Daily Archives: October 1, 2014

CBS Medical Correspondent Speaks Nonsense on “Climate Change”

Linking anything bad to a generic and undefined “climate change” appears to be an obsessive-compulsive disorder.  A good example here:

“Well, the world is flat,” Agus explained. “Right now, anybody can get on a plane and end up anywhere in this country and spread these viruses. And we have to be aware of it. We don’t know exactly why there was a dramatic spread this year. But something is happening now. We have multiple viruses. And together with global climate change, things are changing in the virus world and we have to pay attention.” click here

The statement above is nonsense on climate (but accurate on mobility). Changes in climate occur every day, week, month, year, decade, century. Absolutely everything that happens (good or bad) is related in some way to changes in climate.

Arsenic Removal Using the Kanchan Arsenic Filter, Nepal

Singh A, Smith LS, Shrestha S, Maden N. Efficacy of arsenic filtration by Kanchan Arsenic Filter in Nepal. J Water Health. 2014 Sep;12(3):596-9. doi: 10.2166/wh.2014.148.

Groundwater arsenic contamination has caused a significant public health burden in lowland regions of Nepal. For arsenic mitigation purposes, the Kanchan Arsenic Filter (KAF) was developed and validated for use in 2003 after pilot studies showed its effectiveness in removing arsenic. However, its efficacy in field conditions operating for a long period has been scarcely observed. In this study, we observe the efficacy of KAFs running over 6 months in highly arsenic-affected households in Nawalparasi district. We assessed pair-wise arsenic concentrations of 62 randomly selected household tubewells before filtration and after filtration via KAFs. Of 62 tubewells, 41 had influent arsenic concentration exceeding the Nepal drinking water quality standard value (50 μg/L). Of the 41 tubewells having unsafe arsenic levels, KAFs reduced arsenic concentration to the safe level for only 22 tubewells, an efficacy of 54%. In conclusion, we did not find significantly high efficacy of KAFs in reducing unsafe influent arsenic level to the safe level under the in situ field conditions.

Drinking Water Quality: Ahmedabad, India

Iyer V, Choudhury N, Azhar GS, Somvanshi B. Drinking Water Quality Surveillance in a Vulnerable Urban Ward of Ahmedabad. Health (Irvine Calif). 2014 May 1;6(11):1165-1171.

The World Bank estimates that 21% of all communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water with diarrhoea alone causing more than 0.1 million deaths annually. The WHO drinking water surveillance parameters of quality, quantity, accessibility, affordability and continuity were assessed in one vulnerable ward of Ahmedabad-a fast growing city in Western India. Interviews with key informants of the ward office, health centre and water supply department, secondary analysis and mapping of field test reports and a questionnaire-based survey of different household types were conducted. We found that Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) supplies water to the ward intermittently for two hours during the day. Housing society clusters supplement their AMC water supply with untested bore-well water. The water quality surveillance system is designed for a twenty-four-hour piped distribution of treated surface water. However, in order to maintain surveillance over an intermittent supply that includes groundwater, the sampling process should include periodic surveys of water actually consumed by the citizens. The laboratory capacity of the Central Water Testing Laboratory should expand to include more refined tests for microbial and chemical contamination.

Ebola Symptoms and Treatment

From Breitbart here:

Symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms look a lot like the flu – a particularly troublesome problem given that we are now entering flu season. The CDC lists the following symptoms, which generally appear within 8 to 10 days after exposure to Ebola:

  • Fever of above 101.5°F;
  • Severe headache;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Weakness;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising).

Treatment. If you come down with these symptoms, go to a hospital immediately. There is no antibiotic treatment or vaccine for Ebola virus; essentially, your immune system is the only defense against Ebola virus. Once you are placed in isolation, you will likely be given intravenous fluids to ensure that you do not become dehydrated; secondary infections could be treated with antibiotics.

Transmission. The only way to contract Ebola is to come into direct contact with blood or bodily fluids – generally, stool, vomit, semen, or urine. The CDC warns that saliva or sweat or mucus could also transmit Ebola, but the risk of such transmission is slighter than transmission via direct contact with other bodily fluids. Use of infected needles could also transmit Ebola virus. In the United States, the threat of contracting Ebola from animals is minimal. Those most at risk are hospital workers, particularly if they are not wearing hand covering, eye covering, or masks. Once someone has been infected with Ebola, they can transmit the virus for up to three months.

Cadmium Exposure for Residents of Abandoned Metal Mine, Korea

Yang J, Kim EC, Shin DC, Jo SJ, Lim YW. Human exposure and risk assessment of cadmium for residents of abandoned metal mine areas in Korea. Environ Geochem Health. 2014 Sep 26.

The objective of this study is to find the Cd levels in agricultural crops compared to soil, to evaluate the relationship between daily intake dose through the multimedia/multi-pathway of human exposure and biomarker levels of the residents in mine vicinity area. We collected and cited the data of four out of ten health impact assessments for the residents of abandoned mine areas undertaken by the Korea Ministry of Environment in 2008. The Cd levels in soil were significantly decreased by the separation distance from the mines. The Cd levels in blood were significantly different between residents in mine areas and in comparative areas, but urinary Cd levels did not differ. The Cd levels in blood were related to the age; the separation distance from mine to residence; the daily intake dose via ingestion of drinking water, crops, and surface soil; and inhalation of ambient air of Cd, but urinary Cd levels were not relevant with various sociodemographic characteristics and exposure factors. The average hazard quotient (HQ) value of Cd in the mining site was below 1.0, but the maximum HQ was closed to 1.0. The results indicated that the ingestion of Cd-contaminated soil and agricultural crops by local inhabitants could pose potential adverse health effects to long-term residents consuming rice grown near to the mining areas.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Manganese and Neurobehavioral Function in School-Age Children

Every so many years a manganese study like this is published and each time the same alarming claims are made, with same limitations as before. These authors do not seem to have any knowledge of prior studies of risks from drinking water exposures. Manganese in drinking water has been studied for decades. Apparently, these study authors are not very well informed. Lastly, 375 children is too small a sample size to make claims concerning children in “North America.” The study findings only apply to the 375 children and weak associations provide us no new insights.

Oulhote Y, Mergler D, Barbeau B, Bellinger DC, Bouffard T, Brodeur ME, Saint-Amour D, Legrand M, Sauvé S, Bouchard MF. Neurobehavioral Function in School-Age Children Exposed to Manganese in Drinking Water. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Sep 26.

BACKGROUND: Manganese neurotoxicity is well documented in individuals occupationally exposed to airborne particulates, but few data are available on risks from drinking water exposure.

OBJECTIVE: We examined associations of manganese exposure from water and hair manganese concentration with memory, attention, motor function, and parent- and teacher-reported hyperactive behaviors.

METHODS: We recruited 375 children and measured manganese in home tap water (MnW) and hair (MnH). We estimated manganese intake from water ingestion. Using structural equation modeling, we estimated associations between neurobehavioral functions and MnH, MnW, and manganese intake from water. Exposure-response relationships were evaluated using generalized additive models.

RESULTS: After adjusting for potential confounders, a standard deviation (SD) increase in log10 MnH was associated with a significant difference of -24% (95% CI: -36, -12%) SD in memory and -25% (95% CI: -41, -9%) SD in attention. The relations between log10 MnH and poorer memory and attention were linear. A SD increase in log10 MnW was associated with a significant difference of -14% (95% CI: -24, -4%) SD in memory, and this relation was nonlinear, with a steeper decline in performance at MnW above 100 µg/L. A SD increase in log10 manganese intake from water was associated with a significant difference of -11% (95% CI: -21, -0.4%) SD in motor function. The relation between log10 manganese intake and poorer motor function was linear. There was no significant association between manganese exposure and hyperactivity.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to manganese in water was associated with poorer neurobehavioral performances in children, even at low levels commonly encountered in North America.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).

Gastrointestinal absorption of uranium compounds

Konietzka R. Gastrointestinal absorption of uranium compounds – a review. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Sep 25. pii: S0273-2300(14)00192-5. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2014.08.012.

Uranium occurs naturally in soil and rocks, and therefore where it is present in water-soluble form it also occurs naturally in groundwater as well as in drinking water obtained from groundwater. Animal studies suggest that the toxicity of uranium is mainly due to its damage to kidney tubular cells following exposure to soluble uranium compounds. The assessments of the absorption of uranium via the gastrointestinal tract vary, and this has consequences for regulation, in particular the derivation of e. g. drinking water limit values. Absorption rates vary according to the nature and solubility of the compound in which uranium is presented to the test animals and depending on the animal species used in the test. No differences for sex have been observed for absorption in either animals or humans. However, human biomonitoring data do show that boys excrete significantly more uranium than girls. In animal studies neonates took up more uranium than adults or older children. Nutritional status, and in particular the iron content of the diet, have a marked influence on absorption, and higher uranium levels in food intake also appear to increase the absorption rate. If the pointers to an absorption mechanism competing with iron are correct, these mechanisms could also explain the relatively high concentration and chemical toxicity of uranium in the kidneys. It is here (and in the duodenum) that divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1), which is primarily responsible for the passage of iron (or uranium?) through the cell membranes, is most strongly expressed.