Health & WellnessS


Swimming in chlorine byproducts

When athletes at this year's U.S. national swimming championships found themselves gasping for breath while competing at the indoor pool at Indianapolis University, event organizers said the culprit most likely was the disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from the chlorine meant to keep the pool clean. Swimmers' lung troubles - and other possible long-term health effects - generally have been attributed to breathing chloroform, trihalomethanes, and trichloramines, which form in such settings and volatilize at the water's surface. But new research published in ES&T (DOI: 10.1021/es070871+) indicates that other byproducts hidden in the watery mix also might be to blame.

©Courtesy of Water Technology, Inc.
At the water's surface, swimmers breathe in a mix of volatilized disinfection byproducts, including some recently discovered to form in chlorinated swimming pools.


Flashback Hidden Danger of Swimming Pools for Children

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children who spend a lot of time at indoor swimming pools during their early years are more prone to developing asthma, recurrent bronchitis, and other breathing problems as they grow older, compared to others who do not frequent indoor pools.


Arrow Down

Some Companies Penalize for Health Risks

CINCINNATI - First they tried nudging. Now companies are penalizing workers who have high health risks such as obesity and high blood pressure or cholesterol as insurance costs climb.


Bird cull begins in Germany over bird flu fears

German authorities started culling tens of thousands of birds at two farms in the Bavarian towns of Trumling and Hofing as a protective measure over fears of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

An outbreak of bird flu was identified in the nearby Bavarian town of Wachenroth on Aug. 25 after dead ducks found in a poultry farm tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the virus.


Flesh-eating disease was just the beginning

Marie-Marthe Becigneul couldn't believe her bad luck when flesh-eating disease ravaged her legs in June 19, 2006. She endured six operations, with surgeons slicing away dead and infected tissue. After a stint at a rehabilitation hospital, she was relieved to finally walk again.

Months later, in the fall, she went to the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Sherbrooke, where she underwent skin grafts to repair the surgical scars left from flesh-eating disease.

That's when her health took a dramatic turn for the worse.


Germany warns citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi

Environment Ministry's verdict on the health risks from wireless technology puts the British government to shame.

Comment: Electro-sensitivity, EMF and WIFI - one woman's saga

[...]Doctors say there is little scientific evidence to back up a link between EMF and poor health. They claim the symptoms, often attributed to flu or viruses, are psychosomatic.

But campaigners disagree. They reckon around 500 people are already being treated for ES [Electro Sensitivity] and as many as five per cent of the population could be affected.

Red Flag

Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies."

But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.

Red Flag

Color contrast is 'seen' by the brain early doors

Colour contrast is detected much earlier in the brain than previously thought, a new study shows.

Scientists at Durham University have confirmed that colour contrast is first detected by part of the brain called primary visual cortex, which is located at the very back of the head where visual information first enters the cortex of the brain. This was recently discovered to be the case in animals but has not been tested on human beings until now.

The research also confirms that the brain does most of the work in seeing the difference between colours, rather than the eye.

The team of neuropsychologists identified a patient with damage to this specific part of the brain. They showed the patient visual illusions in which the contrast between the coloured spots in the foreground and their background colour affected the way the spots looked. People with this part of the brain intact would see the spots as different as they look different on varying backgrounds. The patient was not able to detect that difference.


We ban smoking yet allow our children to be poisoned with food additives

Well, what a surprise. An authoritative new report published in medical journal The Lancet has confirmed that artificial colouring in children's foods can cause physical and mental damage, leading to hyperactivity, poor behaviour and allergic reactions.

The study, carried out by the Food Standards Agency, only confirms what all too many parents have known for years, that excessive additives do a great deal of harm to vulnerable youngsters.

Comment: The author of this article falls for the common lie that the government regulations are driven by altruistic motives. Apart from that, it is useful as a reminder of our ever more poisoned food supply.

Unfortunately, it does not at all discuss the reasons why our food has become poisoned: that society has fallen under the iron grip of rule by pathological greed and self-interest, a pathocracy, in which giant corporations corrupt the very air we breath and food we eat, in the end destroying the planet we inhabit, for the sake of personal short-term profit.


Killer mosquito virus arrives in Europe

A tropical virus that has caused severe illness and widespread panic on the islands of the Indian Ocean has become established in Europe for the first time.

The Ministry of Health in Italy has confirmed a* outbreak of Chikungunya virus near Ravenna in the region of Emilia Romagna, 200 miles north of Rome. A total of 151 cases were reported in two villages near the town of Cervia between 4 July and 3 September. Eleven patients were taken to hospital; one died.