in its report on The Future of Nursing, called for increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce to 80 percent and doubling the population of nurses with doctoral degrees. The current nursing workforce falls far short of these recommendations with only 55 percent of registered nurses prepared at the baccalaureate or graduate degree level.

The number of professionals that can be trained in healthcare in the US is limited by an archaic law requiring US students to be educated only in teaching hospitals, even when their stated destination is a clinic or community hospital. This automatically places a limit on numbers. A waiting list is created, increasing the training period and virtually barring students from indigent communities.

Credential creep sets in. Audiology, physical therapy and optometry now require doctorate  licensees for therapists who had earlier required a master’s degree. The cascading effect is more schooling, higher attrition rates, higher debt, higher wage demands and fewer workers from underserved and low-income areas. This licensing system favors foreign-trained health workers, who do not have to meet the self-imposed qualifications.

In numbers, 30,000 additional nurses should be graduated annually to meet the nation’s healthcare needs, an expansion of 30 percent over the current number of annual nurse graduates. This solution, though numerically viable, cannot be put into practice straightaway. The greatest worry is that a significant segment of the nursing workforce is nearing retirement age. 55 percent of the RN workforce is aged 50 or older. They will retire in next to no time.

One solution suggests increasing the retirement age. This will create a hierarchy logjam, in that senior vacancies will remain blocked to younger nurses, who will then shift to private nursing homes and similar posts. According to a May 2001 report on the US impending health care crisis released by University of Illinois College of Nursing, “The ratio of potential caregivers to the people most likely to need care, the elderly population, will decrease by 40% between 2010 and 2030. Demographic changes may limit access to health care unless the number of nurses and other caregivers grows in proportion to the rising elderly population.”

Changing demographics signal a need for more nurses to care for our aging population. The future demand for nurses will increase dramatically as the baby boomers reach their 60s and more. Insufficient staffing will raise the stress level of nurses, impact job satisfaction, and force many nurses to leave the profession or go elsewhere. In a 2005 survey printed in the Nursing Economic$ journal, “Almost all surveyed nurses see the shortage in the future as a catalyst for increasing stress on nurses (98%), lowering patient care quality (93%) and causing nurses to leave the profession (93%).” One parallel conclusion was that failure to retain nurses contributed to avoidable patient deaths.

This problem is not limited to the US alone. Most advanced countries tend to outsource jobs in the healthcare industry, whether at below the RN level or above. There is a need to get local people to learn to look after others, but today’s Gen Next thinks that Medical Studies is far too time consuming and not adequately rewarded. As long as this attitude persists, the problem will not go away.


Agency – Agency Nursing is essentially where a nurse registers or signs up with an agency or similar group to tell them what hours they are available to work. The nurses are then contacted and offered work on a shift to shift basis. Agency Nurses are now in high demand, particularly, in the case of nurses with specialized training or experience.

Ambulatory Care – Ambulatory Care Nurses care for patients whose stay in the hospital or other facility will be less than 24 hours. Such nursing covers a broad range of specialties in the out-patient setting.

Anesthesia – Nurse Anesthetists work with surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, anesthesiologists, and other doctors to provide anesthesia to patients before, during, and after surgery or child birth.

Cardiac Care – The Cardiac Care Nurse works with other members of the medical staff in assessing, intervening, and implementing nursing care for cardiac patients. The American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine is a sub-specialty cardiology organization that provides cardiology professionals with primary and secondary education in their specific area of need, and professional certification awards to validate their role within the cardiology service line.

Case Management – Case Management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes.

Critical Care – Critical Care nurses provide care for patients and families who are experiencing actual or potential life-threatening illness. More specific fields that fit into the critical care category include cardiac care, intensive care, and neurological and cardiac surgical intensive care.

Emergency – Emergency Nurses assess patients, provide interventions and evaluate care in a time limited and sometimes hectic environment. Emergency Nurses work independently and interdependently with various health professionals in an attempt to support patients and their families as they experience illness, injury or crisis.

Forensics – Forensic Nurses provide medical care to victims of crime, collect evidence after crimes occur, and provide medical care to patients within the prison system. Their affiliation needs be international as most major crimes tend to be cross-border incidents. Their controlling agency is the International Association of Forensic Nurses

Gastroenterology – Gastroenterology (GI) Nurses provide care to patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal problems who are undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic treatment and/or procedures. GI Nurses practice in physician offices, inpatient and outpatient endoscopy departments, ambulatory endoscopy centers and inpatient hospital units.

Geriatrics – Geriatric Nurses care for elderly patients in a number of settings which include the patients home, nursing homes, and hospitals. Geriatric Nurses face constant challenges because their patients are often very ill, very complex, and very dependent on the nurses’ skills.

Holistic – Holistic Nurses provide medical care for patients while honoring the individual’s subjective opinions about health, health beliefs, and values. Holistic nursing requires nurses to integrate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection into their daily nursing care.

HIV/AIDS – HIV/AIDS Nurses provide healthcare for patients who are HIV or AIDS positive. These nurses usually have specialized training in HIV/AIDS.

Informatics – Nursing Informatics is a broad field which combines nursing knowledge with the use of computers. Jobs in this field could range from the implementation of a new computer network within a hospital to the sales of computer systems to hospitals by an outside computer company.

Legal Nursing – Legal Nursing combines the use of the legal system with a thorough knowledge of the nursing field. Legal Nurses are usually seasoned veterans of the nursing field who work with attorneys to review medical documents and determine if medical negligence occurred. The regulatory agency in the U.S. is the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants

Midwifery – Midwives are nurses that are specially trained to deal with childbirth and providing prenatal and postpartum care. The midwives are qualified to deliver babies by themselves unless there are extenuating circumstances which require the midwife to consult with a physician.

Military – Military Nurses work in a variety of settings, ranging from family practice at a local military base to providing emergency care for the wounded during war times.

Neonatal – Neonatal Nurses provide care for newborns by assessing the patient to ensure good health, providing preventative care to prevent illness, and caring for the babies which are sick. The neonatal nurse is responsible for anticipating, preventing, diagnosing and minimizing illness of newborns.

Neuroscience – Neuroscience Nurses care for patients using new therapies and innovative technologies to treat diseases of the nervous system.

Nurse Practitioner – Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses who have obtained their masters degree and are qualified to prescribe medication, and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests. They fall under the fiefdom of either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American College of Nurse Practitioners in the U.S.

Occupational Health – the Occupational Health Nursing is responsible for improving, protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of employees. By providing this care for employees, the occupational health nurse is able to influence the health of the organization.

Oncology – Oncology Nurses provide health care for cancer patients at all stages of treatment and remission.

Pediatric – Pediatric Nurses care for children in all aspects of health care. Pediatric nurses practice in a

variety of settings which include hospitals, clinics, schools, and in the home. The controlling agencies in the U.S. are the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses or the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners.

Perioperative (OR) – Perioperative Nurses work in operating rooms in tertiary care hospitals, community and rural hospitals, day care surgery units and specialized clinics. They often provide post-anesthetic care in rural hospitals or specialized units where nurses provide total patient care.

Psychiatric – Psychiatric Nurses provide care for patients and families with psychiatric and mental illnesses. These nurses practice in a variety of settings which include hospitals, and institutions. Since this is an underdeveloped field, affiliation is to an international agency, the International Society of Psychiatric – Mental Health Nurses

Research – Research Nurses perform clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span-from management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for disease and disability, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, promoting quality of life in those with chronic illness, and care for individuals at the end of life.

School Nursing – School Nurses work with students and faculty of schools providing medical care and other support in an in-school environment. Since parents can be very demanding in the U.S., they are affiliated to the National Association of School Nurses.

Transplant – Transplant Nurses work in a variety of settings and function in various aspects of transplant procedures. They assist in the transplantation of various body parts which include, but are not limited to: liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, heart, and lungs. Their regulatory agency is the International Transplant Nurses Society.

Trauma – Trauma Nurses care for patients in an emergency or critical care setting. These nurses generally care for patients who have suffered severe trauma such as a car accident, gunshot wound, stabbing, assault, or other traumatic injury.

Travel Nursing – Travel Nurses work for an agency that provides nurses to hospitals and other health care facilities across the country. Travel nurses usually get to choose which locations they are willing to travel to and are typically given assignments which last for 13 weeks or more. Travel nurses usually make a very good salary, receive paid housing accommodations, sign-on bonuses, and other excellent benefits.

Urology – Urology Nurses care for patients in such specialties as oncology, male infertility, male sexual dysfunction, kidney stones, incontinence, and pediatrics. Urology nurses may also participate in such urological surgeries as surgery for cancer, general urology, plastic, infertility, brachytherapy, lithotrispy, and pediatric surgery.

Women’s Health – Women’s Health Nurses participate in fields such as OB/GYN, mammography, reproductive health, and general women’s health. These nurses practice in a variety of settings.