Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Rates Higher in the Past

“It should come as no surprise that the Greenland ice sheet gained so many billion tons of ice during the 50 years from 1942 to 1992. After all, the scientific literature has been replete with records of rapidly declining Greenland temperature trends between the 1940s and the 1990s, which followed a period of especially rapid warming during the 1920s and 1930s (that was greater in rapidity and magnitude when compared to the Greenland ice sheet warming trend in the last decade or two).” click here

Arsenic and Fluoride Toxicity to Human Umbilical Vein Cells

Ma Y, Ma Z, Yin S, Yan X, Wang J. Arsenic and fluoride induce apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Chemosphere. 2016 Oct 14;167:454-461. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.10.025.

Excessive amount of inorganic arsenic (iAs) and fluoride (F) coexist in drinking water in many regions, which is associated with high risk of vascular diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well studied. The present study was to evaluate the effects of iAs and F individual or combined exposure on endothelial activation and apoptosis in vitro. Primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were exposed to 5 μM As2O3 and/or 1 mM NaF. Changes in endothelial cell apoptosis, inflammation, oxidative stress and nitric oxide (NO) production were analyzed. The results showed that iAs and/or F induced significant increase in endothelial cell apoptosis and inflammation as indicated by the increase of mRNA and protein expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and pentraxin 3. Furthermore, iAs and/or F exposure induced intracellular reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde generation. Results showed iAs and/or F exposure increased the activity of NADPH oxidase (NOX) and up-regulated the mRNA expression of NOX subunits p22phox. The results indicated that activation of NOX was related to oxidative stress induced by iAs and/or F. Also, iAs and/or F reduced NO production in HUVECs. The up-regulation of inflammation genes expression and oxidative stress in iAs and F co-exposed ECs were less pronounced as compared to single F-exposed cells, which showed an antagonistic effect between iAs and F. In conclusion, endothelial activation and apoptosis induced by iAs and/or F are potential mechanisms in their vascular toxicity. Oxidative stress and impaired NO production are involved in their pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic effects.

Drinking Water Sodium and Elevated Blood Pressure, Southeast Asia

Scheelbeek PF, Khan AE, Mojumder S, Elliott P, Vineis P. Drinking Water Sodium and Elevated Blood Pressure of Healthy Pregnant Women in Salinity-Affected Coastal Areas. Hypertension. 2016 Aug;68(2):464-70. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07743.

Coastal areas in Southeast Asia are experiencing high sodium concentrations in drinking water sources that are commonly consumed by local populations. Salinity problems caused by episodic cyclones and subsequent seawater inundations are likely (partly) related to climate change and further exacerbated by changes in upstream river flow and local land-use activities. Dietary (food) sodium plays an important role in the global burden of hypertensive disease. It remains unknown, however, if sodium in drinking water-rather than food-has similar effects on blood pressure and disease risk. In this study, we examined the effect of drinking water sodium on blood pressure of pregnant women: increases in blood pressure in this group could severely affect maternal and fetal health. Data on blood pressure, drinking water source, and personal, lifestyle, and environmental confounders was obtained from 701 normotensive pregnant women residing in coastal Bangladesh. Generalized linear mixed regression models were used to investigate association of systolic and diastolic blood pressure of these-otherwise healthy-women with their water source. After adjustment for confounders, drinkers of tube well and pond water (high saline sources) were found to have significantly higher average systolic (+4.85 and +3.62 mm Hg) and diastolic (+2.30 and +1.72 mm Hg) blood pressures than rainwater drinkers. Drinking water salinity problems are expected to exacerbate in the future, putting millions of coastal people-including pregnant women-at increased risk of hypertension and associated diseases. There is an urgent need to further explore the health risks associated to this understudied environmental health problem and feasibility of possible adaptation strategies.

Climate Science Corruption, Just the Beginning

“A global warming research center at the London School of Economics got millions of dollars from UK taxpayers by taking credit for research it didn’t perform, an investigation by The Daily Mail revealed.” click here

French Government to Drop Carbon Tax Plan

“The French government is set to drop plans to introduce a carbon tax, French financial daily Les Echos said on Thursday.” click here




Neurodevelopmental Effects of Saxitoxin Exposure

O’Neill K, Musgrave IF, Humpage A. Low dose extended exposure to saxitoxin and its potential neurodevelopmental effects: A review.
Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016 Sep 28;48:7-16. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2016.09.020.

Saxitoxin (STX) and its analogs, the paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), are a group of potent neurotoxins well known for their role in acute paralytic poisoning by preventing the generation of action potentials in neuronal cells. They are found in both marine and freshwater environments globally and although acute exposure from the former has previously received more attention, low dose extended exposure from both sources is possible and to date has not been investigated. Given the known role of cellular electrical activity in neurodevelopment this pattern of exposure may be a significant public health concern. Additionally, the presence of PSTs is likely to be an ongoing and possibly increasing problem in the future. This review examines the neurodevelopmental toxicity of STX, the risk of extended or repeated exposure to doses with neurodevelopmental effects, the potential implications of this exposure and briefly, the steps taken and difficulties faced in preventing exposure.

Flint Michigan Lead Levels Since Returning to Detroit Water

Goovaerts P. The drinking water contamination crisis in Flint: Modeling temporal trends of lead level since returning to Detroit water system. The Science of the total environment. 2016 Oct 5. pii: S0048-9697(16)32137-4. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.207.

Since Flint returned to its pre-crisis source of drinking water close to 25,000 water samples have been collected and tested for lead and copper in >10,000 residences. This paper presents the first analysis and time trend modeling of lead data, providing new insights about the impact of this intervention. The analysis started with geocoding all water lead levels (WLL) measured during an 11-month period following the return to the Detroit water supply. Each data was allocated to the corresponding tax parcel unit and linked to secondary datasets, such as the composition of service lines, year built, or census tract poverty level. Only data collected on residential parcels within the City limits were used in the analysis. One key feature of Flint data is their collection through two different sampling initiatives: (i) voluntary or homeowner-driven sampling whereby concerned citizens decided to acquire a testing kit and conduct sampling on their own (non-sentinel sites), and (ii) State-controlled sampling where data were collected bi-weekly at selected sites after training of residents by technical teams (sentinel sites). Temporal trends modeled from these two datasets were found to be statistically different with fewer sentinel data exceeding WLL thresholds ranging from 10 to 50μg/L. Even after adjusting for housing characteristics the odds ratio (OR) of measuring WLL above 15μg/L at non-sentinel sites is significantly >1 (OR=1.480) and it increases with the threshold (OR=2.055 for 50μg/L). Joinpoint regression showed that the city-wide percentage of WLL data above 15μg/L displayed four successive trends since the return to Detroit Water System. Despite the recent improvement in water quality, the culprit for differences between sampling programs needs to be identified as it impacts exposure assessment and might influence whether there is compliance or not with the Lead and Copper Rule.