Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BPA-free plastics may be less safe than those with chemical

BPA-free plastics may be less safe than those with chemical
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/BPA-free-plastics-may-be-less-safe-than-those-5302319.php

"BPA, a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen, has been used to harden plastics for more than 40 years but has been banned from baby bottles and children's products because of growing concerns that it may be linked to a host of health issues.  Now comes news from Oakland's Center for Environmental Health that some cups labeled BPA-free contain other chemicals that appear to pose an equal if not greater health hazard.  Those chemicals, acting a lot like BPA, have a disruptive effect on the body's naturally produced hormones, raising the same concerns for the health risks associated with BPA - that exposure to them may lead to cancer, diabetes, reproductive problems, early development and obesity, especially in young children. The research isn't definitive, but a growing number of studies, mostly done on animals, have raised those suspicions."

Pro-Vaccine Messages Actually Backfire, Study Finds

Pro-Vaccine Messages Actually Backfire, Study Finds
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/pro-vaccine-messages-actually-backfire-study-finds-n41611

"Public health messages aimed at boosting childhood vaccination rates may be backfiring, a new report finds.  Current efforts that use scientific studies, vaccine facts and images and stories of disease-sickened kids actually increased fears about vaccine side effects among some parents. Even when they successfully refuted claims about a link between vaccines and autism, they made parents who were the most wary less inclined to inoculate their children."

"But anti-vaccination advocates say the study correctly spotlights the suspicion that some parents have for public health claims about vaccines — and their resentment of efforts to spin the message.  "It is a big mistake for public health officials to assume that those resisting public health messaging about vaccines and diseases are ignorant, uneducated, 'anti-science' and that they lack social conscience," said Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center and a frequent critic of vaccines."

2014 Stanford Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symposium: Advances in Clinical Care and Translational Research

2014 Stanford Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symposium: Advances in Clinical Care and Translational Research

Fukushima's children at centre of debate over rates of thyroid cancer

Fukushima's children at centre of debate over rates of thyroid cancer
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/09/fukushima-children-debate-thyroid-cancer-japan-disaster-nuclear-radiation

"Three years after the worst nuclear accident in a generation, the Japanese prefecture is reporting a rise in the number of children showing cancer symptoms. But is this directly related to the disaster, or is the testing more rigorous?"

QEESI Study Draws Connection between Chronic Illness and Chemical Sensitivity

QEESI Study Draws Connection between Chronic Illness and Chemical Sensitivity
http://tpr.org/post/qeesi-study-draws-connection-between-chronic-illness-and-chemical-sensitivity

"Sensitivity to household chemicals, perfumes, and air pollution often go undetected, but now there's a way for patients, especially those with mysterious medical symptoms, to discover if they are sensitive to certain chemicals.  The QEESI, or Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory, is now available online. This 15-minute questionnaire developed by San Antonio researcher Dr. Claudia Miller, allows individuals to rate their reactions to things like car exhaust, nail polish, paints, and pesticides.  Dr. Claudia Miller developed the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory to help doctors and patients pinpoint chemical sensitivities that may be causing health problems.  Dr. Miller, a researcher at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and professor at the University of Texas School of Medicine, developed the test because chemical sensitivities are common in an estimated 20 percent of chronically-ill patients, but are rarely diagnosed by physicians.  The QEESI delivers an evaluation that can help doctors determine if their patients' illnesses stem from chemical intolerances."

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Is The Central Valley's Air Pollution Affecting Our Cells And Genes?

Is The Central Valley's Air Pollution Affecting Our Cells And Genes?
http://kvpr.org/post/central-valleys-air-pollution-affecting-our-cells-and-genes

"Here in the Central Valley – in one of the most polluted air basins in the country – we know that poor air is bad for our health. We feel it in our eyes and throat, and when we struggle to breathe.  But what if air pollution is affecting us at a deeper, cellular level?  That's exactly what Dr. Kari Nadeau discovered a few years ago. She's a Stanford School of Medicine professor with an expertise in asthma and allergies."

Worcester ZBA calls for experts, puts smart grid on hold

Worcester ZBA calls for experts, puts smart grid on hold
http://www.telegram.com/article/20140113/NEWS/301139631/1116
 
"Plans to erect a specialized communications tower in the Tatnuck Square area as part of National Grid's "smart grid" pilot program remain on hold."

Study - Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles

Study - Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles
http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/aip/179691.pdf

Study - Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles

Study - Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles

Multiple chemical sensitivity caused by exposure to ignition coal fumes: a case report.

Multiple chemical sensitivity caused by exposure to ignition coal fumes: a case report.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24472417
 
Yun MJ, Kang DM, Lee KH, Kim YK, Kim JE.
Ann Occup Environ Med. 2013 Nov 1;25(1):32. doi: 10.1186/2052-4374-25-32.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Although multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is a well-known disorder caused by environmental exposures, MCS caused by occupational exposure has been reported in Korea. Therefore, we report a MCS case caused by environmental exposure to ignition coal after a differential diagnosis to exclude other diseases.
CASE REPORT:
Since 2011, a 55-year-old woman had experienced edema, myalgia, and other symptoms when she smelled ignition coal near her workplace. She had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia syndrome(FMS) and was treated, with no improvement of symptoms. Since then, she showed the same symptoms after exposure to city gas, the smell of burning, and exhaust gas. To avoid triggering substances, she moved to a new house and used an air purifier. She quit her job in November 2012. After visiting our hospital, she underwent a differential diagnosis for FMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, and somatization disorder. She was diagnosed with MCS by the Korean version of the Quick Environment Exposure Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI). She was educated about the disease and to avoid triggering substances. She received ongoing treatment for her symptoms.
CONCLUSION:
This case showed that symptoms began after smelling ignition coal. After that, her triggers was increased such as the smell of city gas, burning, and exhaust gas. This case is the first reported in Korea of MCS due to environmental exposure after ruling out other diseases.
PMID: 24472417 [PubMed]

Pesticide Exposure Linked to Alzheimer's Risk

"A new study finds that serum levels of a pesticide metabolite are associated with increased risk for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Researchers are reporting that high levels of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), a metabolite of the notorious pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), were associated with a greater than 4-fold increase in AD risk vs lowest levels."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Camping Cure for Environmentla Illness

The Camping Cure for Environmental Illness
Living outside changes you. When environmental illness left me too sick to stay in my high-rise, I turned to nature to heal
http://aeon.co/magazine/being-human/environmental-illness-cured-by-camping/

Monday, December 16, 2013

New research sheds light on mysterious fibromyalgia pain

New research sheds light on mysterious fibromyalgia pain
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/15/fibromyalgia-research-breakthrough/3991063/

"This new understanding of fibromyalgia will hopefully lead to better treatments, doctors and researchers say."

FDA Wants Proof of Anti-Bacterial Soap Claims

FDA Wants Proof of Anti-Bacterial Soap Claims
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/FDAGeneral/43453

Cytotoxic effects of air freshener biocides in lung epithelial cells.

Cytotoxic effects of air freshener biocides in lung epithelial cells.

Kwon JT, Lee M, Seo GB, Kim HM, Shim I, Lee DH, Kim T, Seo JK, Kim P, Choi K.
Nat Prod Commun. 2013 Sep;8(9):1301-4.

Abstract
This study evaluated the cytotoxicity of mixtures of citral (CTR) and either benzisothiazolinone (BIT, Mix-CTR-BIT) or triclosan (TCS, Mix-CTR-TCS) in human A549 lung epithelial cells. We investigated the effects of various mix ratios of these common air freshener ingredients on cell viability, cell proliferation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and DNA damage. Mix-CTR-BIT and Mix-CTR-TCS significantly decreased the viability of lung epithelial cells and inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, both mixtures increased ROS generation, compared to that observed in control cells. In particular, cell viability, growth, and morphology were affected upon increase in the proportion of BIT or TCS in the mixture. However, comet analysis showed that treatment of cells with Mix-CTR-BIT or Mix-CTR-TCS did not increase DNA damage. Taken together, these data suggested that increasing the content of biocides in air fresheners might induce cytotoxicity, and that screening these compounds using lung epithelial cells may contribute to hazard assessment.
PMID: 24273871 [PubMed - in process]

Changes in Cerebral Blood Flow during Olfactory Stimulation in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study.

Changes in Cerebral Blood Flow during Olfactory Stimulation in Patients with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Multi-Channel Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Study.

Azuma K, Uchiyama I, Takano H, Tanigawa M, Azuma M, Bamba I, Yoshikawa T.
PLoS One. 2013 Nov 21;8(11):e80567. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0080567.
Author information
Abstract
Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is characterized by somatic distress upon exposure to odors. Patients with MCS process odors differently from controls. This odor-processing may be associated with activation in the prefrontal area connecting to the anterior cingulate cortex, which has been suggested as an area of odorant-related activation in MCS patients. In this study, activation was defined as a significant increase in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) because of odorant stimulation. Using the well-designed card-type olfactory test kit, changes in rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) were investigated after olfactory stimulation with several different odorants. Near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) imaging was performed in 12 MCS patients and 11 controls. The olfactory stimulation test was continuously repeated 10 times. The study also included subjective assessment of physical and psychological status and the perception of irritating and hedonic odors. Significant changes in rCBF were observed in the PFC of MCS patients on both the right and left sides, as distinct from the center of the PFC, compared with controls. MCS patients adequately distinguished the non-odorant in 10 odor repetitions during the early stage of the olfactory stimulation test, but not in the late stage. In comparison to controls, autonomic perception and negative affectivity were poorer in MCS patients. These results suggest that prefrontal information processing associated with odor-processing neuronal circuits and memory and cognition processes from past experience of chemical exposure play significant roles in the pathology of this disorder.
PMID: 24278291 [PubMed - in process]

EU Commission Reviews Fragrance Allergens Program

EU Commission Reviews Fragrance Allergens Program
http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/16/6004003/eu-commission-reviews-fragrance.html

"The IDEA project, endorsed by the EU Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, is a multi-stakeholder process designed to provide a broadly agreed and transparent framework for assessing fragrance sensitizers globally.  It is an opportunity to build partnerships between the international fragrance industry and its stakeholders to improve the risk assessment of those fragrance ingredients identified as allergens, leading to better consumer protection.:

AT&T drops cell tower proposal in Olympia's Northeast Neighborhood

AT&T drops cell tower proposal in Olympia's Northeast Neighborhood

A town hall meeting to discuss the Toxic Free Kids and Family Act

A town hall meeting to discuss the Toxic Free Kids and Family Act

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Evidence that Increased Acetaminophen use in Genetically Vulnerable Children Appears to be a Major Cause of the Epidemics of Autism, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity, and Asthma

Evidence that Increased Acetaminophen use in Genetically Vulnerable Children Appears to be a Major Cause of the Epidemics of Autism, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity, and Asthma
http://www.greatplainslaboratory.com/home/eng/Acetaminophen.asp

Abstract
"It appears that the marked increase in the rate of autism, asthma, and attention deficit with hyperactivity throughout much of the world may be largely caused by the marked increase in the use of acetaminophen in genetically and/or metabolically susceptible children, and the use of acetaminophen by pregnant women. Toxicity of acetaminophen may cause autism by overloading the defective sulfation pathway catalyzed by phenolsulfotransferase, which is deficient in autism, leading to overproduction of the toxic metabolite N-acetylp- benzoquinone imine (NAPQI). Increased levels of NAPQI reduce the ability to detoxify a host of toxic chemicals in the environment, increasing oxidative stress, which leads to protein, lipid, and nucleic acid damage from free radicals. Epidemiological evidence also supports the association of increased acetaminophen usage with autism, asthma, and attention deficit with hyperactivity. The marked increases in the incidences of autism, asthma, and attention deficit disorder in the United States coincide with the replacement of aspirin by acetaminophen in the 1980s. The characteristic loss of Purkinje cells in the brains of people with autism is consistent with depletion of brain glutathione due to excess acetaminophen usage, which leads to premature brain Purkinje cell death. The anomalous hair mercury concentrations of children with autism are consistent with exposure of growing hair proteins to NAPQI derived from acetaminophen, which competitively inhibits the reaction of mercury with hair sulfhydryl groups. Finally, large-scale faulty production of acetaminophen products, such that the labeled values were exceeded by the true concentrations, in addition to contamination with bacteria and tribromoanisole, may have greatly increased the chances of children receiving overdosages of acetaminophen and potential toxins for perhaps as long as a decade."

Signs of Early Kidney Damage Found in Some 9/11 Responders

Signs of Early Kidney Damage Found in Some 9/11 Responders
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_142377.html
 
"Researchers say those who were exposed longest to polluted air at Ground Zero were most affected"

Profile of Cerebrospinal microRNAs in Fibromyalgia.

Profile of Cerebrospinal microRNAs in Fibromyalgia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24205312

Bjersing JL, Lundborg C, Bokarewa MI, Mannerkorpi K.
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 25;8(10):e78762. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078762.

Source
Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.
Abstract
INTRODUCTION:
Fibromyalgia (FM) is characterized by chronic pain and reduced pain threshold. The pathophysiology involves disturbed neuroendocrine function, including impaired function of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis. Recently, microRNAs have been shown to be important regulatory factors in a number of diseases. The aim of this study was to try to identify cerebrospinal microRNAs with expression specific for FM and to determine their correlation to pain and fatigue.
METHODS:
The genome-wide profile of microRNAs in cerebrospinal fluid was assessed in ten women with FM and eight healthy controls using real-time quantitative PCR. Pain thresholds were examined by algometry. Levels of pain (FIQ pain) were rated on a 0-100 mm scale (fibromyalgia impact questionnaire, FIQ). Levels of fatigue (FIQ fatigue) were rated on a 0-100 mm scale using FIQ and by multidimensional fatigue inventory (MFI-20) general fatigue (MFIGF).
RESULTS:
Expression levels of nine microRNAs were significantly lower in patients with FM patients compared to healthy controls. The microRNAs identified were miR-21-5p, miR-145-5p, miR-29a-3p, miR-99b-5p, miR-125b-5p, miR-23a-3p, 23b-3p, miR-195-5p, miR-223-3p. The identified microRNAs with significantly lower expression in FM were assessed with regard to pain and fatigue. miR-145-5p correlated positively with FIQ pain (r=0.709, p=0.022, n=10) and with FIQ fatigue (r=0.687, p=0.028, n=10).
CONCLUSION:
To our knowledge, this is the first study to show a disease-specific pattern of cerebrospinal microRNAs in FM. We have identified nine microRNAs in cerebrospinal fluid that differed between FM patients and healthy controls. One of the identified microRNAs, miR-145 was associated with the cardinal symptoms of FM, pain and fatigue.
PMID: 24205312
[PubMed - in process]

Comorbidity of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in an Australian cohort.

Comorbidity of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in an Australian cohort.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24206536
 
Reynolds GK, Lewis DP, Richardson AM, Lidbury BA.
J Intern Med. 2013 Nov 9. doi: 10.1111/joim.12161. [Epub ahead of print]

Source
Department of Genome Biology, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Canberra.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are frequently diagnosed with comorbid postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), suggesting a shared pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between demographic characteristics, autonomic functioning and fatigue levels amongst CFS patients with and without comorbid POTS.
DESIGN AND SETTING:
All patients presenting to Melbourne CFS Discovery Clinic between 2009 and 2012 completed a 20-min standing task as part of their initial assessment. Heart rate and pulse pressure were recorded at baseline, at 2 min intervals post-standing, at the end of the task and following a recovery period. Average heart rate and pulse pressure variability were calculated from this data. Age, gender, length of illness and self-reported fatigue scores were also recorded. POTS patients were diagnosed by an orthostatic increase in heart rate greater than 30 beats/min, concomitant symptoms of orthostatic intolerance and no orthostatic hypotension. Differences in autonomic functioning between POTS and CFS patients were compared using independent-samples t-tests, while logistic and linear regressions were performed to examine the contribution of autonomic functioning to task completion and perceived fatigue, respectively.
RESULTS:
Comorbidity of CFS and POTS (CFS-POTS) was observed in 11% (33/306) of patients. CFS-POTS patients were significantly younger (P < 0.001), had a shorter length of illness (P = 0.034), experienced greater task difficulty (P = 0.002) and were able to stand for significantly shorter periods compared to the CFS-only patients (P < 0.001). CFS-POTS patients experienced significantly lower baseline diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.002), and significantly higher heart rate and lower pulse pressures at each standing measurement. Early heart rate changes (P = 0.002) and overall heart rate change (P < 0.001) were significant predictors of completion status, whereas heart rate variability (P < 0.001) and female gender (P <0.001) were significant predictors of increased perceived task difficulty.
CONCLUSIONS:
Haemodynamic and demographic differences between CFS-POTS and CFS-only patients suggest that the former group reflects a distinct subgroup of the CFS population. The findings highlight the utility of screening younger patients with fatigue for POTS, and identified heart rate variability as an important marker of fatigue for CFS patients in general.
 
PMID: 24206536
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Lack of evidence for retroviral infections formerly related to chronic fatigue in Spanish Fibromyalgia patients.

Lack of evidence for retroviral infections formerly related to chronic fatigue in Spanish Fibromyalgia patients.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24216038
 
Oltra E, García-Escudero M, Mena-Durán AV, Monsalve V, Cerdá-Olmedo G.
Virol J. 2013 Nov 11;10(1):332. [Epub ahead of print]
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
The etiology of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (FM/CFS) is currently unknown. A recurrent viral infection is an attractive hypothesis repeatedly found in the literature since it would explain the persistent pain and tiredness these patients suffer from. The initial striking link of two distinct orphan retroviruses: the gamma retroviruses murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related virus and the delta retrovirus T-lymphotropic virus type 2 (HTLV-2) to chronic fatigue have not been confirmed to date.
RESULTS:
Genomic DNA (gDNA) from 75 fibromyalgia patients suffering from chronic fatigue and 79 age-matched local healthy controls were screened for the presence of MLV-related and HTLV-2 related proviral sequences. The XMRV env gene was amplified in 20% of samples tested (24% patients/15% healthy controls). Unexpectedly, no PCR amplifications from independent gDNA preparations of the same individuals were obtained. None of the positive samples showed presence of contaminating murine sequences previously reported by other investigators, neither contained additional regions of the virus making us conclude that the initial env amplification came from spurious air-driven amplicon contaminants. No specific HTLV-2 sequences were obtained at any time from any of the 154 quality-controlled gDNA preparations screened.
CONCLUSIONS:
Previous associations between MLV-related or HTLV-2 retrovirus infection with chronic fatigue must be discarded. Thus, studies showing positive amplification of HTLV-2 sequences from chronic fatigue participants should be revised for possible undetected technical problems.To avoid false positives of viral infection, not only extreme precautions should be taken when nested-PCR reactions are prepared and exhaustive foreign DNA contamination controls performed, but also consistent amplification of diverse regions of the virus in independent preparations from the same individual must be demanded.The fact that our cohort of patients did not present evidence of any of the two types of retroviral infection formerly associated to chronic fatigue does not rule out the possibility that other viruses are involved in inciting or maintaining fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue conditions.
PMID: 24216038 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Researchers tie Gulf War illness to brain damage

Researchers tie Gulf War illness to brain damage
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/20/research-ties-gulf-war-illness-to-brain-damage/1982817/

"WASHINGTON — Researchers say they have found physical proof that Gulf War illness is caused by damage to the brain — and that proof may ultimately help civilians who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia."

State rethinks using herbicide at Piermont Marsh for Tappan Zee Bridge

State rethinks using herbicide at Piermont Marsh for Tappan Zee Bridge
http://www.lohud.com/article/20131106/NEWS/311060058/

"The state is reconsidering plans to spray 200 acres of Piermont Marsh with herbicide as part of the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.  In a letter this month to Piermont Mayor Chris Sanders and others, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said it has "changed course after hearing from many of you who expressed concerns" about the initial plans for the marsh."

Lyme disease advocates to hold educational forum

Lyme disease advocates to hold educational forum'
http://www.fox19.com/story/23935524/lyme-disease-advocates-hold-educational-forum-in-w-price-hill

"The number of Lyme disease cases is on the rise in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Health officials report blacklegged ticks, which transmit Lyme disease, have been found in more than 50 Ohio counties. Other forms of ticks such as the American dog tick, which carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and the Lone star tick, which carries Ehrlichiosis, have also been found in Ohio. "

NH receives $150,000 to research Lyme disease

NH receives $150,000 to research Lyme disease
http://www.nhregister.com/health/20131107/unh-receives-150000-to-research-lyme-disease

"The University of New Haven has received a $150,000 grant from Lymedisease.org for research into the tick-borne illness, according to a press release."

TRPA1 detects environmental chemicals and induces avoidance behavior and arousal from sleep

TRPA1 detects environmental chemicals and induces avoidance behavior and arousal from sleep
http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131031/srep03100/full/srep03100.html

"Detecting threats and escaping before serious confrontations are important for animals to avoid danger and death. Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), a member of the TRP superfamily, is expressed in a subset of sensory neurons and mediates nociception evoked by pungent chemicals. Using behavioral testing, we found that TRPA1 knockout mice failed to avoid entering a chamber filled with vapor of formalin, allyl isothiocyanate, and acrolein. The avoidance behavior was blocked by nasal but not subcutaneous administration of a blocker to TRPA1. We also found that TRPA1 knockout mice did not wake when exposed to formalin during sleep. Additionally, the spinal trigeminal nucleus, the first relay neurons of the trigeminal system, showed massive expression of c-Fos after a brief (3 min) exposure to formalin vapor. TRPA1 seems to be a sentinel for environmental chemicals and induces avoidance behaviors and waking by way of the trigeminal system."

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