Monthly Archives: October 2018

“Republicans are the party of US citizens and their interests”

“In the latest CBS News/YouGov battleground tracker poll, Florida, Indiana, and Arizona likely voters expressed a general disdain for immigration from Central America. The three states are seeing hotly contested Senate races between Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Gov. Rick Scott (R), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Sen. Joe Donelly (D-IN) and Mike Braun (R).” click here

Children are seriously mislead, deceived in pursuing climate lawsuit

“Chief Justice John Roberts ordered a stay recently of a “landmark” trial in the federal lawsuit against the United States and various executive agencies, filed on behalf of 21 children “and future generations.”  Juliana v. United States alleges violations of the children’s fundamental right to “a climate system capable of sustaining human life.”  Acting as the guardian for the minor plaintiffs is James Hansen, the climate change equivalent of Patient Zero in the pandemic of terror over global warming.” click here

UN IPCC report acknowledges extreme weather events have not increased

“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change’s (IPCC) newly-released climate report, once again, found little to no evidence global warming caused many types of extreme weather events to increase.” click here

Heat-mortality impacts declined over the past decades

Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera et al. A multi-country analysis on potential adaptive mechanisms to cold and heat in a changing climate Environment International Volume 111, February 2018, Pages 239-246
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2017.11.006

Background

Temporal variation of temperature-health associations depends on the combination of two pathways: pure adaptation to increasingly warmer temperatures due to climate change, and other attenuation mechanisms due to non-climate factors such as infrastructural changes and improved health care. Disentangling these pathways is critical for assessing climate change impacts and for planning public health and climate policies. We present evidence on this topic by assessing temporal trends in cold- and heat-attributable mortality risks in a multi-country investigation.

Methods

Trends in country-specific attributable mortality fractions (AFs) for cold and heat (defined as below/above minimum mortality temperature, respectively) in 305 locations within 10 countries (1985–2012) were estimated using a two-stage time-series design with time-varying distributed lag non-linear models. To separate the contribution of pure adaptation to increasing temperatures and active changes in susceptibility (non-climate driven mechanisms) to heat and cold, we compared observed yearly-AFs with those predicted in two counterfactual scenarios: trends driven by either (1) changes in exposure-response function (assuming a constant temperature distribution), (2) or changes in temperature distribution (assuming constant exposure-response relationships). This comparison provides insights about the potential mechanisms and pace of adaptation in each population.

Results

Heat-related AFs decreased in all countries (ranging from 0.45–1.66% to 0.15–0.93%, in the first and last 5-year periods, respectively) except in Australia, Ireland and UK. Different patterns were found for cold (where AFs ranged from 5.57–15.43% to 2.16–8.91%), showing either decreasing (Brazil, Japan, Spain, Australia and Ireland), increasing (USA), or stable trends (Canada, South Korea and UK). Heat-AF trends were mostly driven by changes in exposure-response associations due to modified susceptibility to temperature, whereas no clear patterns were observed for cold.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest a decrease in heat-mortality impacts over the past decades, well beyond those expected from a pure adaptation to changes in temperature due to the observed warming. This indicates that there is scope for the development of public health strategies to mitigate heat-related climate change impacts. In contrast, no clear conclusions were found for cold. Further investigations should focus on identification of factors defining these changes in susceptibility.

Fluoride toxicity to bone and soft tissue

Wei Q, Deng H, Cui H, Fang J, Zuo Z, Deng J, Li Y, Wang X, Zhao L.  A mini review of fluoride-induced apoptotic pathways. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Oct 18. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-3406-z.

Fluorine or fluoride can have toxic effects on bone tissue and soft tissue at high concentrations. These negative effects include but not limited to cytotoxicity, immunotoxicity, blood toxicity, and oxidative damage. Apoptosis plays an important role in fluoride-induced toxicity of kidney, liver, spleen, thymus, bursa of Fabricius, cecal tonsil, and cultured cells. Here, apoptosis activated by high level of fluoride has been systematically reviewed, focusing on three pathways: mitochondrion-mediated, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated, and death receptor-mediated pathways. However, very limited reports are focused on the death receptor-mediated apoptosis pathways in the fluoride-induced apoptosis. Therefore, understanding and discovery of more pathways and molecular mechanisms of fluoride-induced apoptosis may contribute to designing measures for preventing fluoride toxicity.

Cold temperatures pose greater health risk than warm, India

Fu SH, Gasparrini A, Rodriguez PS, Jha P (2018) Mortality attributable to hot and cold ambient temperatures in India: a nationally representative case-crossover study. PLoS Med 15(7): e1002619. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002619

Author summary

Why was this study done?

Very few studies from low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) have examined daily hot and cold temperature effects on cause-specific mortality.

  • This is, to our knowledge, the first study to estimate cause-specific deaths attributable to daily hot and cold temperatures in India using nationally representative mortality data spanning a 13-year period.

What did the researchers do and find?

  • We used a case-crossover method and distributed-lag nonlinear models (DLNM) to assess the nonlinear and delayed associations between temperature and mortality risk.
  • We found substantial numbers of cause-specific deaths attributable to moderately cold temperature, which were approximately 12 times greater than deaths due to extremely cold temperature and 42 times greater than deaths due to extremely hot temperature.
  • Our results also showed that moderately cold temperature was associated with the highest number of deaths from stroke at ages 30–69 years and from respiratory diseases at ages 70 years and above.

What do these findings mean?

  • Public health authorities should consider the detrimental effects of moderately cold and extremely hot temperatures in their mitigation strategies, particularly as the absolute population totals in India exposed to moderately cold and extremely hot temperatures have risen by about 270 and 10 million, respectively, in the last three decades.
  • To provide reliable national estimates of temperature–mortality associations in other LMICs, large-scale and nationally representative mortality data are needed.

 

Wind turbines pose a health threat to the human heart

“Infrasound has a frequency under 20 Hz and thus is not audible to the human ear. However the low frequency sound is physically perceptible at high sound pressure and lead to health consequences, a German medical researcher said.

Wind turbines convert 40 percent of the wind’s energy into power and 60 percent into infrasound, thus making them a real potential threat to human health.” click here