Apr 06

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Aug 16

Lejeune water victims get help

August 13, 2012|Tom Philpott | Military Update

President Obama signed a bipartisan bill last week that, for the first time, offers veterans and family members government-funded hospitalization and medical services for 15 specific ailments presumed linked to drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune, N.C., over 31 years, ending in 1987.

The bill has several controversial features, including a mandate that the Department of Veterans Affairs, rather than the military and its TRICARE program, provide the care. The estimated cost for the first five years is $162 million to treat several thousand victims who are expected to qualify.

Aug 16

Obama signs bill to help Camp Lejeune water victims

Obama signs bill to help Camp Lejeune water victims

Published: 12:15 AM, Tue Aug 07, 2012
Obama signs bill to help Camp Lejeune water victims
Story Photo
AP file photo
In this 2007 photo. Jerry Ensminger holds a portrait of his daughter, Janey, in White Lake. Janey Ensminger died at age 9. President Obama signed into law Monday the Janey Ensminger Act, which provides health benefits to Marines and family members exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987.

The Associated Press

RALEIGH – President Obama said the United States has a sacred duty to protect its men and women in uniform, even when the dangers lurk on the bases where they lived.

The president signed a bill into law Monday that provides health benefits to Marines and family members exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune from 1957 to 1987.

“I think all Americans feel we have a moral, sacred duty toward our men and women in uniform,” Obama said in an Oval Office ceremony before signing the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. “They protect our freedom, and it’s our obligation to do right by them. This bill takes another important step in fulfilling that commitment.”

The law also bans protesting within 300 feet of military funerals.

The bill passed Congress last week with bipartisan support. Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to tainted groundwater at the base along the North Carolina coast.

Jerry Ensminger of Elizabethtown was one of those affected and attended Monday’s ceremony. He led the fight for information about the water problems at Camp Lejeune since his daughter, Janey, died in 1985 at the age of 9 of a rare form of childhood leukemia. Other soldiers, who suffered from a rare form of male breast cancer, also said the government spent years trying to hide the problem and the poor response by officials.

“Some of the veterans and their families who were based in Camp Lejeune in the years when the water was contaminated will now have access to extended medical care,” Obama said. “And, sadly, this act alone will not bring back those we’ve lost, including Jane Ensminger, but it will honor their memory by making a real difference for those who are still suffering.”

Documents show Marine leaders were slow to respond when tests in the early 1980s showed higher than normal levels of contaminants in groundwater and the base, likely caused by leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner.

“The Marines affected by this tragedy have sacrificed to keep our country safe,” Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., said in a statement. “I am pleased that today, we are ensuring that our veterans and their family members are taken care of in their time of need.”

Aug 28

Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Semper Fi: Always Faithful – Documenting a Fight for Environmental Justice.

 

NYC writer focusing on women’s issues; co-founder, cultID
Posted: 8/28/11 04:35 PM ET in Huffington Post

“There are over 130 contaminated military sites in the United states. This makes the Department of Defense the nation’s largest polluter.”

These words stand as the most salient message of the documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful, a film that encompasses the worlds of environmental justice, the military, politics and science.

The protagonist of the narrative is Ret. Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger — a formidable presence. When framed against the backdrop of the United States Capitol, his physical demeanor telegraphs that he is a man to be reckoned with. For Ensminger, the narrative begins with his daughter, Janey, who died at the age of 9 from a rare form of childhood leukemia. Trying to understand the reason behind her illness is the subtext of Ensminger’s quest, as well as the connective tissue for the ensuing narrative about water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Ensminger’s relentless search for truth is driven by the need to get answers not only for himself, but also for the nearly one million people who were unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals at the base.

The backstory gets set in motion in 1941, when a fuel depot in operation at Camp Lejeune had leaks that were seeping into the ground — 1,500 feet from a drinking water supply well. The estimated start date of the water contamination was 1957, when other improperly disposed of solvents additionally entered the mix. In 1975, Ensminger was living at Camp Lejeune. His wife was pregnant with Janey. In 1983, his daughter received her diagnosis. Ironically, unbeknownst to Ensminger, between 1980-1984, the water was being tested at the base with results consistently finding contaminants and “health concerns.”

In 1985, the Commanding General at Camp Lejeune notified residents to conserve water because of well closures, but neglected to mention that 11 wells were closed due to contamination –referencing only “minute [traces] of several organic chemicals” present in the water. In actuality, the chemical levels were 20 to 280 times the safety standards of today. The last contaminated well was closed in 1987, without notification to any of the residents of Camp Lejeune, either past or present.

It wasn’t until 1997 that Ensminger had a clue about the situation. He heard a report on the local news about a “proposed health study on adults and babies” exposed to carcinogens in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. Then it all started to click.

When Ensminger found out that the Marines were not taking care of their own, he felt totally betrayed. Yet his close to 25 years of military service as a drill sergeant had comprehensively prepared him to become a forceful opponent to the Department of Defense (DOD). He applied the Marine mindset — “Don’t give up ground; No person left behind” — to the task at hand. It gave him the tenacity and grit to take his case all the way to the halls of Congress. The juxtaposition between hardnosed non-com and grieving parent presents Ensminger as a multidimensional anchor for the action around him. The film captures Ensminger’s righteous anger in a sequence when he visits a cemetery near Camp Lejeune, pointing out a series of headstones marking the graves of babies. Later, while detailing the pain his daughter endured from her illness, it comes as no surprise when he states emotionally, “You understand my resolve.”

Ensminger came to realize that he was dealing with a cover-up, and that the government regulations “were a burden that was unwelcome” by the DOD. An interaction between those who have been harmed and Marine Corps representatives is telling. “A very difficult and laborious task” is how the Marines qualify notifying those who have been impacted, adding feebly, “We could try.” One of the key characters fighting cancer, former Marine Denita McCall, is overwhelmed by frustration. She states, “If I die tomorrow, my family gets nothing.”

The movie, which began shooting in mid-2007 and wrapped at the end of 2010, is able to encapsulate Ensminger’s journey through the political maze. He graduates from consistently unreturned phone calls to finding support from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). Miller has reintroduced the Janey Ensminger Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide health care to veterans and their families who have been impacted from their exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Burr has sponsored a bill in the Senate, the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2011.

With approximately 1 in 10 Americans living within 10 miles of a contaminated military site, Ensminger comments, “Camp Lejeune is just the tip of the iceberg.” His verbal asides lend color and a down to earth voice amidst the technical jargon of science, military, and law material. A meeting at the National Academy of Sciences to review the classification of the chemical PCE, is an opportunity for Ensminger to weigh in on the testifying suits. “These people come flying in on jets… Why is the benefit of the doubt going to the chemicals?… It’s all about money.”

Semper Fi: Always Faithful had its world premiere at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, and is rolling out in theaters on August 26. At a time when the Environmental Protection Agency is coming under attack for “over-regulation,” the film stands as a testimony to what happens when the public’s health is neither protected nor considered.

I spoke with Rachel Libert (who co-directed the film with Tony Hardmon), to discuss the political ramifications of the documentary, and her commitment to creating films that “raise awareness and effect social change.” Libert characterized the information they encountered as similar to “layers of an onion peeling away.” She never expected to learn how “broken” the public health and environment regulatory systems were. Libert expanded on the enforcement issues the EPA was having with the DOD, clarifying that as a government agency — the DOD has been able to circumvent standards that would be strictly applied to private companies.

As Libert explained it, Ensminger’s search for the truth rippled out into an examination beyond water contamination and illness. It entered the spheres of the clout of special interests and how to determine guidelines on regulating toxic chemicals. She said, “When you make a film like this, it doesn’t just exist in the entertainment world. Our first question was, ‘What can we do?’ Film is a very powerful tool to reach people you wouldn’t normally reach. It has the ability to do that. It’s a pathway to action.”

To that end, the film’s website has a “Take Action” link which encourages the public to write their representatives in support of the pending legislation. Community screenings have been set up across the country, and partnerships have been forged with environmental groups.

For Libert, the fact that the film could push forward an agenda was a “dream” for her as a filmmaker. It also left her with a new sense of optimism. Despite the fact she knew that Ensminger was a man of “relentless determination,” she was cynical about how much he could actually accomplish.

Liebert pointed to the ultimately “hopeful message” — Individuals can make a difference through the power of one.

This article originally appeared on the website cultureID

 

Aug 25

Green Water Is Not Always A Good Thing!

Unchecked pollution chokes Lebanon’s rivers

August 26, 2011 01:44 AM By Niamh Fleming-Farrell

The Daily Star

BEIRUT: “Let me tell you one thing,” Raghida Haddad, the executive editor of Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia, a Lebanese environment and development magazine, says. “There are 12 rivers in Lebanon that go into the sea, and you can call them sewers.

”Poisoned with effluent and often strewn with garbage, Lebanon’s rivers are grotty and unwell. They should be both a source of usable water and recreation, but a report published by the United Nations Development Program and the Environment Ministry in 2010 compiled data showing that rivers, both coastal and inland, contain unacceptable levels of raw sewage. In many, E-coli and coliform are not only above acceptable levels for drinking water, they are also above levels acceptable for bathing water as set by the Environment Ministry.

Blessed among its neighbors in terms of water potential, Lebanon’s contaminated rivers are both a source of sickness and disease and a contributor to the pollution of the country’s coast and marine life.

Haddad points out that the high concentration of heavy metals in river water can accumulate in the human body, affecting the nervous and digestive systems and damaging the heart and kidneys. Meanwhile Mark Saadeh, PhD, a hydrogeology specialist, recites a phrase well known in his profession: “The health of a marine environment is determined by the state of rivers.”

The interconnection of aquifers, rivers, seas and oceans means that pollutants added to any one of these will inevitably affect the others.

Saadeh pulls up a file on his computer and opens a series of images of the Litani river, Lebanon’s longest waterway. The pictures show a bright green, algae-covered channel. “It’s turned into a sewer system,” Saadeh says. “It’s not even moving; it’s stagnant.”

He explains how older people living along the river describe a time when it was clear and fast flowing, and they would happily use it for swimming and as a source of drinking water.

But since Saadeh first studied the waterway as a consultant with the Litani River Authority some five or six years ago, it has looked just as it does in his photographs. “It cannot get any worse than this,” he says.

What has happened can be explained with a short science lesson, which Saadeh provides. The high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture and in raw sewage and detergents seep into the country’s rivers and ultimately groundwater sources. Once in the rivers, these nutrients set off the process of eutrophication, whereby their addition induces an excessive growth of algae and plankton, clogging up the waterway, greatly reducing water quality and bringing about the collapse of the river’s natural ecosystem.

The solutions to this problem appear obvious: regulate use of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides and treat wastewater to avoid the seepage of raw sewage into rivers. But, Saadeh says, “precious little” is being done to address river pollution.

“There’s a huge black hole between legislation and execution [in Lebanon],” he says in explanation for the seemingly unregulated use of fertilizers. However, where a significant impact may be made – in the treatment of raw sewage – Lebanon fails on a grand scale. It is the “only country in the Middle East not treating its wastewater, save Yemen, I believe,” Saadeh says.

Haddad is of a similar view. The “authorities are not doing anything,” she says. “There is not one functioning wastewater treatment plant [in Lebanon].” Wastewater treatment plants have been built in the country. As he goes through his photographs, Saadeh points out one located next to the Qaraoun dam on the Litani. “It isn’t functional,” he says.

Former Environment Minister Mohammad Rahal says that many international organizations, the UNDP, USAID and EU among them, have helped Lebanon build works to treat its wastewater, but these WWTPs have not been maintained by the government. He believes there are two possible causes for WWTPs falling into disoperation in Lebanon: perhaps the budget for their maintenance is insufficient or unavailable, or perhaps a lack of coordination between the ministries responsible for them (the Environment Ministry and the Water and Energy Ministry), the Council for Development and Reconstruction and the municipalities leads to confusion over who is tasked with maintaining the plants.

Saadeh adds to this that projects like WWTPs are high-tech and require not only money but also expertise to remain operational.

Haddad does point out though that there are plans to build a number of WWTPs both on the coast and inland. The Energy and Water Ministry although contacted to verify use and construction of WWTPs had not responded at time of print.

The pollution of Lebanon’s rivers also impacts the country’s economy. Beyond the obvious negative repercussions of pollution on tourism, pollution also harms the agricultural and industrial sectors’ potential.

Farmers tap contaminated river water to irrigate their crops, and Rahal says this has resulted in the country’s exported produce being returned.

“The EU sends vegetables back because of pollution,” he says. “We can only sell in Lebanon.”

Meanwhile the decreased water quantity available due to pollution curtails opportunities to establish industry. “Limited water resources make some industries impossible,” Saadeh says. “There’ll be no Levi’s factory in Lebanon.” (Tony Allan, a British geographer, estimates that a pair of jeans takes 11,000 liters of water to produce.)

Saadeh argues that the best thing Lebanon can do to deal with water pollution aside from building wastewater treatment plants is educate its citizens about water conservation.

“Water quantity is inextricably linked to pollution because water efficiency and conservation would lead to reduction in effluent volumes,” he says.

As an initial step, he suggests metering water use and charging people on the basis of the volume used rather than a flat rate for an annual water connection. He also recommends revision of the irrigation systems used in agriculture – the furrow, flood, and sprinkler irrigation systems favored in Lebanon use larger quantities of water and are much less efficient than drip irrigation systems. Finally, he recommends the installation of more discerning household plumbing – toilet flush systems that give the option of both a smaller and a larger flush would be a good starting point, Saadeh says.

But, he concludes, “change is going to require a shock to the system.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 26, 2011, on page 12.

Aug 14

Unhealthy Levels Of Chromium-6 Found In Chicago’s Tap Water

Tests Confirm High Levels Of The Carcinogen, Chromium-6, In Tap Water

2011_8_10_tapwater.jpg

The results are in and they are hard to swallow: Chicago’s drinking water contains levels of the toxic metal chromium-6 11 times higher than a public health standard established recently in California.

City officials responded to a memo from the EPA in January urging public water departments to check their drinking water for the hazardous compound chromium-6, also called hexavalent chromium — a contaminant perhaps best known from the 2000 film Erin Brockovich and the real-life crusade of its titular character.

Chicago’s Department of Water Management said they would begin quarterly tests for the heavy metal. The Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne reported Saturday on the results.

Test results obtained by the Tribune show that treated Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs contains up to 0.23 parts per billion of the toxic metal, well above an amount that researchers say could increase the long-term risk of cancer.

The National Toxicology Program’s most recent Report on Carcinogens identifies chromium-6 as a known human carcinogen. Scientists once thought stomach acids converted most chromium-6 into chromium-3 (or trivalent chromium), an essential nutrient. But studies have affirmed the chemical’s link to cancer in animal experiments.

In 1991, EPA established a standard of 100 parts per billion for total chromium, which includes both hexavalent and trivalent chromium. The Obama administration is finishing a scientific review, which may result in the first national standard for the toxic hexavalent variety.

EPA’s own memo came on the heels of a report published by the non-profit Environmental Working Group in December 2010. The report is a snapshot of chromium-6 levels in the water supplies of 35 U.S. cities.

Chicago is one of 25 cities identified in the report with concerning levels of chromium-6. The amount then was 0.18 ppb, over 20 percent less than more recent measurements.

Chromium-6 does occur naturally, but EPA identifies industrial chemical manufacturing and steelworks as major sources of the carcinogen. Lake Michigan’s southern shores in Northwest Indiana are home to several large steel mills, some of which dump wastewater into Chicago’s source of drinking water.

Reverse osmosis filters are a good precaution against water contaminants in general, but cheaper, more widely available carbon filters won’t reduce chromium levels. And no need to stock up on bottled water (again, Hawthorne):

Bottled water is no different. Food and Drug Administration regulations for bottled water limit most of the same contaminants monitored in tap water but are silent when it comes to hexavalent chromium, drug residues or other unregulated substances. Moreover, some brands of bottled water use municipal tap water supplies.

Tap water is still safe to drink in Chicago, city officials urge. Levels are even worse elsewhere. Environmental Working Group’s report found a chromium-6 level of 12.9 parts per billion in Oklahoma city — more than 70 times that found in Chicago.

Posted August 14, 2011 at the Chicagoist.com By Chris Bentley


Aug 06

Taking Out The Trash

 A recent report by Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in California
spotlights the litter from disposable plastics and other single-use containers, napkins and fast-food packaging. These are the culprits in the flood of trash making its way from city streets and neighborhoods into area waterways and then the ocean. Volunteer “trash patrols” surveyed San Francisco area neighborhoods for the report, which has received national news attention. The report identifies specific companies behind much of the trash and strengthens the case for legislation already pending to ban disposable “Styrofoam” packaging at fast-food and convenience stores in the state.

trash.JPG

 

Publication Date: 
07/14/2011
Aug 04

Dangers Of Fluoride In Drinking Water

 

Public Health Safety of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Posted on  by 

 

Article by Dr. Deryck D. Pattron, Ph.D

Summary:

Fluoride is common household name. It is found in drinking water, toothpaste, mouth washes, household chemicals and cosmetics to name a few. Recent research has shown that fluoride may actually be dangerous to human health and well being. Some researchers have reported no significant difference between the use of fluoridated and non-fluoridated water with regards to reduction in tooth decay. In addition, fluoride is associated with cancer, tumor formation, skeletal fluorosis, accelerated aging and a whole range of medical conditions. It is highly questionable and of great public health concern whether the minuscule health benefits if any derived from the use of fluoride in drinking water and in other products out weights the much larger negative health effects.

Introduction:

The Problem:Fluoride has been used as an important tooth-decay fighting chemical found in water, mouth washes and toothpaste. Recently, the FDA has approved the claim on bottled water containing fluoride at a concentration of 0.6 mg to 1.0 mg per liter to include the statement that “drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of tooth decay”. But how safe is fluoride in drinking water? What is the possible health risks associated with the use of fluoride? And how effective is fluoride in preventing tooth decay? These unanswered questions further highlight the need for scientifically sound information on the possible relationship between fluoride and potential health risks.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) policy on fluoridated tap water supports the view that widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in the prevalence and severity of tooth decay. This policy is in accordance with the UK Food Standards Agency and the FDA findings that fluoridated water may reduce tooth decay. But, these findings have been questioned recently and there now exist a growing body of information/evidence that suggest that fluoride use may in fact be dangerous to human health and does not significantly reduce tooth decay in controlled studies.

The purpose of the present study is to educate and to inform the public and consumers about the health significance with particular reference to health risks associated with the use of fluoride in drinking water and other fluoride containing products.

Agencies/bodies that provided evidence against fluoride use are:

 The National Institute of Environmental and Health in 1990 found that fluoride causes cancer.

 US Environmental Protection Agency during 1989-1993 found that fluoride does not reduce tooth decay and may cause cancer.

 The American Chemical Society in 1988 questioned the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation.

 The New England Journal of Medicine in 1990 reported the fluoride treatment of osteoporosis patients resulted in higher hip facture rates.

 Clinical Toxicology in 1984 list fluoride as being more poisonous than lead, but slightly less than arsenic.

 US CDC and The Safe Water Foundation estimated 30,000 to 50,000 deaths per year for people who consume at least 1 p.p.m. of fluoride in drinking water.

The use of fluoride has been associated with the following health conditions:

 A greater incidence of hip fracture.
 Cancer.
 Browning of teeth.
 Joint and hip pain.
 Premature hardening of arteries.
 Loss of appetite.
 Loss of sex drive.
 Increased rate of stillbirth.
 Accelerated aging.
 Immune suppression.
 Poor rate of healing and/or repair.

Symptoms of fluoride intoxication according to the United States Pharmacopoeia:

 Nausea.
 Bloody vomit.
 Faintness.
 Stomach cramps.
 Tremors.
 Constipation.
 Aching bones.
 Stiffness in joints.
 Skin rashes.
 Weight loss.
 Brown/black discoloration of teeth.

Pathophysiology of fluoride:

Fluoride is a toxin and its mode of action occurs at the both cellular and molecular level causing significant enzyme inhibition involved in biochemical, cellular and molecular processes. This serves to initiate collagen breakdown, causing immense genetic damage, and disruption of the immune system.

Fluoride at a concentration of 1 p.p.m in drinking water can lead to the generation of highly destructive free radicals such as superoxide radicals that can damage cell membranes and lead to oxidative stress resulting in a cascade of events that may prevent the migration of white blood cells into infected areas, thus interfering with phagocytosis and compromising cellular defense mechanisms. These changes lead to increased susceptibility to infections and other abnormal changes in the body. Damage to collagen, one of the body’s main structural proteins can form altered proteinaceous structures that can attract the body’s own white blood cells thus causing an autoimmune response. This process uses up the immune resources of the body and further adds to stress causing accelerated premature aging and death.

Fluoride attacks DNA or DNA repair enzymes thus reducing the rate of repair and increases the likelihood of mutations in cells, appearance of cancer, tumors, and birth defects and may even shorten life expectancy.

Conclusion:

Fluoride is a toxic chemical that has been used in many health care products. But, what is the health risk associated with the use of such products? Research has shown that chronic use of fluoride may cause demineralization of bone, browning of teeth, tumors, cancers and death. The use of fluoride in drinking water or bottled water should be re-considered in light of existing evidence. Fluoride is toxic and can significantly affect health and well being in susceptible individuals. Consumers and the general public should always adopt the precautionary principle that states that if there is likelihood that something can be dangerous to health, then it should be avoided at all cost, until proven otherwise.

References:

 A.K. Susheela and Mohan Jha, “Effects of Fluoride on Cortical and Cancellous Bone Composition,” IRCS Medical Sciences: Library Compendium, Vol. 9, No.11, pp. 1021-1022 (1981). A. K. Susheela and D. Mukerjee, ” Fluoride poisoning and the Effect of Collagen Biosynthesis of Osseous and Nonosseous Tissue,” Toxicological European Research, Vol.3, No.2, pp. 99-104 (1981). A. S. Kozlyuk, et al., “Immune Status of Children in Chemically Contaminated Environments,” Zdravookhranenie, Issue 3, pp. 6-9 (1987). Alfred Taylor and Nell C. Taylor, “Effect of Sodium Fluoride on Tumor Growth,” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Vol. 119, p. 252 (1965). Charles Wax, ” Field Investigation Report,” State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, March 19, 1980, 67 pages; George Waldbott, ” Mass Intoxication from Over-Fluoridation in Drinking Water,” Clinical Toxicology, Vol. 18, No.5, pp. 531-541 (1981). D. J. Newell, ” Fluoridation of Water Supplies and Cancer – An Association?,” Applied Statistics, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 125-135 (1977). D. W. Allman and M. Benac, “Effect of Inorganic Fluoride Salts on Urine and Cyclic AMP Concentration in Vivo,” Journal of Dental Research, Vol. 55 (Supplement B), p. 523 (1976). Donald Hillman, et al., “Hypothyroidism and Anemia Related to Fluoride in Dairy Cattle,” Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 62, No.3, pp. 416-423 (1979); V. Stole and J. Podoba, “Effect of Fluoride on the Biogenesis of Thyroid Hormones,” Nature, Vol. 188, No. 4753, pp. 855-856 (1960). Irwin Herskowitz and Isabel Norton, “Increased Incidence of Melanotic Tumors Following Treatment with Sodium Fluoride,” Genetics Vol. 48, pp. 307-310 (1963). J. Yiamouyiannis, Fluoride, The Aging Factor. Health Action Press, (1993). John Curnette, et al, “Fluoride-mediated Activation of the Respiratory Burst in Human Neutrophils,” Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 63, pp. 637-647 (1979). Y. D. Sharma, “Effect of Sodium Fluoride on Collagen Cross-Link Precursors,” Toxicological Letters, Vol. 10, pp. 97-100 (1982). Y.D. Sharma, “Variations in the Metabolism and Maturation of Collagen after Fluoride Ingestion,” Biochemica et Biophysica Acta, Vol. 715, pp. 137-141 (1982). Y. Yoshisa, “Experimental Studies on Chronic Fluorine Poisoning,” Japanese Journal of Industrial Health, Vol. 1, pp. 683-690 (1959). J.K. Mauer, et al., “Two-Year Cacinogenicity Study Of Sodium Fluoride In Rats,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 82, pp. 1118-1126 (1990). J. David Erikson, “Mortality of Selected Cities with Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Water Supplies,” New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 298, pp. 1112-1116 (1978); ” The Village Where People Are Old Before Their Time,” Stern Magazine, Vol. 30, pp. 107-108, 111-112 (1978). J. A. Disney, et al., ” A Case Study in Testing the Conventional Wisdom: School Based Fluoride Mouth Rinse Programs in the USA,” Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, Vol. 18, pp. 46-56 (1990). Marian Drozdz et al., ” Studies on the Influence of Fluoride Compounds upon Connective Tissue Metabolism in Growing Rats” and “Effect of Sodium Fluoride With and Without Simultaneous Exposure to Hydrogen Fluoride on Collagen Metabolism,” Journal of Toxicological Medicine, Vol. 4, pp. 151-157 (1984). Nicholas Leone, et al., “Medical Aspects of Excessive Fluoride in a Water Supply,” Public Health Reports, Vol. 69, pp. 925-936 (1954). Proctor and Gamble “Carcinogenicity Studies with Sodium Fluoride in Rats” National Institute of Environmenrtal Health Sciences Presentation, July 27, 1985; S. E. Hrudley et al.,” Drinking Water Fluoridation and Osteosarcoma,” Canadian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 81, pp. 415-416 (1990). P. D. Cohn, ” A Brief Report on the Association of Drinking Water Fluoridation and Incidence of Osteosarcoma in Young Males,” New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton, New Jersey, Nov. 1992; M. C. Mahoney et al., ” Bone Cancer Incidence Rates in New York,” American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 81, pp. 81, 475 (1991). Peter Wilkinson, ” Inhibition of the Immune System With Low Levels of Fluorides,” Testimony before the Scottish High Court in Edinburgh in the Case of McColl vs. Strathclyde Regional Council, pp. 17723-18150, 19328-19492, and Exhibit 636, (1982). Pierre Galleti and Gustave Joyet, “Effect of Fluorine on Thyroid Iodine Metabolism and Hyperthyroidism,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 18, pp. 1102-1110 (1958). Robert A. Clark, ” Neutrophil Iodintion Reaction Induced by Fluoride: Implications for Degranulation and Metabolic Activation,” Blood, Vol. 57, pp. 913-921 (1981).  Shiela Gibson, “Effects of Fluoride on Immune System Function,” Complementary Medical Research, Vol. 6, pp. 111-113 (1992). S. Jaouni and D. W. Allman, “Effect of Sodium Fluoride and Aluminum on Adenylate Cyclase and Phosphodiesterase Activity,” Journal of Dental Research, Vol. 64, p. 201 (1985). S. K. Jain and A. K. Susheela, “Effect of Sodium Fluoride on Antibody Formation in Rabbits,” Environmental Research, Vol. 44, pp. 117-125 (1987). T. Takamorim “The Heart Changes in Growing Albino Rats Fed on Varied Contents of Fluorine,” The Toxicology of Fluorine Symposium, Bern, Switzerland, Oct 1962, pp. 125-129. Viktor Gorlitzer Von Mundy, “Influence of Fluorine and Iodine on the Metabolism, Particularly on the Thyroid Gland,” Muenchener Medicische Wochenschrift, Vol. 105, pp. 182-186 (1963); A. Benagiano, “The Effect of Sodium Fluoride on Thyroid Enzymes and Basal Metabolism in the Rat,” Annali Di Stomatologia, Vol. 14, pp. 601-619 (1965). Vilber A. O. Bello and Hillel J. Gitelman, “High Fluoride Exposure in Hemodialysis Patients,” American Journal of Kidney Diseases, Vol. 15, pp. 320-324 (1990). W. L. Gabler and P. A. Leong,., ” Fluoride Inhibition of Polymorphonumclear Leukocytes,” Journal of Dental Research, Vol. 48, No. 9, pp. 1933-1939 (1979). W. L. Gabler, et al., “Effect of Fluoride on the Kinetics of Superoxide Generation by Fluoride,” Journal of Dental Research, Vol. 64, p. 281 (1985). W. L. Augenstein, et al., ” Fluoride Ingestion In Children: A Review Of 87 Cases,” Pediatrics, Vol. 88, pp. 907-912, (1991). http://www.all-natural.com http://www.wholywater.com Yngve Ericsson and Britta Forsman, “Fluoride Retained From Mouth Rinses and Dentifrices in Preschool Children,” Caries Research, Vol. 3, pp. 290-299 (1969).

 

About the Author

Dr. Pattron is a Public Health Scientist and Scholar.

Aug 03

SoLa Louisiana Water Story

From: http://www.solathefilm.com

Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana (SoLa) there’s water – bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three. SoLa’s waterways are also home to the biggest economies in Louisiana – a $70 billion a year oil and gas industry and a $2.4 billion a year fishing business. Both are in the midst of sizable change.

Southern Louisiana has historically had a legion of insidious polluters. At the same time, SoLa has one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story they can also most likely play the accordion, dance, cook an etouffe and hunt and fish. Louisiana has long been known as both one of our most original and simultane- ously most politically corrupt states. One legacy of that corruption is a handful of environmental problems that has turned Louisiana into America’s toilet bowl:

  • A DEAD ZONE – the size of New Jersey – that grows each year in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to farming fertilizers sent down from 31 states to the north.
  • SMALL FISHERMEN squeezed out of business by a variety of pollutions, high fuel prices and international competition.
  • CYPRESS FORESTS that once stood as a barrier between hurricanes and humans have been clear-cut for garden mulch and profit.
  • COASTAL EROSION Thanks to man’s failed attempt to reign the Mississippi River, the state loses 25 square miles of coastline each year.
  • CANCER ALLEY An 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River has been turned over to the petrochemical industry. The risks are great.
  • TOXIC WASTE Decades of exploration for oil and natural gas has cut 10,000 miles of channels through the wetlands and left a wake of toxic waste in Louisiana’s waters.
  • OIL SPILLS have long been business as usual in Louisiana, crowned by the ongoing BP nightmare which has focused attention on the region as our worst ecologic disaster escalates.

In SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories, we meet some of the most unique individuals working on each of the issues, giving voice and humanity to these man-made messes. The one-hour documentary cap- tures what is most at risk environmental- ly as we continue to take the Gulf coast state for granted, while simultaneously reminding us of the culture that binds the region. If these voices are not heard, too soon what remains will all disappear, drowned by pollution, erosion, storms and man’s neglect.

FROM 1932-2000, Louisiana lost nearly 2,000 square miles of wetlands, the equivalent to the state of Delaware.

FIFTY YEARS AGO, Southern Louisiana’s Gulf coast was fifty miles wide; today it’s barely twenty. By 2050, expectations are that another 700 square miles of coastal land will disappear.

HALF OF LOUISIANA’S 4.5 million residents live in the coastal zone, where the issue of wetland loss is literally in everyone’s backyard.

THE $70 BILLION a year oil and gas industry in Louisiana accounts for twenty percent of the state’s gross economic product; eighty percent of all offshore oil platforms in the United States sit off Southern Louisiana’s shores.

THOUSANDS OF MILES OF CANALS have been dug through SoLa’s coastal marshes to aid in the construction and transportation of natural gas and oil. Combined with the century-old levee system that wrongly attempted to rein in the Mississippi River, canals contribute to the state’s erosion problems.

THE DEAD ZONE is created each year by an estimated 83,000 tons of phosphorous and 817,000 tons of nitrogen that wash into the Mississippi from farm fields and river networks of 31 northern states. It all ends up at the mouth of the river in the Gulf of Mexico, creating the world’s first and largest dead zone, currently 8,000 square miles, the size of New Jersey. In the Dead Zone, nothing lives.

GULF OF MEXICO FISHERIES supply more than thirty percent of America’s seafood, including seventy two percent of our shrimp, sixty six percent of our oysters and sixteen percent of commercial fish. As the Dead Zone and oil spill grows, the fishery gets smaller.

TWO HUNDRED PLANTS along the 85-mile industrial corridor along the Mississippi River, linking Baton Rouge and New Orleans, produce twenty five percent of America’s petrochemicals. The stretch is known as Cancer Alley.

THE PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY, at its peak, accounted for one out of every three tax dollars collected by the state and more than 165,000 jobs. The industry also discharged 150,000 tons of pollutants into the air in the form of sulfur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides and hydrocarbons.

LOUISIANA’S WATERWAYS are at risk due to illegal logging, soil erosion, natural gas and oil development, abandoned infrastructure and pollution from chemical plants.

THE ATCHAFALAYA SWAMP is the largest contiguous hardwood forest in North America at 1.4 million acres. It supports more than half of America’s migratory waterfowl, more than 300 species of birds and 100 species of fish.

OUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE is dependant on Louisana’s marshes, serving as nurseries for millions of birds, including wintering grounds for seventy percent of the nation’s migratory waterfowl.

THE BP DISASTER has become arguably he nation’s worst environmental mess to-date, sending millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As our two-year-in-the-making film concludes, the leak keeps on gushing.

 

Be Sure To Visit: http://www.solathefilm.com

And Watch The Video!

Jun 23

Nuclear plant workers release unknown amount of radioactive tritium into Mississippi River

tritium(NaturalNews) Workers at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant in Port Gibson, Miss., last Thursday released a large amount of radioactive tritium directly into the Mississippi River, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and experts are currently trying to sort out the situation. An investigation is currently underway to determine why the tritium was even present in standing water found in an abandoned unit of the plant, as well as how much of this dangerous nuclear byproduct ended up getting dumped into the river. Many also want to know why workers released the toxic tritium before conducting proper tests.

The Mississippi Natchez Democrat reports that crews first discovered the radioactive water in the plant’s Unit 2 turbine building after heavy rains began hitting the area last week. Unit 2 was a partially-constructed, abandoned structure that should not have contained any radioactive materials, let alone tritium, which is commonly used to manufacture nuclear weapons and test atomic bombs (http://www.nirs.org/radiation/triti…).

According to reports, alarms began to go off as workers were releasing the radioactive storm water into the river, which engaged the stop flow on the release pump. Neither NRC nor plant officials know how much tritium was released into the river during this release.

“Although concentrations of tritium exceeded EPA drinking water limits, the release should not represent a hazard to public health because of its dilution in the river,” insisted Lara Uselding, public affairs officer at NRC Region IV, to reporters.

Such a statement, of course, is a health concern because precise levels of released tritium are unknown. Just because the radioactive substance has been diluted does not necessarily mean it is harmless, nor does it verify the substance’s source or whether or not it is still being unknowingly released. Without this crucial information, there is no telling where else tritium might be lurking around the plant and river.

A beta radioactive substance, tritium bombards cells and damages DNA when inhaled or swallowed, and can persist in the body for more than ten years upon exposure. Its perpetual effect on cells can lead to all sorts of serious diseases, including, but not limited to, gene mutations, birth defects, and cancer.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2011…

http://www2.wjtv.com/news/2011/may/…