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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 4/4/19

Impacts of pollutant "cocktails" on seemingly healthy people

Author 88362
Message Robert Adler
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Persistent organic pollutants--POPS--are pervasive in the environment and accumulate in our bodies. Pesticides, pharmaceuticals and many industrial chemicals contribute to this potentially toxic tide.

In an earlier post, I reported on findings by epidemiologist Miquel Porta and his colleagues revealing that ten percent of Americans have 10 or more different POPS in our blood at abnormally high concentrations.

Porta and his team are now studying the impacts of these long-lived organic compounds that many of us unknowingly carry in our bodies and bloodstream.

His most recent findings, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, reveal a strong correlation between people's toxic loads and metabolic abnormalities such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high blood sugar, unhealthy lipid profiles, and chronic inflammation--factors that increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.

Factory smokestacks--one of many sources of pollutants
Factory smokestacks--one of many sources of pollutants
(Image by Pixabay)
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A separate research study reports that normal-weight people who are metabolically unhealthy have three times the risk of heart attack, stroke or death compared to their metabolically healthy, normal-weight peers.

A different research group based in the US studied 976 chemicals to which many or most of us are exposed. They found that 75 of those changed cell functions in ways associated with multiple sclerosis, and five caused neurological inflammation similar to what's seen in ALS. They're now examining the same list of chemicals for links to irritable-bowel syndrome and brain tumors.

"Our findings support the need for systematic investigation of the effects of the 'exposome'--all of the people experience in their lifetime--on neurologic diseases and other conditions," said Francisco Quintana, one of the study's principal investigators.

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Although we are all exposed to organic pollutants from many sources--the air we breathe, the water we drink, furniture, fabrics, food containers and many other sources--the authors point out that fatty animal foods are the biggest source, and one that we can control by what we choose to eat.

They add, however, that individual efforts to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight are only part of the solution. Government action to minimize the accumulation of POPs and other toxins in the workplace, consumer goods and the environment are also needed, as well as similar efforts by private companies.

"Individual habits play a role, but so do public and private policies," says Porta. "That is, polices of governments and companies that have been shown to decrease 'internal contamination' by POPs."


You can access Porta's journal article at this URL.

 

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Robert Adler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linked In Page       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I'm a retired psychologist and freelance writer focusing on science, technology and fact-based political and social commentary.

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Robert Adler

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We all carry a load of toxic compounds in our blood and bodies. New research finds that these "cocktails" of organic pollutants have powerful impacts on health--even of seemingly healthy people.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 2:03:16 AM

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Chuck Nafziger

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I feel like a lab rat trying to get ahead on a rented hamster wheel that is located in the sewer of a pesticide factory.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 5:03:12 PM

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Robert Adler

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It's probably even worse! I have a file with perhaps a thousand studies--to be fair, not all of them of the quality of the ones I just wrote about--of toxins, foetal and infant development, and health. It isn't a pretty picture.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 6:04:48 PM

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Richard Pietrasz

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The conclusion is no surprise.


Mercury has been known to be toxic for centuries. The Minamata disaster in the 1950s demonstrated to the world what could happen when it is discharged in local waters. I remember when pictures of the victims were widely circulated, but they are not any more.


Yet USA still permits mining waste including mercury to be handled in such a manner it often finds its way into water supplies. On top of that, when used the intended product sends mercury into the atmosphere, which then settles on land and water. The amount of mercury in coal burned has been reduced, but not eliminated, by US law.


That is merely one of very many pollutants deliberately released into the atmosphere and waters.

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 8:35:17 PM

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Robert Adler

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I can't argue with you on mercury contamination or thousands of other toxins. You're probably up to date on this, but wrt mercury, here's a fairly recent summary:


click here

Submitted on Thursday, Apr 4, 2019 at 11:05:33 PM

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