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Climate change could unlock new microbes and increase heat-related deaths

Climate change could unlock new microbes and increase heat-related deaths, Science Daily, January 22, 2020, Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Scientists warn that global climate change is likely to unlock dangerous new microbes, as well as threaten humans’ ability to regulate body temperature…..
Ahima, director of Johns Hopkins’ Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, wrote in the journal that “global warming threatens human thermoregulation and survival.”  ……
Casadevall’s article explores “the specter of new infectious diseases” as a result of the changing climate.

“Given that microbes can adapt to higher temperatures,” writes the professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, and infectious diseases, at Johns Hopkins’ schools of medicine and public health, “there is concern that global warming will select for microbes with higher heat tolerance that can defeat our endothermy defenses and bring new infectious diseases.”

Endothermy allows humans and other warm-blooded mammals to maintain high temperatures that can protect against infectious diseases by inhibiting many types of microbes.

Casadevall cites a particular climate threat from the fungal kingdom.

“We have proposed that global warming will lead many fungal species to adapt to higher temperatures,” he writes, “and some with pathogenic potential for humans will break through the defensive barrier provided by endothermy.”….

In all four JCI “Viewpoint” articles, long-term strategies are urged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the trend of rising temperatures. ….

January 23, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, health | Leave a comment

Climate change afflicting the health of the world’s children

Warning: Climate change will bring major new health risks for kids

By Kathleen E. Bachynski, January 17, 2020  As we enter a new decade, headlines from across the world make all too clear that the effects of climate change are not just looming. They’re here, they’re now, and they’re devastating communities on every continent. For example, in Australia, unprecedented fires have emitted roughly 400 million tons of carbon, killed at least 25 people, and destroyed 2,000 homes. In Indonesia, terrible flooding has killed at least 67 people and caused 400,000 to abandon their homes. The loss of sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking access to food resources that numerous indigenous communities have depended on for generations.

But the health effects of climate change go beyond even the most immediate and obvious consequences of fires, floods, and melting ice. In November 2019, the medical journal The Lancet published a detailed report examining the effects that climate change will have on human health under two scenarios: one in which the world reins in emissions according to commitments laid out in the Paris agreement, and one in which the world does not. In both cases, children will be most vulnerable to the numerous health harms resulting from decisions made by their parents and grandparents. Children are particularly likely to suffer the effects of climate change for numerous reasons: Their immune and organ systems are still developing, they drink relatively more water and breathe in more air than do adults relative to their body weight, and they tend to spend more time outdoors. Understanding the full scope of the public health consequences of a changing climate, then, involves examining how the risks will affect the bodies of the youngest people.

According to the Lancet report, air pollution—specifically, exposure to fine particulate matter known as PM 2.5—represents the largest environmental risk factor for premature deaths across the globe. When people think of the public health effects of air pollution, they often imagine the worst-case scenarios. For example, the smoke from the fires in Australia is currently so severe that a day spent inhaling the air in east Sydney represents the equivalent of smoking 19 cigarettes.

But air pollution need not reach such extreme levels to cause serious harm. Far more commonly, people are unaware of the daily pollution that they are breathing in due to the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and gas. In fact, more than 90 percent of children are exposed to concentrations of PM 2.5 higher than the World Health Organization’s guidelines on outdoor air pollution. Over a lifetime, unhealthy air damages lungs and increases risks for a host of diseases, from asthma to pneumonia. And due to their small body size and the factors cited above, children absorb more of this pollution than do adults.

Similarly, The Lancet report notes that children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat. Specifically, young children are at greater risk for experiencing electrolyte imbalance, fever, respiratory disease, and kidney disease during periods of extreme heat. Rates of heat-related deaths are four times higher among children younger than one year old as compared to people aged 1-to-44.   Changing temperature and precipitation patterns are also influencing the transmission of disease from insects to humans. In particular, malaria and dengue are spread by mosquitoes, and climate suitability for transmission of these diseases is increasing in numerous parts of the world. Because children tend to spend more time outdoors, they are more likely to contract these diseases. In 2017, children accounted for 61 percent of all malaria deaths worldwide, and climate change is putting more children at even greater risk.

Changing climate patterns, droughts, and fires also threaten to reduce crop yields and increase food insecurity. Moreover, rising carbon dioxide appears to diminish the nutrient quality of crucial staple foods such as wheat and rice. Combined, these trends are likely to exacerbate the already serious global health problem of malnutrition, which currently accounts for nearly one-fifth of premature deaths and poor health globally.   The consequences of malnutrition are particularly severe among children. In 2018, 22 percent of children under five years of age were stunted, meaning they experienced impaired growth and development. Stunting is largely irreversible and includes serious consequences, from poorer cognition to increased risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases later in life.

Finally, The Lancet report observes that climate change has other health implications that are more challenging to quantify but crucial to address, such as mental health effects. Researchers have found that children are at high risk of mental health problems following the types of natural disasters that are likely to increase due to climate change. For example, one study found that 31 percent of a group of children who were evacuated during Hurricane Katrina reported clinically significant symptoms associated with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to the Centers for Disease Control, children are at particular risk for stress after a disaster because they often understand less about what is occurring, feel less able to control events, and have less experience coping with difficult situations.

Protecting children from air pollution, heat-related deaths, infectious diseases, malnutrition, and mental health effects associated with climate change will involve the mobilization of all sectors of society to drastically reduce emissions and invest in health systems and infrastructure. The Lancet report notes a few promising signs, such as increased public and political engagement, and increasing health adaptation spending to improve communities’ resilience to a changing climate. Unfortunately, however, current efforts are falling far short of what is needed to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions on the scale needed to address the threat posed to human health. According to a 2019 United Nations report, greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6 percent this year in order to meet the most ambitious goals laid out in the 2015 Paris climate accord. But the world is nowhere near this goal, and many countries are heading in the opposite direction. Notably, in 2018, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 2.7 percent in the United States. The United Nations has warned that every year of delay “brings a need for faster cuts, which become increasingly expensive, unlikely, and impractical.”

Waiting until action becomes more difficult, or perhaps even impossible, has appalling moral consequences. The longer we fail to act to address the risks of climate change, the more human lives we place on the line. And the majority of those lives will belong to the most vulnerable among us. It is no wonder, then, that children across the world have taken the lead in advocating for urgent, necessary action. The public health stakes for them—and for all people—grow higher with each passing year. Our health is fundamentally tied to our planet’s health. We must all consider, then, what actions we need to take to protect our planet—and thereby our communities, our children, and our selves.


January 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Report shows that most young adults fear a nuclear attack this decade

January 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, psychology - mental health, social effects, weapons and war | Leave a comment

John Wayne and the movie crew killed by nuclear radiation

John Wayne squares off against Jim Hansen, Medium,  Albert Bates, 11 Jan 2020     “……..The famous cowboy actor John Wayne may have been felled by the same foe, as was Marie Curie. From 1951 to 1962 the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) detonated more than 100 bombs in the southwestern US desert, sending huge pinkish plumes of radioactive dust across the stony valleys and canyons of southern Utah and northern Arizona. It gave each “shot” names like Annie, Eddie, Humboldt and Badger. Eleven of those tests were part of a series called Upshot-Knothole in Utah in 1953. In 1954, the Upshot-Knothole site was chosen as the location for a John Wayne film called The Conqueror.

The AEC sent a scientist with a Geiger counter to show Wayne that the location was safe enough for him to bring his wife and children to visit the set. The Geiger counter is said to have crackled so loudly Wayne thought it was broken. Waving it over clumps of cactus, rock and sand produced the same loud result. The Duke, by all accounts, shrugged it off. By 1980, 91 out of 220 cast and crew on The Conquerer had contracted cancer and 46 of them, including Wayne and co- stars Dick Powell, Pedro Armendáriz, Agnes Moorehead, and Susan Hayward had died. Those numbers did not include the families of the cast and crew. John Wayne’s wife and two sons all got cancer. While the two sons survived, the daughter of one of Wayne’s sons also died of cancer. Hayward’s son Tim Barker had a benign tumor removed from his mouth. Many of the Native American Paiute extras went on to die of cancer also……..

January 21, 2020 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Marie Curie’s illness and death caused by ionising radiation

John Wayne squares off against Jim Hansen, Medium,  Albert Bates, 11 Jan 2020     “…….. In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium emitted rays that resembled X-rays. Marie Curie suspected that the radiation was not the outcome of some interaction but came from the atom itself. Her work with uranium disproved the conventional wisdom going back to ancient Greece that atoms were indivisible and set up the later discovery of subatomic particles. Curie discovered that thorium, radium, polonium and radioactive bismuth occurred naturally with uranium. Radium was known to glow in the dark, which made it useful for painting the hour and minute hands on watches and clocks. It was later discovered that radium “radiated” more than just neutrons, but also protons and electrons, becoming another unstable element, radon, and that element radiated its subatomic particles to become others, polonium and bismuth, until those eventually became a  stable element, lead. Indeed, the radium Curie discovered was the progeny of another unstable element, thorium, which was the progeny of yet another unstable element, uranium.

Madame Curie was a physicist, not a medical doctor, so she did not recognize the health effects of handling uranium, thorium, radium and the other radionuclides. Indeed, she suspected the effects would be beneficial. One of the papers she and her husband published in the late 19th century announced that, when exposed to radium, diseased, tumor-forming cells were destroyed faster than healthy cells (the basis for today’s radio-chemotherapy). She carried test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pockets and stored them in her desk drawer. Although her many decades of exposure to radiation caused chronic illnesses (including near-blindness due to cataracts) and ultimately her death, she never acknowledged the inherent health risks. She likely did not recognize the symptoms when she began to feel weak and lose her hair. She died in 1934 from aplastic anemia without ever knowing that she fought the same mortal enemy as those who had painted the hands on watches and clocks, or those who had mined and processed the uranium on which she worked. After her death, and to this day, her papers and effects are too radioactive to be handled and her laboratory is unsafe to enter.also……..

January 21, 2020 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear region, Cumbria, has unusually high rates of certain cancers

NW Evening Mail 16th Jan 2020,   A WORRYING new report has found that Cumbria has the highest incidence rates of certain kinds of cancer in the North West. According to data collated by charity North West Cancer Research, the county ranks 11 per cent higher on key cancers than the national average. As part of the study, analysts assessed the impact of 25 key cancers across the North West and 37 cancers across Wales.
Of the cancers included in the project, the North West over-indexed on 14 cancers, highlighting stark contrasts between the national and regional pictures and demonstrating how those living across the region were more at risk of developing the disease.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Low dose radiation causes cell mutations – new research

Low doses of radiation used in medical imaging lead to mutations in cell cultures,–

Discovery that radiation creates breaks that allow in foreign DNA must be confirmed in animal studies  January 16, 2020 Source: PLOS

Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe. A new study, however, finds that in human cell cultures, these doses create breaks that allow extra bits of DNA to integrate into the chromosome.

Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe. A new study, however, finds that in human cell cultures, these doses create breaks that allow extra bits of DNA to integrate into the chromosome. Roland Kanaar and Alex Zelensky of Erasmus University Medical Center and Oncode Institute and colleagues report these new findings in a study published 16th January in PLOS Genetics.

Scientists have long known that exposing cells to high doses of ionizing radiation generates mutations by creating double-strand breaks that let in external segments of DNA. These extraneous fragments of DNA can occur in the nucleus, left over from natural processes, such as genomic DNA repair and viral infections. In the new study, researchers investigated whether low doses of ionizing radiation have damaging side effects by irradiating human and mouse cells grown in the lab. When they counted the cells that had taken up foreign DNA, they found that low doses of radiation, in the upper range of common diagnostic procedures, create mutations through inserted DNA even more efficiently than the much larger doses studied previously.

While the new results in cell cultures are potentially concerning, the study’s authors stress that translating radiation’s effects on lab-grown cell cultures to effects in the body is premature. Future experiments using animal models will be necessary to determine the full effects of low-dose radiation, and whether its use in medical imaging has an impact on patient health. If the same phenomenon does occur inside the body, then doctors may need to take into account levels of extraneous DNA, such those resulting from a long-term viral infection, when assessing a patient’s risk from a procedure that requires radiation.

“Most molecular radiobiological research is focused on high doses of ionizing radiation relevant to cancer treatment, while effects of physiologically relevant doses of radiation on the cell are notoriously difficult to study at the molecular level,” said author Roland Kanaar. “Our discovery that mutagenic insertion of foreign DNA into cell’s genome is remarkably responsive to doses encountered during diagnostic, rather than therapeutic, procedures provides a new simple and sensitive tool to study their consequences and revealed surprising molecular genetic details of how cells cope with natural amounts of DNA damage.”

January 20, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 1 Comment

Need to improve Hanford radiation exposure records

January 20, 2020 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

New Zealand veterans await nuclear radiation genetic testing study

January 9, 2020 Posted by | health, New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radiation-free medical imaging

Medical City Frisco Launches Radiation-Free Imaging System, Healthcare 01/3/2020by Will Maddox, Medical City Frisco is working to replace intraoperative radiation devices by using a radiation-free tool to aid spine and cranial procedures. The device will allow surgeon to safely place spinal implants or remove cranial tumors while improving patient safety.

The system is called the Machine-Vision Image Guided Surgery platform, which uses camera technology to identify anatomy and guide tools during procedures. The technology uses only visible light and not radiation to create the image, and is similar to what is used in self-driving vehicles……

January 4, 2020 Posted by | health | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium causing cancer epidemic in Serbia

The number of cancer patients will dramatically increase 20 years after NATO aggression, because that is when uranium has strongest effect, said oncologist Vladimir Cikaric. Now we have 35000 people that suffer from cancer, and in three years that number could climb to 70.000
Cancer epidemics is threatening Serbia in three years, reports Informer.

THESE ARE THE PLACES IN SERBIA WHERE BOMBS WITH IMPOVERISHED URANIUM FELL: NATO map reveals the exact locations from the 1999 attack!

The reason for that is the depleted uranium that was left after the NATO bombing in 1999, and the strongest effect it has on human organism is after 20 years, claims for Informer famous oncologist Vladimir Cikaric.

According to him, there are 35.000 people suffering from cancer, and after 2019 that number could double to 70.000 because the effect of the depleted uranium from Kosovo and from Pcinjski area is spreading over the entire country.

Cikaric reveals that the number of malign sicknesses increased in Serbia after NATO bombing by 110% and the worst is yet to come.

– Serbia is number one in the mortality rate from tumors in Europe, and we have almost three times higher mortality than carcinoma in comparison to the world. The reason is that the dust from the depleted uranium in Pcinski area and Kosovo spread across the entire country. We all breathed it. Because of that we now have drastic increase of leukemia and lymphoma, but also all other types of carcinoma. However, the worst is yet to come. Depleted uranium has the strongest effect after 20 years and it turns healthy cells into cancer cells. That means that from 2019 the number of people who will get sick with cancer will increase, according to some assessments, there will be 70.000 people, which is twice the number we have now. Real health disaster is in front of us, which we can not prevent – warns Cikaric.

According to some reports, 80% of Serbs is in danger.  ( / Informer)

January 2, 2020 Posted by | depleted uranium, EUROPE, health | 2 Comments

Ionising radiation damages brain connections

December 28, 2019 Posted by | radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Health Ethics of Nuclear Energy – theme for December 2019

The early mutations of butterflies around Fukushima are alarming as the mutations disorders have been increasing with the offspring.

In a similar study on mice after 25 years of the Chernobyl catastrophe, it yielded the following outcome: “The rate of mutation amongst the field mice is one hundred thousand times higher than normal

“There is a linear dose-response relationship between exposure to ionizing radiation and the development of solid cancers in humans. It is unlikely that there is a threshold below which cancers are not induced

Ethics of Nuclear Energy  Abu-Dayyeh (P.hD) Amman – H.K. of Jordan E_case Society (President)  [Extract]

“……2- Health Risk Analysis,

If “risk” is defined as the product of probability of an accident happening with its severity, we ought to start this title by considering first major commercial nuclear accidents of level 7 on the INES scale, as a priority in analysis, so we must consider 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe where “Emissions from Chernobyl reactor exceeded a hundredfold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki(10).

The latest New York Academy report on Chernobyl catastrophe has published horrendous facts of more than a million causalities; the new book concludes: Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer (11). A paper by Kristina Voigt and Hagen Scherb also showed that after 1986, in the aftermath of Chernobyl, around 800,000 fewer children were born in Europe than one might have expected. The overall number of “missing” children after Chernobyl could have reached about one million (12); not to mention that the researchers have not covered all countries in their count!

According to UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation), adding to the latter casualties, between 12,000 and 83,000 children who lived in the vicinity of Chernobyl were born with congenital deformations, and also estimate that around 30,000 to 207,000 genetically damaged children were born worldwide (13). Amongst the interesting findings was that only 10% of the overall expected damage was actually seen in the first generation; the worse is yet to come with the offspring. A similar research on butterflies around Fukushima has yielded a similar result which will be discussed later.

As for the level 6 on the INES scale, it is classified as a serious nuclear accident that includes the accident at the Kyshtym facility in Russia in 1957, unfortunately not much research was published! on level 5, accidents with wider consequences include United Kingdom Windscale facility in the year 1957, Chalk River – Canada in 1952 and the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, Continue reading

December 9, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, health | 10 Comments

Radiation- high levels near start of Japan’s 2020 Olympic Torch Relay

Nuclear Radiation Hot Spots Found At Starting Point Of Japan’s 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, George Dvorsky, Dec 5, 2019, High levels of radiation have been detected near Japan’s J-Village, a sports facility and the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay, according to Greenpeace. The discovery was made by surveyors with Greenpeace Japan, which warns that monitoring and decontamination efforts in Fukushima are inadequate.

Radiation levels as high as 71 microsieverts per hour were found on the surface near J-Village in northeastern Japan, according to a Greenpeace press release issued Wednesday. This level of radiation is hundreds of times greater than what’s stipulated in Japan’s decontamination guidelines, prompting Greenpeace Japan to demand that the Japanese government conduct regular radiation monitoring and decontamination of regions affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

J-Village National Training Centre is in Fukushima prefecture, which is located 20 kilometres from the damaged nuclear power plant. This sports facility will be the starting point of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which is scheduled to begin on March 26, 2020. That J-Village was chosen as the starting point for the relay is by design, as the Japanese government is promoting the games as the “reconstruction Olympics.” The Olympics will begin on July 24, 2020 in Tokyo, some 239 kilometres from the damaged reactors.

December 5, 2019 Posted by | Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Thorny topic of Fukushima food at the 2020 Olympics

Should Fukushima food be served at the Olympics? Japan Times, BY KARYN NISHIMURA, AFP-JIJI 26 NOV 19, FUKUSHIMA – For years, the government has sought to convince consumers that food from Fukushima is safe despite the nuclear disaster. But will it serve the prefecture’s produce at the Tokyo Olympics?

It’s a thorny subject for the authorities. They pitched the Olympics in part as a chance to showcase the recovery of areas affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Government officials tout strict checks on food from the prefecture as evidence the produce is completely safe, but it remains unclear whether athletes and sports teams from around the world will be convinced.

In Fukushima, producers are keen to see their products served in the Olympic Village and have submitted a bid to the organizers………

It’s a thorny subject for the authorities. They pitched the Olympics in part as a chance to showcase the recovery of areas affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Government officials tout strict checks on food from the prefecture as evidence the produce is completely safe, but it remains unclear whether athletes and sports teams from around the world will be convinced.

In Fukushima, producers are keen to see their products served in the Olympic Village and have submitted a bid to the organizers.

But the figures have only gone some way to reassuring foreign officials: Numerous countries including China, South Korea and the U.S. maintain restrictions on the import of some or all produce from Fukushima.

South Korea, currently locked in a dispute with Japan over wartime issues, has been vocal about its concerns ahead of the Olympics, even raising the possibility of bringing in its own kitchen and food.

“We have requested the Olympic organizers to provide objective data verified by an independent third body,” the South Korean Sports and Olympic Committee said in a statement earlier this year.

“Since Japan repeatedly said its food from Fukushima is safe, we have demanded they provide statistics and data to back up their claims,” an official with the committee said.

The position underlines a long-running problem for Japan: While it points to its extensive, government-mandated checks as proof of safety, many abroad feel the government is not an objective arbiter…….

The International Olympic Committee has said it is still weighing how to handle the matter…….

November 28, 2019 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment