Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Evidence Shows

A new study suggests that moderate exposure to pesticides could yield long-term negative results to the people exposed to them. These findings should serve as warning to those who indiscriminately spray pesticides around the house, exposing their children, pets and other loved ones.
This new research shows that farmers who used agricultural insecticides experienced increased neurological symptoms, even when they were no longer using the products. Data from 18,782 North Carolina and Iowa farmers linked use of insecticides, including organophosphates and organochlorines, to reports of reoccurring headaches, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, hand tremors, numbness and other neurological symptoms. Some of the insecticides addressed by the study are still on the market, but some, including DDT, have been banned or restricted.
These findings will be available online in April, and published in the June issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The research is part of the ongoing Agricultural Health Study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, two of the National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
"This research is really important because it evaluated the health effects of agricultural chemicals as they were commonly used by farmers. It's different from previous studies that focused on pesticide poisoning or high dose exposures, for example when large amounts of a chemical were accidentally spilled on the skin," said Freya Kamel, Ph.D., a researcher for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
Researchers found that nearly 3,000 participants had a high lifetime exposure to insecticides--that is, they used insecticides more than 500 days in their lifetime. Nearly 800 of these farmers reported more than 10 neurological symptoms compared to those using insecticides fewer than 50 days. The researchers found no significant association between neurological symptoms and other chemicals, including herbicides or fungicides, and only a weak association between fumigant exposure and neurological symptoms.
Researchers found that nearly 3,000 participants had a high lifetime exposure to insecticides--that is, they used insecticides more than 500 days in their lifetime. Nearly 800 of these farmers reported more than 10 neurological symptoms compared to those using insecticides fewer than 50 days. The researchers found no significant association between neurological symptoms and other chemicals, including herbicides or fungicides, and only a weak association between fumigant exposure and neurological symptoms.
Some of the insecticides used by the licensed farmers over the past 25 years are no longer available commercially. DDT, a well known example of an organochlorine, has been banned for use in the US since 1972. Organophosphates, such as malathion, chlorypyrifos, and diazinon, have been banned or restricted for home and garden use in the US. However, some of the pesticides examined, including carbaryl and some pyrethroids, are available to home gardeners, although in different formulations and in lower concentrations, which may make them less hazardous.
"Because the participants in this study are telling us they have never been previously diagnosed with pesticide poisoning or medically treated for any exposure to any pesticide, we are led to conclude that their symptoms are related to moderate lifetime exposure," said Dr. Kamel.
Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, are used widely in agriculture and around the house. With over 25,000 brands of pesticides available in the United States, the use of organophosphates is probably more common than most people suspect. Many toxic nerve agents, used in milary applications are also also organophosphates.
Organochlorines are named as organic molecules bound with chlorine atoms. These include PCBs and DDT. Some organochlorines are also known as xenoestrogens because of their ability to mimic estrogen in the body. These compounds have been theorized to be at the root of a variety of estrogen-dominate illnesses in woman, like endometriosis and in wide spread genetic defects in wildlife like the three-legged frogs reported in Florida.
While this report does focus on farmers whose "moderate exposure" is likely higher than most people in the home, this report should serve as a caution to indiscriminate use of such products in the house and especially in the presence of children and those with weakened immune systems. Many of these compounds were initially popular because of their hardiness in the environment, meaning the compounds last longer to provide more killing effectiveness. This may be a good feature for the economics of agriculture and warfare, but at what consequence?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Stop Fluoridation to Preserve Teeth

Tooth decay declined substantially in prevalence and severity when Hong Kong children consumed less fluoride, indicative of a world-wide scientific trend revealing, with fluoride, less is best; none is better.
In 1988, Hong Kong reduced water fluoride levels from 0.7 parts per million (ppm) to 0.5 ppm. By 1995, 31% fewer 11-year-olds had cavities with a 42% reduction in average cavity rates, according to the Hong Kong Public Health Bulletin (1). Similar reductions occurred in 1978 when Hong Kong's fluoridation rates were first cut from 1 ppm to 0.7 ppm (2).
Hong Kong's dental health is superior to the United States' (3), even though U.S. children consume 1 ppm fluoridated water and brush with 1,000 ppm fluoridated toothpaste. And Hong Kong children use lower concentrated (500 ppm) fluoridated toothpaste (4).
Evidence that eliminating fluoridation lessens decay:
* Seven years after fluoridation ended in LaSalud, Cuba, cavities remained low in 6- to 9-year-olds, decreased in 10- to 11-year-olds, and significantly decreased in 12- to 13-year-olds, while caries-free children increased dramatically, according to Caries Research (5).
* East German scientists report, "following the cessation of water fluoridation in the cities Chemnitz . . . and Plauen, a significant fall in caries prevalence was observed," according to Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (6) . . . Surveys in the formerly-fluoridated towns of Spremberg and Zittau found "caries levels for the 12-year-olds of both towns significantly decreased... following the cessation of water fluoridation."
* In British Columbia, Canada, "the prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community," reported in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (7).
* In 1973, the Dutch town of Tiel stopped fluoridation. Researchers counted decayed, missing, and filled permanent tooth surfaces (DMFS) of Tiel's 15-year olds, then collected identical data from never-fluoridated Culemborg. DMFS rates initially increased in Tiel then dipped to 11% of baseline from 1968/69 to 1987/88 while never-fluoridated Culemborg's 15-year-olds had 72% less cavities over the same period, reports Caries Research (8).
In New York State, cavities and tooth loss are greater in fluoridated rather than in non-fluoridated counties (9). In fact, tooth decay crises exist in most, if not all, large fluoridated U.S. cities (10).
Sometimes stopping fluoridation has no effect as in Kuopio, Finland (11), and Durham, North Carolina (12).
Some countries show lower decay rates in less fluoridated villages when compared to higher fluoridated villages such as in Uganda (13, 14), the Sudan (15) and Ethiopia (15a).
In South Australia, dental examinations of 4800 ten- to fifteen-year-olds' permanent teeth reveal unexpected results - similar cavity rates whether they drink fluoridated water or not (16).
In the United States, despite living without fluoridated water, rural children's cavity rates equal those of urban children, who are more likely to drink fluoridated water, according to a large national government study of over 24,000 U.S. children (17).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Revived and Ready to Take On Lifes Challenges

Sleep Deprivation is an insidious problem that is spreading among populations young and old alike.
Though an occasional bout of insomnia is quite normal, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious illness and even injury. Sleep deprivation has been attributed to thousands of automobile accidents, on the job accidents and poor decision making.
People who are sleep deprived tend to be irritable and often angry, thus their behavior is often profoundly influenced by the adverse effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation can be attributed to a number of causes including:
  • Stress
  • High Paced Lifestyle
  • Poor Eating Habits
  • Physiological Sleep Disorders
  • Shift Work
  • Illness
Lost production time, accidents and physician costs are rising as more and more people are suffering from sleep problems. Studies suggest that a majority of the population is chronically sleep deprived.
Why sleep?
Sleep is necessary for brain cells to regenerate and for body systems to recover from their daily work. Sleep also rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit; prepping you for the challenges you will face day in and day out.
Not sure if your one of the thousands of people suffering from sleep deprivation? Take our sleep challenge test.
Sleep Test
  • Do you fall asleep within a minute or two of lying down?
  • Do you have a hard time remembering obvious details?
  • Do you feel anxious or groggy?
  • Do you often find yourself lethargic?
  • Would you describe your health as poor?
  • Are you often moody, angry or tearful?
If you answered yes to any of these questions there is a possibility that you may not be getting a good nights rest.
Secrets of a Sound Nights Sleep
So what do you do if you are one of the millions of chronically sleep deprived beings wandering the earth?
There are several steps you can take to ensure that you get a good nights sleep. You can even get a sound nights sleep on just a few hours of quality rest every night. No matter who you are or what you do, there is hope.
Efficient sleepers have known for years that there are secrets to sleeping well.
Some of the more common strategies employed by sound sleepers include the following:
  • Creation of a bedtime routine.
  • Use of a bedroom sanctuary.
  • Minimal stimulation late in the evening.
  • Avoidance of excessive stimulants several hours prior to bedtime.
  • Minimal alcohol consumption up to two hours before bedtime.
There are hundreds of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. Natural supplements including melatonin have been used by shift workers and travelers for years to improve the quality of their sleep when outside of their normal sleep environment.
The key to a good nights sleep is figuring out what works for you and then sticking with it. Remember a good nights sleep is well worth the small effort it takes to create a routine. A life lived recharged and revived is worth living.