Daily Archives: February 22, 2012

Gleick actions speak louder than words; time to step out of NAS?

The confession and subsequent reports on Peter Gleick stealing papers from the Heartland Institute speaks volumes with regard the ethics and competence not only of Mr. Gleick but also the “scentists” within his circle of natural climate variability deniers.

This SFGate commentary by Neela Banerjee says what many others feel about this escapade. (click here)

Apparently, Mr. Gleick has apologized for his actions. He said his judgment was clouded by his “frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists … and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.” This is shear lunacy.

By refusing to even engage in debate and discussion, Mr. Gleick shows that he is in his own climate world….unable to engage other scientists who do not see the science exactly the same way he does in a rational discussion….name calling, hiding, and deception are the only tactics that remain…..

This type of behavior which appears to be consistent within a limited group of scientists modelling climate……I thought NAS members were supposed to be models of behavior for others…..will such unethical behavior  be tolerated within the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) members…..The actions of Mr. Gleick violate the NAS’s own publications that promote ethics in science……for the NAS to do nothing only serves to  condon such behavior and continues to degrade the already tarnished reputation of the NAS as being just another political lobbying group….hay its OK for our NAS members to lie, cheat or steal but you better not do it…..yeah, right…

Even my undergraduate environmental engineering class can see through this sham….

Maybe the NAS needs to get off its high horse…..

Brazilian fluoride study illustrates public water system control issues

In this study, a portion of the water systems exceeded the recommended level, and some were below. Even with the best control methods, a portion of the population served will be over exposed and some will be under exposed. So is there an overall population net benefit?

Moimaz SA, Saliba O, Chiba FY, Saliba NA.  External control of the public water supply in 29 Brazilian cities. Braz Oral Res. 2012 Feb;26(1):12-8.

The fluoridation of public water supplies is considered the most efficient public health measure for dental caries prevention. However, fluoride levels in the public water supply must be kept constant and adequate for the population to gain preventive benefit. The aim of this study was to analyze fluoride levels in the public water supply of 29 Brazilian municipalities during a 48-month period from November 2004 to October 2008. Three collection sites were defined for each source of municipal public water supply. Water samples were collected monthly and analyzed at the Research Laboratory of the Nucleus for Public Health (NEPESCO), Public Health Postgraduate Program, Araçatuba Dental School (UNESP). Of the 6862 samples analyzed, the fluoride levels of 53.5% (n = 3671) were within the recommended parameters, those of 30.4% (n = 2084) were below these parameters, and those of 16.1% (n = 1107) were above recommended values. Samples from the same collection site showed temporal variability in fluoride levels. Variation was also observed among samples from collection sites with different sources within the same municipality. Although 53.5% of the samples contained the recommended fluoride levels, these findings reinforce the importance of monitoring to minimize the risk of dental fluorosis and to achieve the maximum benefit in the prevention of dental caries.

Brazilian study confuses benefits of dentifrices versus water fluoridation

The relative benefits of dentifrices versus water fluoridation are not distinguished in this Brazilian study.

Hashizume LN, Mathias TC, Cibils DM, Maltz M. Effect of the widespread use of fluorides on the occurrence of hidden caries in children. Int J Paediatr Dent. 2012 Feb 20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2012.01231.x. 

Background: It has been suggested that the widespread use of fluorides could interfere in the prevalence of clinically undetected occlusal dentine caries. Aim.  The objective of this study was to determine the role of public water fluoridation and fluoride dentifrice on the prevalence of hidden caries in 8-10-year-old children.

Design: Clinical and radiographic data on schoolchildren collected in an epidemiologic study in Porto Alegre, Brazil, at two moments, 1975 (n=228) and 1996 (n=213), were analysed. Only the first permanent molars were studied. Only children of the 1996 examinations had benefited from fluoridated water soon after birth and had regular access to fluoride dentifrices. The criterion applied for hidden caries, when data from 1975 to 1996 were compared, was clinical sound surfaces that presented a radiolucent zone in the dentine.

Results: The prevalence of clinically sound surfaces and percentage of hidden caries was 0.51 and 26.4% in 1975 and 2.67 and 12.9% in 1996, respectively. The prevalence of hidden caries differed statistically between the two periods (P<0.05).

Conclusions: The results do indicate that the widespread use of fluoride via public water supply and dentifrices decreases the prevalence of hidden caries.


Cotter Corporation to clean up Schwartzwalder mine?

Cotter Corp. is giving up on uranium processing in Colorado….and is being pushed to clean up the uranium contamination from the Schwartzwalder mine.

A Denver District Court judge ruled last friday that Colorado’s Mined Land Reclamation Board was correct to order the de-watering of the 2,000-foot mine shaft and impose penalties.

Click here for more….


Rinsky et al 2012: Atrazine exposure in public drinking water and preterm birth

Rinsky JL, Hopenhayn C, Golla V, Browning S, Bush HM. Atrazine exposure in public drinking water and preterm birth. Public Health Rep. 2012 Jan-Feb;127(1):72-80.

OBJECTIVES: Approximately 13% of all births occur prior to 37 weeks gestation in the U.S. Some established risk factors exist for preterm birth, but the etiology remains largely unknown. Recent studies have suggested an association with environmental exposures. We examined the relationship between preterm birth and exposure to a commonly used herbicide, atrazine, in drinking water.

METHODS: We reviewed Kentucky birth certificate data for 2004-2006 to collect duration of pregnancy and other individual-level covariates. We assessed existing data sources for atrazine levels in public drinking water for the years 2000-2008, classifying maternal county of residence into three atrazine exposure groups. We used logistic regression to analyze the relationship between atrazine exposure and preterm birth, controlling for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking, and prenatal care.

RESULTS: An increase in the odds of preterm birth was found for women residing in the counties included in the highest atrazine exposure group compared with women residing in counties in the lowest exposure group, while controlling for covariates. Analyses using the three exposure assessment approaches produced odds ratios ranging from 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14, 1.27) to 1.26 (95% CI 1.19, 1.32), for the highest compared with the lowest exposure group.

CONCLUSIONS: Suboptimal characterization of environmental exposure and variables of interest limited the analytical options of this study. Still, our findings suggest a positive association between atrazine and preterm birth, and illustrate the need for an improved assessment of environmental exposures to accurately address this important public health issue.