Daily Archives: December 24, 2014

Bacteria on Fitness Center Surfaces

Mukherjee N, Dowd SE, Wise A, Kedia S, Vohra V, Banerjee P. Diversity of bacterial communities of fitness center surfaces in a U.S. Metropolitan area. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health 2014 Dec 03; Vol. 11 (12), pp. 12544-61.

Public fitness centers and exercise facilities have been implicated as possible sources for transmitting community-acquired bacterial infections. However, the overall diversity of the bacterial community residing on the surfaces in these indoor environments is still unknown. In this study, we investigated the overall bacterial ecology of selected fitness centers in a metropolitan area (Memphis, TN, USA) utilizing culture-independent pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes. Samples were collected from the skin-contact surfaces (e.g., exercise instruments, floor mats, handrails, etc.) within fitness centers. Taxonomical composition revealed the abundance of Firmicutes phyla, followed by Proteobacter and Actinobacteria, with a total of 17 bacterial families and 25 bacterial genera. Most of these bacterial genera are of human and environmental origin (including, air, dust, soil, and water). Additionally, we found the presence of some pathogenic or potential pathogenic bacterial genera including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, and Micrococcus. Staphylococcus was found to be the most prevalent genus. Presence of viable forms of these pathogens elevates risk of exposure of any susceptible individuals. Several factors (including personal hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection schedules of the facilities) may be the reasons for the rich bacterial diversity found in this study. The current finding underscores the need to increase public awareness on the importance of personal hygiene and sanitation for public gym users.

NOAA Data Omission Just Another Example of Distortion

“Ocean acidification may seem like a minor issue to some, but besides being wrong, it is a crucial leg to the entire narrative of ‘human-influenced climate change.’ By urging our leaders in science and policy to finally disclose and correct these omissions, you will be helping to bring honesty, transparency, and accountability back where it is most sorely needed.” click here

Fluoride and Diabetes in Finland

MK Irmak, IS Ozcelik, A Kaya. Fluoride toxicity and new-onset diabetes in Finland: a hypothesis. Journal of Experimental & Integrative Medicine; 2014, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p3-8

The incidence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) has increased substantially in Finland, but the exact trigger for the onset of T1D is still unknown. We know that use of amoxicillin and anti-cariogenic fluoride tablets is a common practice for children in Finland. It seems that beta-cell destruction is initiated by modification of the proinsulin by combined effects of fluoride(F2) and amoxicillin. Amoxicillin especially when used together with clavulanic acid results in an acid environment around the beta-cells that promotes the conversion of F2 to hydrogen fluoride (HF). Unlike F2, HF can diffuse easily into the beta-cell cytosol. Because the cytosol has a neutral pH, virtually all HF reverts to F2 in the cytosol and F2 cannot easily diffuse out of the cell. Exposure to excess F2 promotes proinsulin covalent dimerization and simultaneously hyperexpression of MHC Class I molecules. Proinsulin dimers then migrate to the cell membrane with MHC class I molecules, accumulate at the beta-cell membrane and produces a powerful immunogenic stimulus for the cytotoxic T-cells. Production of cytotoxic cytokines from the infiltrating T-cells initiates the destruction of beta-cells. In Finnish children, this might be helped along by a higher beta-cell activity and by a reactive thymus-dependent immune system induced by higher levels of thyroid hormones and calcitonin respectively. After repeated similar attacks, more and more effector T-cells are raised and more and more beta-cells are destroyed, and clinical diabetes occurs.

Trace Organic Rejection by Reverse Osmosis

Takahiro Fujioka, Stuart J. Khan, James A. McDonald, Long D. Nghiem. Validating the rejection of trace organic chemicals by reverse osmosis membranes using a pilot-scale system. Desalination Volume 358, 16 February 2015, Pages 18–26

A protocol to validate the rejection of organic chemicals of potential health risk by low pressure reverse osmosis (LPRO) membranes was developed for decision making support regarding the monitoring level required for potable water reuse. Ten organic chemicals were selected for evaluation, based on their recorded usage, the scarcity of rejection data, and difficulty in analytical determination at concentrations relevant to their potential impact on human-health. An analytical method was developed for these organic chemicals. The target rejections of 90 and 99% for neutral and charged chemicals respectively were successfully achieved under the standard operating condition with only two exceptions (i.e. bisoprolol and carazolol rejections by the TFC-HR membrane). These lower rejections by the TFC-HR can be attributed to its highest water permeability amongst the three membranes while both bisoprolol and carazolol are positively charged. Changes in operating conditions including permeate flux, feed temperature and chemical cleaning can exert a considerable impact on conductivity rejection by the three LPRO membranes investigated here. Feed temperature showed an apparent impact on the rejection of the selected organic chemicals. However, their rejections were still higher than the target validation values. The protocol developed here can be expanded for the validation of other organic chemicals.

Click here for paper (fee).

Oral Health Practices of Pediatricians

Quinonez RB, Kranz AM, Lewis CW, Barone L, Boulter S, O’Connor KG, Keels MA. Oral health opinions and practices of pediatricians: updated results from a national survey. Academic Pediatrics. 2014 Nov-Dec;14(6):616-23. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2014.07.001.

BACKGROUND: Professional guidelines and state Medicaid policies encourage pediatricians to provide oral health screening, anticipatory guidance, and fluoride varnish application to young patients. Because oral health activities are becoming more common in medical offices, the objective of this study was to assess pediatricians’ attitudes and practices related to oral health and examine changes since 2008.

METHODS: As part of the 2012 Periodic Survey of Fellows, a random sample of 1638 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics was surveyed on their participation in oral health promotion activities. Univariate statistics were used to examine pediatricians’ attitudes, practices, and barriers related to screening, risk assessment, counseling, and topical fluoride application among patients from birth to 3 years of age. Bivariate statistics were used to examine changes since 2008.

RESULTS: Analyses were limited to 402 pediatricians who provided preventive care (51% of all respondents). Most respondents supported providing oral health activities in medical offices, but fewer reported engaging in these activities with most patients. Significantly more respondents agreed they should apply fluoride varnish (2008, 19%; 2012, 41%), but only 7% report doing so with >75% of patients. Although significantly more respondents reported receiving oral health training, limited time, lack of training and billing remain barriers to delivering these services.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatricians continue to have widespread support for, but less direct involvement with oral health activities in clinical practice. Existing methods of training should be examined to identify methods effective at increasing pediatricians’ participation in oral health activities.

Click here for paper (fee).