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House Judiciary GOP members blast CDC for reportedly taking cues from teachers unions

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Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee are accusing the CDC of allowing politics to trump the science. In a Wednesday letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) claim political interference from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) “resulted in months-long delays in the reopening of schools to the detriment of American children.”

In emails obtained by Americans for Public Trust, Walensky appears to have had a very close relationship with Kelly Trautner, senior director of health issues for AFT. In the emails, Trautner thanks Walensky for her “genuine desire to earn our confidence” and her “commitment to partnership.” The director has earned this confidence by accepting “feedback” provided by Trautner to “strengthen the document” on schools reopening from February 12th.

So, the ranking members are demanding that all communication between any and all CDC employees and teacher union representatives be handed over. This is an effort to ensure that past CDC guidance hasn’t “depart[ed] from established science” by allowing other interest groups to interfere. The deadline for submitting all documents to the committee is May 26th.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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Study finds harmful levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in popular bandage brands

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A new consumer study tested several brands of bandages and found higher levels of fluorine in bandages from Band-Aid, CVS Health, Walmart, Rite Aid, Target and Curad, which contain harmful levels of “forever chemicals,” also known as PFAS.

The study by Mamavation and Environmental Health News revealed that out of 40 bandages from 18 different brands, 26 contained organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS.

“Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may be also exposing children and adults to PFAS,” said Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, the study’s co-author and the former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

News Nation reports that the study found the chemicals present in the adhesive part of the bandages. Mamavation said some brands likely used the PFAS in bandages “for their waterproof qualities.”

“It’s obvious from the data that PFAS are not needed for wound care, so it’s important that the industry remove their presence to protect the public from PFAS and opt instead for PFAS-free materials,” Birnbaum said.

According to the study, the chemicals are linked to several health effects, including “reduced immune system, vaccine response, developmental and learning problems for infants and children, certain cancers, lowered fertility, and endocrine disruption.”

While the exposure risk to PFAS through the skin isn’t clear, skin exposure “poses similar health risks” as eating or drinking food contaminated with PFAS, according to a previous study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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