Daily Archives: November 16, 2014

Is the “Greenhouse Effect” what it is Claimed to be?

A very interesting and well-explained series of posts on the “green house” effect, or lack there of. I made a number of these same points 2 years ago in a presentation and I am glad to see someone lay out an explanation. 

The Greenhouse Effect That Wasn’t (Part 1)  [How the “greenhouse effect” is by assumption and definition only, not reality.]


Fluoride Exposure and Protein Synthesis

An interesting study but highly specific. However, the implication that water is the “greatest source” of fluoride exposure is quite accurate. Food and dental products are typically  more.

Flores-Méndez M, Ramírez D, Alamillo N, Hernández-Kelly LC, Del Razo LM, Ortega A. Fluoride exposure regulates the elongation phase of protein synthesis in cultured Bergmann glia cells. Toxicology letters. 2014 Aug 17;229(1):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2014.06.022.

Fluoride is an environmental pollutant present in dental products, food, pesticides and water. The latter, is the greatest source of exposure to this contaminant. Structural and functional damages to the central nervous system are present in exposed population. An established consequence of the neuronal is the release of a substantial amount of glutamate to the extracellular space, leading to an excitotoxic insult. Glutamate exerts its actions through the activation of specific plasma membrane receptors and transporters present in neurons and in glia cells and it is the over-activation of glutamate receptors and transporters, the biochemical hallmark of neuronal and oligodendrocyte cell death. In this context, taking into consideration that fluoride leads to degeneration of cerebellar cells, we took the advantage of the well-established model of cerebellar Bergmann glia cultures to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms inherent to fluoride neurotoxicity that might be triggered in glia cells. We could establish that fluoride decreases [(35)S]-methionine incorporation into newly synthesized polypeptides, in a time-dependent manner, and that this halt in protein synthesis is the result of a decrease in the elongation phase of translation, mediated by an augmentation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 phosphorylation. These results favor the notion of glial cells as targets of fluoride toxicity and strengthen the idea of a critical involvement of glia cells in the function and dysfunction of the brain.

Click here for the paper (fee).

1st Year Radionuclide Health Risks for Fukushima City Citizens

Murakami M, Oki T. Estimated dietary intake of radionuclides and health risks for the citizens of fukushima city, Tokyo, and osaka after the 2011 nuclear accident. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 12;9(11):e112791. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112791.

The radionuclides released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 pose a health risk. In this study, we estimated the 1st-year average doses resulting from the intake of iodine 131 (131I) and cesium 134 and 137 (134Cs and 137Cs) in drinking water and food ingested by citizens of Fukushima City (∼50 km from the nuclear power plant; outside the evacuation zone), Tokyo (∼230 km), and Osaka (∼580 km) after the accident. For citizens in Fukushima City, we considered two scenarios: Case 1, citizens consumed vegetables bought from markets; Case 2, citizens consumed vegetables grown locally (conservative scenario). The estimated effective doses of 134Cs and 137Cs agreed well with those estimated through market basket and food-duplicate surveys. The average thyroid equivalent doses due to ingestion of 131I for adults were 840 µSv (Case 1) and 2700 µSv (Case 2) in Fukushima City, 370 µSv in Tokyo, and 16 µSv in Osaka. The average effective doses due to 134Cs and 137Cs were 19, 120, 6.1, and 1.9 µSv, respectively. The doses estimated in this study were much lower than values reported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, whose assessments lacked validation and full consideration of regional trade in foods, highlighting the importance of including regional trade. The 95th percentile effective doses were 2-3 times the average values. Lifetime attributable risks (LARs) of thyroid cancers due to ingestion were 2.3-39×10-6 (Case 1) and 10-98×10-6 (Case 2) in Fukushima City, 0.95-14×10-6 in Tokyo, and 0.11-1.3×10-6 in Osaka. The contributions of LARs of thyroid cancers due to ingestion were 7.5%-12% of all exposure (Case 1) and 12%-30% (Case 2) in Fukushima City.

Click here for paper (Open Access).

Is Complete Demineralization of Drinking Water Desirable?

Verma KC, Kushwaha AS. Demineralization of drinking water: Is it prudent? Medical journal, Armed Forces India. 2014 Oct;70(4):377-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mjafi.2013.11.011.

Water is the elixir of life. The requirement of water for very existence of life and preservation of health has driven man to devise methods for maintaining its purity and wholesomeness. The water can get contaminated, polluted and become a potential hazard to human health. Water in its purest form devoid of natural minerals can also be the other end of spectrum where health could be adversely affected. Limited availability of fresh water and increased requirements has led to an increased usage of personal, domestic and commercial methods of purification of water. Desalination of saline water where fresh water is in limited supply has led to development of the latest technology of reverse osmosis but is it going to be safe to use such demineralized water over a long duration needs to be debated and discussed.

Click here for paper (Open Access).