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Health Highlights: Oct. 23, 2014

EPA Proposes Barring 72 Chemicals as Ingredients in Pesticides World TB Cases Rose to 9 million in 2013: WHO Assured Brand Naproxen Tablets Recalled

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

EPA Proposes Barring 72 Chemicals as Ingredients in Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday proposed removing 72 chemicals from a list of substances deemed suitable for use as "inert ingredients" in pesticides.

The chemicals, which include turpentine oil and nitrous oxide, are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product in the United States, the EPA said.

However, "we are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA," Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a statement.

The proposal is now up for public comment and comes after petitions to the EPA from groups such as the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, the EPA said.


World TB Cases Rose to 9 million in 2013: WHO

The number of people worldwide with tuberculosis rose from 8.6 million in 2012 to nine million in 2013, but the number of people dying from the lung disease continues to decline, according to a World Health Organization report.

It said 1.5 million people died of TB last year, including 360,000 who also had HIV. The number of TB deaths in 2013 was 45 percent lower than in 1990, BBC News reported.

One of the main reasons for the increase in TB cases was improved collection of TB data by countries, according to the WHO.

The organization emphasized that a "staggering number of lives are being lost to a curable disease and confirms that TB is the second biggest killer disease from a single infectious agent," BBC News reported.


Assured Brand Naproxen Sodium Tablets Recalled

More than 11,600 boxes of Assured brand naproxen pain relief tablets distributed to Dollar Tree stores are being recalled because they might actually contain bottles of ibuprofen, a different type of pain drug.

The recall by Contract Packaging Resources, Inc. includes boxes labeled as containing 15-count bottles of 220-milligram tablets of naproxen sodium, but may actually contain bottles of ibuprofen softgels in 200 mg strength, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

People who can't use ibuprofen due to allergy but mistakenly take the ibuprofen softgels could suffer problems ranging from mild irritation and hives to life-threatening allergic reactions.

The recalled products were sold in Dollar Tree retail stores across the United States and on the company's website. Consumers can return the recalled products to the place of purchase.

Consumer News