Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 02, 2006

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Still effected by Bill Cameron’s story, I was doing a bit of research reagrding esophageal cancer and I come across the following:

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

Extremely low frequency (ELF) electromagnetic fields are emitted by the electrical lines and electric appliances found in most homes in the developed world.  Because of the widespread use of electricity, exposure is rather universal, but levels vary according to the number of appliances in use, the proximity of the individual to the source of the field and the number of hours a person is exposed to the fields. 

For example, sleeping under an electric blanket, or on a waterbed with a heater that has not been redesigned to prevent the emissions, creates a long, nightly exposure. Likewise, there is some evidence that men who use electric razors may suffer negative health effects due to the close proximity of the shaver’s EMF field to the face and central nervous system.

An EMF field from an electric razor? This is crazy! And I use an electric razor of course… I get out my meter and turn on the razor holding it as close to the meter as it would be to the skin. The reading is off the scale. Granted, I only use it for 2-3 minutes but it’s every day use and long term exposure…makes you wonder…

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June 2, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 02, 2006

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Urge Canada to Strengthen Regulations of Toxic Chemicals!

Sign this petition to urge Minister of the Environment Rona Ambrose to strengthen the regulation of toxic chemicals in Canada by strengthening CEPA. I signed the petition without any hesitation.

Number: 1,102

“It’s painfully obvious to me that with so many people dying of cancer and other diseases that somewhere along the way our environment has been contaminated with toxic chemicals in our surroundings, in our food, and in our drinking water.

It has become a concern of epidemic proportions and we need our federal government to take an active leadership role and put forth strict regulations against the use of toxic chemicals in our environment.

I have been personally effected by toxins in my environment and the health care system is painfully unaware of the effects it can have on the human body. Only when I turned to alternative methods did I find the answers I was looking for.

The health care industry in this country can only help you after your health condition has progressed too far and this is unacceptable.

June 2, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 02, 2006

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has accepted the challenge to be tested for toxins. From everything I’ve read so far, I have a feeling I’ll know what the results will be already…

Children ‘being poisoned’ by chemicals

Jun.1, 2006. 05:21PM

CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has accepted a challenge from an environmental group to have her blood and urine tested for toxic contamination.

Ambrose agreed to be tested at the request of Toronto-based Environmental Defence, which has been raising alarms about contamination of Canadian children.

On Thursday, the group released results showing that the bodies of seven children tested are contaminated by a cocktail of toxic chemicals ranging from PCBs to flame retardants.

“The minister cares about that and that’s why she’s going to take up the challenge,” Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for Ambrose, said in an interview.

The study found an average of 23 known or suspected toxins — including carcinogens, hormone disrupters and neurotoxins — in the bodies of the children tested.

The researchers tested 13 individuals from five families, six adults and seven children. The families live in Vancouver, Toronto, Sarnia, Montreal and Quispamsis, N.B.

“Our children are being poisoned every day by toxic chemicals that surround them at home, school and play,” said Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence.

He said Ambrose will be tested using the same methodology, and results should be available in the fall. Health Minister Tony Clement and NDP Leader Jack Layton have also volunteered to be tested.

Smith said the study was intended to change the pollution issue from “a theoretical, abstract debate to a highly personal discussion of health,” said Smith.

He said most environment ministers in Europe have been tested, and this has contributed to a strong push to control toxic chemicals.

The adults in the Canadian study were contaminated by 32 chemicals, and had higher concentrations of some products no longer in use, such as DDT and PCBs.

But the children had higher levels of newer chemicals such as brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in stain repellents and non-stick coatings.

“It is common to expect adults to be more contaminated by harmful chemicals than children because they have had a longer time to accumulate chemicals in their bodies,” says the report.

“The results of this study, however, show that this is not always the case.”

A decreased presence of banned chemicals in children is evidence that bans do work, says the report. But effects linger long after a chemical is removed from use — DDT was banned years ago but can still be detected in children as young as 10.

Health Canada responded to the findings by promising a national study in which 5,000 people will be monitored for toxic contamination over a two year period from 2007 to 2009.

“The government of Canada takes very seriously the exposure of Canadians to environmental chemicals,” said Health Canada spokeswoman Carolyn Sexauer.

She said children are at greater risk of contamination than adults because of their physical size, immature organs, physiology, behaviour, curiosity and lack of knowledge.

Vivian Maraghi, a study volunteer from Montreal, said she was astounded to learn she had 36 industrial chemicals in her body.

“But when I saw the toxic chemicals in my son’s body, I was angry. Our children deserve better protection.”

Environmental Defence says Canada’s regulation of toxic chemicals is weak and ineffective. However, similar levels of contamination have been found in the United States.

Many chemicals now on the market were never screened for health effects because they were introduced before awareness of the hazards of industrial pollution.

June 2, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for June 02, 2006

Toxic tally alarms family

Chemicals found in parents, kids: Watchdog group conducted study

  • Jun. 2, 2006. 01:00 AM
  • NANCY J. WHITE
  • LIFE WRITER

Ada Dowler-Cohen, age 10, wasn’t shocked when she saw the list of poisonous substances in her body: 18 carcinogens, 14 chemicals that disrupt hormones, 19 that affect reproduction and development and 9 toxic to the brain and nervous system.

Rather, the girl was angry.

“There are chemicals in my blood that have been banned since 1977,” says the Toronto Grade 5 student. “How fair is that?”

Blood and urine samples showed that Ada, an avid swimmer, badminton player and music lover, was carrying around traces of nine types of PCBs, the highly toxic chemicals banned nearly 30 years ago, as well as substances used in pesticides, flame retardants, stain repellents and fuel additives.

“I’m dismayed at the extent of heavy metals that showed up in her,” says the girl’s mother, Barri Cohen. “And I’m even more dismayed that she has higher levels than I do in some chemicals.”

Ada and her mother are part of a study, Polluted Children, Toxic Nation, released yesterday by Environmental Defence. The Toronto watchdog group had five Canadian families six adults and seven children tested for 68 toxic chemicals. On average, they found 32 of the chemicals in each parent and 23 in each child.

While the parents tended to have more exposures and higher concentrations of the chemicals, the youngsters as a group were more polluted with several chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). It’s the chemical used in non-stick coatings on cookware and as a stain repellent on clothing, carpets and upholstery. It’s a suspected carcinogen.

The children also showed a higher median concentration for the group of chemicals widely used as flame retardants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). They’re commonly used in mattresses, upholstered furniture, computer and television casings and have been found in breast milk and house dust. In animal studies, they caused liver tumours, interfered with hormone function and affected behaviour. Some researchers wonder if they are linked to attention deficit disorders.

“The bottom line,” says Rick Smith, executive director of Environmental Defence, “we are poisoning our children.”

This method of sampling human tissues and fluids, known as biomonitoring, is being used increasingly by environmental groups and governments to get a sense of the chemicals our bodies are absorbing through air, water, food, soil and consumer products. Next year Health Canada will start its first large-scale biomonitoring testing on about 5,000 volunteers, some as young as 6.

Environmental Defence published its first Toxic Nation study last year, testing 11 adults for 88 harmful chemicals. This year’s follow-up study focused on families, the youngest children age 10, and was done at expert labs in Quebec and British Columbia at a cost of $2,000 per person.

The Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association points out that not all biomonitoring studies are equal, that some are comprehensive while others are carried out primarily for advocacy purposes and may be less robust.

With relatively small numbers of volunteers, Environmental Defence studies are intended to illustrate that a serious problem exists, not offer a full diagnosis, explains Smith.

`There are chemicals in my blood that have been banned since 1977. How fair is that?’

– Ada Dowler-Cohen, 10

While traces of chemicals can be detected in the volunteers, no one knows exactly what it means to human health. People’s susceptibilities differ depending on their genetic make-up. And people are exposed to thousands of various chemicals at different concentrations and at different times in their lives.

“It’s so incredibly complicated, I’m not sure we’ll ever get there,” says Miriam Diamond, a University of Toronto professor in the geography department who specializes in environmental science. “But we shouldn’t wait. We should act in a precautionary way.”

Children tend to be more vulnerable to chemical exposure because they’re still developing and growing, says Diamond. They also take in proportionally more pollutants than adults. Per kilogram of body weight, they eat more, drink more, breathe more.

The good news from the study, according to Smith, is that the children had much lower levels of banned substances, such as PCBs and DDT, than their parents. “It’s a clear indication that when government does act, the levels of poison do decrease over time.”

The bad news is that they show up in kids at all. It points to the need for government to act quickly to ban other harmful chemicals, says Smith. “The longer we wait, the more generations of children will be affected.”

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act is up for review this year. Environmental Defence wants to see it amended to make industry more accountable for the safety of its chemicals and to include an immediate ban on the most dangerous ones with timelines for the elimination of other toxic substances.

Pointing to toxin reduction laws in many American states and in Europe, Smith says Canada is falling behind. “Unless the federal government acts, Canada risks becoming the market of last resort for poisonous products that are illegal to sell in other parts of the world.”

A proposal from Health Canada and Environment Canada to ban six of the seven groups of PBDEs is currently being considered by the new government in Ottawa. “We expect a decision fairly soon,” says Paul Glover, director general of the safe environment program at Health Canada.

The Toxic Nation volunteers are left trying to figure out how to reduce exposures in their lives. Cohen, a documentary filmmaker in her early 40s, was shocked to learn she had above-normal levels of cadmium, a carcinogen associated with cigarettes, even though she smokes rarely. She also had the greatest levels of mercury among all the study participants. She intends to cut down on her frequent consumption of fish, some species of which have high levels of the heavy metal.

Her daughter, Ada, showed an above-normal level of manganese, a suspected toxin to the respiratory, reproductive and nervous systems that’s used in fuel additives. Cohen wonders if that result has something to do with the school bus that her daughter rides for about an hour every weekday.

Cohen also plans to buy more organic foods and resist the convenience of fast foods. Ada had a higher concentration than her mother of PFOA, which is often used in candy-bar and fast-food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags.

Rummaging through her cupboard, Cohen examines the individually wrapped cereal and yogurt bars and bags of pita chips that would often go in Ada’s lunch and wonders about the packaging. “It’s all so pervasive,” she says. “I’m not sure where to even begin.”

June 2, 2006 Posted by | Health | , | Leave a comment

   

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