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Nuclear war and famine

(News & Editorial/Nuclear war and famine)

 A.  Nuclear war would ‘end civilization’ with famine: study
10 Dec 2013, Phys.org, by Shaun Tandon
Pasted from: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-nuclear-war-civilization-famine.html

Nuc war missile

[Indian Army personnel display an Agni-ll nuclear-capable missile during Indias Repbulic Day parade in New Delhi in Janauary 2006 (AFP)
newvision]

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.

Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.

In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world’s most populous country would face severe food insecurity.

“A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization,” said Ira Helfand, the report’s author.

Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.

But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

“With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race.

“In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen,” Helfand said.

The study said that the black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would reduce US corn and soybean production by around 10 percent over a decade.

The particles would also reduce China’s rice production by an average of 21 percent over four years and by another 10 percent over the following six years.

nuc war wheatThe updated study also found severe effects on China’s wheat, which is vital to the country despite its association with rice.

China’s wheat production would plunge by 50 percent the first year after the nuclear war and would still be 31 percent below baseline a decade later, it said.

The study said it was impossible to estimate the exact impact of nuclear war. He called for further research, voicing alarm that policymakers in nuclear powers were not looking more thoroughly at the idea of a nuclear famine.

But he said, ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this,” he said.

President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority.
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B.  Nuclear famine
How a Regional Nuclear War Will Cause Global Mass Starvation
Pasted from: http://ippnweducation.wordpress.com/nuclearfamine/

Climate scientists who worked with the late Carl Sagan in the 1980s to document the threat of nuclear winter have produced disturbing new research about the climate effects of low-yield, regional nuclear war.

Using South Asia as an example, these experts have found that even a limited regional nuclear war on the order of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons would result in tens of millions of immediate deaths and unprecedented global climate disruption. Smoke from urban firestorms caused by multiple nuclear explosions would rise into the upper troposphere and, due to atmospheric heating, would subsequently be boosted deep into the stratosphere.

The resulting soot cloud would block 7–10% of warming sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, leading to significant cooling and reductions in precipitation lasting for more than a decade. Within 10 days following the explosions, there would be a drop in average surface temperature of 1.25° C. Over the following year, a 10% decline in average global rainfall and a large reduction in the Asian summer monsoon would have a significant impact on agricultural production. These effects would persist over many years. The growing season would be shortened by 10 to 20 days in many of the most important grain producing areas in the world, which might completely eliminate crops that had insufficient time to reach maturity.

nuc war cornThere are currently more than 800 million people in the world who are chronically malnourished. Several hundred million more live in countries that depend on imported grain. Even a modest, sudden decline in agricultural production could trigger significant increases in the prices for basic foods, as well as hoarding on a global scale, making food inaccessible to poor people in much of the world. While it is not possible to estimate the precise extent of the global famine that would follow a regional nuclear war, it seems reasonable to anticipate a total global death toll in the range of one billion from starvation alone. Famine on this scale would also lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases, and would create immense potential for mass population movement, civil conflict, and war.

These findings have significant implications for nuclear weapons policy. They are powerful evidence in the case against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and against the modernization of arsenals in the existing nuclear weapon states. Even more important, they argue for a fundamental reassessment of the role of nuclear weapons in the world. If even a relatively small nuclear war, by Cold War standards—within the capacity of eight nuclear-armed states—could trigger a global catastrophe, then the only viable response is the complete abolition of nuclear weapons.

Two other issues need to be considered as well. First, there is a very high likelihood that famine on this scale would lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases. Previous famines have been accompanied by major outbreaks of plague, typhus, malaria, dysentery, and cholera. Despite the advances in medical technology of the last half century, a global famine on the anticipated scale would provide the ideal breeding ground for epidemics involving any or all of these illness, especially in the vast megacities of the developing world.

Famine on this scale would also provoke war and civil conflict, including food riots. Competition for limited food resources might well exacerbate ethnic and regional animosities. Armed conflict among nations would escalate as states dependent on imports adopted whatever means were at their disposal to maintain access to food supplies.

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C.  Regional nuclear war could devastate global climate
11 Dec 2006, EurekAlert.org,  see Joseph Blumberg at blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
Pasted from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-12/rtsu-rnw120706.php

[The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter, August 9, 1945. (Wikipedia)]

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Even a small-scale, regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more, with environmental effects that could be devastating for everyone on Earth, university researchers have found.

These powerful conclusions are being presented Dec. 11 during a press conference and a special technical session at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The research also appears in twin papers posted on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, an online journal.

A team of scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder); and UCLA conducted the rigorous scientific studies reported.

Against the backdrop of growing tensions in the Middle East and nuclear “saber rattling” elsewhere in Asia, the authors point out that even the smallest nuclear powers today and in the near future may have as many as 50 or more Hiroshima-size (15 kiloton) weapons in their arsenals; all told, about 40 countries possess enough plutonium and/or uranium to construct substantial nuclear arsenals.

Owen “Brian” Toon, chair of the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a member of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder, oversaw the analysis of potential fatalities based on an assessment of current nuclear weapons inventories and population densities in large urban complexes. His team focused on scenarios of smoke emissions that urban firestorms could produce.

“The results described in one of the new papers represent the first comprehensive quantitative study of the consequences of a nuclear conflict between smaller nuclear states,” said Toon and his co-authors. “A small country is likely to direct its weapons against population centers to maximize damage and achieve the greatest advantage,” Toon said. Fatality estimates for a plausible regional conflict ranged from 2.6 million to 16.7 million per country.

Alan Robock, a professor in the department of environmental sciences and associate director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers’ Cook College, guided the climate modeling effort using tools he previously employed in assessing volcano-induced climate change. Robock and his Rutgers co-workers, Professor Georgiy Stenchikov and Postdoctoral Associate Luke Oman (now at Johns Hopkins University) generated a series of computer simulations depicting potential climatic anomalies that a small-scale nuclear war could bring about, summarizing their conclusions in the second paper.

“Considering the relatively small number and size of the weapons, the effects are surprisingly large. The potential devastation would be catastrophic and long term,” said Richard Turco, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and a member and founding director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment. Turco once headed a team including Toon and Carl Sagan that originally defined “nuclear winter.”

nuc war cloudWhile a regional nuclear confrontation among emerging third-world nuclear powers might be geographically constrained, Robock and his colleagues have concluded that the environmental impacts could be worldwide.

“We examined the climatic effects of the smoke produced in a regional conflict in the subtropics between two opposing nations, each using 50 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons to attack the other’s most populated urban areas,” Robock said. The researchers carried out their simulations using a modern climate model coupled with estimates of smoke emissions provided by Toon and his colleagues, which amounted to as much as five million metric tons of “soot” particles.

“A cooling of several degrees would occur over large areas of North America and Eurasia, including most of the grain-growing regions,” Robock said. “As in the case with earlier nuclear winter calculations, large climatic effects would occur in regions far removed from the target areas or the countries involved in the conflict.”

When Robock and his team applied their climate model to calibrate the recorded response to the 1912 eruptions of Katmai volcano in Alaska, they found that observed temperature anomalies were accurately reproduced. On a grander scale, the 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia – the largest in the last 500 years – was followed by killing frosts throughout New England in 1816, during what has become known as “the year without a summer.” The weather in Europe was reported to be so cold and wet that the harvest failed and people starved. This historical event, according to Robock, perhaps foreshadows the kind of climate disruptions that would follow a regional nuclear conflict.

But the climatic disruption resulting from Tambora lasted for only about one year, the authors note. In their most recent computer simulation, in which carbon particles remain in the stratosphere for up to 10 years, the climatic effects are greater and last longer than those associated with the Tambora eruption.

“With the exchange of 100 15-kiloton weapons as posed in this scenario, the estimated quantities of smoke generated could lead to global climate anomalies exceeding any changes experienced in recorded history,” Robock said. “And that’s just 0.03 percent of the total explosive power of the current world nuclear arsenal.”

[Below, I’ve provided some visual examples of the sort of things you might want to incorporate into your cupboard, pantry, basement and/or under your bed during early 2014, think of it as insurance. Mr. Larry]

nuc war food stores

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Why you should prep

A.  Your personal obligation,
May 2014 by Mr. Larry
“Two hundred years ago (1812) the majority of the human race lived an agricultural life, their tools, assets and  knowledge were fitted to extracting most of their livelihood from the land, their land.
Fast forward to 1937 (75 years ago) , agriculture had become mechanized, allowing a great many families to migrate to the cities. These new urban residents learned skills that replaced the previous agricultural knowledge on how to provide for their families sustenance.

Meanwhile, back in the countryside, as had been the practice for 8,000-10,000 years, the remaining farm families continued to use the excess from their crop yield to sustain themselves during the winter, they maintained a quantity of their produce as seed for the following spring planting, some of the crop yield fed their livestock, some grains was sold for trade currency,  and if  the harvest had been really good, they added a couple more head of live stock.

The farm family stored food supplies, seed for future crops, and maintained a supportive ecology based on agricultural foods, wood from the forest, and water from the well or stream. They maintained a supply capacity to cover the eventuality that: a rainstorm might damage an early planting,  a drought could reduce summer production,  or an early frost might kill crops before they’d fully ripened. There could also occur: a crop disease in the field, insect and pest infestations in storage, robbery, heavy taxation,  a wild-fire, or a number of family members (work force) could be ill and removed from the seasons production labor effort. There were and are a lot of potential threats, fortunately none have a high probability of severe occurence on any given year.

The new landless,that is,  the migrants from the farm to the city-town, like their country kin, needed to maintain a savings from the slight excess generated by their labor. Life,  in some ways, may have become easier in the city, but there was/is still the chance of losing one’s job; a business bankruptcy; severe, long term illness in the family; theft by robbery and taxation; currency devaluation (more governmental theft), fire, war, calamity, personal needs and eventual retirement.

There remained a need for everyone to set some of their income aside to cover an eventual, “rainy day,” and not just a literal day or a week, but to cover the individual or family in case they missed a significant part of their harvest or a seasons labor for wages.

During recent decades (roughly the last 75 years), the exploitation of essentially free energy (free lunch) from fossil fuels has made the world’s lifestyle wealthy compared to  that of ancient kings. The largess of Western social economic structures have grown to provide an economic safety net for both farmers and unemployed urban residents. These public welfare programs have become so prevalent, that people now expect someone else to look after their deficiencies.
Diligent industry and personal responsibility have given way to public welfare, there is no longer a need for diligent industry or personal responsibility; quite the contrary, both the rural and urban worker can at times maneuver their situation in conjunction with the letter of the law to profit from sloth. Once enrolled in the public welfare, enough people find ways to stay in the program that they become a burden to society. [See also my post, “Tragedy of the Commons”]

The point here is: While governments has set up well-meaning, social welfare programs, these programs can only be expected to function as long as government structures operate within  some nebulous limit we might call, “Normal Conditions”. It’s great that a new layer of protection has been added as insurance for our personal sustenance, but each individual adult, each family, still has to provide diligent industry and accept personal responsibility to protect themselves.

When you  fulfill your obligation to look after your own survival, like any other larger animal on this planet, then you can accept public welfare on a temporary basis.  Relying on and expecting public assistance in times of regional-national-global hardship is like an irrational farmer who thinks: there will never be a crop loss, who doesn’t maintaining supplies, who does not maintain a flock or herd, and who eats the seed set aside for next year’s crop. This is a line of thinking that is bound for disaster, this is “our modern way” in the West and it has been for the last decade.
All it takes is one crop failure; or, in modern terms: massive unemployment, an extended period of high inflation,  the government declaring bankruptcy, a couple of nuclear missiles entering our skies, a deadly pandemic, any form of economic collapse…
…In 3 days you could be dying of thirst, followed by several weeks of social disorder that escalates by maybe two orders of magnitude (100 times worse than what “bad” means in “normal” times), starvation begins in 4 weeks…” (Mr. Larry)
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B.  Aesop knew how it worked — 2500 years ago
If anyone doesn’t understand the obligation of families to one another during a serious economic national crisis, I recommend you read Aesop’s fable,  The Grasshopper and The Ant, as follows:

“Once there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer’s field far away. She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by, and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head. She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.

The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. ‘Why do you work so hard, dear ant?’ he would say. ‘Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?’

The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. ‘What a silly little ant you are!’ he would call after her. ‘Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!’ And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily.

Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter.
The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark.
It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall.

The grasshopper didn’t feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer’s field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. ‘Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?’ wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. ‘Ah – I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!’ declared the grasshopper, perking up. So off he went to the ant’s house and knocked at her door. ‘Hello ant!’ he cried cheerfully. ‘Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!’

The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, ‘All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!’ And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper’s face.

It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.” (That was human thinking 2500 years ago. lfp)
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C.  Remember the addage , “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”  (about 5000 BC)
One thing about the future is that no one can be too sure how it’s going to turn out. Most of us are realists and understand that in regards to the future, it’s better to prepare for the likelihood of falling on hard times than be stuck in the middle of it without any preparations or plans.

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Definitions use in the following article
SHTF – Shit hit the fan (event). Think: Temporary, local or regional disaster that disrupt some services, business and-or social structures for days to months. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado damage, flooding, riots, local volcanic activity, major snowstorms, hyperinflation…Black Swan SHTF events that trigger a chain of cascading disasters can lead to TEOTWAKI.
TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It. (event). Think: long term wide spread disruption, systemic failures, extreme hardship, trying to survive within a collapsed social structure, crime violence escallates, seeing dead human bodies becomes somewhat common. Nuclear War, solar and terrorist EMP, deadly pandemic, major volcanic activity…
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D.  SHTF vs. TEOTWAWKI?
SurvivalCache.com, by  Captain Bart
http://survivalcache.com/shtf-vs-teotwawki/
“This past President’s Day, all the satellite channels on my cable went out. Annoying. About an hour later all power in the house went out! This is about how it would play out if a big CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) were to hit the earth.

Prepared?
First the satellites and then some time delay later (depending on CME speed) the power goes down. Since I hadn’t followed my usual practice of daily checking on the Sun, I didn’t know and it was too late to find out. Then I noticed the cell phones still worked, my Blackberry allowed me internet access (NOT a Carrington Event). Turns out a line fuse had blown and about 40 houses were without power for 20 minutes or so. Not even much of a SHTF event but for a few minutes, a whole lot of things I wish I had already done went through my mind.

We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. For the first week or two, they may be almost identical. Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event. In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. This causes difficulty in preparations. Get it wrong and you could be in trouble.

My SHTF moment may be your TEOTWAWKI event. When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I shared food, firearms and ammo with neighbors. It was a SHTF and not even a ‘Black Swan” event. The problem with this, of course, is that now my neighbors know I’m prepared. If you lived on Bolivar Penninsula near Galveston, Texas, Hurricane Ike was a TEOTWAWKI event. This Cat II hurricane had a storm surge like a Cat IV storm and in parts of Bolivar not even the foundations are left.

The point of this is that not only is one man’s SHTF another man’s TEOTWAWKI, one event can morph into the other. How you prepare for one event effects how you deal with the other type event. If you have only prepared for TEOTWAWKI and that plan is basically taking your fully tricked out assault rifle and scrounging what you need from your neighbor’s deserted homes, then you may find yourself in real trouble when the SHTF but it isn’t TEOTWAWKI. SHTF and even ‘Black Swan’ events happen to all of us to varying degrees with surprising regularity although we often don’t recognize it. If you worked for Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme, the SHTF big time when your job, your investments and your savings all went away at the same time! Everything changed overnight.

I think the most likely TEOTWAWKI event will be some type of pandemic that will start slowly and grow in isolated locations until some critical mass is reached. You may have a different “favorite” TEOTWAWKI event but this one serves for discussion. At the point critical mass is reached everything shuts down, martial law is declared and the TEOTWAWKI spiral begins.

Plan For The Mostly Likely Events
What does this mean for us? I would argue that most of our preparations should be for SHTF events. A TEOTWAWKI pandemic and a normal flu outbreak will be identical on the local level for the first days to weeks. So my first preparations will be to survive a one-week ‘shelter in place’ – grid up and utilities working. My next step is to survive a 2-week, shelter in place, grid down scenario followed by a possible 4-week bug out stint. I am ready and flexible if things change but I feel that this is the most likely scenario and what I base my planning around.

The moral is to prepare for the most likely events first since they are the ones that will surely happen. I KNOW Houston will get hit by another hurricane. If I’m ready for Ike, then I’m set for a different 2 to 4 week grid down Black Swan. If I stretch my preparations to 3 months then I’m ready for a massive commerce interruption and so on. Baby steps will carry you far if you are consistently improving. Giant steps can lead to major, perhaps catastrophic mistakes in planning and execution. Take care of the smaller, high probability events and the low probability events and Black Swans can be successfully handled.”

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E.  How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?
May 12th, 2012, for  SHTFPlan.com, by  author, Be Informed
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

This article has been made available by regular SHTFplan contributor, Be Informed.
Editor’s Note: You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be, because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences for not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.

I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep. People still don’t understand how important it is to put away. I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies. I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation. There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to. Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article I detail some hard core realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history. While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced. For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation. It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.
As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future. After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work, North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out, sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so, Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else, and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives. “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news, while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times. It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themsleves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives. Meaningless chatter. Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment. A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families. The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homeless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event. If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time? What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles. Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm. The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them, because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies. The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about. However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves. This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non prepper needs to understand:

•  Without power the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.
•  Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still need power to work, don’t flush without water. Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?
•  There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.
•  Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.
•  Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectant, or fuel and something to boil water with.
•  Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.
•  A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events  in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.
•  A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.
•  Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.
•  Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history during disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.
•  Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.
•  ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.
•  Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.
•  Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.
•  What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?
•  Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.
•  There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.
•  Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.
•  Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.
•  Travelling will likely be by  foot or bicycle, as their will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.
•  Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE  who moves becomes a target
•  Non preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.
•  The non prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.
•  They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.
•  They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.
•  They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.
•  They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self defense stores or skills.
•  They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.
•  They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with. Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho hums the idea of prepping.
What horrors they will likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning? There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

•  The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services, and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements, but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.
•  The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.
•  The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.
•  The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.
•  The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering with intense hunger pains in their stomachs.
•  The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.
•  The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.
•  The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly, because they have neglected putting away anything to make life more bearable.
•  The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper. Imagine the smell for a moment.
•  The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amoungst the filth that will pile up. No pest control stored up along with no other supplies
•  The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.
•  The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries. Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives. Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.
•  The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.
•  The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that taste so bad it gags them and comes back up.
•  The (NP) will likely have  family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.
•  The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.
•  The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.
•  The (NP) will likely get into  physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.
•  The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.
•  The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their  soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.
•  The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.
•  The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk, and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.
•  The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as  having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.
•  The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.
•  The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics. Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.
•  The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.
•  The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live. They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot. They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying. The (NP) will      likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies. Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal hand outs and thrown-away items dry up. Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time. While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times. Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours. People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources. Even in well-to-do neighborhoods you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout. This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons. It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again. It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand. The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life threatening positions. Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period. When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever. Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare. This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away. People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of shear desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating. Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up. Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future. There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life saving routine or positive lifestyle habit. It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday. Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen. Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world falls apart around them.

To every action there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it. Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.”

End of article

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Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life)

 A.  When The Toilet Paper Runs Out
October 30, 2011, NC Preppers, by
Pasted from: http://ncpreppers.com/2011/10/30/when-the-toilet-paper-runs-out/in

tp-kleenix1[The last roll of TP]

I have a prepper friend who admits that if TSHTF, “I will share my stored food and supplies with family members who make fun of me for prepping. But I WON’T SHARE MY TOILET PAPER!”

Most of us have stored food, water, and supplies with plans for sustainable replacement. For example, we are planting gardens, raising chickens and rabbits, have rainwater barrels, and manual pumps for our wells.

But what happens when the toilet paper runs out?
If we are planning for a long term event, we need to face the scary fact that toilet paper is not a renewable resource and will eventually run out. I know some people who have a panic attack at the thought of that. What are our options?

What did people do before toilet paper was available? Everyone has heard about dried corncobs (ouch). When I was a child visiting my grandparents in the Appalachian mountains, I had to use their outhouse. Everyone in that area used old Sears’ catalogs. I would tear out a page and rub the page together as my cousins taught me to soften it a bit. Slick paper doesn’t work so well. I have read that Indians and pioneers used leaves. Some cultures use just their hand. For obvious reasons, none of these alternatives seem very attractive to me.

Almost two years ago someone started an entertaining thread on the American Preppers Network about the use of “family cloths.” I will admit that the idea of using cloth toilet wipes to be be washed and reused pretty well grossed me out. I thought, “These people are nuts!” Then about a year ago I decided to make some “for emergencies.” Once I made them and started using family cloths, I found I prefer them to toilet paper and miss them when I travel away from home.

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I found a website that sells them as baby wipes and bought a dozen to try. I liked the way they were made and bought the fabric to make my own. They are two layers, one terry cloth, the other flannel. I zigzag the edges in a very close stitch to keep them from unraveling. They are approximately 5″ X 7″. I made some smaller ones for those times when just a little blotting is needed. I made 40 cloths out of one yard of terry and one yard of flannel.

They are thick, soft, and substantial. I bought white fabric because I use bleach. After being used for a year, they still look like new. I am the only one in our household who uses them. Some people make them in different colors, one color for each person in the family. Many people save money by making them from old linens, t-shirts, or washcloths.

I am not 100% toilet paper free. I use a few sheets of TP initially followed up with the cloth. I wet the cloth with water and a little soap on one end of the cloth on the terry side. A dry cloth works for other times.

Following use, I fold the used cloth in half and place it in a large plastic container of water with a little laundry soap and Oxiclean and cover with a lid. There is no odor and nothing gross about draining most of the water off of them and just dumping the cloths into the washer. I wash them with homemade laundry detergent and bleach. They come out perfectly clean and white.

I have gone from using one roll of toilet paper a week to one roll a month. When the toilet paper runs out, I won’t be using corn cobs or a Sears catalog.

As I posted above, the key to avoiding stains is to put used cloths in a bucket (I use a plastic coffee can) of water with a bit of detergent and Oxiclean to soak until they are washed. I use the lid of the bucket to drain the water off them into the toilet before washing. I wash mine about once a week whenever I do laundry. If there were more people using them, I would wash them more frequently. I do not use bleach to soak them which would shorten the life of the fabric.

I wash them in the washer by themselves with laundry detergent, Oxiclean, and bleach. (I don’t measure.) Since it is a “small” load, I use less than a cup of bleach.

It has now been over two years since I started using the cloths daily. They still look like new with no stains just like in the blog pictures. The material and stitching have held up well with no mending needed. It is not unlike what you would do with white cloth diapers.

I keep cloths and a container for soaking in my master bath and the half-bath I use on the first floor. Because I use a few sheets of toilet paper for a first wipe when I do more than pee, the cloths are not really gross. If I ever don’t have access to TP, I will be fine using the cloths exclusively.

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B.  Several types of alternate cloth wipes
__1) Green Mountain Diapers
Pasted from: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/other.htm
I bought the ones that are 5″ X 8″, two-sided terry and flannel, 12 for $9.95.
Cloth-eez® Two-Sided Wipestp-kleenix3
Cotton terry on one side, soft flannel on the other side. Terry is great for the main job, and the nice, smooth, gentle flannel is great for the final touch-up details. White cotton is the best color for wipes, so you can see what you are doing. 5×8 inches, approximate measurements before washing, and they will shrink somewhat. I love this size, the feel, and the practicality of the 2 different sides. May fit in your wipes warmer without folding. This wipe is Karen’s favorite, because I find it easiest to use several wipes per poopy change, grabbing a fresh wipe as needed, rather than folding a larger wipe over and over. These wipes are a less overwhelming size for a young baby’s small bottom, yet still fine as baby grows. To me, flannel on one side and terry on the other has the best “feel” for the job. An inexpensive wipe in the perfect size. Fits in many wipes containers. Suggested amount: 4 packs for a young baby, 3 packs for an older baby. 100% cotton. Made in China. Pack of 12 for $10.95 + about $6.95 S&H

tp-kleenix4
__
2) GroVia Cotton Cloth Wipes, 12 count
Amazon.com, $11.50+$4.99 S&H
> 88% Polyester and 12% cotton, ultra soft baby terry
> 12 cloth wipes per pack
> 8″H x 8″W
> Easy to use and washable
> Our ultra soft baby terry wipes are gentle enough for baby’s face yet perfect for cleaning the messiest bums.
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C.  Using Handkerchiefs Instead of Facial Tissue
diyNatural, by Betsy Jabs
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.diynatural.com/using-handkerchiefs-instead-of-facial-tissue/

Five reasons to use a handkerchief:
1. It saves money. I used to love coordinating all the cute tissue boxes with my bathrooms (wow, that’s marketing at its finest), but I estimate we probably spent $20-$40 per year just on facial tissue. Not a huge savings, but I can certainly think of other things I could use that money for. We have not purchased a box of tissue in almost a year, and the tissues we purchased before that were to keep available for guests.
2. It produces less waste/saves resources. I have been so thankful for handkerchiefs as we strive to go paperless in our house. They take up very little space in the laundry and prevent our trash from filling up so quickly. Keep a stack of hankies in an easily accessible drawer in the house so family members aren’t tempted to use the paper alternative.
3. Hankies are more comfortable to use. Tissues used to make my nose raw after prolonged use. My 100% cotton hankies feel very nice on my face. As far as the moisture in the hanky goes… without going into graphic detail, I’ll just say that it all works out somehow and hasn’t been an issue for me. After using a hanky, it can be folded up, tucked away, and it’s usually dry the next time you pull it out. (And if this grosses you out, you can always grab a fresh hanky!)

tp-kleenix5

 4. Hankies create less of a mess. Hankies don’t leave any particles
behind, and never rip as I’m using them. The white fuzz left on Matt’s face after using facial tissues is a thing of the past. (I kind of miss being able to laugh at this.) Hankies won’t create trouble in a load of laundry if accidentally left in a pocket–and we’ve all had this laundry mis-hap with tissues. Picking a gazillion of those little white tissue remnants off clothes coming out of the washer? Ugh! Never again! In fact, you’ll just end up with a clean hanky if one is left in a pocket.
5. Hankies are more sustainable. Handkerchiefs are a much more sustainable replacement for facial tissues AND many other things. Think about replacing other things in your home with hankies…paper napkins, paper towel, toilet paper, tissue paper, or other things around the house that might currently be disposable. We no longer have to worry about running out of tissues. In the past, when the last tissue had been used, we would grab for toilet paper and frantically run to add tissues to the grocery list. With hankies, you can grab a fresh one whenever your current one is getting icky, and you can forget about a trip to the store.

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D.  How to Wash Handkerchiefs
ehow.com, S.F. Heron, eHow Contributor
Pasted from: http://www.ehow.com/how_5047316_wash-handkerchiefs.html

Washing handkerchiefs is relatively easy. The hard part lies in making sure the stains and nasal fluids have been completely removed from the fabric before sterilizing it for future use. Handkerchiefs come in many styles, including lace edged and monogrammed. Test any cleaning method on an inconspicuous spot before attempting to clean your handkerchiefs whether you are laundering basic cotton handkerchiefs in the clothes washer or by hand.

Things You’ll Need
•  Color safe bleach (if colored hankies)
•  Bleach
•  Shout or OxyClean
•  Detergent

Instructions
Washing Handkerchiefs in the Washing Machine
1. Address any stains or spots on the handkerchief fabric first. Spray spot remover on the handkerchief as soon as possible after the stain occurs to help prevent setting the stain. Allow the cleaner to work for some time before laundering. Don’t let the stain remover completely dry or it might enhance the existing stain or create another one.
2.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and 1/8 cup of bleach (or color safe bleach for colored fabric handkerchiefs).
Immerse the handkerchiefs into the water and allow to soak for some time. This step helps sterilize the fabric to remove germs.
3.  Place the handkerchiefs into the clothes washer and set the dial for a delicate cycle. Use hot water to help sterilize the fabric. Include the appropriate amount of laundry detergent for the load.
4.  Either air dry or tumble-dry the fabric handkerchiefs, removing the items from the drier while still slightly damp to help release the wrinkles.

Washing Handkerchiefs by Hand
5.  Soak the handkerchiefs in a sink basin filled with a small amount of chlorine bleach and water to remove germs and bacteria after testing to make sure to the fabric can handle the harsh affects of bleach.
6.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent.
7.  Immerse the handkerchiefs completely into the water, squeezing the fabric to make sure it absorbs the water. Wring the fabric to make sure detergent gets into the fabric as well.
8.  Allow the handkerchiefs to soak for 30 minutes.
9.  Run clear, cool water over the fabric until all bubbles are removed. Be careful not to wring the fabric too much as this will create wrinkles. Hang the handkerchiefs up to dry.
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E.  Why a Handkerchief  Should Be In Your Survival Kit
November 17, 2011, PreppingToSurvive.com, by Joe
Pasted from: http://preppingtosurvive.com/2011/11/17/why-a-handkerchief-should-be-in-your-survival-kit/

tp-kleenix6

Sir Baden-Powell founded the original Boy Scouts in England following his defense of the town of Mafeking in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The original uniform for the Boy Scouts included a Handkerchief folded in half and worn conveniently around the neck. His decision to include this accessory was not merely one of fashion. The handkerchief offers someone in the wild many varied uses.

Uses in First Aid
A handkerchief can be of great value when it comes to wilderness first aid. Few items are so flexible as a handkerchief. It can be used to put a sling around an injured arm, split a sprained ankle, and bandage an exposed wound. Handkerchiefs can be used to clean a cut with soap and water or cool someone who is suffering from heat exhaustion. Yes, when it comes to applying emergency aid to a victim in the wild, handkerchiefs come in handy.

Uses with Food and Water
Handkerchiefs offer a number of uses around the impromptu kitchen when effecting survival. You can place a handkerchief over the mouth of a container to strain muddy water from a pond or puddle. The water must still be purified but at least the handkerchief will prevent some of the larger items from making it into your drinking water.

As you purify your drinking water, the handkerchief can be used as a potholder to prevent you from burning yourself when removing a container from the fire. You can place handkerchiefs over your food to protect it from flies while tending to other survival activities. And you can use a handkerchief to aid in washing and cleaning your cooking utensils.

When water is in short supply, you can tie a handkerchief around your leg as you walk through a field of high grass and use it to collect water from the morning dew. Periodically take the handkerchief off, hold it above your head, and squeeze the refreshing liquid into your mouth.

Uses in Survival
By attaching a brightly colored handkerchief to the end of a long stick, a makeshift signal flag can be created to help alert distant rescuers of your presence.
In hotter climates, a handkerchief can be soaked in water and worn around the neck or over the head to help cool your blood and thus lower your overall body temperature. In cold weather, a handkerchief can offer additional insulation under your hat to help keep body heat from escaping through your head.

Handkerchiefs are lightweight, easily carried, and incredibly useful. Boy Scout uniforms are still adorned with the standard neckerchief for many of the same reasons listed here. Shouldn’t one or more be in your survival kit?

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Dancing with viral dangers

A.  Smallpox: Will Human Error Cause the Next Global Pandemic?
11 July 2014, Viral Global News Reader, posted in Health
Pasted from: http://www.viralglobalnews.com/health/smallpox-will-human-error-cause-next-global-pandemic/11790/

Viral danger1

This past week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that they have discovered containers of smallpox vials in a cold storage room at the Maryland National Institute of Health. This is big (and scary) news in the health field because this National Institute of Health is unauthorized to carry such an infectious disease. The smallpox disease is so dangerous and deadly that nations around the globe have agreed to a mandate that states that only two labs in the world are allowed to possess it. Will human error cause the next global pandemic?

Authorities are not sure why the smallpox vials were in the Maryland facility, and experts were not sure how the smallpox avoided detection for such a long time. This is coming off the heels of a previous CDC announcement in which they revealed that another protocol breach may have resulted in 75 CDC employees being accidentally exposed to anthrax.

The good news is that neither incident has reported any inadvertent exposures to the infections during both accidental events. The bad news is that both incidents have exposed potential hazards and security holes in even the most safe health facilities and labs across the globe.

Many researchers have reported that Americans are quite lucky that accidental exposures and health “slip-ups” like these did not happen with a virus like the flu, but the discovery of the unchecked smallpox virus in Maryland has many asking: will human error cause the next global pandemic? In 1918, there was a strain of influenza that killed around 50 million people. That 1918 strain of the flu, and some other strains as well, are currently being studied and researched in medical research labs in the United States and in various facilities around the world. If any of those labs make a mistake or have a slip-up, the results could be deadly and disastrous.

Current detractors of this type of research are not saying that researching dangerous pathogens is not important – these types of experiments can often provide valuable insight into combating such diseases – but they are saying that the rationale that is used to replicate these dangerous pathogens does not necessarily justify the risk that is taken by creating them.

They mention how scientists have been able to create the vaccines for these pathogens without having to recreate the viruses themselves, meaning that developing new strains of the pathogen is not necessary for protection; and as a result, people in the United States and around the globe will be able rest with a lot more at ease at night,

One of the biggest concerns amongst detractors of the studies is a form of research called “gain of function” studies. In this type of study, researchers and scientists will take a strain of a deadly pathogen that humans do not have immunity to yet and make them even more contagious in an effort to find a vaccine and to see how it transfers itself to mammals. Currently, “gain of function” studies are going on in the Netherlands and in the state of Wisconsin.

Mistakes and slip-ups in medical labs are not just hypothetical situations; they have happened before. Most recently, it happened in 1977 when the H1N1 virus escaped from a lab in China, and an outbreak in China and Russia ensued.

Basic human error can waltz pass even the most strict of security and safety protocols. Yes, it is very unlikely to happen, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. After the smallpox discovery, many are wondering if human error could cause the next global pandemic. If an outbreak like this does happen, humans will be asking themselves, “Was it worth it?”

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B.  Movie Plagues Not Entirely Claptrap
13  Jul 2014, MedPageToday, by Correspondent, Michael Smith
Pasted from: http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/46735

It’s a recurring theme — a plague threatens to kill us all and a few brave souls work tirelessly to prevent doom.
Think, The Andromeda Strain. Think, Contagion and Outbreak. On the small screen this year, there’s, The Last Ship. And the list could go on.
The consensus among MedPage Today staffers in a morning meeting a few weeks ago was that such fictions are just … well, fiction. Tinseltown trash. Hollywood hokum.
So we decided to ask the experts and found a consensus among infectious disease specialists that is considerably more nuanced. Such stories are overblown, yes. Sensationalist, of course. But nonsense? Not entirely.
We asked if it is even possible that a sudden pathogenic scourge could threaten to kill us all.
The scientific consensus: Yes, although it’s unlikely. But it’s likely enough that highly trained specialists spend their working days worrying about it.

Worst Case Scenario (Really)
We also asked: What’s the worst that could happen, assuming a novel pathogen, easily transmitted, with no pre-existing immunity anywhere?
The scientific consensus: It could kill a lot of people, but probably not everybody.
“Theoretically, such a pathogen is possible,” commented Gail Reid, MD, of Loyola University Health System in Chicago. “It does not need 100% mortality, just close.”
viral danger movie“Although in such a case not all humans would die, societal structure would most certainly be negatively affected,” Reid told MedPage Today.
And assuming a novel, easily transmitted pathogen, “a large portion of the population of the planet could be affected rather quickly,” she said. “Just one plane ride from anywhere in an initially asymptomatic individual has the potential to lead to a pandemic.”

“My Infectious Diseases fellows saw the movie, Contagion several years ago and were very scared. Need I say more?”

Such movies are “fictional, sensationalistic, and raise the specter of extinction events,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a specialist in pandemic preparedness.
But “they do reflect the continual threat that humans face from emerging pathogens,” Adalja told MedPage Today.
He, like many other experts, cited HIV, SARS, the 1918 pandemic flu, and the recent flu pandemic as examples of novel diseases jumping to humans in recent times. But, as we all know, none has been uniformly fatal.

Lessons From History
“The popular fictional portrayals are not only possible, they have already occurred, “Adalja said, “and preparing, predicting, and attempting to mitigate the effects of this continual onslaught is of paramount importance.”

The 1918 flu pandemic “was a vivid example that a novel respiratory virus from another species can effectively mutate to evolve into a competent human pathogen with high potential for person-to-person transmission and virulence resulting in catastrophic illness affecting millions worldwide,” said Amar Safdar, MD, of New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

That’s just the most dramatic example, Safdar told MedPage Today. The “concern for alarm” comes from repeated epidemics and pandemics in the 90 or so years since then.
To fit its movie role, a novel pathogen would need several characteristics — it would have to be easily transmissible and eventually lethal but with a long incubation period in which the victim was asymptomatic but able to infect many people.
Luckily, we have yet to encounter such a bug.

Robert Holzman, MD, of NYU School of Medicine in New York City, told MedPage Today: “There is no question that infections can have a high death rate and major impact on human and nonhuman populations.”
The question, he said, is how likely such an event is.

“Over a lot of years of human existence we have not yet encountered a human pathogen combining the high fatality rate of, say, rabies and the high transmissibility of, say, norovirus or chicken pox or measles,” he said.

Possible, Yes. Probable, No
Such a bug is not impossible, he said, but it’s “very, very, …, very unlikely.”
“Fortunately,” agreed Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, “the notion of a scourge that could instantly wipe out humanity is not a likely event.”

Indeed, “it would take an incredibly virulent and contagious pathogen in another species to jump to humans and still be both virulent and contagious,” argued Matthew Sims, MD, PhD, of the Beaumont Health System in the Detroit area.
“The big fear is we will hit a perfect storm of disease where all of the worst possibilities come true,” Sims said.

“It is very, very uncommon that a disease is so lethal that everyone who catches it dies,” commented Jorge Parada, MD, also of Chicago’s Loyola University Health System.

Parada, who was a medical source for the 2011 movie, Contagion, added that “even the devastating 1918 flu pandemic that killed an estimated 20 to 40 million people had a mortality rate only as high as around 20%.”
Indeed, regardless of the pathogen itself, commented Kevin Morano, PhD, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, some of us would be okay.
“In any population there would almost always be a small percentage of immune individuals, based on chance and genetics,” he told MedPage Today. “With a planet of six billion, a 1% survival rate still leaves 60 million.”
However, as Loyola’s Reid noted, that would still have a devastating effect on human society.

It Really Is a Small World, After All
One thing that worries experts is that we travel a lot more these days. As CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, is fond of saying, any pathogen is just a plane ride away.

Since the 1918 flu, medical science has gotten better at treating disease, but “the advent of air travel presents a new dilemma, as communicable diseases can now be spread across continents within days,” said Glenn Wortmann, MD, of MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

SARS in 2002-2003 “highlighted this risk,” he said — an initial outbreak in southern China spread to 37 countries, eventually causing more than 8,000 cases and more than 700 deaths.
SARS was highly virulent, but not completely so, Sims noted: “It stormed through the population but not everyone was affected even among those exposed.” But it’s very virulence meant that the outbreak burned out relatively quickly.

Put another way, some pathogens “kill so fast that the virus becomes self-limiting, unable to spread faster than it kills,” Morano said.
For SARS, there is still no established antiviral therapy, commented David Perlin, PhD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark — the virus was essentially starved of victims by quarantine measures.
(The same is true of the Middle East coronavirus (MERS), incidentally — there is no specific treatment and control is essentially a matter of good quarantine measures. When they fail, as they did this spring, outbreaks can occur.)

The 2009 pandemic flu, Perlin noted, “was not particularly lethal, but CDC estimated that in approximately one year, there were between 43 (and) 89 million cases.”
But a 10% or 20% fatality rate — like SARS or the 1918 flu — “would have killed many millions.”
Not all diseases burn out, of course. HIV spread for years before it was even recognized and has now killed some 36 million people. Luckily, it’s quite hard to catch.
The same is true of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu. It has a case-fatality rate of about 60% — still not enough to kill us all off — but only a few hundred cases have been recorded since the bug was first recognized.

“The major worry for scientists,” Wortmann said, “is that a deadly virus, such as Ebola, would mutate to become more contagious, and then spread internationally through air travel.”
“As there are few effective treatments for viral infections, this would represent a global challenge,” he added.
Ebola, now raging in West Africa, is a pathogen with an alarmingly high case-fatality rate but it needs close contact between a victim and another person for infection to take place.
Importantly, it doesn’t spread through droplets in the air, as do the flu and common colds. And in places like the U.S. with a highly developed healthcare system, simple barrier precautions and isolation would prevent a widespread outbreak.

Worst case scenarios involve either an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that kills quickly or a virus that kills more slowly or has a latency period where it can be transmitted but is not debilitating, argued UT Health’s Morano.
In either case, the rate of infection might be fast enough and the rate of death slow enough that the pathogen could spread by common means of transportation, he said.
It would be even worse if the agent was aerosolized and spread by coughing or sneezing so that many people could be infected by a single patient, Morano added.

The White Knight
But what about the heroes of the tale? What about the brave scientists who track down the pathogen and come up with a cure/vaccine/treatment?
Here the experts are more divided.
Loyola’s Reid said: “I think the most fictitious aspect of this is the rapid ‘cure’ that is developed.”
After all, she added, “we still don’t have a vaccine for HIV or hepatitis C or Ebola virus, and our vaccine for influenza has to be updated yearly.”

On the other hand, Beaumont Health System’s Sims said, “technology has come incredibly far in the last decade or so.”
It took years for investigators to identify HIV, come up with a test for it, and develop treatments (although no cure or vaccine so far), Sims noted. But it took only a month or so to realize that SARS was a new disease, and a few weeks more to identify the agent that caused it.

Research on possible treatments was underway when the disease had begun to burn itself out.
“Unfortunately, the scenario of an intrepid doc or scientist coming up with a cure or vaccine in the span of a few weeks or months is highly unlikely, especially if the infectious agent is poorly studied,” Morano commented.

“These things take a great deal of research, time and money — exactly what we’re doing now in medical centers across the globe.”

(News & Editorial/ Dancing with viral dangers)

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Modern Living: Part IV of V (Pollutants & Spills)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1. What happened to the American dream?
2. Entertainment galore
Part II
3. Cigarette smoking

4. Illegal drug use

Part III
5. Antibiotics and super bugs
6. Antibiotics in meat
7. GMO in crops

Part IV
8. Household Pollutants and Chemical spills

Part V
9. Infrastructure deterioration
.

8. Household Pollutants & Chemical Spills

A. Household Pollutants
<
Household”>http://www.pollutionissues.com/Ho-Li/Household-Pollutants.html&gt;
Household pollutants are contaminants that are released during the use of various products in daily life. Studies indicate that indoor air quality is far worse than that outdoors because homes, for energy efficiency, are made somewhat airtight. Moreover, household pollutants are trapped in houses causing further deterioration of indoor air quality.

Hazardous household products fall into six broad categories: household cleaners, paints and solvents, lawn and garden care, automotive products, pool chemicals, and health and beauty aids. Many commonly used household products in these categories release toxic chemicals. As an alternative, manufacturers are introducing products, often referred to as green products, whose manufacture, use, and disposal do not become a burden on the environment.

Chemicals in Household Products and Their Effects
Many household products like detergents, furniture polish, disinfectants, deodorizers, paints, stain removers, and even cosmetics release chemicals that may be harmful to human health as well as cause environmental concerns (see the table below, “Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects”).

Insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers that are used for maintaining one’s lawn and garden are another source of household pollution. Their entry into the house could occur through air movement or adsorption by shoes and toys, which are then brought inside the house.

A common class of pollutants emitted from household products is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sources for these pollutants include paint strippers and other solvents, wood preservatives, air fresheners, automotive products, and dry cleaned clothing. Formaldehyde is a major organic pollutant emitted from pressed wood products and furniture made from them, foam insulation, other textiles, and glues. Exposure to very high concentrations of formaldehyde may lead to death.

Other household products that contain harmful chemicals are antifreeze, car cleaners and waxes, chemicals used in photo development, mice and rat poison, rug cleaners, nail polish, insect sprays, and wet cell batteries. Such household chemicals may pose serious health risks if not handled, stored, and disposed of properly.

Indoor Air Pollutants from Other Household Activities
From time to time, homeowners complete a variety of remodeling projects to improve the aesthetic look of their house. These include new flooring, basement remodeling, hanging new cabinets, removing asbestos sheets, scraping off old paint (which might contain lead), and the removal or application of wallpaper. Such activities could be a significant source of indoor air pollutants during and after the project. Asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, chloroform, trichloroethane and other organic solvents, and lead dust are the main pollutants released during remodeling. Homes built before 1970s may pose additional environmental problems because of the use of lead- and asbestos-containing materials. The use of both materials was common in building construction prior to the 1970s (e.g., lead-based paint used to paint homes).

Table: Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects

Household products & their potential health effects Harmful Ingredients Potential Health Hazards
Air fresheners & deodorizers Formaldehyde Toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritates eyes, nose,throat and skin; nervous, digestive, respiratory system damage
Bleach Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Disinfectants Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; respiratory and circulatory system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Drain cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin and eyes; toxic in nature; nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Flea powder Carbaryl Very toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous, respiratory and circulatory system damage
Dichlorophene Toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Chlordane and other chlorinated hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; irritates eyes and skin; cause respiratory, digestive and urinary system damage
Floor cleaner/wax Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; causes nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Petroleum solvents Highly ignitable; carcinogenic; irritate skin, eyes, throat, nose and lungs
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Furniture polish Petroleum distillates or mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritate skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs
Oven cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin, eyes; toxic in nature; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Paint thinner Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; cause digestive and urinary system damage
Esters Toxic in nature; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Alcohols Ignitable; cause nervous system damage; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons Ignitable; toxic in nature; digestive system damage
Ketones Ignitable; toxic in nature; respiratory system damage
Paints Aromatic hydrocarbon thinners Ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogenic; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Pool sanitizers Calcium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates skin, eyes, and throat; if ingested cause severe burns to the digestive tract
Ethylene (algaecides) Irritation of eyes, mucous membrane and skin; effects reproductive system; probable human carcinogen of medium carcinogenic hazard
Toilet bowl cleaner Sodium acid sulfate or oxalate or hypochloric acid Corrosive; toxic in nature; burns skin; causes digestive and respiratory system damage
Chlorinated phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; cause respiratory and circulatory system damage
Window cleaners Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; cause nervous, urinary and digestive system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract

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Avoiding Exposure and the Use of Green Products

There are several steps one can take to reduce exposure to household chemicals. The table below provides a list of alternative products. One can bring unused and potentially harmful household products to a nearby chemical collection center; many communities have such a center. Chemicals received at these centers are recycled, disposed of, or offered for reuse. One may also purchase just the amount needed or share what is left over with friends. In addition, one should always avoid mixing different household chemicals.

Most of the chemicals released during remodeling projects are toxic in nature, and some of them are even carcinogenic. Proper care, such as employing wet methods for suppressing dust, use of high-efficiency filters to collect fine particulates, and sealing the remodeling area, must be taken while remodeling to prevent the emission of harmful chemicals into the surrounding air. Reducing material use will result in fewer emissions and also less waste from remodeling operations. Another good practice is to use low environmental-impact materials, and materials produced from waste or recycled materials, or materials salvaged from other uses. It is important to avoid materials made from toxic or hazardous constituents (e.g., benzene or arsenic).

Indoor air quality should improve with increasing consumer preference for green products or low-emission products and building materials. Green products for household use include products that are used on a daily basis, such as laundry detergents, cleaning fluids, window cleaners, cosmetics, aerosol sprays, fertilizers, and pesticides. Generally, these products do not contain chemicals that cause environmental pollution problems, or have lesser quantities of them than their counterparts. Some chemicals have been totally eliminated from use in household products due to strict regulations. Examples include the ban of phosphate-based detergents and aerosols containing chlorofluorocarbons.

Alternatives to common household products Alternative(s)
SOURCE: Based on information available from various sources including the Web site of Air and Waste Management Association
Air refresher Open windows to ventilate. To scent air, use herbal bouquets, pure vanilla on a cotton ball, or simmer cinnamon and cloves.
All-purpose cleaner Mix ⅔ cup baking soda, ¼ cup ammonia and ¼ cup vinegar in a gallon of hot water. Doubling all the ingredients except the water can make stronger solution.
Brass polish Use paste made from equal parts vinegar, salt and flour. Be sure to rinse completely afterward to prevent corrosion.
Carpet/rug cleaner Sprinkle cornstarch/baking soda on carpets and vacuum.
Dishwashing liquid Wash dishes with hand using a liquid soap or a mild detergent.
Drain opener Add 1 tablespoon baking soda into drain and then slowly pour ⅓ cup white vinegar to loosen clogs. Use a plunger to get rid of the loosened clog. Prevent clogs by pouring boiling water down drains once a week, using drain strainers, and not pouring grease down drains.
Fabric softener Use ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda during rinse cycle.
Fertilizer Use compost and organic fertilizers.
Floor cleaner Mix 1 cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water. For unfinished wood floors, add 1 cup linseed oil. To remove wax buildup, scrub in club soda, let soak and wipe clean.
Floor polish Polish floors with club soda.
Furniture polish Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil and 1 pint mineral oil. Also, use damp rag.
Insecticides Wipe houseplant leaves with soapy water.
Laundry bleach Use borax on all clothes or ½ cup white vinegar in rinse water to brighten dark clothing. Nonchlorinated bleach also works well.
Methylene chloride paint stripper Use nontoxic products.
Mothballs Place cedar chips or blocks in closets and drawers.
Oil-based paint, thinner Use water-based products.
Oven cleaner Wash the oven with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Soften burned-on spills by placing a small pan of ammonia in the oven overnight. Sprinkle salt onto fresh grease spills and then wipe clean.
Pesticide Use physical and biological controls.
Silver cleaner Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a 2″ x 2″ piece of aluminum foil to a small pan of warm water. Soak silverware overnight.
Toilet cleaner Use baking soda, a mild detergent, and a toilet brush.
Window cleaner Mix ¼ cup ammonia with 1 quart water.

.
B. Chemical spills
__1. Sick fish in Gulf are alarming scientists
Unusual number a ‘huge red flag’ to scientists, fishermen
< http://newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/7830/Sick-fish-in-Gulf-are-alarming-scientists-Unusual-number-a-huge-red-flag-to-scientists-fishermen.aspx>

Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems.

“It’s a huge red flag,” said Richard Snyder, director of the University of West Florida Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation. “It seems abnormal, and anything we see out of the ordinary we’ll try to investigate.” Are the illnesses related to the BP oil spill, the cold winter or something else? That’s the big question Snyder’s colleague, UWF biologist William Patterson III, and other scientists along the Gulf Coast are trying to answer. If the illnesses are related to the oil spill, it could be a warning sign of worse things to come.

In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the herring fishery collapsed and has not recovered, according to an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee report. The herring showed similar signs of illness — including skin lesions — that are showing up in Gulf fish. Worried that same scenario could play out along the Gulf Coast, Patterson is conducting research on the chronic effects of the BP oil spill on Gulf fish. And he sees troubling signs consistent with oil exposure: fish with lesions, external parasites, odd pigmentation patterns, and diseased livers and ovaries. These may be signs of compromised immune systems in fish that are expending their energy dealing with toxins, Patterson said.

“I’ve had tens of thousands of fish in my hands and not seen these symptoms in so many fish before,” said Patterson, who has been studying fish, including red snapper, for 15 years. “All those symptoms have been seen naturally before, but it’s a matter of them all coming at once that we’re concerned about.”

He’s conducting the research with some of the $600,000 in BP money distributed to UWF from $10 million the oil company gave to the Florida Institute of Oceanography in Tampa to study the impact of the spill.

Higher scrutiny
As part of his studies, Patterson is collecting samples at targeted sites in the Gulf and from commercial fishermen. Samples from his targeted sites have shown fewer problems than those from fishermen. While Patterson is alarmed, he’s quick to point that the Gulf’s ecosystem never before has been scrutinized as closely as it is now, or by so many scientists. “Are we looking more closely, or are these unusual?” he said.

Sick fish have been reported from offshore and inshore waters from Northwest Florida to Louisiana, he said. Scientists are trying to figure out how prevalent these abnormalities are and their cause.

In that pursuit:

  • Patterson and Florida A&M University scientists are conducting toxicology tests to find out if the fish were exposed to hydrocarbons or oil. Results are not final.
  • Scientists at Louisiana State University’s veterinarian school are in the Gulf looking into what microbes might be causing the diseases.
  • Pensacola marine biologist Heather Reed is studying red snapper for a private client using broader testing methods than mandated by the federal government, which she says are not adequate.

“I’ve been testing different organs in game fish that have been brought to me, and I’m seeing petroleum hydrocarbons in the organs,” said Reed, the environmental adviser for the City of Gulf Breeze. “I was shocked when I saw it.” She is trying to secure grants to continue that research and is talking to federal and state officials about her findings, she said. All the studies are aimed at one goal: “To find out what is really going on and get things back to normal,” Reed said.

Solving the mystery
But both Reed and Patterson say it’s hard to determine just how many fish are being found sick because many commercial fishermen are reluctant to report their findings to state and federal officials out of fear fishing grounds will be closed and their livelihoods will be put at risk.

But at the same time, to protect the future of the Gulf, Patterson said, the fishermen quietly are asking scientists to look into what is happening.

Clay Palmgren, 38, of Gulf Breeze-based Bubble Chaser Dive Services, is an avid spear fisherman who has about 40 pounds of Gulf fish in his freezer. He has not seen sick fish so far, but he said many of his angler friends, both recreational and commercial, are talking about catching fish that appear abnormal. “I’m 100 percent glad scientists are looking at this,” he said. “I’m concerned with the health of fish, and I think it will take a couple of years for the (toxins) to work up the food chain. I think that’s a shame.”

Patterson’s studies and those of other scientists delving into this mystery of the sick fish are not trying to determine whether the seafood is safe for public consumption. “There is fish health and human health, and we’re concerned about the sublethal effects of the oil spill on communities of fish,” he said.
Findings so far demonstrate that studies need to continue far into the future, he said.

The $500 million BP has provided for long-range research on the Gulf oil spill will ensure “people will be examining the impacts for the next decade,” Patterson said.
The cause of the fish illnesses may be hard to nail down, Snyder said.
“Cause and effect is a huge problem for environmental work,” Snyder said. “You see anomalies in fish. Is it oil-related? How do we prove it? We can make the connection with economic stuff. But after the oil is gone, how do you definitely say the fish are sick because of the oil spill? “We may never know, and that’s the frustrating thing.”
.

__2. Top Military Brass Working With BP to Promote Gulf Seafood
8 Dec 2010, The Intel Hub
<http://theintelhub.com/2010/12/08/top-military-brass-working-with-bp-to-promote-gulf-seafood/>
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is pushing all members of America’s armed service to buy and eat as much seafood as possible.
This is as sinister as it gets! BP has destroyed the gulf and is now working with the U.S. military to get it in the homes of American troops (already poisoned by continued exposure to depleted uranium) throughout the country! Multiple scientists have declared gulf seafood toxic and for good reason. Over 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant has been sprayed in and around the gulf. The facts are so heavily documented that there is no logical way that any literate human being not pushing an agenda could believe otherwise.

This is common sense
To top it off, Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, is pushing for this toxic cocktail to be served in in school lunch programs nationwide! The children of this nation are already heavily medicated/poisoned and the last thing they need is Corexit seafood.

“He expressed what we wanted to hear; he is in favor of the federal government buying seafood from the Gulf,” said Smith, who said he would like to see Gulf seafood as the choice throughout the public domain, “whether it’s the military or prison systems or school systems.”

This is the America that we currently find our self in. An international company has been allowed to control their own massive oil spill, obliterate the gulf with Corexit, ban the first amendment on the beaches they littered with Wackenhut thugs, and use 30 billion dollars to promote their seafood to the American people.

The Times Picayune
BP is giving the Louisiana marketing board $30 million to spend over the next three years to promote Gulf seafood, and Smith said a request for proposals from agencies that would craft the marketing campaign will be going out shortly. The Louisiana board also will be getting a share of the $15 million the Commerce Department has given to the Gulf State Marine Fisheries Commission to divide among the Louisiana board and its sister groups in the other Gulf states, including Texas.

Imagine the horror of being one of the families that had their lives destroyed by the oil spill and seeing a carefully crafted commercial promoting BP and gulf seafood. Where is the FCC when we need them?

I recently attended a forum at Seattle University that was put on by both Project Gulf Impact and students at the university who were so touched by the spill and its impact that they asked PGI to come to their school and put on an educational forum. What transpired was three hours of groundbreaking information including multiple fisherman who have had their businesses destroyed and families sickened by the disaster.

The American people are soon to be subject to a huge BP marketing ploy and we must do everything in our power to get the word out on the dangers of the gulf waters and seafood. Call me crazy, but a ‘smell test’ is just not adequate enough for a fish that has been subject to months of Corexit exposure.

We have documented the events of this disaster from the beginning and it has become undeniably clear that the waters, people, and seafood of the gulf were poisoned beyond belief.

End of Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Modern Living/Death by 1000 cuts/Part IV of V: Household Pollutants and Chemical Spills

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Modern Living: Part III of V (Antibiotics & GMOs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic:
Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore
Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking

4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops 

Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spill
Part V
9.  Infrastructure deterioration

5.  Antibiotics and ‘superbugs’

A. China threatens world health by unleashing waves of superbugs
By Peter Foster in Beijing 6:25PM GMT 05 Feb 2010
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/7168303/China-threatens-world-health-by-unleashing-waves-of-superbugs.html>
China’s reckless use of antibiotics in the health system and agricultural production is unleashing an explosion of drug resistant superbugs that endanger global health, according to leading scientists.

Data from Chinese hospitals shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance

Chinese doctors routinely hand out multiple doses of antibiotics for simple maladies like the sore throats and the country’s farmers excessive dependence on the drugs has tainted the food chain.

Studies in China show a “frightening” increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also known as MRSA . There are warnings that new strains of antibiotic-resistant bugs will spread quickly through international air travel and international food sourcing.

“We have a lot of data from Chinese hospitals and it shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Andreas Heddini of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control.

“Doctors are daily finding there is nothing they can do, even third and fourth-line antibiotics are not working. “There is a real risk that globally we will return to a pre-antibiotic era of medicine, where we face a situation where a number of medical treatment options would no longer be there. What happens in China matters for the rest of the world.”

Particular alarm has been raised by resistance rates of MRSA in Chinese hospitals, which has more than doubled from 30 per cent to 70 per cent, according to Professor Xiao Yonghong of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at Beijing University. Last year researchers found a new strain of MRSA in Chinese pigs imported into Hong Kong and called for urgent new studies into its potential to infect humans after an infection of the new strain was confirmed in Guangzhou, where many of the pigs were farmed. A Beijing-based health expert with access to unpublished surveys showed that the situation in China was actually worse earlier studies had indicated.

“The Chinese Ministry of Health has all the data,” the expert warned, “but they seem unable or unwilling to believe it. The situation has global implications and is highly disturbing.” The Chinese Ministry of Health failed to respond to requests for an interview or information by phone, email and fax over a three-day period.

New prescription guidelines to restrict antibiotic use being issued by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004. “The guidelines are not being followed effectively,” added Professor Xiao, “over just the last five years, for example, our studies show the rate antibiotic-resistant E. coli has quadrupled from 10 per cent to 40 per cent.”

Public health experts say the rampant over-use of antibiotics in China is primarily caused by China’s under-funded healthcare system where hospitals derive up to half of their operating income from selling drugs. In some cities, such as Chongqing, almost half of all drugs sold are antibiotics.

“In Chinese hospitals our data shows that 60 per cent of in-patients are being prescribed antibiotics compared with the WHO guideline of 30 per cent,” added Professor Xiao who also heads China’s National Antibiotic Resistance Investigation Network.

China’s State Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of antibiotics without prescription but a survey by The Daily Telegraph found the drugs were still easily obtainable over-the-counter.

Three out of five chemists agreed to sell antibiotics after a cursory consultation with the ‘patient’ who complained of a sore throat. At one outlet a pharmacist handed over a course of the second-generation antibiotic, Cefuroxime Axetil, with minimal hesitation.

Asked if the sale could “get her into trouble” she said that the pharmacy would get a doctor to write the prescription later to cover their sales records. She added that even doctors from the nearby Capital Institute of Pediatrics came to buy antibiotics without prescription. “When the surveillance is strict, we won’t risk selling antibiotics,” Ms Zhang added. Asked to elaborate, she explained, “For example during the 2008 Olympic Games period, we didn’t sell them”.
.

B.     Antibiotic Resistance Called Growing Threat to Human Health
VOA.com (Voice of America), Washington, DC,  May 18, 2010, by Vidushi Sinha
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Antibiotic-Resistance-Called-Growing-Threat-to-Human-Health–94101404.html
The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health. Experts fear antibiotic resistance puts humans in danger of becoming nearly defenseless against some bacterial infections.

Dangerous comeback
 The improper use of antibiotics has led to strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Experts say if efforts to combat the problem are not launched now, infections that were curable could make a dangerous comeback.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls on American lawmakers to address the problem. “We speak of the pre-antibiotic and antibiotic eras, but if we don’t improve our response to the public health problem of antibiotic resistance, we may enter a post- antibiotic world in which we will have few or no clinical interventions for some infections,” he says. Specialists are concerned that the more an antibiotic is used, the less effective it becomes. The genetic mutation of bacteria, which makes them resistant to antibiotics, is a natural process. But drug overuse has accelerated the process.

Impact of drug overuse
“You end up with very resistant bacteria in the urinary tract. That’s only one example. Skin infections, lung infections, different bacteria causing these types of infections as they become more and more resistant, and then you get to more severe problem like tuberculosis in many parts of the world,” says Dr. Donald Poretz, an infectious disease specialist. “People are given little of this and little of that to treat tuberculosis and tuberculosis germs develop resistance.
“One of the most lethal infections born out of bacterial resistance is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA which kills 19,000 people in the United States every year. Since 2002, about 2 million MRSA infections have been acquired in US hospitals each year. Poretz says these infections can spread globally.
“You can have worldwide resistance, some resistant to some drugs, some resistant to other drugs in different parts of the world,” he says. “And with rapid travel you can communicate those resistant bacteria to anyone here, there, there or there.”

Cutting back
Drug companies have cut back on production of antibiotics, and that contributes to the problem, scientists say. Less than optimal dosing means the target bacteria survive and build resistance incrementally. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) says profits drive pharmaceutical companies to shy away from antibiotics. “So if they’re going to make a choice of making a product that some, a lot of, people are going to take every day for the rest of their lives, a lipid lowering agent, whatever you have, they’re going to lean towards that rather than to make a new product that a relatively small proportion of the population will use maybe 10 days to two weeks out of the year,” said Fauci.
Experts say the solution lies in educating patients and doctors to stop using antibiotics when they are not necessary.

.
6. Antibiotics in meat

A. Bacteria in grocery meat resistant to antibiotics
Reuters, NewYork,  Fri Apr 15, 2011, By Aman Ali
<http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/15/us-bacteria-meat-idUSTRE73E7FJ20110415>
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Researchers have found high levels of bacteria in meat commonly found on grocery store shelves, with more than half of the bacteria resistant to multiple types of antibiotics, according to a study released on Friday. While the meat commonly found in grocery stores is still safe to eat, consumers should take precautions especially in handling and cooking, the chief researcher for the study said.

The study by the Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI) examined 136 meat samples from 26 grocery stores in Illinois, Florida, California, Arizona and Washington D.C.

Dr. Lance Price, the head researcher on the study, said high levels of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria were found in the meat. “Staph causes hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year,” Price said in an interview. “It causes a whole slew of infections ranging from skin infections to really bad respiratory infections like pneumonia.”

Staph infections also kill more people in the United States each year than HIV, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said that the agency was aware of the TGRI findings, and similar studies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meats, and was working with the U.S. Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the causes and effects.

“FDA has been monitoring the situation. The TGRI study points out that the public health relevance of the findings is unclear. FDA continues to work with CDC and USDA to better understand this issue,” the FDA spokeswoman said. Price said the most significant findings from the study aren’t the level of bacteria they found, but rather how the bacteria in the meat was becoming strongly resistant to antibiotics farmers use to treat the animals they slaughter.

The study found that in 96 percent of the meats with staph bacteria the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, and 52 percent were resistant to three or more types.
“The bacteria is always going to be there. But the reason why they’re resistant is directly related to antibiotic use in food animal production,” Price said. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health we face today.”

“This is one more reason to be very careful when you’re handling raw meat and poultry in the kitchen,” Price said. “You can cook away these bacteria. But the problem is when you bring in that raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen with these bacteria.”

Washing hands and counters before and after handling meat and keeping other foods away from uncooked meat are ways to prevent disease from spreading, Price said. But consumer initiatives aren’t going to solve the bigger problem, he said.
“To put it all on the consumer is really directing blame at the wrong end of the food chain,” Price said.
Of all the types of meats where bacteria was resistant to three or more antibiotics in the study, turkey was the most resistant, followed by pork, beef and then chicken. Price said it’s not clear why turkey was the most resistant.

USDA officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

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B.   Antibiotics used in meat pose a threat to public health, admits FDA
Friday, October 22, 2010, Natural News.com,  by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
<http://www.naturalnews.com/030132_antibiotics_meat.html#ixzz1MJsDSXbj>
On
June 28 of this year, the FDA issued a draft of new guidelines urging meat producers to refrain from using antibiotics to promote livestock growth, calling the practice an “urgent public health issue.”
“To preserve the effectiveness [of antibiotics], we simply must use them as judiciously as possible,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein.

The livestock industry regularly gives antibiotics to healthy animals to make them gain more weight faster, as well as to prevent infection. For more than 30 years, public health experts have warned that this practice is contributing to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria, including strains that can infect humans.


“We are seeing the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens,” Sharfstein said. “FDA believes overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate.” In order to preserve the effectiveness of “medically important” antibiotics, including penicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides, the FDA issued new guidelines reiterating that antibiotics should be given to food animals only for health-protection purposes, and that veterinarians should oversee all such drug use, from selection to treatment.

“Using medically important antimicrobial drugs as judiciously as possible is key to minimizing resistance development and preserving the effectiveness of these drugs as therapies for humans and animals,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The draft guidance will be open for public comment for 60 days before becoming official agency policy. Although the FDA technically has the authority to ban any veterinary use of antibiotics that it deems inappropriate, the agency is taking a more cautious path — voluntary guidelines — in the hopes of avoiding a battle with lawmakers and the food industry. Prior FDA attempts to regulate agricultural antibiotic use have all been blocked by Congress.

      The European Union banned growth-promoting uses of antibiotics in livestock in 2006. “We are not expecting people to change tomorrow,” Sharfstein said. “This is the first step in FDA establishing principles from which we could move to other steps, such as oversight. This does not tell people what to do, it establishes principles and tells people how to achieve those principles.”
Nevertheless, the threat of mandatory regulations is an obvious subtext to the FDA’s newest move.
“We have the regulatory mechanisms, and industry knows that,” Sharfstein said.
The FDA’s move reflects the growing concern among public health experts about the growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
“The development of resistance to this important class of drugs, and the resulting loss of their effectiveness as antimicrobial therapies, poses a serious public health threat,” the FDA’s draft guidance statement reads.

      It is estimated that 100,000 people die in the United States every year just from drug-resistant infections acquired inside hospital settings. The overall number of deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is likely much higher. “The writing is on the wall,” said infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg of the University of California-Los Angeles, author of Rising Plague. “We’re in an era where antibiotic resistance is out of control, and we’re running out of drugs and new drugs are not being developed,” he said. “We can’t continue along the path we’re on.”

      The National Pork Producers Council fired back at the FDA, saying the guidelines would be an unduly heavy burden without good cause. “There is no scientific study linking antibiotic food use in food animal production with antibiotic resistance,” the council said. “[That is] patently untrue,” responded Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “There is a mountain of studies linking the use of antibiotics in animals to the evolution of resistant pathogens that cause human disease.”

      Because many bacteria can transfer between human animals, and because many of the same drugs to treat humans are also used on livestock, health advocates have singled out agricultural antibiotic use as an area of major concern. According to the Union for Concerned Scientists, 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States in 2001 went to livestock for growth-promotion purposes, while another 14 percent went to animals for disease prevention or treatment.

      The industry trade group, the Animal Health Institute, has disputed this figure, claiming that only 13 percent of agricultural antibiotics are used for growth promotion, with much of the remainder used for illness prevention — a use that is not addressed by the new guidance. This has raised concerns that even if the FDA implemented an obligatory ban, the industry could sidestep it by reclassifying its antibiotic use without changing its practices.

      Poor diets and cramped living conditions produce abnormally high infection rates among factory-farmed animals. To maintain the increased profits associated with factory farming without bearing the associated health costs, many farmers simply dose their animals with antibiotics as a preventive tactic.
“[Even] under the FDA’s proposed guidelines, agribusiness could continue to routinely feed antibiotics to entire flocks or herds to prevent illnesses they may never encounter,” wrote Pew Health Group Managing Director Shelley Hearne in a letter to the New York Times. “This approach to prevention would never be allowed in human medicine, and it should not be allowed in animals.”

      Health and consumer groups expressed disappointment at the FDA’s statement and called for an outright ban on all agricultural antibiotic use except for the treatment of illness. “I was expecting an action plan. I was disappointed that all we have here are principles,” Mellon said. “They’re apparently expecting voluntary action. It’s my belief that the industry’s not going to act until it has to.”
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7.  GMO in Crops

A.  Why You Should Be Concerned About GMOs
February 20, 2011, Posted by Josh Corn
http://www.stopagingnow.com/liveinthenow/article/are-gmo-foods-bad-for-you-why-you-should-be-concerned

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been grabbing headlines in recent weeks, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suddenly reversing bans on one genetically engineered crop after another. The list of genetically modified food ingredients is growing at an alarming rate. And what’s even more disturbing is the fact the USDA seems to have sided with big business in allowing GMO foods to be sold without any labeling whatsoever.

Consumers have been left largely in the dark, unable to make informed choices about buying foods containing GMOs. By some estimates, over 75% of all processed foods sold in the U.S. contain a GMO ingredient. Corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar, beef and dairy products are among the most likely to have been genetically modified.

Scientists, environmental activists, supporters of organic farming and consumers alike are joining forces to protest the USDA’s decisions. Organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, Alliance for Natural Health USA and Say No to GMOs! are just a few examples of those working to fight back against GMOs.

What’s behind all of the outrage and fervor? Here’s a brief overview of the case against GMOs. It’s important to educate yourself now, because the onslaught of approved GMO foods entering our food supply is likely to continue, as the government refuses to acknowledge that they could be harmful.

Why do GMOs exist?
If you listen to the government and the Big Agra companies it supports, GMO foods are perfectly safe, and their benefits include lower cost crops, more productive farms and even healthier foods. But the truth is, genetically engineered plants exist for a single reason — profits. Companies like Monsanto have been known to bully farmers into paying “technology fees” to use their GMO seeds.
In most cases, the reason that seeds are genetically modified is so the plants can withstand massive doses of herbicides and pesticides. And guess who sells these toxic chemicals? The same companies that make the GMO seeds.

Why should you be concerned about GMOs in our food supply?
Genetically engineered plants have had either genes from bacteria or viruses, or genes that make plants resistant to toxic chemicals like the herbicide Roundup — spliced into their DNA. These genes were never part of the human diet until the first GMO plant was created in 1996.

To date, there have been no long-term human safety studies conducted on GMOs. To assume that they are safe defies common sense, as we lack any scientific evidence to prove that they do not pose a threat to human health. In fact, more research points towards potentially harmful effects of consuming GMOs.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)’s official position on GMOs is that they “have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk” and that a moratorium on GMO foods should be put in place until long-term studies demonstrate their safety. Many other environmental, public health and consumer protection organizations around the world are also calling for these steps to be taken.

According to the AAEM, “Animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including reproductive problems, compromised immunity, accelerated aging, blood sugar imbalances and harm to major organs.

Aside from the potential dangers of consuming GMO foods, GMOs pose a grave threat to the entire organic farming industry. (Scientists say that cross-contamination of GMO crops with non-GMO crops will be inevitable.) GMOs also contribute to greater pollution because many are designed to withstand greater application of pesticides and herbicides.

Have you ever seen one of those movies where a government-created toxin gets loose and spreads out of control? GMO seeds are real-world example of this scenario, and it’s happening right now! Experts all over the world are warning that as more and more GMOs are approved, they could become so intertwined with our food supply that we reach a point of no return.

Nobody knows for sure why the USDA is all of a sudden accelerating its acceptance of GMOs. What’s the rush? Are short-term decisions being made that are going to have serious long-term consequences? Unfortunately, the government has a long track record of doing just that. And history is replaying itself with GMOs. So the time to take action is now.
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B.  Eight Reasons Genetically Modified Organisms are Bad for You
Organic Authority,Written by Shilo Urban
http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/eight-reasons-gmos-are-bad-for-you.html
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature.

A large percentage of domestic crops (up to 85% of soybean yields) have DNA that was tweaked in a lab, yet it is nearly impossible to know which food items contain these genetically engineered ingredients. Thankfully new mobile phone apps are making it a bit easier for the consumer to know what she is eating, but this is not enough.

GMOs are bad for your body, bad for the community, bad for farmers and bad for the environment. This is why
1. The health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are largely unknown. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences. When trans-fats were first introduced, corporations battled to get them onto your grocery shelves – and it is only decades later that this once novel food has been proven to be extremely unhealthful. Many scientists are worried that the genetically altered foods, once consumed, may pass on their mutant genes to bacterium in the digestive system, just like the canola plants on the roadsides of North Dakota. How these new strains of bacteria may affect our body systems’ balance is anybody’s guess.
2. Food items that contain GMOs are unlabeled in America. Why so sneaky? The European Union has banned GMOs, as have Australia, Japan, the UK and two dozen other countries that recognize that a lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects.
3. Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity. When genes are more diverse, they are more robust; this is why a pure bred dog tends to have greater health problems than the dear old mutt. Plants with reduced genetic diversity cannot handle drought, fungus invasions or insects nearly as well as natural plants, which could have dire consequences for farmers and communities dependent on GMO crops for survival.
4. Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back. Genetically modified organisms contaminate existing seeds with their altered material, passing on modified traits to non-target species. This creates a new strain of plant that was never intended in the laboratory. In North Dakota, recent studies show that 80% of wild canola plants tested contained at least one transgene. In Japan, a modified bacteria created a new amino acid not found in nature; it was used in protein drinks and before it was recalled it cause severe mental and metabolic damage to hundreds as well as several deaths. Japan banned GMOs after this horrific experience. Monarch butterflies have also died after their favorite food, milkweed, was cross-pollinated from Bt corn which rendered it toxic to the endangered species.
5. GMOs are not the answer for global food security. Genetically engineered crops have shown no increase in yield and no decrease in pesticide use. In many cases other farm technology has proven much more successful, and even Monsanto agrees that its genetically engineered crops yield less than conventional farming.
6.
Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot. The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups.
7. Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records, but then again what would you expect from organizations who want to patent the world’s food supply? These massive biotech companies have a history of toxic contamination, deceiving the public and suing small farmers when their patented seeds blew across the fence. Biotech firms sell sterile seeds to African farmers- meaning the seeds are only good for one season, because the plants that grow up will not be able to reproduce. Farmers must buy new seeds every year instead of growing from the previous year’s yield. GMOs are not the farmers’ friend.
8. GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. These things are poisons, and should not be eaten or allowed to run off into our water supply. But they are, every day, by companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about your health, your environment or your children’s future.

The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms have not been proven in any way to be safe, and most of the studies are actually leaning the other direction, which is why many of the world’s countries have banned these items whose DNA has been genetically engineered. In America, they aren’t even labeled, much less banned, so the majority of the populace has no idea that they are eating lab-created DNA on a daily basis.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living: Part III of V: Antibiotics and GMOs

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Living: Part II of V (Cigarettes & Illegal drugs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore

Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking
4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops
Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spills
Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

3.  Cigarette smoking

A.   Cigarette Smoking
American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/CigaretteSmoking/cigarette-smoking-who-and-how-affects-health
The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality [death] in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was then.

Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors — activities that people choose to do — smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.

Here is a brief overview of cigarette smoking: who smokes, how smoking affects health, what makes it so hard to quit, and what some of the many rewards of quitting are. For more on these topics, download our free PDF ‘Guide to Quitting Smoking’ at:
<http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-toc>

Who smokes?
Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 46 million US adults were current smokers in 2009 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 20.6% of all adults (23.5% of men, 17.9% of women) — about 1 out of 5 people.

When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:
•  Whites                                           22.1%
•  African Americans                      21.3%
•  Hispanics                                      14.5%
•  American Indians/Alaska Natives    23.2%
•  Asian Americans                         12.0%
•  People of multiple races             29.5%

There were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups. In 2009, the CDC reported 24.% of those 25 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared with 9.5% of those aged 65 or older.

High school and middle school students
Nationwide, 20% of high school students were smoking cigarettes in 2009. The most recent survey of middle school students shows that about 5% were smoking cigarettes. In both high schools and middle schools, white and Hispanic students were more likely to smoke cigarettes than other races/ethnicities.

What kinds of illness and death are caused by smoking?
About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Cancer caused by smoking
Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with an increased risk of the following cancers:
•  Lung
•  Larynx (voice box)
•  Oral cavity (mouth, tongue, and lips)
•  Pharynx (throat)
•  Esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach)
•  Stomach
•  Pancreas
•  Cervix
•  Kidney
•  Bladder
•  Acute myeloid leukemia

Smoking is responsible for almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and is one of the hardest cancers to treat. Lung cancer is a disease that can often be prevented. Some religious groups that promote non-smoking as part of their religion, such as Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists, have much lower rates of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers.

Other health problems caused by smoking
As serious as cancer is, it accounts for less than half of the deaths related to smoking each year. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke.

Using tobacco can damage a woman’s reproductive health and hurt babies. Tobacco use is linked with reduced fertility and a higher risk of miscarriage, early delivery (premature birth), and stillbirth. It is also a cause of low birth-weight in infants. It has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), too.

Smoking can make pneumonia and asthma worse. It has been linked to other health problems, too, including gum disease, cataracts, bone thinning, hip fractures, and peptic ulcers. Some studies have also linked smoking to macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause blindness.

Smoking can cause or worsen poor blood flow in the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease or PVD.) Surgery to improve the blood flow often doesn’t work in people who keep smoking. Because of this, many surgeons who work on blood vessels (vascular surgeons) won’t do certain surgeries on patients with PVD unless they stop smoking.

The smoke from cigarettes (called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) can also have harmful health effects on those exposed to it. Adults and children can have health problems from breathing secondhand smoke.

Effects of smoking on how long you live and your quality of life
Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the CDC estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.

But not all of the health problems related to smoking result in deaths. Smoking affects a smoker’s health in many ways, harming nearly every organ of the body and causing diseases. According to the CDC, in 2000 about 8.6 million people had at least one chronic disease because they smoked or had smoked. Many of these people were suffering from more than one smoking-related problem. The diseases seen most often were chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. And some studies have found that male smokers may be more likely to be sexually impotent (have erectile dysfunction) than non-smokers. These problems can steal away a person’s quality of life long before death. Smoking-related illness can limit a person’s daily life by making it harder to breathe, get around, work, or play.

B.  The high cost of smoking
The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, insurance — you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.
By Hilary Smith
<http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourHealth/HighCostOfSmoking.aspx>

If the threat of cancer can’t persuade you to quit smoking, maybe the prospect of poverty will.
The financial consequences of lighting up stretch far beyond the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Smokers pay more for insurance. They lose money on the resale value of their cars and homes. They spend extra on dry cleaning and teeth cleaning. Long term, they earn less and receive less in pension and Social Security benefits.

Indeed, being a smoker can not only mean you don’t get hired — you can get fired, too. After announcing it would no longer employ smokers, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan, fired four employees who refused to submit to a breath test. It began testing the spouses of its employees, too, levying an $80-per-month surcharge on those who don’t test clean.

Overall, 5% of employers prefer to hire nonsmokers, according to the most recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, and 1% do not hire smokers. A few examples:
Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan stopped hiring smokers for full-time positions at both its Michigan campuses.
•  Alaska Airlines, based in Washington state, requires a nicotine test before hiring people.
•  The Tacoma-Pierce County (Wash.) Health Department has applicants sign an “affidavit of nontobacco use.”
•  Union Pacific won’t hire smokers.

That same poll found that 5% of companies charge smokers more for health-care premiums. The costs don’t stop with your paycheck. Figures from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids assert that smokers cost the economy $97.6 billion a year in lost productivity.

That’s based on the number of working years lost because of premature death. (The Bureau of National Affairs says 95% of companies banning smoking report no financial savings, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds no connection between smoking and absenteeism.)

An additional $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care combined, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and each American household spends $630 a year in federal and state taxes due to smoking.

Personal financial impact
The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages around $6, including taxes, depending on where you live.A pack-a-day smoker burns through about $42 per week, or $2184 per year. That’s a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70.

The one place many smokers feel free and comfortable to light up is in their car. Without consistent and thorough cleanings, however, a car that is smoked in will soon start to resemble an ashtray on wheels. The interior inevitably smells like smoke, and stray ashes and butts can burn holes in the upholstery and floor mats.

None of these things has much financial impact until you try to sell the car. Figure a minimum of $150 for a good cleaning with an extractor.
As a trade-in, dealers can easily knock off more than $1,000 on higher-end vehicles. Terry Cooper, a car dealer with seven new- and used-car stores, says he took a 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet in on trade for $37,000. That sounds OK, but the owner could have fetched $40,000 for it had he not “smoked out” the car’s interior.

The criteria that apply to cars apply to homes as well, only on a bigger scale. Smokers’ houses often require all new paint and/or wall treatments, as well as professional drapery and carpet cleaning. According to Contractors.com, priming and painting an average-size living room, dining room and two bedrooms would cost more than $2,000. The Carpet Buying Handbook puts the average cleaning cost per square foot at 28 cents, and the average home has 1,000 square feet of carpet. That’s $280. Add $55 to clean a typical sofa and $25 for a chair, says Diversified Carpet in San Diego. Walt Molony with the National Association of Realtors says that “certainly the smell of cigarettes can be a turnoff to potential buyers.”

Insurers weigh in, and they’re not happy
We pulled some online quotes on 20-year term life insurance (a $500,000 policy) for a healthy 44-year-old male through BudgetLife.com. The lowest quote for a nonsmoker was $1,140 in premiums per year; for someone smoking a pack a day, the lowest price more than doubled to $2,571 per year.

The difference in health insurance isn’t as dramatic. According to eHealthInsurance.com, the monthly premium for a policy from Regence Blue Shield with a $1,500 deductible for a 44-year-old male nonsmoker is $292. The same policy for a smoker is $338 per month, or $552 more a year.

A few state governments also charge their employees extra for health insurance if they smoke, and others are gradually joining the trend.

According to the ACLU, a majority of states do not have a state law preventing employers from discriminating against potential and current employees based on non work activities. Thirty-one states do have laws that protect smokers, including Colorado and North Dakota, which ban discrimination based on any form of legal, off-duty behavior.

When shopping for homeowners insurance, nonsmokers can generally expect to receive a minimum 10% discount. The insurer’s point of view: Smokers burn down houses. The most common homeowners insurance policies range from approximately $457 to $1372 per year, depending on the home’s location. With the discount, a nonsmoker would realize savings of at least $45, but most likely more.

Few people set out to cut their life short, but smokers greatly increase their chances of dying sooner than nonsmokers. In his book “The Price of Smoking”, Frank Sloan, the director of the Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at Duke University in Durham, N.C., details the financial impact of a shorter life span on retirement benefits. “Smokers, due to higher mortality rates, obtained lower lifetime benefits compared to never smokers, even after accounting for their smoking-related lower lifetime contributions,” the research says.

Sloan and his colleagues found that the effects of smoking on lifetime Social Security benefits were $1,519 for 24-year-old female smokers and $6,549 for 24-year-old male smokers. This is money paid into Social Security but never collected, because the beneficiary died prematurely of a smoking-related illness. “You could be paying into Social Security year after year, and if you die at 66 because you’re a smoker, it’s money down the drain,” says Sloan.

Keeping up appearances
Numerous studies find that smokers earn anywhere from 4% to 11% less than nonsmokers. It’s not just a loss of productivity to smoke breaks and poorer health that takes a financial toll, researchers theorize; smokers are perceived to be less attractive and successful as well. Bad breath, yellow teeth and smelly clothes are just a few of the personal side effects of smoking, and all cost money to correct.
An extra pack of mints or gum a week adds up to about $50 per year. Need your teeth whitened once a year? Brite Smile, which has offices across the country, sells its service for $400 to $600. Most professional-grade teeth whitening products retail for a minimum of $200.
Dry-cleaning bills are likely to be higher also. Clean that suit one extra time a month at a cost of $12, and there goes an additional $144 every year.
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4.  Illegal drugs

American College of Emergency Physicians, Illegal drug use
http://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=26004
Main Points
•  Emergency physicians see first-hand the devastating consequences of illegal drug use.
•  More than half a million (638,484) drug-related emergencies were reported in 2001 – nearly a 75 percent increase over 1990 (371,208). Nearly 20,000 people in 2000 died of drug-related causes.
•  After a long climb, the first significant downturn in youth drug use in nearly a decade was reported among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, according to the 2002 Monitoring the Future study.
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking 52,000 lives annually and draining the economy of $160 billion a year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher healthcare costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Parents are the first line of defense in preventing illegal drug use.
•  The American College of Emergency Physicians in 2003 partnered with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to conduct a national campaign to dispel the myth that marijuana is harmless.

 Q.  How prevalent is the problem?
About 20 million Americans over age 12 reported current use of drugs in 2005, and an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (2005).
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking tens of thousands of lives annually and draining the economy of billions each year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher health care costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Twenty-one percent of 8th graders, 38 percent of 10th graders and 50 percent of 12th graders to have ever tried any illicit drug in their lifetimes, according to the Monitoring the Future study in 2005. This means half of students today have tried an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.
•  About 112 million Americans reported using an illegal drug at least once in their lives in 2005, and more than 35 million had used an illegal drug in the past year.

Here are some other facts about commonly used illegal drugs:
•  Marijuana. In 2005 an estimated 3.4 million people used marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis. That statistic is about the same as it was in 2004. There were 215,656 emergency department mentions of marijuana/hashish in 2004, almost double the number from 2001.
•  Cocaine. From 2004 to 2005 the number of cocaine users nationally held steady at approximately 2.4 million. There were 872,000 first time cocaine users in 2005. The number of cocaine related emergency department visits has spiked in recent years, from 193,034 emergency department mentions of cocaine in 2001, to 383,350 in 2004.
•  Heroin. An estimated 108,000 new users were reported in 2005, down from 149,000 in 1999, although the number of heroin users has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1994. There were 162,137 emergency department mentions of heroin in 2004, up from 93,064 mentions of heroin/morphine in 2001.
•  Inhalants. There were 877,000 new inhalant users in 2005, down from 991,000 in 1999. Approximately three-quarters (72 percent) of the first-time users were under the age of 18.

Q.  What are the harmful effects of commonly used illegal drugs?
Illegal drugs exact staggering costs on American society, accounting for about 52,000 drug-related deaths and an estimated $160 billion in economic costs each year, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Drug dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder that takes an enormous toll on individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Addicted individuals frequently engage in self-destructive and criminal behavior. Experts say illegal drugs constitute a threat to the national security of the United States.
•  Heroin. After an initial rush, users experience alternately wakeful and drowsy states, often feeling drowsy for several hours. Due to the depression of the central nervous system, mental functioning becomes clouded, and breathing may become slowed to the point of respiratory failure. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver disease. In addition, pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result. Heroin overdose may cause slow and shallow breathing, convulsions, coma, and possibly death. Heroin most often is injected, particularly low-purity heroin.
•  Cocaine. Cocaine inflicts tremendous damage to American society, enslaving 2.5 million hard-core addicts and sending 383,350 Americans to hospital emergency departments in 2004. People who use cocaine can experience increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions. They often don’t eat or sleep regularly. Cocaine can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. If snorted, it can permanently damage nasal tissue. It also can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious, even when they’re not high. Cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so users continue to need more of the drug to feel normal. People who become addicted start to lose interest in other areas of their life, such as school and friends. People who share needles can also contract hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases. Cocaine may be snorted as a powder, converted to a liquid form for injection with a needle, or processed into a crystal form to be smoked.
•  Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and its effects include psychotic behavior and brain damage. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion and insomnia. Users also can exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts. The drug can cause damage to the brain detectable months after use, similar to damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or epilepsy. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression and intense cravings for the drug.
•  Marijuana. Marijuana contains toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, which are stored in fat cells for as long as several months. Users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Some effects include increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, increased hunger and a desire for sweets. Extended use increases risk to the lungs and reproductive system, as well as suppression of the immune system. Occasionally, hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia are reported.
•  Inhalants. Inhalants affect the brain quickly and can cause irreversible physical and mental damage. Long-term use can result in: loss of sense of smell; nausea and nosebleeds; short-term memory loss or impaired reasoning; slurred speech; clumsy staggering gait; escalating stages of brain atrophy; and liver, lung and kidney problems. Inhalants can starve the body of oxygen, forcing the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly. Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone. Inhalants can be deadly, even with first-time use, causing death by suffocation, choking or vomiting, or heart attack. Inhalants include numerous household and commercial products (glue, paint thinner) that are abused by sniffing or “huffing” (inhaling through one’s mouth). Users experience a short-lasting euphoria and dizziness, followed by headaches and loss of consciousness.
•  Club Drugs. Club drugs, such as Ecstasy (MDMA, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) can damage neurons in the brain and impair senses, memory, judgment, and coordination. The physical effects of Ecstasy include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. Health risks include severe dehydration and death from heat stroke or heart failure. The drug suppresses the need to eat, drink or sleep and subsequently allows people to stay up all night. Heavy users can have significant impairments in visual and verbal memory. Users may experience increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease. Ecstasy also induces a state characterized as “excessive talking.” Side effects including anorexia, psychomotor agitation, and profound feelings of empathy, result from the flooding of serotonin. Often used in conjunction with other drugs, a growing number of users are combining Ecstasy with heroin, a practice known as “rolling.”
•  Steroids. The repercussions of steroid use are enormous. Among teenagers, steroid use can lead to an untimely halting of growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. Steroid users risk liver tumors, high blood pressure, severe acne, and trembling.

[Photo collage above: Before and after Meth users. It doesn’t take long…]

Q.  What are the symptoms and signs of drug use?
Possible signs include:
•  Attitude changes: more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, defiant, euphoric.
•  Extreme mood swings (e.g., depression, and anger).
•  Less responsible: late coming home, late for school or class, and dishonesty.
•  Changing friends or changing lifestyles: new interests, unexplained cash.
•  Physical deterioration: difficulty in concentration; loss of coordination; loss of weight; slurred speech; red or glassy eyes; sniffly 0r runny nose; appearing spaced out.
•  Unexplained deterioration in school performance.
•  Behavior problems: high-risk behavior, such as stealing or sexual promiscuity.
•  Changes in relationships or eating habits.
•  Changes in hygiene.
•  Presence of drugs or paraphernalia (e.g., cigarette papers, pipes, clips, spoons).

Q.  What should you do if you suspect your child is using drugs?
If your child has developed a pattern of drug use or has engaged in heavy use, intervention is key. Contact a drug treatment program in your area or call your doctor, local hospital or county mental health society for a referral. Your school district should have a substance abuse coordinator or a counselor who can refer you to treatment programs, too.

Q.  Is OxyContin a significant problem in the United States?
Many prescription drugs, such as Percocet, Darvon, Valium, and Librium are abused in the United States. One of the newest legal drugs of abuse is OxyContin. A powerful narcotic derived from opium, like morphine or heroin, OxyContin is a time-released tablet, providing as many as 12 hours of relief from chronic or long-lasting pain. While most people who take OxyContin as prescribed do not become addicted, those who abuse pain medications or obtain it illegally may find themselves rapidly dependent on, if not addicted to, the drug. Purdue Pharma LP, OxyContin’s manufacturer, has taken steps to reduce the potential for abuse of the medication. Although far less abused than other prescription drugs, such as Vicodin, and not at epidemic proportions despite reports in the news, the potency of OxyContin sets it apart from other prescription drugs.

After investigating reports of serious side effects, the FDA strengthened the warnings and precautions in labeling OxyContin. Changes include a “black box warning,” the strongest type of warning for an FDA-approved drug. In the most recent “Monitoring the Future” drug survey 5.5 percent of 12th graders reporter using OxyContin, as did 3.2 percent of 10th graders.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living Part II of V: Cigarettes &amp; Illegal drugs

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