We begin with something more to think about, via RT:
Wildfires to create second wave of radiation poisoning from Chernobyl
Norwegian scientists say global warming will lead to more wildfires in the forests surrounding the site of the 1986 nuclear accident, leaving Europeans exposed to radioactive elements still present in the exclusion zone around the plant.
“A large amount of Caesium-137 still remains in the Chernobyl forests, which could be remobilized along with a large number of other dangerous, long-lived, refractory radionuclides. We predict that an expanding flammable area associated with climate change will lead to a high risk of radioactive contamination with characteristic fire peaks in the future,” said the abstract of a study published in Ecological Monographs magazine by the respected Norwegian Institute for Air Research.
The US Environmental Protection Agency describes Caesium-137 as a “highly radioactive” material that “increases the risk of cancer” and can cause death through severe exposure.
Of the 85 petabecquerels (a measure of radioactivity) released following the accident at the plant, between two and eight still remain in the soil.
On to the measles, first with Outbreak News Today:
Chicago area measles situation grows, 8 cases to date
In a follow-up to a report on a measles cluster in suburban Chicago several days ago, Cook County Public Health reports an additional three confirmed cases, bringing the total to eight.
These cases include two adults and six infants all of whom are unvaccinated. Seven of these cases are associated with the KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine, health officials note.
On Feb. 5, the Palatine KinderCare Center, where the majority of cases are linked, described the steps they are taking to prevent the spread of measles, these include: excluding unimmunized children and staff who may have been exposed to measles from our center for 21 days; better cleaning of the facilities; being vigilant about enforcing the policy of excluding children from care who are sick and limiting access to the infant room to only parents or other adults dropping off or picking up an infant.
Salon covers the rebirth of a practice many parents followed in pre-vaccine days to give their kids early exposures to diseases which were far more dangerous in later years:
“The way God intended”: California parents are having ‘measles parties’ instead of vaccinating their kids
- We have hit peak crazy
Marin County is the odd hippie commune in the college that is the United States. You know what I’m talking about — that rundown house on the edge of campus which you would walk by only to get to the Arts Center, because passing by meant watching unwashed students spitting kombucha into each other’s mouths. It’s disgusting, but your attitude is live and let live, just as long as they don’t try to use your mouth as a fermented bread spittoon.
Why am I being so cruel to Marin County? Because the county, what could be considered the hub of the U.S.’s anti-vaccination movement and recent measles outbreak, is allowing its residents to have measles parties. Yep, parties for infected and uninfected kids to intermingle, so that they might contract the illness in a milder form and establish immunity.
The rumor of these parties spread when KQED reported that Julie Schiffman, a local mother who decided not to vaccinate her children, declined an invitation to one.
From Outbreak News Today, a reminder that measles can come from many places:
Georgia reports 1st measles case in 3 years, considered an imported case
Georgia health officials reported Monday of the state’s first reported case of measles since 2012.
The patient is an infant that arrived in Atlanta from outside of the U.S. and is being cared for at Egleston at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).
State public health officials said they know the child left Kyrgyzstan headed for Istanbul, Turkey. He was symptomatic on the flight. After a layover in Chicago, the final destination was Atlanta on February 4, local media reports.
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is working with CHOA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the pa
From the World Health Organization Measles Fact Sheet, released today:
- Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
- In 2013, there were 145,700 measles deaths globally – about 400 deaths every day or 16 deaths every hour.
- Measles vaccination resulted in a 75% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2013 worldwide.
- In 2013, about 84% of the world’s children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services – up from 73% in 2000.
During 2000-2013, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 15.6 million deaths making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.
The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 145 700 people died from measles in 2013 – mostly children under the age of 5.
From Newswise, worthy of consideration:
Exposure to Mercury, Seafood Associated with Risk Factor for Autoimmune Disease
- Among women of reproductive age, exposure to mercury at levels generally considered safe associated with markers of immune system disorders
One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing age may be associated with exposure to mercury such as through seafood, a new University of Michigan study says.
The findings, which appear in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that mercury – even at low levels generally considered safe – was associated with autoimmunity. Autoimmune disorders, which cause the body’s immune system to attack healthy cells by mistake, affects nearly 50 million Americans and predominately women.
“We don’t have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders,” says lead author Emily Somers, Ph.D., Sc.M, an associate professor in the departments of Internal Medicine in the division of Rheumatology, Environmental Health Sciences, and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the U-M Medical and Public Health Schools.
“A large number of cases are not explained by genetics, so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, exposure to mercury stood out as the main risk factor for autoimmunity.”
Autoimmune disease – which can include such conditions as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis – is among the 10 leading causes of death among women.
The New York Times covers an ill wind blowing across Southern Nevada. the heart of the state’s tourism-driven gambling industry:
In Nevada, a Controversy in the Wind
For the past few years, the geologists Brenda Buck and Rodney Metcalf have combed the wild terrain of southern Nevada, analyzing its stony dunes and rocky outcroppings — and to their dismay, tallying mounting evidence of a landscape filled with asbestos.
Asbestos occurs naturally in many parts of the country, mostly in the West but also along some mountain ranges in the East. But in Nevada, the scientists found, natural erosion and commercial development were sending the fibers into the wind.
Worried about the possible health risks, Dr. Buck and Dr. Metcalf, professors of geoscience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, reached out to experts in asbestos-related diseases. With data from Nevada’s cancer registry, an epidemiologist prepared a preliminary report that outlined what she felt was a troubling pattern of mesothelioma — a cancer often related to asbestos exposure — among residents of the affected areas.
But if the scientists expected to be applauded by state officials for their initiative, they were mistaken.
Upon learning of the report, the Nevada Department of Health forced the epidemiologist, Francine Baumann of the University of Hawaii, to withdraw a presentation of the findings at a scientific conference and revoked her access to the state cancer registry. Dr. Metcalf and Dr. Buck offered to meet with state officials but say they were rebuffed.
More corruptio politico from National Journal:
From Bad To Worse at Scandal-Ridden Safety Agency
- White House is reviewing EPA IG report on Chemical Safety Board
The independent agency that investigates chemical accidents is under fire from seemingly every corner of the government—from the White House on down.
The White House is reviewing a damning inspector general report against the head of the Chemical Safety Board, Rafael Moure-Eraso. Members of Congress also are unhappy, with several committees on the case. And there’s a federal investigation into the leaked identity of an agency whistleblower.
It’s yet another bit of unwanted attention for the board, which has been beset for years by accelerating internal troubles, shoddy morale, and a backlog of incomplete reports.
A controversial motion passed late in the night at a recent meeting in California has only added fuel to the fire, since it appears to close observers and insiders that it wipes out a number of reforms while consolidating power in the chairman’s office.
After the jump, the opening gambit for “climate modification,” a very important — and costly — reminder of climatic hubris, climate woes confront African infrastructure, a fowl legal decision, a holocaust of regal butterflies, herbicidal fears for the whopping crane, a native mammalian extinction event on the Aussie horizon, Panamanian wetlands protection, corrupt environmental oversight in China, fracking triggers a Midwestern seismic revolution, another U.S. coal plant shuts down, a 4,000-acre mega array opens in the Golden State as solar prospects dim, and groundwater radiation spikes from Vermont nuclear plant. . . Continue reading