Monday, 29 May 2006

All about liquid paraffin

By Syed Akbar

Liquid paraffin as purgative
1. It is harmful to consume liquid paraffin internally as a purgative.
2. It may cause cancer if used repeatedly (proved only in animal studies).
3. Not recommended for children, pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.
4. Active adults may use liquid paraffin internally. Those with little mobility should not use it.

Liquid paraffin is harmless as skin ointment
1. Liquid paraffin in neither acidic nor alkaline with pH value being neutral.
2. It is cheaper and efficient skin emollient.
3. Can be used on tender skin of babies as young as one month.
4. Doctors all over the world have been using liquid paraffin for nearly 100 years.
5. No country in the world has banned liquid paraffin as an skin ointment.
6. No research has ever shown liquid paraffin to cause cancer. It has no carcinogenic agents.
7. Best source of smoothing agent for persons with dry skin and cracked skin.
8. It is better than coconut oil.
9. It can be mixed with water for bath.
10. Liquid paraffin is nothing but a petroleum product, technically known as petrolatum or mineral oil in layman's language.
11. It is transparent, colourless, and odourless.

Side-effects of liquid paraffin
1. No major side-effect except causing skin rashes in extremely sensitive persons.
2. In persons with oily skin liquid paraffin may cause inflammation of hair follicles.
3. It may cause acne in persons with oily skin.
4. Liquid paraffin may cause hair splits if mixed with coconut oil.


The Food and Drug Administration of Maharashtra government has kicked off a row when it declared that liquid paraffin will cause cancer as it contains carcinogenic agents. The FDA even issued notices to leading pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson, Himayala, Himani and Wipro for using liquid paraffin in baby oil.
Senior dermatologists in the city question the FDA's unilateral action in declaring liquid paraffin as carcinogenic. They wonder if what the FDA says is true, why have not the USA or European countries banned liquid paraffin. Several leading US pharmaceutical companies use liquid paraffin as base in their products.
"This is the first time we are hearing about the presence of so-called cancer-causing agents in liquid paraffin. It is absolutely safe as an skin ointment. We have never received any complaints against any drug with liquid paraffin as its base or one of the constituents", points out a senior official of the State Drug Control Department.
Stating that the controversy is needless, senior dermatologist Dr Satyanath Patnaik says liquid paraffin can even be applied safely as an eye ointment. Liquid paraffin is used in opthalmology as a lubricant for the outer surface of the eye to treat dry conditions. There are no known harmful effects when this medicine is used by even pregnant or breast feeding mothers.
Dr Patnaik wonders what had prompted the FDA, Maharashtra, to declare liquid paraffin as carcinogenic. "We recommend liquid paraffin very often. In fact, we conducted a research on liquid paraffin. We found it absolutely safe on skin. Even babies can use it", he clarifies.
Though there have been no known serious reactions to liquid paraffin, dermatologists suggest that only persons with dry skin use it as a soothing or moisturising agent. It may like any greasy agent cause foliculitis if used excessively.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Sukhruta Reddy says the fears of FDA are unfounded. Liquid paraffin is absolutely safe when applied externally. In some persons, it may cause eye irritation and its prolonged and/or repeated contact with the skin may cause irritation including dermatitis. "This is quite normal. Even coconut oil if applied extensively will affect the skin as it leads to the growth of bacteria.
LP plays as a natural barrier and helps in the healing of cracks", she points out.
Since LP is non-greasy with a neutral pH value it can be applied safely on the skin even on tender skin of babies. "We even ask patients to add LP to bath water. Allergic reactions are very rare. In sensitive patients it may block sweat pores as it acts as an occlusive. Harmful steroids can be made safer by adding them to liquid paraffin", Sukhruta Reddy clarifies.
Dermatologists in the country use LP liberally, says Dr G Manmohan, assistant professor of dermatology, Osmania Hospital. "I far as I know no country in the world has banned LP. Many pharmaceutical companies in the USA and Europe use LP in their products. We have been using it for decades in our hospitals with no reported cases of cancer. It is cheaper and non-toxic. It is useful for persons with dry skin. In persons with oily skin it may cause skin infections. Excessive use may lead to foliculitis.", Dr Manmohan observes.

Friday, 26 May 2006

New category of accommodation for Indian Hajis

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 26: Haj travel this year will cost Rs 10,000 less with the Central Haj Committee carving out a new category of accommodation for Hajis in the Islamic holy city of Mecca.
The Haj Committee has added one more category to its existing four categories of accommodation to make Haj affordable even to general Muslim public. Under the new category, "Azeezia", Hajis from the country will be accommodated in buildings six to eight kilometres from the outer periphery of the Sacred Mosque in Mecca. The Committee, will however, provide free transport facility for such Hajis from their buildings to the Grand Mosque.
According to State Haj Committee chairperson Ghouse Mohiuddin, the total fee for Azeezia or category-V Hajis will be Rs 70,000 which is Rs 10,000 less than the fee collected from category-IV or "Sheesha" Hajis.
The Central Haj Committee finalised the fee structure for Haj 2006-II on Friday following which the AP State Haj Committee announced the schedule for the Islamic pilgrimage, which is taking place for the second time in a year. The Haj 2006-I was performed early in January and the Haj 2006-II will fall in the last week of December.
The committee will release application forms for intending pilgrims from Saturday. The last date for submission of the filled-in forms is June 27. Andhra Pradesh has been allocated a quota of 6385 pilgrims for this Haj season.
The category-I Haj will cost Rs 90,000 and the Hajis will be accommodated within a radius of 0 to 600 mts from the Sacred Mosque while the category-II pilgrims will be Rs 85,000 and the Hajis will be accommodated in buildings located 601 km to 850 km from the Sacred Mosque. The category-III and category-IV will cost Rs 80,000. Pilgrims opting for category-III will get buildings between 851 mts and 1000 mts from the mosque while category-IV pilgrims will be located 2.5 km to 3 km. However, they will get free transport facility.
Pilgrims will get insurance cover of Rs 3 lakh this year in case of accident.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

APm Government withdraws six welfare schemes for minorities

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 4: As many as six welfare schemes meant for Muslims, Christians, Jains and Sikhs have been withdrawn by the AP Minorities Welfare Department affecting lakhs of people belonging to these minority communities.
The State government issued an order (GO Rt No. 133 dt 27-04-2006) restricting the Andhra Pradesh Minorities Finance Corporation, AP Urdu Academy and other organisations under the Minorities Welfare Department from taking up or continuing any welfare scheme for which no direct budgetary provisions have been made.
The order in simple terms means, minority students will not get merit awards and educational loans without interest, minority women will not get loans without collateral security and minority youth will not be able to secure loans to take up self-employment schemes.
Moreover, the government has also decided to close down 187 open schools for school dropouts from minority communities. No new computer centres will be opened by Urdu Academy.
The Minorities Finance Corporation has introduced schemes like Indira Mahila Abhivruddi Yojana (Tatkal scheme) for widows, divorced women and physically challenged women, education loans without interest for students of professional courses, Rajiv Sanatkar Yojana for petty traders, vendors and mechanic and merit awards for bright students among minority communities.
These welfare schemes do not have direct budgetary provisions but the APMFC has outsourced the funds from other allocations. The new GO now does not permit any minority organisation under the control of Minorities Welfare department to take up schemes which do not have direct budgetary provisions. These and other schemes of Urdu Academy will now have to be shelved. There will be no beneficiaries under these schemes this financial year.
The board of governors of APMFC, which met here on Thursday, demanded that the government withdraw the GO in the larger interests of minorities. Corporation chairman Farooq Hussain told Deccan Chronicle that he would take up the issue with Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy. "Minorities Welfare Department incharge Shafiquzzaman is behind the GO. We will fight for the rights of minorities and ensure that our welfare schemes are continued this financial year too," he said.

Monday, 1 May 2006

Muslim clergy denounce Taliban for its terror tactics

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, May 1: City Muslim scholars on Monday urged the Afghanistan government to permit the Indian Central Reserve Police Force to provide exclusive security cover to Indians working in reconstruction projects in the war torn country.
About 100 Muslim scholars held a meeting in the city to condemn the killing of telecom engineer K Suryanarayana by Taliban militants in Afghanistan. The meeting unanimously passed a resolution appealing to Afghan President Ahmad Karzai to permit CRPF personnel to be stationed in Afghanistan to provide exclusive security cover to Indians employed in the reconstruction work there.
The scholars have also appealed to the Indian government to take up the issue of security of Indian workers with Afghan government on a priority basis. And if the Afghan government failed to permit CRPF cover to Indians, the Indian government should not participate in the reconstruction work there, in protest.
"We submitted a memorandum to the Afghan President when he visited Hyderabad last month. We brought to his notice the lack of security to Indian working in Afghanistan," All-India Religious Leaders' Association president Peerzada Syed Shabbir Naqshbandi said.
Naqshbandi chaired the meeting of city scholars held at his residence. Later, copies of the resolution were faxed to the offices of Afghan President, Indian President and Prime Minister.
"Talibans have brought a bad name to Islam and Muslims because of their evil actions including killing of innocent people. Suryanarayana had nothing to do with the Afghan politics. He is just an ordinary employee engaged in reconstruction of the war torn country. The thoughtless actions of Talibans will only create communal discord in a secular country like India. In the larger intests of peace and communal harmony, Talibans should desist from terrorism," the meeting resolved.

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This Day In History

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Syed Akbar in an island in river Godavari with Papikonda hills in the background

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Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity