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Sun, 22 Oct 2017
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Domestic Detox: Extreme Home Cleaning

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When Matthew Waletzke appeared at the door of my East Village apartment to evaluate my home for what he calls "toxic exposure" - the alternative world's catch-all phrase for potential health hazards like mold, indoor air pollution, household chemicals and electromagnetic radiation (beware your Wi-Fi!) - I half-expected to see a guy in an "Andromeda Strain"-era hazmat suit.

Mr. Waletzke, however, was dressed casually enough, in a polo shirt and khakis. But the aluminum suitcase he carried was all business, filled with an impressive array of meters, probes and other devices that he proceeded to unpack onto my dining room table.

Mr. Waletzke is a "building biology" consultant, which means he has trained for a year with the Institute for Bau-Biologie & Ecology, a Florida-based, mostly online school that teaches its students to test water, air and building materials for a checklist of toxins and then prescribe a cure. (They will also vet the cleaning products under your sink and the lotions and cosmetics in your medicine chest.)

Attention

Roundup Kills More Than Weeds

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A farmer mixes Roundup prior to application. Roundup is widely used in yards and gardens across North America, and U.S. farmers spray millions of acres of crops with it each year.
Alarming new research on the health hazards of Roundup weed killer is shining a harsh light on a regulatory process that was meant to protect us.

To protect our health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets maximum legal residue levels for every pesticide, for dozens of crops. But a new study in the respected journal Toxicology has shown that, at low levels that are currently legal on our food, Roundup could cause DNA damage, endocrine disruption and cell death. The study, conducted by French researchers, shows glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic to human reproductive cells.

The potential real-life risks from this are infertility, low sperm count, and prostate or testicular cancer. But, "Symptoms could be so subtle, they would be easy to overlook," says Theo Colborn, president of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange. "Timing is of critical importance. If a pregnant woman were to be exposed early in gestation, it looks like these herbicides could have an effect during the sexual differentiation stage. They really lock in on testosterone." The bottom line is more research is needed before we can fully understand the effects of glyphosate exposure.

Info

Debating How Much Weed Killer Is Safe in Your Water Glass

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For decades, farmers, lawn care workers and professional green thumbs have relied on the popular weed killer atrazine to protect their crops, golf courses and manicured lawns.

But atrazine often washes into water supplies and has become among the most common contaminants in American reservoirs and other sources of drinking water.

Now, new research suggests that atrazine may be dangerous at lower concentrations than previously thought. Recent studies suggest that, even at concentrations meeting current federal standards, the chemical may be associated with birth defects, low birth weights and menstrual problems.

Laboratory experiments suggest that when animals are exposed to brief doses of atrazine before birth, they may become more vulnerable to cancer later.

Health

Poisoned Water

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© SOTT.net
Arthur Miller wrote, "An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." It's becoming increasingly clear that we are living through such a time. The information age is dissolving many of the lies of corporate capitalism. The rapid exchange of knowledge on the Internet has made the excesses of globalization transparent. It's high time for pointing out the pink elephants and debunking the myths of the system. So here's some more dirt under the fingernails of the American Empire: fluoride. For half a century in North America the commonly held belief has been that fluoride is good for our teeth. This is a PR lie concocted by the most infamous "mad man" of Madison Avenue, Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud. The truth is that fluoride is poison. Yet on account of the longevity of the lie, to this day there is poison in our toothpaste and in our drinking water.

In most of North America, if you turn on the faucet in the kitchen or the bathroom, the water that pours out will be laced with hydrofluorosilicic acid. It's designated a Class 2 poison by the EPA, an acute toxin worse than lead and almost as bad as arsenic. According to the National Cancer Institute it's a known carcinogen. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a byproduct of the Florida phosphate fertilizer industry. It comes straight from the stacks of industrial plants. It's illegal to dump it into freshwater lakes and rivers because it's toxic to life. Yet it's being trucked in oil tankers all over the United States and Canada to be sold to municipalities that pump it into our tap water. Yet enough scientific evidence has mounted against fluoride that three U.S. judges have ruled in federal court that fluoridation represents an "unreasonable risk" to the public, and the public is beginning to get wind of the danger.

Bad Guys

Bill Gates Funds Covert Vaccine Nanotechnology

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© NaturalNews
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is gaining a reputation for funding technologies designed to roll out mass sterilization and vaccination programs around the world. One of the programs recently funded by the foundation is a sterilization program that would use sharp blasts of ultrasound directed against a man's scrotum to render him infertile for six months. It might accurately be called a "temporary castration" technology. Read more about it here.

Now, the foundation has funded a new "sweat-triggered vaccine delivery" program based on nanoparticles penetrating human skin. The technology is describes as a way to "...develop nanoparticles that penetrate the skin through hair follicles and burst upon contact with human sweat to release vaccines."

The research grant money is going to Carlos Alberto Guzman of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Germany and Claus-Michael Lehr and Steffi Hansen of the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research.

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Low Levels of Vitamin D Make Asthma Worse

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© NBC
Asthmatics with low levels of vitamin D may suffer more severely from the disease than patients with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a study conducted by researchers from National Jewish Health in Denver and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Our findings suggest that low vitamin D levels are associated with worse asthma," lead researcher E. Rand Sutherland said.

The researchers measured the vitamin D blood levels of 54 asthma patients, along with their lung function, airway hyper-responsiveness and response to steroid drug treatment.

Airway hyper-responsiveness measures the air passages' tendency to constrict, leading to breathing difficulty.

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Normal Human Problems Are Turned into Medical Conditions, Spiking Healthcare Costs

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© Getty Images
Mainstream medicine has a huge new growth industry underway -- the "medicalization" of the human condition.

That's the conclusion of a study headed by Brandeis University sociologist Peter Conrad that was just published in the journal Social Science and Medicine. The report, the first study of its kind, documents that over the last several decades, numerous common problems -- many of which are simply due to being human -- have been newly defined as medical disorders that supposedly need prescription drugs and other costly treatments.

For example, menopause is a perfectly natural part of womanhood but it is now considered a "condition" complete with symptoms that physicians often believe need treatment with hormones and anti-depressants. Likewise, normal pregnancies, taking longer-than-average time to get pregnant and impotence (now known by the medical term "erectile dysfunction") are all now seen as medical conditions that may need intense medical monitoring and treatment. And if a child fidgets in class -- bingo! He or she is frequently classified as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and quickly placed on stimulant drugs like Ritalin.

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Will We Succeed? The Science of Self-Motivation

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© Squeak Zone
Can you help you?

Recent research by University of Illinois Professor Dolores Albarracin and Visiting Assistant Professor Ibrahim Senay, along with Kenji Noguchi, Assistant Professor at Southern Mississippi University, has shown that those who ask themselves whether they will perform a task generally do better than those who tell themselves that they will.

Little research exists in the area of self-talk, although we are aware of an inner voice in ourselves and in literature. From children's books like The Little Engine That Could, in which the title character says, "I think I can," to Holden Caulfield's misanthropic musings in A Catcher in the Rye, internal dialogue often influences the way people motivate and shape their own behavior.

But was The Little Engine using the best motivational tool, or does Bob the Builder have the right idea when he asks, "Can we fix it?"

People

Empathy: College Students Don't Have as Much as They Used To

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© EVLove
Today's college students are not as empathetic as college students of the 1980s and '90s, a University of Michigan study shows.

The study, presented in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analyzes data on empathy among almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years.

"We found the biggest drop in empathy after the year 2000," said Sara Konrath, a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research. "College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago, as measured by standard tests of this personality trait."

Konrath conducted the meta-analysis, combining the results of 72 different studies of American college students conducted between 1979 and 2009, with U-M graduate student Edward O'Brien and undergraduate student Courtney Hsing.

People

Racial Bias Clouds Ability to Feel Others' Pain, Study Shows

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© Michael Waterston/Flickr
When people witness or imagine the pain of another person, their nervous system responds in essentially the same way it would if they were feeling that pain themselves.

Now, researchers reporting online on May 27th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have new evidence to show that that kind of empathy is diminished when people (black or white) who hold racial biases see that pain is being inflicted on those of another race.

The good news is that people continue to respond with empathy when pain is inflicted on people who don't fit into any preconceived racial category -- in this case, those who appear to have violet-colored skin.

"This is quite important because it suggests that humans tend to empathize by default unless prejudice is at play," said Salvatore Maria Aglioti of Sapienza Università di Roma.