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Mon, 25 Sep 2017
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Health & Wellness


Microplastic fibers found in tap water around the world, study reveals

© Michael Heim/Alamy
The average number of fibres found in each 500ml sample ranged from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe.
Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency's headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.

European nations including the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%. The average number of fibres found in each 500ml sample ranged from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe.

The new analyses indicate the ubiquitous extent of microplastic contamination in the global environment. Previous work has been largely focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, which suggests people are eating microplastics via contaminated seafood.

"We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that it's having on wildlife, to be concerned," said Dr Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who supervised the analyses for Orb. "If it's impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that it's not going to somehow impact us?"



Toxic chemicals found in tattoos

Tattooing is a long-standing human ritual that transcends historical and sociocultural boundaries, but more regulatory oversight is needed to ensure inks are not contaminated with dangerous chemical byproducts.
Debunking Tattoo Mythology: A Short History of The Tattooing Ritual

Tattoos represent a cultural rite of passage, a mode of self-expression, and a means of cultivating one's unique identity (1). British captain, explorer, and navigator James Cook introduced the word tattoo into the European vernacular, as an amalgamation of the Polynesian word 'ta' to 'strike something' and the Tahitian word 'tatau' meaning 'to mark something' (2).

The historical use of tattoos extends back at least seven thousand years ago, as tattoos were discovered on the extremities of a mummy from that period found in Northern Chile (3). Also, the five thousand year-old mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman were found to contain osteochondrosis, or abnormal bone growth, in body sites where tattoos were present (2). Pesapane and colleagues (2014) likewise note that documentation of tattoos dates back to records by Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 313 AD, Pope Hadrian 1 in 787 AD, and the Old Testament (2).

Historically, tattoos were used to demarcate group identity, to protect the internal body from the exterior world, as a symbol of religious indoctrination, and in branding rituals as a form of medieval punishment. As an example of tattoos signifying group affiliation, "Crusaders used mostly Christian motifs to ensure that they received a Christian funeral in case they died in a foreign country" (3). In Japan, on the other hand, criminals were branded with tattoos as a mark of social stigmatization from the eighteenth century onward, which led to the rise of a tattooed demographic called the Yakuza (3).


Americans are on more prescription drugs than ever

“About three-quarters of all visits to a physician end with a drug prescription.” — Health Affairs
If you're a U.S. adult and don't regularly take a prescription drug, you're now in the minority, according to a survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. adults by Consumer Reports.1 The revealing sample found that more than half of U.S. adults regularly take prescription medications, and the average adult takes four. If it seems like your friends and family are taking more drugs than they did in the past-or if adults use more meds than they did when you were a kid-it's not in your imagination, either.

Consumer Reports found that the total number of prescriptions filled by Americans (including children) increased by 85 percent from 1997 to 2016-but the total U.S. population increased by only 21 percent during that time.


Italian officials fear the return of malaria after 4 y.o. girl dies of the disease

© Filippo Venezia / ANSA via AP
Tropical diseases expert Alberto Matteelli, left, is flanked by Ezio Belleri, general manager of the "Spedali Civili" hospital, as they meet the media in Brescia, Italy on Sept. 5, 2017.
Malaria killed a 4-year-old girl in Italy, raising fears that the mosquito-borne disease has returned to the country after decades.

Sonia Zago developed a high fever after returning home from a vacation in Bibione, a seaside town on the Adriatic coast near Venice.

As her condition worsened, she was taken to a hospital in the northern city of Trento. Within an hour of arriving, the girl had fallen into a coma and was diagnosed with malaria. Zago was then transferred to a hospital in Brescia that treats tropical diseases, but she died on Sunday night.

The girl had never traveled to a risk-prone country, raising questions about how she contracted the disease.

The Ministry of Health confirmed Tuesday that it had dispatched a team of experts to investigate.

Dr. Claudio Paternoster, director of the infectious diseases ward at Santa Chiara hospital in Trento, said that he had not seen a case of home-grown malaria during his 30-year career.


Researchers claim diseases like asthma and Alzheimer's will be 'weeded out' of the population in a few thousand years

© Global Look Press
Chronic illnesses such as asthma and Alzheimer's disease are seemingly being wiped out from human genes thanks to natural selection, as part of human evolution.

According to a ground-breaking study, gene variations associated with asthma, Alzheimer's and high cholesterol have noticeably declined in just two generations. Scientists say this effectively proves that Darwinian evolution not only exists, but is still taking place.

Comment: Genes are not destiny and can be turned off and on depending on diet and environmental exposure to toxins.

The findings, which follow an analysis of the genetic blueprints of 150,000 Britons and 60,000 Americans carried out by researchers from Columbia and Cambridge University, suggest the diseases could be "weeded out" of the human species in a few thousand years.

"It's a subtle signal, but we find genetic evidence that natural selection is happening in modern human populations," said Joseph Pickrell, an evolutionary geneticist at Columbia University and one of the study's authors, the Telegraph reported.

Comment: Too bad this set of researchers won't be around to see if their predictions come true. For a contrast see: Alzheimer's cases to triple by 2050: study

Microscope 2

Researchers create mutated Zika virus to treat aggressive form of brain cancer

© Mike Segar / Reuters
Medical researchers in the US have weaponized a mutated form of the Zika virus in the hopes of defeating a common, tenacious and highly aggressive form of brain cancer with some highly promising initial results.

"We showed that Zika virus can kill the kind of glioblastoma [brain cancer] cells that tend to be resistant to current treatments and lead to death," said Michael S. Diamond, Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and the study's co-senior author.

Glioblastoma is the most common form of brain cancer and is both highly lethal and highly resistant to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments, with a median survival rate of less than two years following diagnosis. Its self-regenerating cells that spread out from the initial site of the tumor are what make it so hard to kill.


The vaccine culture war takes aim with class and race profiling

The Vaccine Culture War is heating up.1 Ground zero is America, Europe and other economically developed countries, where the pharmaceutical industrial complex is raising an iron fist to protect multibillion-dollar profits by disempowering the people.2,3,4,5,6,7,8

In America, professors and doctors in academia and government are profiling parents by class and race to shame and discredit those challenging vaccine orthodoxy. Elite members of the highest paid professions in our society are using academic journals and mainstream media to openly preach fear, hate, prejudice and discrimination against people who disagree with them about vaccination.

Law Professor: Mothers of Unvaccinated Children Are Criminals

"When it comes to vaccines, rich parents get away with child neglect," the headline in The Washington Post proclaimed on May 10, 2017. The OpEd was written by Linda C. Fentiman, a Pace University law professor promoting criminal prosecution of mothers whose children are not vaccinated.9

She alleged that state legislatures are accommodating "wealthy" mothers by allowing exemptions in vaccine laws, while poor pregnant women have "faced charges of criminal child abuse" and imprisonment for "failing to deliver adequate nutrition or delivering drugs via their breast milk."

Comment: And there is much else besides which show how the Vaxxers are pushing their unsafe agenda - globally:


Antidepressant use, especially in children, continues to rise

Mental health in America is in decline, and while there is no one-size-fits-all reason for this, doctors and psychiatrists do offer a one-size-fits-all solution: antidepressants. The number of people who have taken antidepressants has soared some 65% in just the last 15 years, and the numbers continue to rise.

A new survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers insight into how this usage breaks down in our society. The most recent data reveals the following conclusions:
According to the latest statistics,9,10,11,12 use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2014:

- Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

- 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

- About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

- Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame. [Source]

Comment: The first line of defense against depression low carb, high fat diet:


Big Pharma's fraudulent ads

Big Pharma and the medical profession are taking a lot of 'heat' for the opioid epidemic, and rightfully so! Opioids were unashamedly marketed to doctors who, trustingly, wrote prescription after prescription for them only to find those drugs land where they should not have: on the addiction market!

Probably nothing makes a drug 'work' better than effective propaganda and advertising. In 2016, Big Pharma collectively spent $5.2 BILLION on advertising drugs[1] so healthcare consumers, in many instances, could ask and/or even recommend a certain drug prescription from their doctor, i.e., "prescription du jour"!

Creative ads lead and inspire consumers to think they are being informed correctly, ethically and factually about the pharmaceuticals that often are overhyped. However, that is not the case all the time. Below are some examples of "Fraudulent Marketing" as cited in the Harvard Law & Policy Review:

Comment: See also:


'Achoo' prepared? Early flu bug hits Australia and Europe, the US may be next

© CC0 / Pixabay
Australia is experiencing its worse flu outbreak sparking fears it could be repeated in Europe, the United States and Canada. A total of 52 deaths associated with influenza have already been reported in many states compared with 27 fatalities this time last year.

Similarly the number of flu-related hospitalizations have almost doubled, presently standing at nearly 1450 versus 719 last year. Medics have also warned the winter spike in flu-like symptoms has occurred earlier than usual across the country, according to the latest data.

Now health services in the US, Northern America and across Europe are bracing themselves for an identical scenario.

"In general, we get in our season what the southern hemisphere got in the season immediately proceeding us. An intelligent guess, therefore, is that the north will probably have a bad flu season. With influenza, it is never 100 percent. There is nothing really unusual about this year except that it's a high year in Australia, which is what you see every once in a while," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the United States' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

Dr. Fauci stressed that the "only thing that you can predict about influenza is that it's going to be unpredictable."