Q&A on the News

Q: A young man was supposed to get a heart transplant this past summer. Did he get one?

—Eddie Hollis, Atlanta

A: Anthony Stokes, of DeKalb County, received a new heart at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta on Aug. 20, about two weeks after he initially was told by hospital officials that he wasn't a strong candidate for transplant because he had a "history of non-compliance," the AJC reported. Stokes, who was 15 at the time of the transplant, suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, in which the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, fails to pump enough blood. A family spokesman has said that Stokes didn't have health problems until this summer, when his chest began hurting and he had trouble sleeping. Melencia Hamilton, Stokes' mother, had told the AJC that her son likely would have had six to nine months to live without the transplant.

Q: I believe toothpaste tubes were made of lead years ago. Was there any concern regarding lead poisoning?

—Theron Jennings, Carrollton

A: Toothpaste tubes included lead into the 1970s, when results of research into the harmful effects of the metal began to force manufacturers to make tubes from plastic and aluminum. Tubes of Crest, Fresh Breath and Worthmore brands of toothpaste were found in the early 1970s to contain "5 percent or more lead," according to an article in the American Medical Association journal. Children were particularly susceptible to lead absorption, it was reported. Lead was used in packaging because it helped to keep fluoride from becoming neutralized, according to a June 1972 newspaper article.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).