Daily Archives: May 1, 2015

Mr. Jeb Bush is Disconnected from Realities of Immigration, Economy, and Baltimore Violence Ties

There are 2 worlds in Washington, DC. First is the political (affluent) class with government jobs and high incomes. Then there is most everyone else, poorer and just barely making a living. The two worlds rarely overlap, except when government offices need to be cleaned or some other menial job is necessary.

Mr. Jeb Bush and others of the affluent political class live in a bubble, with no real-world understanding of what it means to be poor, unemployed, with out much hope. To Mr. Bush there apparently is no connection between economic policy, immigration policy, and Baltimore violence. Yet they are directly connected. What is needed now are leaders and certainly a president that can see these connections without distortion. So it looks to me that Mr. Bush (here) continues in denial and has disqualified himself from any serious consideration as a presidential candidate.

Citrate Solubilizes Aluminum Present in Food, Drinking Water

The bioavailability of aluminum alone is very low. That citrate increases the bioavailability of ingested aluminum has been know for many years. People with chronic kidney disease must pay attention to this to avoid an overexposure to aluminum.

Ajay Gupta. Ferric Citrate Hydrate as a Phosphate Binder and Risk of Aluminum Toxicity. Pharmaceuticals. Oct2014, Vol. 7 Issue 10, p990-998.

Ferric citrate hydrate was recently approved in Japan as an oral phosphate binder to be taken with food for the control of hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The daily therapeutic dose is about 3 to 6 g, which comprises about 2 to 4 g of citrate. Oral citrate solubilizes aluminum that is present in food and drinking water, and opens the tight junctions in the intestinal epithelium, thereby increasing aluminum absorption and urinary excretion. In healthy animals drinking tap water, oral citrate administration increased aluminum absorption and, over a 4-week period, increased aluminum deposition in brain and bone by about 2- and 20-fold, respectively. Renal excretion of aluminum is impaired in patients with chronic kidney disease, thereby increasing the risk of toxicity. Based on human and animal studies it can be surmised that patients with CKD who are treated with ferric citrate hydrate to control hyperphosphatemia are likely to experience enhanced absorption of aluminum from food and drinking water, thereby increasing the risk of aluminum overload and toxicity.

Natural Forces Overwhelm Greenhouse Gas Effects on Climate

The title of this paper is very misleading. “Internal climate variability” is not a cause. Natural forces such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are a cause of climate variability affecting global surface temperatures. Whether it is warming or cooling, not even Mr. Barack Obama can control the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

Aiguo Dai, John Fyfe, Shang-Ping Xie, and Xingang Dai. Decadal modulation of global surface temperature by internal climate variability. Nature Climate Change. DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE2605

Despite a steady increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), global mean surface temperature (T) has shown no discernable warming since about 2000, in sharp contrast to model simulations, which on average project strong warming. The recent slowdown in observed surface warming has been attributed to decadal cooling in the tropical Pacific, intensifying trade winds, changes in El Nino activity, increasing volcanic activity and decreasing solar irradiance. Earlier preiods of arrested warming have been observed but received much less attention than the recent period, and their causes are poorly understood. Here we analyse observed and model-simulated global T fields to quantify the contributions of internal climate variability (ICV) to decadal changes in global-mean T since 1920. We show that the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) has been associated with large T anomalies over both ocean and land. Combined with another leading mode of ICV, the IPO explains most of the difference between observed and model-simulated rates of decadal change in global-mean T since 1920, and particularly over the so-called ‘hiatus’ period since about 2000. We conclude that ICV, mainly through the IPO, was largely responsible for the recent slowdown, as well as for earlier slowdowns and accelerations in global-induced cooling. Recent history suggest that the IPO could reverse course and lead to accelerated global warming in the coming decades.

Paper is here (fee).

Drinking Water Turbidity and Emergency Room Visits for GI Illness, New York City

Hsieh JL, Nguyen TQ, Matte T, Ito K. Drinking Water Turbidity and Emergency Department Visits for Gastrointestinal Illness in New York City, 2002-2009. PLoS One. 2015 Apr 28;10(4):e0125071. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125071.

BACKGROUND: Studies have examined whether there is a relationship between drinking water turbidity and gastrointestinal (GI) illness indicators, and results have varied possibly due to differences in methods and study settings.

OBJECTIVES: As part of a water security improvement project we conducted a retrospective analysis of the relationship between drinking water turbidity and GI illness in New York City (NYC) based on emergency department chief complaint syndromic data that are available in near-real-time.

METHODS: We used a Poisson time-series model to estimate the relationship of turbidity measured at distribution system and source water sites to diarrhea emergency department (ED) visits in NYC during 2002-2009. The analysis assessed age groups and was stratified by season and adjusted for sub-seasonal temporal trends, year-to-year variation, ambient temperature, day-of-week, and holidays.

RESULTS: Seasonal variation unrelated to turbidity dominated (~90% deviance) the variation of daily diarrhea ED visits, with an additional 0.4% deviance explained with turbidity. Small yet significant multi-day lagged associations were found between NYC turbidity and diarrhea ED visits in the spring only, with approximately 5% excess risk per inter-quartile-range of NYC turbidity peaking at a 6 day lag. This association was strongest among those aged 0-4 years and was explained by the variation in source water turbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: Integrated analysis of turbidity and syndromic surveillance data, as part of overall drinking water surveillance, may be useful for enhanced situational awareness of possible risk factors that can contribute to GI illness. Elucidating the causes of turbidity-GI illness associations including seasonal and regional variations would be necessary to further inform surveillance needs.