Monday, March 12, 2012

404 Desalinated & Recycled Water can contain bugs. Sydney intake is 2.5km from sewage outflow

Desalinated & Recycled Water can contain bugs. Sydney intake is 2.5km from sewage outflow

(1) Cancer is caused by industry - it was virtually non-existent in the ancient world
(2) Drivers who take sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications are more dangerous than drunks
(3) Bee "colony collapse" caused by a fungus and a virus
(4) Desalinated & Recycled Water can contain bugs. Sydney intake is 2.5km from sewage outflow
(5) Desal plant sucks in sewage
(6) Calls for desal contamination review
(7) KFC chicken contains dangerous chemicals - TBHQ & anti-foaming agent made of silicone
(8) 17 percent of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on Obesity


(1) Cancer is caused by industry - it was virtually non-existent in the ancient world

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8064554/Cancer-caused-by-modern-man-as-it-was-virtually-non-existent-in-ancient-world.html

Cancer caused by modern man as it was virtually non-existent in ancient world

Cancer is a modern man-made disease caused by the excesses of modern life, a new study suggests.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 4:39PM BST 14 Oct 2010

Researchers looking at almost a thousand mummies from ancient Egypt and South America found only a handful suffered from cancer when now it accounts for nearly one in three deaths.

The findings suggest that it is modern lifestyles and pollution levels caused by industry that are the main cause of the disease and that it is not a naturally occurring condition.

The study showed the disease rate has risen dramatically since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer – proving that the rise is not simply due to people living longer.

Now it is hoped that it could lead to better understanding of the origins of cancer and to new treatments for the disease which claims more than 150,000 lives a year in the UK alone.

"In industrialised societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death," said Professor Rosalie David, a biomedical Egyptologist at the University of Manchester.

"But in ancient times, it was extremely rare. There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle.

"Cancer appears to be a modern disease created by modern life."

To trace the origins of cancer, Prof David and colleague Professor Michael Zimmerman, looked for evidence of the disease in hundreds of mummified bodies dating back up to 3,000 years and also in fossils and ancient medical texts.

Despite tried and tested techniques of viewing rehydrated tissue under the microscope they found that only five cases of tumours, most of which were benign.

Fossil evidence of cancer is also sparse, with scientific literature providing a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal and Neanderthal bones, the study in journal Nature Reviews Cancer reports.

They did find examples of other modern day aged related diseases such as hardening of the arteries and arthritis, which they said dismissed the argument that ancient humans did not live long enough to develop cancer.

The mummified bodies from both rich and poor backgrounds showed that the average life expectancy ranged from 25 to 50, depending on their background.

Evidence of cancer in ancient Egyptian texts is also "tenuous", the researchers claimed, with cancer-like problems more likely to have been caused by leprosy or even varicose veins.

The only diagnosis of cancer was a case in an unnamed mummy, an "ordinary" person who had lived around 200AD.

Modern records show that the disease rate has risen massively since the Industrial Revolution, in particular childhood cancer.

Prof Zimmerman said: "In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases.

"The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialisation."

Dr. Zimmerman dismissed arguments that tumours may have disintegrated over time. His experimental studies indicated that if anything they are better preserved than normal tissues.

As the team moved through the ages, it was not until the 17th century that they found descriptions of breast and other cancers.

Scrotal cancer in chimney sweeps occurred in 1775, nasal cancer in snuff users in 1761 and Hodgkin’s disease in 1832.

Prof David said: "Where there are cases of cancer in ancient Egyptian remains, we are not sure what caused them.

"They did heat their homes with fires, which gave off smoke, and temples burned incense, but sometimes illnesses are just thrown up."

"Yet again extensive ancient Egyptian data, along with other data from across the millennia, has given modern society a clear message – cancer is man-made and something that we can and should address."

Dr Rachel Thompson, of World Cancer Research Fund, said the research was "very interesting".

"About one in three people in the UK will get cancer so it is fairly commonplace in the modern world.

"Scientists now say a healthy diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight can prevent about a third of the most common cancers so perhaps our ancestors’ lifestyle reduced their risk from cancer."

But Jessica Harris, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said it was wrong to suggest that cancer was purely man-made.

"It can be tempting to worry about our cancer risk from external things like pollution and chemicals more than from things we can control, like our lifestyles," she said.

(2) Drivers who take sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications are more dangerous than drunks

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/valium-users-worse-drivers-than-drunks-20101019-16sl7.html

Valium users worse drivers than drunks

Date: October 20 2010

Kate Benson HEALTH

PEOPLE who take sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications are more dangerous on the roads than drunk drivers, researchers have found.

The study, to be presented tomorrow at the Australasian Sleep Conference in Christchurch, found that drivers who take benzodiazepines, such as Valium or Temazepam, were more likely to veer out of lanes, drive off the road or crash into other drivers than those with an illegal blood alcohol limit of 0.08.

And those who took more than the standard dose were still moderately impaired the following afternoon, said Mark Howard, from the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Health in Melbourne.

A team of Australian and US scientists studied 18 drivers who were given alcohol, benzodiazepines or restricted to four hours' sleep. They were then put into driving simulators and given two 60-minute tests, a week apart.

Those who had taken medication reacted much slower when braking, had difficulty staying within the lane markings, could not maintain an appropriate speed and often crashed into other vehicles. They also spent more time with their eyes closed.

''The problem is that a lot of these people have more than one problem,'' Dr Howard said. ''If you have someone who isn't sleeping well, they could also be drinking alcohol and taking sleeping tablets, so the risk magnifies.''

In another study to be presented tomorrow, researchers from the University of Sydney found that one in 20 Australians are insomniacs.

Women, the elderly, those with chronic physical conditions and psychological distress were more likely to suffer the condition.

The team studied 8841 adults and found those who had disturbed sleep were more likely to take time off from regular activities and were more dissatisfied with life, but most did not seek medical advice or treatment.

(3) Bee "colony collapse" caused by a fungus and a virus
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/07bees.html?_r=3&src=ISMR_HP_LO_MST_FB

Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

Mike Albans for The New York Times

Members of a joint United States Army-University of Montana research team that located a virus that is possibly collapsing honeybee colonies scanning a healthy hive near Missoula, Mont.

By KIRK JOHNSON

Published: October 6, 2010

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered "colony collapse." Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.  ...

Research at the University of California, San Francisco, had already identified the fungus as part of the problem. And several RNA-based viruses had been detected as well. But the Army/Montana team, using a new software system developed by the military for analyzing proteins, uncovered a new DNA-based virus, and established a linkage to the fungus, called N. ceranae. ...

Scientists in the project emphasize that their conclusions are not the final word. The pattern, they say, seems clear, but more research is needed to determine, for example, how further outbreaks might be prevented, and how much environmental factors like heat, cold or drought might play a role.

They said that combination attacks in nature, like the virus and fungus involved in bee deaths, are quite common, and that one answer in protecting bee colonies might be to focus on the fungus — controllable with antifungal agents — especially when the virus is detected.

Still unsolved is what makes the bees fly off into the wild yonder at the point of death. One theory, Dr. Bromenshenk said, is that the viral-fungal combination disrupts memory or navigating skills and the bees simply get lost. Another possibility, he said, is a kind of insect insanity.

In any event, the university’s bee operation itself proved vulnerable just last year, when nearly every bee disappeared over the course of the winter.

(4) Desalinated & Recycled Water can contain bugs. Sydney intake is 2.5km from sewage outflow

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/viruses-can-remin-in-drinking-water-after-desal-treatment/story-e6frg6nf-1225949639518

Viruses 'can remin in drinking water' after desal treatment

Amos Aikman    The Australian    November 09, 2010  12:00AM   

DESALINATION plants built close to sewage outflows risk contaminating drinking water, an expert claims.

Membrane technology sometimes fails to screen out bugs, according to Australian National University professor of infectious diseases and microbiology Peter Collignon.

The claims by Professor Collignon come in the wake of a "reporting error" by Sydney Water that showed E.coli had been found in processed drinking water at its $1.9 billion Kurnell desalination plant in Sydney's south. The plant's intake, which collects water to supply 1.5 million Sydney homes, is about 2.5km north of the Cronulla near-shore sewage outflow.

By comparison, Queensland's Gold Coast desalination plant is 27km from the nearest sewage outlet, and the closest outfall to Perth's Kwinana desalination plant is 13km away. The intake for the Adelaide desalination plant is 1.4km offshore and the nearest sewage outfall is 3km away.

Professor Collignon said building a desalination plant so close to a sewage treatment facility would be "one of the fundamental things you wouldn't do. With all these plants, there are usually issues with where you situate them.

"You want to make sure the water supply intake is relatively pristine -- in other words, low numbers of chemical or microbial contaminants that might be a problem for people," he said.

Professor Collignon criticised water authorities for placing too much trust in technology, which he said wasn't fully tested.

"The reality of these plants is they do go wrong. They close down from time to time; people push wrong switches; membranes leak," he said.

Reverse osmosis desalination uses delicate membranes to remove contaminants from the water supply. Proponents of the technology claim the membranes are highly effective because most harmful contaminants are significantly larger than a water molecule, and therefore cannot pass through the tiny pores.

But according to a paper Professor Collignon has submitted to the Medical Journal of Australia, a recent review of sewage treatment plants using similar membranes detected viruses after treatment at three out of seven sites on some occasions.

"The final water coming out still had bugs in it," Professor Collignon said.

"If the membranes worked perfectly well, it wouldn't be a problem, but they have O-rings and they can have leaks at the ends or holes in the membranes that aren't always detected."

A spokesman for Sydney Water said regular monitoring and pilot studies conducted over an 18-month period before the plant was approved allowed the authority to be "extremely confident" desalinated drinking water from Kurnell was safe.

Professor Collignon said any suggestion E.coli could be present in drinking water was worrying because E.coli is an indicator for other diseases and microbes that are hard to detect.

In 2008, Professor Collignon helped scuttle plans in southeast Queensland to introduce recycled water from sewage into a new supply system.

(5) Desal plant sucks in sewage

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sunday-telegraph/desal-plant-sucks-in-sewage/story-e6frewt0-1225948832232

By TONY VERMEER   The Sunday Telegraph   November 07, 2010 12:00AM  

SYDNEY'S $1.9 billion desalination plant is sucking in sea water containing 400 times more sewage bacteria than dam water.

In a major shock, the first Sydney Water quarterly report on desalinated water produced from these raw supplies found it contained E. coli bacteria and failed to meet Australian guidelines for drinking water.

The report, published on the Sydney Water website, revealed the Kurnell facility was the only one of 10 Sydney filtration plants not to get a "100 per cent" pass during the September quarter.

But when The Sunday Telegraph asked Sydney Water questions about the results on Friday, the organisation went into damage control.

After a day-long investigation, Sydney Water claimed the report had been botched and the tests should have shown desalinated water - being pumped to the homes of 1.5 million Sydneysiders - met Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, which require a zero reading for the presence of E. coli.

"We got it wrong. Our people are going through it with a fine-tooth comb to find out what went wrong with the reporting process," a spokesman said.

"A result of below one was incorrectly reported as a one."

It was the only incorrect line in a 117-page report that also measures turbidity, chlorine, metals and fluoride levels.

Sydney Water said it stood by other data in the report but could not explain the higher levels of E. coli bacteria in sea water being piped into the Kurnell plant compared with dams.

Tests showed that Kurnell's raw water samples contained as many as 390 bacteria per 100ml, with an average reading of 22.

In contrast, raw water from Warragamba Dam had readings of less than one. Possible sources are the ocean sewage pipelines located on either side of the desalination plant's intake pipe - the Cronulla outfall, at Potter Point, just over 1km away, and the Malabar deep-ocean outfall further north.

A Department of Planning assessment of the desalination plant, published in the lead-up to its construction, acknowleged concerns that "intakes may draw in the discharges from [sewage treatment plant] outfalls, effectively meaning the plant would be recycling treated effluent".The document calculated the Potter Point outfall, where treated sewage pours straight from the cliffs into the ocean, could impact on the Kurnell plant up to 26 per cent of the time.

It predicted the effluent from ocean outfalls would be highly diluted for "all but a small percentage of the time".

But Sydney Water said modelling done before the desalination plant was built suggested ocean currents should take outfall effluent away from its intake pipes.

"Raw-water quality will go up and down throughout the year," the spokesman said.

"But we are confident there are enough barriers and processes in place to ensure it does not affect the end product."

Sydney Water's quarterly report also reveals that, unlike every other water plant, Kurnell's desalination water is not required to be tested for cryptosporidium or giardia - the bugs responsible for Sydney's 1998 "boil water" crisis.

This was because neither parasite was able to survive in sea water, a spokesman said.

However, several academic studies dispute this. In 2005, a study of seals in Canada found "laboratory simulations indicate that cryptosporidium and giardia cysts can remain infective in sea water for several weeks".

Water from the Kurnell plant, run by French multinational company Veolia Environmental Services, is pumped into the mains via a pipeline to Erskineville. The desal plant began production in late January.

It can supply 250 megalitres of water a day, the equivalent of about 15 per cent of Sydney's water supply.

(6) Calls for desal contamination review

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/calls-for-desal-contamination-review-20101107-17in0.html

November 7, 2010

AAP

The NSW opposition has called for an independent contamination review of both inputs and outputs from the Kurnell Desalination Plant.

This follows the Premier's comments that recent reports from Sydney Water that claimed there was E.coli in the drinking water were incorrect.

Speaking at a press conference in Sydney on Sunday, Ms Keneally said the drinking water from the desalination plant was safe.

"Indeed we get it in our house we drink it, my children drink it, I have no qualms about it," she said.

Ms Keneally said that she had sought clarification from Sydney Water and she understood it was "human error" that caused the incorrect findings to be published.

However, NSW Shadow Minister for Natural Resource Management, Katrina Hodgkinson said the confession of errors in the reporting process should prompt an independent contamination review of both inputs and outputs from the Kurnell Desalination Plant.

"The Keneally Labor government has an appalling track record, and to now simply come out and say 'I'm sorry about this, it's all okay and must have been human error' is just not acceptable and from this Government, not really believable," Ms Hodgkinson said.

"Most appalling is the admission that they haven't even been testing the seawater inputs and desalinated outputs from the desalination plant for Cryptosporidium or Giardia, because they claim these pathogens cannot survive in seawater," she said.

The plant cost Sydney Water customers $1.9 billion, yet this was the first quarter where the data had been reported, despite the desalination plant starting full-time operations in January, Ms Hodgkinson said.

© 2010 AAP

(7) KFC chicken contains dangerous chemicals - TBHQ & anti-foaming agent made of silicone

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/08/do-you-have-any-idea-of-the-chemicals-used-in-fast-food-chicken.aspx

The Chicken Which Should be Banned

Posted By Dr. Mercola | November 08 2010

Do you put dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent made of silicone, in your chicken dishes?

How about tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a chemical preservative so deadly that just five grams can kill you?

These are just two of the ingredients in a McDonalds Chicken McNugget. Only 50 percent of a McNugget is actually chicken. The other 50 percent includes corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.

Organic Authority helpfully transcribed the full ingredients list provided by McDonalds:

"White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary).

Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent."

Sources:

   Organic Authority

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

There's no doubt about it. Processed food like that from McDonald's is just not part of a healthful diet – in fact, much of it cannot even pass for real food.

After reviewing the above article I am very grateful I can say I have never had a Chicken McNugget from McDonald's. If you can't say the same at least you can commit to never having another one again.

This sentiment was echoed by Federal Judge Robert Sweet in a lawsuit against the restaurant chain back in 2003 when he said:

"Chicken McNuggets, rather than being merely chicken fried in a pan, are a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook."

At the time, Time Magazine reported that Judge Sweet "questioned whether customers understood the risks of eating McDonald's chicken over regular chicken." ... ==

http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/what-is-in-fast-food-chicken-hint-its-not-chicken.html

What's in Fast Food Chicken? (Hint: It’s NOT Chicken)

Written by Shilo Urban 

... Full ingredient list for a Chicken McNugget (from McDonald’s website) <http://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/full_menu/chicken/mcnuggets.html>:

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent. <http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionexchange/itemDetailInfo.do?itemID=10077>

Full ingredient list for my mother’s fried chicken:

Bone-in chicken pieces, egg, milk, flour, canola oil, salt & pepper.

(8) 17 percent of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on Obesity

From: IHR News <news@ihr.org> Date: 24.10.2010 12:00 PM

Obesity Care Costs Twice Previous Estimates, New Research Finds
The Associated Press
http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2058155

Study: Obesity care costs twice previous estimates

October 15, 2010 - 6:29pm

By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2058155

ATLANTA (AP) - Nearly 17 percent of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, according to new research that suggests the nation's weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated.

One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely low-balled the costs and said the new study _ which places obesity-related medical costs at around $168 billion _ probably is closer to the truth.

"I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date," said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care.

The new research was done by John Cawley of Cornell University and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University. It was released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization.

An influential recent study released last year _ which has been cited by federal health officials _ estimated that obesity-related medical costs have reached $147 billion, or about 9 percent of total medical costs.

The earlier study also estimated that obesity adds about $1,400 to a person's annual medical bills. The new study suggests the added cost is double that, exceeding $2,800.

Cawley and Meyerhoefer used a data base that other obesity researchers have used _ a federal survey of U.S. citizens and their doctors and other medical providers, which is considered the most complete information on the cost and use of health care in the country.

The new study looked at the data base's information on nearly 24,000 non-elderly adult patients from the years 2000 through 2005. Results were reported in 2005 dollars.

Why did Cawley and Meyerhoefer come up with larger estimates?

_ Past studies have relied just on self-reported weight, and many people understate their actual weight. The new research made statistical adjustments to come up with what are believed to be truer figures.

_ The authors tried to better establish that excess weight was a cause for the medical costs. Previous studies stopped short of saying obesity caused the costs because there was too great a chance other factors could be responsible. Cawley and Meyerhoefer tried to overcome that problem by also looking at the weight of study subjects' relatives to determine if obesity ran in the family. If so, they labeled the medical costs of a fat person in that family to be caused by obesity.

The two researchers at first were a bit surprised by how large their estimates were, but obesity is clearly a major burden on society, said Cawley, an associate professor of policy analysis and management.

"It's hard to find conditions that aren't worsened or made more expensive by obesity," he said.

Thorpe said the new estimates highlight a need to invest more in obesity-fighting programs.__

Online:
CDC report: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16467
(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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