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Showing posts with the label Health

Beyond Covid 19 - Defeating the virus is just the beginning!

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by Larry Powell The task of  building a safer, healthier planet, surely, will only begin anew once we have defeated this beastly pandemic. So, are there lessons we can learn from Covid that we can actually use to blunt the assault of that other existential threat - manmade climate change? Smoke obscures the sun in one of the increasing number of wildfires in recent years - infernos which are starting earlier, lasting longer and burning more intensely. A Wikimedia photo. The steps being implemented globally to counter the deadly virus, Covid 19, have surely been sweeping, drastic and unprecedented.  And rightly so. While we could argue over which crisis is more grave, one important reality seems clear. As with every other contagion to have attacked human civilization in past, Covid 19, too,   will pass.  Sadly, if we do not take steps which are similarly drastic to the ones now happening during the pandemic,  that will not be the case with the climate crisi

Bush-fire smoke linked to hundreds of deaths

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nature Bushfire smoke shrouds the Blue Mountains, as seen from Sydney Harbour Bridge, Dec.,2019. Photo by Sardaka. The first study to estimate health effects from Australia’s extreme fires suggests that several thousand extra people were admitted to hospital. Story here.

Canadian doctors link fracked natural gas to cancer and birth defects

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straight A protest sign in a window in Halifax. Photo by Tony Webster. MDs also call attention to fracking-associated links to pollution and global warming.   Story here. RELATED: Is the "Dubious Duo" of Fracking & Earthquakes More Common in Canada Than we Know? Planet In Peril Wonders...

'Live animals are the largest source of infection': dangers of the export trade

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The Guardian Transporting more livestock will increase transmission of diseases, including some that could also threaten humans.   Story here. Pigs being trucked. Photo by Cayce from Malaysia.

Lethal algae blooms – an ecosystem out of balance

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--> The Guardian Toxic formations across the US and the Baltic are part of a worrying trend linked to the climate crisis and farming methods  Story here. Lk. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, with Reindeer Is. in the lower right. Photo credit - European Space Agency. Mekong Turns from Brown to Blue-Green In late 2019, the river started to turn colours due  to a reduced sediment load and algae blooms. NASA Earth Observatory. RELATED: IN HOGS WE TRUST - Part 1V   "The environmental costs of intensive livestock operations.".

Downstream of Alberta's tar sands, death by cancer comes too often

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Canada's  National Observer Ft. Chipewyan from the air. Photo by Mark S. Elliott. It’s been more than a dozen years since the metaphorical alarm was first sounded, and yet the residents of Fort Chipewyan still don’t know what’s killing them. Story here.

Depression and suicide linked to air pollution in new global study

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The Guardian Cutting toxic air might prevent millions of people getting depression, research suggests. Story here. Smoke from wildfires in Alberta, two provinces away, blankets Manitoba - 2018. A PinP photo. Here's a related story of mine that you might enjoy.  " Re-thinking extinctions " New research suggests that pollution may be playing a bigger and more ominous role in pushing many of Canada's plants and animals to the brink than earlier thought.   Larry.

The Lancet countdown on health and climate change. (Video)

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Thirteen years after the pesticide Lorsban sickened a Manitoba family, Health Canada is proposing it be severely restricted in Canada. The European Union will ban it in the new year. by Larry Powell

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In the fall of 2006, Loyd Burghart told his story to "Planet in Peril." Burghart, a livestock farmer in the Swan Valley of western Manitoba, said he, his wife, Donna and their four children inhaled fumes from the chemical, Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) which a neighbour had been sparing on a nearby crop. ( Many farmers in that part of the province had done the same that year, in an effort to control a severe infestation of  Bertha Army worms.)  Some time after the incident, Burghart, his wife  and one of their children,  pose by a mother sow and  piglets in their yard.  A PinP photo. The spray had left Burghart's entire family with severe symptoms. He says he, himself, was left writhing with severe pain in his eyes.  It's not immediately known how many other Canadians have suffered in similar incidents. But it's hard to believe this was the only case. ( Burghart was also worried how the chemical might impact the health of his animals and their feed.)

Juul spreads over the world as home market collapses in scandal

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BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM E-cigarettes. Photo by Ecig Click The embattled American vape company Juul is pushing foreign governments to ditch strict e-cigarette regulations as it aggressively expands across the globe in an attempt to offset lost profits in the US. Story here.

Climate change poses 'lifelong' child health risk

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Phys Org It's feared that a changing climate may be providing improved conditions for the mosquito which spreads the zika virus, sometimes responsible for severe brain conditions in infants like this. Climate change will damage the health of an entire generation unless there are immediate cuts to fossil fuel emissions, from a rise in deadly infectious diseases to surging malnutrition, experts warned Thursday. Story here.

New report exposes horror of working conditions for millions of sanitation workers in the developing world

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World Health Organization A community sanitation worker adds water purifying tablets to the  jerry cans of water just filled by the children at the Pagak Reception Centre.  UNICEF/Ethiopia/2014/Thompson Millions of sanitation workers in the developing world are forced to work in conditions that endanger their health and lives, and violate their dignity and human rights, according to a report released today.

Healthy foods are expensive in poor countries, unhealthy foods cheap in rich countries. Study.

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International Livestock Research Institute Eggs and other nutrient-dense foods are expensive in poor countries, leading to child stunting,  Photo by OXFAM. while sugar and other nutrient-poor food are cheap in rich countries.  Photo by Bennysaunders Story here.

If you're a farmer who generously applies certain pesticides to your crops - losing your sense of smell has just taken on a whole new meaning. It could foreshadow health problems down the road.

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Decades of  research  - recently published - has found a significant link between a chronic loss of smell (olfactory impairment or "OI") among American farmers, and their high exposure to certain chemicals they applied to their fields. Far from being a minor ailment, "OI" has long been identified as one of the earliest and most important symptoms of several neurological diseases,  including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. by Larry Powell The human "olfactory" system governs  our sense of smell. Image - public domain. Beginning in the '90s, a team of US scientists surveyed more than 11 thousand farmers from Iowa and North Carolina. They were asked about their experiences with farm chemicals during their lifetimes. In 2015, there was a follow-up survey. Almost 12 hundred (10.6%) reported they had either lost, or significantly lost, their sense of smell. And those who reported incidents of unusually high exposure to pesticides during

Drug-resistant microbes could threaten future global economy, low income countries in particular

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Journal Club A microbiologist examines the growth of a bacterial culture.  A U.S. Food & Drug Administration photo.  Antimicrobial resistance is not only a major public health threat, but also an economic one, according to researchers at The World Bank. Their new study, published in the journal  World Development , suggests that an increase in drug-resistant microbes could cause millions more people to fall into extreme poverty within the next few decades. “Nobody has estimated the poverty effects before,” says study author Karen Thierfelder, an economics professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and consultant for The World Bank. “We’d like to make more people aware of the problem.” More here. Also Read:  "In Hogs We Trust."   A critique of Manitoba’s “runaway” hog industry. Part 1 - Antibiotic Overuse.

Invasive Group A strep cases rising in Canada, But the reason is a medical mystery

CBC News A year after losing both legs and an arm, a Winnipeg mom has no idea why infection struck. More here. RELATED?  Could the Manitoba government’s return to a deregulated hog industry actually contribute to a world health crisIs?

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's

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ScienceDaily Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils,  yet little is known about its health effects.  Now, a study links canola oil consumption in the diet  with.....  Story here. A canola field - a common site  on the Canadian prairies. PinP photo. Related:  Canola study on Alzheimer mice seen as ‘huge stretch’

More alarm bells sound over drug usage in the world's intensive livestock operations. Will Manitoba listen?

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by Larry Powell writes from  SHOAL LAKE, MANITOBA. The World Health Organization is  ramping up its warnings  about the health risks of giving antibiotics to animals raised in intensive livestock operations (ILOs) everywhere.  In   an announcement in Geneva this week ,   the UN agency had some straight talk for the world’s food industry and animal farmers in the form of several formal recommendations: •                Stop giving antibiotics to food animals altogether  if it’s just to speed their growth - or prevent disease .  A CanStock photo image. •                Don’t give   them to healthy animals unless disease has already been diagnosed in another part of the same herd. •                Cut back on the amount of antibiotics given to animals for any reason.  •                And even when animals become sick, o nly give them antibiotics not considered critically important in the treatment of human infections . (Drugs used in

The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing

ScienceNews As governments decide what to do about air quality, studies connect an array of health problems to dirty air. Story here.

More evidence on link between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance

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ScienceDaily Health Authorities in Europe are concerned about the impact of use of antibiotics on the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The report presents new data on antibiotic consumption and antibiotic resistance.  Story here. Hogs in a "confined animal feeding operation." Feed for such animals often contains antibiotics, not to treat sickness, but to promote growth and add value at market time. Wikimeida Commons photo.