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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Extremely Elevated Relative Risk of Paraffin Lamp Oil Exposures in Orthodox Jewish Children

A public service message from UOJ

In observance of the Sabbath and other religious holidays, many Orthodox Jews maintain a burning lamp that uses paraffin lamp oil as fuel. Unintentional pediatric exposure to paraffin lamp oil, a hydrocarbon, is typically by ingestion and carries a risk of aspiration with subsequent pneumonitis. This investigation was prompted by an apparent increase in paraffin lamp oil exposures during the Jewish Sabbath, from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday, noted by the staff of our regional poison control center.

Objective. In this investigation, we retrospectively reviewed all exposures to paraffin lamp oil occurring in our large city in children <18 years old reported to our regional poison control center between January 1, 2000, and February 1, 2003. Reports were investigated to ascertain the frequency of occurrence of paraffin lamp oil exposures on the Jewish Sabbath and Jewish religious holidays. Caregivers of involved children were surveyed by telephone to determine the exposed child’s religion and circumstances of exposure.

Results. During these 25 months, 45 cases met inclusion criteria, and all were ingestions. Orthodox Jews accounted for 32 cases (71%), 4 cases (9%) occurred in children who were not Orthodox Jews, and demographic data were unavailable in 9 cases (20%). Twenty-four cases (53%) occurred within 10 hours before or during the Jewish Sabbath or Jewish religious holidays.

The relative risk of Orthodox Jewish children to ingest paraffin lamp oil, calculated by using census data, is 374 times that of other children.


Conclusions. Public health authorities and caregivers of Orthodox Jewish children should be cognizant of this phenomenon. Educational efforts directed toward both Orthodox Jews and the general public aimed at preventing paraffin lamp oil exposures are warranted.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Robert J. Hoffman, MD*, Solomon Morgenstern, MD, Robert S. Hoffman, MD and Lewis S. Nelson, MD

* Department of Emergency Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York
Department of Pediatrics, Schneider Children’s Hospital, New Hyde Park, New York
New York City Department of Health Poison Control Center, New York, New York

9 Comments:

Blogger kjef1 said...

I believe this information should be publized in all jewish newspapers. This is vital information that can prevent jewish children from potential harm.
I would willing, bli nadar, to contribute to such a cause. Perhapes something can be organized with like minded people.
I still do not want my identity to be revealed, perhapes it can be done without knowing whose donating the money. This is all bli nadar .

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

please send your contributions to uoj. he'll provide his address with his shabbos morning announcements.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 9:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a serious matter. Atleast
kjef1 is a mensch and a concerned individual. what have ever done for anyone anonymous?

Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Kjef1,
One of my most menschlich commentators.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

OK let's do it. So the question is, how do we set this up and all remain anonymous???

Ideas?

Thursday, November 03, 2005 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about your contacting the manufacturer and informing her that she should not be selling this stuff.

and all the jewish bookstores which promote it.

as for what i've done, i'd rather remain

anonymous

Thursday, November 03, 2005 2:02:00 PM  
Anonymous sechel said...

I'm in.Great job UOJ.

Thursday, November 03, 2005 7:02:00 PM  
Blogger Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The writing campaign is an excellent idea!
Sechel, please write the letter, I will post it and e-mail it to the manufacturers and supermarkets.
I will contact the OU as well.....

Thursday, November 03, 2005 7:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uoj has a special in with the ou because he alone is the only rabbi to have ever earned semicha the old fashioned way.

mesoras avoseynu b'yadeinu, the agudah opined. He knew better.

Why not tell the moetzes at your next meeting?

Thursday, November 03, 2005 10:57:00 PM  

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