EATING FAST FOOD

DRIVERS BEWARE!
ALARMING NEW SIDE EFFECT OF EATING FAST FOOD
Critics of the fast-food industry have long warned about the perils of our addiction to processed food. Big Macs and Whoppers might taste good, but put too many of them in your body and it will expand as Violet Beauregard’s did in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (although maybe not quite as fast). The evidence is decades in the making. The rise of processed food, after all, has coincided with an alarming growth in the size of our collective gut.
But there might be some new powerful ammunition for those who could do without the food the fast-food industry serves.
Researchers at George Washington University have linked fast-food consumption to the presence of potentially harmful chemicals, a connection they argue could have “great public health significance.” Specifically, the team found that people who eat fast food tend to have significantly higher levels of certain phthalates, which are commonly used in consumer products such as soap and makeup to make them less brittle but have been linked to a number of adverse health outcomes, including higher rates of infertility, especially among males.
The danger, the researchers believe, isn’t necessarily a result of the food itself, but rather the process by which the food is prepared. The findings were published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“We’re not trying to create paranoia or anxiety, but I do think our findings are alarming,” said one of the study’s authors, Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. “It’s not every day that you conduct a study where the results are this strong.”
 In order to gauge how fast food affects the presence of certain non-natural chemicals, the team analyzed data for nearly 9,000 people. The data was collected as part of federal nutrition surveys conducted between 2003 and 2010. The surveys included detailed information about the participants’ diets, including what each had eaten in the last 24 hours. They also contained the results of urine samples taken at the same time, which allowed the researchers to measure the levels of three separate chemicals.
For the purpose of the study, any food eaten at or from restaurants without waiters or waitresses was considered fast food. Everything else — food eaten at sit-down restaurants and bars or purchased from vending machines — was not.
 The first thing the researchers found was that roughly one-third of the participants said they had eaten some form of fast food over the course of the day leading up to the urine sample collection. That proportion, high as it might seem, is actually in line with government estimates. In fact, more than a third of all children and adolescents living in the country still eat some form of fast food on any given day, a number that hasn’t budged in decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The second thing the researchers found is that those participants who said they had eaten fast food in the last 24 hours tended to have much higher levels of two separate phthalates — DEHP and DiNP. People who reported eating only a little fast food had DEHP levels that were 15.5 percent higher and DiNP levels that were 25 percent higher than those who said they had eaten none. For people who reported eating a sizable amount, the increase was 24 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
And the connection held true even after the researchers adjusted for various factors about the participants’ habits and backgrounds that might have contributed to the association between fast-food consumption and phthalate levels.
 “We looked at it in so many different ways, and the effect still remains,” said Zota.
The problem with these chemicals – There is little consensus on the harms of phthalates, which are widely used in commerce and give materials such as food packaging added flexibility, except that exposure to them “is widespread.” But there is growing concern that the chemicals could pose a variety of risks, particularly when observed in the sort of levels seen in the study.
“There’s a vast amount of scientific evidence suggesting certain phthalates can contribute to several adverse health effects,” said Zota.
A 2012 study found a strong association between the presence of DEHP and diabetes. A 2013 study found that exposure to the industrial chemical can increase the risk of various allergic diseases in children. And a 2016 study concluded that it can also negatively affect child behavior.
While there is less evidence that DiNP is problematic, some recent research suggests it very well could be. A study undertaken last year, for instance, found that exposure to the phthalate was associated with higher blood pressure.
For these reasons, many governments have moved to limit exposure to the industrial chemicals. Japan disallowed the use of vinyl gloves in food preparation for fear that their use was compromising health. The European Union, which limits the use of the chemical, has been nudging manufacturers to replace it. And the United States restricted its use in toys. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned that DEHP is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
To fear or not to fear – The reason people who eat fast food seem to have much higher levels of potentially harmful industrial chemicals is unclear. But it’s easy enough to guess: the sheer amount of processing that goes into food served at quick-service restaurants.
The more machinery, plastic, conveyor belts, and various forms of processing equipment that food touches, the more likely the food is to contain higher levels of phthalates. And fast food tends to touch a good deal more of these things than, say, the food one purchases at a local farmers market.
“I really hope this study helps raise public awareness about the exposure problems associated with our industrialized food system,” said Zota.
Considering the prevalence of packaged food — and widespread exposure to phthalates (they can be detected in more than 98 percent of the population, per the CDC) — however,  the takeaway isn’t necessarily that fast food is toxic. Fast food, after all, isn’t the only culprit here. Nor are less healthful things in general.
“It’s not fair to say, ‘Oh, these exposures only happen if you eat unhealthy foods,'” Leo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at New York University, told Bloomberg.
Anything that’s gone through some form of processing or industrial packaging is vulnerable.
Still, given the new study’s findings, it certainly seems as though eating fast food is more toxic than avoiding it, and not for the obvious reasons. Perhaps that’s something many would have expected to hear, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
“Traditional fast food was never meant to be daily fare, and it shouldn’t be,” said Marion Nestle, who is the Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition and food Studies at New York University. “It’s too high in calories and salt and, as we now know, the chemicals that get into our food supply through industrial food production.”
 PHTHALATES ARE KNOWN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS – GOOGLE PHTHALATES FOR MORE INFO.
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Uber & Lyft drivers now owe SF

Uber and Lyft drivers now owe San Francisco a $91 fee because they’re not employees
April 17, 2016 03:35 pm

A class action lawsuit that will determine whether Uber drivers are independent contractors or employees starts June 20th, but San Francisco isn’t waiting to reap fees from the fleet in the meantime. SFGate reports that the city is now requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to pay a $91 annual business registration fee if they earn $100,000 or less, and to retroactively pay the fee in years they worked but did not register.
San Francisco treasurer Jose Cisneros has begun sending letters to more than 37,000 drivers in the city informing them of the new fee and requiring payment and registration within 30 days. Uber didn’t flinch upon news of the requirement, telling SFGate that its drivers “are responsible for following appropriate local requirements.” Several state governments across the US are considering bills, or have already passed bills, classifying ride-hail drivers as contractors; Uber has praised those bills, and is aggressively lobbying for similar legislation elsewhere.
Lyft took a different stance on San Francisco’s new requirement. Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Wilson told SFGate that the company has “serious concerns with the city’s plan to collect and display Lyft drivers’ personal information in a publicly available database. People in San Francisco, who are choosing to drive with Lyft to help ends meet, shouldn’t have to compromise their privacy in order to share a ride.”
The $91 fee is yet another cost that ride-hail drivers are being asked to bear as contractors; so far, both Uber and Lyft have saved a substantial amount of money (an estimated $126 million in Lyft’s case) by not having to provide their drivers with health insurance, overtime pay, and other expenses. Earlier this month a federal judge rejected a $12.25 million settlement offer from Lyft that would have compensated some drivers for costs, but would have spared it from having to classify them as employees.

 

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF UBER AND LYFT SELLING OUT IT’S DRIVERS – TELL ALL DRIVERS DOWNLOAD UNITED DRIVERS APP TODAY

 

SIDE EFFECT OF EATING FAST FOOD

DRIVERS BEWARE!

ALARMING NEW SIDE EFFECT OF EATING FAST FOOD

Critics of the fast-food industry have long warned about the perils of our addiction to processed food. Big Macs and Whoppers might taste good, but put too many of them in your body and it will expand as Violet Beauregard’s did in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (although maybe not quite as fast). The evidence is decades in the making. The rise of processed food, after all, has coincided with an alarming growth in the size of our collective gut.
But there might be some new powerful ammunition for those who could do without the food the fast-food industry serves.
Researchers at George Washington University have linked fast-food consumption to the presence of potentially harmful chemicals, a connection they argue could have “great public health significance.” Specifically, the team found that people who eat fast food tend to have significantly higher levels of certain phthalates, which are commonly used in consumer products such as soap and makeup to make them less brittle but have been linked to a number of adverse health outcomes, including higher rates of infertility, especially among males.
The danger, the researchers believe, isn’t necessarily a result of the food itself, but rather the process by which the food is prepared. The findings were published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal funded by the National Institutes of Health.
“We’re not trying to create paranoia or anxiety, but I do think our findings are alarming,” said one of the study’s authors, Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. “It’s not every day that you conduct a study where the results are this strong.”

In order to gauge how fast food affects the presence of certain non-natural chemicals, the team analyzed data for nearly 9,000 people. The data was collected as part of federal nutrition surveys conducted between 2003 and 2010. The surveys included detailed information about the participants’ diets, including what each had eaten in the last 24 hours. They also contained the results of urine samples taken at the same time, which allowed the researchers to measure the levels of three separate chemicals.
For the purpose of the study, any food eaten at or from restaurants without waiters or waitresses was considered fast food. Everything else — food eaten at sit-down restaurants and bars or purchased from vending machines — was not.

The first thing the researchers found was that roughly one-third of the participants said they had eaten some form of fast food over the course of the day leading up to the urine sample collection. That proportion, high as it might seem, is actually in line with government estimates. In fact, more than a third of all children and adolescents living in the country still eat some form of fast food on any given day, a number that hasn’t budged in decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The second thing the researchers found is that those participants who said they had eaten fast food in the last 24 hours tended to have much higher levels of two separate phthalates — DEHP and DiNP. People who reported eating only a little fast food had DEHP levels that were 15.5 percent higher and DiNP levels that were 25 percent higher than those who said they had eaten none. For people who reported eating a sizable amount, the increase was 24 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
And the connection held true even after the researchers adjusted for various factors about the participants’ habits and backgrounds that might have contributed to the association between fast-food consumption and phthalate levels.

“We looked at it in so many different ways, and the effect still remains,” said Zota.
The problem with these chemicals – There is little consensus on the harms of phthalates, which are widely used in commerce and give materials such as food packaging added flexibility, except that exposure to them “is widespread.” But there is growing concern that the chemicals could pose a variety of risks, particularly when observed in the sort of levels seen in the study.
“There’s a vast amount of scientific evidence suggesting certain phthalates can contribute to several adverse health effects,” said Zota.
A 2012 study found a strong association between the presence of DEHP and diabetes. A 2013 study found that exposure to the industrial chemical can increase the risk of various allergic diseases in children. And a 2016 study concluded that it can also negatively affect child behavior.
While there is less evidence that DiNP is problematic, some recent research suggests it very well could be. A study undertaken last year, for instance, found that exposure to the phthalate was associated with higher blood pressure.
For these reasons, many governments have moved to limit exposure to the industrial chemicals. Japan disallowed the use of vinyl gloves in food preparation for fear that their use was compromising health. The European Union, which limits the use of the chemical, has been nudging manufacturers to replace it. And the United States restricted its use in toys. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned that DEHP is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
To fear or not to fear – The reason people who eat fast food seem to have much higher levels of potentially harmful industrial chemicals is unclear. But it’s easy enough to guess: the sheer amount of processing that goes into food served at quick-service restaurants.
The more machinery, plastic, conveyor belts, and various forms of processing equipment that food touches, the more likely the food is to contain higher levels of phthalates. And fast food tends to touch a good deal more of these things than, say, the food one purchases at a local farmers market.
“I really hope this study helps raise public awareness about the exposure problems associated with our industrialized food system,” said Zota.
Considering the prevalence of packaged food — and widespread exposure to phthalates (they can be detected in more than 98 percent of the population, per the CDC) — however,  the takeaway isn’t necessarily that fast food is toxic. Fast food, after all, isn’t the only culprit here. Nor are less healthful things in general.
“It’s not fair to say, ‘Oh, these exposures only happen if you eat unhealthy foods,'” Leo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine and population health at New York University, told Bloomberg.
Anything that’s gone through some form of processing or industrial packaging is vulnerable.
Still, given the new study’s findings, it certainly seems as though eating fast food is more toxic than avoiding it, and not for the obvious reasons. Perhaps that’s something many would have expected to hear, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
“Traditional fast food was never meant to be daily fare, and it shouldn’t be,” said Marion Nestle, who is the Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition and food Studies at New York University. “It’s too high in calories and salt and, as we now know, the chemicals that get into our food supply through industrial food production.”

PHTHALATES ARE KNOWN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS – GOOGLE PHTHALATES FOR MORE INFO.

 

TELL ALL DRIVERS TO DOWNLOAD – UNITED DRIVERS APP –  “HELPING DRIVERS BETTER THEMSELVES”

 

NEW CAR SMELL KILLING YOU

DRIVERS BEWARE: IS THAT NEW CAR SMELL KILLING YOU?

Your new ride may be exposing you to a cocktail of toxic gases. 2/7/14

Love that new car smell?

That smell — so popular it’s a trendy scent option at the carwash — is actually the offgassing of chemicals that can pose an assortment of health problems for automobile occupants, some of them quite serious. While researchers say that up to 275 chemicals can be found in the cabin in any given new car, they identify 50 as being significant in volume. The most notorious of the toxins found by air-quality researchers include phthalates, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), heavy metals, benzene, methylbenzene (toluene), bromine, and formaldehyde.
Unfortunately, there is no mandatory testing or regulation of chemicals inside vehicles sold in the United States. Thus, car buyers are mostly on their own, with little information as to the air-quality hazards of any particular vehicle they may be considering.
The toxic cocktail in automobiles comes from solvents, adhesives, lubricants, flame retardants, plastics, and other materials. Many of these chemicals are volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may cause headaches, throat and eye irritation, allergies, confusion, and drowsiness. Great Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper once equated the immediate effects of inhaling new-car cabin fumes to “sniffing glue.”
Regular exposure to significant levels of these toxins can pose other risks over the long term, including learning and memory impairment, birth defects, decreased fertility, and problems with the liver, thyroid, ovaries, kidneys, and blood. Benzene is a well-known human carcinogen and formaldehyde has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.
When car components are redesigned, it can further complicate the picture, according to Carolyn Cairns, an independent expert in product safety and risk assessment. “Many new materials are formulated with chemicals for which little or no testing has been done to establish toxicity. In many cases, analytical test methods have not been developed to detect them in vehicle air samples at levels that may be harmful.”
When a car is freshly manufactured, many construction materials are still unstable and continue to offgas, particularly when the vehicle interior becomes hot. Fortunately, the offgassing lessens as a vehicle ages, dropping significantly within the first several months.
But once the offgassing period of a new vehicle ends, some of these chemicals may persist. At the end of a car’s life cycle, the shredded plastic and other non-metallic parts that are discarded in our landfills or incinerated can pose health risks to the general environment. Landfill waste can leach out and contaminate soil and water, and when incinerated, some toxic compounds found in automobiles can be dispersed throughout the atmosphere.
Several research studies have been conducted on automotive interior air quality over the past 20 years. In response to complaints of “sick car syndrome” by new minivan owners in 2003, Japan’s Osaka Institute of Public Health found that VOCs in the minivans were over 35 times Japan’s health limit upon delivery. And while the institute found that levels had fallen under the limit four months later, they increased again in the hot summer months, taking three years to permanently remain below the limit.
But the most notable and recent study was conducted by the Ecology Center, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based non-profit that tests consumer products for environmental safety. In 2012, its researchers tested more than 200 vehicles of model years 2011–2012 and produced a ranking of cars — from best to worst — in regard to air quality. The researchers observed that the potential toxicity of many of these compounds could pose serious long-term health risks.
It is worth noting that automakers have been reducing the amount of toxic chemicals in their cars in recent years. But while the Ecology Center found that car interiors were less toxic than in a similar study six years earlier, there were still some notable problems with the interiors of many of the models most recently tested. But as models change incrementally from year to year, and are often redesigned every three to five model years, there is no current interior air quality ranking of cars for consumers to use.
Jeff Gearheart, the research director at the Ecology Center, says that cars “function as chemical reactors, creating one of the most hazardous environments we spend time in.” Gearheart cited third-party research that Americans spend an average of 1.5 hours in cars each day, making cars a major source of indoor air pollution. “Since these chemicals are not regulated, consumers have no way of knowing the dangers they face,” says Gearheart.
Cairns adds that health risks are proportionate to exposure, and those who spend a considerable amount of time in a car would be at greater risk.
A possible silver lining in the Ecology Center study was that PVC, which was found in most every car manufactured in 2006, was present in just 73% of 2012 vehicles and that 60% of vehicles used flame retardants that did not produce bromine byproducts. Honda led the way in PVC reduction, removing it in all of its models. Two model years later, consumers can only hope automotive interiors continue to improve overall.
Manufacturers don’t live in a vacuum and some of them are notably engaged in reducing the amount of toxins in their vehicles. A few automakers voluntarily subscribe to third-party chemical safety standards such as TUV Toxproof and OEKO-TEX Standard 100. Some countries, such as Australia, have strict laws regulating the air quality in automotive vehicles, and global car companies that comply with those standards may sell either the same or related vehicles in other countries, including the United States. U.S. automotive air-quality standards are considered particularly weak.
New car owners can protect themselves and their families from health hazards by regularly ventilating their vehicles, both while driving and not in use, and by keeping them cool as the temperatures rise. Parking in the shade or using sun-blocking apparatus on the windows go a long way toward keeping cars cool while parked, reducing offgassing. Also, owners should wipe down their interior car panels and instruments with a microfiber cloth regularly during the first year of ownership. Vacuuming and steam-cleaning the interiors, including carpets, upholstery and headliner can also significantly reduce the amount of contaminated dust and grime in the cabin.
But even if your car is no longer new, be aware that there are other ways it can put you at risk of sick car syndrome. Exhaust fumes can still find their way into car cabins and concentrations of carbon monoxide may be up to 10 times higher inside any given car than along the roadside. Driving or riding in a car remains a significant health hazard no matter the age of the vehicle.

 

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DRIVERS TO GET TICKETED AT SFO

UBER SETTING UP DRIVERS TO GET TICKETED AT SFO

Uber drivers are now receiving text at Uber lot to head towards airport terminals. Which can put drivers in a bad spot when they are detained by the police for being on the airport terminal premises without an active ride request

SAMPLE TEXT TO DRIVERS

 “UBER: Please head toward the airport terminals now. You will receive a dispatch before arriving at the terminals. Approach the terminals by 3:37PM to avoid losing your place in line.”

Two additional benefits for UBER to text:
1. More drivers get into UBER lot
2. Drivers are more likely to accept ride once on the way to terminals versus refusing and waiting in lot for better ride

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SITTING DISEASE

THE MOST COMMON HEALTH PROBLEM IN AMERICA TODAY – SITTING DISEASE!

That might sound silly. But prolonged, morning-to-bedtime sitting—doctors call it sedentary living—has been shown by researchers to play a significant role in many of the most troublesome health issues of our time, from obesity and heart disease to diabetes to depression.

Think about your typical day. Add up two hours for meals, eight hours or more driving at work, up to five hours watching TV, and seven hours sleeping. That adds up to 23 out of 24 hours off your feet. We would guess that there are millions of Americans who spend as little as an hour being up and moving briskly during a typical day.

Get Up & Move
Until recently, experts considered the antidote to sitting disease to be formal exercise sessions. But new research is turning that thinking on its head. As it turns out, just being up and about throughout the day can be healthier for you than doing a rigorous workout and sitting the rest of the time. It makes sense, when you think about how we used to live, walking and working all day.

This new thinking is important. It means that if you can live with greater vitality throughout your day, you can get all the health benefits, and more, than people working out in a gym but otherwise being inactive.

4 Everyday Habits

1. Walk faster
2. Talk on phone while standing or walking when possible
3. Have conversation with other drivers while walking
4. Take a minute to stretch

Uber to Federal agencies

“UBER gave federal agencies information on more than 12 million riders and drivers last year” 4/13/16

*The ride-sharing company released the figures in a ‘transparency report’ published on Tuesday

*Uber explained that the information they’ve turned over to the government includes pick-up and drop-off information
*The 12 million figure accounts for requests for information on 408 riders and 205 drivers

Costs of operating a vehicle

Remember: Costs like gas, vehicle depreciation and maintenance come out of the driver’s pocket. However, if you’re driving an older car, depreciation may be less of an issue. Still, rideshare services want recent model cars, so depending on your state, they won’t allow a vehicle that’s too old. Also, Lyft and Uber have fuel discount programs to drivers who meet certain criteria.
The Internal Revenue Service also lets drivers deduct 54 cents per mile driven for business in 2016, down from 57.5 cents in 2015, which can help offset the taxable income created by driving for a rideshare app. The actual operating costs of your vehicle may be higher or lower depending on the age of your car and whether you drive a hybrid, a gas guzzler or something in between.
TELL A FELLOW DRIVER TO SIGN UP TODAY

Uber Dis-Information

Uber says most drivers (roughly 80 percent) had full- or part-time jobs before they started driving on the Uber platform, so they’re not joining out of desperation for cash. Instead, some of the biggest draws are the flexible hours and the opportunity to meet interesting characters. “It’s about the people now, not the money,” Rand says.

DRIVERS TELL EVERYONE TO SIGNUP TO STOP THIS NONSENSE

SFPD at SFO

Warning!!!
Do not park anywhere on SFO Airport property except inside the designated airport rideshare parking lot. SFPD Police have app that can detect Uber & Lyft driver’s location, and will locate you immediately. If you are caught parked on the side of the streets or anywhere outside the airport designated parking lot, you may possibly get a $1000 ticket and if you’re lucky you may just get a warning ticket that gets reported to ride share companies, who can later use it to deactivate you. So Lookout! – The police are out there to get Drivers!
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