Exposure routes and health effects of microcystins

Massey IY, Yang F, Ding Z, Yang S, Guo J, Tezi C, Al-Osman M, Kamegni RB, Zeng W. Exposure Routes and Health Effects of Microcystins on Animals and Humans: A Mini-review. Toxicon. 2018 Jul 9. pii: S0041-0101(18)30306-4. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2018.07.010.

Microcystins (MCs) pollution has quickly risen in infamy and has become a major problem to public health worldwide. MCs are a group of monocyclic hepatotoxic peptides, which are produced by some bloom-forming cyanobacteria in water. More than 100 different MCs variants posing a great threat to animals and humans due to their potential carcinogenicity have been reported. To reduce MCs risks, the World Health Organization has set a provisional guideline of 1 µg/L MCs in human’s drinking water. This paper provides an overview of exposure routes of MCs into the human system and health effects on different organs after MCs exposure including the liver, intestine, brain, kidney, lung, heart and reproductive system. In addition, some evidences on human poisoning and deaths associated with MCs exposure are presented. Finally, in order to protect human life against the health threats posed by MCs, this paper also suggests some directions for future research that can advance MCs control and minimize human exposure to MCs.

Time for Congress to address social media censorship

“The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing “will specifically look at concerns regarding a lack of transparency and potential bias in the filtering practices of social media companies,” according to a press release issued Friday.” click here

Does watershed protection lower the cost of drinking water treatment?

Price JI, Heberling MT. The Effects of Source Water Quality on Drinking Water Treatment Costs: A Review and Synthesis of Empirical Literature. Ecological Economics 2018 Sep 3;151:195-209. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.04.014.

Watershed protection, and associated in situ water quality improvements, has received considerable attention as a means for mitigating health risks and avoiding expenditures at drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). This study reviews the literature linking source water quality to DWTP expenditures. For each study, we report information on the modeling approach, data structure, definition of treatment costs and water quality, and statistical methods. We then extract elasticities indicating the percentage change in drinking water treatment costs resulting from a 1% change in water quality. Forty-six elasticities are obtained for various water quality parameters, such as turbidity, total organic carbon (TOC), nitrogen, sediment loading, and phosphorus loading. An additional 29 elasticities are obtained for land use classification (e.g., forest, agricultural, urban), which often proxy source water quality. Findings indicate relatively large ranges in the estimated elasticities of most parameters and land use classifications. However, average elasticities are smaller and ranges typically narrower for studies that incorporated control variables consistent with economic theory in their models. We discuss the implications of these findings for a DWTP’s incentive to engage in source water protection and highlight gaps in the literature.

Toxic effects of fluoride on organisms

Zuo H, Chen L, Kong M, Qiu L, Lü P, Wu P, Chen K. Toxic effects of fluoride on organisms. Life sciences. 2018 Apr 1;198:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2018.02.001.

Accumulation of excess fluoride in the environment poses serious health risks to plants, animals, and humans. This endangers human health, affects organism growth and development, and negatively impacts the food chain, thereby affecting ecological balance. In recent years, numerous studies focused on the molecular mechanisms associated with fluoride toxicity. These studies have demonstrated that fluoride can induce oxidative stress, regulate intracellular redox homeostasis, and lead to mitochondrial damage, endoplasmic reticulum stress and alter gene expression. This paper reviews the present research on the potential adverse effects of overdose fluoride on various organisms and aims to improve our understanding of fluoride toxicity.

Fluoride toxicity alters liver enzyme activity

Perera T, Ranasinghe S, Alles N, Waduge R. Effect of fluoride on major organs with the different time of exposure in rats. Environmental health and preventive medicine. 2018 May 16;23(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12199-018-0707-2.

BACKGROUND: High fluoride levels in drinking water in relation to the prevalence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) in Sri Lanka were investigated using rats as an experimental model.

METHOD: The effects of fluoride after oral administration of Sodium fluoride (NaF) at levels of 0, 0.5, 5 and 20 ppm F were evaluated in adult male Wistar rats. Thirty-six rats were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 9), namely, control, test I, II, and III. Control group was given daily 1 ml/rat of distilled water and test groups I, II, and III were treated 1 ml/rat of NaF doses of 0.5, 5, and 20 ppm, respectively, by using a stomach tube. Three rats from the control group and each experimental group were sacrificed after 15, 30, and 60 days following treatment. Serological and histopathological investigations were carried out using blood, kidney, and liver.

RESULTS: No significant differences were observed in body weight gain and relative organ weights of the liver and kidney in fluoride-treated groups compared to control group. After 60 days of fluoride administration, group I showed a mild portal inflammation with lytic necrosis while multiple areas of focal necrosis and various degrees of portal inflammation were observed in groups II and III. This was further confirmed by increased serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities. As compared with control and other treated groups, group III showed a significantly higher serum AST activity (p < 0.05) and ALT activity (p < 0.05) after 60 days and ALP activity with a significant difference (p < 0.05) after 15, 30, and 60 days. The renal histological analysis showed normal histological features in all groups with the elevated serum creatinine levels in group III compared to those in the groups I and II (p < 0.05) after 60 days. Significantly elevated serum fluoride levels were observed in group II of 30 and 60 days and group III after 15, 30, and 60 days with respective to control groups (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Taken together, these findings indicate that there can be some alterations in liver enzyme activities at early stages of fluoride intoxication followed by renal damage.

Greenhouse gas emissions are dropping in the United States, rising in Europe

“New reports show that greenhouse gas emissions are plunging in the United States and rising in Europe—and the drop in the U.S. is due to falling costs of renewable energy and natural gas.” click here

Hysterical global warming claims are contrary to scientific facts

“But judging from the memo released on June 22 by Public Citizen (a $17 million per year liberal/progressive consumer rights advocacy group originally formed by Ralph Nader in 1971 and heavily funded by Leftwing billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations), every heat wave must now be viewed as a reminder of human-caused climate change. The memo opines that (believe it or not) the news media have not been very good about linking weather events to climate change, which is leading to complacency among the public.” click here