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1. 2 3 Major health issues May seem more important today than in the past In part because of so many people But are not new to the planet.

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Presentation on theme: "1. 2 3 Major health issues May seem more important today than in the past In part because of so many people But are not new to the planet."— Presentation transcript:

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3 3 Major health issues May seem more important today than in the past In part because of so many people But are not new to the planet

4 What is toxic? Chronic Acute Can rank toxicity Some things are much more toxic than other, but... Varies depending on individual age health genes 4

5 Too much of a good thing Some things are bad for you - How much before harm is done? Some things are good - How much is too much? 5

6 Expose animals to potential toxics See how many die or get cancer or … Depending on dosage LD50 = lethal dose for half the population Of course Tough to translate to humans And we cant do human experiments But, experiments confirm that very small amounts can be very bad 6

7 tetanus (bacteria)0.1 μg botulinal neurotoxin (bacteria)0.1 μg shigella (bacteria) 0.1 μg palytoxin (coral) 6 μg diphtheria (bacteria) 10 μg ricin (from castor beans)0.1 μg aflatoxins (mold which grows on nuts, legumes, seeds) 0.1 μg shigella (bacteria) 0.1 μg saxitoxin (shellfish) 0.3 μg tetrodotoxin (fugu pufferfish) 1 μg diphtheria (bacteria) 0.2 μg 1 grain of salt is about 60 micrograms (μg) 7

8 Carcinogens Cause cancer Malignant melanoma 8

9 Mutagens Cause mutation 9

10 Teratogens Cause birth defects Two-headed kitten Cancer, mutation, birth defects caused by exposure to toxics But often hard to tell which Some, such as cigarettes, are obvious 10

11 Act like hormones in the endocrine system Cause cancer, reduced sperm counts, immune problems... Definitely affect animals – what about people? Very difficult to determine dose-response for humans Examples DDT - pesticides PCBs - transformers Bisphenol A – epoxy, plastics PDEs - solvents Phthalates - plastics Many others Male sperm counts have decreased all around the world during the past years. Cause is unknown. But, at this rate there will be widespread infertility within decades. Many suspect endocrine disruptors are the cause. 11

12 Risk-benefit Hard to evaluate risk And, how safe do we want to be? Cost-benefit What is a human life worth? And, what is the cost of not doing something? Precautionary principle One major problem is that we know there are synergies, and antagonistic interactions -- but it is almost impossible to evaluate them. 12

13 1977 Love Canal Niagara Falls New York Chemical company and school board Really brought concerns to forefront Dioxins Next major issue Form during chemical manufacturing involving chlorine-bearing compounds Also comes from burning waste that contains chlorine in dumps or backyards Also produced by paper mills, production of PVC plastic, and other industries Times Beach MO 1970s PCBs PCBs are also chlorine-containing compounds Once used as coolants, flame retardants, lubricants... Now banned in US Manufacturers knew PCBs causes health problems since the 1930s and 1940s Many reports of serious health problems Did not become real concern until 1970s Chlorine is a key component in many toxics – plastics, pesticides, etc. 13

14 So, we have RCRA 1976 Requires cradle to grave tracking of toxics CERCLA and Superfund 1980 Passed in response to Love Canal And dioxin at Times Beach And other such laws Superfund sites in US As of January 2013, there were 1,312 NPL sites in the U.S. None in North Dakota any longer Since 1980, <300 taken off the list 14

15 Pesticides Industrial chemicals PVC, etc. And more And... Even cautious use releases some stuff to the environment 15

16 HDPE PVC PET LDPE polypropylene polystyrene When we use them, we absorb some... although generally in small amounts. 16

17 FDA says all plastics put toxics in our food Question is: how much, and how much is bad? Manufacturers are required to prove safety Which cannot be done 17

18 In toys, clear food and non-food packaging (e.g., cling wrap), some squeeze bottles, shampoo bottles, cooking oil and peanut butter jars, detergent and window cleaner bottles, shower curtains, medical tubing, and numerous construction products PVC has been described as one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created. PVC leaches di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) or butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), depending on which is used as the plasticizer or softener (usually DEHP). DEHP and BBzP are endocrine disruptors mimicking the female hormone estrogen. This type of plastic has been strongly linked to asthma and allergic symptoms in children; may cause certain types of cancer; is linked to negative effects on the liver, kidney, spleen, bone formation and body weight. In Europe, DEHP and BBzP and other dangerous pthalates have been banned from use in plastic toys for children under three since

19 Soft drink, juice, water, beer, mouthwash, peanut butter, salad dressing, detergent and cleaner containers Leaches antimony trioxide: workers exposed to antimony trioxide for long periods of time have exhibited respiratory and skin irritation; among female workers, increased incidence of menstrual problems and miscarriage. The longer a liquid is left in such a container, the greater the concentration of antimony is released into the liquid. 19

20 In styrofoam containers, egg cartons, disposable cups and bowls, take-out food containers, plastic cutlery, and compact disc cases. Polystyrene leaches styrene, which is an endocrine disruptor mimicking the female hormone estrogen, and thus has the potential to cause reproductive and developmental problems. Long-term exposure by workers has shown brain and nervous system effects. Polystyrene is also present in secondhand cigarette smoke, off-gassing of building materials, and car exhaust. Styrene migrates significantly from polystyrene containers into the containers contents when oily foods are heated in such containers. 20

21 In opaque milk, water, and juice containers, bleach, detergent and shampoo bottles, garbage bags, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners Research on risks associated with this type of plastic is ongoing 21

22 In grocery store, dry cleaning, bread and frozen food bags, most plastic wraps, squeezable bottles (honey, mustard) Research on risks associated with this type of plastic is ongoing Nalgene 22

23 In ketchup bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, medicine and syrup bottles, straws, opaque plastic storage containers, baby bottles, clothing Research on risks associated with this type of plastic is ongoing. 23

24 In most plastic baby bottles, clear plastic sippy cups, hard sports water bottles, three and five gallon large water storage containers, metal food can liners, some juice and ketchup containers, compact discs, cell phones, computers Polycarbonate leaches Bisphenol A (some effects described above), and numerous studies have indicated a wide array of possible adverse effects from low-level exposure to Bisphenol A including chromosome damage in female ovaries, decreased sperm production in males, early onset of puberty, various behavioral changes, altered immune function, and sex reversal in frogs. 24

25 Seem to be higher today Diet Life style Environment Men Prostate Lung – accounts for 75% of deaths Colorectal Women Breast Lung – accounts for 40% of deaths Colorectal Cancer clusters? 25

26 Worldwide – about 12% of deaths are due to cancer US has highest cancer rates in the world 4 in 10 people in US get cancer today Expected to increase in next decade Due to continued smoking Aging population We have many products, including food, that contain toxics And especially poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles Brain cancer cells 26

27 27 Prostate cancer

28 Ideally – use them safely But, we dont know what that is, and... Routine use poses risk Even if only a little escapes into the environment... Small doses can be very bad For many toxics we dont know risk Synergies and bioaccumulation not understood Skeptics say we must prove risk Before doing anything Precautionary Principle says the opposite 28

29 Sadly, we mostly only act after catastrophe e.g., Superfund after Love Canal and Times Beach 29

30 Are things getting better or worse? Cancer has reached epidemic proportions Billions of pounds of chemicals escape each year Other new things causing alarm Endometriosis Emerging new problem affecting womens uterus ADD/ADHD 3% more victims each year Asthma Doubled between 1980 and 1996 Sperm counts Falling rapidly 30

31 What is cause of increase in problems? No certain answers but most experts say 1. exposure to toxics 2. lifestyles For example food is routinely sprayed with pesticides whose safety is in question Pesticide residues show up on all foods unless organic Delaney clause says no carcinogens can be in food But is not well enforced 31

32 Study identical twins Find that breast cancer rates do not match Instead correlate with environmental factors Study adopted children Find that cancer rates do not correlate with biological parents Instead with adopted parents and exposure to toxics 32

33 We do, sometimes: e.g., Delaney Clause But delays caused by: Scientific uncertainty Economic cost And, sadly: Things may be worse than we think If we delay, it could be too late Even worse: Politics: Government often will not do it even when it is clear that action is needed 33

34 Lyme disease 34

35 Novel infections seem more common these days Not necessarily due to toxics but there could be a connection In part probably due to Better detection People no longer die of unknown causes People travel a lot more Food and other things are shipped all over Overuse of antibiotics means Organisms are more virulent and resistant 35

36 Legionnaires disease 1976 Caused by bacteria living in air conditioners Many people very ill Half died 36

37 Legionnaires 1976 Aids First recognized in million people infected worldwide Most in Africa Due to HIV virus Many new drugs Prolong life but most victims still die 37

38 Legionnaires Aids Exotic diseases from Africa Lhasa fever Ebola virus Marburg infection 38

39 Legionnaires Aids Lhasa fever Ebola virus Marburg infection Lyme disease 39

40 Legionnaires Aids Lhasa fever Ebola virus Marburg infection Lyme disease Hanta virus From Korea Killed people in southwest US in

41 Legionnaires Aids Lhasa fever Ebola virus Marburg infection Lyme disease Hanta virus Some old diseases seem to be coming back: Malaria Tuberculosis In part because they are becoming resistant to antibiotics 41

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43 E coli Botulism Campylobacter Salmonella Bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) bacteria protein 43

44 E coli Botulism Campylobacter Salmonella Widespread organism Many different types Some very bad Most associated with sewage Mostly due to improper food handling Found in raw poultry and meat, Unpasteurized milk, untreated water Most common identified form of food poisoning Found in raw poultry, dairy and meat, and unwashed vegetables, In the gut and feces of animals and humans 44

45 E coli Botulism Campylobacter Salmonella All of these got much worse because of: Large centralized food production facilities Intensive feed lots and agriculture Overuse of antibiotics, etc Big box food stores 45

46 In HDC countries Sanitation and drugs help Disease and pathogens (mostly) under control In U.S., leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer Non-infectious, chronic, associated with lifestyle and aging Not so In LDC countries Malnutrition Sanitation Water supplies Air pollution many infectious disease problems Cholera occurrences 46

47 Some people worry about pandemics There are some warning signs 47

48 Aids Out of Africa Most cases in Africa Many in US Many others in India, Asia, etc. Not curable, but can be slowed 48

49 BSE Bovine spongiform encephalopathy a.k.a. mad cow disease Disease in cattle Especially in UK May be transmitted to people Leads to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Causes brain degeneration in people Contributing cause is that cattle are fed meat and bone meal, causing disease to spread Not necessary because cattle are herbivores But cattle operators make more profits if fattened with animal based feed 49

50 BSE Led to slaughter of entire British dairy industry in late 1980s But spread to Canada So, temporary bans put on importing Canadian beef So, how bad is it? 50

51 Swine flu a.k.a. pig flu or pig influenza Common in pigs Especially pigs in feed lots So, operators give lots of antibiotics to pigs Which are the same antibiotics humans use So, super strains of flu and other pathogens develop that are antibiotic resistant Pigs die And... humans catch disease that originated in pigs CDC has warned for years that we need to stop giving antibiotics to livestock But intensive livestock operations need it So pig/cattle operators make more profits So, how bad is it? 51

52 Cancer Second leading cause of death in US (following heart disease) Many different kinds (>200) Can start in any type of body tissue Not a pandemic Many factors contribute Most important Tobacco Diet/weight/physical activity Ultraviolet radiation Carcinogens 52

53 Dont smoke (There are lots of reasons not to smoke besides cancer...) Eat healthy foods and get exercise 53

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55 Carcinogens include Antiperspirants Talcum powder Hair dyes, cosmetics, and almost everything else in a beauty salon Dry cleaning fluid Insect spray Food ingredients: aspartame, bovine growth hormone, artificial colors and flavors And many more common product ingredients 55

56 A cop out Excuse not to think about a very complex problem Some things are known to be carcinogens (or possibly to be carcinogens) Others are not Which do you want in your life? 56 They say:

57 Only if you havent thought about these issues... And dont plan to think about them now. 57

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