“Excuse Me While I Lather My Child In This Toxic Death Cream.” (Sunscreen)


 

Summer is here, and now is the time we see massive amounts of people lather themselves up with sunscreen, alongside corporate marketing campaigns that stress the need of protection from the sun. Sure, we do indeed need protection to prevent sunburns, but you don’t want to block out all of the sun. It’s rich in vitamin D, and provides a number of other health benefits, which includes fighting cancer. It almost seems as if we’ve been made to fear the sun, and, as a result, adults and children are being drenched in a bath of toxic hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Why is this a concern? Well, it’s a concern because science has long shown that it doesn’t take long for whatever you put on your skin to enter into your bloodstream. For example, a fairly recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows a very significant drop in hormone-disrupting chemicals that are commonly found in personal care products, after switching to ‘cleaner’ products. These chemicals include oxybenzone, triclosan, parabens, phthalates, and more. The significant drop was seen after urine samples were conducted. You can read more about that and access the study here. All of these ingredients are found within most poplar sunscreens.

When it comes to sunscreen in particular, multiple studies from across the world have examined sunscreen, its contents, and what happens with regard to penetration and absorption after applying it to your skin. One example comes out of the faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada. The purpose of the study was to develop a method for quantifying common sunscreen agents. Results demonstrated a significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin. Basically, all of these chemicals are entering multiple tissues within the body. (source)

So, the next question becomes, are the ingredients used to make sunscreen, which are entering into our bloodstream, something to be concerned about? The science given to us by the corporations will say that no, there is nothing to be concerned about. By now, one should know not to trust these corporations when it comes to their product explanations. It wasn’t long ago that Johnson & Johnson was recently found guilty of knowingly having a cancer-causing baby powder on the market. You can read more about that here.

This is precisely why we wanted to bring attention to an  article written earlier this month published by the Huffington Post titled: “Excuse Me While I Lather My Child In This Toxic Death Cream.” In it, mother Sarah Kallies expresses her concern of the problems that are brought up with everything these days, and that we live in a world where everything seems to be bad for you. She expresses how being pro-active is not wrong, and that caring about these issues is not wrong, but that she is just ‘tired of it all,’ and how she doesn’t know if she is ‘getting it right.’ It carries the tone of ‘not caring’ and ‘what are you going to do at the end of the day.’

It was a great article, and it highlights the fact that we are dished a wealth of information that differs from source to source, on a variety of different topics. That being said, things that surround every aspect of human life that are potentially fatal to us and contribute to the rise in cancer, I’d think that’s one thing, out of many, that we should be paying attention to.

A number of studies have raised concerns about various chemicals found within sunscreens. Below are a few examples.

Oxybenzone

This could in fact be the most troublesome ingredient found in the majority of popular sunscreens. It’s used because it really absorbs ultraviolet light well, but it’s believed to be a major cause of hormone disruptions and cell damage, which could in fact promote cancer.

According to the Environmental Working Group:

The chemical oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body. It can trigger allergic reactions. Data are preliminary, but studies have found a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and health harms. One study has linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women; another found that women with higher levels of oxybenzone during pregnancy had lower birth weight daughters. (source)

It’s true, which is why it’s important to do your research, as there are many studies out there on this chemical.  For example, one study done by the Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology at the University of Gottingen in Germany observed regulatory effects on receptor expression for oxybenzone that indicate endocrine disruption (hormone disruption).

A study out of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Zurich determined that oxybenzone, which blocks ultraviolet light, may mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and promotes the growth of cancer cells. (source)

A study out of the Queensland Cancer Fund Laboratories at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia recognized the significance of systemic absorption of sunscreens prompted by multiple studies. Researchers discovered that oxybenzone inhibited cell growth and DNA synthesis and retarded cycle progression in the first of the four phases of the cell cycle. They determined that sunscreen causes mitochondrial stress and changes in drug uptake in certain cell lines. (source)

A study published in the Journal of Health Science by the National Institute of Health Sciences in Japan examined UV stabilizers used in food packages as plastic additives. They found that some UV stabilizers in sunscreen products have estrogenicity in an MCF-7 breast cancer cell assay as well as an immature rat uterotrophic assay. They tested a total of 11 UV stabilizers. 20 kinds of benzophenones were tested using the same assay to demonstrate their estrogenic activity.  (source)

The list goes on and on.

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A palmitate)

A study conducted by U.S. government scientists suggests that retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight (NTP 2012). “Retinyl palmitate was selected by (FDA’s) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin,” reads an October 2000 report by the National Toxicology Program. (source)

This suggests, according to Dr. Merocla, that sunscreen products could actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer, because they contain vitamin A and its derivates, retinol, and retinyl palmitate.

Fragrance

Fragrance refers to a host of harmful hormone-disrupting chemicals mentioned earlier, like Parabens, phthalates, and synthetic musks.

Sun Exposure Can Protect You From Cancer

The Sun isn’t as bad as it’s marketed to be, however; that’s more so an attempt to encourage people to buy products. These corporations don’t really have an interest in protecting us (we’ve seen multiple examples of this). They just don’t care, and they would never tell us that sun exposure can actually protect against cancer. This has been made evident by several studies, which have confirmed that the appropriate amount of sun exposure can actually protect us against skin cancer. (source)

As many of you probably already know, humans require sunlight exposure for vitamin D. Sunburns do indeed cause a concern, and there are many studies that link sunburns to melanoma. Due to different factors, such as cultural changes and fear mongering, our skin is not used to large amounts of sun exposure like it was in the past. If you spend a large portion of your time in the sun, your skin adapts to build a natural immunity. We are naturally built to receive sunlight, and we have gone backwards in this regard. There are alternative ways to protect yourself from sunburns. You can buy natural sunscreens without harmful chemicals. Questioning big name advertisements is crucial to our health in these times of information awareness.

The depletion of the ozone layer only happens seasonally, in winter and spring. We are generally not out in the sun at this time, and do not usually apply sunscreen.  There are people who get melanoma who are less exposed to the sun than others. Research also shows that incidence of melanoma increases in people who are not exposed to the sun. The lack of vitamin D has a strong correlation to melanoma instances.

Only 10 percent of all cancer cases are attributed to all forms of radiation, and UV is a very small part of that (source). When we think of skin cancer we automatically want to blame the sun, but what about other causes of skin cancer that are out there such as arsenic, found in a number of things we ingest or work around (source). Not to mention pesticides, leather preservatives, and glass.

Sunscreens are a huge contributor to toxins in the body, being absorbed within seconds of application. Is it not important to know what you are putting into your body? We now live in a culture where we fear the sun, which is ironic considering it has created all life on Earth. It’s important to remember that fear eventually manifests as reality. The sun has many health benefits so using natural products will ensure that you receive these benefits while keeping your skin safe, ensuring that you aren’t absorbing the dangerous chemicals found in most sunscreens today.

Healthier Alternatives 

When shopping for sunscreens, be sure to read the labels and avoid buying sunscreens containing toxic chemicals. It may be tough to find, but a trip to a natural health store can often do the trick. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium minerals as opposed to the active ingredients listed above. Remember, the best sun protection is wearing clothing to protect you and finding shade. Only use sunscreens when absolutely necessary. It is not necessary you wear sunscreen every time you are out in the sun. Sunscreen does NOT allow the body to absorb any vitamin D from sunlight. So if you plan on being outside for a short period of time, skip the sunscreen and feed your body the vitamin D that will keep it healthy.

Coconut oil has been shown to provide an SPF of about 8 when it comes to sun protection.[1] This means that although it’s protection isn’t very high, it can help. If you were to apply it often, it would not only offer sun protection, but it would also hydrate the skin making it less susceptible to burning. You may also want to try combining natural sunscreens with coconut oil for protection. To do this, at the beginning of your long day out in the sun, use natural sunscreen, and after a few hours, try applying coconut oil to supplement the natural sunscreen and hydrate the skin.

Have you tried using coconut oil as sunscreen before? Or do you use other natural products? Share your results with the community as it’s very helpful for those of us looking for healthier options.

Watch the video.URL:https://youtu.be/K-J6562XEOI

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Opioid Addiction Is So Pervasive That U.S. Hospitals Need ‘Baby Cuddlers’ To Help Newborns In Withdrawal


As America’s opioid crisis affects millions, babies nationwide are born with harrowing inherited-withdrawals from their addicted mothers.

Intubated Newborn

Wikimedia CommonsAn intubated newborn in a neonatal unit, 2011.

The opioid epidemic has become a national crisis. While most victims of this modern phenomenon are addicted adults, there are newborn babies born of those addicts who suffer from withdrawal the moment they enter the world. These babies end up in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) — an ICU for infants — and experience pain and suffering before they can experience anything else in their world.

The nationwide consequences of America’s opioid epidemic have become so stark and prevalent that the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal every fifteen minutes.

In response, hospitals across the country have received volunteer aid by regular citizens who serve as “baby cuddlers” and rock the ailing infants to sleep, provide a necessary human connection, and allow them a small semblance of peace.

Hospitals across the country are opening up individual “cuddler” programs as part-time jobs to combat the crisis and can be found from Iowa and Virginia to Massachusetts and San Antonio.

Baby In Nicu

Wikimedia CommonsA newborn in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

University Hospital is in Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas has the largest number of babies born with NAS in the entire state of Texas. A third of babies born with NAS are born there — and the number of babies born with NAS has spiked by 60 percent over the last five years.

So when the University Hospital put out a call for its cuddling program in the NICU, Army veteran Doug Walters was quick to volunteer Texas Public Radio reported.

“Jonathan is supposed to be going to sleep, but we’re having some challenges right now,” said Walters in reference to an infant he volunteered to care for. “He’s three and a half months. So he’s been a resident for a little while.”

Walters has been a part-time baby cuddler for over three years now and said he has specialized on those who enter the NICU with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) — opioid withdrawal inherited from their mothers.

Crying Newborn

Wikimedia CommonsA crying newborn.

The symptoms of NAS include tight muscles and subsequent body stiffness, tremors, seizures, and overly increased reflexes. Newborns with NAS are prone to gastrointestinal problems, and thus, have trouble with being fed. These babies can also have trouble breathing.

All of the infants suffering from NAS let out a unique, high-pitched shriek which Walters said is immediately identifiable as a cry stemming from that particular syndrome.

“You can tell when kids cry because they’re mad, or they’re hungry, and (babies with NAS) just…it’s a very sad cry,” he said. “It’s just sad, because they don’t understand what’s happening, and they don’t understand why things hurt. They just don’t understand.”

Laurie Weaver has been a nurse in the University Hospital NICU for 27 years and has come to care for babies with NAS more than any other type of patient. For her, it’s the fairness factor — a tipping of the scales that dealt these infants a heavy hand — that draws her to them.

“I just feel like they were given a rough start, and I just like holding them and comforting them,” she said.

Newborn Girl In Nicu

PixabayA newborn girl in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“Touch is so important to babies,” said Vicki Agnitsch, a former nurse now part of the 22-person Cuddler Volunteer program at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. “Without that, there would be failure to thrive.”

Agnitsch said that the more cuddling and physical touch these infants get has a direct correlation to fewer required and administered medications. The human connection provided through these programs literally supports the immune systems of babies born with NAS.

“When they know someone else is touching them, it gives them that warmth and safety and security that they crave,” she explained. “They had that inside the mom, and then they come out into this cold, bright world. They don’t have that, so all of that swaddling, touch, and talk helps their development.”

Agnitsch said that the simple act of spending a few hours per week with newborns with NAS can help physically course-correct the very direction of their early lives. She also said that thee Cuddler Volunteer program, which she’s been a part of since 2011, is “the best part of my week.”

She doesn’t seem to be the only one who finds catharsis in that, as the Blank Children’s Hospital Cuddler Volunteer program — one of many across the country — has a two-year waiting list of volunteers.

Volunteer Cuddler

Tennessee Department of Children’s ServicesA volunteer cuddler at the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Halfway across the country, Warrenton, Va.’s Fauquier Hospital has established a cuddler program of its own. Director of women services Cheryl Poelma told WTOP that infants born with NAS received morphine shortly after birth to help assuage their withdrawal symptoms.

Babies in withdrawal “tend to be irritable, they aren’t coordinated with their suck, they can’t eat well, they can sneeze a loot, have loose stools — it’s all part of withdrawing,” she said. Fauquier Hospital decided to implement a two-pronged cuddler program in conjunction with the administering of morphine.

“They sit, and they rock infants and hold them tight,” she said. “They tend to like to have their hands close to their chests, they like a tight blanket swaddled around them. They also like to suck on pacifiers, so it’s rocking, sucking, keeping them in a quiet environment, reducing stimuli.”

Poelma explained that volunteer cuddlers have shown results in a matter of weeks.

“You’ll see them engaging you more, their eye contact will be better, they’ll start feeding better, not being so fussy, and they’ll start to sleep better,” she said.

Newborn Wrapped In Blanket

PixabayA newborn being cuddled, wrapped in a blanket, 2015.

A study published in 2014 in the Biological Psychiatry journal suggested that infants born in the NICU formed healthier sleep habits and showed increased attention if they were regularly cuddled from birth.

The New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, UCI Health in Orange County, Calif., the Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa — these programs are springing up all over the United States, and those are just the ones currently at capacity.

It’s proactive empathy like this that makes all the difference in the world — especially for those least able to help themselves.

Citizens Up in Arms Against 5G Wireless Technology Roll-Out: Are Their Concerns Justified?


City council chambers and local officials in the US are facing the outcry of residents frightened by the next generation 5G wireless communications which by all accounts, will be taking over neighborhoods soon.

A resident in Montgomery County, Maryland raised her voice to ask local officials Why can’t we do a real health assessment here and find out what the real health risks are — to our children?” at a public meeting held at the county [9].

What are the risks? More to the point what is 5G?

What is 5G?

The 5th generation wireless systems (5G) are new network technologies designed to make your cell phone and similar wireless devices become super-duper powerful and fast.

Scheduled to be deployed from 2018 and made commercially available in 2020 [2] we are told 5G is expected to support at least 100 billion devices and up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology. (4G is already about 10 times faster than 3G).

The 5G tech will employ low-(0.6 GHz – 3.7 GHz), mid-(3.7 – 24 GHz), and high-band frequencies (24 GHz and higher). The “high-band” frequencies largely consist of millimeter waves (MMWs), a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths within 1- 10 millimeters and frequencies ranging from 30 to 300 GHz.

Health Hazards from Cell Phone Technology “Beyond Measure”

Cell phones operate essentially by sending and receiving radiofrequency radiation from their antennas to a nearby cell tower.

Thousands of independent studies link Radiofrequency radiation exposures from cell phones to a number of very serious diseases such as; Cancer [3], Infertility [4], Cardiovascular Diseases [5], Birth defects [6], Memory Problems [7], Sleep Disorders [7] and so on.

5G Technology Comes With Increased RF Radiation Exposure

These millimeter waves (MMWs) as used by the 5G network can transmit large amounts of data within a short period of time. But over short distances and also, the other big issue is that the signal is poorly transmitted through solid materials.

This means massive transmission of MMW will be needed.

Many new antennas will be needed. We are told full-scale implementation may require at least one antenna for every 10 to 12 houses in urban areas.

Also, the MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) technology is expected to be used massively. The MIMO technology is a wireless system that uses multiple transmitters hence, it is able to send and receive multiple/more data at once. Some 4G base stations already use MIMO technology. Standard MIMO involves four to eight antennae. MIMO for 5G may involve approximately 100 antennas per cell tower – that’s a lot of antennas!

Increased transmission leads to increased capacity, so electromagnetic radiation levels can only increase. The concern is that, given what we know about radio frequency radiation, this mandatory environmental increase in exposure to EM radiation will lead to increased health risks.

A number of studies have demonstrated the detrimental health effects of the MMW frequencies used in 5G technology.

Damaging Effects on the Human Skin

One Israeli study [8] lead by Dr. Yuri D Feldman found that human sweat ducts act as an array of tiny, helix-shaped antennas when exposed to MMWs. Their findings suggest that human skin not only absorbs but also amplifies the radiation from MMW networks.

A study carried [9]out to evaluate the interactions and implications of MMWs (60GHz) with the human body discovered that “more than 90% of the transmitted (MMWs) power is absorbed in the epidermis and dermis layer.”

The effect of MMWs on the skin is arguably the greatest concern of these new wavelengths utilized by 5G technology.

We might well be looking at the possibility of increased incidences of many skin diseases and cancer in the coming years in areas where the 5G technology is deployed.

Profound Effect On Immune System

A 2002 Russian study [10]  carried out to examine the effects of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation (42HGz) exposure on the blood of healthy mice found that, the activity of cells involved in immunity such as the neutrophils reduced drastically (about 50% decrease in activity).

It was concluded that “the whole-body exposure of healthy mice to low-intensity EHF EMR has a profound effect on the indices of nonspecific immunity.”

Damaging Effects on The Heart

A 1992 study [11]found that frequencies in the range 53-78GHz impacted the heart rate variability (an indicator of stress) in rats. A Russian study [12]on frogs whose skin was exposed to MMWs discovered abnormal heart rate changes (arrhythmias).

Hazardous Effects on the Eyes

In 1994, a study [12]carried out in Poland to evaluate the influence of millimeter radiation on light transmission through the lens of the eyes. It was discovered that low-level MMW radiation produced lens opacity in rats, which is associated the production of cataracts.

A Japanese experiment [13]carried out to examine the potential for 60-GHz millimeter-wave exposure to cause acute ocular injuries found that 60GHz “…millimeter-wave antennas can cause thermal injuries of varying types of levels. The thermal effects induced by millimeter waves can apparently penetrate below the surface of the eye.”

180 Scientist and Doctors Call For A Moratorium

Scientists are concerned as well. More than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries [14], have recommended a temporary ban on the roll-out of 5G technology until its potential hazards on human health and the environment have been fully evaluated by scientists independent of the telecommunication industry.

What Are The Real Dangers Of 5G Technology?

The short answer is: we don’t fully know yet!  But the studies we have on this are a cause for concern.

The health hazard of the most studied 3G CMDA technology (shown to cause an array of detrimental health effects) have not been fully revealed, yet, here we are, at the verge of adopting a potentially more dangerous technology.

Don’t you think we should fully evaluate the health effects of 5G before rolling out the technology?

Let’s not forget, alternatives to wireless mobile technology are available. Fiber Optic Broadband Technology is a feasible and safer alternative.  I firmly believe that technological improvement can be attained without jeopardizing the health of the general public.


References

1. RandyAlfred. April 3, 1973: Motorola Calls AT&T … by Cell | WIRED [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2018 Mar 19]. Available 2018 Mar 19, from https://www.wired.com/2008/04/dayintech-0403/

2. International Telecommunications Union. ITU towards “IMT for 2020 and beyond” [Internet]. http://www.itu.int. 2016 [cited 2018 Mar 19]. p. 1–7. Available 2018 Mar 19, from https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/default.aspx

3. Baan R, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, Guha N, Islami F, Galichet L, Straif K. Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Lancet Oncol [Internet]. 2011; 12: 624–6. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(11)70147-4.

4. Naziroǧlu M, Yüksel M, Köse SA, Özkaya MO. Recent reports of Wi-Fi and mobile phone-induced radiation on oxidative stress and reproductive signaling pathways in females and males [Internet]. Journal of Membrane Biology. 2013 [cited 2017 Dec 25]. p. 869–75. doi: 10.1007/s00232-013-9597-9.

5. Hayes DL, Wang PJ, Reynolds DW, Estes M, Griffith JL, Steffens RA, Carlo GL, Findlay GK, Johnson CM. Interference with cardiac pacemakers by cellular telephones. N Engl J Med [Internet]. Massachusetts Medical Society; 1997 [cited 2018 Feb 5]; 336: 1473–9. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199705223362101.

6. Divan HA, Kheifets L, Obel C, Olsen J. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to cell phone use and behavioral problems in children. Epidemiology [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2017 Dec 27]; 19: 523–9. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e318175dd47.

7. Hutter HP, Moshammer H, Wallner P, Kundi M. Subjective symptoms, sleeping problems, and cognitive performance in subjects living near mobile phone base stations. Occup Environ Med [Internet]. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd; 2006 [cited 2018 Feb 5]; 63: 307–13. doi: 10.1136/oem.2005.020784.

8. Feldman Y, Puzenko A, Ben Ishai P, Caduff A, Agranat AJ. Human Skin as Arrays of Helical Antennas in the Millimeter and Submillimeter Wave Range. Phys Rev Lett [Internet]. 2008 [cited 2018 Mar 19]; 100: 128102. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.128102.

9. RyanBarwick. Residents worried about small cell safety have been waiting years for federal guidance | Center for Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2018 Mar 19]. Available 2018 Mar 19, from https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/03/02/21502/residents-worried-about-small-cell-safety-have-been-waiting-years-federal-guidance

10. Kolomytseva MP, Gapeev AB, Sadovnikov VB, Chemeris NK. Suppression of nonspecific resistance of the body under the effect of extremely high frequency electromagnetic radiation of low intensity. Biofizika [Internet]. 2002 [cited 2018 Mar 19]; 47: 71–7. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11855293

11. Potekhina IL, Akoev GN, Enin LD, Oleĭner VD. The effect of low-intensity millimeter-range electromagnetic radiation on the cardiovascular system of the white rat]. Fiziol Zh SSSR Im I M Sechenova [Internet]. 1992 [cited 2018 Mar 19]; 78: 35–41. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1330714

12. Chernyakov, GM and Korochkin, VL and Babenko, AP and Bigdai E. Reactions of biological systems of various complexity to the action of low-level EHF radiationNo Title. Millim Waves Med Biol. 1989; 1: 141–167.

13. Kojima M, Hanazawa M, Yamashiro Y, Sasaki H, Watanabe S, Taki M, Suzuki Y, Hirata A, Kamimura Y, Sasaki K. ACUTE OCULAR INJURIES CAUSED BY 60-GHZ MILLIMETER-WAVE EXPOSURE. Health Phys [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2018 Mar 19]; 97: 212–8. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181abaa57.

14. 180scientists. Scientists warn of potential serious health effects of 5G [Internet]. [cited 2018 Feb 2]. Available 2018 Feb 2, from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B14R6QNkmaXuelFrNWRQcThNV0U/view

20,000 Satellites for 5G to be Launched Sending Focused Beams of Intense Microwave Radiation Over Entire Earth



Originally published on www.healthimpactnews.com

Public attention about 5G has been focused on the plans of telecom companies to install millions of small cell towers on electric utility poles, on public buildings and schools, on bus stop shelters, in public parks, and anywhere they want in national parks and on federally owned land.

In local urban communities there would be a cell tower approximately every 500 feet along every street.

As bad as these small cell towers might seem from the standpoint of constant exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation in close proximity to the source, perhaps an even more alarming prospect will be the beaming of millimeter length microwaves at the earth from thousands of new communication satellites.

The FCC gave approval to SpaceX on March 29, 2018, to launch 4,425 satellites into low orbit around the Earth. [1]

The total number of satellites that is expected to be put into low and high orbit by several companies will be 20,000 satellites. [1]

5G will use Phased Array Antennas to shoot Beams of Radiation at Cell Phones

These satellites will use the same type of phased array antennas as will be used by the ground-based 5G systems.

This means that they will send tightly focused beams of intense microwave radiation at each specific 5G device that is on the Earth and each device will send a beam of radiation back to the satellite. [2]

Previous generations of RF cellular communication used large antennas to send a blanket of radiation in all directions. The lower frequencies they used and the broad distribution of microwaves limited the numbers of cellular devices that could connect through an individual tall tower.

The much shorter length microwaves used for 5G will make it possible to use small phased array antennas to send and receive signals.

Phased array antennas consist of clusters of hundreds of tiny antennas that work together to shoot a ray of energy at a target just like a bullet. A cluster of these tiny antennas can be arranged in a 4 inch by 4 inch matrix.

The rays of microwaves they produce will be strong enough to pass through walls and human bodies. If they were not strong enough to do this, then everyone with a 5G smartphone would have to stand outside when using the devices. [2]

Each 5G product will also have multiple phased array antennas which will be used to create a powerful beam of radiation back to the 5G devices mounted on electrical utility poles or toward a specific satellite in space.

These beams of radiation will also need to be strong enough to pass through walls and human flesh such as a hand or head to reach the intended destination. [2]

This means that if you are in a crowded location, such as an airport or on a train, there will be hundreds if not thousands of invisible beams of radiation flying through the environment at the speed of light.

As people move in that environment, their bodies will be penetrated by numerous beams of radiation as they walk or as other people walk around them with their 5G smartphones. [2]

 

5G Phones will be much more Powerful than Previous Phones

The effective radiated power of the 5G phased array antennas in phones will be 10 times more powerful than 4G phones.

No one will be free from exposure.

In addition, 5G beams of microwave radiation will be received and transmitted from new computer equipment, household appliances, and automobiles.

Stationary equipment such as Wi-Fi hubs in homes and offices will be permitted to use microwave beams that are 15 times stronger (300 watts) than the signals from 5G phones or 150 times stronger than 4G phones. [2]

Why is 5G so Much More Dangerous than Previous Microwave Communication Systems? 

Arthur Firstenberg, author, researcher, and advocate for limiting RF exposure from the environment, explains the analysis of 5G radiation that was published in Microwave News in 2002. He stated:

When an ordinary electromagnetic field enters the body, it causes charges to move and currents to flow.

But when extremely short electromagnetic pulses enter the body [5G], something else happens: the moving charges themselves become little antennas that re-radiate the electromagnetic field and send it deeper into the body.

These re-radiated waves are called Brillouin precursors.

They become significant when either the power or the phase of the waves changes rapidly enough.

5G will probably satisfy both requirements. This means that the reassurance we are being given—that these millimeter waves are too short to penetrate far into the body—is not true. [2]

5G Satellites Will Fill the Skies

These are the companies with the biggest plans to deploy satellites:

  • SpaceX: 12,000 satellites
  • OneWeb: 4,560 satellites
  • Boeing: 2,956 satellites
  • Spire Global: 972 satellites

Arthur Firstenberg describes the plans of corporations who want to use 5G technology. He states:

Honeywell has already signed a memorandum of understanding to become OneWeb’s first large customer—it plans to provide high-speed Wi-Fi on business, commercial, and military aircraft throughout the world. 

SpaceX would like to provide the equivalent of 5G to every person on the planet. [3]

Ground-based 5G Implementation

Ground-based 5G systems are already being implemented in dozens of major cities right now. Plans are being approved by hundreds of other cities, which will allow implementation in 2019 and beyond.

As I explained in my previous articles, cities do not have the right to “say no” to 5G. FCC regulations prevent cities from objecting on the basis of health concerns – they only can speak to issues of esthetics and the practical matter of the placement of equipment.

They are required to “say yes,” and they better do it quickly, or telecom companies will threaten them with legal action for obstructing their plans.

Satellite Based 5G Implementation

The first two 5G test satellites were launched by SpaceX in February of 2018. Hundreds of other satellites are expected to be launched in 2019. The full set of 20,000 satellites could be put in orbit during the next two years.

To put this into perspective, as of September 2017 there were 1,738 operating satellites into orbit around the Earth. This means the number of satellites will be 11 times greater than the current number. [4]

Environmental Catastrophe from Rockets used to Launch Satellites

Rocket fuel is very destructive to the Earth’s ozone layer which protects us from the harsh effects of radiation from the sun. In 2017, there were 90 rocket launch attempts worldwide. [5]

The rockets that use solid fuel produce massive ozone depletion. While rockets using liquid kerosene as fuel destroy less ozone, they release massive amounts of black carbon soot into the air, especially at high altitudes.

If the number of annual rocket launches increases by 10 or more times, which is likely under the plans these corporations have made, computer models suggest that the combination of ozone depletion and release of black soot could produce a 3 degree warming effect over the Antarctic and reduce the ozone in the world’s atmosphere by 4%. [3]

Even though it will be possible for a single rocket to put multiple satellites into orbit, we are still talking about a 10 or 20 fold increase in environmental damage over what is being produced today. [3]

The 5G satellites have a relatively short lifespan, perhaps only 5 years, which means there will be high numbers of rocket launches, not just in the next few years, but in every year for the foreseeable future. [3]

Mercury-based Rocket Fuel Could Spread Neurotoxins Over the Earth 

As bad as liquid and solid rocket fuels will be for the environment, Apollo Fusion is developing a mercury-based propulsion system for launching rockets.

These ion propulsion rocket engines use powerful magnets to push away small charged particles at high speeds, which generates thrust. NASA experimented with mercury ion propulsion in the 1960s, but abandoned the research.

Mercury is an extremely strong neurotoxin, which is harmful to all forms of life, especially humans.

The risks of an environmental catastrophe are monumental, because if there was a malfunction and one of these engines exploded, highly toxic mercury would be spread through the atmosphere and over the Earth. [6]

All the talk from telecom companies about 5G being a panacea for environmental protection and energy conservation is quite ridiculous when we think about the environmental damage that will be created by any of the rocket engines they choose to use for launching their satellites.

Space Junk will Pollute the Earth

Each satellite will be the size of a small refrigerator and will weigh approximately 880 pounds. [4]

With a life expectancy of only 5-years [3], this means there will be a massive amount of space junk orbiting the Earth.

Eventually, all those satellites will fall down to Earth and will burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

All the hazardous materials in the satellites will be released into the air and will float down to the ground as dust or in droplets of rain.

Telecom Companies are Creating a Worldwide Disaster in the Name of Technological Progress 

5G is promoted as being the next great wonder in the plan to advance technology to create smart cities where everything and everyone is instantly connected in real time with no lags or lost signals.

Of course there will be a few costs.

Everyone will be irradiated with millimeter-size, non-ionizing radiation 24 hours a day with completely unknown health effects.

Studies designed to investigate harm from 5G will be completed many years after the 5G systems on the ground and in space are fully implemented.

At that point it is very unlikely that telecom companies would dismantle their systems even if it is shown that their technology is causing cancer and other diseases. They would just deny the risks.

They will tell us that the science was settled decades ago. They will tell us that evidence linking 5G to cancer and other diseases is just a conspiracy theory that only a few crackpots believe.

Millions of people will suffer from radiation exposure with symptoms such as headaches, weakness, brain fog, impaired ability to learn and reason, chest pain, and numerous other symptoms that will baffle most conventional physicians.

There is Nowhere to Hide from 5G Radiation

Today, it is possible to live in a location that has reduced levels of microwave exposure. This is accomplished by choosing a living space that is far away from cell phone towers.

However, in the near future, it won’t matter where we live, because 5G will irradiate us wherever we happen to live or work.

Cities Can’t Say No to 5G Implementation

FCC regulations have been structured in such a way that local municipalities cannot stop telecom companies from installing 5G. They are specifically prohibited from trying to delay or stop 5G implementation on the basis of health concerns. Their only recourse is to try to make the ground-based 5G system somewhat more esthetically pleasant.

Based on what has been happening around the country, telecom companies are sweeping aside local resistance and gaining approval for their 5G systems in rapid succession.

Can 5G Implementation be Stopped?

As far as I can tell, at this point, the only way that 5G will be stopped will be by congressional action. If enough people raise a stink with their elected officials, then perhaps 5G could be put on hold while studies are done to examine the true health risks.

Telecom investment in 5G has been massive. They are planning full implementation on the ground and in space in the next couple years. The time to object is now and not after hundreds of thousands of people become sick. [7]

If you would like to watch an in-depth presentation on the risks and hazards of 5G, then please view the following presentation.

Listen to Arthur Firstenberg discuss the history, science, and description of 5G, including 5G from satellites in space and its expected effects on all living things:

Cell Phone Task Force, Taos, New Mexico, August 2, 2018

 

About the Author

John P. Thomas is a health writer for Health Impact News. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

References

[1] “Planetary Emergency,” Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force.

[2] “5G – from Blankets to Bullets,” Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force.

[3] “WiFi in the Sky,” Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force.

[4] “5G from Space,” Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force.

[5] “2017 Space Launch Statistics,” – Spaceflight101.

[6] “Space Startup Apollo Fusion Wants To Use Mercury as a Fuel,” Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 11/20/2018.

[7] Arthur Firstenberg, Cellular Phone Task Force, Taos, New Mexico, 8/12/2018.

Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse


The tables are finally starting to turn in regard to the perception that the world has of water fluoridation following the release of at least two reputable studies over the past three years documenting the adverse health effects caused by the chemical.

Researchers from the University of Kent, a public research university based in the United Kingdom, conducted the latest and considerably groundbreaking study on the health effects potentially caused by adding fluoride to the public’s water.

After studying data obtained from nearly every medical practice in England, scientists found that fluoride may be increasing the risk for hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study included the largest population ever analyzed in relation to the adverse health effects caused by water fluoridation.

Recent UK study includes the “largest population ever studied in regard to adverse effects of elevated fluoride exposure”

After collecting data from 99 percent of England’s 8,020 general medical practices, researchers found that the locations with fluoridated water were 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low, natural levels of the chemical in the water.

This means that up to 15,000 people could be suffering from depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles, all of which could theoretically be prevented if fluoride were removed from the water, according to The Telegraph.

“Overall, there were 9 percent more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places,” reports Newsweek, which also notes that 10 percent of England’s water is fluoridated compared with nearly 70 percent of America’s.

The science paper also compared the fluoridated city of Birmingham with the city of Manchester, which refrains from fluoridating, and found that doctor’s offices in Birmingham were nearly twice as likely to report high levels of hypothyroidism.

The new report has some experts questioning their stance on water fluoridation.

“The study is an important one because it is large enough to detect differences of potential significance to the health of the population,” said Trevor Sheldon, a medical researcher and dean of the Hill York Medical School who has published numerous studies in this field.

Sheldon, who in the past supported fluoride, admits that the “case for general water fluoridation” is no longer clear.

New fluoride study contradicts last year’s report by Public Health England that states fluoride is “safe and effective” for improving dental health

Released in March of last year, Public Health England’s report states that “there is no evidence of harm to health in fluoridated areas,” and no differences were found between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas in regard to rates of hip fractures, osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer), cancers overall, Down’s syndrome births and all other recorded causes of death.

New research, however, suggests that the spike in the number of cases of hypothyroidism in areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England is “concerning for people living in those areas.”

“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking. There were nearly double the number of cases in Manchester,” said the study’s lead author Stephen Peckham.

Women 15 times more likely to develop underactive thyroid

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”

Hypothyroidism is particularly a cause for concern for women, as they’re 15 times more likely than men to develop the condition. Previous studies suggest that fluoride inhibits the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, which is an essential mineral for a healthy thyroid, the master gland in the human body.

 

Sources:
http://www.newsweek.com
http://jech.bmj.com
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
https://www.gov.uk

Dealing with Stress at workplace


Stress at the workplace is common for an employee. Each employee is facing stress at the workplace, but the amount of stress is different from individual to individual and situation to situation. An incident for an employee may cause stress, but the same incident for other employees may not be the cause of stress.

Stress at the workplace not only affects the job satisfaction and performance of an employee, but stress also affects personal life, health and relationship of an employee.

What is stress?

“Stress is a reaction people have to pressure placed upon them and occurs when pressures exceed the individual’s ability to cope”

Stress may be positive or negative, if due to stress the performance of the individual is increased then it is positive stress, but due to stress when the performance is decreased it is negative stress. Stress is a normal part of life and every individual is facing stress in routine life. Stress has both implications, if stress is positive then it is good but if stress is negative then it is harmful. In other words, stress in a certain limit can be good but if stress exceeds the limit then it becomes harmful.

Factors Influencing Organizational /Work Stress.

The following factors directly or indirectly affect the stress level of employees.

  • Workload

The higher workload to the individual employee is a major factor for stress. If an employee is unable to complete the given work in a time frame, the level of stress increases.

  • Working Hour.

Too many working hours or odd working hours may become the major factor of stress.

  • Environment hazards

Some working places are prone to environmental hazards and adversely affect the health of an employee, for example, the chemical industry.

  • Poor Infrastructure at working place

Some working places do not have proper infrastructure facilities such as ventilation, proper seating arrangement, drinking water, toilet etc. which may become the cause of stress.

  • The drive for success

The employee may have a very high drive for success. Sometimes they cannot bear the little failure and create stress for them.

  • Changing work patterns.

Sometimes employees are used to doing work in a certain pattern but if there is a change in working patterns initially employee suffer stress.

  • Little job control.

Sometimes employees do not have any control over his job or have very little control which can also lead to stress.

  • Poor communication.

In an organization, proper communication is very important. Conflict will arise due to miss communication or poor communication, which may lead to stress in employees.

  • Lack of support.

In the organization, proper coordination and support are required. If there is no support from the superior or colleague, then an organization cannot achieve the targets which result in stress.

Early Warning Signs of Work Stress

There are various physical and mental signs of stress such as Headache, sleep disturbances, difficulty in concentrating, short temper, job dissatisfaction, low morale etc.

Stress Management Strategies

Stress can become a silent killer if it exceeds level for more time. So one should identify the stress and if it is negative for a long time, a remedy to control that stress must be searched out. Following are some strategies to control stress.

Recognize the Problem

The most important point is to recognize the source of negative stress. This is not an admission of weakness or inability to cope, but it is a way to identify the problem and plan measures to overcome it.

Stress Management Techniques

  • Change your thinking
  • Change your behaviour
  • Change your lifestyle

Change Your Thinking.

The best way to minimize the level of stress is to change the way you think about the incident. One can change the thinking by way of

(1)     Re-framing

Reframing is a technique to change the way you look at things in order to feel better about them.

(2)    Positive Thinking

Here one should think about the positive aspects of incidents and focus on strength.

 Change Behaviour

A person should express their thoughts, feelings and beliefs directly to others

  • Get Organized

Here one has to prioritize their objectives, duties and activities and make them manageable and achievable.

  • Ventilation
  • One has to talk with friends/colleagues about the problems.
  • Humour

Laughter is the best medicine and best way to relieve stress.

  • Diversion and Distraction

Get away from things that bother you.

 Change Your Lifestyle

  • Diet: Balanced diet is very important for healthy living. One should have proper calories, nutrition and vitamins. The healthy body can resist the stress easily.
  • Smoking and alcohol: One should avoid alcohol and smoking from routine life.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help to lower your stress level. Regular exercise gives positive effects on mood, resulting from lowering stress level.
  • Leisure and relaxation: Going out with family in natural places such as forest, beach, mountains etc. reduce the stress level.

 

 

To conclude one can say that stress is a part of life, we need to identify the sources of stress and need to manage stress so that one can have better performance and more productivity

Ceftriaxone-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae Arrives in North America


The first known case of ceftriaxone-resistant gonorrhea is identified from a woman in Canada.

 

Antimicrobial resistance has, increasingly, limited treatment options for gonorrhea. The CDC recommends dual therapy with ceftriaxone and azithromycin. Few ceftriaxone-resistant isolates have been reported; only five have been reported worldwide through October 2017, most in Asia and none in North America. Investigators from Canada now report on a 23-year-old woman with genital gonorrhea first diagnosed with a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) and subsequently through culture.

Agar dilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing confirmed the isolate’s resistance to ceftriaxone (minimum inhibitory concentration = 1 µg/mL), cefixime (MIC = 2 µg/mL), ciprofloxacin (MIC = 32 µg/mL), and tetracycline (MIC = 4 µg/mL) and susceptibility to azithromycin (MIC = 0.5 µg/mL). Although there are no formal breakpoints for cefixime or ceftriaxone resistance, the reported MICs are tenfold higher than what is considered reduced susceptibility. The patient reported having a sexual partner who had unprotected sex during a trip to China and Thailand before their month-long relationship. Molecular typing showed that the isolate carried the penA-60 allele, which was identical to that found in a ceftriaxone-resistant isolate identified in 2015 in Japan.

Comment

Historically, antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae emerged in Asia and then spread to other countries including the U.S., usually first in Hawaii or the West Coast (N Engl J Med 2012; 366:485). Because gonorrhea is now mostly diagnosed through nonculture methods such as NAATs, surveillance for antimicrobial susceptibility is a public health priority. The CDC’s GISP surveillance system, set up in 1986, has found fewer than 1.5% of isolates with reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone (defined as MIC ≥0.125 µg/mL) and none with resistance, defined as an MIC ≥0.25 µg/mL (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016; 65:1). Now that a ceftriaxone-resistant N. gonorrhoeae isolate has been identified in North America, clinicians must be vigilant and consider performing a culture in cases where the infection was acquired in Asia or, like in this case, when the patient had sexual contact with someone who had unprotected intercourse in Asia.

London air pollution is restricting children’s lung development – new research


Air pollution is known to contribute to early deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. There is also mounting evidence to show that breathing polluted air increases the risk of dementia. Children are vulnerable, too: exposure to air pollution has been associated with babies being born underweight, as well as poorer cognitive development and lung function during childhood.

Cities including London are looking to tackle the social, economic and environmental costs of air pollution by improving urban air quality using low emission zones. In these zones, the most polluting vehicles are restricted from entering, or drivers are penalised to encourage them to take up lower emission technologies. London’s low emission zone was rolled out in four stages from February 2008 to January 2012, affecting mainly heavy and light goods vehicles, such as delivery trucks and vans.

But our new research, involving more than 2,000 children in four of London’s inner-city boroughs, reveals that while these measures are beginning to improve air quality, they do not yet protect children from the harmful effects of air pollution. It is the most detailed assessment of how a low emission zone has performed to date.

Young lungs

Our study focused mainly on the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, but also included primary schools in the City of London and Greenwich. All of these areas experienced high levels of air pollution from traffic, and exceeded the annual EU limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO₂). What’s more, they have a very young demographic and are among the UK’s most deprived areas.

Between 2008-9 and 2013-14, we measured changes to air pollution concentrations in London, while also conducting a detailed examination of children’s lung function and respiratory symptoms in these areas.

Every year for five years, we measured the lung function in separate groups of 400 children, aged eight to nine years old. We then considered these measurements alongside the children’s estimated exposure to air pollution, which took into account where they lived, and the periods they spent at home and at school.

Our findings confirmed that long-term exposure to urban air pollution is related to smaller lung volumes among children. The average exposure for all children over the five years of our study was 40.7 micrograms of NO₂ per cubic metre of air, which was equivalent to a reduction in lung volume of approximately 5%.

A long-term effect. Shutterstock.

Changes of this magnitude would not be of immediate clinical significance; the children would be unaware of them and they would not affect their daily lives. But our results show that children’s lungs are not developing as well as they could. This is important, because failure to attain optimal lung growth by adulthood often leads to poor health in later life.

Over the course of the study, we also observed some evidence of a reduction in rhinitis (a constant runny nose). But we found no reduction in asthma symptoms, nor in the proportion of children with underdeveloped lungs.

Air pollution falls

While the introduction of the low emission zone did relatively little to improve children’s respiratory health, we did find positive signs that it was beginning to reduce pollution. Using data from the London Air Quality Network – which monitors air pollution – we detected small reductions in concentrations of NO₂, although overall levels of the pollutant remained very high in the areas we looked at.

The maximum reduction in NO₂ concentrations we detected amounted to seven micrograms per cubic metre over the five years of our study, or roughly 1.4 micrograms per cubic metre each year. For context, the EU limit for NO₂ concentrations is 40 micrograms per cubic metre. Background levels of NO₂ for inner city London, where our study was located, decreased from 50 micrograms to 45 micrograms per cubic metre, over five years. NO₂ concentrations by the roadside experienced a greater reduction, from 75 micrograms to 68 micrograms per cubic metre, over the course of our study.

By the end of our study in 2013-14, large areas of central London still weren’t compliant with EU air quality standards – and won’t be for some time at this rate of change.

We didn’t detect significant reductions in the level of particulate matter over the course of our study. But this could be because a much larger proportion of particulate matter pollution comes from tyre and brake wear, rather than tail pipe emissions, as well as other sources, so small changes due to the low emission zone would have been hard to quantify.

The route forward

Evidence from elsewhere shows that improving air quality can help ensure children’s lungs develop normally. In California, the long-running Children’s Health Study found that driving down pollution does reduce the proportion of children with clinically small lungs – though it’s pertinent to note that NO₂ concentrations in their study in the mid-1990s were already lower than those in London today.

Our findings should encourage local and national governments to take more ambitious actions to improve air quality, and ultimately public health. The ultra-low emission zone, which will be introduced in central London on April 8, 2019, seems a positive move towards this end.

The scheme, which will be expanded to the boundaries set by the North and South circular roads in October 2021, targets most vehicles in London – not just a small fraction of the fleet. The low emission zone seems to be the right treatment – now it’s time to increase the dose.

Your exposure to air pollution could be much higher than your neighbour’s – here’s why


Each year, tens of thousands of people in the UK die early due to air pollution, which is linked to asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. The health risk presented by air pollution depends on how much dirty air we breathe over time. Pollution levels in UK cities regularly exceed the limits set by the World Health Organisation. But people’s exposure to pollution can vary greatly between people living on the same street, or even the same house.

Currently, health authorities estimate exposure to air pollution based on outdoor pollution at a person’s home address. But we don’t just sit outside our front doors all day – we each follow our personal daily schedules. The environment at home, in transit and at work or school all affect our exposure to pollution. Knowing this can help governments to create more effective policies and provide better advice to the public on how to reduce their exposure.

By equipping volunteers with portable pollution sensors, scientists have shown that exposure to air pollution during the day can vary substantially. For example, commuting during peak hour can account for a significant proportion of the pollution we’re exposed to – even though commuting only takes up a small part of our day.

By contrast, being indoors is often associated with lower exposure to pollution, because buildings provide some protection against outdoor pollutants. But gas cookers, wood burners and household cleaning products can also create high levels of indoor pollution.

How habits influence exposure

With all these different sources and levels of pollution around us, our daily activities and habits have a big influence on how much polluted air we breathe. Even couples who live together can have different exposures: a person who stays at home may experience up to 30% less pollution than their partner who commutes to work.

A 24-hour measurement of a person’s pollution exposure, which varies throughout the day. McCreddin et al., CC BY-SA

Small changes in our daily routines can significantly reduce our exposure to air pollution. In a study in London, participants were able to decrease their exposure during commuting by 25% to 90% by choosing alternative routes or modes of transport. Active commuters who walk or cycle are usually less exposed to pollution than people travelling by car or bus – this might be because vehicles travel in a queue, so air pollution from the vehicle directly in front gets drawn in through ventilation systems and trapped inside. The air is also much cleaner on overground trains than on the underground.

Displaying public information about pollution hot spots and ways to avoid them can help. The Wellbeing Walk is a signposted backstreet walking route taking ten to 15 minutes between London’s Euston and King’s Cross stations, which exposes walkers to 50% less pollution than the main road. Since its launch in 2015, the number of people taking the healthier path has tripled. There need to be many more initiatives like this in cities.

Modelling human movements

Being able to tell when and where people are most exposed to pollution makes it possible to compare the benefits of different solutions. That’s why scientists have created computer models to simulate different scenarios. By combining information on outdoor pollution, pollution on transport and people’s travel routes, these models help us understand how people’s movements contribute to their personal exposure.

Computer exposure models for cities, including London, Leicester and Hong Kong among others, are beginning to give us a better picture of how people are exposed to harmful pollution. But the answers they provide are often complicated.

Commuting: the shorter the better. Harry Green/Shutterstock.

For example, the model for London suggests that on average citizens are exposed to less pollution than previously estimated. But many individuals still experience extremely high pollution during long periods on transport – so a lengthy commute by car, bus or underground could mean you’re among the most affected.

What’s more, the model does not yet account for pollution created indoors through cooking or wood burning. Including these additional sources of pollution may well shake up the results.

More data, please

The UK’s clean air strategy aims to halve the number of people exposed to particulate pollution above World Health Organisation guidelines by 2025. But surprisingly little is known about pollution levels inside our homes, schools and workplaces. If the strategy is to meet its goal, the government will need more data and better methods to estimate people’s exposure to air pollution.

Any model needs to be confirmed using actual measurements, to ensure we can trust what the model predicts about our exposure. Although the technology is advancing, portable pollution sensors are still bulky and heavy. Recruiting volunteers to carry these sensors wherever they go can be difficult. Phone-integrated sensors could make this easier in the future, but their reliability is still debated among scientists.

Improving outdoor air quality is currently a top priority in cities across Europe – and rightly so. But measurements and computer models are indicating that our exposure to pollution is much more varied and complex than currently estimated. We should build on this knowledge to develop measures that deliver the greatest reduction in human exposure and empower citizens to make healthier choices in their daily routines.

Air pollution may be making us less intelligent


Long-term exposure to air pollution was linked to cognitive decline in elderly people.

Not only is air pollution bad for our lungs and heart, it turns out it could actually be making us less intelligent, too. A recent study found that in elderly people living in China, long-term exposure to air pollution may hinder cognitive performance (things like our ability to pay attention, to recall past knowledge and generate new information) in verbal and maths tests. As people age, the link between air pollution and their mental decline becomes stronger. The study also found men and less educated people were especially at risk, though the reason why is currently unknown.

We already have compelling evidence that air pollution – especially the tiniest, invisible particulates in pollution – damages the brain in both humans and animals. Traffic pollution is associated with dementia, delinquent behaviour in adolescents, and stunted brain development in children who attend highly polluted schools.

In animals, mice exposed to urban air pollution for four months showed reduced brain function and inflammatory responses in major brain regions. This meant the brain tissues changed in response to the harmful stimuli produced by the pollution.

We don’t yet know which aspects of the air pollution particulate “cocktail” (such as the size, number or composition of particles) contribute most to reported brain deterioration. However, there’s evidence that nanoscale pollution particles might be one cause.

These particles are around 2,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and can be moved around the body via the bloodstream after being inhaled. They may even reach the brain directly through the olfactory nerves that give the brain information about smell. This would let the particles bypass the blood-brain barrier, which normally protects the brain from harmful things circulating in the bloodstream.

Postmortem brain samples from people exposed to high levels of air pollution while living in Mexico City and Manchester, UK, displayed the typical signs of Alzheimer’s disease. These included clumps of abnormal protein fragments (plaques) between nerve cells, inflammation, and an abundance of metal-rich nanoparticles (including iron, copper, nickel, platinum, and cobalt) in the brain.

Automobiles are a major cause of the world’s air pollution.

The metal-rich nanoparticles found in these brain samples are similar to those found everywhere in urban air pollution, which form from burning oil and other fuel, and wear in engines and brakes. These toxic nanoparticles are often associated with other hazardous compounds, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons that occur naturally in fossil fuels, and can cause kidney and liver damage, and cancer.

Repeatedly inhaling nanoparticles found in air pollution may have a number of negative effects on the brain, including chronic inflammation of the brain’s nerve cells. When we inhale air pollution, it may activate the brain’s immune cells, the microglia. Breathing air pollution may constantly activate the killing response in immune cells, which can allow dangerous molecules, known as reactive oxygen species, to form more often. High levels of these molecules could cause cell damage and cell death.

The presence of iron found in air pollution may speed up this process. Iron-rich (magnetite) nanoparticles are directly associated with plaques in the brain. Magnetite nanoparticles can also increase the toxicity of the abnormal proteins found at the centre of the plaques. Postmortem analysis of brains from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease patients shows that microglial activation is common in these neurodegenerative diseases.


The latest study of the link between air pollution and declining intelligence, alongside the evidence we already have for the link between air pollution and dementia, makes the case for cutting down air pollution even more compelling. A combination of changes to vehicle technology, regulation and policy could provide a practical way to reduce the health burden of air pollution globally.

However, there are some things we can do to protect ourselves. Driving less and walking or cycling more can reduce pollution. If you have to use a car, driving smoothly without fierce acceleration or braking, and avoiding travel during rush hours, can reduce emissions. Keeping windows closed and recirculating air in the car might help to reduce pollution exposure during traffic jams as well.

Reducing vehicle use by walking or cycling instead could have a major impact on air pollution levels.

But young children are among the most vulnerable because their brains are still developing. Many schools are located close to major roads, so substantially reducing air pollution is necessary. Planting specific tree species that are good at capturing particulates along roads or around schools could help.

Indoor pollution can also cause health problems, so ventilation is needed while cooking. Open fires (both indoors and outdoors) are a significant source of particulate pollution, with woodburning stoves producing a large percentage of outdoor air pollution in the winter. Using dry, well-seasoned wood, and an efficient ecodesign-rated stove is essential if you don’t want to pollute the atmosphere around your home. If you live in a naturally-ventilated house next to a busy road, using living spaces at the back of the house or upstairs will reduce your pollution exposure daily.

Finally, what’s good for your heart is good for your brain. Keeping your brain active and stimulated, eating a good diet rich in antioxidants, and keeping fit and active can all build up resilience. But as we don’t yet know exactly the mechanisms by which pollution causes damage to our brains – and how, if possible, their effects might be reversed – the best way we can protect ourselves is to reduce or avoid pollution exposure as much as possible.

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