Monthly Archives: September 2013

Elevated manganese is beneficial for fetal survival? A minimal manganese intake perhaps, but an elevated intake? I doubt it….

At first read, the results of this study are counter intuitive. Perhaps it is the unique population being studied. I don’t have time at the moment to look into this further (grading papers takes alot of my time now), but here is the citation.

Rahman SM, Akesson A, Kippler M, Grandér M, Hamadani JD, Streatfield PK, Persson LÅ, Arifeen SE, Vahter M. Elevated manganese concentrations in drinking water may be beneficial for fetal survival. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 16;8(9):e74119. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074119.

BACKGROUND: Elevated exposure to the essential element manganese (Mn) can be toxic. Manganese concentrations in ground water vary considerably, and reported associations between Mn and early-life mortality and impaired development have raised concern. We assessed the effects of drinking water Mn exposure during pregnancy upon fetal and infant survival.

METHODS: In this population-based cohort study, we identified the outcomes of pregnancies registered between February 2002 and April 2003 in Matlab, Bangladesh. Using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we measured the concentrations of Mn and other elements in the pregnant women’s drinking water.

RESULTS: A total of 1,875 women were included in the analysis of spontaneous abortions (n=158) and 1,887 women in the perinatal mortality analysis (n=70). Water Mn ranged from 3.0-6,550 µg/L (median=217 µg/L). The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for spontaneous abortion was 0.65 (95% CI 0.43-0.99) in the highest water Mn tertile (median=1,292 µg/L) as compared to the lowest tertile (median=56 µg/L). The corresponding OR for perinatal mortality was 0.69 (95% CI 0.28-1.71), which increased to 0.78 (95% CI 0.29-2.08) after adjustment for BMI and place of delivery (home/health facility; n=1,648).

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated water Mn concentrations during pregnancy appear protective for the fetus, particularly in undernourished women. This effect may be due to the element’s role in antioxidant defense.

Click here for full study (Open Source).

2013 world average temperatures are not cooperating with IPCC models

“The global warming ‘pause’ has now lasted for  almost 17 years and shows no sign of ending – despite the unexplained failure of  climate scientists’ computer models to predict it.”

“The Mail on Sunday has also  learnt that because 2013 has been relatively cool, it is very likely that by the  end of this year, world average temperatures will have crashed below the ‘90 per  cent probability’ range projected by the models.” Click here

article-0-185ABB0700000578-394_634x325 mail 9-28-2013

Source: DailyMail

Fluoride systemic toxicity studies in rats

When the National Academy of Sciences published the first edition of Drinking Water and Health in the 1970s, the premise was established that adverse effects observed in animals, properly qualified, were indicative of adverse effects that could be expected to occur in humans. This is a big assumption, of course. Humans are not just bigger rats (most of them, anyway).

Consider this study, which examines the effects of differing fluoride concentrations. In the end, data is analyzed by creating statistical categories which to compare to determine if any of the observations are significant using mathematics. However, rats are not statistical categories. They are each unique. Some will see an effect, others will not. Why is this? The “scientist” says we need more data, of course. But I suspect it is not the data that is the primary limitation, but the limitations of statistical methods, virtually by definition. The lack of observed adverse effects does not mean that there are no adverse effects. It just means that none were observed within the methodological and statistical limits of this experiment.

Pereira HA, Leite Ade L, Charone S, Lobo JG, Cestari TM, Peres-Buzalaf C, Buzalaf MA. Proteomic analysis of liver in rats chronically exposed to fluoride. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 17;8(9):e75343. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075343.

Fluoride (F) is a potent anti-cariogenic element, but when ingestion is excessive, systemic toxicity may be observed. This can occur as acute or chronic responses, depending on both the amount of F and the time of exposure. The present study identified the profile of protein expression possibly associated with F-induced chronic hepatotoxicity. Weanling male Wistar rats (three-weeks old) were divided into three groups and treated with drinking water containing 0, 5 or 50 mg/L F for 60 days (n=6/group). At this time point, serum and livers were collected for F analysis, which was done using the ion-sensitive electrode, after hexamethyldisiloxane-facilitated diffusion. Livers were also submitted to histological and proteomic analyses (2D-PAGE followed by LC-MS/MS). Western blotting was done for confirmation of the proteomic data A dose-response was observed in serum F levels. In the livers, F levels were significantly increased in the 50 mg/L F group compared to groups treated with 0 and 5 mg/L F. Liver morphometric analysis did not reveal alterations in the cellular structures and lipid droplets were present in all groups. Proteomic quantitative intensity analysis detected 33, 44, and 29 spots differentially expressed in the comparisons between control vs. 5 mg/L F, control vs. 50 mg/L F, and 5 mg/L vs. 50 mg/L F, respectively. From these, 92 proteins were successfully identified. In addition, 18, 1, and 5 protein spots were shown to be exclusive in control, 5, and 50 mg/L F, respectively. Most of proteins were related to metabolic process and pronounced alterations were seen for the high-F level group. In F-treated rats, changes in the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) and GRP-78 expression may account for the F-induced toxicity in the liver. This can contribute to understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatoxicity induced by F, by indicating key-proteins that should be better addressed in future studies.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).

IPCC AR5 does not consider science, again?

IPCC claims of unprecedented increases in drought and other “natural” extreme weather and climate events don’t seem to be supported by observations.

screenhunter_1020-sep-28-07-49 US drought index

Source: Real Science

USEPA issues draft 2013 NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activities

SUMMARY: EPA’s Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are today proposing for public comment the draft 2013 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for stormwater discharges from industrial activity, also referred to as the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). This draft permit, once finalized, will replace the existing permit covering stormwater discharges from industrial facilities in EPA’s Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 10 that will expire September 29, 2013, and will provide coverage for industrial facilities in areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority in EPA’s Regions 7 and 8. This draft permit is similar to the existing permit and will authorize the discharge of stormwater in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein. EPA proposes to issue this permit for five (5) years. EPA seeks comment on the draft permit and on the accompanying fact sheet.

Click here for further information.

California mean surface temperature trend shows no evidence of global warming

One of the strongest and most obvious arguments against the belief that increases in atmospheric CO2 is resulting in catestrophic global warming is the lack of any evidence of such an effect on surface temperatures at the national, state or local level. An examination of mean monthly surface temperature data for the State of California from 1834 to 2011 is presented below. The trend line is hardly alarming, given the variability in the recorded temperatures from month to month and year to year.

Cal scatter plot

Lung and Bladder Cancer in Northern Chile: Arsenic, Tobacco Smoke, Occupation

The primary difficulty with such studies as these is that US exposure levels are nowhere near these arsenic concentrations in Chile. Hence, this study is not relevant to the United States. The multiplicative effect of smoking on the effect of exposure to certain contaminants has been previously demonstrated.

Ferreccio C, Yuan Y, Calle J, Benítez H, Parra RL, Acevedo J, Smith AH, Liaw J, Steinmaus C. Arsenic, Tobacco Smoke, and Occupation: Associations of Multiple Agents with Lung and Bladder Cancer. Epidemiology. 2013 Sep 12.

BACKGROUND: Millions of people worldwide are exposed to arsenic in drinking water, and many are likely coexposed to other agents that could substantially increase their risks of arsenic-related cancer.

METHODS: We performed a case-control study of multiple chemical exposures in 538 lung and bladder cancer cases and 640 controls in northern Chile, an area with formerly high drinking water arsenic concentrations. Detailed information was collected on lifetime arsenic exposure, smoking, secondhand smoke, and other known or suspected carcinogens, including asbestos, silica, and wood dust.

RESULTS: Very high lung and bladder cancer odds ratios (ORs), and evidence of greater than additive effects, were seen in people exposed to arsenic concentrations >335 µg/L and who were tobacco smokers (OR = 16, 95% confidence interval = 6.5-40 for lung cancer; and OR = 23 [8.2-66] for bladder cancer; Rothman Synergy Indices = 4.0 [1.7-9.4] and 2.0 [0.92-4.5], respectively). Evidence of greater than additive effects were also seen in people coexposed to arsenic and secondhand tobacco smoke and several other known or suspected carcinogens, including asbestos, silica, and wood dust.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that people coexposed to arsenic and other known or suspected carcinogens have very high risks of lung or bladder cancer.

Click here for full paper (fee).