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NPS' Latest Warning Is a 'Toad-Ally Terrifying' One

Agency issues directive to visitors to not lick toxic Sonoran desert toads in the parks

(Newser) - It's the warning from the National Park Service we didn't know we needed: Stop licking the toads. It's one type of toad in particular—the Sonoran desert toad (also known as the Colorado river toad), which NPR describes as a creature that's about 7 inches long...

Coral-Filled Tanks Are Gorgeous, Have a Dark Side

If certain zoanthid corals are present, that is

(Newser) - Home aquariums used to pretty much be for fish only. That changed with the advent of LED lights, which allow hobbyists to replicate a tropical sun indoors—without boiling the water in the tank. And so a new industry boomed: A subset of aquarium hobbyists—often called "reefers"—...

Woman Dies After Drinking Toxic Tea in SF

Yu-Ping Xie had been hospitalized for weeks

(Newser) - A medicinal tea apparently had the opposite effect on a San Francisco woman, who died Saturday after weeks in critical condition. Yu-Ping Xie, 56, initially fell ill in February after consuming a medicinal tea blend she'd purchased from Sun Wing Wo Trading Co. in San Francisco's Chinatown. Within...

Deadliest Known Toxin Found—but No Antidote
 Deadliest Known Toxin 
 Found—but No Antidote 
in case you missed it

Deadliest Known Toxin Found—but No Antidote

Scientists withholding DNA sequence for now

(Newser) - It sounds like a sci-fi thriller plot, except this is very much fact instead of fiction: Scientists in California have found a new strain of botulinum toxin—the deadliest toxin known to man—but they still haven't come up with an antidote, reports New Scientist . As a result, they'...

Water Woes Prompt Exodus From Erin Brockovich Town

Quarter of population has sold homes

(Newser) - Seems Erin Brockovich's heroics weren't enough to end her town's toxin troubles . More than a decade after the eponymous Julia Roberts film about the battle over toxic groundwater, Hinkley, Calif., is in the midst of a new wave of water concerns. The crisis has prompted more than...

Vietnam's Agent Orange Victims Get Scientology Detox

But doctors skeptical about detoxification program

(Newser) - In an attempt to detoxify people exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese government is relying on … L. Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology founder developed a detoxification method espoused by Tom Cruise and other bigwig Scientologists. The "Purification Rundown" or "Hubbard method" involves...

Culprit for Epidemics of Autism, Obesity: Fungicide?
Culprit for Epidemics of Autism, Obesity: Fungicide?
study says

Culprit for Epidemics of Autism, Obesity: Fungicide?

New study suggests chemicals' effects linger for generations

(Newser) - Can the recent increase in autism, obesity, and anxiety disorders be traced back to chemical exposure? That's what a new study involving pregnant rats suggests, AFP reports. Pregnant rats who were exposed to the common fungicide vinclozolin had descendants who, three generations later, weighed more, were less sociable, and...

Condi: We Feared We Were Poisoned

But detected deadly White House toxin turned out to be false alarm

(Newser) - Condoleezza Rice recounted the day that she, President Bush, and Dick Cheney believed they had been exposed to a lethal toxin by terrorists. Cheney suddenly appeared on a secure video conference screen just weeks after 9/11 while Rice and Bush were traveling in China for the APEC summit. He warned...

Wal-Mart Yanks Toxin-Tainted Miley Cyrus Jewelry

AP investigation finds high levels of cadmium

(Newser) - Wal-Mart is yanking a line of Miley Cyrus bracelets and necklaces after an Associated Press investigation turned up dangerous levels of toxic cadmium in the jewelry. Long-term exposure to cadmium, a known carcinogen, can lead to bone softening and kidney failure, and hinder brain development in the young. It's only...

Tainted Chinese Milk Yanked From Shelves—Again

Company in last scandal linked to new contamination

(Newser) - In the latest consumer product scandal to hit China, authorities have ordered milk contaminated with toxic melamine yanked from market shelves. The recall occurs a year after hundreds of thousands of children were sickened by a similar contamination. Products in southern China from three companies were found to contain melamine....

Harvard Probes Poisoning at Med School Lab

Office coffee caused fainting, dizziness, ringing in the ears

(Newser) - Harvard Medical School is investigating after six workers in the pathology department were poisoned by coffee prepared near their lab. The researchers and students were treated and released after suffering dizziness, low blood pressure, and other symptoms during the August incident. "As the investigation continues, we are being prudent...

FEMA Too Slow on Katrina Trailer Toxins: Federal Report

Agency didn't announce toxin find until 2 years after people moved in

(Newser) - FEMA was too slow to deal with reports of toxins in trailers used to house Hurricane Katrina victims, potentially posing a “significant health risk” to thousands along the Gulf Coast, a Homeland Security report says. Residents of the trailers had reported bloody noses, headaches, and worse as a result...

FDA Slaps Strictest Warning Label on Botox

(Newser) - Botox will now carry the Food and Drug Administration’s strictest warning for pharmaceuticals after the agency raised concerns over the risk of botulism last year, Bloomberg reports. The approval of a rival botulinum toxin for cosmetic purposes prompted the review. The toxin can cause muscle weakness and breathing difficulty,...

Calif. Pelicans Hit by Mystery Illness

Experts puzzled as dying birds turn up miles from coastal home

(Newser) - A mystery disease causing disoriented pelicans to crash to earth in unusual locations near the California coast has wildlife experts stumped, reports the Los Angeles Times. Bruised and fatigued birds are being found on highways and in backyards far from their usual seaside haunts. Some appear to be dying, but...

Gene Tweak Could Grow Crops in Toxic Soil

(Newser) - Scientists have made a breakthrough that could dramatically boost the world's food production by making more land farmable, Wired reports. A slight change to a single gene allows plants to thrive in earth made toxic by aluminum, which currently renders nearly half of the world's soil useless for growing crops....

Recycled 'E-Waste' Can Be Toxic

Old TVs, PCs can pollute developing countries

(Newser) - Recycling old computers, cell phones, and TVs may sound like a good idea—but be sure you know the destination before you dump such material, USA Today advises. While such “e-waste” recycling programs are springing up everywhere these days, some pose a threat. Often, the materials end up in...

Fish Toxin Buyer Linked to Murder Plot

Man after puffer fish poison was seeking hit man

(Newser) - An Illinois man busted trying to buy enough puffer fish toxin to kill dozens of people had been seeking to hire a hit man on the internet to kill a mystery woman, reports the Chicago Tribune. The financial planner sent emails to people offering $8,000 for the murder, authorities...

Illinois Man Busted With Puffer Fish Toxin

Tried to buy troubling amount from lab

(Newser) - An Illinois man has been arrested for possession of a deadly neurotoxin found in puffer fish, reports CNN. Authorities were alerted after the man, claiming to be a doctor, attempted to purchase a significant amount of tetrodotoxin from a New Jersey lab. The poison—1,200 times more deadly than...

Botox May Move from Face to Brain
Botox May
Move from
Face to Brain

Botox May Move from Face to Brain

Anti-wrinkle toxin traveled to rats' central nervous system

(Newser) - Botox can spread from the face to the brain, scientists who injected rats with the anti-wrinkle treatment say. Traces of the toxin turned up in the rats' brain stems three days after it was injected into their whisker muscles, Bloomberg reports. A dermatologist says the findings call for further investigation,...

Man Says He Had Ricin for Self-Defense

He admits having it in hotel, says he did not plan to hurt anyone

(Newser) - The Las Vegas man hospitalized by exposure to ricin in his hotel room told his brother he  did not intend to hurt anyone with it, the AP reports. Roger Bergendoff, who regained consciousness last week after a month, admitted possessing the biological agent but said it was for self-defense. "...

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