The company has faced lawsuits about its talc products but insists they are safe

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The announcement came amid tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by women alleging that the product caused them to develop ovarian cancer due to alleged asbestos contamination, a known carcinogen.

Talc is the softest mineral known and is extracted from underground deposits. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is hydrous magnesium silicate and is used in a variety of cosmetic and personal care products such as baby powder, lipstick, eyeshadow, and foundation.

Talcum powder has long been used in baby products because it keeps skin dry and helps prevent diaper rash.

In 2020, J&J announced that it would stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the United States and Canada because demand had fallen in the wake of what it called “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal challenges. 

The company is facing approximately 38,000 lawsuits from consumers alleging that its talc products caused cancer due to asbestos contamination.

Johnson and Johnson deny the allegations, claiming that decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown that its talc is safe and asbestos free. It reiterated the statement when it announced the product’s discontinuation.

J&J Baby Powder, which has been sold since 1894, has become a symbol of the company’s family-friendly image.

Johnson said that it had made the “commercial decision” to transition all its baby powder products to use cornstarch instead of talcum powder.

Does it cause cancer?

Talc has the potential to be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos has been used in construction and manufacturing, and it has been linked to lung cancer, ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases.

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will phase out its talc-based baby powder globally by next year. The healthcare company stopped selling baby powder in the United States and Canada two years ago.

Source: IE

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The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently published a report titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022: Investing in Transforming Young People’s Futures

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The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the only tripartite United Nations (UN) agency. It brings together governments, employers, and workers from 187 member countries to establish labor standards, develop policies, and design programs to promote decent work for all women and men. It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland 

The 2022 edition examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and their labor market prospects during and after the recovery. The pandemic has disproportionately affected youth, and youth labor markets are now being harmed by the pandemic’s lingering effects, geopolitical risks, and macroeconomic risks such as the impact of supply chain disruptions and rising inflation, particularly in food and energy.

Countries must not lose sight of longer-term priorities as they address these multiple challenges. Targeted investment in the green, blue (ocean), digital, creative, and care economies, in particular, has the potential to create decent jobs for young people while positioning economies for greater sustainability, inclusiveness, and resilience.

What are the Findings?

  • Gender Disparity: Young women had a much lower Employment-to-Population ratio (EPR), indicating that young men are nearly 1.5 times more likely to be employed than young women.
  • In 2022, 27.4% of young women are expected to be employed globally, compared to 40.3% of young men.
  • The covid-19 pandemic has hurt young people more than any other age group.
  • Young people were well-positioned to benefit from the growth of the so-called green and blue economies, which are centered on the environment and sustainable ocean resources, respectively. Green and blue investments, particularly in clean and renewable energies, sustainable agriculture, recycling, and waste management, have the potential to create an additional 8.4 million jobs for young by 2030.
  • Investments in care sectors would create 17.9 million more jobs for young workers by 2030.
  • Investments in digital technologies could also absorb high numbers of young workers. 

Source: ilo

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It is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants

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Elephants are classified into three species: African Forest, African Savanna (bush), and Asian. The animals are distinguished by their ears and trunks. African elephants are larger. Their ears are also larger and shaped like Africa. 

World Elephant Day is celebrated every year on August 12, with the aim to acknowledge Elephants’ significance in our ecosystem.

It emphasizes raising awareness of the threats that elephants face in their daily lives. 

Every factor contributes to animal abuse, whether it is poaching, mistreatment in captivity, or habitat loss. Some African elephants are born with no tusks. Scientists say it is an evolutionary result of animals’ brutal poaching and killing. The result is a mutation in the genes to survive in the face of poaching—an example of the evolutionary consequences of wildlife exploitation. 

What is the importance of Celebrating Elephant Day?

Elephants are revered in many cultures and are critical to the survival of the ecosystem. Elephants promote biodiversity as well. They are a highly intelligent species with the largest brain of any land animal.

Over the last 75 years, the elephant population has shrunk by half.

According to current population estimates, there are approximately 50,000-60000 Asian elephants in the world. More than 60% of the population is held in India.

The campaign World Elephant Day was initiated in 2012 to bring awareness to the disturbing situations of African and Asian elephants. The aim of this campaign is to create a sustainable environment where animals are not exploited and taken care of. 

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species:

  • African Forest Elephant- Critically Endangered
  • African Savanna Elephant- Endangered
  • Asian Elephant- Endangered

Source: euronews

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300-year-long self-isolation policy developed one of the world’s most sustainable societies

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At the beginning of the 1600s, Japan’s rulers were concerned that Christianity, which had recently been introduced to the country’s southern regions by European missionaries, would spread.

In response, Japan effectively sealed off the islands from the outside world in 1603, prohibiting Japanese citizens from leaving and allowing very few foreigners to enter. Japan’s Edo period began here, and the borders remained closed for nearly three centuries until 1868.

Whatever the reasons may be, this allowed the country’s unique culture, customs, and ways of life to flourish in isolation. It also meant that Japanese people, living under a system of severe trade restrictions, were forced to rely entirely on materials already present in the country, resulting in a thriving economy of reuse and recycling.

In fact, Japan was self-sufficient in resources, energy, and food, and it could support a population of up to 30 million people without using fossil fuels or chemical fertilizers.

They followed what is now known as the “slow life,” a set of sustainable lifestyle practices centered on wasting as little as possible. Even light was not wasted; daily activities began at sunrise and ended at sunset. Clothes were mended and reused numerous times until they were reduced to tattered rags. Human excrement and ashes were reused as fertilizer, resulting in a thriving business for traders who went door to door collecting these valuable substances to sell to farmers. This could be classified as an early circular economy.

Beginning in the mid-Edo period, rural industries such as cotton cloth and oil production, silkworm farming, paper-making, and sake and miso paste production began to thrive. People held seasonal festivals with a wide variety of local foods, wishing for fertility during the cherry blossom season and commemorating autumn harvests.

This one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly social system arose partly out of necessity but also as a result of the profound cultural experience of living in close harmony with nature. In order to achieve a more sustainable culture, this must be recaptured in the modern era.

For example, zazen, or “sitting meditation,” is a Buddhist practice that can help people carve out a space of peace and quiet to experience natural sensations. Zazen sessions are now available at a number of urban temples.

In an age when the need for more sustainable lifestyles has become a global concern, we should respect the wisdom of the Edo people, who lived with time as it changed with the seasons, who cherished materials and used the wisdom of reuse as a matter of routine, and who lived for many years with a recycling-oriented lifestyle. Learning from their way of life could provide us with useful future guidelines.

Source: downtoearth

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Lebanon Crisis Explained 

by Admin
Lebanon Crisis Explained

People have been pushed into poverty and desperation

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Current Situation: A Lebanese gunman holds bank employees hostage in order to gain access to his savings. A crowd gathered outside the bank to support the gunman, who was hailed as a hero by some.

The hostage crisis in Lebanon ended without any casualties, but what led to such a situation arising in the first place? Savers have been locked out of dollar accounts or told that the funds they can access are now worth a fraction of what they were. Essential goods are in short supply, and a falling local currency has forced banks to impose strict withdrawal restrictions, pushing a large portion of the population into poverty.

It’s a result of the 2019 Lebanon economic collapse. The government defaulted on foreign debt. Lebanese pound crashed, and banks stopped allowing withdrawals of foreign currency. Lebanon had officially allowed payments in US dollars, so many of the people’s savings were in the US currency.  

Lebanon is in the grip of a severe economic crisis as a result of debt accumulated by successive governments following the 1975-1990 civil war. The rebuilding efforts led to debt which was 150 percent of the national output. The country had managed to balance payments due to tourism, foreign aid, its financial industry, and funds from gulf Arab countries. It also received substantial remittances from the Lebanese diaspora abroad.

Trouble began in 2011 when remittances started to slow down after tensions rose in neighboring Syria and the rest of western Asia during the Arab spring. The rise of the Shiite Hezbollah and Lebanon caused the neighboring Sunni states to stop funding Lebanon. A budget deficit caused a negative balance of payments for imports.

In 2016, banks introduced financial engineering, which offered very high-interest rates for new US dollar deposits. Eventually, banks did not have enough dollars to pay bank depositors, so they shut down their doors.

The lack of foreign exchange also caused Lebanon to default on its foreign debt. The government debt was estimated to be almost 500 percent of the GDP in 2021.

Meanwhile, the people have been pushed into poverty and desperation, the Beirut hostage situation was an example of desperation coming to a boil.

Lebanon’s financial collapse since 2019 is a story of how mismanagement derailed a country once known as the Switzerland of the Middle East.

Source: Wionews

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Also known as the convention on wetlands

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It is an intergovernmental treaty adopted in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. It entered into force in 1975. Under this convention, wetlands that are of international importance are declared Ramsar sites—the largest Ramsar site in the world: Pantanal in South America. 

Wetlands are places in which land is covered by water either seasonally or permanently. Wetlands provide benefits for humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food, building materials, and biodiversity to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.  

Wetlands also remove the excess nutrients and slow the water allowing particulates to settle out of the water, which can then be absorbed into plant roots. 

Wetlands are our most effective land-based ecosystem for addressing the climate crisis, e.g., coastal wetlands such as mangroves sequester carbon up to 55 times faster than tropical rainforests. Unfortunately, wetlands are rapidly being replaced for agriculture or urban development. 

Wetlands take many forms, including rivers, marshes, bogs, mangroves, mudflats, ponds, swamps, lagoons, lakes, and floodplains. 

Montreux Record 

  • Adopted in Montreux (Switzerland) in 1990.
  • Identifies Ramsar sites that need priority conservation attention at the national or international level.

Source: HT

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