Agriculture Runoff Contaminating Water Supplies

Two major causes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are genetic susceptibility and exposure to the neurotoxins found in agricultural practices. A new study helps capture some of the risks associated with neurotoxins that are seeping into water supplies. The study primarily accounts for the manufactured neurotoxins found in fertilizers and pesticides.

We expand upon that study by accounting for prion exposure found in sewage sludge and farm waste, both of which are used as forms of fertilizer thanks to fraudulent risk assessments prepared by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and others forms of neurodegeneration are more accurately defined as forms of prion disease. Prion disease is highly transmissible. Prion disease is a global pandemic.

According to the new study, genetics and exposure to agricultural pesticides and neurotoxins are identified as the main factors affecting Parkinson’s disease.

Proximity to farmland and its effluent has a major impact on one’s risk for Parkinson’s disease.

As with most environmentally related diseases, this study highlights the disproportionate risk and environmental racism low income, indigenous and people of color communities endure.

Researchers received access to more than 23,000 PD diagnoses in Louisiana between 1999 and 2012, and mapped these data by zip code. Risk was determined calculating the number of diagnoses per 10,000 people in a given zip code, based on census data.

To flesh out the role agriculture was playing in PD diagnoses, additional data derived from water quality samples taken by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and the U.S. Geological Survey pesticide use estimates were compared against reported disease incidence.

Results show that certain zip codes faced significantly higher incidence of PD than others in the state. Further, “The PD high-risk areas match closely the arbor-pastoral areas of the state that are of deciduous and evergreen forests, forest not otherwise specified, and grass/pastures,” the study indicates. In Allen and Evangeline parishes, with heavy timber operations and abundant pasture land, researchers found upwards of 35 diagnoses per 10,000 residents.

The average annual incidence of of the disease in the state was found to be 2.9 per 10,000 people. According to census data, nearly 30% of people in Evangeline parish live below the poverty line, and roughly 1 in 5 adults under the age of 65 have a disability.

Researchers note that areas with high aquifer recharge potential had higher rates of PD diagnoses. The Sabine River, and the contribution of Texas agriculture was specifically cited in the study. “One does not have to be living on a riverbank to be drinking its water,” the study reads. In particular, the authors indicate that a number of Native American communities live the Sabine River aquifer and are at elevated risk due to the potential for drinking water to be contaminated.

The study identifies pesticide use, specifically 2,4-D, paraquat, and chlorpyrifos, on pasture land, forestry, or woodland operations, as major risk factors for PD.

Areas where these chemicals quickly seep into drinking water are at highest risk. The authors indicate that a transition to glyphosate-tolerant crops seemed to lessen the disease risk in certain agricultural areas.

However, given glyphosate’s strong links to cancer, it is possible that risks shifted to different disease outcomes. Further, while glyphosate may have temporarily replaced the use of 2,4-D in many cropping systems, with glyphosate resistance on the rise, 2,4-D is making its way back into heavy use. In fact, the agricultural industry is now speeding towards multi-herbicide tolerant cropping systems, resulting in a much greater public health threat than any prior cropping system.

The study concludes with the following, “three aspects of Parkinson’s disease that need to be kept in mind: (1) It is, unfortunately, a disease that cannot be cured; it can only be prevented; (2) It is part of the agricultural ecology; It is dynamic; its expression can change.”

Since the 1980s, a relationship between PD and exposure to various pesticides has been noted, both in general and in regard to specific pesticides. For insecticides, these included both organochlorine and arsenic insecticides, specifically chlorpyrifos, dieldrin, and rotenone, but not in relation to exposures with carbamates, pyrethroids, diazinon, malathion, or parathion. For herbicides, paraquat exposure has long been associated with PD, as has been trifluralin, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-TP), and nitrile and phenoxy herbicides, but not alachlor, atrazine, chlorophenylglycine, dicamba, glyphosate, phosphonoglycine, or triazine. For fungicides, increased risks have been noted with maneb and ziram, especially when they are deployed along with paraquat; no association has been found in relation to exposures with aromatic fungicides, dicarboximide, triazole, triflumizole, or vinclozolin. When it was possible to check for genetic susceptibility, it was found that any pesticide effect was increased in genetically susceptible individuals.

The Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s epidemic is more widespread than anyone knows. Physicians have withheld 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. Similar suppression is likely at work in most countries to help shade the epidemic. Meanwhile, millions more go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.

A groundbreaking study suggested that Alzheimer’s disease causes six times as many deaths as the official statistics indicate. In reality, the study said Alzheimer’s disease was the underlying cause in more than 500,000 deaths in 2010 that were often attributed to conditions, such as pneumonia, caused by complications of Alzheimer’s. Those numbers make Alzheimer’s disease the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago led the study and published their results in 2013 in the medical journal Neurology. Governments and industry are working diligently to keep prion disease off the public radar. The epidemic will persist. A cure does not exist. Ignoring the truth is making it worse.

Prions (PREE-ons) are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency. Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in humans and other mammals by converting the cellular version of prion protein into a toxic form that erodes the brain and body. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.

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 and prion disease. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. Important reforms to policies to protect public health, however, have been elusive.

Prion disease also is known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE, including Parkinson’s disease, are caused by infectious prions.

Like prion diseases, misfolded alpha-synuclein and tau protein associated with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, have been reported in skin tissues and the bodily fluids of patients with these conditions.

Prion pathways threaten each and every person on the planet. The greatest prion pathway in the world is human sewage. It’s contaminating food and water supplies with deadly prions now. It’s been going on for years, but it’s worse than ever now.

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. Prions infect the entire body and all bodily fluids of its victims, including blood, mucus and saliva. Caregivers for anyone with neurodegenerative disease beware.

“Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer’s disease cases may arise from an infectious process, which occurs with other neurological diseases such as mad cow disease and its human form, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,” said Claudio Soto, Ph.D., professor of neurology at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, part of UTHealth. “The underlying mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease is very similar to the prion diseases. It involves a normal protein that becomes misshapen and is able to spread by transforming good proteins to bad ones. The bad proteins accumulate in the brain, forming plaque deposits (and inflammation), which kill neuron cells in Alzheimer’s disease.”

Victims should be quarantined because prions are in the urine, feces, blood, saliva, mucus, skin and cell tissue of all victims–all human byproducts that are washed, dumped, or flushed down sinks and toilets. One can assume that the waste is extra infectious when it comes from funeral homes, nursing homes, hospitals, dental offices, veterinarians, slaughterhouses and some laboratories.

Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the highly regulated list of select agents because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices. It also opened the floodgates to prion mismanagement.

Wastewater treatment plants are collecting points for prions from infected humans. The sewage treatment process can’t stop prions from migrating, mutating and multiplying before being discharged into the environment where they can kill again. Wastewater treatment plants are spreading infectious waste far and wide because they are incapable of stopping prions. As such, all by-products and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are infectious waste, which are contributing to the global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among humans, wildlife and livestock.

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 (biosolids) was prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to its antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions an “emerging contaminant of concern.” Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are promoting a public health disaster. The neurotoxins found in sewage, including heavy metals, also are contributing to the global spike in autism, which follows the same timing and trajectory as the spike in neurodegenerative diseases.

“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively stop prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.

Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies, wildlife, livestock, sea mammals and humans. According to prion researcher Joel Pedersen at the University of Wisconsin, prions in soil become up to 680 times more infectious. From there, they migrate, mutate and multiply. It’s a real world version of Pandora’s Lunchbox.

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Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease. The scientific name for prion disease is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.