Daily Archives: April 12, 2012

US cyber-security software updated

The Control Systems Security Program within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Division has released Version 4.1 of the Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET).

CSET is a software tool that guides users through a step-by-step process to assess their control system and information technology network security practices against recognized industry standards. Security practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, International Organization for Standardization, U.S. Department of Defense, and others are addressed.

Click here to download the revised CSET.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) tool updated

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a new version of the National Incident Management System Compliance Assistance Support Tool (NIMSCAST), a no-cost self-assessment instrument for local, state, territory, and tribal governments to evaluate their implementation of NIMS.

Version 4.00.15 of NIMSCAST has enhanced security features and adds the FY2012 NIMS implementation assessment. An updated User Guide is available on the NIMSCAST homepage (click here) now features an updated NIMSCAST User Guide.

 

Gleick lecture on “The Human Right to Water” challenged

The Oxford Amnesty lectures are a fundraiser for Amnesty International. However, the lectures are not directly organised by the organisation or by the university. Peter Gleick is due to speak on 24 April as part of this prestigous lecture series.

Given Mr. Gleick’s admitted role in fraud, the Heartland Institute has called for the barring of Gleick from appearing at Oxford (click here).

 

Urine perchlorate not a significant predictor of thyroid function?

Pearce, EN, Alexiou, M, Koukkou, E, Braverman, LE, He, X, Ilias, I, Alevizaki, M, and KB Markou. Perchlorate and Thiocyanate Exposure and Thyroid Function in First Trimester Pregnant Women from Greece. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2012 Apr 9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04407.x.

OBJECTIVE: Thyroid hormone, requiring adequate maternal iodine intake, is critical for neurodevelopment in utero. Perchlorate and, less so, thiocyanate decrease uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland by competitively inhibiting the sodium/iodide symporter (NIS). It remains unclear whether environmental perchlorate exposure adversely affects thyroid function in first trimester pregnant women.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional

PATIENTS: 134 pregnant women from Athens, Greece at (mean ± SD 10.9± 2.3) weeks gestation.

MEASUREMENTS: Urinary iodide, perchlorate, and thiocyanate and thyroid function tests were measured.

RESULTS: The median urinary iodide was 120 μg/L. Urinary perchlorate levels were detectable in all women: median (range) 4.1 (0.2 – 118.5) μg/L. Serum thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPO Ab) were detectable in 16% of women. Using Spearman rank correlation analyses, there was no correlation between urinary perchlorate concentrations and serum TSH, although inverse correlations were seen between urine perchlorate and free T3 and free T4 values. In univariate analyses urine thiocyanate was positively correlated with serum TSH, but was not associated with serum free T3 or free T4. Urine perchlorate was positively correlated with gestational age. In multivariate analyses adjusting for urinary iodide concentrations, urine thiocyanate, gestational age, maternal age, and TPO Ab titers, urine perchlorate was not a significant predictor of thyroid function.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-level perchlorate and thiocyanate exposure is ubiquitous, but, in adjusted analyses, is not associated with alterations in thyroid function tests among mildly iodine deficient Greek women in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Click here for the full paper (fee).

NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati should be reassigned, or resign…

I was not going to comment on the recent letter sent to NASA by former astronauts (click here) because I thought the letter spoke for itself, until I read the NASA response. This article (click here) attempts to discredit the original letter by attacking the astronauts.

The response of NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati (click here) to the astronaut letter reveals plain and simple incompetence….Abdalati is clueless as to what is going on at the GISS and the evidence of data fraud by Hansen and others. This is incompetent science and incompetent management, and Abdalati needs to be reassigned or resign…

Americans are already over-fluoridated

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data shows 60 percent of children ages 12 to 15 are affected by dental fluorosis, and are over-fluoridated…..

Government mandates for fluoridation such as the one in Arkansas are not necessary, and will be increasingly resisted as more of the citizenry become educated…..click here for example….

 

“It’s just that way” logical fallacy on fluoridation

Several generations of people have grown up being told that fluoride in drinking water is absolutely necessary for healthy teeth. Not so today.

Articles such as this in Albuquerque (click here) rely on arguments based on personal testimonies of dentists that it is “just that way.”  “Fluoride has benefits to the population, I can see it in some of my patients, so “it’s just that way” that fluoride should be added to water.”

Many dentists (but not all) and many people have been told all of their life (or all of their entire professional career) that fluoride in drinking water has such great benefits to the population and they really believe it, but they are not informed about the risks and hazards. An ecological study design of the type of population studies reviewed on this blog fall short of demonstrating cause and effect. To say fluoride benefits are “just that way” is a logical fallacy…..and is not an argument from science.

EPA has set a maximum contaminant level for fluoride in water at 4 mg/L. Some water systems like Albuquerque have fluoride naturally in their water. In the case of Albuquerque, 0.7 mg/L of fluoride occurs naturally. EPA also has a secondary MCL at 2 mg/L based on preventing dental fluorosis.

But there is no justification for intentionlly adding fluoride to drinking water. If it is already present, it must at least be below the MCL.