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Health Monitor

Some 10,000 expectant mothers are needed for a study that will examine how diet before and after pregnancy affects a baby’s development and overall health.

The new five-year, $5-million study will investigate what pregnant women eat before and after their babies are born, along with the relationship between their nutrient status, mental health and their babies’ brain development and overall health. It’s hoped the research will pinpoint early childhood diseases in which genetics and nutrients play a role.

Pregnant women from Edmonton and Calgary are needed for the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study, which is being led by Bonnie Kaplan, a professor of pediatrics and community sciences at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine.

“Nutrition is fundamental to the health of moms and their babies — but there is surprisingly little research into nutrition and brain development and mental health,” Kaplan said in a release.

“Our dream is that research will reveal ways to help us prevent post-partum depression as well as developmental disorders such as [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].”

Kaplan said past studies have shown depression leads to poor physical and emotional health in newborns, along with the health of mothers themselves.

“Imagine if we could get ahead of post-partum depression and prevent it.”

The APrON team will measure moms’ and babies’ blood for nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and folic acid. They also will examine moms’ thyroids, DNA from parents and babies and child development at three years.

Participants will need to set aside about 35 hours over four years for the study.

For more information about the study, visit www.apronstudy.ca.

Workers employed in industries with higher than average smoking rates could receive help kicking the habit thanks to funding help from Ottawa.

The federal government has earmarked $185,000 for the project, called Smart Steps … towards a smoke-free life, run by the Alberta Lung Association.

The project is designed to curb tobacco use among employees who work in industries where smoking is more prevalent than average rates.

The goal is to reach young adults in the retail, construction, transportation and oil and gas sectors. The program will include on-site tobacco cessation programming and personalized action plans to help kick the habit.

Funding will go toward smoking cessation workshops in 25 additional workplaces in seven Alberta cities.

Wet n’ Wild make-up remover is being recalled after it was found the product contains larger numbers of bacteria, including enterobacter gergoviae and listeria monocytogenes.

The recall affects some 7,000 units that were sold across Canada between February and September. The product was made by Markwins International of Shenzhen, China.

Anyone who has purchased the purple-coloured make-up remover is advised to immediately stop using the product and throw it in the trash. The bacteria in question can cause eye infections in people, particularly those with weakened immune systems.

Lysteria monocytogenes, the bacteria blamed in the deaths of 22 people who consumed tainted Maple Leaf Foods products last year, can cause complications in pregnant women.

Health Canada has received no reports of incidents or illness among Canadians related to the use of Wet n’ Wild.

The recall affects purple make-up remover in clear 88.7-millilitre bottles with item No. 962 and UPC code 077802596208.

A product recall has been issued for custom-order, made-to-measure roller shades that pose a choking hazard to children.

Health Canada warns the product poses a strangulation risk if the shade’s looped bead chain is not attached to the wall or floor, and a child’s neck becomes entangled in the freestanding loop.

Though Health Canada and Lutron Electronics Co. have received no reports of injuries related to the product, more than 6,000 units have been recalled. The recall affects Lutron Shading Solution manual roller shades sold between January 2000 to April 2009, in a variety of colours and fabrics with the label that reads “Lutron Shading Solutions” and “800-446-1503.”

Consumers are advised to immediately check their window coverings to see if the tension device is attached to the cord and installed into the wall or floor. If it is not attached, you are advised to stop using the shades and contact Lutron Electronics Co. for a free repair kit.

Shades sold after April 2009 were modified and are not affected by the recall.

For more information, contact Lutron Electronics Co. at 1-866-793-4270.

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.