Daily Archives: August 23, 2014

What exactly is the relationship between energy-poverty and disease outbreaks and deaths (Ebola or others)?

Does energy-poverty (not have having a reliable energy from any source) contribute to or result in greater human illness and deaths in the present day? I suspect so. Has any climate change alarmist examined this carefully or are they too afraid of what the answer will be.

Why are we trading real-suffering and deaths today that are preventable in order to avoid fictitious future extreme events and fatalities that may never happen?

 (Here is one perspective on the current state of climate debate.)

Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Urban Vellore Preschool Children

In 1991, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defined 10 ug/dL as the blood lead level (BLL) that should prompt public health actions. This is not necessarily a no effect level and some research suggests the children’s physical and mental development might be affected at lower BLLs.

Mohan VR, Sharma S, Ramanujam K, Babji S, Koshy B, Bondu JD, John SM, Kang G. Effects of elevated blood lead levels in preschool children in urban vellore. Indian Pediatr. 2014 Aug 8;51(8):621-5.

OBJECTIVE: To study the burden and associated risk factors for elevated blood lead levels among pre-school children (15-24 months) in urban Vellore, and to study its effects on child cognition and anemia.

DESIGN: An investigative study through Mal-ED cohort.

SETTING: Eight adjacent urban slums in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.

PARTICIPANTS: 251 babies recruited through Mal-ED Network.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Blood lead levels using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry method at 15 and 24 mo; hemoglobin estimation by azidemethemoglobin method; cognitive levels using Bayley Scales of Infant Development III.

RESULTS: Around 45% of children at 15 months and 46.4% at 24 months had elevated blood lead levels (>10 µg/dL). Among children who had elevated blood lead levels at 15 months, 69.2% (45/65) continued to have elevated levels at 24 months. After adjusting for potential confounders, children from houses having a piped drinking water supply and houses with mud or clay floors were at significantly higher risk of having elevated blood lead levels at 15 months. Thirty one percent (21/67) of the children with elevated blood lead levels had poor cognitive scores. Children with elevated blood lead levels at 15 months had higher risk (Adjusted OR 1.80; 95% CI 0.80 – 3.99) of having poorer cognitive scores at 24 months. More than half of the children (57%) were anemic at 15 months of age, and elevated blood lead levels were not significantly associated with anemia.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated blood lead levels are common among preschool children living in urban slums of Vellore. Poorer conditions of the living environment are associated with elevated lead levels.

Cancer risks to pentachlorophenol in contaminated areas, China

The drinking water Maximum Contaminant Level for pentachlorophenol in the United States is 1 ug/L. The levels detected in this study are well-above this value. 

Cheng P, Zhang Q, Shan X, Shen D, Wang B, Tang Z, Jin Y, Zhang C, Huang F. Cancer risks and long-term community-level exposure to pentachlorophenol in contaminated areas, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Aug 21.

Widespread use of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in schistosomiasis endemic areas had led to ubiquitous exposure to PCP and its residues. Numerous studies had revealed that occupational PCP exposure probably increased risk of cancers, but whether long-term community-level exposure to PCP generates the similarly carcinogenic effect, seldom studies focused on it. This study was to explore the cancer risks of long-term community-level PCP exposure from drinking water in a Chinese general population. Incident (2009-2012) cancer records were identified by local government national registry. And PCP concentration of raw drinking water samples in each district was measured by GC-MS/MS analysis for further division of three PCP exposure categories by interquartile range (high vs. medium vs. low). Internal comparisons were performed, and standard rate ratio was calculated to describe the relationship between PCP exposure and cancer risks by using low-exposure group as the reference group. PCP was detected in all 27 raw drinking water samples ranging from 11.21 to 684.00 ng/L. A total of 6,750 cases (4,409 male and 2,341 female cases) were identified, and age-standardized rate (world) was 154.95 per 100,000 person-years. The cancer incidence for the high-exposure group was remarkably high. Internal comparisons indicated that high PCP exposure might be positively associated with high cancer risks in the community population, particularly for leukemia (SRR = 5.93, 95 % CI = 5.24-6.71), maligant lymphoma (SRR = 2.27, 95 % CI = 2.10-2.54), and esophageal cancer (SRR = 2.42, 95 % CI = 2.35-2.50). Long-term community-level exposure to PCP was probably associated with hemolymph neoplasm, neurologic tumors, and digestive system neoplasm.

Click here for full paper (fee).