Ecstasy, insecticides found in Beijing blood, hair, nails

Chinese researchers have analyzed the toxins in the capital’s blood, hair and nails for the first time.The results showed illegal drugs, insecticides and antidepressants were common among those tested.
Blood, hair and nail samples were collected from 40 healthy Beijing volunteers, all of whom reported not taking in any medication in the last year.

After analyzing samples, scientists found trace amounts of MDMA (used in Ecstasy), Benzodiazapam (Valium) and ketamine along with a host of chemicals used in antibiotics, cosmetics and insecticides.

MDMA, the basis for the illegal drug Ecstasy, was found in just under 10 percent of hair samples, while prescription painkiller tramadol was found in more than 20 percent.

Carbamate derivatives, used in the production of a variety of insecticides, were found in 4 percent of the blood samples and 10 percent of the hair samples.Carbamate insecticides such as Carbaryl are usually dusted or sprayed on crops and can be inhaled or digested.They are generally low risk, but can have an adverse effect on the nervous system and, in cases of extreme exposure, can result in death, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Squalene, manufactured from shark liver oil and used in cosmetics, was found in more than 60 percent of the hair and nail samples.

Its the only time such research methods have been used in China, with researchers at Tongji University School of Medicine working with the University of Pierre et Marie-Curie to create new test methods.

“This study is the first of its kind,” the report, which was published in the
Forensic Medicine and Anatomy Research journal in January, said.

“Therefore, further studies should be conducted in other cities and provinces of China to be compared with each other.”

In addition to setting a baseline by testing other cities, the researchers plan on analyzing hair and nails to find concentrations of heavy metals in Beijing samples in the future.

30,000 Beijing Couples Apply For 2nd Child

The Beijing Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission announced more than 30,000 couples in the capital applied for a second child under the eased policy – 20,000 less than estimated.

In a press conference on Monday, the commission said national estimates are on target, with less than 2 million applications for a second child across China, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

In January 2014, China began piloting a new policy that would allow couples of which at least one is an only child, would be allowed to have a second Child. In Febuary 2014, they implemented the policy nationwide.

In a survey of 2,052 people by China Youth Daily at the end of 2014, only 24.9 percent of those who qualify under the policy have submitted applications for a second child.

Those who opted out cited financial and time costs as being a primary factor, with others saying one child is enough for them.