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Poisons And Poisonings

NEWS
June 15, 2004 | Ashley Powers
When seizures wracked sea otters washing up at Morro Bay and Pismo Beach this spring, muscle tremors and comas suggested that a red tide had caused domoic acid poisoning. But a brain parasite associated with possum feces is the culprit, state veterinarians said last month. The bug infected at least half of the 22 dead otters. It may contaminate shellfish eaten by otters.
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SCIENCE
June 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Researchers have found the man-made toxin deca-BDE in polar bears and sea gulls, a sign the flame-retardant chemical normally used in televisions and plastic toys has found its way to the Arctic and its food chain. Janneche Utne Skaare of the Norwegian Veterinary Institute said the levels found were tiny, however, and posed no health threat to the animals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2004
A Los Angeles company is recalling 5 million pounds of raw almonds sold nationwide after the Food and Drug Administration received seven reports of food poisoning. Paramount Farms Inc. said Tuesday that the almonds might contain salmonella. The recall covers 2.7 million packages of raw almonds sold under the brand names Kirkland Signature, Sunkist and Trader Joe's. Kirkland Signature brand raw almonds were marked with a "best before" date from 8/21/04 to 2/8/05.
WORLD
April 7, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The number of animals killed by poison at the Sao Paulo Zoo has risen to 73, and police said they still lacked sufficient evidence to charge suspects. The leading detective on the case, Clovis Ferreira de Araujo, told reporters that some suspects continued to work at the zoo. Araujo said police were looking into groups that might have benefited financially from the animals' deaths. He did not elaborate.
HEALTH
March 8, 2004 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
The puffer fish is widely known as a delicacy that can kill. Valued for its bittersweet taste, the fish contains a toxin in its liver and gonads that is fatal to humans within four to six hours of consumption. One person's poison may be another's cure. Researchers are testing a derivative of the puffer fish toxin as a novel way to block pain.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A grand jury found that the Kern County Fire Department, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Health Department responded appropriately to an Oct. 4 pesticide drift that sickened dozens of people and drove 100 residents from their homes.
NATIONAL
February 6, 2004 | Elizabeth Shogren, Times Staff Writer
The Environmental Protection Agency believes that about 630,000 of the roughly 4 million babies born annually in the United States -- twice as many as previously thought -- may be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury in the womb, according to an analysis released Thursday. The primary source of newborns' exposure to mercury is the fish and shellfish their mothers eat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
A faulty gas heater may have caused a Ventura family of six to become ill from carbon monoxide poisoning early Thursday, city fire officials said. Authorities were called to the family's apartment on Riverside Drive shortly before 7 a.m., where they found one adult family member unconscious and five others suffering from headaches and vomiting.
NATIONAL
January 9, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
The FBI offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to an arrest of anyone responsible for leaving a package containing the deadly poison ricin at a post office serving Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in October. A letter inside the package said the author could make much more ricin and would "start dumping" large quantities of the poison if new federal trucking rules went into effect, according to information released by the FBI and other federal agencies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 4, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A retired couple found dead in their home this week were the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, officials with the Shasta County coroner's office said Friday. Bob and Gayle Adams and their five pets were found by a family member Wednesday. They appeared to have been overcome by exhaust fumes from a generator used to supply electricity to their home, said John Zufall, deputy coroner for Shasta County.
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