University of Birmingham: Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease

13 Oct

The Food and Agriculture Organization wrote in Chapter 2 – Health risks associated with wastewater use:

The survival of pathogens and how they infect a new host needs to be understood in developing a programme to eliminate or minimize health risks. The importance and complexity of the rural health problem for those living and working where wastewater is used is beyond the scope of this document. The focus of this document will be on the concern with those who handle, prepare or eat the crop after it has been harvested. The health issues associated with wastewater use for the handlers, preparers and consumers of the crop can be broken down into a series of questions (each will be covered in more detail in subsequent sections of this document):
What types of pathogens are likely to be present in the wastewater?
How many and what types of pathogens reach the field or crop?
Are these pathogens likely to survive in sufficient numbers and for sufficient time to be infectious to the handler or consumer?
How significant is the infection route for the various pathogens?
Which crops carry the highest potential for carrying infections to the handler or consumer?
Are there guidelines or limits available to measure the potential for health risk?
Types of pathogens present in wastewater
Wastewater or natural water supplies into which wastewater has been discharged, are likely to contain pathogenic organisms similar to those in the original human excreta. Disease prevention programmes have centred upon four groups of pathogens potentially present in such wastes: bacteria, viruses, protozoa and helminths. There have been extensive reviews published on the range of these pathogenic organisms normally found in human excreta and wastewater. The most complete reviews are Feachem et al. (1983), Rose (1986) and Shuval et al. (1986a). The following short discussion is extracted from those reviews and is presented to establish a basic understanding of the pathogens and their abundance.
Bacteria. The faeces of a healthy person contains large numbers of bacteria (> 1010/g), most of which are not pathogenic. Pathogenic or potentially pathogenic bacteria are normally absent from a healthy intestine unless infection occurs. When infection occurs, large numbers of pathogenic bacteria will be passed in the faeces thus allowing the spread of infection to others. Diarrhoea is the most prevalent type of infection, with cholera the worst form. Typhoid, paratyphoid and other Salmonella type diseases are also caused by bacterial pathogens.
Viruses. Numerous viruses may infect humans and are passed in the faeces (> 109/g). Five groups of pathogenic excreted viruses are particularly important: adenoviruses, enteroviruses (including polioviruses), hepatitis A virus, reoviruses and diarrhoea-causing viruses (especially rotavirus).
Protozoa. Many species of protozoa can infect humans and cause diarrhoea and dysentery. Infective forms of these protozoa are often passed as cysts in the faeces and humans are infected when they ingest them. Only three species are considered to be pathogenic: Giardia lamblia, Balantidium coli and Entamoeba histolytica. An asymptomatic carrier state is common in all three and may be responsible for continued transmission.
Helminths. There are many species of parasitic worms or helminths that have human hosts. Some can cause serious illnesses and the ones that pass eggs or larval forms in the excreta are of importance in considering wastewater use. Most helminths do not multiply within the human host, a factor of great importance in understanding their transmission, the ways they cause disease and the effects that environmental change will have on their control. Often the developmental stages (life cycles) through which they pass before reinfecting humans are very complex. Those that have soil, water or plant life as one of their intermediate hosts are extremely important in any scheme where wastewater is used directly or indirectly.
The helminths are classified in two main groups: the roundworms (nematodes) and worms that are flat in cross section. The flatworm, in turn, may be divided into two groups: the tapeworms which form chains of helminths “segments” and the flukes which have a single, flat, unsegmented body. Most of the roundworms that infect humans and also the schistosome flukes have separate sexes. The result is that transmission depends upon infection with both male and female worms and upon meeting, mating and egg production within the human body….
Relative health risk from wastewater use
The discussion in the previous sections show that a broad spectrum of pathogenic microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, helminths and protozoa is present in wastewater and they survive for days, weeks and at times months in the soil and on crops that come in contact with wastewater. Early approaches to measuring the health risk from these pathogenic micro-organisms centred on detection. Based upon the fact that these micro-organisms could survive, detection in any of these environments was sufficient to indicate that a public health problem existed. It was then assumed that such detection showed evidence that a real potential for disease transmission existed (Shuval et al., 1986a; Shuval, 1991). This is a “zero-risk” approach. Throughout the years a number of standards and guidelines have been developed on this zero-risk approach. This led to standards for wastewater use that approached those of drinking water especially where vegetable crops were being grown…. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w5367e/w5367e04.htm

A University of Birmingham study questions the use of waste water in certain circumstances for use in agriculture.

Science Daily reported in Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease:

Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa’s ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.
Experts discovered that wastewater collected from canals used for urban agriculture in Burkina Faso was rich in virulent human pathogens which cause gastroenteritis and diarrhea — a major cause of death in low and middle-income countries.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham led an international team from Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Germany in studying wastewater samples from three canals in the capital Ouagadougou — a city of 2.2 million inhabitants.
After identifying a wide range of antibiotic resistance genes in the water, they concluded that using wastewater for urban agriculture in the city posed a high risk of spreading bacteria and antimicrobial resistance among humans and animals.
With the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa expected to rise from 400 million (2010) to 1.26 billion in 2050, according to UN estimates, agriculture in towns and cities is recognised as a vital way of contributing to food security and alleviating poverty….
Dr Blaise Bougnon from the University of Yaounde (Cameroon), commented: “Some 200 million urban dwellers are reported to be engaged in urban agriculture world-wide and, in some cases, produce up to 90 per cent of cities’ demand for perishable vegetables, according to UN research.
“Over 80 per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater generated in low and middle-income countries is discharged untreated into the environment. Because of its low cost, availability and nutrient content, urban agriculture relies on wastewater for irrigation.”
There is an increasing number of bacteria that are multi-resistant against common antibiotics and cannot be treated by current therapies. Antibiotic resistance has led to the need for more expensive drugs, which many cannot afford, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality.
Between 50 and 90 per cent of antibiotics administered to humans and animals are excreted as a mixture of parent drug and metabolite forms, with significant levels of active drug ending up in the environment, where they may persist in soil and aquatic ecosystems.
The study found evidence in the canal water samples of pathogens commonly responsible for waterborne diseases which could lead to people directly or indirectly exposed to these wastewaters suffering from acute diarrhea, chronic gastritis, and gastroenteritis.
In low and middle-income countries 842,000 people die annually from diarrhea, according to the World Health Organisation, because of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181012102225.htm

Citation:

Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease
Date: October 12, 2018
Source: University of Birmingham
Summary:
Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa’s ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.
Journal Reference:
Blaise P. Bougnom, Cheikna Zongo, Alan McNally, Vito Ricci, François X. Etoa, Sören Thiele-Bruhn, Laura J.V. Piddock. Wastewater used for urban agriculture in West Africa as a reservoir for antibacterial resistance dissemination. Environmental Research, 2019; 168: 14 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.022

Here is the press release from the University of Birmingham:

Irrigating vegetables with wastewater in African cities may spread disease
October 12, 2018, University of Birmingham

Urban farmers growing vegetables to feed millions of people in Africa’s ever-growing cities could unwittingly be helping to spread disease by irrigating crops with wastewater, a new study reveals.
Experts discovered that wastewater collected from canals used for urban agriculture in Burkina Faso was rich in virulent human pathogens which cause gastroenteritis and diarrhoea – a major cause of death in low and middle-income countries.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham led an international team from Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Germany in studying wastewater samples from three canals in the capital Ouagadougou – a city of 2.2 million inhabitants.
After identifying a wide range of antibiotic resistance genes in the water, they concluded that using wastewater for urban agriculture in the city posed a high risk of spreading bacteria and antimicrobial resistance among humans and animals.
With the urban population in sub-Saharan Africa expected to rise from 400 million (2010) to 1.26 billion in 2050, according to UN estimates, agriculture in towns and cities is recognised as a vital way of contributing to food security and alleviating poverty.
Professor Laura Piddock, from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection, commented: “Using wastewater for agricultural irrigation represents a very serious health risk, not least as it increases exposure to faecal pathogens. Wastewater appears to be a ‘hot spot’ for antibiotic resistant bacteria in Burkina Faso.”
“We urgently need further investigations to determine the extent that exposed populations are affected by this health issue. There is also an urgent need to improve global access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in low and middle-income countries to help prevent bacterial resistance spreading from the environment to people.”
Dr. Blaise Bougnon from the University of Yaounde (Cameroon), commented: “Some 200 million urban dwellers are reported to be engaged in urban agriculture world-wide and, in some cases, produce up to 90 per cent of cities’ demand for perishable vegetables, according to UN research.
“Over 80 per cent of domestic and industrial wastewater generated in low and middle-income countries is discharged untreated into the environment. Because of its low cost, availability and nutrient content, urban agriculture relies on wastewater for irrigation.”
There is an increasing number of bacteria that are multi-resistant against common antibiotics and cannot be treated by current therapies. Antibiotic resistance has led to the need for more expensive drugs, which many cannot afford, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality.
Between 50 and 90 per cent of antibiotics administered to humans and animals are excreted as a mixture of parent drug and metabolite forms, with significant levels of active drug ending up in the environment, where they may persist in soil and aquatic ecosystems.
The study found evidence in the canal water samples of pathogens commonly responsible for waterborne diseases which could lead to people directly or indirectly exposed to these wastewaters suffering from acute diarrhoea, chronic gastritis, and gastroenteritis.
In low and middle-income countries 842,000 people die annually from diarrhoea, according to the World Health Organisation, because of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Explore further: Scientists map the distribution of antimicrobial resistance across Chinese major cities
More information: Blaise P. Bougnom et al. Wastewater used for urban agriculture in West Africa as a reservoir for antibacterial resistance dissemination, Environmental Research (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.09.022
Journal reference: Environmental Research
Provided by: University of Birmingham

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-irrigating-vegetables-wastewater-african-cities.html#jCp

The International Water Management (IWMI) Institute researches water issues.

The IWMI listed crucial research issues in the safe use of waste water in agriculture:

Studies in Pakistan, Ghana, Vietnam and Mexico have examined both the positive and negative impacts of wastewater reuse for agriculture. Current IWMI work on wastewater can be found here http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/publications/briefs/wle-towards-sustainable-intensification-briefs/
Key research questions
• What are the dangers of uncontrolled wastewater irrigation in terms of public health and pollution?
• How can the nutrient value of wastewater be assessed?
• What sustainable practices are being used that can be transferred to benefit poor rural areas in other countries?
• From a public health perspective, which crops are the best candidates for wastewater irrigation and which should be avoided? http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/issues/water-and-health/wastewater-use-for-agriculture/
The Water Project researches issues related to water supply and sustainabliy.
According to the Water Project’s article, Facts about Water: Statistics of the Water Crisis:
783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide. 2
319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without access to improved reliable drinking water sources 16                                                                                                              Sub-Saharan Africa is among the regions with the greatest drinking water spending needs, with the greatest investment needs in rural areas. 17
Two thirds or about 102 million of the 159 million people still using surface water live in Sub-Saharan Africa 14
1 in 9 people world wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water. 13
443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases. 4
In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. 5
1 in 3 people, or 2.4 billion, are without improved sanitation facilities. 14
695 million of a global 2.4 billion people living without improved sanitation facilities live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 16
Exposure to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene is a leading cause of cholera and a variety of infectious and tropical diseases in the African Region. 15
Half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from a water-related disease. 8
Of Sub-Saharan healthcare facilities, 42% lack an improved water source within 500m, 16% lack improved sanitation, and 36% lack soap for hand washing. 14
Girls under the age of 15 are twice as likely as boys to be the family member responsible for fetching water. 2
The physical and time burden of water hauling was found to fall primarily on women and girls who make up 72% of those tasked with fetching water. 14
Women and girls are responsible for water collection in seven out of ten households in 45 developing countries. 14
Over half of the developing world’s primary schools don’t have access to water and sanitation facilities. Without toilets, girls often drop out at puberty. 3
Less than one in three people in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to a proper toilet. 2
In Sub-Saharan Africa, in the 38 countries for which data is available, hand washing prevalence is at best 50%. 16
84% of the people who don’t have access to improved water, live in rural areas, where they live principally through subsistence agriculture. 2                                                              The average container for water collection in Africa, the jerry can, weighs over 40 lbs when full. 9
Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source in the home. 2
Globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation, and only 10% on domestic uses. 1
Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease. 6
According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34! 12
By investing in clean water alone, young children around the world can gain more than 413 million days of health! 7
The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; the same as an entire year’s labor in all of France! 10
Research has shown that for every 10% increase in women’s literacy, a country’s whole economy can grow by up to 0.3%. 11
• Citations
1. AQUASTAT. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. “Water Use.” http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/water_use/index.stm
2. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010.” Available at http://www.wssinfo.org/
3. UNICEF. “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” Updated May 2010. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_45481.html
4. United Nations Development Programme. “Human Development Report 2006: Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis.” 2006. Available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2006/
5. United Nations. Statement by Secretary General Koffi Annan. June 2003. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sgsm8707.doc.htm
6. WHO/UNICEF. “Diarrhoea: Why children are still dying and what can be done.” 2009. available at http://www.unicef.org/health/index_51412.html.
7. World Health Organization. “Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level.” http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wsh0404/en/
8. UNEP / UN-Habitat “Sick water? The central role of wastewater management in sustainable development. Available at http://www.grida.no/publications/rr/sickwater/
9. Jerry cans carry approx. 5 gallons of water so if a single gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds, 5 gallons are 41.5 pounds.
10. United Nations Development Programme. “Resource Guide on Gender and Climate Change.” 2009. Available at http://www.undp.org/climatechange/library_gender.shtml
11. UNICEF. “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” Updated May 2010. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_45481.html
12. World Health Organization. Executive Summary of “Costs and benefits of water and sanitation improvements at the global level.” http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/wsh0404summary/en/
13. Based on 87% of the global population using imprtoved sources. Found in WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010.” Available at http://www.wssinfo.org/
14. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation “2015 Report and MDG Assessment” Available from: http://www.wssinfo.org/
15. World Health Organization “WHO in the African Region” Available from: http://www.afro.who.int/en/clusters-a-programmes/hpr/protection-of-the-human-environment/programme-components/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24&Itemid=122
16. World Health Organization “Key Facts from 2015 JMP Report” Available from: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/JMP-2015-keyfacts-en-rev.pdf?ua=1
17. World Health Organization “Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach MDG target and universal coverage” Available from: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/2012/globalcosts.pdf

Research about use of waste water is crucial because of the challenges the world faces about adequate water supply.

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Harvard study: Large-scale US wind power would cause warming that would take roughly a century to offset

11 Oct

Argonne National Laboratory described wind power in Wind Energy Basics:

Basic information on wind energy and wind power technology, resources, and issues of concern.
Wind Energy and Wind Power
Wind is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the earth’s surface, and rotation of the earth. Wind flow patterns are modified by the earth’s terrain, bodies of water, and vegetative cover. This wind flow, or motion energy, when “harvested” by modern wind turbines, can be used to generate electricity.
How Wind Power Is Generated
The terms “wind energy” or “wind power” describe the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks (such as grinding grain or pumping water) or a generator can convert this mechanical power into electricity to power homes, businesses, schools, and the like.
Wind Turbines
Wind turbines, like aircraft propeller blades, turn in the moving air and power an electric generator that supplies an electric current. Simply stated, a wind turbine is the opposite of a fan. Instead of using electricity to make wind, like a fan, wind turbines use wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blades, which spin a shaft, which connects to a generator and makes electricity.
Wind Turbine Types
Modern wind turbines fall into two basic groups; the horizontal-axis variety, like the traditional farm windmills used for pumping water, and the vertical-axis design, like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model, named after its French inventor. Most large modern wind turbines are horizontal-axis turbines.
Turbine Components
Horizontal turbine components include:
• blade or rotor, which converts the energy in the wind to rotational shaft energy;
• a drive train, usually including a gearbox and a generator;
• a tower that supports the rotor and drive train; and
• other equipment, including controls, electrical cables, ground support equipment, and interconnection equipment.
Turbine Configurations
Wind turbines are often grouped together into a single wind power plant, also known as a wind farm, and generate bulk electrical power. Electricity from these turbines is fed into a utility grid and distributed to customers, just as with conventional power plants.
See Wind Energy Photos page for wind farm photographs.
Wind Turbine Size and Power Ratings
Wind turbines are available in a variety of sizes, and therefore power ratings. The largest machine has blades that span more than the length of a football field, stands 20 building stories high, and produces enough electricity to power 1,400 homes. A small home-sized wind machine has rotors between 8 and 25 feet in diameter and stands upwards of 30 feet and can supply the power needs of an all-electric home or small business. Utility-scale turbines range in size from 50 to 750 kilowatts. Single small turbines, below 50 kilowatts, are used for homes, telecommunications dishes, or water pumping.
See Wind Energy Photos page for wind turbine photographs.
Wind Energy Resources in the United States
Wind energy is very abundant in many parts of the United States. Wind resources are characterized by wind-power density classes, ranging from class 1 (the lowest) to class 7 (the highest). Good wind resources (e.g., class 3 and above, which have an average annual wind speed of at least 13 miles per hour) are found in many locations (see United States Wind Energy Resource Map). Wind speed is a critical feature of wind resources, because the energy in wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed. In other words, a stronger wind means a lot more power. http://windeis.anl.gov/guide/basics/

Harvard Researchers found wind power could cause warming.

Science Daily reported in Large-scale US wind power would cause warming that would take roughly a century to offset:

All large-scale energy systems have environmental impacts, and the ability to compare the impacts of renewable energy sources is an important step in planning a future without coal or gas power. Extracting energy from the wind causes climatic impacts that are small compared to current projections of 21st century warming, but large compared to the effect of reducing US electricity emissions to zero with solar. Research publishing in the journal Joule on October 4 reports the most accurate modelling yet of how increasing wind power would affect climate, finding that large-scale wind power generation would warm the Continental United States 0.24 degrees Celsius because wind turbines redistribute heat in the atmosphere.
“Wind beats coal by any environmental measure, but that doesn’t mean that its impacts are negligible,” says senior author David Keith, an engineering and public policy professor at Harvard University. “We must quickly transition away from fossil fuels to stop carbon emissions. In doing so, we must make choices between various low-carbon technologies, all of which have some social and environmental impacts.”
“Wind turbines generate electricity but also alter the atmospheric flow,” says first author Lee Miller. “Those effects redistribute heat and moisture in the atmosphere, which impacts climate. We attempted to model these effects on a continental scale.”
To compare the impacts of wind and solar, Keith and Miller started by establishing a baseline for the 2012-2014 US climate using a standard weather forecasting model. Then they added in the effect on the atmosphere of covering one third of the Continental US with enough wind turbines to meet present-day US electricity demand. This is a relevant scenario if wind power plays a major role in decarbonizing the energy system in the latter half of this century. This scenario would warm the surface temperature of the Continental US by 0.24 degrees Celsius.
Their analysis focused on the comparison of climate impacts and benefits. They found that it would take about a century to offset that effect with wind-related reductions in greenhouse gas concentrations. This timescale was roughly independent of the specific choice of total wind power generation in their scenarios….
More than ten previous studies have now observed local warming caused by US wind farms. Keith and Miller compared their simulated warming to observations and found rough consistency between the observations and model.
They also compared wind power’s impacts with previous projections of solar power’s influence on the climate. They found that, for the same energy generation rate, solar power’s impacts would be about 10 times smaller than wind. But both sources of energy have their pros and cons.
“In terms of temperature difference per unit of energy generation, solar power has about 10 times less impact than wind,” says Miller. “But there are other considerations. For example, solar farms are dense, whereas the land between wind turbines can be co-utilized for agriculture.” The density of wind turbines and the time of day during which they operate can also influence the climatic impacts.
Keith and Miller’s simulations do not consider any impacts on global-scale meteorology, so it remains somewhat uncertain how such a deployment of wind power may affect the climate in other countries….
Keith and Miller also have a related paper, “Observation-based solar and wind power capacity factors and power densities,” being published in Environmental Research Letters on October 4, which validates the generation rates per unit area simulated here using observations. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181004112553.htm

Citation:

Large-scale US wind power would cause warming that would take roughly a century to offset
Date: October 4, 2018
Source: Cell Press
Summary:
Extracting energy from the wind causes climatic impacts that are small compared to current projections of 21st century warming, but large compared to the effect of reducing US electricity emissions to zero with solar. Researchers report the most accurate modelling yet of how increasing wind power would affect climate, finding that large-scale wind power generation would warm the Continental United States 0.24 degrees Celsius because wind turbines redistribute heat in the atmosphere.
Journal Reference:
Lee M. Miller, David W. Keith. Climatic Impacts of Wind Power. Joule, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.09.009
________________________________________
Cite This Page:
Cell Press. “Large-scale US wind power would cause warming that would take roughly a century to offset.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181004112553.htm>.

Here is the article summary from Joule:

Climatic Impacts of Wind Power
Author links open overlay panelLee M.Miller13David W.Keith12
Show more
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2018.09.009Get rights and content
Highlights
• Wind power reduces emissions while causing climatic impacts such as warmer temperatures
• Warming effect strongest at night when temperatures increase with height
• Nighttime warming effect observed at 28 operational US wind farms
• Wind’s warming can exceed avoided warming from reduced emissions for a century
Context & Scale
Wind power can impact the climate by altering the atmospheric boundary layer, with at least 40 papers and 10 observational studies now linking wind power to climatic impacts. We make the first comparison between the climatic impacts of large-scale wind power and site-scale observations, finding agreement that warming from wind turbines is largest at night. Wind power’s climatic impacts will continue to expand as more are installed.
Do these impacts matter? How do these impacts compare to the climate benefits of reducing emissions? We offer policy-relevant comparisons: wind’s climatic impacts are about 10 times larger than solar photovoltaic systems per unit energy generated. We explore the temporal trade-off between wind’s climatic impacts and the climate benefits it brings by reducing emissions as it displaces fossil fuels. Quantitative comparisons between low-carbon energy sources should inform energy choices in the transition to a carbon-free energy system.
Summary
We find that generating today’s US electricity demand (0.5 TWe) with wind power would warm Continental US surface temperatures by 0.24°C. Warming arises, in part, from turbines redistributing heat by mixing the boundary layer. Modeled diurnal and seasonal temperature differences are roughly consistent with recent observations of warming at wind farms, reflecting a coherent mechanistic understanding for how wind turbines alter climate. The warming effect is: small compared with projections of 21st century warming, approximately equivalent to the reduced warming achieved by decarbonizing global electricity generation, and large compared with the reduced warming achieved by decarbonizing US electricity with wind. For the same generation rate, the climatic impacts from solar photovoltaic systems are about ten times smaller than wind systems. Wind’s overall environmental impacts are surely less than fossil energy. Yet, as the energy system is decarbonized, decisions between wind and solar should be informed by estimates of their climate impacts. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S254243511830446X

As with various energy sources there are pros and cons.

Energy.Gov lists the pros and cons of wind energy:

Advantages of Wind Power
• Wind power is cost-effective. Land-based utility-scale wind is one of the lowest-priced energy sources available today, costing between two and six cents per kilowatt-hour, depending on the wind resource and the particular project’s financing. Because the electricity from wind farms is sold at a fixed price over a long period of time (e.g. 20+ years) and its fuel is free, wind energy mitigates the price uncertainty that fuel costs add to traditional sources of energy.
• Wind creates jobs. The U.S. wind sector employed more than 100,000 workers in 2016, and wind turbine technician is one of the fastest-growing American jobs of the decade. According to the Wind Vision Report, wind has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050.
• Wind enables U.S. industry growth and U.S. competitiveness. Wind has an annual economic impact of about $20 billion on the U.S. economy, The United States has a vast domestic resources and a highly-skilled workforce, and can compete globally in the clean energy economy.
• It’s a clean fuel source. Wind energy doesn’t pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, which emit particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide—causing human health problems and economic damages. Wind turbines don’t produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain, smog, or greenhouse gases.
• Wind is a domestic source of energy. The nation’s wind supply is abundant and inexhaustible. Over the past 10 years, cumulative wind power capacity in the United States increased an average of 30% per year, and wind now has the largest renewable generation capacity of all renewables in the United States.
• It’s sustainable. Wind is actually a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the Earth, and the Earth’s surface irregularities. For as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the energy produced can be harnessed to send power across the grid.
• Wind turbines can be built on existing farms or ranches. This greatly benefits the economy in rural areas, where most of the best wind sites are found. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the land. Wind power plant owners make rent payments to the farmer or rancher for the use of the land, providing landowners with additional income.
CHALLENGES OF WIND POWER
• Wind power must still compete with conventional generation sources on a cost basis. Depending on how energetic a wind site is, the wind farm might not be cost competitive. Even though the cost of wind power has decreased dramatically in the past 10 years, the technology requires a higher initial investment than fossil-fueled generators.
• Good wind sites are often located in remote locations, far from cities where the electricity is needed. Transmission lines must be built to bring the electricity from the wind farm to the city. However, building just a few already-proposed transmission lines could significantly reduce the costs of expanding wind energy.
• Wind resource development might not be the most profitable use of the land. Land suitable for wind-turbine installation must compete with alternative uses for the land, which might be more highly valued than electricity generation.
• Turbines might cause noise and aesthetic pollution. Although wind power plants have relatively little impact on the environment compared to conventional power plants, concern exists over the noise produced by the turbine blades and visual impacts to the landscape.
• Turbine blades could damage local wildlife. Birds have been killed by flying into spinning turbine blades. Most of these problems have been resolved or greatly reduced through technological development or by properly siting wind plants. https://www.energy.gov/eere/wind/advantages-and-challenges-wind-energy

This Harvard study highlights there is no one energy solution for sustaining the global economy.

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McGill University study: AI could predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years

7 Oct

The National Institute on Aging described Alzheimer’s disease in What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?:

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).
These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. Another feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. Many other complex brain changes are thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s, too.
This damage initially appears to take place in the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential in forming memories. As neurons die, additional parts of the brain are affected. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.
How Many Americans Have Alzheimer’s Disease?
Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s. Many more under age 65 also have the disease. Unless Alzheimer’s can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of people with it will increase significantly if current population trends continue. This is because increasing age is the most important known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
What Does Alzheimer’s Disease Look Like?
Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, though initial symptoms may vary from person to person. A decline in other aspects of thinking, such as finding the right words, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s, but not everyone with MCI will develop the disease.
People with Alzheimer’s have trouble doing everyday things like driving a car, cooking a meal, or paying bills. They may ask the same questions over and over, get lost easily, lose things or put them in odd places, and find even simple things confusing. As the disease progresses, some people become worried, angry, or violent…. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease

Artificial Intelligence (AI) might provide clues to the early detection of Alzheimer’s.

Live Science described AI in What Is Artificial Intelligence?:

One of the standard textbooks in the field, by University of California computer scientists Stuart Russell and Google’s director of research, Peter Norvig, puts artificial intelligence in to four broad categories:
The differences between them can be subtle, notes Ernest Davis, a professor of computer science at New York University. AlphaGo, the computer program that beat a world champion at Go, acts rationally when it plays the game (it plays to win). But it doesn’t necessarily think the way a human being does, though it engages in some of the same pattern-recognition tasks. Similarly, a machine that acts like a human doesn’t necessarily bear much resemblance to people in the way it processes information.
• machines that think like humans,
• machines that act like humans,
• machines that think rationally,
• machines that act rationally.

Even IBM’s Watson, which acted somewhat like a human when playing Jeopardy, wasn’t using anything like the rational processes humans use.
Tough tasks
Davis says he uses another definition, centered on what one wants a computer to do. “There are a number of cognitive tasks that people do easily — often, indeed, with no conscious thought at all — but that are extremely hard to program on computers. Archetypal examples are vision and natural language understanding. Artificial intelligence, as I define it, is the study of getting computers to carry out these tasks,” he said….
Computer vision has made a lot of strides in the past decade — cameras can now recognize faces Other tasks, though, are proving tougher. For example, Davis and NYU psychology professor Gary Marcus wrote in the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery of “common sense” tasks that computers find very difficult. A robot serving drinks, for example, can be programmed to recognize a request for one, and even to manipulate a glass and pour one. But if a fly lands in the glass the computer still has a tough time deciding whether to pour the drink in and serve it (or not).

Common sense
The issue is that much of “common sense” is very hard to model. Computer scientists have taken several approaches to get around that problem. IBM’s Watson, for instance, was able to do so well on Jeopardy! because it had a huge database of knowledge to work with and a few rules to string words together to make questions and answers. Watson, though, would have a difficult time with a simple open-ended conversation.
Beyond tasks, though, is the issue of learning. Machines can learn, said Kathleen McKeown, a professor of computer science at Columbia University. “Machine learning is a kind of AI,” she said.
Some machine learning works in a way similar to the way people do it, she noted. Google Translate, for example, uses a large corpus of text in a given language to translate to another language, a statistical process that doesn’t involve looking for the “meaning” of words. Humans, she said, do something similar, in that we learn languages by seeing lots of examples.
That said, Google Translate doesn’t always get it right, precisely because it doesn’t seek meaning and can sometimes be fooled by synonyms or differing connotations….
The upshot is AIs that can handle certain tasks well exist, as do AIs that look almost human because they have a large trove of data to work with. Computer scientists have been less successful coming up with an AI that can think the way we expect a human being to, or to act like a human in more than very limited situations…. https://www.livescience.com/55089-artificial-intelligence.html

AI might prove useful in diagnosing cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s.

Science Daily reported in AI could predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years:

A team of scientists has successfully trained a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Mallar Chakravarty, a computational neuroscientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and his colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, designed an algorithm that learns signatures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data. This specific algorithm can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years.
“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention. Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment. For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether,” says Chakravarty, an Assistant Professor in McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry.
The findings, published in PLOS Computational Biology, used data from the Alzheimer’s Disease NeuroImaging Initiative. The researchers trained their algorithms using data from more than 800 people ranging from normal healthy seniors to those experiencing mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease patients. They replicated their results within the study on an independently collected sample from the Australian Imaging and Biomarkers Lifestyle Study of Ageing.
Can the predictions be improved with more data?
“We are currently working on testing the accuracy of predictions using new data. It will help us to refine predictions and determine if we can predict even farther into the future,” says Chakravarty. With more data, the scientists would be able to better identify those in the population at greatest risk for cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 564,000 Canadians had Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in 2016. The figure will rise to 937,000 within 15 years.
Worldwide, around 50million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Presently, there is no truly effective treatment for this disease…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181004155421.htm

Citation:

AI could predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years
Algorithms may help doctors stream people onto prevention path sooner
Date: October 4, 2018
Source: McGill University
Summary:
A team of scientists has successfully trained a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

Journal Reference:
Nikhil Bhagwat, Joseph D. Viviano, Aristotle N. Voineskos, M. Mallar Chakravarty. Modeling and prediction of clinical symptom trajectories in Alzheimer’s disease using longitudinal data. PLOS Computational Biology, 2018; 14 (9): e1006376 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006376

Here is the press release from McGill University:

AI Could Predict Cognitive Decline Leading to Alzheimer’s Disease in the Next 5 Years
News
Algorithms may help doctors stream people onto prevention path sooner
PUBLISHED: 4OCT2018
A team of scientists has successfully trained a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to make accurate predictions regarding cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Mallar Chakravarty, a computational neuroscientist at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and his colleagues from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, designed an algorithm that learns signatures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), genetics, and clinical data. This specific algorithm can help predict whether an individual’s cognitive faculties are likely to deteriorate towards Alzheimer’s in the next five years.
“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention. Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment. For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether,” says Chakravarty, an Assistant Professor in McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry.
The findings, published in PLOS Computational Biology, used data from the Alzheimer’s Disease NeuroImaging Initiative. The researchers trained their algorithms using data from more than 800 people ranging from normal healthy seniors to those experiencing mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s disease patients. They replicated their results within the study on an independently collected sample from the Australian Imaging and Biomarkers Lifestyle Study of Ageing.
Can the predictions be improved with more data?
“We are currently working on testing the accuracy of predictions using new data. It will help us to refine predictions and determine if we can predict even farther into the future,” says Chakravarty. With more data, the scientists would be able to better identify those in the population at greatest risk for cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s.
According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, 564,000 Canadians had Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia in 2016. The figure will rise to 937,000 within 15 years.
Worldwide, around 50million people have dementia and the total number is projected to reach 82million in 2030 and 152 in 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, may contribute to 60–70% of cases. Presently, there is no truly effective treatment for this disease.

This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences andEngineering Research Council of Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé, Weston Brain Institute, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Alzheimer’s Society, Brain Canada, and the McGill University Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives – Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
The article “Modeling and prediction of clinical symptom trajectories in Alzheimer’s disease” was published in PLOS Computational Biology
For information and interviews
Bruno Geoffroy
Press Information Officer – Media Relations Office
CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (Douglas Mental Health University Institute)
Tel.: 514-630-2225, ext. 5257 //relations.medias.comtl [at] ssss.gouv.qc.ca”>relations.medias.comtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin described why early detection is important:

Early diagnosis is key.
There are at least a dozen advantages to obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis when cognitive symptoms are first noticed.
1. Your symptoms might be reversible.
The symptoms you are concerned about might be caused by a condition that is reversible. And even if there is also an underlying dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, diagnosis and treatment of reversible conditions can improve brain function and reduce symptoms.

2. It may be treatable.
Some causes of cognitive decline are not reversible, but might be treatable. Appropriate treatment can stop or slow the rate of further decline.
3. With treatments, the sooner the better.
Treatment of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-causing diseases is typically most effective when started early in the disease process. Once more effective treatments become available, obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis will be even more crucial.

4. Diagnoses are more accurate early in the disease process.
A more accurate diagnosis is possible when a complete history can be taken early in the disease process, while the person is still able to answer questions and report concerns and when observers can still recall the order in which symptoms first appeared. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis can be difficult once most of the brain has become affected.
5. It’s empowering.
An earlier diagnosis enables the person to participate in their own legal, financial, and long-term care planning and to make their wishes known to family members.
6. You can focus on what’s important to you.
It allows the person the opportunity to reprioritize how they spend their time – focusing on what matters most to them – perhaps completing life goals such as travel, recording family history, completing projects, or making memories with grandchildren while they still can.
7. You can make your best choices.
Early diagnosis can prevent unwise choices that might otherwise be made in ignorance – such as moving far away from family and friends, or making legal or financial commitments that will be hard to keep as the disease progresses.
8. You can use the resources available to you.
Individuals diagnosed early in the disease process can take advantage of early-stage support groups and learn tips and strategies to better manage and cope with the symptoms of the disease.
9. Participate or advocate for research.
Those diagnosed early can also take advantage of clinical trials – or advocate for more research and improved care and opportunities.
10. You can further people’s understanding of the disease.
Earlier diagnosis helps to reduce the stigma associated with the disease when we learn to associate the disease with people in the early stages, when they are still cogent and active in the community.
11. It will help your family.
An earlier diagnosis gives families more opportunity to learn about the disease, develop realistic expectations, and plan for their future together – which can result in reduced stress and feelings of burden and regret later in the disease process.
12. It will help you, too.
Early diagnosis allows the person and family to attribute cognitive changes to the disease rather than to personal failings – preserving the person’s ego throughout the disease process….                             https://alzwisc.org/Importance%20of%20an%20early%20diagnosis.htm

AI’s role in treatment of Alzheimer’s is an example of better living through technology.

Resources:
What Is Alzheimer’s?                                                                            https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: the Basics https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/understanding-alzheimers-disease-basics

What’s to know about Alzheimer’s disease? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php

Alzheimer’s Disease                                         https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm

What is Artificial Intelligence? https://www.computerworld.com/article/2906336/emerging-technology/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html

Artificial Intelligence: What it is and why it matters https://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/analytics/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html
Brain                                                                                                            https://drwilda.com/tag/brain/

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Health Services Center in Winnipeg study: Hospital privacy curtains may harbor dangerous germs

30 Sep

Nursing School Hub.com reported in Top 10 Most Common Diseases Found in Hospitals:

1. Norovirus
Noroviruses are generally called “the flu” by many patients, most of whom believe that the symptoms of the resulting gastroenteritis are somehow linked to influenza itself. Norovirus infections typically result in diarrhea, vomiting, and the long-lasting feeling of an upset stomach. Though these symptoms are exceedingly unpleasant, and may last for several days at a time, healthcare professionals cannot treat them with antibiotic drugs. Patients, therefore, are advised to make sure that they attempt to eat meals at regular intervals, and they’re advised to stay hydrated so that the body does not suffer through the effects of dehydration after a few days of symptoms.
2. Mycobacterium abscessus
One of the most serious sources of hospital acquired infections is mycobacterium abscessus. This bacterium is generally known to be the cause of such serious illnesses as leprosy and tuberculosis, and it can be found in any number of compounds. The bacteria have been known to exist in soil, dust, or water, and it has even been known to infect medications and to reside on medical equipment. This represents a very serious concern in today’s busiest medical environments, and many hospitals have procedures in place specifically to prevent against the spread of this bacteria and the potential infection of new patients who come to the hospital with other ailments.
If infection from this bacteria does result, patients are most likely to notice irritable infections of the skin and soft tissues, though a slight minority may actually experience lung infections that can be quite serious and severe. Medical treatment is almost always required for a full and quick recovery from any kind of mycobacterium abscessus infection.
3. Klebsiella
Another very serious source of hospital acquired infections is the bacteria known as Klebsiella. This gram-negative bacteria almost always infects patients after a visit to the hospital, as it seems to be particularly at home on medical equipment in patient treatment areas. Infection by this bacteria can result in a number of serious ailments, including an infection of the bloodstream, infection of any open wounds or surgical sites, or the onset of a very serious form of pneumonia. Treatment is generally quick and straightforward, although some antimicrobial strains of the bacteria have required added research and more serious forms of treatment in a small minority of today’s patients.
4. Influenza
Without a doubt, one of the most common and persistent types of viral infection is influenza. The disease comes and goes with varying degrees of potency every year but most medical professionals estimate that between 5 percent and 20 percent of the American population is infected each year. Influenza is also responsible for annual hospitalization of as many as 200,000 Americans. Typically, those hospitalized by the disease are those at the extreme young or old ends of the spectrum, though it’s not entirely unheard of for healthy, young adult sufferers to experience complications. This community-based virus is easy to contract, especially when cases have been cited near the hospital’s location during the height of what is known as “flu season.”
5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an infection that results from a common form of bacteria more widely called just Pseudomonas. The infection is quite common in medical settings, though it targets a specific group of people. In almost every case, a bout of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is found in those patients who are already experiencing vastly weakened or suppressed immune systems as a result of a larger medical condition during their stay in a medical environment or long-term care facility. Treatment of this bacterial infection is generally pursed through the prescription of high dosage antibiotics, and the problem generally eases within 24 to 48 hours of first treatment.
6. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Abbreviated as MRSA, this staph bacteria has evolved over time to become immune to many of the most popular antibacterial drugs. Indeed, MRSA can often not be treated with either penicillin or amoxicillin, with most patients requiring higher doses of more nontraditional antibiotics in order to defeat the condition. It often manifests itself in the form of a skin infection in most patients, and should be treated by a medical professional as soon as any signs or symptoms have been noticed by the patient. Staph bacteria does represent one of the most aggressive bacterial threats to the human body.
7. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci
VRE is so named because this bacterial infection is resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. Infections of this nature are most common in medical settings, especially when a patient is admitted to the hospital for long-term care and nursing. Most sufferers experience symptoms that affect the intestines, which can result in a case of upset stomach, minor vomiting, or even occasional diarrhea. The good news for those suffering from this bacterial infection, though, is that treatment is rather quick and easy with alternative antibiotics in heavier doses.
8. Tuberculosis (TB)
Most often, the transmission of tuberculosis in medical and nursing environments is done on a patient-to-patient basis. Typically, this is because one patient with the disease is simply not isolated from the rest of the hospital’s population. In other cases, it’s because the patient simply was not aware that they suffered from TB at the time of their admission to the facility. Most forms of TB can be treated and minimized, though particularly aggressive strains of the disease have shown a great deal of resistance to antibiotics that are typically used to treat the condition.
9. Vancomycin-intermediate or Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Known in the medical community as either VISA or VRSA, these two diseases are actually quite common among those patients who have medical equipment attached to their body on a long-term or permanent basis. Those with kidney problems are particularly predisposed to infection, as are those patients who commonly use a catheter tube before, during, or after some kind of serious surgery.
The two forms of staphylococcus are so named because they are moderately or entirely resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. Treatment can be conducted using other antibiotic drugs, however, and most patients are able to recover from this infection when it is caught early, treated effectively, and prevented on a proactive basis going forward. Unlike viral infections, however, bacterial infections can occur again at any time. For this reason, increased vigilance is urged of those who are connected to medical devices that penetrate the skin, enter the body, and assist with daily functions like kidney function, urination, and many others.
10. Staphylococcus aureus
In what might be the least invasive and least concerning disease commonly found in hospitals, Staphylococcus aureus is actually present in just under one third of the entire population. The condition is associated with negative effects on the skin, as it is typically a skin infection. The side effects of the disease most often manifest themselves in small, pimple-like growths that ebb and flow over the course of the infection. Treatment with antibiotics is effective in virtually every case, and this less severe form of staphylococcus can be eradicated in just a few days after treatment has commenced.
Plenty of Threats: A Bacterial or Viral Infection is All Too Common
The very nature of today’s hospitals means that patients are exposed more than ever to the potential for both viral and bacterial infections, placing their health at risk in at least ten ways during every visit. The good news is that virtually every common infection or disease transmitted at today’s hospitals can be treated with either extended vigilance or a robust dose of antibiotics. In fact, many of these diseases are considered relatively minor in the grand scheme of hospital infections and the diseases treated at today’s medical centers….. https://www.nursingschoolhub.com/most-common-diseases-found-in-hospitals/

An Elsevier reported study said hospital surfaces may harbor dangerous germs.

Science Daily reported in Hospital privacy curtains may harbor dangerous germs:

Without timely intervention, privacy curtains in hospitals can become breeding grounds for resistant bacteria, posing a threat to patient safety, according to new research published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
The longitudinal, prospective, pilot study tracked the contamination rate of ten freshly laundered privacy curtains in the Regional Burns/Plastics Unit of the Health Services Center in Winnipeg, Canada. While the curtains had minimal contamination when they were first hung, the curtains that were hung in patient rooms became increasingly contaminated over time — and by day 14, 87.5 percent of the curtains tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a pathogen associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In contrast, control curtains that were not placed in patient rooms stayed clean the entire 21 days.
None of the rooms where the curtains were placed were occupied by patients with MRSA. Four curtains were placed in a four-bed room; four were placed in two double rooms; and two controls were placed in areas without direct patient or caregiver contact. Researchers took samples from areas where people hold curtains, suggesting that the increasing contamination resulted from direct contact….
By day 21, almost all curtains exceeded 2.5 CFU/cm, the requirement for food processing equipment cleanliness in some locations, such as the United Kingdom….
The study authors acknowledge the small sample size of this pilot study and recommend additional research to understand the clinical consequences of contaminated curtains. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180927215701.htm

Citation:

Hospital privacy curtains may harbor dangerous germs
Date: September 27, 2018
Source: Elsevier
Summary:
Without timely intervention, privacy curtains in hospitals can become breeding grounds for resistant bacteria, posing a threat to patient safety, according to new research.
Journal Reference:
Kevin Shek, Rakesh Patidar, Zeenib Kohja, Song Liu, Justin P. Gawaziuk, Monika Gawthrop, Ayush Kumar, Sarvesh Logsetty. Rate of contamination of hospital privacy curtains in a burns/plastic ward: A longitudinal study. American Journal of Infection Control, 2018; 46 (9): 1019 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.03.004

Here is the press release:

PUBLIC RELEASE: 27-SEP-2018 Hospital privacy curtains may harbor dangerous germs: New study
ELSEVIER
Arlington, Va., September 27, 2018 – Without timely intervention, privacy curtains in hospitals can become breeding grounds for resistant bacteria, posing a threat to patient safety, according to new research published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
The longitudinal, prospective, pilot study tracked the contamination rate of ten freshly laundered privacy curtains in the Regional Burns/Plastics Unit of the Health Services Center in Winnipeg, Canada. While the curtains had minimal contamination when they were first hung, the curtains that were hung in patient rooms became increasingly contaminated over time – and by day 14, 87.5 percent of the curtains tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a pathogen associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In contrast, control curtains that were not placed in patient rooms stayed clean the entire 21 days.
None of the rooms where the curtains were placed were occupied by patients with MRSA. Four curtains were placed in a four-bed room; four were placed in two double rooms; and two controls were placed in areas without direct patient or caregiver contact. Researchers took samples from areas where people hold curtains, suggesting that the increasing contamination resulted from direct contact.
“We know that privacy curtains pose a high risk for cross-contamination because they are frequently touched but infrequently changed,” said Kevin Shek, BSc, the study’s lead author in the article. “The high rate of contamination that we saw by the fourteenth day may represent an opportune time to intervene, either by cleaning or replacing the curtains.”
By day 21, almost all curtains exceeded 2.5 CFU/cm, the requirement for food processing equipment cleanliness in some locations, such as the United Kingdom.
“Keeping the patient’s environment clean is a critical component in preventing healthcare-associated infections,” said 2018 APIC President Janet Haas, PhD, RN, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC. “Because privacy curtains could be a mode of disease transmission, maintaining a schedule of regular cleaning offers another potential way to protect patients from harm while they are in our care.”
The study authors acknowledge the small sample size of this pilot study and recommend additional research to understand the clinical consequences of contaminated curtains.
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Patients have little information to guide them in their choice of hospitals regarding infection practices of hospital.

Reuters reported in ‘Superbug’ scourge spreads as U.S. fails to track rising human toll:

Fifteen years after the U.S. declared drug-resistant infections to be a grave threat, the crisis is only worsening, a Reuters investigation finds, as government agencies remain unwilling or unable to impose reporting requirements on a healthcare industry that often hides the problem…. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-uncounted-surveillance/

Patients are on their own when asking about a particular hospital’s superbug and infectious control practices.

Resources:

Hospital Cleaning Best Practices: How to Keep Patients and Staff Safe https://www.kaivac.com/a_433-Hospital-Cleaning-Best-Practices-How-to-Keep-Patients-and-Staff-Safe

The most dangerous germs in the hospital may be those you bring with you http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/most-dangerous-germs-hospital-may-be-those-you-bring-you

How gloves & gowns can spread germs in hospitals http://www.healthcarebusinesstech.com/germs-gloves-gowns/

10 Ways to Stave Off Hospital Superbugs and Other Nasty Germs https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/10-ways-protect-yourself-superbugs/

Germs https://drwilda.com/tag/germs/
http://www.webmd.com/children/features/childhood-illnesses-get-the-facts

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BMJ Study: Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold

23 Sep

Cutting sugar in a child’s diet is important to improving the child’s health. Science Daily reported in ‘Healthy’ foods differ by individual:

Ever wonder why that diet didn’t work? An Israeli study tracking the blood sugar levels of 800 people over a week suggests that even if we all ate the same meal, how it’s metabolized would differ from one person to another. The findings, published November 19 in Cell, demonstrate the power of personalized nutrition in helping people identify which foods can help or hinder their health goals.
Blood sugar has a close association with health problems such as diabetes and obesity, and it’s easy to measure using a continuous glucose monitor. A standard developed decades ago, called the glycemic index (GI), is used to rank foods based on how they affect blood sugar level and is a factor used by doctors and nutritionists to develop healthy diets. However, this system was based on studies that average how small groups of people responded to various foods.
The new study, led by Eran Segal and Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, found that the GI of any given food is not a set value, but depends on the individual. For all participants, they collected data through health questionnaires, body measurements, blood tests, glucose monitoring, stool samples, and a mobile-app used to report lifestyle and food intake (a total of 46,898 meals were measured). In addition, the volunteers received a few standardized/identical meals for their breakfasts.
As expected, age and body mass index (BMI) were found to be associated with blood glucose levels after meals. However, the data also revealed that different people show vastly different responses to the same food, even though their individual responses did not change from one day to another.
“Most dietary recommendations that one can think of are based on one of these grading systems; however, what people didn’t highlight, or maybe they didn’t fully appreciate, is that there are profound differences between individuals–in some cases, individuals have opposite response to one another, and this is really a big hole in the literature,” says Segal, of Weizmann’s Department of Computer Science and Applied Math…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151119133230.htm

Sugar can be problematic in an individual’s diet.

Jillian Kubala, MS, RD wrote in the Heathline article, 11 Reasons Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad for You:

Here are 11 reasons why eating too much sugar is bad for your health.
1. Can Cause Weight Gain
2. May Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
3. Has Been Linked to Acne
4. Increases Your Risk of Diabetes
5. May Increase Your Risk of Cancer
6. May Increase Your Risk of Depression
7. May Accelerate the Skin Aging Process
8. Can Increase Cellular Aging
9. Drains Your Energy
10. Can Lead to Fatty Liver
11. Other Health Risks
Aside from the risks listed above, sugar can harm your body in countless other ways….
Summary Consuming too much sugar may worsen cognitive decline, increase gout risk, harm your kidneys and cause cavities

Many who are attempting a healthy diet include yogurt as a food choice. A BMJ study examines whether all yogurt choices are healthy.

Science Daily reported a BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, study, Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold:

Yogurt may be an “unrecognised” source of dietary sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it, highlight the researchers.
The evidence suggests that yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. A good source of ‘friendly’ bacteria, they also contain protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin B.
UK and US dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines. Children up to the age of 3 in the UK eat more yogurt than any other age group.
They therefore assessed the nutrient content of almost 900 yogurts and yogurt products, which were available from five major UK online supermarket chains in October/November 2016. Between them, these chains account for 75 per cent of the market share.
All the products were grouped into eight categories: children’s, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.
Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, currently used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the UK: 3 g of fat/100g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.
The sugar content varied enormously both within and across the categories, the analysis showed. But, with the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the low sugar threshold.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) qualified as low sugar, almost none of which were in the children’s category. This is “concerning,” given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, say the researchers.
Unsurprisingly, desserts contained the most total sugar, at an average 16.4 g/100 g, an amount that represents more than 45 per cent of energy intake. These were followed by products in the children’s, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.
In these categories, total average sugars ranged from 10.8 g/100 g in children’s products to 13.1 g/100 g in organic products. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts.
By and large, average fat content was either below or just above the low fat threshold. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2 g/100 g.
This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause, added to which it covered only products sold in five supermarket chains…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180918195345.htm

Citation:

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold
Organic products, perceived as healthier options, among some of the worst offenders
Date: September 18, 2018
Source: BMJ
Summary:
The sugar content of most types of yogurt is well above the recommended threshold, reveals an analysis of the nutrient content of available UK supermarket products. And organic varieties, often viewed as healthier options, contain some of the highest average sugar content, at 13.1 g/100 g, the findings indicate.
Journal Reference:
J Bernadette Moore, Annabelle Horti, Barbara A Fielding. Evaluation of the nutrient content of yogurts: a comprehensive survey of yogurt products in the major UK supermarkets. BMJ Open, 2018; 8 (8): e021387 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021387

Here is the press release from BMJ (British Medical Journal):

PUBLIC RELEASE: 18-SEP-2018
Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold
Organic products, perceived as healthier options, among some of the worst offenders
BMJ
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Yogurt may be an “unrecognised” source of dietary sugar, particularly for young children, who eat a lot of it, highlight the researchers.
The evidence suggests that yogurt and other fermented dairy products aid digestive and overall health. A good source of ‘friendly’ bacteria, they also contain protein, calcium, iodine and vitamin B.
UK and US dietary guidelines recommend low fat and low sugar dairy products, and the researchers wanted to assess how far yogurt products, particularly those marketed to children, meet these guidelines. Children up to the age of 3 in the UK eat more yogurt than any other age group.
They therefore assessed the nutrient content of almost 900 yogurts and yogurt products, which were available from five major UK online supermarket chains in October/November 2016. Between them, these chains account for 75 per cent of the market share.
All the products were grouped into eight categories: children’s, which included fromage frais; dairy alternatives, such as soy; desserts; drinks; flavoured; fruit; natural/Greek; and organic.
Low fat and low sugar were classified according to European Union regulations, currently used for the front of pack food traffic light labelling system used in the UK: 3 g of fat/100g or less or 1.5 g or less for drinks; and a maximum of 5 g of total sugars/100 g.
The sugar content varied enormously both within and across the categories, the analysis showed. But, with the exception of natural/Greek yogurts, the average sugar content of products in all the categories was well above the low sugar threshold.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) qualified as low sugar, almost none of which were in the children’s category. This is “concerning,” given the rise in childhood obesity and the prevalence of tooth decay among young children, say the researchers.
Unsurprisingly, desserts contained the most total sugar, at an average 16.4 g/100 g, an amount that represents more than 45 per cent of energy intake. These were followed by products in the children’s, flavoured, fruit, and organic categories.
In these categories, total average sugars ranged from 10.8 g/100 g in children’s products to 13.1 g/100 g in organic products. This compares with an average of 5g /100 g for natural/Greek yogurts.
By and large, average fat content was either below or just above the low fat threshold. Desserts had the highest fat content and the broadest range, averaging 5.2 g/100 g.
This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause, added to which it covered only products sold in five supermarket chains.
But write the researchers: “While yogurt may be less of a concern than soft drinks and fruit juices, the chief sources of free sugars in both children and adults’ diets, what is worrisome is that yogurt, as a perceived ‘healthy food,’ may be an unrecognised source of free/added sugars in the diet.”
This is particularly true of the organic yogurts analysed, they say. “While the organic label refers to production, the well documented ‘health-halo effect’ means that consumers most often underestimate the caloric content and perceive the nutritional contents of organic products, including yogurts, more favourably.”
They conclude: “Not all yogurts are as healthy as perhaps consumers perceive them, and reformulation for the reduction of free sugars is warranted.”
###
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/b-sco091418.php

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of society’s problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Related:

Dr. Wilda Reviews Book: ‘Super Baby Food’ http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/dr-wilda-reviews-book-super-baby-food/

The Truth About Sugar                                                                            https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-effects-of-sugar#1

Good & Bad Sugars                                                                     https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/good-bad-sugars-7608.html

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

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Washington State University study: BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice

16 Sep

Brent A. Bauer, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic provides a concise description of bisphenol A (BPA):

What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA?
Answer From Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s.
BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA.
Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review of hundreds of studies.
The FDA is continuing its review of BPA, including supporting ongoing research. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about BPA, you can take these steps to reduce your exposure:
• Use BPA-free products. Manufacturers are creating more and more BPA-free products. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
• Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.
• Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.
• Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers….. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

A Washington State University study found there could be problems with some replacements to BPA plastics.

Science Daily reported in BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice:

Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that the now infamous plastics ingredient known as bisphenol A or BPA had inadvertently leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing a sudden increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs in the animals. Now, the same team is back to report in the journal Current Biology on September 13 that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice….

The new findings were uncovered much as before as the researchers again noticed a change in the data coming out of studies on control animals. Again, the researchers traced the problem to contamination from damaged cages, but the effects this time, Hunt says, were more subtle than before. That’s because not all of the cages were damaged and the source of contamination remained less certain.
However, she and her colleagues were able to determine that the mice were being exposed to replacement bisphenols. They also saw that the disturbance in the lab was causing problems in the production of both eggs and sperm.
Once they got the contamination under control, the researchers conducted additional controlled studies to test the effects of several replacement bisphenols, including a common replacement known as BPS. Those studies confirm that replacement bisphenols produce remarkably similar chromosomal abnormalities to those seen so many years earlier in studies of BPA.
Hunt notes that the initial inadvertent exposure of their animals was remarkably similar to what might happen in people using plastics in that the exposure was accidental and highly variable. Not all of the animals’ cages were damaged, and so the findings differed among animals in different cages.
She adds that — although determining the levels of human exposure is difficult — their controlled experiments were conducted using low doses of BPS and other replacement bisphenols thought to be relevant to exposure in people using BPA-free plastics.
These problems, if they hold true in people as has been shown in the case of BPA, will carry over to future generations through their effects on the germline. The researchers showed that, if it were possible to eliminate bisphenol contaminants completely, the effects would still persist for about three generations… https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180913113940.htm

Citation:

BPA replacements in plastics cause reproductive problems in lab mice
Date: September 13, 2018
Source: Cell Press
Summary:
Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that BPA had leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing an increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs. Now, the same team is back to report that the array of alternative bisphenols now used to replace BPA in BPA-free bottles, cups, cages, and other items appear to come with similar problems for their mice.
Journal Reference:
Tegan S. Horan, Hannah Pulcastro, Crystal Lawson, Roy Gerona, Spencer Martin, Mary C. Gieske, Caroline V. Sartain, Patricia A. Hunt. Replacement Bisphenols Adversely Affect Mouse Gametogenesis with Consequences for Subsequent Generations. Current Biology, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.070

Here is the press release from Washington State University:

WSU researchers see new plastics causing reproductive woes of old plastics
September 13, 2018

BPA has long been used in bottles, cups, medical and dental devices, and as coatings for food-can linings and cash register receipts.
By Eric Sorensen, WSU News

Washington State University researchers have found that plastic products meant to replace the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, are also causing genetic abnormalities in mice.

The discovery is a déjà vu moment for Patricia Hunt, who 20 years ago linked abnormalities in egg chromosomes to BPA released by a harsh detergent used on her lab’s mouse cages. This time, she saw reproductive defects in control animals housed in plastic cages made with BPA alternatives.

“There’s growing evidence that many of these common replacements are not safe,” said Hunt, a professor in WSU’s School of Molecular Biosciences and lead author of a study in the latest Current Biology. “We stumbled on an effect yet again. This is a more stable plastic but it induced similar effects on the process of making eggs and sperm. Importantly, when we tested the chemicals in controlled experiments, we got similar results for each of them.”

BPA has long been used in bottles, cups, medical and dental devices, and as coatings for food-can linings and cash register receipts. After Hunt and other researchers began tying BPA exposure to developmental defects in numerous animal species, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned it in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups. The Washington legislature has also limited its use.
Hunt and her colleagues say mice exposed to the common BPA replacement bisphenol S, or BPS, underwent changes in the way the germ cells in their testes and ovaries copy and splice DNA while producing sperm and eggs. Both sexes had problems getting DNA to recombine correctly, leading to a reduction in viable sperm and an increase in abnormal eggs. Hunt and her colleagues had similar results with the replacements BPF, BPAF, and diphenyl sulfone.

“These findings add to growing evidence of the biological risks posed by this class of chemicals,” Hunt and her colleagues write.

Problems in the male germline lasted several generations after the initial exposure.
In addition to risking human reproductive health, the replacement plastics can also be compromising the integrity of biological research.

“It’s now becoming almost impossible to run experiments without contamination,” said Hunt, called the “accidental toxicologist” by Scientific American magazine. “And it’s not that I live under my own black cloud. It’s that I have a super sensitive system. A germ line is like the canary in the coal mine. As soon as something hits, we see it. Other investigators in my facility don’t see it but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t impact their research.”

Hunt’s WSU colleagues in the research are Tegan Horan, a research intern and the paper’s first author, as well as scientific assistants Hannah Pulcastro and Crystal Lawson and former postdoctoral fellows Mary Gieske and Caroline Sartain. Joining them are Roy Gerona and Spencer Martin of the University of California, San Francisco.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Media contact:
Patricia Hunt, professor, WSU School of Molecular Biosciences, 509-335-4954, pathunt@wsu.edu

The question is whether there are safe plastics.

Timothy Banas wrote in the Livestrong.com article, Which Plastic Containers Can I Safely Use?

Type 1: Polyethylene Teraphthalate – Do Not Reuse
You commonly find Type 1 plastic in bottles for juices, salad dressing, water, vegetable oil and mouthwash. Peanut butter and pickle jars often contain type 1 plastic as well. Polyethylene teraphthalate is light-weight, clear and smooth; its manufacturers intend it for a single use only.
While it does not contain bisphenol A or phthalates, it does contain antimony, a possible human carcinogen. Also, harmful bacteria can build up in it as you reuse it. Polyethylene teraphthalate containers may have the symbol “PET” on them.

Type 2: High-Density Polyethylene – Safe
Milk containers, detergent bottles, freezer bags and plastic grocery bags often contain high-density polyethylene, a relatively stiff plastic. Type 2 plastic neither contains bisphenol A nor phthalates. It is not known to contain other harmful chemicals. High-density polyethylene containers may have the symbol “HDPE” on them.
Type 3: Polyvinyl Chloride – Contains Phthalates
Polyvinyl chloride contains phthalates that can cause reproductive problems in animals and humans. Type 3 plastic can be plasticized or unplasticized; the former is clear and flexible, the latter is more rigid. Food containers commonly made with polyvinyl chloride include fruit juice bottles, cooking oil bottles and clear food packaging. Plasticized PVC pipes and siding contain phthalates as well. Polyvinyl chloride containers may have the symbol “V” on them.
Type 4: Low-Density Polyethylene – Safe
Frozen foods packaging and condiment squeeze bottles often contain Type 4 plastic because it is flexible and resistant to solvents. Type 4 plastic does not contain any known harmful chemicals. Low-density polyethylene containers may have the symbol “LDPE” on them.
Type 5: Polypropylene – Safe
Polypropylene containers do not leach harmful chemicals into foods or liquids. They commonly contain yogurt, medicine, drinks, ketchup and medicines. Type 5 plastic is flexible, hard and semi-transparent and has high resistance to solvents. Polypropylene containers may have the symbol “PP” on them.
Type 7: Polycarbonate
You should avoid type 7 plastic containers because they may contain bisphenol A that leaches into their contents. Type 7 plastics often have the symbol “PC” or “Other” on them. You will find polycarbonate plastics in 3- and 5-gallon water-cooler bottles; hard, plastic reusable water bottles; and to-go coffee mugs. Manufacturers use polycarbonate for these purposes because it is virtually shatter-proof…. https://www.livestrong.com/article/158674-which-plastic-containers-can-i-safely-use/

The Washington State University research indicates that this list may have to be studied further to determine safety.

Resources:

Safe Plastic Numbers (Guide)                                             http://www.babygreenthumb.com/p-122-safe-plastic-numbers-guide.aspx

Pots, Pans, and Plastics: A Shopper’s Guide to Food Safety https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cookware-plastics-shoppers-guide-to-food-safety#1

Which Plastics Are Safe?                                                  https://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html

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University of British Columbia study: Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls

8 Sep

Moi wrote about teen dating violence in Study: 1 in 3 teens are victims of dating violence: Many adults would be shocked by this report from the Chicago Tribune that many teens find dating violence normal:

Ed Loos, a junior at Lake Forest High School, said a common reaction among students to Chris Brown‘s alleged attack on Rihanna goes something like this:

“Ha! She probably did something to provoke it.” In Chicago, Sullivan High School sophomore Adeola Matanmi has heard the same. “People said, ‘I would have punched her around too,’ ” Matanmi said. “And these were girls!” As allegations of battery swirl around the famous couple, experts on domestic violence say the response from teenagers just a few years younger shows the desperate need to educate this age group about dating violence. Their acceptance, or even approval, of abuse in romantic relationships is not a universal reaction. But it comes at a time when 1 in 10 teenagers has suffered such abuse and females ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of any age group, research shows.
The teens interviewed by the Chicago Tribune placed little worth on their lives or the lives of other women. If you don’t as the old ad tag line would say “don’t think you are worth it” why would anyone else think you are worthy of decent treatment? https://drwilda.com/2013/08/05/study-1-in-3-teens-are-victims-of-dating-violence/

Rebecca Klein reported in the Huffington Post article, Sexual Violence Among Students Is A Significant Problem As Early As Middle School, Says Study:

A substantial amount of sexual violence in middle school takes place right under teachers’ noses in the classroom, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that 27 percent of surveyed girls and 25 percent of surveyed boys reported facing a form of sexual violence on middle school grounds in the past year. Most often, the sexual violence took place in school hallways or classrooms.
The study, which was conducted in the spring of 2008, surveyed 1,391 students from Midwestern middle schools in grades 5 through 8. Approximately half of the survey participants were female, 59 percent were African-American, and 41 percent were Caucasian. The researchers define sexual violence as “any act of a sexual nature that is accomplished toward another without his/her consent.”
The most common forms of sexual violence reported were physical sexual violence, rumor spreading, verbal sexual violence and homophobic sexual violence. However, in open-ended questions about the sexual violence, students were sometimes dismissive of the harassment, saying that the perpetrator was “joking” and that the incident was “not that bad or serious.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/06/sexual-violence-middle-school_n_5101226.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Parents are essential in helping children have healthy relationships.

Science Daily reported in Parents may help prep kids for healthier, less violent relationships:

Warm, nurturing parents may pass along strategies for building and maintaining positive relationships to their kids, setting them up for healthier, less-violent romantic relationships as young adults, according to researchers.
Researchers found that when adolescents reported a positive family climate and their parents using more effective parenting strategies — like providing reasons for decisions and refraining from harsh punishments — those adolescents tended to go on to have better relationship problem-solving skills and less-violent romantic relationships as young adults…
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180427155748.

A University of British Columbia study reported in Canada that teen violence may be declining, but boys reported more violence than girls.

Science Daily reported in Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls:

When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence — being hit, slapped, or pushed — than girls. That’s the surprising finding of new research from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
Overall, fewer teens are experiencing physical abuse from their dating partners, with five per cent of teens reporting dating violence in 2013, down from six per cent in 2003.
However, the researchers found 5.8 per cent of boys and 4.2 per cent of girls said they had experienced dating violence in the past year….
“Young people who experience dating violence are more likely to act out and take unnecessary risks, and they’re also more likely to experience depression or think about or attempt suicide,” Shaffer said. “That’s why it’s good to see that decline in dating violence over a 10-year span. It suggests that healthy relationship programs are making an impact among youth.”
The study is the first in Canada to look at dating violence trends among adolescents over time, and the first in North America to compare trends for boys and girls. Researchers analyzed data from three B.C. Adolescent Health Surveys involving 35,900 youth in grade 7 to 12 who were in dating relationships.
Elizabeth Saewyc, senior study author and UBC nursing professor, said the findings highlight the need for more support programs for both boys and girls in dating relationships.
“A lot of our interventions assume that the girl is always the victim, but these findings tell us that it isn’t always so,” said Saewyc. “And relationship violence, be it physical, sexual or other forms, and regardless who the perpetrator is, is never OK. Health-care providers, parents and caregivers, schools and others can protect teens from dating violence by helping them define what healthy relationships looks like, even before their first date.”
The study analyzed surveys conducted by the McCreary Centre Society, a community-based organization dedicated to adolescent health research in B.C. Results were published recently in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180829133154.htm

Citation:

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls, British Columbia study finds
Date: August 29, 2018
Source: University of British Columbia
Summary:
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence — being hit, slapped, or pushed — than girls. That’s the surprising finding of new research from British Columbia, Canada.
Journal Reference:
Catherine S. Shaffer, Jones Adjei, Jodi L. Viljoen, Kevin S. Douglas, Elizabeth M. Saewyc. Ten-Year Trends in Physical Dating Violence Victimization Among Adolescent Boys and Girls in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2018; 088626051878836 DOI: 10.1177/0886260518788367

Here is the press release from the University of British Columbia:

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls

SCIENCE, HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Aug 29, 2018 | For more information, contact Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence—being hit, slapped, or pushed—than girls. That’s the surprising finding of new research from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
Overall, fewer teens are reporting experiencing physical abuse from their dating partners, with five per cent of teens reporting dating violence in 2013, down from six per cent in 2003.
However, the researchers found 5.8 per cent of boys and 4.2 per cent of girls said they had experienced dating violence in the past year.
First author Catherine Shaffer, a PhD student from SFU who was involved in the study, says more research is needed to understand why boys are reporting more dating violence.
“It could be that it’s still socially acceptable for girls to hit or slap boys in dating relationships,” she said. “This has been found in studies of adolescents in other countries as well.”
She added that the overall decline in dating violence, while small, is encouraging.
“Young people who experience dating violence are more likely to act out and take unnecessary risks, and they’re also more likely to experience depression or think about or attempt suicide,” Shaffer said. “That’s why it’s good to see that decline in dating violence over a 10-year span. It suggests that healthy relationship programs are making an impact among youth.”
The study is the first in Canada to look at dating violence trends among adolescents over time, and the first in North America to compare trends for boys and girls. Researchers analyzed data from three B.C. Adolescent Health Surveys involving 35,900 youth in grade 7 to 12 who were in dating relationships.
Elizabeth Saewyc, senior study author and UBC nursing professor, said the findings highlight the need for more support programs for both boys and girls in dating relationships.
“A lot of our interventions assume that the girl is always the victim, but these findings tell us that it isn’t always so,” said Saewyc. “And relationship violence, be it physical, sexual or other forms, and regardless who the perpetrator is, is never OK. Health-care providers, parents and caregivers, schools and others can protect teens from dating violence by helping them define what healthy relationships looks like, even before their first date.”
The study analyzed surveys conducted by the McCreary Centre Society, a community-based organization dedicated to adolescent health research in B.C. Results were published recently in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Find other stories about: Catherine Shaffer, Simon Fraser University, Teen dating, Violence
Contact
Lou Corpuz-Bosshart
UBC Media Relations
Tel: 604-822-2048
Cel: 604-999-0473
Email: lou.bosshart@ubc.ca

Popular culture makes teens who are not involved in activities as “couples” seem like outcasts. Too often, teens pair up before they are mature enough and ready for the emotional commitment. The more activities the girl is involved in and the more sponsored group activities, where teens don’t necessarily have to be in dating relationships, lessen the dependence on an abusive relationship.

Related:

The ‘Animal House’ attitude of some college administrators doesn’t take rape seriously https://drwilda.com/2013/04/23/the-animal-house-attitude-of-some-college-administrators-doesnt-take-rape-seriously/

A tale of rape from Amherst: Sexual assault on campus https://drwilda.com/2012/10/27/a-tale-of-rape-from-amherst-sexual-assault-on-campus/

Sexual assault on college campuses
https://drwilda.com/2012/04/21/sexual-assault-on-college-campuses/

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