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Fri, 30 Sep 2016
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Health & Wellness


Pesticides? Children breaking out in rashes at at least a half dozen schools in Orange County, CA


Children at multiple schools in Orange County California are breaking out in strange skin rashes
Editor's note: We've reported on the Orange County parents fighting to stop pesticide spraying in Orange County California (where I will speak this weekend and leave for in the morning) Now we wonder if this is what is causing the outbreaks. Read on.

Parents at Lake Forest Elementary School (and other nearby schools) want to know what's causing skin irritation on dozens of students and staff.

Now the Unified School School District says there are reports of "outbreaks" at five other schools in the district, but are not disclosing the name at this time.
The reports of skin irritation began more than two weeks ago, but Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District hasn't been able to identify the cause << Gee, did they ever wonder if the cause was... (shocker) Them!??

As experts try to determine what is causing a rash-like skin irritation in students and staff members at Lake Forest Elementary School, five more cases have been reported to district members, officials announced during a meeting Wednesday.


Hormonal contraceptives linked with 23% increased risk of depression

© Image Point Fr/Shutterstock
Women on hormonal contraceptives such as the pill are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression, and more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than their peers, a new study has found.

And the risk is particularly high for teenagers - researchers found that the likelihood of being prescribed antidepressants increased up to 80 percent in girls aged 15 to 19 who were taking the pill, and the risk tripled in some using other forms of hormonal contraceptive, such as IUDs.

Millions of woman worldwide use hormonal contraceptives, which include everything from the pill (known technically as the combined oral contraceptive pill), the mini pill (the progesterone-only pill), hormonal IUDs (intrauterine devices), and the birth control patch.

And now a new study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark has found evidence that the hormones used in all these devices, such as progesterone, can have a noticeable effect on a person's mood.

"Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use," the researchers concluded in their paper.

The link between depression and the pill has been reported anecdotally for years, but this is the largest study to date that provides clear evidence for the association.

Comment: In addition to mood swings, there are many other serious side effects associated with the pill that doctors often fail to mention and that the pharmaceutical industry ignores. They can deplete the body of essential nutrients; heighten the risk of certain cancers, osteoporosis, stroke, heart disease, migraines, blood clots and are also linked with discoloration of the skin, bleeding and spotting, hair loss, fibroids, fatigue, and cellulite.


Study finds 1 in 10 children possess AIDS immunity

© Rupak De Chowdhuri / Reuters
One in ten children possess a rare "monkey-like" genetic system that makes them immune to developing AIDS, a new study has revealed.

The study published in Science Translational Medicine found that 60 percent of HIV infected children who go untreated will die within two and a half years, but monkeys infected with the HIV equivalent, "simian immunodeficiency virus" (SIV), will live.

They found the children carried thousands of human immunodeficiency viruses in every millilitre of their blood. However, despite the high volume of the virus in their blood, the patients' immune system showed no sign of increased activity and resisted the spread of the disease.

Researchers analyzed blood samples from 170 HIV-infected children in South Africa, none of whom had received any antiviral treatment or yet developed Aids.

The children are known as "paediatric non-progressors" (PNPs). A small number of adults (-0.3 percent) known as "elite controllers" have a similar type of immunity but they typically exhibit low viral loads, whereas the children had high loads.


Safely reduce anxiety & mood disorders with probiotics

Anxiety and mood disorders are now being recognized as major medical and societal issues.

In the United States alone, close to 48 million prescriptions were written in 2011 for the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. One in 10 Americans takes an antidepressant medication.1,2

In an alarming recent study, scientists found anxiety shortens telomere length and accelerates cellular aging. Put another way, uncontrolled anxiety may reduce one's life span.3,4

With millions of people medicated for mood disorders that include anxiety and mild depression, researchers have sought a safer way to reduce their impact.

In a unique discovery, two specific probiotic organisms have been identified that show impressive reductions in the manifestation of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Comment: Learn more about the importance of gut health and the benefits of probiotics: The Health & Wellness Show: Some of my best friends are germs
The human body is teeming with billions -- nay, TRILLIONS -- of microbes with over a thousand different species populating the gut alone. We are covered with bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, inside and out. How did we come to be populated with such a vast array of these little beasties and what's their purpose? What influence do they exert on our physical and mental health and, more importantly, what can we do (and what can we avoid doing) to keep our microbial community happy and in balance?

Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we take a look at the role these microbiota play from infancy to adulthood, in sickness and in health. Learn how to create poo you can be proud of and a microbiome that works in your favor. Cause -- let's face it -- germs are here to stay!

Eye 1

Contact lenses: Do's, don'ts and nevers

Two-thirds of the 41 million people in the U.S.1 who wear contact lenses to correct their vision are women.2 Ten percent of wearers are under 18 years and 25 percent are older than 45. The remaining majority are between 18 and 45 years old.

Although popular, wearing contacts increases your risk of eye infections, damage to the cornea and alters the microbial biome that exists naturally in your eye. In each case, the results can be either dangerous or disastrous to your sight.

Before understanding the risks, it's helpful to know how your eye works and how contact lenses may help correct your vision. Children report improvements in perceived attraction when wearing lenses, but unless they care for their eyes and lenses properly, they may be at increased risk of losing their eyesight altogether.

Comment: See also:

Light Saber

More 'epipreneurs' inspired by Mylan price hike are creating affordable alternatives to Epipen

The pharmaceutical company Mylan drew Internet and patient jeers after it became publicly apparent that it had hiked the price of the EpiPen to $600. The company acquired the epinephrine pen in 2007 and, back then, it was only $100. Furthermore, the product development was paid for by you - the taxpayer.

The epinephrine injection pen saves the lives of those with allergies so severe they go into anaphylactic shock. In the time it takes a paramedic to reach a person who goes into anaphylactic shock which causes the throat to close and the victim to lose oxygen to the brain, it could be too late to save a life. The injection pen works almost instantly allowing those with life-threatening allergies to live independently and without too much fear for their lives.

While Mylan cut the price by about half, the situation still highlights the greed of pharmaceutical companies who never show regard for self-pay patients and let insurance companies pick up the tab thanks to premium payers. After all, the product amasses $1 billion dollars in sales each year.



Toxins in your dust bunnies

If you are like most Americans, you spend up to 90 percent of your day indoors. Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, your hours are spent breathing indoor air.

Since your very life depends upon the air you breathe, it is vital you understand the risks associated with your indoor air quality and how to reduce the chemicals in your environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the levels of indoor air pollution may be between two and five times higher inside your home or work than they are outside.1 Some indoor pollutants can be as much as 100 times more concentrated than outdoor levels.

The differences are related to the type of pollutants, the relative lack of air exchange in newer homes and the chemicals you may introduce to your home in your furniture, personal care, home and cleaning products. According to the EPA, poor air quality is one of the top public health risks today.2

While these factors are important to your health, dust plays another important role in your air quality. Recent research has identified chemical pollutants residing in the dust floating in the air and in the dust bunnies under your furniture.


How much money do pediatricians really make from vaccines?

If you want to be sure your pediatrician has your child's best interest, this is mandatory reading. Pediatricians around the country have begun refusing to accept families who opt out of some or all vaccines. Thanks to a tip sent to Wellness & Equality by a reader, now we know why.

When my friend's child suffered a life-threatening reaction to a vaccine a week after her first birthday, my friend assumed her pediatrician would write her a medical exemption from future vaccines. Shortly after receiving a routine set of vaccines, the happy, vibrant one-year-old spiked a 106 degree fever, began having seizures, and was hospitalized. When the unexplained "illness" passed after a week in the hospital, the little girl had lost her ability to walk. My friend describes how her daughter, who had learned to walk several months earlier at 9 months, suddenly "stumbled around like a drunk person" for weeks following the vaccines. My friend met with a team of pediatricians, neurologists, and naturopathic doctors, and they agreed: Her daughter had suffered a brain injury caused by a reaction to one of the vaccines. Hoping the injury would be temporary and that she might recover and ease her brain inflammation if they could help her small body quickly eliminate the vaccine additives that caused the reaction, my friend's daughter underwent an intensive detoxification program overseen by a nutritionalist. Slowly, her daughter relearned to walk.

My friend is a practicing attorney who graduated from a Top 10 college. The evidence was overwhelming that her daughter's reaction had been caused by vaccines, she told me.

But a few months later, when she took her daughter back into the pediatrician for a visit, he wanted to vaccinate her daughter again. She was baffled. Why?

Comment: Saying 'No' to Vaccines? What to expect from your doctor


Analysis finds carcinogen in tap water of 218 million Americans

© Toby Melville / Reuters
Potentially unsafe levels of chromium-6, a carcinogenic chemical associated with environmental activist Erin Brockovich, were found in the drinking water supplies of 218 million Americans, according to an analysis of federal water samples.

A recent analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported potentially dangerous levels of chromium-6 found in drinking water supplies across the US — Phoenix, St. Louis County, and Houston being among the highest.

EWG analyzed data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning more than 60,000 water samples taken by local utilities around the US from 2013 to 2015. More than 75 percent of the samples contained chromium-6, with drinking water supplies for about 218 million Americans containing the chemical at potentially unsafe quantities.

Hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, is the chemical at the heart of lawyer Brockovich's crusade — which later became a major motion picture — against a California power company in the 1990s. Among other uses, chromium-6 is employed in steel production and is found in coal ash, the byproduct of coal-burning power plants that is controversially stored in waste pits that have infamously leaked into US waterways at potentially great peril to local residents.

Snakes in Suits

Investigation reveals CDC used 40% less effective test to diagnose Zika and punished whistleblower who raised concerns

© Reuters
The US health agency in charge of fighting Zika used a less effective test to diagnose the virus and punished a whistleblower who raised his concerns both internally and to health officials, an investigation revealed.

Dr. Robert Lanciotti, a microbiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accused the federal agency of prioritizing a substantially less sensitive test versus an alternative approach that in his studies proved to be more effective in detecting Zika.

He claimed that the CDC "created a substantial and specific danger to public health" when it did not disclose lower sensitivity of the test it used.

The tests Lanciotti was talking about are the Trioplex and the Singleplex. The first detects not only Zika, but also dengue and chikungunya, and is recommended for testing by the CDC. The second test is only used for diagnosing Zika, the virus transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas known to cause microcephaly in newborn babies.

"Dr. Lanciotti alleged that use of the Trioplex in place of the Singleplex in a clinical setting would result in an additional 39 percent of Zika infections in their acute phase going undetected," the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said in a letter to the White House.