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McDonald’s McNuggets made with ‘Silly Putty’ chemical

September 8, 2010 Leave a comment

What kid doesn’t love McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets? The white meat chunks are tasty and perfect for little mouths and hands. And while most parents are aware that McNuggets aren’t perfectly healthy, they probably don’t know exactly what goes into making them.

CNN has revealed that the fast-food chain makes this popular menu item with the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. Mcnuggets also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, “an anti-foaming agent” also used in Silly Putty.

Across the Atlantic in Britain, McNuggets don’t contain these chemicals and they’re less fattening.

CNN reports:

McDonald’s says the differences are based on the local tastes: In the United States, McNuggets are coated and then cooked, in the United Kingdom, they are cooked and then coated. As a result, the British McNuggets absorb less oil and have less fat.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming, [Lisa McComb, who handles global media relations for McDonald’s,] says. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane.

TBHQ is a preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats, limited to .02 percent of the oil in the nugget. One gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse,” according to “A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives.”

Does this mean that you should keep your kids away from McNuggets altogether?

Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of “What to Eat,” told CNN that the tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane in the McNuggets probably pose no health risks. But she added that as a general rule parents shouldn’t feed their children foods with an ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Try pronouncing dimethylpolysiloxane…it’s not easy.

Do you like McNuggets? Do you feed them to your kids? Does it even surprise you that McNuggets contain a chemical that’s also used in “Silly Putt”?

Posted By: Amy Graff (Email, Twitter, Facebook) | June 28 2010 at 08:19 AM

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Man, shot in head, notices five years later

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

* Oddly Enough »

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Polish man living in Germany went about his business for about five years without noticing he had been shot in the head because he was drunk when it happened. Police in the western city of Bochum said on Tuesday doctors found a .22 caliber bullet in the back of his head after the 35-year-old went to have what he thought was a cyst removed.

An X-ray released by German police August 24, 2010, shows a bullet lodged in the back of the head of a man. A Polish man living in Germany went about his business for about five years without noticing he had been shot in the head because he was drunk when it happened.

Police in the western city of Bochum said on Tuesday doctors found a .22 calibre bullet in the back of his head after the 35-year-old went to have what he thought was a cyst removed. Presented with the 5.6 mm projectile, the man recalled he had received a blow to the head around midnight at a New Year’s party ”in 2004 or 2005”, but had forgotten about it because he had been ”very drunk”, a spokesman for local police said.
REUTERS/Bochum Police/handout

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`Water is life’ — General Assembly supports Bolivia’s call for `the human right to water and sanitation’

August 2, 2010 2 comments

Speech delivered by Ambassador Pablo Solón of the Plurinational State of Bolivia before the General Assembly of the United Nations on July 28, 2010.

[The historic resolution passed with 122 countries voting for it and 41 abstaining, but with no negative votes. See below for the 41 governments that abstained.]

* * *

Allow me to begin the presentation of this resolution by recalling that human beings are essentially water. Around two-thirds of our organism is comprised of water. Some 75% of our brain is made up of water, and water is the principal vehicle for the electrochemical transmissions of our body.

Our blood flows like a network of rivers in our body. Blood helps transport nutrients and energy to our organism. Water also carries from our cells waste products for excretion. Water helps to regulate the temperature of our body.

The loss of 20% of body water can cause death. It is possible to survive for weeks without food, but it is not possible to survive more than a few days without water. Water is life.

That is why, today, we present this historic resolution for the consideration of the plenary of the General Assembly on behalf of the co‐sponsoring countries of: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Fiji, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Yemen.

The right to health was originally recognised by the World Health Organization in 1946. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared “the right to life”, “the right to education”, and “the right to work”, among others. In 1966, these were furthered in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights with the recognition of “the right to social security”, and “the right to an adequate standard of living”, including adequate food, clothing and adequate shelter.

Right to water

However, the human right to water has continued to fail be fully recognised, despite clear references in various international legal instruments, such as: the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This is why we, the co‐sponsors, present this resolution in order that we now recognise the human right to water and sanitation, at a time when illness caused by lack of drinking water and sanitation causes more deaths than does war.

Every year, 3.5 million people die of water-borne illness. Diarrhea is the second largest cause of death among children under five. Lack of access to potable water kills more children than AIDS, malaria and smallpox combined. Worldwide, approximately 1 in 8 people lack potable water.

In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed by collecting and transporting water for domestic use.

The situation of lack of sanitation is far worse, for it affects 2.6 billion people, or 40% of the global population.

According to the report on sanitation by the independent expert,

Sanitation, more than many other human rights issue, evokes the concept of human dignity; consider the vulnerability and shame that so many people experience every day when, again, they are forced to defecate in the open, in a bucket or a plastic bag. It is the indignity of this situation that causes the embarrassment.

The vast majority of illnesses around the world are caused by fecal matter. It is estimated that sanitation could reduce child death due to diarrhea by more than one third.

On any given day, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from illnesses associated with lack of access to safe water and lack of sanitation.

Human rights

Human rights were not born as fully developed concepts, but are built on reality and experience. For example, the human rights to education and work included in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights were constructed and specified over time, with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international legal instruments such as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The same will occur with the human right to water and sanitation.

That is why we emphasise and encourage in the third operative paragraph of this resolution that the independent expert continue working on all aspects of her mandate, and present to the General Assembly “the principal challenges related to the realization of the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation and their impact on the achievement of Millennium Development Goals”.

The Summit on the Millennium Development Goals is approaching, and it is necessary to give a clear signal to the world that drinking water and sanitation are a human right, and that we will do everything possible to reach this goal, which we have only 5 more years to achieve.

That is why we are convinced of the importance of the second operative paragraph of this resolution, which “Calls upon States and international organizations to provide financial resources, capacity‐building and technology transfer, through international assistance and cooperation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all”.

All resolutions contain a passage that we can point to as the heart of the matter, and the heart of this resolution is in its first operative paragraph. Throughout many informal consultations, we have striven to accommodate the different concerns of the member states, leaving aside issues that do not pertain to this resolution and always seeking balance, but without loosing the essence of the resolution.

The right to drinking water and sanitation is a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life.

Drinking water and sanitation are not only elements or principal components of other rights such as “the right to an adequate standard of living”. The right to drinking water and sanitation are independent rights that should be recognised as such. It is not sufficient to urge states to comply with their human rights obligations relative to access to drinking water and sanitation. Instead, it is necessary to call on states to promote and protect the human right to drinking water and sanitation.

In our effort to seek transparency and understanding without losing perspective on the essence of this resolution, in the name of the co-sponsors we would like to propose an oral amendment to the first operative paragraph of the resolution that would replace the word “declares” with the word “recognises”.

Before moving to the consideration of this resolution, I would like to ask all delegations to bear in mind the fact that, according to the 2009 report of the World Health Organization and UNICEF entitled Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done, 24,000 children die in developing countries every day from preventable causes like diarrhea contracted from unclean water. That is one child death every 3.5 seconds.

One, two, three…

As my people say, “Now is the time.”

Thank you very much.

41 countries that did not support making water a human right

July 28, 2010 — Climate and Capitalism — These are the 41 countries that abstained in the July 28 UN General Assembly vote on Bolivia’s resolution to recognise access to water and sanitation as basic human rights. Rather than honestly vote “no”, they abstained to avoid being labelled as opponents of access to water, but many made statements that reveal their hostility to the very idea of recognising water as a human right.

Among others:

Canada complained that the resolution “appeared to determine that there was indeed a right without setting out its scope”.

The UK said “there was no sufficient legal basis for declaring or recognising water or sanitation as freestanding human rights, nor was there evidence that they existed in customary law”.

The United States said “there was no ‘right to water and sanitation’ in an international legal sense, as described by the resolution”.

Australia “had reservations about declaring new human rights in a General Assembly resolution”.

The abstainers:

  • Armenia
  • Albania (while not present at the votes, Albania expressed afterwards that it would have abstained)
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Greece
  • Guyana
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • United States
  • Zambia

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Categories: Environment Tags: ,

Corexit Tied To ‘Dengue Fever’ In Florida?

July 30, 2010 1 comment

Outbreak Leads Back To CIA And Army Experiments
With little fanfare on July 13, Florida officials released the findings of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study conducted recently in the Key West area revealing that about 10 percent, or 1,000 people, of the coastal town’s population are infected with the dengue fever virus.
While the July 13 release made little mention of it, the CDC study was provoked by an earlier 2009 report that a woman in New York State, who had returned from a Florida Keys’ visit, had contracted dengue fever. Within a few weeks of this initial report, two additional cases were discovered in people who had returned from Key West. Over the next three months of 2009, an additional 26 cases were identified, all tied to visits to the town.
Because of these reported cases, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District conducted greatly increased aerial spraying to control mosquitoes. Following the spraying, a small amount of other cases were reported, including that of a 41-year-old Key West man who found blood in his urine and had severely aching joints. Following these additional reports, the CDC launched its study of antibodies in Key West residents and found that 5 percent of the town’s residents have been exposed to the dengue virus. Said CDC dengue expert, Dr. Christopher J. Gregory, “The best estimate from the survey is that about 5 percent of [residents] was infected in 2009 with dengue.” Gregory also stated, “We have known for a while it is a possible risk, but this outbreak shows it is more than possible: It is something that did happen and could happen again.”
Despite the low-key nature of the Florida release, the Homeland Security Administration immediately issued a “terror alert” concerning the findings and Monroe County, within which Key West is located, also issued its own health advisory warning “effective immediately.”
Said Bob Eadie of the Monroe County Health Department, “Dengue is rare in Florida, but not unknown. It’s just one of several mosquito-borne illnesses monitored by the department and why we continually remind the public to take precautions against bites.” Eadie added, “Many people may be infected and not develop any symptoms. Our department and the CDC will have to do some detective work after interviewing and drawing blood from residents who appear to be perfectly fine but may have the virus.”
Dengue fever is a virus-based disease spread by the bites of mosquitoes. It can be caused by any one of four separate but related viruses carried by infected mosquitoes, most commonly the mosquito Aedes aegypti, found in tropic and subtropic areas. It is commonly found in Southeast Asia, South and Central America, Indonesia and sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past several decades it has been consistently reported that dengue fever has been eradicated in North America. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a far more severe form of the dengue virus. If untreated, it can be fatal. The chief symptoms of dengue fever are a high fever, severe headache, strong pain behind the eyes, joint, muscle and bone pain, easy bruising, rash and mild bleeding from the nose and gums. There is no cure or vaccine for dengue fever. One can only treat the symptoms in such ways as getting plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, take pain relievers with acetaminophen and promptly consult a skilled physician.
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Hidden History of Dengue:
It appears highly unlikely that any “detective work” performed by the CDC and Florida health officials will unearth evidence of dengue fever being imported into Florida, but that evidence certainly exists. Prior to the recent Key West findings and still today, the CDC has consistently reported that there have been no outbreaks of dengue fever in Florida since 1934 and none in the continental US since 1946. This report is incorrect.
Unknown to most Americans is that dengue fever has been the intense focus of US Army and CIA biological warfare researchers for over 50 years. Ed Regis notes in his excellent history of Fort Detrick, “The Biology of Doom,” that as early as 1942 leading biochemists at the installation placed dengue fever on a long list for serious consideration as a possible weapon. In the early 1950s, Fort Detrick, in partnership with the CIA, launched a multi-million dollar research program under which dengue fever and several addition exotic diseases were studied for use in offensive biological warfare attacks. Assumably, because the virus is generally not lethal, program planners viewed it primarily as an incapacitant. Reads one CIA Project Artichoke document: “Not all viruses have to be lethal … the objective includes those that act as short-term and long-term incapacitants.” Several CIA documents, as well as the findings of a 1975 Congressional committee, reveal that three sites in Florida, Key West, Panama City and Avon Park, as well as two other locations in central Florida, were used for experiments with mosquito-borne dengue fever and other biological substances.
The experiments in Avon Park, about 170 miles from Miami, were covertly conducted in a low-income African-American neighborhood that contained several newly constructed public housing projects. CIA documents related to its top-secret Project MK/NAOMI clearly indicate that the mosquitoes used in Avon Park were the Aedes aegypti type. Specially equipped aircraft, in one of the larger experiments, released 600,000 mosquitoes over the area. In one of the Avon Park experiments, about 150,000 mosquitoes were dropped in paper bags designed to open upon impact with the ground. Each bag held about 1,000 insects. Besides dengue, some of the mosquitoes were also carrying yellow fever.
Avon Park residents, still living in the area, say the experiments resulted in “at least 6 or 7 deaths.” One elderly resident told Truthout, “Nobody knew about what had gone on here for years, maybe over 20 years, but in looking back it explained why a bunch of healthy people got sick quick and died at the time of those experiments.” Interestingly, at the same time experiments were conducted in Florida, there were at least two cases of dengue fever reported among civilian researchers at Fort Detrick in Maryland.
A 1978 Pentagon publication, entitled “Biological Warfare: Secret Testing & Volunteers,” reveals that the Army’s Chemical Corps and Special Operations and Projects Divisions at Fort Detrick conducted “tests” similar to the Avon Park experiments in Key West, but the bulk of the documentation concerning this highly classified and covert work is still held by the Pentagon as “secret.” One former Fort Detrick researcher says the Army “performed a number of experiments in the area of the Keys,” but that “not all concerned dengue virus.”
In 1959, Fort Detrick launched its largest mosquito experiment called Operation Bellwether, consisting of over 50 field experiments. Some of these experiments, designed to ascertain the “rate of biting” and “mosquito aggressiveness,” were conducted in partnership with scientists with the Rockefeller Institute in New York, where scientists bred their own strain of mosquitoes. Some of the Bellwether experiments were conducted in Florida, as well as in other states, including Georgia, Maryland, Utah and Arizona.
The 1978 Pentagon publication, along with two other Chemical Corps reports, reveal the identities of a number of the companies and institutions that assisted the Army in its offensive biological warfare experiments: Armour Research Foundation (1951-1954); the Battelle Memorial Institute (1952-1965); Ben Venue Labs, Inc. (1953-1954); University of Florida (1953-1956); Florida State University (1951-1953); and the Lovell Chemical Company (1951-1955).
In the spring and summer of 1981, Cuba experienced a severe hemorrhagic dengue fever epidemic. Between May and October 1981, the island nation had 158 dengue-related deaths with about 75,000 reported infection cases. Prior to this outbreak, Cuba had reported only a very small number of cases in 1944 and 1977. At the height of the epidemic, over 10,000 people per day were found infected and 116,150 were hospitalized. At the same time as the 1981 outbreak, covert biological warfare attacks on Cuba’s residents and crops were believed to have been conducted against the island by CIA contractors and military airplane flyovers. Particularly harmful to the nation was a severe outbreak of swine flu that Fidel Castro attributed to the CIA. American researcher William H. Schaap, an editor of Covert Action magazine, claims the Cuba dengue outbreak was the result of CIA activities. Former Fort Detrick researchers, all of whom refused to have their names used for this article, say they performed “advance work” on the Cuba outbreak and that it was “man made.”
In 1982, the Soviet media reported that the CIA sent operatives into Afghanistan from Pakistan to launch a dengue epidemic. The Soviets claimed the operatives were posing as malaria workers, but, instead, were releasing dengue-infected mosquitoes. The CIA denied the charges. In 1985 and 1986, authorities in Nicaragua accused the CIA of creating a massive outbreak of dengue fever that infected thousands in that country. CIA officials denied any involvement, but Army researchers admitted that intensive work with arthropod vectors for offensive biological warfare objectives had been conducted at Fort Detrick in the early 1980s, having first started in the early 1950s. Fort Detrick researchers reported that huge colonies of mosquitoes infected with not only dengue virus, but also yellow fever, were maintained at the Frederick, Maryland, installation, as well as hordes of flies carrying cholera and anthrax and thousands of ticks filled with Colorado fever and relapsing fever.
A review of declassified Army Chemical Corps documents reveal that the Army may have also been engaged in dengue fever research as early as the late 1940s. Several redacted Camp Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal reports indicate that experiments were conducted on state and federal prisoners who were unwitting exposed to dengue fever, as well as other viruses, some possibly lethal. Freedom of Information requests filed months ago for details on these early experiments remain unanswered.
******************************************************
*****Dengue Fever and BP Spill Complications*****
******************************************************
The timing of this outbreak of dengue fever presents two additional problems; the symptoms of dengue fever are very similar to that of exposures to chemicals such as those contained in crude oil and the dispersants currently being used in the contaminated areas of the Gulf of Mexico, potentially making it difficult to diagnose the source of a sufferer’s symptoms. Worse yet, there looms the possibility that Corexit and other toxins present in the Gulf area may weaken the immune system, thus, setting the stage for more severe forms of the disease in people who are, or have previously been, exposed to the virus.
It is still unclear to what degree residents of the Gulf area, at large, have been or will be exposed to such chemicals in the long term, but there is mounting evidence that fishermen, cleanup workers, and others who spend significant time in contact with the Gulf waters are beginning to display symptoms consistent with chemically induced neurotoxicity. If dengue fever also spreads within the Gulf community, affecting a significant number of people, it will be increasingly difficult to differentiate the cause of symptoms in those who develop them; even in persons who test positive for dengue exposure, the additional possibility remains that chemical toxicity is present as well.
The presentation of dengue fever varies considerably from case to case. Numerous medical studies have identified asymptomatic infections, or infections that consist of only mild, flu-like symptoms that would likely not result in the sufferer seeking medical attention.
When more troubling symptoms are present, they vary considerably in severity. According to the CDC, milder cases of dengue fever are identified by a high fever accompanied by at least two of the following symptoms: severe headache; severe eye pain (behind eyes); joint pain; muscle and/or bone pain; rash; a mild bleeding manifestation such as bleeding gums, nose bleeds, or easy bruising; and low white cell count. In more severe cases, dengue can cause severe abdominal pain or persistent vomiting; red blotches or patches on the skin; more severe bleeding of nose or gums; vomiting of blood; black, tarry excrement (indicative of the presence of blood in the stool); drowsiness; irritability; cold or clammy skin; pallor; and difficulty breathing. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene has reported cases of dengue fever that resulted in neurological manifestations, as well.
Dengue fever can also cause a much more serious, hemorrhagic form of the disease, the presentation of which the CDC describes as follows:
“[A] fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with general signs and symptoms consistent with dengue fever. When the fever declines, warning signs may develop. This marks the beginning of a 24 to 48 hour period when the smallest blood vessels (capillaries) become excessively permeable (“leaky”), allowing the fluid component to escape from the blood vessels into the peritoneum (causing ascites) and pleural cavity (leading to pleural effusions). This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock and possibly death without prompt, appropriate treatment. In addition, the patient with DHF has a low platelet count and hemorrhagic manifestations, tendency to bruise easily or have other types of skin hemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums and possibly internal bleeding.”
As if this were not troubling enough, let us compare the above symptom picture to the symptoms associated with exposure to the dispersants Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527. The exact risks of exposure to these chemicals have yet to be determined; in fact, the manufacturers’ material safety data sheet (MSDS) for Corexit 9500 states: “No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product.” The MSDS further states that one should not come in contact with the product or breathe its vapors and that adequate protective skin protection and breathing apparatuses should be worn when handling or working with the compound. Any hints of safe usage within the MSDS on these chemicals should be viewed from the following perspective: the MSDS data assumes limited exposure (for example, while applying the chemical) and the use of adequate protective gear. These statistics do not apply, therefore, to unprotected people who may be subject to long-term, consistent exposure.
Many toxicologists have raised grave concerns, however, about the risks that these dispersants may pose to residents of the Gulf of Mexico area. Dr. Susan Shaw, a marine toxicologist, talked about her recent experience with shrimpers who had been working in the Gulf waters. In an interview on CNN, she addressed the situation of a shrimper who had thrown his net into water, causing the water to splash onto his unprotected skin. She reported that he developed a “headache that lasted 3 weeks, heart palpitations, muscle spasms, bleeding from the rectum …” and continued, “and that’s what this Corexit does, it ruptures red blood cells, causes internal bleeding and liver and kidney damage. …” She asserts that the combination of oil from the well, combined with Corexit dispersant, increases the toxicity of both substances. In combination, she believes that they are skin permeable and that they aerosolize to produce a breathing hazard as well. The toxins can enter the body through the respiratory tract, but are unlikely to remain localized in the lungs, instead spreading throughout one’s entire body system.
Numerous reports have come in from both residents of the Gulf area and journalists visiting the area that many people who are exposed to the water are beginning to experience health problems. Among the most commonly reported symptoms are burning eyes, skin rashes, lightheadedness, dizziness, difficulty breathing, transient numbness and shooting pains, persistent coughing, sore throats, muscle and bone aches, weakness and severe fatigue. More troubling reports, such as those of the shrimpers mentioned above, have included bleeding from the nose and from the rectum, as well as permanent numbness in extremities and complete loss of the sense of smell. It is generally accepted in the medical literature that, although the initial, acute presentation of toxic exposure is generally the most severe, symptoms may linger indefinitely or even result in permanent damage to the body.
Herein lies the dilemma: If a Gulf resident becomes ill, to what do we attribute his or her symptoms? In addition to the dispersants themselves, Gulf residents are potentially suffering from exposure to benzene and other toxic chemicals that are naturally present in crude oil, as well as several potentially toxic gases being released from the well. In combination with the dispersant, the exact toxicity risk of these chemicals remains unknown.
Add now, to the picture, the risk of having contracted dengue fever and the puzzle becomes more difficult to piece together. The CDC’s 2009 survey contained samples from only 240 households and determined that about 5 percent of the residents had antibodies to the dengue virus, indicating either current infection or a prior exposure. This relatively small sample may not be indicative of the Florida population as a whole and may not be a valid indicator of the overall number of exposed people in the surrounding areas.
The medical literature indicates that dengue virus, like many other viruses, may remain in the body in a latent form; during latency, the virus is unlikely to cause symptoms. A second infection with dengue, however, can lead to a much more severe presentation of the disease and a greater likelihood of it progressing to its hemorrhagic (and potentially fatal) form. Likewise, the literature indicates that a severe assault to the immune system presents a risk of virus reactivation and resultant disease.
Dr. Shaw’s assessment of the dangers of Corexit dispersant, particularly in combination with the other contaminants resulting from the damaged BP oil well, includes the potential for severe damage to the immune system. Such immune system suppression or damage, it seems, could then reactivate dengue fever in residents who carry the latent virus, perhaps even resulting in a more severe form of the disease’s presentation.
Assuming the above quoted assessments of the current situation in Florida are accurate, the presence of the dengue virus in Florida at this time makes for a nightmarish picture. Not only is there a tremendous symptom overlap between dengue virus and toxin exposure, up to and including the potential for a hemorrhagic presentation of both, but there looms on the horizon a new and frightening possibility: The combined presence of this disease and a toxic environment might have the potential to combine, making an already tragic situation incrementally worse.
By H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Zoe Martell
7-22-10

www.HealthierTalk.com

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Drinking alcohol can ‘reduce severity’ of arthritis

July 28, 2010 2 comments

Social drinking More research is needed to find out why alcohol can have an effect on arthritis symptoms

Drinking alcohol can not only ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis it appears to reduce disease severity too, research suggests.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield asked two groups of patients with and without the disease to provide details of their drinking habits.

They found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently experienced less joint pain and swelling.

Experts say this should not be taken as a green light for drinking more.

In the study, 873 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were compared to 1,004 people who did not have it.

Both groups were asked how often they had drunk alcohol in the month running up to the start of the study.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

It’s possible that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol may play a role in reducing the severity of symptoms”

End Quote Dr James Maxwell consultant rheumatologist

Patients completed a detailed questionnaire, had X-rays and blood tests, and a nurse examined their joints.

‘Less damage’Dr James Maxwell, consultant rheumatologist and lead author of the study, explained the findings.

“We found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently.”

X-rays showed there was less damage to their joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability in those patients, the researchers found.

They say they do not yet understand why drinking alcohol should reduce the severity of RA, and people’s susceptibility to developing it.

Dr Maxwell said: “There is some evidence to show that alcohol suppresses the activity of the immune system, and that this may influence the pathways by which RA develops.

“Once someone has developed RA, it’s possible that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol may play a role in reducing the severity of symptoms,” he added.

The authors say that further research is needed to confirm the results of the study and to investigate how and why alcohol has an effect on rheumatoid arthritis.

Risk and rewardsPrevious studies have shown that alcohol may reduce the risk of developing the disease in the first place.

Similarly, in the current study non-drinkers were four times more likely to develop RA than people who drank alcohol on more than 10 days a month.

A spokeswoman for Arthritis Research UK, which co-funded the research, said: “We would not want people with RA to take this research to mean that they should go out and start drinking alcohol frequently and in large amounts as this could be detrimental to their health.”

She said some RA treatments, like the immunosuppressant drug methotrexate, can damage the liver when taken with large amounts of alcohol.

The patients in the study did not drink more than the recommended limit of 10 units of alcohol a week.

Drinking alcohol can not only ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis it appears to reduce disease severity too, research suggests.

Scientists at the University of Sheffield asked two groups of patients with and without the disease to provide details of their drinking habits.

They found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently experienced less joint pain and swelling.

Experts say this should not be taken as a green light for drinking more.

In the study, 873 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were compared to 1,004 people who did not have it.

Both groups were asked how often they had drunk alcohol in the month running up to the start of the study.

Continue reading the main story

It’s possible that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol may play a role in reducing the severity of symptoms”

End Quote Dr James Maxwell consultant rheumatologist

Patients completed a detailed questionnaire, had X-rays and blood tests, and a nurse examined their joints.

‘Less damage’Dr James Maxwell, consultant rheumatologist and lead author of the study, explained the findings.

“We found that patients who had drunk alcohol most frequently had symptoms that were less severe than those who had never drunk alcohol or only drunk it infrequently.”

X-rays showed there was less damage to their joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation, and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability in those patients, the researchers found.

They say they do not yet understand why drinking alcohol should reduce the severity of RA, and people’s susceptibility to developing it.

Dr Maxwell said: “There is some evidence to show that alcohol suppresses the activity of the immune system, and that this may influence the pathways by which RA develops.

“Once someone has developed RA, it’s possible that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of alcohol may play a role in reducing the severity of symptoms,” he added.

The authors say that further research is needed to confirm the results of the study and to investigate how and why alcohol has an effect on rheumatoid arthritis.

Risk and rewardsPrevious studies have shown that alcohol may reduce the risk of developing the disease in the first place.

Similarly, in the current study non-drinkers were four times more likely to develop RA than people who drank alcohol on more than 10 days a month.

A spokeswoman for Arthritis Research UK, which co-funded the research, said: “We would not want people with RA to take this research to mean that they should go out and start drinking alcohol frequently and in large amounts as this could be detrimental to their health.”

She said some RA treatments, like the immunosuppressant drug methotrexate, can damage the liver when taken with large amounts of alcohol.

The patients in the study did not drink more than the recommended limit of 10 units of alcohol a week.

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    28 July 2010 Last updated at 20:12 ET

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How Vitamins E, D May Help The Brain


Submitted by CNN News Wire on Tuesday, 13 July 2010No Comment

By Elizabeth Landau

CNN

A lot of research in recent years has provided evidence both for and against individual vitamins and supplements helping to reduce risk of brain diseases common in old age. The consensus is generally that nothing is certain to work, as CNN reported in April.

But there continue to be hints that particular vitamins may carry benefits in this area, as three studies out this week suggest.

Vitamin E

Researchers report in the Archives of Neurology that foods rich in vitamin E are associated with lower dementia risk. This is based on more than 5,000 people age 55 and older who did not have dementia between 1990 and 1993. They were followed up with about 10 years later on average.

The one-third of people studied who ate the most vitamin E – via foods such as margarine, sunflower oil, butter, cooking fat, soybean oil and mayonnaise – were 25 percent less likely to develop dementia than the one-third of participants who consumed the least.

When cells get damaged from oxygen exposure, this may contribute in Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may prevent the development of dementia in the brain, the authors conclude.

But this is not a controlled experiment; participants were not randomly assigned to diets with and without high levels of vitamin E. And clinical trials have not conclusively shown that this vitamin when taken as a supplement has this benefit. Also, all participants came from the Netherlands. Further research is needed.

Vitamin D

Another study in Archives of Neurology found that people who have higher levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. How vitamin D provides this benefit is unknown, researchers say.

This study, led by Paul Knekt of Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, looked at more than 3,100 participants who did not have Parkinson’s disease when the study began (1978 to 1980). After about 29 years, 50 of them had developed Parkinson’s, and those with the highest vitamin D levels had a significantly lower chance of developing the disease than participants with the lowest levels.

Again, this is not a controlled experiment, and it is specific to one country, but experts say the work is important.

“Knekt and colleagues’ study provides the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, but further work is needed in both basic and clinical arenas to elucidate the exact role, mechanisms and optimum concentration of vitamin D in Parkinson’s disease,” writes Dr. Marian Leslie Evatt of Emory University in an editorial.

More research is also needed to examine vitamin D’s role in cognitive decline.

A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that older adults deficient in vitamin D were 60 percent more likely to show substantial cognitive decline than participants with adequate levels. Researchers looked at 858 adults aged 65 and older.

Again, this is not a randomized controlled trial, but merely an observational study that provides the springboard for further investigation. An editorial in the journal calls for such trials.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta
TM & © 2010 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Dealing with Conflict From Within


We all have heard a lot about the value of co-operation, but have you ever considered whether or not you co-operate with yourself? This may seem like a nonsensical question on the surface, but if you think about it you will soon be able to think of many instances where parts of ourselves are in conflict.

You may decide to quit smoking or to lose weight, if all parts of yourself are in agreement, then it happens. But sometimes there is another part (or parts) that want nothing to do with this new regime, and so they will do whatever they can to sabotage the effort. One part of you may have been wanting to clean out the closet or garage for months. If you keep procrastinating, it just may be that another part has set up a roadblock. When you hear yourself saying “I really want to do it, but I just can’t seem to get it together,” that’s a good sign that there is some non-co-operation going on.

These non-co-operative parts behave a lot like some teenagers. They tell us that they really mean it this time, and they will do it, and then they don’t. Or they’ll say they already did it, but later you find out that they didn’t. They may even carry out the new behavior for two or three days, but then go back to the old habits. And if you confront them, they’ll either go into denial, or tell you that it was a stupid idea in the first place.

Now you might be thinking that it’s hard enough dealing with real teenagers without worrying about these imaginary rebellious adolescents in your head. But there is hope. Like the real teenagers, these parts want more than anything just to be heard. The more you ignore them, the more they’ll act out. So when you set a goal for yourself, it might be helpful also list all of the reasons why you don’t want to do what needs to be done to reach the goal.

You may not want to quit smoking because you’re afraid you’ll gain weight, or be too anxious. You may not want to clean out the closet because you are not ready to part with things that you know you no longer need. Once you have identified the resistant parts, you can find ways to meet the needs of that part. You may get more internal co-operation on quitting smoking if you plan snacks carefully, and begin an exercise program at the same time. You may be able to get at that closet if you give yourself permission to store unused items in the basement for a few months more to be sure that you won’t need them.

And just like real teenagers, sometimes these rebellious parts of our consciousness have a point, and they may be telling us something that we really need to hear.  So if you can’t seem to get at cleaning the garage, or get stacks of thank you cards in the mail, maybe there’s a part that is telling you to slow down, do less, and enjoy more.  And that’s a message worth hearing.

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