Neurodegenerative Disease The Fastest Growing Cause Of Death
Death rates from heart disease and cancer are dropping globally due to advances in nutrition, medicine and disease management. Meanwhile, neurodegenerative disease is exploding because it’s highly contagious in most cases.
In the U.S., deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent from 2000 to 2013, while those attributed to heart disease decreased 14 percent. Similar trends are emerging around the world. Unfortunately, the global spike in autism shares the same timing and trajectory as the surge in neurodegenerative disease. It’s not just a coincidence. The correlation is real thanks to reckless policies and practices. It appears that the biggest difference between autism and classic forms of neurodegenerative disease is age of onset.
The actual epidemic is larger than anyone knows. Physicians are withholding millions of diagnoses from patients and their families. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, physicians in the U.S. only inform 45 percent of patients about their Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. The same suppression is likely at work in most countries. Meanwhile, millions more go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. Women face an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing prions (PREE-ons) and prion disease, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Prions are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency.
President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. Unfortunately, Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we all are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence and reckless disregard for public health.
TSE is a spectrum disease also known as prion disease. The spectrum includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and an extremely aggressive version known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE are caused by infectious prions. The prion spectrum varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. When the presenting symptom is memory loss, the diagnoses flow along the following chart.
Prion disease is a spectrum disease that varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. It affects most, if not all, mammals. Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when, but both CJD and Alzheimer’s patients are being mismanaged. The most savvy neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risk of infection. They are making diagnoses from across the room. Unfortunately, caregivers aren’t warned accordingly.
“CJD behaves like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids,” said Dr. Jennifer Majersik, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Utah.
According to neuroscientist Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are not Alzheimer’s disease. These misdiagnoses are actually CJD, which is further up the prion spectrum. CJD, without dispute, is extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones. Millions of cases of deadly CJD are being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of patients and caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive disease. Misdiagnosis and misinformation regarding prion disease is a matter of life and death. The mismanagement doesn’t end here.
Prions are now the X factor and they are not being accounted for by industry or government. Prions are an infectious form of glycoprotein that can spread throughout the body.
“There has been a resurgence of this sort of thinking, because there is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”
A recent study published in the journal Nature also renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is not infectious to other mammals.
Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Unfortunately, it appears that Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are just as infectious as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them with prions because prions are in the urine, feces, blood, mucus and saliva of each victim.
Not only are homes, hospitals and nursing homes exposed to the deadly prion pathogen from those with prion disease, so are entire sewage treatment systems and their by-products. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators and distributors. The sewage sludge and wastewater released are spreading disease far and wide. Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues confirmed the presence of prions in urine.
Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage is dumped.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said.
“Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables.”
Each victim becomes an incubator and a distributor of the Pandora-like pathogen. The human prion is resistant to both heat and chemicals. It’s reported that prions released from people are up to a hundred thousand times more difficult to deactivate than prions from most animals.
Sewage from hospitals, nursing homes, slaughterhouses, morgues, mortuaries, veterinarians and other high-risk places enters the same sewage system. Thanks to more and more people dying from TSEs, sewage systems are more contaminated with prions than ever. Wastewater treatment systems are now prion incubators and distributors.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that prions are in sewage and that there has been no way to detect them or stop them. As such, the EPA has never issued guidance on prion management within wastewater treatment plants. Unfortunately, the EPA’s risk assessment on sewage sludge and biosolids were prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to it’s antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions a “emerging contaminant of concern.” Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are promoting a public health disaster.
“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively deactivate prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
Researchers have more questions than answers about brain disease, but we know that neurotoxins, head trauma and genetics can all trigger neurodegenerative disease. Unfortunately, that’s where our knowledge gets fuzzy.
When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease. TSEs also have the potential of being transmitted from humans to animals. The most common example is chronic wasting disease among deer species. Deer, elk, moose, reindeer and many other animals are being exposed to infectious waste in sewage.
Prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. The blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces of victims are infectious. Wastewater treatment doesn’t touch prions. In fact, these facilities are now helping incubate and distribute prions via solids and wastewater released.
Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies and more. Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. If they can’t stop prions in the friendly and sterile confines of an operating room, they can’t stop them in the wastewater treatment plant.
Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Homes, nursing homes, hospitals, clinics and restaurants are other examples of public places that are being contaminated by prions from victims of prion disease.
The deadly prion spectrum also includes mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease among deer. Scientists have shown that infected tissues can transmit prion disease between animals. There is no species barrier.
Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to prion disease, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators. Sewage sludge and wastewater pumped out spread the disease.
Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop deadly prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. Dumping sewage sludge (biosolids) from billions of people on land and at sea spreads prions far and wide. It also spreads heavy metals, radioactive waste, carcinogens, pharmaceuticals and more. It’s time for the truth. It’s time for reforms that can safeguard us from this public health disaster.
In 1972, world leaders admitted that dumping highly toxic sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems and threatened public health. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately and started dumping it on land or burning it in incinerators. The most responsible cities started putting sewage sludge in landfills. Meanwhile, the United States allowed cities to keep dumping sewage sludge at sea for another 20 years. It finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988, when beaches along the east coast were forced to close because of high levels of pathogens from sewage that washed up on shore.
The law prohibited all dumping of industrial waste and municipal sewage sludge into our oceans after December 31, 1991. It did nothing however, to keep cities such as Boston and Los Angeles from dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage directly into the oceans every day, but with the help of the U.S. EPA, the Act did redirect millions of tons of deadly toxins and pathogens from our oceans to farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, fair grounds, race tracks, sport fields and beyond. From there, the pathogens began contaminating food, water and air as they were soaked up by crops, swept away by rainwater and picked up by windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes and dumped on innocent citizens where they live, work and play. The runoff still contaminates our oceans after it filters through our creeks, lakes and rivers.
After the 1991 ban on ocean dumping, the EPA instituted a policy of sewage sludge reuse on agricultural land. It hired a PR firm to spin a new brand for the death dirt. They crafted the clever name “biosolids” to help disguise the hazards. The EPA promoted biosolids recycling throughout the 1990s. Unfortunately, the risk assessments were severely biased and flawed. The proof is in the pudding.
This new form of sewage dispersal has sparked a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health. The risk assessments for these practices failed to account for heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, radionuclides, carcinogens and a deadly form of protein known as a prion (which was unknown to the world of science at the time). The practice sparked a public health disaster in exchange for healthier oceans and a very profitable new industry. The EPA even took its show on the road and convinced other nations to use its faulty risk assessments to justify multi-million dollar contracts for these new corporations. Countries such as Canada took the bait hook, line and sinker and never conducted its own risk assessments.
Chronic wasting disease is now rampant among deer and elk in Canada and it recently jumped the Atlantic to Norway’s reindeer herd. It’s spreading across the U.S. like wildfire as we spread more pathogens and lies. Land application sites often involve locations where poverty is high and economic prosperity is low, which means resistance is low. Sludge tends to be dumped where minorities live, leading to allegations of environmental racism. Unfortunately, contaminated food and water make it back to the cities where the infectious waste originated.
Treated sewage sludge has been used in the UK, Europe and China agriculturally for more than 80 years, though there is increasing pressure in some countries to stop the practice of land application due to farm land contamination and public outrage. In the 1990s there was pressure in some European countries to ban the use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer. Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and others introduced a ban to safeguard public health. Others should follow their example.
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Neurodegenerative diseases are the fastest-growing causes of death around the world. The mismanagement of infectious waste is contributing to the epidemic.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his pioneering research on deadly prions—an infectious form of protein that connects a deadly spectrum disease called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” TSEs include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in deer, elk, moose and reindeer. TSE is also killing dolphins, whales and many other species of mammals. It’s the environmental equivalent of Pandora’s Box.
President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his work. Unfortunately, this groundbreaking research is being ignored. This negligence is fueling a public health disaster around the world, as critical pathways are being ignored and mismanaged. The mismanagement also is contributing to the global surge in autism.
In June 2012, Prusiner confirmed that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and even ALS are prion diseases similar, if not identical, to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The primary difference being which part of the brain the disease attacks first. The other variable is that there are now an unknown number of prion mutations. Mutations of these deadly prions are the common denominator between all forms of TSEs. Most of the carnage is being swept under the rug as the problem escalates.
“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins.”
Although there are many causes contributing to prion disease, many people and animals are contracting it from environmental exposure (food, water and soil) and then contaminating the environment even more with their own bodily fluids. Victims of prion disease are walking time bombs. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most deadly form of prion disease in humans. Without dispute, it is a very contagious disease that kills rapidly. There is no cure for CJD, Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease.
Alzheimer’s and CJD are often indistinguishable to neurologists and general practitioners. Misdiagnoses are common. It appears that CJD is caused by a more aggressive mutation of prion than Alzheimer’s, but a deadly prion is a deadly prion. There is no reason to believe that some prions behave differently than others in disease transmission and progression. There should be no difference in disease management.
Unfortunately, as more people contract these brain diseases, the more deadly wastewater streams become. Meanwhile, wastewater reuse is surging around the world in response to growing populations and dwindling water resources. Other by-products from the wastewater stream known as biosolids (sewage sludge) also are being used to fertilize crops, pastures for livestock, golf courses, playgrounds and gardens. Millions of people, including your family, are in harm’s way because wastewater treatment plants can’t stop prions.
Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage is dumped.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said. “Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems.
Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are absorbed by plants and vegetables grown in sewage sludge.”
Regulators and industry are playing dumb as the body count keeps rising. It’s a deadly circle enabled by an outdated risk assessment. Modern science is being ignored.
The largest prion pathway in the world is wastewater (infectious waste) from homes, hospitals, nursing homes, slaughterhouses, dental offices and other high-risk sources. The problem is that prions are in all bodily fluids and cell tissue of millions of victims who often go undiagnosed. Their mucus, saliva, feces, and urine are flushed down millions of toilets and rinsed down sinks every day. Once inside the wastewater system, prions proceed to migrate, mutate and multiply. Reckless risk assessments enable wastewater treatment plants to spread these deadly agents far and wide. Deadly prions are building up and incubating in wastewater treatment plants and then dumped openly on land. They are swept into the air by the wind. Now, water contaminated by prions is migrating into our rivers, lakes and oceans. It’s being injected into groundwater and it’s being recycled as tap water.
I used to support wastewater reclamation and reuse projects until I realized that the risk assessments were prepared decades ago—before Dr. Prusiner characterized prions and prion disease. These microscopic protein particles have converted sewage and its by-products a public health disaster.
Zika infection can have devastating effects on the central nervous system of people of all ages. The infection can cause a wide range of brain abnormalities, including paralysis and death in adults, according to two new studies from Brazil.
Infection with mosquito-borne Zika virus is a cause of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), in addition to microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities, according to a systematic review published in PLOS Medicine by Nicola Low of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) Zika Causality Working Group.
“All radiologists must know about these typical symptoms because sometimes you don’t see the symptoms of Zika virus in the pregnant mother,” said Bianca Guedes Ribeiro, MD, from the Clínica de Diagnóstico por Imagem in Rio de Janeiro.
“If the microcephaly and calcifications don’t show until the third trimester, it’s late,” she said.
Microcephaly is a nonspecific term used to describe a small head circumference, and can be caused by maternal exposure to HIV, alcohol, radiation, or TORCH pathogens (Toxoplasma gondii, other, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus).
Most of these pathogens and toxins are found in the modern sewage stream, which is being dumped on crops, parks, golf courses and beyond. It is therefore important that radiologists know what to look for when it comes to “Zika.”
Dr. Guedes Ribeiro presented results from one of the studies here at the Radiological Society of North America 2016 Annual Meeting. She and her colleagues looked at pre- and postnatal images of the central nervous system in pregnant women exposed to the Zika virus. In their perinatal MRI and CT scans, they saw brain abnormalities presenting as multiple calcifications, both cortically and subcortically, and microcephaly. They diagnosed pachygyria, corpus callosum dysgenesis, and small anterior fontanel with premature closure of cranial sutures in their cohort.
During her presentation, Dr Guedes Ribeiro described one case in which a 27-year-old pregnant woman presented with fever, a telltale sign of Zika, and a rash at 12 weeks of gestation. In that case, the fetus did not show microcephaly or calcifications until 32 weeks. “In a case like this, the mother might only know she got the infection at the final ultrasound scanning,” Dr Guedes Ribeiro explained.
Now that Zika is showing up in many other countries around the world, radiologists in the United States should consider the Zika virus when they see these typical central nervous system findings, as they do now in Brazil, even when a pregnant woman has no clinical history of Zika, said Dr Guedes Ribeiro. “When you see these findings, think about Zika,” she advised.
“It’s important to look deep inside the brain because you will get the detailed information about brain malformations that you can’t get with clinical observations,” said Fernanda Tovar-Moll, MD, PhD, from the D’Or Institute for Research and Education in Rio de Janeiro.
Dr Tovar-Moll was involved in a recent study that showed that a number of brain abnormalities, beyond microcephaly, can affect fetuses exposed to intrauterine Zika virus infection. Radiologists need to be aware of these abnormalities so they can guide diagnoses and appropriate counseling for patients and their caregivers, the researchers explain.
All the babies she and her colleagues examined showed calcifications in the brain, “particularly between the grey and white matter junction,” Dr Tovar-Moll told Medscape Medical News. “This is not the same or common in any other congenital infection.”
In 10 percent of cases, Dr Tovar-Moll and her colleagues found that the baby’s head was a normal size at birth. However, she reported, “the brain inside was very abnormal. The MRI and ultrasound showed that they already had severe malformations — even more severe than those with a smaller head size at birth.”
It is incredibly important to look inside the brain because microcephaly is just one of the clinical signs for diagnosis, she added.
“Zika also causes neurologic damage that leads to paralysis in adults,” said Emerson de Melo Casagrande, MD, from the Federal Fluminense University in Niterói, Brazil.
“There are adults affected — who aren’t in the focus of the media — who were healthy people but aren’t now. Some of them will never recover,” he reported.
Dr de Melo Casagrande presented results from a study that looked at adults, pregnant women, and newborns. He explained that the study got its start when the hospital began sending patients to radiology to rule out common diseases because serologic testing for Zika was not available.
The researchers were surprised by the effect the virus could have in adults. Of the 16 adults with acute neurologic syndromes sent to their lab, many presented with evidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome, its Miller Fisher variant, and Bickerstaff encephalitis. All three of the patients who presented with encephalomyelitis are now paralyzed.
“They were healthy and now they can’t move their arms or legs — that’s from Zika,” Dr de Melo Casagrande explained. Some patients recovered from the infection and others have sequelae in the face — they can work “and they have a life — but three people remain in the hospital.”
They don’t have the virus anymore, he pointed out, but it is still destroying their body as an autoimmune disease triggered by the infection. A previous infection could have had something to do with the strong reaction.
“We don’t know what makes it more severe in those patients, but we know we need to move the Zika conversation away from microcephaly alone,” said Dr de Melo Casagrande.
The problem in Brazil right now is that many hospitals cannot diagnose Zika because testing is not available. “They have a fast test for dengue because people can die from dengue,” he explained. “But if it’s not dengue, then you have to go home.”
Dr de Melo Casagrande said that his team expects to continue to use radiology to exclude other infections. All people should be wary of Zika, not just pregnant women. “It can be devastating for anyone,” he warned.
Chronic Wasting Disease Further Proof Of Infectious Disease
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease are collectively becoming the leading cause of death around the world. Brain disease also continues to expand in wildlife. Is there a connection?
Keep reading to find out why:
Alzheimer’s disease is part of a spectrum disease known as prion disease, which also includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The spectrum also is known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE);
Alzheimer’s disease is an infectious prion disease, which is often misdiagnosed and undiagnosed. Millions of diagnoses are being suppressed by physicians;
The bodily fluids of those with prion disease are infectious;
Wastewater treatment plants are contaminating our food and water supplies by spreading deadly prions via sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater. The risk assessments involving these facilities and their by-products were prepared before prions were discovered and characterized;
Wildlife, sea mammals, livestock and people are contracting prion disease from mismanaged sewage;
Caregivers are in harm’s way because of disease mismanagement;
It’s time to reclassify sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater as infectious waste; and
It’s time to defend our food, water and air from infectious waste by enforcing the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act Of 2002 and similar laws around the world.
The Brain Disease Epidemic
Alzheimer’s disease alone is killing 50-100 million people now. Millions more will contract the disease this year, while just as many will go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.
Thanks to misinformation and the mismanagement of infectious waste and bodily fluids, people of all ages are now exposed to an expanding spectrum of brain disease. So are other mammals.
The most common forms of neurodegenerative disease include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most aggressive and infectious of them all. According to Nobel Prize Laureate Stanley Prusiner, these brain diseases are part of the same disease spectrum—prion disease. It’s also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is transmissible.
Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Unfortunately, it appears that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just as infectious as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The bodily fluids of people with prion disease are infectious. Prions are the X factor in the global epidemic.
Prion disease is a spectrum disease that varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. It affects most, if not all, mammals. Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. Prions are an infectious form of glycoprotein that can propagate throughout the body. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease. TSEs also have the potential of being transmitted from humans to animals. The most common example is chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer species. Sick wildlife are a canary in the proverbial coal mine. CWD is part of a larger epidemic of neurological disease that is killing people, wildlife and livestock around the world. The warning signals are being ignored.
CWD was first detected in deer in North America. Then it was detected in a variety of other animals, including an elephant at the Oakland zoo. It’s been found in a variety of animals across the United States and Canada. All hypotheses seem to center around contaminated feed and deer farmers. Then the deer spread the disease via nose-to-nose contact. Those theories were just rocked by the discovery of CWD in Norway in moose and reindeer. The disease didn’t jump the Atlantic from the Americas. However, Norway dumps tons of infectious waste on land every year–infectious waste from people with prion disease.
It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when. The medical community prefers to ignore the topic. The legal industry is about to have a bonanza because negligence is the rule and not the exception regarding Alzheimer’s disease and the mismanagement of infectious waste. Savvy neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risks. Unfortunately, caregivers aren’t warned accordingly.
Prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. The blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces of victims are infectious. Wastewater treatment doesn’t touch prions. In fact, these facilities are now helping incubate and distribute prions via solids and wastewater released. Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies and more.
When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the list because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices.
Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation.
Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Municipal water systems can’t stop them from reaching water taps in millions of homes. Filtration doesn’t phase them.
Scientists have shown that infected tissues can transmit prion disease between animals. There is no species barrier. A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is not infectious.
Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to prion disease, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators. Sewage sludge and wastewater pumped out spread the disease.
The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge are flawed. Many risks are not addressed, including prions and radioactive waste. They don’t mention prions or radiation because there is no answer. Most nations are making the same mistake. Failure to account for known risks is negligent. Crops for humans and livestock grown grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease right now due to widespread denial and mismanagement.
Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. If sick deer are serving as a canary in a coal mine, what is this infectious waste doing to livestock and humans?
It’s time to stop the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) in all nations. Safer alternatives exist. Please join our coalition for reform.
Protein Aggregation Similar To Alzheimer’s Disease
The nerve cells of some people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can accumulate clumps of a protein called SOD1. A mutation in the SOD1 gene contributes to contraction of the disease, but it has not been clear if the characteristic clumps of the protein associated with the faulty gene are active drivers or harmless byproducts. A new study suggests that they are drivers.
The new study – by Umeå University in Sweden and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation – finds that when injected into mice, SOD1 protein aggregates spread rapidly, leading to ALS. The authors note that while researchers have known about SOD1 aggregates in nerve cells in ALS patients for a while, it was not clear what role they played in people carrying the faulty gene.
“We have shown that the SOD1 aggregates start a domino effect that rapidly spreads the disease up through the spinal cord of mice,” said Thomas Brännström, co-author and professor of pathology. “We suspect that this could be the case for humans as well.”
ALS destroys motor neurons – the nerve cells that control muscle movement – in the brain and spinal cord. The disorder progresses to paralysis and death. Most patients only live 2-5 years after diagnosis. There are rare exceptions, including the famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who was diagnosed with ALS more than 50 years ago.
The team identified two different kinds (called A and B strains) of SOD1 aggregates in mice – both of which spread when injected into the animals’ spinal cords. The protein clumps spread in nerve cells along the whole spinal cord, coincident with progression of an ALS-like disease that resulted in death.
For their study, the team used mice genetically modified to carry the human form of the SOD1 gene. The authors note:
“Mice seeded with A or B aggregates developed premature signs of ALS and became terminally ill after approximately 100 days, which is 200 days earlier than for mice that had not been inoculated or were given a control preparation.”
They also note how at the same time, aggregations of both A and B strains of human SOD1 protein propagated throughout the spinal cord and brainstem. Progression rates, distribution and levels of aggregation at the end stage, plus the disease patterns in the tissue, were different for A and B strains.
The researchers conclude that while the two strains of human SOD1 protein aggregates are different, they appear to “spread disease in a prion-like fashion” throughout the central nervous system, resulting in a “fatal ALS-like disease.”
Prions are toxic, misshapen proteins that copy themselves and travel along brain networks, clogging up cells along the way. Prions are associated with most, if not all, neurodegenerative disorders in mammals, including mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease.
Another of the researchers, Stefan Marklund, professor of clinical chemistry, concludes their study strongly suggests SOD1 aggregation plays an important role in the progression of ALS, something he and his colleagues suspected.
Brain disease is consuming record numbers of people around the world right now. Microcephaly in infants is just the latest example.
Microcephaly is a nonspecific term used to describe a small head circumference, and can be caused by maternal exposure to a variety of pathogens and toxins, including HIV, alcohol, radiation, or TORCH pathogens (Toxoplasma gondii, other, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus). It is therefore important that radiologists know what to look for when it comes to Zika.
The global epidemic is being fueled by infectious waste that’s contaminating food, water, air and more. This infectious waste (from people with infectious brain disease) contains deadly and unstoppable neurotoxins, but it’s being spread like fertilizer in virtually every country around the world (if not just dumped openly). The fight against mosquitoes is part of the battle now, but it will miss the war against the source–infectious waste.
Zika virus is an emerging flavivirus initially described in 1947. The first outbreak of Zika virus occurred in 2007 in the Pacific and the virus has spread in this region since 2013, and in the Americas since 2015. Concomitantly, severe neurological complications in adults, fetuses, and neonates have been described. Zika virus is mainly mosquito borne, but non-vector transmission (maternal–fetal, sexual, and blood transfusion) is possible, with an unknown effect on the burden of the disease. Drinking contaminated water also is a growing source. So are foods infected with this contaminated water.
Unfortunately, mosquitoes are not the only pathway from infectious waste to you. Contaminated food, drinking water and the air that we breathe are just as dangerous.
Microcephaly, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease and other neurodegenerative (brain) diseases are now spread by infectious medical wastes.
To stop the global epidemic of brain disease, we must stop throwing fuel on the fire. Sewage mismanagement is contaminating food, water and air around the world. It’s spreading infectious waste and infectious diseases. Microcephaly is just the latest symptom of the global problem. Thanks to reckless policies, extreme weather now fans the flames. Tornadoes, floods, droughts and rising tides are pushing tons of sewage further into the lives of everyone. It’s a perfect storm.
The planet has a record human population competing for limited space and resources. We are producing record volumes of sewage, which includes much more than the obvious. Sewage is now the most toxic, unregulated waste stream in the world. It’s become a deadly cocktail of carcinogens, radionuclides, nerve agents, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors and deadly prions—the deadly pathogen responsible for a spectrum of brain diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).
The most common forms of TSE include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most aggressive and infectious of them all. According to Nobel Prize Laureate Stanley Prusiner, they are all forms of prion disease. TSEs also include mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease and many others. It’s also killing sea mammals as oceans around the world continue filling with tons of sewage every day. There is no species barrier to prion disease or toxic exposure.
The global surge in neurodegenerative disease among people, wildlife and livestock has been in motion for about 25 years thanks to the reckless dumping of sewage and the land application of sewage sludge as a fertilizer. The epidemic is reaching critical mass as neurodegenerative disease is now consuming the brains of the unborn–not just the aged.
Unfortunately, we are disposing of record quantities of sewage openly in the streets and rivers. We’re dumping tons of it on pastures, farms, parks, golf courses, sporting fields, forests and beyond. This infectious waste runs off into our water supplies. It’s picked up by the wind and carried to points unknown. Reckless practices, such as the land application of sewage sludge, have opened Pandora’s box. It’s causing irreversible, deadly contamination around the world.
Unfortunately, public servants are deliberately sweeping sewage-related risks under the rug. The risk assessments for the land application of sewage sludge, for example, are fraudulent. They were deliberately skewed to overlook proven public health risks, including airborne pathways. Bending the rules with bad science allowed for the creation of a multi-billion dollar industry and a toxic by-product called biosolids. It’s still deadly sewage sludge.
So-called regulators are overlooking deadly and unstoppable prions in sewage. As such, most sewage dumping and wastewater reclamation practices are illegal and should be stopped immediately. Safer alternatives exist.
Thanks to this fraud, infectious sewage is being dumped openly in our watersheds and directly on crops. The prion pathogen in sewage, for example, migrates, mutates and multiplies. Prions shed from humans are the most aggressive and deadly. Prions demand more respect than radiation because they don’t deplete in the environment. Plus, each victim becomes a prion incubator and distributor. Prions should be locked away and contained. Not openly distributed and consumed by an unsuspecting public.
As warm weather approaches in the northern hemisphere, mosquitoes are awakening, breeding, biting and spreading sewage-borne diseases again. Reckless sewage dumping is creating a public health disaster. The dynamics associated with climate change are compounding the problems of sewage management. Mosquitoes have more fuel than ever. So does the wind and our water. It’s time to stop the mismanagement and misinformation. The stakes have never been higher.
Please join our global coalition of Homeland Defenders. Join our campaign for truth and reform. Please write to Gary Chandler for more information email@example.com
Prion Theory Advances Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Neurological diseases known collectively as dementia are the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. The epidemic is spreading exponentially because of misinformation and mismanagement within every nation. Patients, caregivers, family members and millions of other stakeholders deserve the truth.
Only a decade ago, the idea that Alzheimer’s disease might be transmissible between people would have been laughed away. But scientists have now shown that tissues can transmit symptoms of the disease between animals. A new study published in the journal Nature raises additional concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. The impact of such research is profound.
“This is the first evidence of real-world transmission of amyloid pathology,” says molecular neuroscientist John Hardy of University College London (UCL). “It is potentially concerning.”
Most of us know dementia as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakobdisease. They’re all part of the same disease spectrum. It’s negligent not to treat them all as extremely transmissible diseases.
Dementia is vastly undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, doctors are withholding millions of additional diagnoses, so we don’t know the extent of the epidemic. Mismanagement on many levels is an outrage.
For example, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan died in 2004 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His death certificate, however, listed pneumonia as the cause of death. Attributing Alzheimer’s deaths to other causes is common. Such practices are masking the body count with labels. The actual numbers are staggering and they will continue to escalate. The burden on unprepared families is surging.
Despite underreporting, we know that about 50 million people around the world already have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Millions of other victims have already died. The global burden of dementia care in 2015 is estimated at $818 billion (up from $214 billion in 2010).
So-called “Alzheimer’s disease” and closely related diseases are actually members of an aggressive family of neurodegenerative diseases known astransmissible spongiform encephalopathy(TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” The TSE epidemic represents an environmental nightmare that threatens every mammal on Earth.
According to research from John Hopkins, Duke University, and Utah State University, caregivers of someone with dementia are six times more likely to develop the condition themselves.
TSEs include Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in deer. TSE has been found in mink, moose, mice, sheep, cats, elephants, dolphins and many other species. Sea mammals are extremely vulnerable, but they aren’t being tested. Sick mammals on land and at sea are a canary in a coal mine. Their sickness confirms an alarming epidemiological trend among humans. An environmental contagion is responsible for the spike among many mammals. There is no species barrier.
TSEs are caused by a deadly protein called a prion (PREE-on). Prion disease is unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. Blood, saliva, mucas, milk, urine and feces carry deadly prions from victims. All tissue is infectious just because of the contact with the contaminated blood.
Prions are such a formidable threat that the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which included a provision to halt research on prions in all but two laboratories. It classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and health systems. Unfortunately, the Center For Disease Control quietly took prions off the list about two years ago because the classification threatened to criminalize some multi-billion dollar industries and many industry practices.
Prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, restaurants and many other places infinitely. They migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. Victims often become infectious long before they appear sick.
“The (human) brain diseases caused by prions include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, who earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1997 for discovering deadly prions.
Due to many factors, prion disease is a spectrum disease. Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are the most common human forms of prion disease. Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) are the common diagnoses when the primary symptom is dementia. Parkinson’s is the common diagnoses when the primary symptom is a movement disorder. Some victims exhibit both symptoms.
“CJD behaves like Alzheimer’s disease on steroids,” said Dr. Jennifer Majersik, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Utah.
High winds in dry places such as Arizona and California have become toxic events thanks to reckless sewage dumping. These powerful dust storms now carry lethal doses of pathogens in the form of particulates, which are swept away from farms, ranches, parks, gardens and golf courses. Thanks to reckless sewage treatment policies and practices, these poisonous particulates are now contributing to a spectrum of ailments, including the dreaded valley fever and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Prior to the 1990s, valley fever was a fairly rare disease. However, thanks to the U.S. EPA’s reckless science and policies, the desert began filling with sewage sludge around 1993. The sewage brought in a host of toxins, and pathogens, including radionuclides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, dioxins, fungus, bacteria, prions and other threats to public health. The nitrogen and carbon in the sewage sludge fuels a fungus in the sand and soil that causes valley fever. The sludge also provides a new medium to help transport the toxic mold spores far and wide.
Thanks to the U.S. EPA’s reckless policies on sewage treatment and sewage sludge (also known as the sludge rule in industry circles), toxins and pathogens that aren’t soaked up by plants, streams and rivers are now swept up by windstorms and dumped over large metropolitan areas, including Phoenix and Tucson. It’s in the soil. It’s on everything. Waves of sickness and death follow in each storm’s wake. Valley fever kills more than 100 people per year just in Maricopa County (Phoenix metropolitan area).
Some estimate that there are about 150,000 cases of valley fever every year just in the U.S. Only forty percent of the people infected are symptomatic. Even fewer seek treatment because milder symptoms are difficult to distinguish from the flu. Therefore, the actual scope of the epidemic is merely a guess.
Two-thirds of all valley fever cases in the world are contracted in Arizona, where valley fever has been at epidemic levels since the state began keeping records in 1997. Today, there about 50,000 known new cases in Arizona each year. More than half of those cases are in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties.
“That area is the ‘Valley Fever Corridor,'” said Dr. John Galgiani, who directs the Valley Fever Center for Excellence, at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
That’s a polite way of describing the danger zone. The desert regions of Arizona and California are buried in sewage dumped from places such as Phoenix, Tucson, Oceanside and Orange County, California. Thanks to these industrial-scale sewage dumps, dust storms carry much more than soil and sand. These microscopic sewage particulates are inhaled. Those that aren’t settle in homes, offices, gardens, streams, rivers, lakes, and beyond where they can do their damage at a later time. These particulates are so toxic that they are killing people, animals, landscaping and more as they settle in highly populated communities and rural ones alike.
In 2008, the Arizona State Department of Health Services claimed valley fever as “Arizona’s Disease.” In 2012, valley fever was the second-most-reported disease in the state even though only about two percent of all cases are diagnosed and treated.
“If Arizona doesn’t do something, no one will,” said Rebecca Sunenshine, MD, Epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes valley fever as a “silent epidemic” because the number of cases has been increasing by about 15 percent per year. Even its conservative count has grown tenfold since 1998. It counted 2,265 cases in 1998 and more than 22,000 in 2011. Public awareness and aversion efforts have not gone up accordingly. The surge might be much larger because some states, including Texas, do not require public reporting of confirmed cocci cases. Valley fever is endemic in Texas along the Rio Grande River.
Symptoms of valley fever include fever, respiratory distress with coughing, chest pain and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms include muscle and joint aches, a skin rash, weight loss and lack of appetite and intense fatigue. A small subset of patients will suffer long-term health problems; in fewer still, cocci will disseminate from the lungs into other tissue—skin, bones, and, often fatally, the meninges of the brain. For those with cocci meningitis, the treatment can include a series of painful injections into the neck and spinal cord.
Though it sickens many times more people than West Nile virus, which affects much of the country, it has received only a small fraction of the funding for research.
“The impact of valley fever on its endemic populations is equal to the impact of polio or chicken pox before the vaccines,” said Galgiani. “But chicken pox and polio were worldwide threats.”
In July 2013, The New Yorker quoted a Bakersfield physician who described it as “a hundred different diseases,” depending on which toxin is inhaled and where the infection rests. Fortunately, cocci cannot spread from person to person, but other forms of sickness caused by sewage mismanagement are a different story.
The elderly and the immune-compromised—including pregnant women—are most susceptible; for unknown reasons, otherwise healthy African-Americans and Filipinos are disproportionately vulnerable to severe and life-threatening forms of the disease. (In one early study, Filipino men were estimated to be a hundred and seventy-five times as likely as white men to get sick from cocci, and a hundred and ninety-two times as likely to die from it.)
Official statistics do not include animals such as dogs, cats, horses and wild animals that have been stricken. Dogs are hit the hardest.
The History Of Valley Fever
Valley Fever derives its name from its discovery in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where it was also referred to as “San Joaquin Valley Fever” or “Desert Rheumatism.” The medical name for Valley Fever is coccidioidomycosis (often shortened to “cocci” caused by the fungus coccidioides, which usually enters the lungs of victims.
Area of Distribution:
Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.
San Joaquin and Central Valleys of California
Southern Arizona (especially in the Phoenix and Tucson areas).
Southern parts of Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Western Texas (especially around El Paso)
Mexico (in the states of Sonora and Chihuahua).
Also found in semiarid and arid soils of Central and South America.
Valley fever is a fungal infection caused by coccidioides (kok-sid-e-OY-deze) organisms that enter your lungs. In soil, C. immitis exists in chains of barrel-shaped units called arthroconidia; airborne, these fragment easily into lightweight spores. C. immitis is adapted to lodge deep: its spores are small enough to reach the end of the bronchioles at the bottom of the lungs. We can breathe them in, but we can’t breathe them out.
Once in the lung, the spore circles up into a spherule, defined by a chitinous cell wall and filled with a hundred or so baby endospores. When the spherule is sufficiently full, it ruptures, releasing the endospores and stimulating an acute inflammatory response that disrupts blood flow to the tissue and can lead to necrosis. The endospores, each of which will become a new spherule, travel through the blood and lymph systems, allowing the cocci to spread anywhere the wind takes it. In people with weakened immune systems, cocci can overwhelm their bodies.
The first recorded case of cocci involved a soldier in Argentina in 1891. Ulcerated, cauliflower-like nodes deformed his face. Doctors initially thought that he had an infectious form of cancer. Two years later, doctors in the San Joaquin Valley saw their first case in a field worker. He was blinded by lesions on his face and riddled with abscesses. Unfortunately, this case would not be the last.
“In the nineteen-fifties, both the U.S. and the Russians had bio-warfare programs using cocci,” said John Galgiani at the University of Arizona. “Generals can’t control agents that rely on air currents to disperse them, and it was difficult to use the vector precisely, so it fell out of favor. But terrorists don’t care about control—all they care about is perception. A single cell can cause disease, and you can genetically modify it to make it more powerful.”
Arizona also has one of the highest rates of Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a deadly form of protein called a prion. Prions also are in wastewater and unstoppable in wastewater treatment plants. When sewage particles are swept into the air, so are the highly contagious prions.
Parts of neighboring California, especially the San Joaquin Valley, also have produced a steady flow of valley fever victims since the early 1990s. Ironically, this is after rural America became an industrial-scale sewage dump thanks to the EPA’s controversial new sludge rule. The sludge rule opened the floodgates to sewage contamination in our watersheds and communities. Other nations have followed the same policies on wastewater treatment and sewage sludge disposal because of their trust in the U.S. government. The sludge rule has been crammed down the world’s throat along with tons of deadly sewage.
Land Application of Sewage Sludge Connected To Many Diseases
In addition to the fungi behind valley fever, windstorms can carry other pathogens from sewage and inject them into our daily lives. Wastewater treatment can’t stop prions or most other pathogens, which means that they thrive in wastewater treatment plants, sewage sludge, reclaimed water and effluent. Applying sewage to cocci growth sites is not a good idea. Cocci requires moisture, carbon and nitrogen, which sewage provides.
Other examples of recently emerging and reemerging soil-borne pathogens include clostridium, spp. bacteria, which cause a variety of diseases and are likely a permanent soil resident, transmitted by the fecal-oral route and through skin trauma; Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium, which causes listeriosis and is a permanent soil resident transmitted by contact with soil contaminated with infective feces and also by inhalation of the organism; Sin Nombre virus, a hantavirus, which causes hemorrhagic fever, is a transient soil resident, and is transmitted by inhalation of dust containing aerosolized rodent urine and feces; rotavirus spp., which causes diarrhea and enteritis, an incidental or less commonly, transient soil resident, transmitted by the fecal-soil-oral route also by the fecal-respiratory route; and, as stated above, prion disease, which includes Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad cow disease and many other neurological diseases (Essentials of Medical Geology: Revised Edition, page 501).
Wastewater treatment technology also fails to keep radionuclides, carcinogens, pharmaceuticals and other poisons, including the coccidioides (cocci) fungi out of the sludge produced in the process. Plus, any fungus already on the desert floor gets supercharged with the fuel in sewage sludge. Thanks to sewage mismanagement, we’re injecting these pathogens directly into our lifecycle on an industrial scale. As such, valley fever, Alzheimer’s, autism and other maladies have become industrial diseases as pathways are expanding daily.
All sewage toxins are capable of going airborne once the sludge is dried and agitated into fine particles. Once airborne, the smallest of particles can travel thousands of miles. Unfortunately, the EPA failed to account for prions when it faked its science on the safety of biosolids. The EPA also failed to account for airborne pathways. Such oversights are reckless and incompetent at best. Given the damage that is stacking, and the lack of responsiveness from government and industry, modern sewage dumps are an aggressive form of bioterrorism.
Today, U.S. industry alone uses more than 60,000 chemicals. Most of them find their way into the sewer system and municipal sludge. These chemicals interact to form new chemicals, which can be even more toxic than the original form. These toxins and a deadly list of pathogens are all contaminating our food, water and air. Some are more deadly than others. Thanks to government collusion, many industries are making a killing.
We may not know the full scope of valley fever because some physicians don’t think of testing for the infection in patients with common flu-like symptoms (fever and cough, fatigue, headache, rash, muscle aches and joint pain). A 2010 survey by the New Mexico public health department revealed that 69 percent of clinicians responding did not consider valley fever in patients with respiratory problems. If you live in or visit an area where the fungus is found and develop persistent flu-like symptoms, ask your physician to test for cocci.
A study by the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona shows that two-thirds of patients with valley fever in Arizona were misdiagnosed. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control in 2006, one in three Arizona patients diagnosed with pneumonia and treated with antibiotics may be misdiagnosed and treated with the wrong drugs. The federal report said the patients may have had a valley fever, a fungal pneumonia, although most of the patients were managed as if they had a bacterial infection with antibiotics. Valley Fever is caused by a fungus and would not be treated by drugs directed at bacteria, according to the Arizona center’s study.
Valley Fever Outbreaks In California
California’s San Joaquin Valley is another hot spot for valley fever. Kern County and the Bakersfield area are ground zero for the disease. Kern County also is where Los Angeles dumps the majority of its sewage. The highest rate of infection is in Antelope Valley, a rapidly developing outpost of the county that adjoins the southern edge of the San Joaquin Valley. In the past decade, the number of cases there has increased 545 percent.
The community of Antelope Valley has seen its population double in thirty years. It has been transformed from a sleepy agricultural zone to a dense residential area. Fields that once grew alfalfa now grow residential developments. New families have moved into the neighborhood. Many are vulnerable to the threat of valley fever.
As it turns out, the San Joaquin Valley is a hot spot for clusters of the valley fever. According to the CDC, during 1991, reported cases of Coccidioidomycosis (i.e., valley fever) in California increased more than three-fold over the annual number of cases reported since 1986; during 1992, the number of reported cases increased 10-fold.
In 1991, 1208 new cases of coccidioidomycosis were reported to the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), compared with an average of 450 cases per year
during the previous 5 years. Of these cases, 959 (80%) were reported from Kern County, where coccidioidomycosis is known to be endemic and where the county
health department serves as a referral laboratory for coccidioidomycosis serologic
tests. Kern County also is where California once dumped much of its sewage sludge.
In the years leading up to the 2006, one third of California’s sewage sludge was applied to land in Kern County. Orange County, Los Angeles County, Oxnard and Ventura all sent their sludge to Kern County. On June 6, 2006, the Kern County ballot initiative to ban sludge application passed with 85 percent of the vote.
Of all cases reported to CDHS in 1991, 765 (63%) were reported from October
through December. In 1992, 4541 cases of coccidioidomycosis were reported to CDHS
(Figure 1). Of these, 4198 (92%) were reported from the central valley and southern
California, including 3027 (67%) from Kern County. Reports from the occidioidomycosis
Serology Laboratory of the University of California at Davis, a reference laboratory that receives specimens from areas of California other than Kern County, also documented an increased incidence in 1991 and 1992.
Antje Lauer, an environmental microbiologist who teaches at the university in Bakersfield, has been tracking the issues for years. In an article in The New Yorkerby Dana Goodyear, she explained that the arthroconidia fungus is notoriously hard to find in the ground. A spot that tests positive once may subsequently come up negative; a positive site can be separated from a negative one by a matter of yards. Little is known about where the fungus thrives and why. Several years ago, Lauer began trying to discern some pattern to its presence. Initially, she said,
“I just drove around Bakersfield and used my intuition. I sampled here, I sampled there.” On Coles Levee Road, a desolate strip owned by Los Angeles County, which uses part of it as a sewage dump, she found the fungus nearly every time she looked, she explained to the reporter.
Another California outbreak happened in 1994 in Ventura County following an earthquake that struck the region. During the two months after the earthquake, 170 people were diagnosed with acute coccidioidomycosis because of the airborne dust. During all of 1993, there were only 52 cases reported in the county.
Green Valley, Arizona resident Ron Brill said he began experiencing Valley Fever symptoms in 2006 when he and his wife were cruising Europe.
“I started getting pains in an area at the top of my lungs which I was certain couldn’t be a heart attack,” Brill recalled. “I eventually was hospitalized in Austria where they have no idea about Valley Fever. There I started having severe chills and uncontrollable shaking. My daughter had to get me to the emergency room in Boston, and still they had no idea what it was.”
Brill returned home where he was eventually diagnosed with Valley Fever, but his visual diagnosis until he was tested for the illness was pneumonia.
“I had most of the major risk factors for Valley Fever, but went through weeks of feeling ill before that was diagnosed,” he said. “Had I known what to look for as far as the risk factors are concerned, I would have asked much earlier to be tested for Valley Fever.”
Thanks to the EPA’s infamous sludge rule of 1993, Americans are choking on sewage. Parts of Arizona and California are feeling the brunt of the epidemic. Arizona not only dumps its own sewage sludge on crops, parks, golf courses and gardens, it imports tons of it from California, too.
The sewage is dumped on crops throughout rural regions and open spaces in metropolitan areas, including city golf courses in the Phoenix metropolitan area. I can personally attest that sewage sludge from the Encina Wastewater Authority in Carlsbad, California is being trucked across state lines, where it is dumped within 50 feet of private residences–without consent and without notice. The golf course workers sprayed the crap into my backyard as collateral damage. The toxic crap is being peddled under the name “Pure Green.”
The dose put on the Ken McDonald Golf Course in May 2015 killed massive sections of the fairways for months. It killed landscaping in my backyard that borders the 17th hole. Who knows what damage was done to local residents, pets and wildlife. It’s dumped without consent and without notice. It’s bioterrorism. These “dirty bombs” are being dropped around us every day.
If you live in or visit areas where valley fever is common, take commonsense precautions, especially during the dry, dusty summer months when the chance of infection is highest. Consider wearing a mask, staying inside during dust storms, wetting the soil before digging, and keeping doors and windows tightly closed. Contact us and join our campaign for reform.
Please join us in our quest for truth and reform of reckless sewage dumping practices around the world. For more information, please contact Gary Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whales An Indicator Of Neurological Disease Upstream
Sick animals and sick people can tell us a lot about the health of our environment. A study in Denmark is raising red flags. There could be a common thread between dead whales and sick humans. Keep reading to find out:
Why people with neurodegenerative disease are contagious;
How sea mammals are contracting brain disease from humans;
Why consuming whales and other contaminated foods recycles brain disease back to humans. Other pathways also put humans at risk.
Whales have too much intellectual, social and navigational capacity to run aground en masse unless extremely sick and disoriented. There have been several high-profile stranding events around the world in the past few years alone. An alarming number of whales are washing up on Alaska’s shores now. As mammals high on the food chain, their health is a good indictor of environmental health. We should be testing those that die much more rigorously for toxic buildup and disease. Whales are downstream from billions of people, so they are in a position to serve as unique bio-indicators.
These beached whales and dolphins are the oceans’ version of canaries in coal mines. Their bodies are like giant sponges that can offer insight into the health of the ocean and the planet.
For example, sick and dead whales might be able to shed light on the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic that is exploding exponentially around the globe. Thanks to reckless sewage disposal practices around the world, unstoppable prions are being dumped in our watersheds and waterways on an industrial scale. If the prion pathogen associated with Alzheimer’s and many related neurodegenerative diseases is present in whales and dolphins, it’s further confirmation of the scope and spread of these killer proteins. Unfortunately, that critical test is not taking place on the whales and dolphins now. Therefore, people continue to serve as the canary in the coal mine.
As with humans and other mammals, whales and dolphins are vulnerable to prion disease. Prion disease has many names, including Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Parkinson’s disease. In livestock, it’s known as mad cow disease. In deer, it’s being called chronic wasting disease. They all are forms of what is called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). TSEs are deadly and unstoppable. The prion pathogen behind them and the diseases themselves are being mismanaged globally. Our oceans are the holding pond for those that runoff the land with water.
At least one dolphin has been found with prion disease, but testing is severely lacking. Since dietary factors are clearly linked to neurological disease, we can learn more about the health of whales by studying the people who eat them. In turn, the health of the whales can shed light on the health of our food and water supplies upstream. A pioneering researcher is conducting such research now to better understand human health, the health of our oceans and the connections between those factors.
Whale meat appears to be contributing to high rates of neurological disease in Nordic and Baltic nations. Pioneering research found that Parkinson’s patients on the Faroe Islands have consumed about six times more whale meat and blubber than their neighbors who don’t have the disease.
Maria Skaalum Petersen is working to shed light on the connection between sick seas, sick whales and sick people. Petersen is a researcher in the Department of Occupational and Public Health in the Faroe Islands health service. One of her projects has included a comparison of the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (part of the TSE spectrum) in the Nordic countries.
She found that Parkinson’s disease is twice as prevalent on the Faroe Islands as in Norway and other Nordic countries. Unlike other Nordic countries, a traditional diet on the Faroe Islands typically includes pilot whale meat.
Predators, including some whales, are high on the food chain. Predators that consume predators are consuming the toxic build-up from every animal ever consumed. Therefore, predators (and the people who consume them) often serve as an excellent indicator of the health of an entire ecosystem, including prion contamination.
When serving as bio-indicators, not all whales are created equal. The whale meat sold in Norway and Iceland is mostly from minke whales, a species that has a diet much lower in the food chain. This means that minke whales don’t accumulate as many contaminants or prions as pilot whales. This means that the risks associated with whale meat is slightly less for the people in Norway. Norway still has a fairly high rate of neurological disease.
“The Faroe Islanders eat pilot whales, while Norwegians eat baleen whales. Pilot whales have teeth and primarily eat fish and squid, which puts them higher on the food chain,” Petersen says.
Baleen whales feed by filtering zooplankton and krill into their mouths as they swim. In essence, they are vegetarians. Eating lower on the food chain lowers their prion exposure, but it doesn’t make them immune to the prion problem.
This study indicates that there is prion accumulation in whales–some more than others. It indicates that prions are in our oceans and onward upstream. It indicates that prions are in our food and water supplies and reckless sewage management is contributing to the problem. It reminds us of the hazards associated with wastewater reuse, sewage sludge disposal and biosolids in our communities and watersheds.
What can we learn from the Faroe Islands and whale meat? Prions are building up in the environment and in mammals now. This is a battle of pathway management. Time to manage the contamination is running out. Sewage mismanagement, including agricultural and industrial waste, is contributing to the problem.
If whales could talk, they would tell us to get our sh*t together and put it in a much safer place. Presently, we are recycling sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed water throughout our watersheds. We are contaminating food and water supplies. We are pissing in the pool. We’re being treated like peons, while fed lies and prions. Save the world. Save the whales. Save yourself.
People are dying of neurological disease at an accelerating rate, while death rates from most major diseases are dropping. Why the divergence?
Unfortunately, a pathogen associated with neurological disease is spreading uncontrollably. Research suggests that food and water supplies around the world have been contaminated with an unstoppable form of protein known as a prion(PREE-on). Ignorance, negligence, fraud and corruption are fanning the flames today. We’re facing an environmental nightmare.
According to health officials, the epidemic will spread exponentially. The prion epidemic includes Alzheimer’s disease, mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease (deer) and many others. There is no species barrier. Some people die within weeks of symptoms, while others take years. There is no cure.
At least 50 million people around the world already have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Millions of other cases are undiagnosed and misdiagnosed. Doctors have suppressed millions of other diagnoses. It’s an outrage. The epidemic is worse than the public knows.
Two groups of investigators at Rush University in Chicago independently analyzed the epidemic in a double-blind study. Both groups determined that Alzheimer’s-related mortality rates were several times higher than reflected by official figures.
With weak data in mind, the official death toll from Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. alone still increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010. Millions of additional cases went undiagnosed, misdiagnosed and misreported. The epidemic is expanding exponentially thanks to misinformation, fraud, acts of gross negligence and what appears to be deliberate attempts to put corporate profits over public health.
Pandora-like prions are out of the box and contaminating homes, communities and entire watersheds—including our food and water supplies. It’s time for government and industry to lead, follow or get out of the way of the truth and solutions.
Alzheimer’s disease is a member of an aggressive family of neurodegenerative diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” The spectrum of TSEs includes Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, mad cow and chronic wasting disease in deer. It appears that autism is part of the same spectrum. Few, if any, mammals are immune.
TSEs are unstoppable and incurable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. Prions have been detected in the blood, urine, mucas, feces, milk, saliva and aerosols from victims of the disease. Blood alone assures that every ounce of the victim is contaminated. As organs and tissue become infected, the body sheds more and more prions into the environment every day.
Prions also are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans and in the brain damage of athletes like football players who have suffered repeated concussions. It appears that head trauma can trigger healthy prions to begin converting into deadly ones.
Victims of prion disease are infectious long before they appear sick. These carriers are donating blood, eating at your favorite restaurant, going to your dentist and loading public sewer systems with every flush. Unfortunately, much of the sewage is dumped where it contaminates your food and your water.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering, naming and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the rising importance of his research. Unfortunately, U.S. policy on many fronts ignores the perils of prions. Most countries are guilty of the same offense.
When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it included a provision to halt research on prions in all but two laboratories. It classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and more. It was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, industry pressure convinced the Center For Disease Control to quietly take prions off the list of special agents two years ago. Keeping prions listed threatened to outlaw several multi-billion dollar industries. The reversal kept the floodgates open to the prion threat. Especially regarding sewage treatment and land application, agriculture and water reclamation industries.
The problem with prions is that they linger in the environment infinitely because they defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. Unlike viruses or bacteria, prions are not alive. Therefore, they can’t be killed. Victims contaminate cups, dishes, utensils, air and much more with just their saliva, mucas, cough or sneeze. Items exposed are hopelessly contaminated. Victims visit doctors and dentists every day. Some have surgery.
Unfortunately, surgical and dental instruments used on these victims are hopelessly contaminated. People have contracted prion disease from contaminated surgical instruments. Hospitals have been successfully sued because of the proven exposure. Now, medical instruments are thrown away after being used on patients with known prion disease.
If it’s impossible to stop prions in an operating room, it’s impossible to stop them in the challenging environment of a wastewater treatment system.
Prions spread uncontrollably and contaminate everything that they touch—much like radiation. Unlike radiation, however, prions do not deplete themselves. They migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Each victim becomes an incubator and a distributor of the Pandora-like pathogen. The human prion is resistant to both heat and chemicals and is reported to be up to a hundred thousand times more difficult to deactivate than prions from most animals.
Prion diseases are killing humans, wildlife and livestock around the world today. It’s been gaining momentum over the past century. So has mismanagement by government, some researchers and industry.
The prion problem is getting worse with rising populations, rising concentrations of people, intensive agriculture, reckless sewage disposal policies and other mismanaged pathways. As the epidemic strikes more people, the pathways for prion exposure explode and intensify. Reckless sewage disposal policies and practices alone are putting billions of innocent people in the crossfire right now. Entire watersheds are endangered thanks to a deadly pathogen that migrates, mutates and multiplies.
“The brain diseases caused by prions includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner.
The TSE epidemic represents an environmental nightmare that threatens every mammal on Earth. Related diseases are killing wildlife and livestock around the world. Marine mammals also are vulnerable.
Prion disease is a spectrum disease. Some prions can kill people within weeks of exhibiting clinical symptoms, while others take years. Other people may not fall victim to the disease, but they can carry the pathogen internally and externally after exposure. Pathway management and pathway aversion are critical if we hope to save mammals on land and at sea.
Doctors Mismanaging Diagnoses
Since prion disease is a spectrum disease, doctors can’t tell the difference between them. The only definitive diagnosis of a prion disease comes with an autopsy. Autopsies, however, are rarely conducted because of concerns over deadly contamination. A corpse with prion infection will contaminate all tools used by coroners and morticians. Meanwhile, fluids and liquefied organs from these bodies are dumped into the sewage system—destined for your wastewater treatment plant and then some poor farmer’s cornfield and dairy farm.
All doctors are guessing with each Alzheimer’s, CJD or Parkinson’s diagnosis based on the severity of the symptoms. Doctors are withholding millions of additional diagnoses from patients and their families. Regardless of the motive, this censorship puts an unbearable load on families both emotionally and financially. It also puts caregivers in harm’s way, while insulating healthcare companies from expensive patient treatment and care. If healthcare companies tackle the full brunt of the Alzheimer’s epidemic, it will bankrupt them within the next five years. They will continue outrunning claims as long as possible.
Since doctors are essentially guessing on each victim, Alzheimer’s diagnoses are wrong at least 20 percent of the time. Those cases typically are further up the prion-disease spectrum under the term Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). CJD is a more severe and extremely contagious mutation of prion disease.
Unfortunately for caregivers and family members, the protocol for patient care and caregiver safety is vastly different for Alzheimer’s patients versus CJD patients. This mismanagement puts many stakeholders at risk.
It’s reckless to try to distinguish between prion diseases on the spectrum. The medical community should treat people with Alzheimer’s disease as though they have CJD—as though they are highly contagious. Family members and other caregivers should be warned accordingly. Caregivers of those with dementia are six times more likely to contract prion disease than someone who is not a caregiver.
Pissing In The Pool
Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to the prion disease epidemic, many pathways are being mismanaged, including sewage, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater. As stated earlier, blood, saliva, mucus, urine, feces, milk and cell tissue all carry infectious prions. These human discharges are flushed down toilets and sinks billions of times every day. We all have flushed away toxic or infectious waste that we would never throw on our garden or in our water well. The magic wand at the sewage treatment plant doesn’t phase most of these elements. It obviously doesn’t phase flesh-eating bacteria, either.
Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions in municipal waste streams. Despite this important technical detail, we’re dumping tons of infectious sewage on crops, gardens, pastures, golf courses, playgrounds and open spaces in our forests every day. Wind, rain and other natural dynamics put the sewage right back into our air, food and water supplies.
Spreading sewage sludge, biosolids, and reclaimed wastewater anywhere is a risk. Dumping them directly into our food and water is reckless, incompetent and criminal. We’re dumping prions into our lifecycle by the trainloads daily. Every nation is guilty.
To be precise, people with Alzheimer’s or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have used every sewage system in the world for years, which means that these systems all are hopelessly contaminated with prions. The problem intensifies with the addition of new prions and the exponential growth of existing ones in the sewage treatment system. The sewage from hospitals, nursing homes, slaughterhouses, morgues, mortuaries and other high-risk places enters the same sewage treatment system.
The condensed sludge from all of these places is then dumped on our farms and ranches by the truckload. Plastic packaging and other large items are often visible in this waste, which means that treatment is extremely minimal. If the Pope waved his hand over the sewage, it would likely receive better treatment than what we see today. Nothing stops a prion, but you would hope that billions of dollars of wastewater treatment technology would at least take out pill bottles, syringes, needles and used prophylactics.
Thanks to more and more people dying from TSEs, sewage systems are more contaminated with prions than ever. Wastewater treatment plants are now prion incubators and distributors. Sewage sludge, wastewater reuse, biosolids and other sewage byproducts are biohazards causing bioterror. Thanks to questionable policymakers and profiteers, you are eating and drinking from your neighbor’s toilet–and the toilets at the local nursing home and hospital. We might as well dump sewage out of windows again.
Thanks to more and more sewage mismanagement, we’re dumping more deadly prions on farms and ranches than ever. The wastewater industry and their consultants have convinced agricultural operations around the world that sewage and biosolids are safe, effective and profitable for all involved.
As it turns out, today’s sewage isn’t safe. Sewage sludge isn’t an effective fertilizer. The business is profitable, though—until the sickness and disease sets in for the farmers, workers and the consumers. Until the land is condemned for being hopelessly contaminated—making everyone downstream sick.
Exposing crops and livestock to prions is a very bad idea. Plants absorb prions from the treated soil along with ordinary water uptake, which makes the prions bioavailable and infectious to humans, wildlife and livestock in yet another way. We might as well inject deadly prions into our veins.
In addition to uptake from the soil and water, plants also are contaminated through contact with biosolids. Rain can splash the death dust up on stalks and leaves, which contaminates them from the outside. People, livestock and wildlife are exposed to neurological disease just by consuming food grown in sewage sludge. The more consumed, the greater the risk. Utensils used in the harvesting, processing, cooking and eating of these crops also are permanently contaminated.
Meat and milk from livestock raised on pastures treated with sewage sludge are at risk of carrying prions. Livestock that graze on these dumping grounds can pull prions up directly from the soil as part of their daily grazing. Grains and grass grown in sewage sludge and then fed to livestock is a risk and a possible prion pathway. Such exposure can turn these animals into incubators and distributors of prions.
People and predators that consume infected animals are at risk. Prions appear to mutate and become more deadly as they move up the food chain through consumption. Prions from people are the most deadly and the most difficult to stop.
Prions are not the only ingredient in sewage that threatens food and water safety. Heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, flesh-eating bacteria, radioactive waste, Zika virus and other deadly cocktails await dispersal to innocent bystanders.
Once sewage is dumped on crops and grazing land, the damage isn’t done. Rain, irrigation and wind proceed to spread the prions and other contaminants throughout our communities, watersheds and into our oceans. Dumping tons of sewage from millions of people on farms and ranches spreads the prion pathogen far and wide. It’s a vicious case of Pandora’s lunchbox. We can avoid some of the prion risk by eating foods that are organic. Fruits and vegetables grown in sewage sludge cannot be legally labeled as certified organic.
Profits, Prions and Peons
Thanks to prions, sewage management has become more of a nightmare than ever. Getting it out of our food and water will not be easy. Europe alone spends more than 2.2 billion euros every year to get sewage sludge out of the cities. Unfortunately, about 60 percent of the crap is dumped on agriculture and landscaping around homes and offices. Disposing of it safely would cost billions more.
Finland and Sweden are top offenders in Europe regarding sewage dumped inappropriately. People there live and play near the Baltic Sea, which is one of the most polluted bodies of water on the planet. Sewage mismanagement generates most of that pollution. Sewage is polluting their food and water supplies. As a result, Finland has the highest rate of Alzheimer’s deaths in the world. Sweden is third. Norway just became the first nation in Europe to detect chronic wasting disease in wildlife. The entire Baltic region is a sewage nightmare.
The United States has the fourth-highest death rate from Alzheimer’s in the world. Washington State is off the charts. Like Finland, it has a long history of sewage mismanagement. It dumps sewage on crops, near rivers and upstream in forests. It drains back into the rivers, streams. lakes, coves and bays where so many people live, play, eat and drink.
Public servants are making questionable decisions regarding public health on many levels. Innocent people and animals are paying the price.Wisconsin is another interesting case history. Almost every county in Wisconsin has helped get rid of sewage sludge and biosolids. Now, the state’s deer herd is being decimated by prion disease. The epidemic is being mismanaged on many levels. Prion-laced sewage and sick deer pose a serious threat to Wisconsin’s multi-billion dollar dairy herd. Of course, people are exposed, too.
California produces a significant amount of the U.S. food supply. Los Angeles, for example, ships a huge amount of its sewage sludge where crops abound. Arizona also is a favorite dumping ground for California’s largest cities. Cropland near Yuma is a favorite target. Open space in the Phoenix metro area also has been targeted with California’s latest export.
Thanks to sewage from California, Arizona also has one of the highest rates of Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. Windstorms in the desert carry much more than sand and dust. Sewage sludge particles are part of every dust cloud that sweeps over Phoenix, Tucson and beyond. Then homeowners and their landscapers take turns blowing it back and forth across the street with dust blowers. As a result, the region is plagued by a mystery respiratory illness called valley fever. It’s wicked. The virus never leaves your body.
These are just a few examples of sewage mismanagement and the human threat. It’s happening somewhere near you. Sewage mismanagement in agriculture is a direct assault on the landowners, investors, workers, livestock, neighbors downstream and downwind and consumers. Crops, poultry, dairy, meat and water all are vulnerable to the prion threat.
Despite the unstoppable risk that sewage and prions represent to agriculture, testing for mad cow disease is very weak in most countries. In fact, the USDA reduced BSE testing in 2003 after finding the third mad cow. Out of about 35 million animals slaughtered annually, only 35,000 are tested for the deadly disease. Despite reduced testing, 22 cases have been confirmed in the U.S., so far. Another 20 cases have been confirmed in Canada. Japan, by contrast, tests every cow killed for consumption. Mad cow disease is not an isolated event. It’s impossible to contain. It’s just the tip of an iceberg.
The prion risk in dairy cattle is another issue. Most, if not all cases of mad cow disease in the U.S. and other countries have been dairy cattle, so such research seems logical. Beef cattle rarely live long enough to exhibit symptoms of mad cow disease. Dairy cattle often live much longer, which increases their exposure to prions and it gives them more time to become visibly sick. It also gives them more time and opportunity to contribute milk to the food supply.
Prions have been found in the milk of mammals, but no one has been allowed to test for prions in the milk of cattle. Given the enormous influence of the dairy industry, research on dairy milk, cheese and prions will probably never happen. Prion behavior observed in other species, however, confirms the risk.
At the beginning of 1985, the world had never heard of mad cow disease. Public concern quickly gained momentum once the epidemic was exposed. At first, the U.K. government and industry insiders tried to cover up the threat. Politicians and regulators were more than willing to cast fate to the wind regarding public health.
The U.K. killed almost 200,000 cattle in an attempt to eradicate the disease. Thousands of carcasses were burned and others were buried in pits. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to eradicate prion disease because of the perpetual environmental pathways. Cases continue to arise, but testing has been rendered ineffective at best. Ireland just confirmed a new case of the disease in June 2015. Ireland was ground zero during the first mad cow crisis 30 years ago.
In the past, most infected cattle got the disease from eating feed made from the ground up blood, fat and bones of dead cattle. Once they fed a mad cow back to these vegetarian herds, the contagion spread like wildfire. Diet is a proven source of exposure to prion disease. Food and water contaminated by sewage may have contributed to that initial outbreak in 1985.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly how many infected cattle were slaughtered and consumed by innocent families. That’s one of the weaknesses of the global food production systems. That’s one of the reasons that it’s vital to keep prions out of agriculture.
Scientific Research Ignored
Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them with prions. Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues recently found human prions in urine.
Soto also confirmed that plants uptake prions and are infectious and deadly to those who consume such plants. Therefore, humans, wildlife and livestock are vulnerable to prion disease via plants grown on land treated with sewage sludge and reclaimed sewage water.
Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infective in certain soils. Pedersen’s research also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage and its byproducts are dumped.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said. “Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables.”
Over the past 30 years, there has been a great deal of research to better understand the fate of toxins and pathogens in biosolids when applied to crops and grazing land. Much of that research is taking place today in an open laboratory, on innocent citizens in thousands of communities around the world. Unfortunately, they aren’t willing participants.
The Sludge Rule
In the United States, the EPA began regulating sewage sludge under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act to prevent biosolids from contaminating waterways. In 1977, Congress asked EPA to:
Identify alternatives for biosolids use and disposal;
Specify what factors must be accounted for in determining the methods and practices applicable to each of these identified uses; and
Identify concentrations of pollutants that would interfere with each use.
In 1978, the EPA limited concentrations of cadmium, PCBs and pathogens. In 1987, Congress told EPA to identify possible toxins in biosolids, including limits necessary to protect public health and environment. Congress asked the EPA to develop regulations for biosolids.
The Standards for the Use and Disposal of Sewage Sludge, Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 503 was promulgated in 1993. It’s known as the sludge rule. It’s the environmental equivalent of Catch-22.
The sludge rule gives EPA the right to push sludge-control authority to each state, with minimal guidance. Thanks to the pro-industry sludge rule, sewage sludge is mismanaged in every state, while contributing to water contamination and other reckless public health exposures across the nation. Instead of helping the nation speak with one voice and the voice of reason, EPA created a new episode of Keystone Cops.
Americans have been told to eat shit and die. Literally. So have most people in the world.
According to the U.S. EPA, “Prions are extremely resistant to inactivation by ultraviolet light, irradiation, boiling, dry heat, formaline, freezing, drying and changes in pH. Methods for inactivating prions in infected tissues or wastes include incineration at very high temperatures and alkaline hydrolysis.” They didn’t mention hydrogen peroxide, which is how some toilet-to-tap programs hope to kill deadly prions.
The EPA National Water Research Compendium 2009-2014 lists prions eight times as an emerging contaminant of concern in sewage sludge (biosolids), water and manure. The EPA issued what it calls the “Sludge Rule,” which basically disclaims any responsibility for its questionable risk assessments regarding biosolids. The EPA reserves the right to adjust these risk assessments, however, as the test of time disproves its pseudo-science.
Even the EPA’s own internal audit found that the agency is dropping the ball on sewage regulation and management. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General (OIG) sewage regulations are weak, outdated and not enforced. In September 2014, the OIG offered the following summary of its findings:
“Management controls put in place by the EPA to regulate and control hazardous chemical discharges from sewage treatment plants to water resources have limited effectiveness. The EPA regulates hazardous chemical discharges to and from sewage treatment plants, but these regulations are not effective in controlling the discharge of hundreds of hazardous chemicals to surface waters such as lakes and streams.
Sewage treatment plant staff do not monitor for hazardous chemicals discharged by industrial users. This is due to a general regulatory focus on the priority pollutants list that has not been updated since 1981, limited monitoring requirements, limited coordination between EPA offices, a lack of tracking hazardous waste notifications required for submittal by industrial users, or a lack of knowledge of discharges reported by industrial users under the Toxics Release Inventory. Except for EPA Region 9, sewage treatment plant permits generally include very few monitoring requirements or effluent limits, which can limit enforcement actions. The EPA developed whole effluent toxicity test results as a mechanism to identify toxic chemicals such as hazardous discharges to sewage treatment plants. However, these are not required for all permits, and are not tracked by the EPA to verify that sewage treatment plants are reporting results as required. Moreover, exceedances of chemical limits in permits and toxicity tests do not trigger notification to enforcement programs. Consequently, the EPA may not be aware of chemical discharge or toxicity exceedances that should be addressed to minimize potentially harmful contamination of water resources.”
Today, Americans generate about 182 gallons of wastewater per person per day. Approximately 7.1 million tons of sewage sludge are generated each year from the treatment process at the more than 16,000 municipal wastewater treatment facilities across the country. Thanks to the EPA’s infamous sludge rule, approximately 55 percent of the sludge is dumped on land as fertilizer and soil amendment. The U.S. might soon become the world’s leader in neurological disease with this type of misguided leadership.
Fortunately, citizens are rising up to defend themselves. The Town Board in Wheatfield, New York, for example unanimously voted in July 2014 to ban any application of sewage sludge and other similar materials from the treatment of municipal wastewater to any land in town. The law reasons that the potential contamination of groundwater, surface water, and soil, as well as the potential for air pollution, poses an unreasonable risk to town residents, public health, and the environment.
Residents of the Nicola Valley in British Columbia are protesting the dumping of sewage sludge on their lands now. The five First Nations chiefs of the Nicola Valley took their fight against biosolids to the B.C. legislature. The group is calling on the government to stop importing sewage sludge from the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan and dumping them on their ancestral lands.
“When it comes to biosolids, the government ignores and the government completely disregards, our rights protected by the constitution,” said Chief Aaron Sam.
Nicola Valley residents have maintained a blockade to prevent trucks from transporting more sewage sludge in and dumping it on their land. The facts are on their side. Independent testing shows biosolids do contaminate Nicola Valley lands and waters. The testing facilitated by the David Suzuki Foundation shows that samples of biosolids taken from the Nicola Valley contained alarmingly high amounts of dangerous toxins, including Copper, Mercury, Tin and Zinc.
“The independent tests confirm that biosolids must not be applied to land,” said Sam. “Biosolids contaminate our lands and waters, and it has serious potential negative effects on fish, animals and plants, First Nations people are reliant on the land for food and medicines. Biosolids put the health of our community members at risk. We can no longer sit back while the Government of British Columbia ignores our constitutionally protected rights to our title and rights.”
In 2009, the U.S. EPA released the results from its Targeting National Sewage Sludge Survey (TNSSS), which measures chemical concentrations in land-based biosolid application areas. The results are striking. Out of 84 samples:
27 metals are found in virtually every sample with antimony found in no less than 72 samples;
Of six semi-volatile organics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), four are found in 72 samples, one is found in 63 samples and one found in 39 samples;
Of 72 pharmaceuticals, three (i.e. ciprofloxacin, diphenhydramine, and triclocarban) are found in all 84 samples, nine are found in at least 80 samples;
Of 25 steroids and hormones, three steroids are found in 84 samples and six are found in 80 samples; and,
All flame retardants, except one, are found in nearly every sample.
Over the past 30 years, a significant body of research has been compiled on the organic chemical contaminants in land applied biosolids that support these findings. While the focus has ranged from persistent organic pollutants, such as chlorinated dioxins/ furans, to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, and pharmaceutical contaminants, only dioxins have been assessed by EPA. While they took no action based on the assessment, they determined that risks were below the levels of action.
Many of the crops grown in biosolids have higher concentrations of heavy metals. The regulatory pitfalls are outlined by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This group reports that there are major data gaps in the science underlying current rules, as well as a lack of epidemiologic studies on exposed populations, and inadequate programs to ensure compliance with biosolid regulations.
Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA is required to review existing biosolid regulations every two years in order to identify pollutants that need to be regulated. However, EPA has only researched a fraction of the chemicals that are known to exist in sludge and, of those researched, only some have risk assessments. NRC concludes that EPA’s biosolids risk-assessment and regulatory process is cumbersome and slow, with large information gaps on complex pathogenic interactions, and ignoring important secondary transmission pathways.
For now, organic certification is the last safe haven from biosolids for consumers. Farms that are USDA organic certified are prohibited from applying biosolids under the National Organic Standards Rule.
When the proposed Rule first came out in 1997, EPA feared that it would deter new users from using biosolids as a fertilizer and pressed the USDA to exempt biosolids from the ruling. In 1998, USDA released proposed organic standards that would allow bioengineered crops, irradiation, and sewage sludge in organic production. USDA reconsidered and prohibited the controversial elements in the final rule.
We know that biosolids have a complex array of biological pathogens, chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals, hormones/steroids, and emerging contaminants that are not completely eliminated by waste water treatment plants. The land application of biosolids should be abandoned immediately, since the current regulatory restrictions and biosolids treatment programs allow for ongoing contamination of the environment, which threatens human health.