From time to time I come across information regarding the dangers of
commonly used medications and environmental chemicals. It would literally
be a full-time job to chronicle all of them. In this space, I will add
those that come to my attention that I think are particularly important
and timely.

It is likely that much chronic illness in the modern world results
from environmental pollution. For instance, a recent study correlated
childhood asthma with high levels of phthalates, a very common chemical
in the home. For more information, click here.

Fluoride — There is growing evidence that
fluoridation of the public water supply is a very bad idea. This is
a very controversial arena, and I would refer you to The International
Fluoride Information Network
for more information.

There is a wealth of research demonstrating the toxicity of fluoride
in both humans and animals, which are truly frightening. Most patients
in my practice are living in rural areas and are not at risk from
fluoridated public water supplies, but if there is a possibility that
you are drinking fluoridated water, please arrange an alternate supply. Almost all Connecticut municipal water sources are fluoridated.You can check with your local Department of Health to verify this, A list can be found here.

Gastric acid suppressants and the risk of
community acquired pneumonia — people taking acid blockers (such as
Prilosec, Zantac, etc.) had a 1.63 to 1.89-fold increased risk of community
acquired pneumonia (1.63 for those using proton-pump inhibitors, 1.89
for those using H2 receptor blockers). In those using these drugs, the
stomach was colonized by bacteria and viruses not usually found in the
stomach, but native to the mouth and throat. (Leaheji, Miriam, et. al.,
JAMA 2004:292:1955-1960).

Cough and cold medicines for infants — The FDA (Food and Drug Agency) has recently issued an advisory regarding the use of such medications.  I have never advised these medications for a variety of reasons.  If you use or would consider using these medicines, please read the FDA advisory.