Thursday, December 23, 2010

Energy-saving and money-saving bulbs, the compact fluorescent bulbs are not safe to incandescent light bulbs which we used for decades. The fused incandescent bulbs can be thrown to the waste and it is not dangerous to the environment or persons dealing with these wastes. On the other hand, the energy-saving and money-saving compact fluorescent bulbs are not safe for the environment and to humans. The reason is this energy-saving bulb contains mercury, a toxic metal.

Why do the energy-saving bulbs need mercury? Compact fluorescent light bulbs are tubes containing mercury and noble gases, mostly argon. When the bulb is switched on, electrons stream from a tungsten-coated coil. They collide with mercury atoms, exciting their electrons and creating flashes of ultraviolet light. A phosphor coating, mostly composed of metal oxides or phosphates, on the inside of the tube absorbs this light and re-emits it at visible wavelengths. That is why without mercury there are no energy-saving bulbs. The new generation bulb has 5 mg mercury. The first-generation CFL bulbs had 100 mg mercury.

If an energy-saving bulb is broken in a room the whole room will be contaminated with mercury. You cannot clean this room by yourself. You need special companies who decontaminate the whole room that costs you a fortune, around $ 2000. If you cannot afford this, the contaminated room can only be sealed.

If we throw the used bulbs in the garbage the broken bulbs can release mercury. This can contaminate the environment, soil and even the ground water. Persons who collect the garbage or sort them out are also in danger with mercury.

There are already studies that prove the adverse effects of these energy-saving and money-saving bulbs. We must save energy, but not at the cost of our health. These bulbs must be treated as special wastes, collected and recycled. Unfortunately, the available recycling facilities and capacities are not worth to mention.

The industry must produce only safe products. If profit is the only aim then such things happens quickly in the name of energy-saving. The consumers must be careful and the law-makers should not forget their responsibilities.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

It is a problem every year for many women. The parties are coming. The beautiful dress must sit well. Parties with alcohol, snacks and good food are in plenty to attend. Parties are good for the Christmas and New Year. During this time more alcohol is consumed even after the parties and more junk foods are also eaten. Many try with crash diets to manage this problem before Christmas.

Is it normal and healthy? No, it is not healthy. If you eat very little the body gets not enough nutrients to run the metabolism properly. The metabolism slows down very much. This means that you put on weight even with minimum intake of normal food. That means it takes long time for the metabolism to be normal once again. In this dangerous period many put on too much weight.

Eat healthy throughout the year and regular physical activities help you to keep your weight under control.

You need not sacrifice the Christmas Turkey or the New Year parties. Move enough after these and this helps you to be fit.

Crash dieting can cause many health problems. If it is practiced very often the life expectancy is also reduced.

You can plan everything in a good way. You know your body very well. Alcohol, food or whatever it may be, excess is always bad for our health. It is a process to learn how to eat well without suffering. If the will is there it is easy to lose the few kilos weight put on during Christmas and New Year very easily.

We all enjoy the Christmas and New Year Eve with wonderful food with our families and friends…

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The desire to look beautiful made plastic surgery very common not only among the rich. Today many teenagers get plastic surgery gifts from their parents’. The single largest plastic surgery made is breast enlargement in our world. Only 4% are the essential after breast cancer. The rest is to enhance the beauty only. The average age is coming down and down for breast enlargement and it is at present just above 30 years. Even 18 years old teenagers are allowed to have saline breast enlargements.

The usual beauty corrections include:

• Breasts enlargement
• Removal of wrinkles with Botox
• Liposuction on waist, thighs and even on neck
• Mini brow lift
• Nose correction
• Ears pinned back
• Chin reduction
• Fat injection in lips and cheeks
• Buttocks augmentation

Plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons has its own advantages and disadvantages. A corrected nose or ears have made many very happy. The other extreme case is breasts enlargement. Here many women suffer a lot because of different health problems. Many must understand that the fault lies not in their breasts, but only in their brains. This can solve many problems. It is not only the large sum of the money spent but also the risks must be weighed before a plastic surgery.

It is very important to find a good plastic surgeon for your operation. There are many who are very costly, but very bad too. The common dangers and risks from the plastic surgery include:

• Pain and discomfort
• Bleeding – accumulation of clotted blood under the skin
• Seromas – accumulation of tissue fluids under the skin
• Infection
• Scarring
• Necrosis – death of tissues
• Nerve damage
• Risks due to anesthesia
• Death – excessive and repeated plastic surgery can change the structure of the body and there are death cases too

The problems associated with breast enlargement are many although the procedures have relatively improved in safety. But, the serious short- and long-term dangers and risks are always there. There are many mega studies on this subject and the problems include:

• Bleeding
• Chronic pain
• Infection
• Nipple and breast numbness
• Painfully sensitive nipples
• Scars
• Breakage of implants
• Leakage of implants
• Necrosis – the skin death
• More surgeries
• Patients dissatisfaction with her new breasts
• Physical and emotional disturbances

Studies show that women undergone breast enlargement surgery has more suicide risk than the average women. Other studies point out the increased risks for arthritis, rheumatic arthritis and joint stiffness in later life. The other health problems reported are numbness and stiffness in the hands, arms and feet, headaches and muscle pains.

There are no studies available on the negative effects on breastfeeding. Therefore, young women who want to have babies later must be very careful in their decisions to have a breast enlargement surgery.

Plastic surgery is also a surgery and so the necessary blood and physical tests must be done by your doctor to confirm whether you are fit for an operation or not. Have at least two opinions before you decide for a plastic surgery.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Before I answer this question I would like to say that the pharmaceutical industry and alcohol industry have highly influential lobbies. This can be seen if you go through the literature and even many medical scientists say that a particular amount of alcohol is not a problem. But, we should not forget alcohol is always a problem and excess intake of painkillers is also a big problem. You can give many reasons to say it is harmless; but, it is a bad combination is the truth. Alcohol can increase the side effects of the painkillers or it can increase the drowsiness which can lead to accidents on the road or in the factory.

Overdose of painkillers are possible if you drink alcohol. With the negative influence of the alcohol many tend to take overdose and this can be fatal.

There are two different groups of painkillers; the over the counter painkillers from the pharmacies and the prescription painkillers. Prescription painkillers are very strong painkillers. We can see here the effect of alcohol on some of the mostly used painkillers in our world. These include:

• Aspirin and ibuprofen – these are over the counter painkillers. The common side effects of aspirin include heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, bloody stools, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, severe or persistent stomach pain and vomiting. In the case of ibuprofen the side effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, gas, stomach pain or upset, bloody stools, chest pain, confusion, depression, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin or eyes and vomiting. With these side effects alcohol has no place with aspirin and ibuprofen. The recommendation of 3 to 4 drinks for men and 2 to 3 drinks for women is only industry friendly and can do much harm to the patient who really needs a painkiller. Alcohol may increase the side effects, such as bleeding in the stomach or intestine by irritating the stomach. Stomach inflammation or ulceration can be made worse with alcohol.
• Paracetamol or Acetaminophen – this is also an over the counter painkiller. It is relatively safe in therapeutic doses. The overdose can cause side effects and these include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, extreme tiredness, unusual bleeding or bruising, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, yellowing of the skin or eyes and flu-like symptoms. Excess paracetamol can damage liver and here also the alcohol can only increase the side effects. Therefore, painkillers and alcohol cannot go together.

The side effects can be experienced only up to 10% of the persons taking the painkillers are not an argument to drink alcohol. If you take over the counter or prescription drugs you must avoid alcohol completely.

Strong pain killers like codeine, dihydrocodeine, tramadol, morphine, meperidine or others need prescription from the doctors. Considering the side effects of the above strong painkillers, particularly drowsiness, your doctor advises you normally not to take alcohol.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Infant jaundice is a yellow discoloration in a newborn baby’s eyes and skin. It occurs because the baby’s blood contains excess bilirubin, a yellow-colored pigment that is released when the red blood cells dies. It is a common condition in babies born before 36 weeks of gestation. The baby’s liver is not mature enough to remove the excess bilirubin from the blood. In few cases an underlying disease may cause jaundice.

Signs of infant jaundice normally appear between the second to fourth days of life. They include:

• Yellowing of the skin
• Yellowing of the eyes

The yellow coloration starts first in the baby’s face and later it can be seen in the eyes, chest, abdomen, arms and legs. The easy check is to find whether the infant has jaundice or not is to press the baby’s forehead or tip of the nose. If the baby has jaundice the pressed areas become yellow. This should be done in day light only.

Bilirubin is a waste when aged red blood cells are broken down. Mother’s liver filters the bilirubin before birth. The newborn infant has high amount of red blood cells and mostly the liver is not mature enough to remove all the bilirubin formed quickly to the intestinal tract. It is normal in infants and that is why it is called physiologic jaundice. Bilirubin is removed mostly in the stool.

There may be other causes for the infant jaundice. In this case it will be much earlier or much later than the physiologic jaundice. Infection of the blood or bacterial, viral infections, liver malfunction, abnormal red blood cells, internal bleeding or enzyme deficiency can be other causes. Sometimes, the incompatibility of baby’s and mother’s blood can cause jaundice.

The risk factors for infant jaundice include premature birth, bruising during birth and different blood group of the mother and baby. Poor breastfeeding is also an important risk factor for infantile jaundice. It is because of low calories received and dehydration.

The symptoms of excess bilirubin in the blood include fever, high-pitched crying, difficult to wake, poor sucking or feeding and backward arching of the neck and body. Bilirubin is toxic to brain cells. If not treated quickly they can cause permanent brain damages.

The peak level of bilirubin is normally when the baby is three to five days old. In the hospital during these days bilirubin are often monitored in the blood. If you delivery your baby in the home then the attending nurse or doctor must take care of this. Mild infant jaundice mostly disappears without any treatment in two to three weeks. If it is moderate or severe the baby must be treated immediately in the home or must be admitted in a hospital. Necessary treatments as well as the right feeding are necessary to bring down the bilirubin level.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

During my last visit to India I was staying with my niece at Karaikudi, Sivagangai District, Tamil Nadu. In the morning I was sitting on the compound wall and her son was playing there. After ten minutes I noticed that he was taking something which was pink in colour from his pocket, smelling it and putting it back in his pocket. At first it did not draw my attention. Since he was repeating this several times, I asked him to show it. It was a broad tree shaped synthetic toy, very soft and smelt heavily on some organic solvent. I called my niece and advised her to throw it immediately and not to buy any cheap toy made in China. Her son can become easily addicted to organic solvent without knowing it.

It is the duty of the parents to learn and know more about these kinds of dangers which could be avoided completely. Do our parents have enough knowledge? To know more about the adverse effects of abusing solvents or inhalants read my article in

The important message is that poisons are everywhere in the environment. If we know this we can avoid much hidden poisons. When you confront with these poisons, if possible, it is better to remove it. Be happy to have this chance to do this as many environmental contaminations could not be traced or it is impossible to remove them.

Are you against Chinese toys or other products? I hear this very often. My clear answer is no, certainly not.

The German market is also full of Chinese products, from toys to electronic goods. But there is a big difference in the method of procuring the products from China by Germany and India. We, in Germany stipulate all the technical specifications to the Chinese companies and they produce accordingly products for us. This means which raw materials they must use or which they must not use since they are banned by German laws. For example, 200 standard companies are producing toys to the Western markets according to specifications, but, at the same time, 2000 companies are producing cheap and dangerous toys for the rest of the world. We all want to cheap things and this is the biggest mistake. If the consumers look at the good quality these cheap toys have no chance in the market.

It could also be done in India and in other countries too; it is the duty of the concerned authorities to enforce the right guidelines or laws. It is the duty of the consumers till then to avoid buying such poisonous toys or other products.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Acid – alkaline balance in the blood is important for our health. Too much of acidic diet can decrease the body’s ability to absorb enough essential nutrients and minerals. This makes you more susceptible to various diseases. Foods which release bicarbonate into blood and tissues after digestion are alkaline foods and foods which release acid after digestion into blood and tissues are acidic foods. Acid producing foods are responsible for the deficiencies of the essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Our food must contain 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods and this combination is very good to reduce weight easily. Moreover, the advantages are increased stamina and strength and stronger immune system.

We can classify the alkaline foods in three groups. It depends upon the amount of bicarbonates produced and thus the pH.

The very good alkaline foods include:

• Lemons
• Agar-agar
• Cayenne pepper and all chillies
• Figs
• Limes
• Watermelon and other melons
• Papaya
• Seaweeds
• Watercress
• Kiwifruit
• Pears
• Raisins
• Plums
• Cantaloupe
• Dried dates
• Kelp
• Mango
• Parsley
• Grapes
• Asparagus
• Passion fruit
• Pineapple
• Fruit juices
• Vegetable juices

These foods can produce a pH of 8.5 to 9.0

The good alkaline foods include:

• Apple
• Apricot
• Alfalfa sprouts
• Arrowroot
• Avocado
• Banana
• Berries
• Carrot
• Celery
• Currant
• Grapefruit
• Guava
• Green leafy herbs
• Nectarine
• Peach
• Peas
• Pumpkin
• Spinach

• Bamboo shoots
• Beans
• Beets
• Bell pepper
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Carob
• Ginger
• Kohlrabi
• Lettuce
• Okra
• Orange
• Parsnip
• Potato
• Strawberry
• Squash
• Sweet corn
• Apple cider vinegar

These foods can produce a pH of 7.5 to 8.0

The slightly alkaline foods include:

• Almond
• Artichoke
• Barley
• Brown rice
• Brussels sprouts
• Cherries
• Coconut
• Cucumber
• Egg plant
• Mushrooms
• Olives
• Onion
• Radish
• Tomato
• Chestnut
• Amaranth
• Chestnut
• Millet
• Sesame seeds
• Soy bean and soy products
• Sprouted grains
• Yeast

These foods can produce a pH of 7.0

It is important to eat vegetables every day. If you eat meat and meat products vegetables are must to eat. Here also eat more vegetables than fruits. 4 to 5 servings of vegetables a day is very healthy. It is in your hands to be healthy and happy. You can start today to do something for that…

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are organic compounds with two to ten chlorine atoms. Thus there are 209 substances of high toxicity. These are used as coolant, insulating fluid in transformers, additive in PVC coated electrical wires and electronic components. These are also present in carbonless copy paper, adhesives and in paints. Most PCBs are toxic and so these were banned in 1970. But these groups are classified as persistent organic pollutants which bio accumulates in humans and animals even today.

PCBs are persistent organic pollutants and these were in the environment through use and waste. These were banned almost 40 years ago but we still found everywhere. Unfortunately these are still used in transformers. The very bad thing in our world is even if a toxic substance is banned in one country they produce this and sell to other countries, particularly to developing countries which may not have strict environmental laws and enough supervision in handling and disposal. But the wastes formed during production of organochlorines would be disposed in some poor countries. Tourism with industrial chemical wastes should not be allowed and the persons organizing this dirty business must be punished seriously.

PCBs have many negative adverse effects on our health. They include:

• Chloracne
• Rashes
• Yusho disease. PCBs contamination in rice bran oil caused a mass poisoning in Japan
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Lowered immune response
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Cough
• Skin sores

The PCBs exposure could come from workplace contamination and consumption of contaminated fish or food. The exposed pregnant gave birth to babies who weighed less than babies born to the unexposed mothers. But problems with motor skills and a decrease in short-term memory lasted for several years. Immune system was affected also in children born to mothers exposed to PCBs. Infants are exposed through mother’s milk.

PCBs can alter estrogens level and the result may be reproduction problems. Intersex and feminization in the womb are reported. This pollution is so strong that polar bears and whales are there with both male and female sex organs and males incapable for reproduction.

There are cancer risks due to PCBs. These are associated with liver and biliary tract cancer.

PCBs are chemically inert compounds and they have a high thermal stability. They are resistant to chemical oxidation, photodegradation, acid-base reactions and hydrolysis. Therefore, it is difficult for natural systems to metabolize PCBs. The estimated half life period of PCBs is approximately 8 to 15 years.

It is not advisable to eat fishes from unknown waters. However, fish from the commercial food supply may be eaten. Never burn painted or treated wood. Burning materials that contain PCBs produce dioxins and furans which are more toxic.

Appropriate safety measures must be available in workplace.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Dioxin is possibly the strongest poison which human beings produced. It causes the cancer of lungs and liver and influences the immune system resulting in a number of infectious diseases and misgrowth of embryos. It is known from the accidental explosion of a chemical plant in Seveso in Italy. There are 210 substances in the groups. In both dioxins and furans only 17 compounds are highly toxic. The most poisoning dioxin is 2,3,7,8 -TCDD (tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin).

Actually we do not need dioxin and we never wanted to produce it too. But without our knowledge as an unwanted by product it was produced during the manufacture of chlorinated substances such as pesticides, plastics such as PVC. Other sources include chlorine bleaching of paper. When these chlorinated products are burnt as waste, dioxin is produced and comes back to the soil along with the next rain. Motor oil is a major source. It is produced from herbicides also.

In several countries, there are strict rules about the daily intake of dioxin. The daily intake is around one pico gram per day. That means not in parts per billion but parts per trillion ranges. This also shows how poisonous dioxin is. That is why burning plastics and many related products are very harmful. In many countries such open burnings are totally banned.

The half life period gives us an idea how a substance is dangerous in the environment as well as in the body. Half life period of a substance is defined according to the matrix; the matrix may be soil, water, blood or tissues. The time needed to reduce the amount to half is called half life period for the substance in a particular matrix such as blood or soil. 2,3,7,8 -TCDD has the longest half life in blood, it is 11 years and it is stored in liver and fat. The persistence half-life of 2,3,7,8-TCDD on soil surfaces may vary from less than 1 year to 3 years, but half-lives in soil interiors may be as long as 12 years.

There are many scandals with dioxin. It happened in Belgium and a long-time scandal came to limelight. The industry has been trying to save money by mixing the chemical or oil waste with the animal feed and marketing these products. They mixed old, highly contaminated engine oil with the animal feed. The result is contaminated milk, poultry, eggs, pork and beef with dioxin. The worst thing is that the Belgians exported this contaminated animal feed to other countries in Europe.

Swiss animal feed was also contaminated because they used German Kaolinite which has a high amount of dioxin. It is also used in animal feed in Austria and Germany. This is not different in France. In Germany huge amount of milk was destroyed because of this contamination.

What is happening in India and other countries? We have to see everything with open eyes and ask correct questions everywhere. Even sewage sludge was mixed with animal feed which contained high concentration of heavy metals, dioxin, antibiotics and resistant bacteria.

Low levels of dioxin from environment are present in vegetables and all other foods. If contaminated animal feed is used, then eggs, milk, beef, pork and fish contain dioxin. Dioxin accumulates in fat and so fatty food must be avoided. Wherever it is possible it is controlled and so the value of dioxin in human beings is decreased. Vegetarians have better cards here.

There were two known accidental exposures, one is Soveto and the other one is animal feed in Belgium. Agent Orange T (TCDD) was also used in Vietnam War by American forces to destroy the forests. Not only the inhabitants of Vietnam but also the American air force personnel are contaminated. The factory which produced Agent Orange T was closed in Germany decades ago but the workers lived or still living is highly contaminated.

The former President of Ukraine, right or not right, poisoned or not, nobody knows the truth, had the symptoms of dioxin poisoning.

We need many chemicals, but we should not forget that chemicals are also poisons. The dose makes the poison.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

DDT is the well known synthetic pesticide in the world. It was used with unique success in the control of mosquitoes which spread malaria and typhoid. Later it was also used in agriculture and its production was enormous. The environmental effects may not be known at that time or the industry was so mighty that only very few people opposed the uncontrolled spraying of DDT everywhere.

Nobody thought at that time about the toxicity of a chemical except its use. Ms. Rachel Carson, a biologist in 1962 questioned the indiscriminate use of DDT in her book. She was the first person who suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer. It is now banned in agriculture throughout the world. But it is still used in some tropical countries for other purposes or selectively against mosquitoes. In India lakhs of tons of DDT was used for Malaria eradication Programme from World Health Organization (WHO).

DDT is a permanent organic pollutant and its half life period is 2 to 30 years. The process of biodegradation occurs very slowly. Breakdown products in the soil are DDE and DDD which are also persistent and have same physical as well as chemical properties. DDT and its metabolites DDE and DDD could enter our bodies through the food chain. It is fat soluble and stored in fat in humans and animals. In the nineteen seventies almost everybody in the world had detectable DDT in their blood. Even now many people have DDT in their blood whether they come from developed or developing countries. According to the WHO survey the Indian mother’s milk contains DDT in higher concentration than any other country in the world. Without exception all the mothers in the world have DDT metabolites in their milk.

DDT and its metabolites are classified as moderately hazardous by World Health Organization. It is not acute toxic. In chronic exposition, liver may be damaged and farmers have an increased incidence of non-allergic asthma. Organochlorine compounds, particularly DDE are linked with diabetes. Fish is a major contaminant in the world. Liver, biliary tract and pancreas cancer may be possible for persons who are working with DDT for a long time. There are meagre studies to establish that DDT or DDE may cause breast cancer. It is very interesting to know about the reproductive toxicology where it is told that DDT, DDE and other organochlorines have xenoestrogenic activity which means that these are chemically similar to estrogens, the female sexual hormone. This may affect the semen quality in men.

There are many cases of DDT victim in the world and I could remember few. A woman between 35 and 40 years came to me and told that she was not doing well and we had to find out what it was. She was not feeling well, very tired and had problems of memory. I asked her to tell what happened in the previous days and weeks so that I could get a picture of what had happened. Five weeks before she had flown to Africa for two weeks holidays. She enjoyed her holidays well and had enough rest and relaxation for her body as well as for her soul. When she returned after the completion of her holidays she had several health problems. We talked about her holidays, she told me how happy she was there and finally I asked her about her food in Africa. She has eaten fish and fish only all the fourteen days because the fish items was highly delicious. I asked her the source of the fish and she replied that it was fished from a big lake. The lake water was very clean, she added. After this it was an easy work for me. We took a blood sample from her and she had very high amounts of DDT, DDE and other organochlorines in her blood. This was the reason for her sickness.

The farmers in the nearby fields sprayed so much of pesticides including DDT and in course of time the whole lake water and the soil became contaminated. DDT is insoluble in water but soluble in fat. Hence, it is stored in the fat tissues. Thus DDT accumulated in the fat of the fish. Fourteen days, two to three times, approximately 500 to 700 gram of fish every time brought so much of DDT and its metabolites in her body and the result is this environmental sickness.

A lady professor, who did research on the impact of DDT, came to our Institute to deliver a lecture. I was out of station on the day. Everybody applauded that the lecture was very good and I also got the copies of her scientific publications. It was about the estrogenic activity of DDT and its metabolites. I read all, it was interesting and her conclusion was that on account of the continuous exposure to DDT, DDE and other organochlorines, the reproductive capacity of the man is strongly reduced and he may not have children. Six months later, she delivered a lecture with seminar organized by the Heidelberg University and I attended that. In the interval I asked her whether she knew India and Malaria Eradication Programme. If her research findings were correct, India’s population should have been dwindling down to 50% by this time. She laughed and she had no answer. She had her data obtained only from white patients. Are white men different from other men in this particular problem?

Most of the mothers prefer to breastfeed their children and breast milk is the healthiest food for the infants. Mothers, who think and know about the environment, are afraid to breastfeed their children. One would be mother met me and wanted help. We had analysed several breast milks and knew the situation. Almost, every breast milk is found to be contaminated with traces or detectable amount of pesticides. In our body fat, the pesticides are stored, if a woman is very slim, she has very less fat in her body. That means all her fat is needed for the production of the milk, accordingly she has more pesticide residue in her mother’s milk. If there is more fat in the body, then only a part is needed for the production of the mother’s milk, correspondingly fewer pesticides in her milk. So it is advisable to increase ten to fifteen kilos that means eating heavily what a modern woman normally does not eat. Only two groups must be careful, the women who have problem with cholesterol and high blood pressure and women who are having high blood sugar. They have to consult their doctor.

Pesticides are sometimes useful, but they are always poisons. We must be careful to save us and our environment…

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Modern clinical toxicology deals with a lot about environmental poisons and illness. I have experienced thousands of these problems from my patients. Here I like to inform you a few case studies to show that it can play a vital role in your health. Today, it is about Chloroform as an environmental poison.

A worried wife telephoned me and told that her husband had become an alcoholic. He drank the whole weekend although he never drank so much earlier. Moreover, Monday to Friday he was not at all drinking. I asked her where he was working and told that it would be better her husband talked to me personally. I talked to him over the phone and he came to my institute next day. We took blood sample from him for analysis. We analysed also the oil with which he was working from Monday to Friday. We detected an unknown solvent from his blood as well as from the oil.

When I talked to his Company Doctor he wanted me to drop the whole matter because even his wife was telling that he was an alcoholic. Moreover, the doctor told me,” you say some volatile substances, but as long as you could not say the correct substance, my company has no fault”.

I needed one small additional analytical instrument for that specific purpose and we bought it immediately. The unknown substance was confirmed as chloroform and the whole riddle was cleared. They heated the chloroform 60 degrees Celsius and now and then the worker had to open a small window to control. The worker breathed the vapours eight hours a day, Monday to Friday and these had influenced his central nervous system.

On Saturday morning he could not inhale the vapour but his body needed it. He took the alternative, alcohol to sedate his nerves. The multinational company had problems with the Health Department. These analyses brought me few hundred Euros but the instrument that was bought costed my institute more than 5000 Euros and it shows how difficult it is to deal with for a single person to fight against a multinational company. With the unlimited support from my boss I had the chance to prove this truth.

It was very much interesting to find this organic solvent even in the blood of administrative staffs who were away from the production area.

Chloroform is an anaesthetic agent. Inhalation of chloroform vapours depresses the central nervous system. It is also a carcinogen and higher incidence of birth defect may be possible. It is immediately dangerous to health and life even if 500 ppm is taken. If we breathe for a short time taking about 900 ppm dizziness, fatigue and headache are the symptoms. Liver damage may be caused by chronic chloroform exposure.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Modern clinical toxicology deals with a lot about environmental poisons and illness. I have experienced thousands of these problems from my patients. Here I like to inform you a few case studies to show that it can play a vital role in your health. Today it is about permethrin.

A woman of 50 years came to me with problems connected with her nervous system. In two hour conversation, there was no clue. Finally, I wanted to know about the articles in her house. She did not want to give any information about her bedroom because it was her most private place. After 15 minutes discussion and my threatening to send her away she agreed to talk.

We had found out the exposition very quickly. She had spread white woollen carpet with thousands of frills in her bed room. Normally woollen carpets are soaked in pesticide solution before they were sold. She had that carpet; the contamination took place in her bed room. The equilibrium between the carpet, air and the walls in the room was established for ever. So in her most private place she was getting the exposition. I asked her to remove the carpet and she did not want because she had paid more than € 6000 for that. Finally she had removed it, presented it to her son, her health became better and her son had no problem with that. This show how important our detoxification and free radical scavenging systems are.

This is a very good example to understand how difficult the process of diagnosis is. Further, the poisons will not affect all persons as in the case of flu. If the detoxification system is perfect, you have no problem with most of the poisons. If there are defects in the genes or in the enzymes or if you do not take enough antioxidants along with the food, the problem starts.

The insecticide used in the carpet was permethrin (pyrethrum is a plant product obtained from dried flowers and pyrethroids are manipulated pesticides from pyrethrum with chlorine, bromine, fluorine or nitro compounds). Nature gives us harmless pesticides like pyrethrum and we humans manipulate this and make them good poisons to us.

It was also used by airlines in their planes to kill the insects.

We could estimate the amount of permethrin in her blood and urine. The woollen carpet had high amount of permethrin too.

You must only buy furniture and carpets free from any poisons. If the source is your house then your health has to suffer a lot.

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