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The first few days at school can be an anxious time as children face the challenge of a new environment and making new friends but according to new research children show signs of stress three to six months before term even starts. Why a preschool child should be anxious about an event so far in the future is something of a mystery but the scientists speculate that parents were getting stressed about their children starting school and that their stress was being passed on to the children.


WEDNESDAY 5. SEPTEMBER 2007


Misconceptions around intrauterine contraceptive devices mean that they are underused in developed countries, despite being a safe and effective form of contraception, says a women's health expert. Side effects such as pain and heavy bleeding are common reasons for discontinuing use of an IUD within the first year, but can usually be managed with appropriate pain relief.

Researchers have identified a chemical agent that may be a, if not the, culprit in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), or "popcorn worker's lung," a severe occupational lung disease first noted in 2001 among workers at an American plant that makes microwaveable popcorn. The research examined a population of workers at a chemical plant that produced diacetyl (a key component of butter flavoring). While the researchers were unable to rule out contributions of other chemicals to the development of BOS, the study significantly narrows the field of suspects to diacetyl and the components and byproducts of its manufacturing process.