Tag Archives: medical

Modern Foraging: Death by 1000 cuts

(Survival manual/2. Social issues/Modern foraging)

Modern Foraging topics:
1.  Junk foods
2.  The school lunch program
3.   Obesity
4.   Diabetes in USA
5. Exercise-energy balance
6.  Same dollars, less food (food cost inflation)
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1.  JUNK FOODS
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A.  What is a Junk Food?
•  Any food that has poor nutritional value is considered unhealthy and may be called a junk food.
•  A food that is high in fat, sodium, and/or sugar is known as a junk food.
•  Junk food is easy to carry, purchase and consume.
•  Generally, a junk food is given a very attractive appearance by adding food additives and colors to enhance flavor, texture, appearance, and increasing long shelf life.
• A junk food has little enzyme producing vitamins & minerals and contains high level of calories. When we eat these empty calorie foods, the body is required to produce its own enzymes to convert these empty calories into usable energy. This is not desired as these enzyme producing functions in our body should be reserved for the performance of vital metabolic reactions.

Remember, junk foods are empty calories. An empty calorie lacks in micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, and fiber but has high energy (calories).

Since junk food is high in fats and sugars, it is responsible for obesity, dental cavities, Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

 Junk Food & Cholesterol
Fried and processed food, particularly fast food, contains high amounts of oxycholesterol.
A healthy diet rich in antioxidants can counter these effects.

Some junk food pictures of beef burger, French fries, Coca Cola, and potato chips and cinema popcorns are given below.

Cinema popcorn: Popcorns are healthy, but the one sold in cinemas are a nutritional horror. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared in Nov 2009 some popcorn and drinks combos sold at key movie theater chains in USA and found the following:
•  A medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the United States’ biggest movie theater chain, contains 1,610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat.
•  At AMC theaters, a large popcorn contains 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat.
The high calorie counts could be due to the fact that corn was popped in coconut oil. Popcorn cooked in canola oil showed lower levels of saturated fats, but similar levels of calories and sodium.

 List of Junk Foods
Given below is a list of junk food (empty calorie) items that you should avoid. It’s up to you how to  keep your four trillion cells happy.
•  Sugars: Refined foods, like sugar and plain flour based items like white bread and most packaged goods, such as Twinkies and sugar donuts, etc. Our body eventually turns sugars into fat. If you consume just 3 tsp of sugar daily, imagine how much sugar you would have consumed by the time you are 50 years of age; it will be about 600 lbs, about 4 times your weight!
•  Fats & Hydrogenated oils: Are found in cookies, chips, candy bars, fried foods, muffins, bologna, etc.  Many snacks, such as potato chips, cheeseburgers and fries, have high levels of fat, sugar or salt-ingredients that are usually best limited to a small portion of your diet. The saturated fat comes mainly from animal products. Our body has no use for hydrogenated or trans fat. The excessive fats stick to our arteries and cause the blockages leading to heart disease and strokes. They can also aid to cancer, arthritis, PMS and sexual dysfunction.
Some fats like Omega-3 fatty acids are good for our bodies.
•  Salt: Excessive salt is not good for our body (Daily Salt Recommendation). However, sodium in moderate amount, along with potassium, maintains the water balance in our body. But too much sodium can cause high blood pressure. Pretzels, chips and many canned food items contain excessive salt.

Daily Salt Recommendation
There is no sodium intake recommended or Recommended Daily Allowance for sodium or salt. However, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend 2300mg of sodium daily for adults. This is about 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt) in one day. However, most people     take more than the recommended amount a day in diet, almost double the value.
How much sodium is in a teaspoon of salt?
It depends on the type of salt. Roughly, about 6g of salt makes one teaspoonful and approximately 2.4g sodium.

1 teaspoon salt = 6,200mg (6.2g) sodium  chloride= 2,400mg (2.4g) sodium 1 teaspoon baking soda = 1000mg sodium

Note that the salt crystals and sea salt contain the same amount of sodium.

.B.     Junk Food Facts: Not always easy to swallow
http://www.discover-yoga-online.com/junk-food-facts.html
Digesting junk food facts can take a strong stomach. Here are a few facts to chew on before your crack open another can of coke:
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_1)  What’s in Some of that Junk Food?
•  One teaspoon of sugar is extracted from a stalk of sugarcane one yard in length!
•  A can of cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
•  The metal in the can costs more than the ingredients (mainly water with additives, refined sugar and caffeine).
•  A super-sized order of McDonald’s fries contains 610 calories and 1.02 ounces of fat.
•  A king-sized order of Burger King’s fries packs 590 calories and 1.05 ounces of fat.
•  Artificial ingredients can contain an alarming variety of chemicals. For instance, ‘artificial strawberry flavor’ can contain about 50 chemicals… and no strawberries at all!
•  A king-sized Burger King meal, (Double Whopper with cheese, large fries and large drink) contains 1,800 calories (mostly derived from fat and refined sugar). To ‘burn’ these calories would take nearly 6 hours of cycling (at 20 miles per hour).

_2)  Junk Food Advertising
•  The food industry spends over $33 billion per year in the US alone to advertise food products that could be classified as junk food.
•  The majority of food advertising during children’s television programming is for sweetened cereals, soft drinks, candy, processed snacks and fast foods.
•  The average American child sees around 20,000 ads a year for junk food.
•  Over 90% of American children eat at McDonald’s at least once per month
•  American teenagers drink an average of 760 can of soda pop per year (with boys drinking about 25% more than girls).
•  The average American of any age drinks over 500 cans of soft drinks per year.
•  Nearly 20% of children under 2 years of age are given soft drinks every day in America!
•  The average person today consumes more sugar in two weeks than a person a century ago would have eaten in a whole year. That’s a junk food fact!

 [Image above: Note that the percentage of the household budget spent on food has dropped by over 50% in the last 50 years, however, the quality of what we EAT has declined. The ‘quality’ statement is not documented in the graphic, but is shown in actuary tables for American health, types of disease and life expectancy. Mr Larry . The graphic is from <http://vegetalion.blogspot.com/2010/11/americas-grocery-spending-habits-since.html>]

 _3)  Harmful Effects of Junk Food
•  The regular consumption of junk food is the leading factor in obesity and excess weight.
•  Obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of death in America.
•  46% of Canadian adults are either overweight or obese, with obesity in children increasing three-fold over the past 2 decades.
•  Consumption of soft drinks containing sugar has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes.
•  Studies have revealed that obese people have twice the rate of chronic health problems as people of normal weight. This includes a 100% greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, 50% increased likelihood of developing heart disease. Obese men are nearly 90% more likely to get colon cancer.
•  Junk food diet is a major cause of heart diseases.
•  High cholesterol resulting from junk food puts undue strain on the liver, causing long-term damage to this essential organ. •  Research has suggested that diets high in fat may also impair essential brain functions, like concentration and memory.

The junk food facts about soft drinks alone are alarming. There is compelling evidence that regular consumption of soft drinks leads to:
•  Increased rates of bone fracture
•  Increased risk for osteoporosis
•  Increased risk of weight gain and obesity
•  Increased risk for Type II Diabetes
•  Increased risk for kidney stones •
• Increased rate of tooth decay and other dental problems.
Junk food facts are numerous, and the negative effect of junk food on health and wellbeing is undeniable.
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2.  THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
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USDA calls for dramatic change in school lunches
1/12/2011, USA Today, by Nanci Hellmich
The proposed rule applies to school breakfast and lunch, but not to what’s sold in vending machines and school stores. [We’ll cut back feeding you dangerous food products, but if you have cash we’ll sell them to you. lp]

Hold the French fries and salt!

The government is calling for dramatic changes in school meals, including limiting French fries, sodium and calories and offering students more fruits and vegetables.

The proposed rule, being released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will raise the nutrition standards for meals for the first time in 15 years.

This is the “first major improvement” in the standards that “we’ve seen in a generation, and it reflects the seriousness of the issue of obesity,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

About a third of children and adolescents — 25 million kids – are obese or overweight. Extra pounds put children at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems. An analysis in 2005 found that children today may lead shorter lives by two to five years than their parents because of obesity. [This will remove that generation from receiving longer term Social Security benefits, the funds won’t be available anyway.]

Vilsack says addressing the childhood obesity problem is critical for kids’ health, future medical costs and national security, as so many young adults are too heavy to serve in the military.

The new meal standards are designed to improve the health of nearly 32 million children who eat lunch at school every day and almost 11 million who eat breakfast. Overall, kids consume about 30% to 50% of their calories while at school.

Among the requirements for school meals outlined in the proposed rule:

  • Decrease the amount of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and green peas, to one cup a week.
  • Reduce sodium in meals over the next 10 years [Why not reduce the sodium over summer break, why wait 10 years? lp]. A high school lunch now has about 1,600 milligrams of sodium. Through incremental changes, that amount should be lowered over the next decade to 740 milligrams or less of sodium for grades through 9 through 12; 710 milligrams or less for grades 6 through 8; 640 milligrams or less for kindergarten through fifth grades.
  • Establish calorie maximums and minimums for the first time [No one thought to have a Nutritionist do this in the past?-(smile) – lp]. For lunch: 550 to 650 calories for kindergarten through fifth grade; 600 to 700 for grades 6 through 8; 750 to 850 for grades 9 through 12.
  • Serve only unflavored 1% milk or fat-free flavored or unflavored milk. Currently, schools can serve milk of any fat content.
  • Increase the fruits and vegetables kids are offered. The new rule requires that a serving of fruit be offered daily at breakfast and lunch and that two servings of vegetables be offered daily at lunch.
  • Over the course of a week, there must be a serving of each of the following: green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, summer squash), beans, starchy and other vegetables. This is to make sure that children are exposed to a variety of vegetables.
  • Increase whole grains substantially [Substantially? Why not serve only whole grains? lp]. Currently, there is no requirement regarding whole grains, but the proposed rules require that half of grains served must be whole grains.
  • Minimize trans fat by using products where the nutrition label says zero grams of trans fat per serving.

Vilsack says the government is not trying to “dictate” what people eat but is trying to help parents make sure their youngsters “are as healthy, happy, productive and as successful as God intended them to be.”

Implementing the new meal standards is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13.

The proposed rule applies to school breakfast and lunch, but not to what’s sold in vending machines and school stores. Those will be addressed later in a separate rule.

Cleaning up the “school nutrition environment” would make a big difference to kids’ diets — and teach them good eating habits that could affect them the rest of their lives, says Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and an advocate of healthier school meals. “Kids learn by doing, and so serving a healthy meal is such an important part of their education.”

Wootan says the challenge now is for school food-service personnel to make these changes, which will cost more. “They need technical assistance, support, model recipes, model product specifications. They need to know how to make a healthier chicken nugget or healthier pizza.

“There are schools already serving healthy foods that kids really like. The problem is that not enough schools know how to do it.”

Currently, schools receive $2.72 from the federal government for every child who is on the free lunch program. Schools that meet the new standards will get another 6 cents per meal.

Nancy Rice, president of the School Nutrition Association, a non-profit professional organization representing school food-service professionals, says that schools are going to have to “stretch limited food-service dollars. We are going to have to do the best we can and to try to cut in other areas. Everything we are doing is to benefit kids.”

Cutting back on fries could be a shock to some students, she says. Some school systems still sell fries every day in a la carte lines, she says. “But the vast majority of the school systems are already limiting French fries, and when they are serving them, they are baking them.”

The agriculture department is asking for input on the proposed rule during a public comment period that ends April 13. When the regulation is final, schools will be required to meet the new standards to get government reimbursement on school meals. The rule does not need congressional approval.

A current typical lunch menu is seen below.
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.[Pizza, pizza, pizza, country fried ‘this’ and ‘that’, cold cut meats, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, alfredo sauce (heart attack on a plate)…Once in a while, any of these meals would be alright, but a daily diet is not healthy. It is socially immoral to injure the health of children and the general population with the kind of foods allowed and fostered upon us by people who are supppose to know better.. Well, actually they do know better, it is a profit driven endeavor, even at the expense of the health of your and my children, our grandchildren and of own our own bodies.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government complains that Health Care and Medicare cost too much. What can they expect from allowing us to be slowly poisoned by innappropriate public foods? So,they  turn the blame on to the heads of we sheeple-people.
Please note, if terrorists killed and maimed as many people, and caused as much economic hardship as junk foods fed to our children and offerred through out the core area of the grocery stores, FEMA would be on a permanent Red Alert. So, while we loose our freedoms for the sake of ‘potential’ safety from terrorists, our bodies are destroyed by bad food–and there is narry a word of caution from the governement, nor an advertising campaign, or a punative tax on high fat, high salt, high calorie, high sugar foods. While the terrorist may kill us by the 10’s each year, the bad food is killing us by the several 100,000’s every year…but, that’s business as usual. Mr Larry]
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3.     OBESITY

A.  Reasons Why So Many People Are Overweight
by Eric Cho
http://www.activefitnessworld.com/articles/food/overweight.php

Obesity has become a huge problem for most people living in developed countries. Today, 30% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese and 60% of all adults are either overweight or obese. There are many reasons for our overweight problem.

Obesity is responsible for increased rates of stroke, heart attack, type II diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. In fact it is responsible for as many premature deaths as smoking. Obesity has now become a threat to our longevity.

On the surface it would seem that the underlying reason is really quite simple. If a person takes in more calories than the person burns, weight gain is the final outcome. These factors certainly play a role in obesity but there are more factors which contribute to this problem.

Modern society has changed a great deal from just a couple of generations ago when agriculture and manual labor were common place. Today people spend a great deal of the day sitting at a desk in an office, driving the car, or relaxing on the sofa at home. All of which has affected the overall health of people living in developed countries.

By the time a person arrives home, the last thing most are thinking about is going for a walk or heading off to the gym. Combine that with the idea that as a nation we eat just as much food, if not more than our ancestors did without nearly as much physical exertion and suddenly the recipe for obesity becomes very clear.

But there is more to it. Statistics show that we have actually doubled our food intake. This is where the fast food industry is to blame. Everything has been super sized and not in a good way either with most of these foods being high in trans fatty acids (the bad fat) and sugar, it is easy to see that weight gain is inevitable.

But the fast food industry cannot take all the credit. Our schooling system has allowed vending machines to offer children fast food and soft drinks with provides no nutritional value and empty calories. School cafeterias that serve food are hardly a step above fast food. Add to that, most parents nowadays don’t have time to cook traditional wholesome foods due their hectic work schedule and as a result buy convenience foods which are also high in fat and sugar and low in nutrition.

As well both children and adults are now more sedentary than any other time in history. PE is no longer mandatory in schools; recess time has almost disappeared, after school play time has been replaced with the Xbox or Gameboy. Now instead of the entire body getting a workout only the thumbs do.

Most adults are too busy or too tired to add an exercise regime to their day and even something as simple as a walk can seem demanding. The result is people do not have time to burn off all those excess calories that they are consuming through the day.

Statistics show that if adults in the home are overweight then chances are that their children will also be overweight. Statistics have shown that when adults in the home are not physically active children in the home will not be active either. Studies have confirmed that both good and bad eating habits are developed in the home. It is a combination of what adults allow their children to eat and what they serve their children which is contributing to our overweight crisis.

The reasons for our overweight problem are complex. Increasing physical activity and improving nutrition are great ways to start to work towards a solution to this

B.  Obesity Epidemic “Astronomical”
The prognosis for the nation is bad and getting worse as obesity takes its toll on the health of adults and children alike.
May 16.2011, WebMD Feature, by R.Morgan Griffin, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/obesity-epidemic-astronomical

One of the biggest health stories of the year has been the rise in obesity among both adults and children in the U.S. We’ve all heard so much about the “obesity epidemic” that it’s easy to think the story is being blown out of proportion. After all, people putting on a few pounds may not seem to warrant the proclamation of a national emergency.

But while obesity may not be the Black Death, it is a severe public health crisis. Experts agree that as more and more obese children become obese adults, the diseases associated with obesity, such as heart disease, cancer, and especially diabetes will surge. That will mean a lot of sick people.

According to Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at New York University, the costs of these illnesses will be “astronomical.”

James O. Hill, PhD, agrees. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, claims that at the rate we’re going, obesity-related diabetes alone “will break the bank of our healthcare system.”

So one has to wonder how obesity got so out of control that we reached this crisis. And more importantly, how do we stop it?

_1)  The Causes
So what’s causing the epidemic? Not surprisingly, everyone agrees that it stems from two things: eating too much and exercising too little. The differences are in the specifics.

Although people may toss around the idea of genetics in obesity, genes can’t really explain what’s happening, Hill says. While a person may have a genetic predisposition toward a certain body type, the fact that each succeeding generation is heavier than the last proves that changes in our environment are playing the key role.

Hill believes the culprit may be a decrease in our physical activity, arguing that because of shifts in how we live and work, we don’t get as much exercise as previous generations did.

Nestle agrees that exercise is important, but she lays more stress on eating habits. In her book Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Nestle argues that recommendations about healthy eating are overwhelmed by the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of advertising for junk foods that we’re subjected to at home and even in public schools. And as fast food companies and chains compete with one another by increasing portion sizes, our waists are increasing proportionately.

[Chart: 1900-2000, comparing the growth of diabetes (red), obesity (blue) and cardiovascular disease (green) during the 20th Century.]

_2)  The Numbers
Despite the new attention paid to obesity by doctors, researchers, and the media, no discernable progress has been made in fighting obesity. According to most experts, it looks almost certain that obesity will get worse before it gets better.

Cynthia Ogden, PhD, a CDC epidemiologist, published the results of a study of weight in the United States that she conducted with other experts. The results were startling: 31% of adults are obese and 15% of children and teenagers age 6-19 are overweight. The proportion of obese people has been growing steadily for the last few decades. Although Ogden stresses that obesity is a problem for all groups and genders, it is particularly severe among certain ethnic groups. For instance, 50% of all non-Hispanic black women are obese.
Did Ogden see anything promising in the results of the study about obesity in the U.S.? “I didn’t see any hopeful signs,” she says.

_3)  Conflicting Recommendations
The seemingly contradictory reports in the media about what people should and shouldn’t be eating almost certainly don’t help things. For instance, proponents of protein diets argue that all of the accepted wisdom about eating a low-fat diet is wrong. Most experts don’t agree with them, but protein diets are being evaluated in studies now.

Where mainstream nutritionists and protein diet proponents agree is that the low-fat recommendations of the 1990s didn’t quite work. “People took the low-fat message and decided that it meant that as long as they ate things that were low-fat, they could eat as much as they wanted,” says William Dietz, MD, PhD, the director of the division of nutrition and physical activity in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. That isn’t the case, since calories add up, no matter what form they come in. Even worse, many of the low-fat snacks that companies developed actually had higher calories than their regular-fat equivalents, Dietz observes.

According to Nestle, the media also have a tendency of confusing things by reporting the results of scientific studies out of context. She argues that the relative stability of the dietary and fitness recommendations over the years — eat less fat and more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly — is obscured by the media, which are more interested in exciting stories about radical diets or the effects of particular “miracle” foods or vitamins.

_4)  Surgical Options
An increasingly common treatment for severe obesity is bariatric surgery, such as “stomach stapling” in which the size of the stomach is surgically reduced. It’s gotten a high profile as some obese celebrities and public figures have undergone the procedure with dramatic results. It’s even becoming more common among teenagers. While bariatric surgery is necessary and life-saving in some cases, is it a reasonable treatment for obesity in America?

“Surgery is an effective last resort,” says Dietz, “and many people are so obese, with a body mass index over 40, that they’re at the last resort stage.” However, if obesity continues to worsen, so many people will require surgery that it will become impossible to operate on all of them. “It’s difficult for me to see how we’ll be able or willing to perform surgery on 100 million Americans,” says Hill. Instead, the only real answer is in preventing people from getting to the point of surgery in the first place.

_5)  The Problems With Prevention
As with other public health campaigns, such as the efforts to get people to stop smoking or to practice safe sex, results of the campaign against obesity will come gradually. But Dietz sees reason for hope.
“I think that in the last three years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the attitudes of policy makers toward obesity,” Dietz tells WebMD. “There is now a huge amount of attention being paid to the condition,” he says, and that’s an important first step

_6)  What Should I Do?
While the news about preventing and treating obesity on a national scale may be depressing, it’s important not to confuse a national health problem with your own, individual efforts to lose weight and live a more healthy life. While changing society may be tricky, changing yourself is considerably easier.

For instance, many people are able to lose weight and keep it off successfully, and even small reductions in weight can significantly decrease your health risks. Much of Hill’s research has focused on the National Weight Loss Registry in Colorado, which Hill co-founded, that tracks the progress and habits of people who have lost weight and kept it off.

Hill reports that while people in the registry lost weight on all sorts of different diets, including protein diets, they tended to shift to a low-fat and high carbohydrate diet to maintain their weight loss. And on average, they exercised every day. While Hill stresses that most registry members say it wasn’t easy, they almost uniformly believe that losing weight was worth the sacrifices.
So rather than get overwhelmed by depressing statistics or confused by competing theories of how to lose weight, it may be best to stick to the established recommendations about eating well and exercising regularly. Doing what you can might make a big difference.

C.  Obesity Threatens to Cut U.S. Life Expectancy, New Analysis Suggests
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, NIH News, National Institute of Health, Dollemore contact Doug.http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/mar2005/nia-16.htm

Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity, according to a team of scientists supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The U.S. could be facing its first sustained drop in life expectancy in the modern era, the researchers say, but this decline is not inevitable if Americans — particularly younger ones — trim their waistlines or if other improvements outweigh the impact of obesity. The new report in the March 17, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine appears little more than a year after the DHHS unveiled a new national education campaign and research strategy to combat obesity and excessive weight.

The new analysis, by S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, Robert N. Butler, M.D., of the International Longevity Center in New York, and others suggests that the methods used to establish life expectancy projections, which have long been based on historic trends, need to be reassessed. This reevaluation is particularly important, they say, as obesity rates surge in today’s children and young adults.

“Forecasting life expectancy by extrapolating from the past is like forecasting the weather on the basis of its history,” Olshansky and his colleagues write. “Looking out the window, we see a threatening storm — obesity —that will, if unchecked, have a negative effect on life expectancy.”

Unlike historic life expectancy forecasts, which rely on past mortality trends, the Olshansky group bases their projection on an analysis of body mass indexes and other factors that could potentially affect the health and well-being of the current generation of children and young adults, some of whom began having weight problems very early in life. The authors say that unless steps are taken to curb excessive weight gain, younger Americans will likely face a greater risk of mortality throughout life than previous generations.

“This work paints a disturbing portrait of the potential effect that life styles of baby boomers and the next generation could have on life expectancy,” says Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., Associate Director of the NIA for Behavioral and Social Research. Indeed, Suzman notes, obesity may already have had an effect. The sharp increase of obesity among people now in their 60s, he suggests, may be one explanation why the gains in U.S. life expectancy at older ages have been less than those of other developed countries in recent years.

“But it is critical to note that the reduced life expectancy forecast by the study is not inevitable, and there is room for optimism,” Suzman says. “Government and private sector efforts are mobilizing against obesity, and increased education, improved medical treatments, and reduced smoking can tip the balance in favor of reduced mortality and continued improvements in life expectancy.”

For instance, smoking significantly reduces the life expectancy of the average smoker, Suzman says, so obesity is just one of many factors that will need to be accounted for, together or separately, in projecting how Americans will age. The NIA supports several projects on population demography that forecast life and health expectancy, research which is critically important to policy makers looking at the implications of an aging population.

According to the NEJM report, studies suggest that two-thirds of American adults are overweight (having a body mass index — BMI — of 25 or more) or obese (having a BMI of 30 or more). One study cited by the authors indicates that the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults has increased about 50 percent per decade since 1980. Additional research has shown that people who are severely obese — with a BMI greater than 45 — live up to 20 years less than people who are not overweight. Some researchers have estimated that obesity causes about 300,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. In addition, obesity is fueling an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which also reduces lifespan.

The overall reduction in life expectancy of one-third to three-fourths of a year attributed to obesity in this analysis exceeds the negative effect of all accidental deaths combined, and could deteriorate over time, the researchers said.

“These trends suggest that the relative influence of obesity on the life expectancy of future generations could be markedly worse than it is for current generations,” Olshansky and the authors conclude in their report. “In other words, the life-shortening effect of obesity could rise …to two to five years, or more, in the coming decades, as the obese who are now at younger ages carry their elevated risk of death into middle and older ages.”

The projected decline contrasts with estimates by other leading researchers, which predict a continuation of the historic trend of increasing life expectancy in America and Europe dating back to the 1850s, according to Dr. Suzman. In fact, he points out that the experience of other developed nations is instructive as a barometer of how much room might exist to increase U.S. life expectancy. More than 20 other developed nations, including France, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. Women in Japan, for example, live about 5 years longer than women in the U.S. There is little evidence that life expectancy in these countries is approaching any kind of limit, Suzman says.
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4.  DIABETES
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A.  Diabetes costs USA more than wars, disasters, study says
23 January 2008, USA TODAY, By Liz Szabo
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-01-23-diabetes-cost_N.htm

About 17.5 million people in the USA have diabetes, and an additional 6 million have it but don’t know it. Costs associated with the disease: Medical costs: $116 billion, Lost productivity: $58 billion. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body, often leading to kidney failure, blindness and death. A new study shows that the nation’s unchecked diabetes epidemic exacts a heavy financial toll as well: $174 billion a year. That’s about as much as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism combined. It’s more than the $150 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The incidence of diabetes has ballooned — there are 1 million new cases a year — as more Americans become overweight or obese, according to the study, released Wednesday by the American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes — both in direct medical care and lost productivity — has swelled 32% since 2002, the report shows.

Diabetes killed more than 284,000 Americans last year, according to the diabetes association.
Diabetes costs the nation nearly as much as cancer, whose costs in 2006 totaled $206.3 billion, although cancer kills twice as many people, according to the American Cancer Society.

Even those without diabetes help pay the bill. The mounting costs affect everyone with insurance, through rising premiums and copays, says Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, who was not involved with the report. About half of diabetics have medical insurance through government programs such as Medicare, the report shows.

Providing routine care — such as doctor’s visits and medications — costs relatively little, according to the report. The real expenses come from uncontrolled diabetes, which can lead patients to require dialysis and kidney transplants, says Ann Albright, a diabetes expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and president of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association, which paid for the study.

About half of diabetes costs go to inpatient hospital care, the study shows. Because diabetes makes people so much sicker, it increases the time that people stay in the hospital for other problems by nearly 50%.
Albright expects the number of people diagnosed with diabetes to increase, given that many Americans are “pre-diabetic,” with problems handling insulin and sugar.

Diabetes “will ruin a generation of Americans,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit that represents large employers. Over the next few decades, she says, diabetes will handicap both state and local economies, as communities divert money from education and other important areas to care for patients. “It’s a sad story that should cause us to take action,” Albright says.

B.  Success and Opportunities for Population-based Prevention and Control: At A Glance 2010
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/ddt.htm

_1) What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body has a shortage of insulin, a decreased ability to use insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and be converted to energy. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and, over time, damage vital organs.
•  Type 1 diabetes usually is first diagnosed in children and young adults, although the disease can occur at any age. Type 1 may be autoimmune, genetic, or environmental and accounts for 5% of diabetes cases. There is no known way to prevent this type of diabetes.
•  Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and physical inactivity, accounts for 90%–95% of diabetes cases and most often occurs in people older than 40. Type 2 is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, race, and ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently among American Indians, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asians/Pacific Islanders.
•  Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. An estimated 57 million American adults had prediabetes in 2007. People with this condition have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

_2) Diabetes Is Common, Disabling, and Deadly
•  23.6 million people in the United States (7.8% of the total population) have diabetes. Of these, 5.7 million have undiagnosed diabetes.
•  In 2007, about 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older.
•  African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely as white adults to have diabetes.
•  If current trends continue, 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes sometime in their lifetime, and those with diabetes will lose, on average, 10–15 years of life.
•  Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, kidney failure, and nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations among adults.
•  Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death on U.S. death certificates in 2006. Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.
•  In 1999–2000, 7% of U.S. adolescents aged 12–19 years had impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes), putting them at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

_3) Diabetes Is Preventable and Controllable
Recent studies show that lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among people at high risk.
•  For people with prediabetes, lifestyle changes, including a 5%–7% weight loss and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, can reduce the rate of onset of type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Disability and premature death are not inevitable consequences of diabetes. By working with their support network and health care providers, people with diabetes can prevent premature death and disability by controlling their blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipids and by receiving other preventive care in a timely manner.
•  Blood glucose control reduces the risk for eye, kidney, and nerve diseases among people with diabetes by about 40%.
•  Blood pressure control reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke among people with diabetes by 33%–50%. It reduces the risk for eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by about 33%.
•  Detecting and treating diabetic eye disease with laser therapy can reduce the risk for loss of eyesight by 50%–60%. Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45%–85%.

C.  Recognizing the signs of Diabetes
While diabetes was once recognized as an unfortunate disease that only affected a small number of people, today statistics indicate that more than 18 million people in the United States alone suffer from this disease. Perhaps even more startling is the fact that almost one-third of those individuals may remain undiagnosed, largely to the failure to recognize the most common warning signs related to this disease.

One of the reasons that diabetes symptoms can be difficult to recognize is the fact that they can appear either gradually over a long period of time or dramatically and suddenly. Some of the symptoms that may be noticed include fatigue, frequent urination and excessive thirst. In some cases, sudden weight loss, urinary tract infections and blurred vision may also be noticed.

Due to the fact that diabetes can lead to a number of serious health issues such as blindness, heart disease and nerve and kidney damage, it is extremely important that you be tested for diabetes if you suffer from symptoms associated with the disease. While these symptoms are commonly associated with diabetes, keep in mind that in some cases diabetes presents absolutely no signs or symptoms. Therefore, if you are over the age of 45 or fall into a high risk category, you should make a point to be tested for diabetes at least once every couple of years.
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5.  EXERCISE-ENERGY BALANCE

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A.   Exercise trends
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_trends

Worldwide, there has been a large shift towards less physically demanding work. This has been accompanied by increasing use of mechanized transportation, a greater prevalence of labor saving technology in the home, and less active recreational pursuits. At least 60% of the world’s population does not get sufficient exercise. This is true in almost all developed and developing countries, and among children.

These exercise trends are contributing to the rising rates of chronic diseases including: obesity, heart disease, heart disease, stroke and high cholestrol. Active transport such as walking and bicycling, etc. have been found to be inversely related to obesity in Europe, North America, and Australia. Thus exercise has been associated with a decrease in mortality.

One of the causes most prevalent in the developing world is urbanization. As more of the population moves to cities, population over-crowding, increased poverty, increased levels of crime, high-density traffic, low air quality and lack of parks, sidewalks and recreational sports facilities leads to a less active lifestyle.
Physical inactivity is increasing or high among many groups in the population including: young people, women, and the elderly.
A number of factors has been associated with physical inactivity at a population level including: female gender, older age, living with a partner, smoking, little schooling and poverty.

Studies in children and adults have found an association between the number of hours of television watched and the prevalence of obesity. A 2008 meta analysis found that 63 of 73 studies (86%) showed an increased rate of childhood obesity with increased media exposure, and rates increasing proportionally to time spent watching television.

Americans have become less physicallyh active overall between 1955 and 2005. While the rate of leisure-time physical activity has not changed significantly there has been a decrease in work-related activity, human powered transportation, activity in the home, and increasing sedentary activity. During 2000 and 2005 the number of adults who were never physically active increased from 9.4% to 10.3% while the number who were engaged in the highest level of physical activity decreased from 18.7% to 16.7%. Pertaining to leisure-time physical activity, people involved in no activity increased from 38.5% to 40.0% while those who spent most of their day sitting increased from 36.8% to 39.9%.

In 2000 the CDC estimated that more than 40% of the US population was sedentary, another 30% was active but not sufficiently and less than 30% had an adequate level of physical activity. There has been a trend toward decreased physical activity in part due to increasingly mechanized forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization. Obesity rates have increased in relation to expanding suburbs. This has been attributed to increased time spent commuting, leading to less exercise and less meal preparation at home. Driving one’s children to school has become increasingly popular. In the USA the proportion of children who walk or bike to school declined between 1969 (42%) and 2001 (16%) resulting in less exercise.

 B.    Warning: Lack of Exercise Is Detrimental To Your Health
By Jim O’Connor
http://ezinearticles.com/?Warning:-Lack-of-Exercise-Is-Detrimental-To-Your-Health&id=110610
Jim O’Connor, A Beverly Hills celebrity fitness consultant, has conducted thousands of personal fitness consultations with celebrities, business executives, and highly motivated individuals throughout Los …

You just put in a good 10 hour day in front of your computer screen, and the last thing you want to do is exercise. Let’s see, exercise, and improve your fitness level, or sit down with a glass of wine and watch your favorite evening television show. What would you do? Seventy percent of individuals know they should exercise, but choose the wine and the television program instead.

Do you know this simple daily decision can end up being detrimental to your health? According to the CDC, 54.1% of adults don’t do the minimum level of exercise or physical activity recommended for wellness. The slogan “use it or lose it” has never been more true.

The simple innocent choice of not exercising has shown, in studies, to promote 10 serious health conditions you don’t ever want to develop. The bottom line is physical inactivity has a lot of unhealthy implications even at our bodies cellular level. At the cellular level, inactivity decreases the ability to transfer oxygen from your blood stream to your cells, and also decreases the number of power activating mitochondria. However, the worst cost of not exercising or being physically active can result in the following 10 devastating conditions:
_1)   Cancer – Studies have shown that fitness enthusiastic men and women who are physically active have a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared to individuals who are inactive.
_2)   Diabetes – Studies show lack of regular physical exercise increases insulin sensitivity. Diabetes is considered the “sedentary disease” which is striking people at an alarming rate. If it is not controlled, it can destroy the body’s organs.
_3)   Heart – Lack of consistent physical activity, over time, decreases the function of the heart muscle, affects the blood vessels, including the large aortic artery to the veins and small capillaries. According to many studies, scientists have good reason to believe that regular exercise protects the heart.
_4)   Stroke Regular exercisers are 25% less likely to have a stroke than their sedentary counterparts. Being fit lowers blood pressure, raises HDL cholesterol, and reduces the risk of blood clots.
_5)  BrainPeople who are physically active, according to solid evidence, are at lower risk for cognitive decline and dementia.
_6)   Muscles – If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, you are at risk of losing some 6 percent of your muscles mass every decade of life from the age of 30 on. This also translates into a 10 – 15 percent loss of strength per decade. Once again, if you don’t use the muscle, you will lose the muscle quickly.
_7)   Osteoporosis – Fragile bones cause more than 1.5 million fractures each year in the U.S. Bone is like muscle, if you stress it, it responds. If you don’t, you gradually lose its strength, and increase your chances of breaking them. Regular weekly strength training can help prevent osteoporosis, and decrease your chances of breaking a bone.
_
8)  Mental Health – People who don’t exercise on a regular basis are more prone to develop depression. According to a recent study, people who were more active were nearly 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression over the next five years than less active people. Fitness conscious individuals also generally display an improved self esteem, or self image.
_9)
   WeightIf you are inactive, year in and year out, you will eventually gain weight and lose fitness which increases the chance of a heart attacks, and diabetes.
_10)  Immune SystemModerate amounts of exercise reduces the risk of upper respiratory infection. Regular exercise may boost immune function.

Now I would like to ask that same question I asked above. What would you do? Wine and television, or physical activity? Now for the good news! In as little as 30 minutes of exercise or fitness work each day, you can significantly decrease your chances of developing any of these horrible conditions mentioned above. This is the best “medicine” any doctor can possibly prescribe!

C.  Aging and What To Do About It – The value of exercise
http://www.faqs.org/health-encyc/The-Lifetime-of-a-Human-Being/Aging-and-What-To-Do-About-It-The-value-of-exercise.html
As you grow older, exercise can help you look, feel, and work better. Various organs and systems of the body, particularly the digestive process, are stimulated through activity, and, as a result, work more effectively.
You can improve your posture through exercise that tones supporting muscles. This not only improves appearance, but can decrease the frequency of lower-back pain and disability.

Here are some other benefits of exercise:
•  it can increase your ability to relax and tolerate fatigue;
•  it improves muscle tone; reduces fat deposits;
•  increases working capacity of the lungs;
•  improves kidney and liver functions;
•  increases volume of blood, hemoglobin, and red blood cells, leading to improved utilization of oxygen and iron.

Also, physically active people are less likely to experience a heart attack or other forms of cardiovascular disease than sedentary people. Moreover, an active person who does suffer a coronary attack will probably have a less severe form. The Public Health Service studied 5,000 adults in Framingham, Mass., for more than a decade. When any member of the group suffered a heart attack, his physical activity was reviewed. It was found that more inactive people suffered more fatal heart attacks than active members.

_1) Walking for Exercise
Exercise need not be something you must do, but rather something you enjoy doing. One of the most practical and enjoyable exercises is walking. Charles Dickens said: “Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. The best of all ways to lengthen our days is to walk, steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking—hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.”

The benefits of walking were revealed in a recent Health Insurance Plan study of 110,000 people in New York City. Those who had heart attacks were divided into two groups—walkers and non walkers. The first four weeks of illness were reviewed for both groups. At the end of the time 41 percent of the non walkers were dead, while only 23 percent of the walkers were. When all physical activity was considered, 57 percent of the inactive had died compared to only 16 percent of those who had some form of exercise.

Walking is as natural to the human body as breathing. It is a muscular symphony; all the foot, leg, and hip muscles and much of the back musculature are involved. The abdominal muscles tend to contract and support their share of the weight, and the diaphragm and rib muscles increase their action. There is automatic action of the arm and shoulder muscles; the shoulder and neck muscles get play as the head is held erect; the eye muscles are exercised as you look about you.

_2) Other Types of Exercise
Swimming and bicycling exercise most of the muscles, and gardening is highly recommended. The fresh air is beneficial, the bending, squatting, and countless other movements exercise most parts of the body.

Surprisingly, most games do not provide good exercise. According to a physical fitness research laboratory at the University of Illinois, the trouble with most games is that the action is intermittent—starting and stopping—a burst of energy and then a wait. The bowler swings a ball for two and one-half seconds and gets about one minute of actual muscular work per game.
Golf is a succession of pause, swing, walk—or, more often, a ride to the next pause, swing, and so on. Also, you spend a lot of time standing and waiting for the party ahead and for your partners.
Tennis gives one more exercise but it too involves a great deal of starting and stopping, as does handball.
No game has the essential, tension-releasing pattern of continuous, vigorous, rhythmic motion found in such activities as walking, running, or jogging.
For formal exercises, you could join a gym, but you might find your enthusiasm waning after a few weeks. You could also exercise at home; there are many excellent books on exercise that provide programs for you to follow at home on a daily basis.

[For readers of the 4dtraveler blog: I have been doing exercises 7 days a week for the last 4 years since my retirement. My early morning, before breakfast regime includes: A not too difficult exercise of 16 minutes Tai Chi, 14 minutes of walking and 11 minutes Yoga. That 14 minute walk amounts to 2,000 steps which is about 1 mile distance. During mid morning, I walk another 1,000 steps (1/2 mile) and take another short 1,000 step walk later in the day. These exercises are in addition to any normal activies about the house, an do not include any form of shopping, all of which are extra.]

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6.     SAME DOLLARS, LESS FOOD  (food cost inflation)

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A.  Objects in store are smaller than they appear
November 09, 2008, Los Angeles Times, staff writer Jerry Hirsch
<http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/09&gt;

It is hard to spot what happened this year in the peanut butter aisles of local supermarkets.

But a careful look at the jars of Skippy on the shelves may reveal a surprise. The prices are about the same, but the jars are getting smaller.

They don’t look different in size or shape. But recently, the jars developed a dimple in the bottom that slices the contents to 16.3 ounces from 18 ounces — about 10% less peanut butter.

The only way to know you are buying less is to look at the weight on the label and recognize it’s lighter than before Unilever, owner of the Skippy brand, switched out containers.

Across the supermarket, manufacturers are trimming packages, nipping a half-ounce off that bar of soap, narrowing the width of toilet paper and shrinking the size of ice cream containers.

Often the changes are so subtle that they create “the illusion that you are buying the same amount,” explained Frank Luby, a pricing consultant with Simon-Kucher & Partners of Cambridge, Mass.

To shoppers it may seem like getting less, but companies say cutting quantity is a common way to avoid raising prices.

It’s an age-old dilemma for manufacturers juggling prices, container sizes and profits — at the same time coping with rising prices for ingredients and greater competition on supermarket shelves.

At international food giant Unilever, “we have chosen to reduce package sizes as one of our responses” to rising commodity and business expenses, said spokesman Dean Mastrojohn. He said the new smaller sizes are clearly marked on labels.

Shoppers understand the manufacturers’ dilemma, but also say they feel deceived at times.

Kathy Yukl of La Crescenta says she’s tired of going to the store and finding dimples in the bottoms of jars — she buys Skippy only when she has a coupon. She is annoyed that containers that once held half a gallon of ice cream, or 64 ounces, now have only 48 ounces. And she’s frustrated that cereal boxes are shrinking. “What these companies don’t realize is that their chronically deceptive marketing ploys tell us loud and clear that we absolutely cannot trust them for anything,” Yukl said.

Other shoppers agree. “I think the whole thing is deceitful, and yes, it does irritate me, and I do feel they are tricking the consumer,” said Bill Stone of Long Beach. “This practice, however, has been going on for many years and apparently the manufacturers feel it is to their advantage to try to slip these changes by the customer rather than announcing it.”

B.   Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags
March 28, 2011, New York Times, By Stephanie Clifford and Catherine Rampell.
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html&gt;

Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.
As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

For Lisa Stauber, stretching her budget to feed her nine children in Houston often requires careful monitoring at the store. Recently, when she cooked her usual three boxes of pasta for a big family dinner, she was surprised by a smaller yield, and she began to suspect something was up.

Whole wheat pasta had gone from 16 ounces to 13.25 ounces,” she said. “I bought three boxes and it wasn’t enough — that was a little embarrassing. I bought the same amount I always buy, I just didn’t realize it, because who reads the sizes all the time?”

Ms. Stauber, 33, said she began inspecting her other purchases, aisle by aisle. Many canned vegetables dropped to 13 or 14 ounces from 16; boxes of baby wipes went to 72 from 80; and sugar was stacked in 4-pound, not 5-pound, bags, she said.

Five or so years ago, Ms. Stauber bought 16-ounce cans of corn. Then they were 15.5 ounces, then 14.5 ounces, and the size is still dropping. “The first time I’ve ever seen an 11-ounce can of corn at the store was about three weeks ago, and I was just floored,” she said. “It’s sneaky, because they figure people won’t know.”

In every economic downturn in the last few decades, companies have reduced the size of some products, disguising price increases and avoiding comparisons on same-size packages, before and after an increase. Each time, the marketing campaigns are coy; this time, the smaller versions are “greener” (packages good for the environment) or more “portable” (little carry bags for the takeout lifestyle) or “healthier” (fewer calories).

Where companies cannot change sizes — as in clothing or appliances — they have warned that prices will be going up, as the costs of cotton, energy, grain and other raw materials are rising.

“Consumers are generally more sensitive to changes in prices than to changes in quantity,” John T. Gourville, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, said. “And companies try to do it in such a way that you don’t notice, maybe keeping the height and width the same, but changing the depth so the silhouette of the package on the shelf looks the same. Or sometimes they add more air to the chips bag or a scoop in the bottom of the peanut butter jar so it looks the same size.”

Thomas J. Alexander, a finance professor at Northwood University, said that businesses had little choice these days when faced with increases in the costs of their raw goods. “Companies only have pricing power when wages are also increasing, and we’re not seeing that right now because of the high unemployment,” he said.

Most companies reduce products quietly, hoping consumers are not reading labels too closely.

But the downsizing keeps occurring. A can of Chicken of the Sea albacore tuna is now packed at 5 ounces, instead of the 6-ounce version still on some shelves, and in some cases, the 5-ounce can costs more than the larger one. Bags of Doritos, Tostitos and Fritos now hold 20 percent fewer chips than in 2009, though a spokesman said those extra chips were just a “limited time” offer.

Trying to keep customers from feeling cheated, some companies are introducing new containers that, they say, have terrific advantages — and just happen to contain less product.

Kraft is introducing “Fresh Stacks” packages for its Nabisco Premium saltines and Honey Maid graham crackers. Each has about 15 percent fewer crackers than the standard boxes, but the price has not changed. Kraft says that because the Fresh Stacks include more sleeves of crackers, they are more portable and “the packaging format offers the benefit of added freshness,” said Basil T. Maglaris, a Kraft spokesman, in an e-mail.

And Procter & Gamble is expanding its “Future Friendly” products, which it promotes as using at least 15 percent less energy, water or packaging than the standard ones.

“They are more environmentally friendly, that’s true — but they’re also smaller,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner for retail systems research at Focus.com, an online specialist network. “They announce it as great new packaging, and in fact what it is is smaller packaging, smaller amounts of the product,” she said.


[1] Adequate exercise: a) 30 minutes moderately intensive exercise daily,  b) 30-45 min/day 5 days a week, c) 150+ minutes aerobic (walking, cycling) exercise /week

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Air & Water, Part 3 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away)
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

3.     Berkey Water purification system, Royal model

(The advertisement) The versatile Royal Berkey system (see arrow in picture below, 3.25 gallon capacity)  is the ideal system for use at home with large families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. The Royal Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance. Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 3.25 gallons (12.3 liters) and when in use it stands 23″ in height with a diameter of 9.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 15.25″ in height. Configured with two Black Berkey purification elements the system will purify up to 4 Gallons (15.1 liters) per hour. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 8 Gallons (30.3 liters) per hour.
Price: $283 + any additional Purification Elements.
[The Royal Berkey Water Purification System that I have and use continuously at home, see white arrow below.-lfp]

Black Berkey Water Filters
http://www.berkeywaterfilters.com/blbetesp.html
Each Black Berkey is able to filter up to 3,000 gallons per filter element, making it one of the most cost-effective filters on the market.
[My Royal Berkey using 2 Black Berkey elements can therefore filter up to 6000 gallons water-lfp]

We tested the Black Berkey purification elements with more than 10,000 times the concentration of pathogens per liter than is required by standard test protocol. This concentration of pathogens is so great that the post filtered water should be expected to contain 100,000 or more pathogens per liter (99.99% reduction – the requirement for pathogenic removal). Incredibly the purification elements removed 100%. Absolutely no pathogens were cultured from the effluent or were able to be detected, even under an electron microscope, setting a new standard in water purification.

Under normal conditions it is recommended that each set of two PF-2™ elements be replaced after 1,000 gallons. The Royal Berkey®system is about 3.25 gallons therefore the PF-2™ filters should be replaced after 1,000/3.25 or 307 refills. If the system is refilled about one time per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced after 10 months, if the system is refilled about twice per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced about every five months). Actual capacity is dependent on the presence of other competing contaminants in the source water. High levels of Fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals may reduce the capacity and efficiency of the elements.

The ‘Black Berkey’ purification/filter elements (a 7 Log device, 99.99999%) remove or reduce the following:
– Pathogenic Bacteria and Cysts (E. Coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoltella Terrigena) – Reduced to > 99.999% (100%)
– Viruses (MS2 – Fr Coliphage) – Reduced to >99.999%
– Parasites – Reduced to > 99.9999%
– Harmful or unwanted chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides
ChlorineRemoved to Below Detectable Limits (99.9999999%)
– Detergents

Organic solvents removal
– THM’s (Trihalomethanes – Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits (99.99999%)
– MTBE’s (Methyl tert-Butyl Ehter) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
.
Table below: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) removed:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Removed to below detectable limits
Alachlor
Atrazine
Benzene
Carbofuran
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorine
Chlorobenzene
Chloroform
2,4-D
DBCP
p-Dichlorobenzene
o-Dichlorobenzene
1, 1-Dichloroethane
1, 2-Dichloroethane
1, 1-Dichloroethylene
cis 1, 2-Dichloroethylene
Trans  1,2-Dichloroethylene
1, 2-Dichloropropane
cis l,3-Dichloropropylene
Dinoseb
Endrin
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Heptachlor
Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorobutodiene
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
Lindane,
Methoxychlor
MTBE
Pentachlorophenol
Simazine
Styrene
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
Tetrachloroethylene
Toluene
2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
1,2,4-trichlorobenzene
1,1,1-trichloroethane
1,1,2-trichloroethane
Trichloroethylene
o-Xylene
m-Xylene
p-Xylene

– Cloudiness, removed.
– Silt, removed.
– Sediment, removed.
– Radiologicals – Radon 222 – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
– Nitrates & Nitrites, Greater than 95% reduction
– Heavy metals: Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper  – Greater than 95% reduction.
– Fluoride- With PF-2 fluoride filter, Fluoride reduced greater than 95%
– Iron
Foul tastes and odor.

PF-2™ reduction elements are designed for use in conjunction with Black Berkey® water purification elements to absorb the following unwanted elements found in drinking water:
•   Fluoride
•   Arsenic V and pre-oxidized Arsenic III
•   Other residual heavy metal ions

Heavy Metals reduced by up to 95% by the Black Berkey Filter:

Contaminant Health effects
Lead kidney, nervous system damage
Mercury kidney, nervous system disorders
Aluminum respiratory, nervous system disorders
Cadmium kidney damage
Chromium liver, kidney, circulatory system disorders
Copper gastro-enteric diseases

 .My estimated filter change periods:

Use rate

(gallons per day)

Black Berkey   days/yrs

 Mfg Suggested      My Actual

PF-2   days/years

Mfg Suggested       My actual

1/2 12000/32                       4 2000/5                            2
1 6000/16                         4 1000/2.75                       2
2 3000/8                           4 500/1.36                         2

Change PF-2 every two years and change Black Berkey every 4 years (at every other PF-2 change) . Change more often if, even after cleaning, the filtration rate does not increase, but continues to become slower. Have one set each of  PF-2 ($55/pair) and Black Berkey Filters ($107/pair) on hand for emergency backup.

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4.    
Mercury in food & vaccines

 A.   Dumbing Down Society Part 2: Mercury in Foods and Vaccines
July 9th, 2010, By VC
http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/dumbing-down-society-pt-2-mercury-in-foods-and-vaccines/
Even though mercury is known to degenerate brain neurons and disrupt the central nervous system, it is still found in processed foods and mandatory vaccines. In this second part of the series examining the intentional dumbing-down of society, this article will discuss the presence of mercury in common foods and vaccines.

The first article in this series – Dumbing Down Society Pt 1: Foods, Beverages and Meds – looked at the effects of aspartame, fluoride and prescription pills on the human brain. These substances all cause a decrease of cognitive power which, on a large scale, leads to a dumbing down of the population that is ingesting them. This second article focuses on another toxic product found in everyday foods and mandatory vaccines: mercury.

Mercury is a heavy metal naturally found in the environment. However, it is not suitable for human consumption, as it is extremely harmful to the human body, especially the brain. While some people say that anything can be consumed in moderation, many experts agree that no amount of mercury is safe for the human body. Despite this and the many studies concerning the negative effects of mercury, the heavy metal is continually added to mandatory vaccines and processed foods.

Mercury is known to cause brain neuron degeneration and to disturb the central nervous system. Direct exposure to the metal causes immediate and violent effects:

“Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.”

Most people do not come in direct contact with mercury, but are exposed to small doses at a time, resulting in a slow but steady poisoning of the brain. As the years go by, the effects of the substance impairs judgment and rational thinking, decreases memory and disrupts emotional stability. In other words: It makes you dumber.

Mercury has also the unfortunate ability to transfer from pregnant woman to their unborn babies. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences, including memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications.

It has been highly publicized that mercury is found in dangerous quantities in seafood, such as tuna, swordfish and tilefish. This creates a rather ironic situation: Instead of making you smarter because of all the Omega-3 they contain, the fish produce exactly the opposite effect on the brain due to mercury poisoning.

Unfortunately, mercury is also found in other products: vaccines and high-fructose corn syrup.

“I think it’s absolutely criminal to give mercury to an infant.” – Boyd Haley, Ph.D., Chemistry Department Chair, University of Kentucky

Mercury is found in great quantities in mandatory vaccines. Before we get into the details of it, here are some facts about vaccines in America as noted by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny:
•  The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of vaccines in the country. In fact, nearly 30 percent of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) annual budget is composed of purchasing vaccines and ensuring vaccination is completed for every child in the country.
•  Private insurance companies, which do the best liability studies, have completely abandoned coverage for damage to life and property due to: Acts of God, nuclear war, nuclear power plant accidents and … vaccination.
•  Laws have been passed to protect vaccine manufactures from liability, while at the same time, state laws require parents to inject their children with up to 100 vaccination antigens prior to entering school. If a vaccine injury–or death–occurs after a vaccine, parents cannot sue the doctor, the drug company or the government; they are required to petition the Vaccine Court for damages, a process that can take years and often ends with a dismissal of the case.
•  Each state has school vaccination laws that require children of appropriate age to be vaccinated for several communicable diseases. State vaccination laws mandate that children be vaccinated prior to being allowed to attend public or private schools. Failure to vaccinate children can not only result in children being prohibited from attending school, but their parents or guardians can receive civil fines and criminal penalties. Schools don’t usually tell parents is that in every state, an exemption exists allowing parents to legally refuse vaccines while still allowing their children to attend school.
•  The medical industry advocates vaccines, often demanding that parents vaccinate their children in order to remain under their doctor’s care. A sizable portion of a pediatrician’s income is derived from insurance reimbursement for vaccinations. The ever-expanding vaccination schedule that includes increasingly more expensive vaccines has been a source of increased revenues for vaccinating doctors.

Thimerosal
A child receives approximately 21 vaccines before the age of six and 6 more before the age of 18, for a total of 27 shots during childhood. Many of these injections contain Thimerosal, a preservative added to the shots, made of 49% mercury. The unprecedented use of mercury on children has created a generation of cognitively impaired children.

      “The symptoms experienced by children exposed to mercury are real and can be directly linked to the vaccines they were given as infants. It’s ironic that the vaccines given to these young people are meant to protect them, when in fact they are adversely affecting their neurological development.”
On top of causing an entire generation of babies to have their brains damaged, the use of Thimerosal in vaccines has been linked by many scientists to the staggering rise of autism in the past two decades. Did the dumbing-down campaign go too far?

      “In children who are fully vaccinated, by the sixth month of life they have received more mercury from vaccines than recommended by the EPA. There are many similarities in symptoms between mercury toxicity and autism, including social deficits, language deficits, repetitive behaviors, sensory abnormalities, cognition deficits, movement disorders, and behavioral problems. There are also similarities in physical symptoms, including biochemical, gastrointestinal, muscle tone, eurochemistry, neurophysiology, EEG measurements, and immune system/autoimmunity.”

Due to the suspected link between vaccines and autism, more than 5,000 U.S. families have filed claims in a federal vaccine court against the companies producing the vaccines. In most cases, the plaintiffs received no compensation and all correlation between the illness and vaccines was denied by the defendants. A public relations war has been going on for years, as studies and counter-studies have appeared, proving or denying the links between vaccines and autism, depending where they originate from. The studies claiming that vaccines are safe have often been funded by the very companies that produce them.

Despite the denials, Thimerosal is slowly–and silently–being phased out of vaccines for babies. Not too long after the phasing out began, cases of autism have sharply dropped in the country.

“Published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the data show since mercury was removed from childhood vaccines, the reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped increasing but actually dropped sharply – by as much as 35 percent. Using the government’s own databases, independent researchers analyzed reports of childhood neurological disorders, including autism, before and after removal of mercury-based preservatives.

According to a statement from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, or AAPS, the numbers from California show that reported autism rates hit a high of 800 in May 2003. If that trend had continued, the reports would have risen to more than 1,000 by the beginning of 2006. But the number actually went down to 620, a real decrease of 22 percent, and a decrease from the projection of 35 percent.
The phasing out of Thimerosal from vaccines intended for children is all well and good, but the preservative is still found in many vaccines intended for adults. Did someone realize that mercury in vaccines is too strong for children, making them sick and ultimately unproductive, but perfect to dumb-down fully developed adults? The ruling class is not looking to create a generation of autistic people who would need constant care, but a mass of “useful idiots” that can accomplish repetitive and mind-numbing tasks, while accepting without questioning what they are being told.

As of today, Thimerosal is still found in Influenza vaccines, commonly known as the flu shot. Those shots are seasonal, meaning that patients are encouraged to come back every winter to get their yearly vaccine/dose of mercury.

Makers of the Influenza vaccine say it boasts a “solid health record,” meaning the shot does not seem cause observable illnesses. What is NEVER discussed, however, is the slow and gradual brain neuron degeneration most individuals go through, year after year, due constant mercury poisoning. This process of slowing down brain functions is not easily observable nor quantifiable but it is still happening on a world-wide scale. If mercury can completely disrupt the fragile minds of children enough to possibly cause autism, it will, at the very least, impair fully developed minds.

Almost as if created to generate demands for vaccines, new diseases appear periodically around the world that, with the help of mass media scare campaigns, cause people to beg their officials for the miracle shot that they are told will cure everybody.

H1N1, also known as the Swine Flu, was the latest of those scary diseases that terrified millions of people for several months. When the shot became available, heavily promoted and massive vaccination campaigns sprung around the world. One fact that was not promoted: Swine flu was often easily curable, and not very different than the “regular” flu. Another fact that was not promoted: Most of the flu shots contained Thimerosal.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
A poison is a “substance that causes injury, illness, or death, especially by chemical means.”
Going by this definition, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is truly a poison. HFCS is a highly processed sweetner made from corn that has been used since 1970. It continues to replace white sugar and sucrose in processed foods and is currently found in the majority of processed foods found in supermarkets. Studies have determined that Americans consume an average of 12 teaspoons a day of the sweetner.

Here’s a graph depicting the rise of HFCS in our diets:

Due to its sweetening propreties, HFCS is obviously found in sugary products like jams, soft drinks and pre-packaged baked goods. However, most people do not realize that it is also found in numerous other products, including soups, breads, pasta sauces, cereals, frozen entrees, meat products, salad dressings and condiments. HFCS is also found in so-called health products, including protein-bars, “low-fat” foods and energy drinks.How can something that taste so good be so bad?
Here are some facts about HFCS:
•  Research links HFCS to increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in North America, especially among children. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. And being a liquid, it passes much more quickly into the blood stream.
•  Beverages containing HFCS have higher levels of reactive compounds (carbonyls), which are linked with cell and tissue damage leading to diabetes.
•  There is some evidence that corn fructose is processed differently in the body than cane sugar, leading to reduced feelings of satiation and a greater potential for over-consumption.
•  Studies by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Michigan have shown that consuming fructose, which is more readily converted to fat by the liver, increases the levels of fat in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides.
•  Unlike other types of carbohydrate made up of glucose, fructose does not stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Peter Havel, a nutrition researcher at UC Davis who studies the metabolic effects of fructose, has also shown that fructose fails to increase the production of leptin, a hormone produced by the body’s fat cells. Both insulin and leptin act as signals to the brain to turn down the appetite and control body weight. Havel’s research also shows that fructose does not appear to suppress the production of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger and appetite.
•  Because the body processes the fructose in HFCS differently than it does cane or beet sugar, it alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream. The end result is that our bodies are essentially tricked into wanting to eat more, while at the same time, storing more fat.
•  A study in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that women whose diet was high in total carbohydrate and fructose intake had an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
•  HFCS interferes with the heart’s use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.
•  HFCS has been found to deplete the immune system by inhibiting the action of white blood cells. The body is then unable to defend against harmful foreign invaders.
•  Research suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.
•  HFCS is highly refined–even more so than white sugar.
•  The corn from which HFCS is derived is almost always genetically modified, as are the enzymes used in the refining process.
•  There are increasing concerns about the politics surrounding the economics of corn production (subsidies, tariffs, and regulations), as well as the effects of intensive corn agriculture on the environment.

Many studies have observed a strong correlation between the rise HFCS in the past years and the rise of obesity during the same period of time.
Obesity, on top of being unhealthy for the body, directly affects brain functions. Some researchers have even questioned the role of obesity in brain degeneration.

Research scientists have long suspected that a relationship existed between obesity and a decline in brain power. New studies now confirm the contention that being overweight is detrimental to the brain. Researchers at the University of California in an article published in the Archives of Neurology demonstrated a strong correlation between central obesity (that is, being fat around the middle) and shrinkage of a part of the brain ( the hippocampus) fundamental for memory.

This does not mean that obese people are dumb. It does however mean that their brain is probably not processing as effectively as it could be. But even if HFCS does not make you fat, it will still affect your brain. Recent studies have shown that the sweetener contains … you’ve guessed it … mercury!
•  “One study – published in the journal, Environmental Health – shows mercury in nine out of 20 samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup.
•  The second study – by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) – finds nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury, especially dairy products, dressings and condiments. The brands included big names like Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.”

Here is the table found in the IATP’s study called, Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup, detailing the amount of mercury found in everyday products found in supermarkets.

Of course, companies who produce HFCS deny the results of those studies, claiming the sweetner is “natural”. But this is coming from those who, y’know, SELL the stuff. Corn refiners have even produced some strange PR ads to encourage people to keep ingesting their toxic product.

In Conclusion
Despite the existence of many studies describing the negative effects of mercury on the human brain, governments still push for the increased vaccination of the population with shots containing Thimerosal. Furthermore, governing bodies have protected the pharmaceutical companies who produce the vaccines and foods containing HFCS against any type of lawsuits. The fact that many high executives of these companies also hold key positions within the government, might provide an explanation. There are indeed a restricted amount of persons holding positions of high power in both the private and public sector. These people, in what are clear cases of conflict of interest, collide at the top to form what this site refers to as “the elite” or “the ruling class.” Most of these people have never been elected to governmental positions, yet they create public policies that further their agenda, regardless of the political party in power. Look at the membership of the Bilderberg Group, the Committee of 300 or the Council of Foreign Relations and you will find the CEOs of companies producing your food and medication … and the same people who pass laws governing your food and medication.

Since no public official is likely to betray his peers and fund-raisers to become a whistleblower, it is up to each one of us to learn about what we consume. The cliché saying “read the labels” is quite true, but if you have no idea what “monosodium glutamate” means, reading the label will not help you. This series of articles aims to raise basic awareness of the most harmful substances found in everyday products. I personally cannot claim to have a perfect diet … I grew up in the 80s and love the taste of processed foods like candy, sodas … even Hamburger Helper. But as you find more information and as you begin to realize that every step in the right direction really does make you feel better, each subsequent step becomes easier. No one can do it for you: It’s up to you to take that next step … whether it is toward your detoxification or to Burger King.

B.  Health: Foods Containing Mercury
eHow, By Alexander Grouch
http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html

Foods Containing Mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal that exists in many places throughout the earth. As a result, some of the food we eat contains traces of mercury. Fish in particular absorb copious amounts of mercury as they swim in the water. This is due both to the natural occurrence of mercury and various human actions that exacerbate the situation. While slight amounts of mercury usually will not have a noticeable effect on the human body, prolonged mercury exposure through food may lead to serious health problems such as methylmercury poisoning, vision problems and neurological disturbances in fetuses and infants.

Foods That Contain High Levels of Mercury
Although many foods may contain traces of mercury, fish and shellfish are known to have the most mercury overall. As mercury enters the water supply, all fish absorb some of it into their bodies. Fish that are higher on the food chain have especially high mercury levels since they consume smaller fish. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the largest fish often contain the most mercury. High-mercury fish include swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. Certain types of tuna also contain mercury well above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s limits of 0.1 microgram per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Other Foods That Contain Mercury
While fish gets most of the bad press regarding mercury, other food products also contain mercury. In early 2009, Environmental Health Journal reported on a study conducted by a team led by Renee Dufault that found high fructose corn syrup had high levels of mercury. Many mass-marketed food products contain high fructose corn syrup due the prevalence of corn production in America and the government’s corn subsidy. Popular products sweetened with high fructose corn syrup include most sodas, ketchup and even bread.

In the Dufault study, samples revealed 0.57 micrograms of mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. When you consider the large quantities of high fructose corn syrup that most American ingest, many people’s mercury consumption exceeds EPA or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations. To find products free of high fructose corn syrup, read all the ingredients in food products. The earlier in the list you find high fructose corn syrup, the more of it that’s in the product.

Effects
In high doses, mercury wreaks havoc on the central nervous system. Pregnant women especially should avoid fish that may contain mercury. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences such as memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications. If you are pregnant, look for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or EPA updates on what foods contain high levels of mercury and avoid them to prevent possible damage to your child’s cognitive development.

Mercury Poisoning
In rare cases, some people may consume so much fish and other mercury-rich foods that they experience mercury poisoning. One of the most highly publicized cases of mercury poisoning occurred in 2008 when actor Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a play due to mercury poisoning.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning include impairment to your sight, hearing and touch. Some people who suffer from mercury poisoning report ambulatory trouble and tingling around the lips. If you have a diet high in fish and suffer any of the above symptoms, visit a hospital promptly for evaluation.

Fish Low In Mercury
Since several fish contain such powerful nutrients and healthy oils, the benefits of fish may outweigh genuine mercury concerns. If you want to balance the health benefits of fish with mercury risks, eat fish further down the food chain. According to the FDA and EPA, fish low in mercury include salmon, catfish and pollock. Canned light tuna also contains a relatively low amount of mercury per serving. However, other types of tuna such as albacore have higher levels of mercury. As long as you keep track of your portion sizes, you probably will not suffer any ill effects due to mercury in food. For optimal portion size, eat no more than 12 oz. (about two meals) of low-mercury fish a week.
Read more: Foods Containing Mercury | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html#ixzz1MFy97JfQ
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5.     Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds

Aug. 14, 2007, ScienceDaily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162438.htm
About 40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution, concludes a Cornell researcher. Such environmental degradation, coupled with the growth in world population, are major causes behind the rapid increase in human diseases, which the World Health Organization has recently reported. Both factors contribute to the malnourishment and disease susceptibility of 3.7 billion people, he says.

David Pimentel, Cornell professor of ecology and agricultural sciences, and a team of Cornell graduate students examined data from more than 120 published papers on the effects of population growth, malnutrition and various kinds of environmental degradation on human diseases. Their report is published in the online version of the journal Human Ecology and will be published in the December print issue.

“We have serious environmental resource problems of water, land and energy, and these are now coming to bear on food production, malnutrition and the incidence of diseases,” said Pimentel.

Of the world population of about 6.5 billion, 57 percent is malnourished, compared with 20 percent of a world population of 2.5 billion in 1950, said Pimentel. Malnutrition is not only the direct cause of 6 million children’s deaths each year but also makes millions of people much more susceptible to such killers as acute respiratory infections, malaria and a host of other life-threatening diseases, according to the research.

Among the study’s other main points:
Nearly half the world’s people are crowded into urban areas, often without adequate sanitation, and are exposed to epidemics of such diseases as measles and flu.
With 1.2 billion people lacking clean water, waterborne infections account for 80 percent of all infectious diseases. Increased water pollution creates breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes, killing 1.2 million to 2.7 million people a year, and air pollution kills about 3 million people a year. Unsanitary living conditions account for more than 5 million deaths each year, of which more than half are children.

Air pollution from smoke and various chemicals kills 3 million people a year. In the United States alone about 3 million tons of toxic chemicals are released into the environment — contributing to cancer, birth defects, immune system defects and many other serious health problems.

Soil is contaminated by many chemicals and pathogens, which are passed on to humans through direct contact or via food and water. Increased soil erosion worldwide not only results in more soil being blown but spreading of disease microbes and various toxins.

At the same time, more microbes are becoming increasingly drug-resistant. And global warming, together with changes in biological diversity, influence parasite evolution and the ability of exotic species to invade new areas. As a result, such diseases as tuberculosis and influenza are re-emerging as major threats, while new threats — including West Nile virus and Lyme disease — have developed.

“A growing number of people lack basic needs, like pure water and ample food. They become more susceptible to diseases driven by malnourishment, and air, water and soil pollutants,” Pimentel concludes. He and his co-authors call for comprehensive and fair population policies and more conservation of environmental resources that support human life.

“Relying on increasing diseases and malnutrition to limit human numbers in the world diminishes the quality of life for all humans and is a high-risk policy,” the researchers conclude.

We are affliced by and bringing on ourselves, a global human condition tantamount to ‘Death by 1000 cuts.’, Mr Larry

End of article, Modern Air and Water
Read also the 4dtraveler posts: Modern Competition, Modern Foraging, Modern Freedom of Choice and, Modern Living.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Air & Water, Part 2 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away) .
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Synopsis; Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

2.  Water, with chlorine,  fluorine,  pharmaceuticals  and  more

[Photo above: Garbage concentration in a perpetual and growing trash vortex, located 800 miles north of Hawaii, in a 10-million-square-mile oval known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. This is an odd stretch of ocean, a place most boats purposely avoid. For one thing, it is becalmed. “The doldrums,” sailors called it, and they steered clear. So do the ocean’s top predators: the tuna, sharks, and other large fish that required livelier waters, flush with prey. The gyre is more like a desert—a slow, deep, clockwise-swirling vortex of air and water caused by a mountain of high-pressure air that lingers above it. The huge trash concentration began with a line of plastic bags ghosting the surface, followed by an ugly tangle of junk: nets and ropes and bottles, motor-oil jugs and cracked bath toys, a mangled tarp. Tires. A traffic cone. Out in this desolate place, the water is a stew of plastic. It is as though someone has taken a pristine seascape and turned it into a landfill.
Scientists refer to this area as the “Eastern Garbage Patch”, a place in the ocean where the trail of plastic goes on for hundreds of miles.
Yachts traveling through the Gyre sail for a week amongst bobbing, toxic debris, all trapped in a purgatory of circling currents in this 21st-century Leviathan. It had no head, no tail. Just an endless body. http://jonbowermaster.com/blog/tag/30-days-of-oceans/page/4/]
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A.  The Water Resources of Earth
Over 70% of our Earth’s surface is covered by water ( we should really call our planet “Ocean” instead of “Earth”). Although water is seemingly abundant, the real issue is the amount of fresh water available.
•  97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water
•  Nearly 70% of that fresh water is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use.
•  1% of the world’s fresh water (~0.007% of all water on earth) is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost. Only this amount is regularly renewed by rain and snowfall, and is therefore available on a sustainable basis.

Water as a Resource
Since antiquity, irrigation, drainage, and impoundment have been the three types of water control having a major impact on landscapes and water flows. Since the dawn of irrigated agriculture at least 5000 years ago, controlling water to grow crops has been the primary motivation for human alteration of freshwater supplies. Today, principal demands for fresh water are for irrigation, household and municipal water use, and industrial uses. Most supplies come from surface runoff, although mining of “fossil water” from underground aquifers is an important source in some areas. The pattern of water withdrawal over the past 300 years shows the dramatic increases in this century.

[Human Appropriation of the World’s Fresh Water Supply
<http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html>]

A timeline of human water use:
http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/   freshwater_supply/freshwater.html
•  12,000 yrs. ago: hunter-gatherers continually return to fertile river valleys
•  7,000 yrs. ago: water shortages spur humans to invent irrigation
•  1,100 yrs ago: collapse of Mayan civilization due to drought
•  Mid 1800’s: fecal contamination of surface water causes severe health problems (typhoid, cholera) in some major North American cities, notably Chicago
•  1858: “Year of the Great Stink” in London, due to sewage and wastes in Thames
•  Late 1800s-early 1900: Dams became popular as a water management tool
•  1900s: The green revolution strengthens human dependency on irrigation for agriculture
•  World War II: water quality impacted by industrial and agricultural chemicals
•  1972: Clean Water Act passed; humans recognize need to protect water
•  The six billion people of Planet Earth use nearly 30% of the world’s total accessible renewal supply of water.  By 2025, that value may reach 70%.  Yet billions of people lack basic water services, and millions die each year from water-related diseases.

B.   The unHealthy side Effects of Chlorine in Drinking Water
http://www.pure-earth.com/chlorine.html
The U.S. General Accounting Office reports that there are serious deficiencies in water treatment plants in 75% of the states. More than 120 million people (about 50% of the US population) may get unsafe water according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

U.S. Health Officials estimate 900,000 people each year become ill – and possibly 900 die – from waterborne disease. The General Accounting Office estimates 66% of Safe Drinking Water Act violations aren’t reported.

The contamination of water is directly related to the degree of contamination of our environment. Rainwater flushes airborne pollution from the skies, and then washes over the land before running into the, rivers, aquifers, and lakes that supply our drinking water. Any and all chemicals generated by human activity can and will find their way into water supplies.

The chemical element chlorine is a corrosive, poisonous, greenish-yellow gas that has a suffocating odor and is 2- 1/2 times heavier than air. Chlorine belongs to the group of elements called halogens. The halogens combine with metals to form compounds called halides. Chlorine is manufactured commercially by running an electric current through salt water. This process produces free chlorine, hydrogen, and sodium hydroxide. Chlorine is changed to its liquid form by compressing the gas, the resulting liquid is then shipped. Liquid chlorine is mixed into drinking water and swimming pools to destroy bacteria.

Until recently, concerns about drinking water focused on eliminating pathogens. The chlorine used to reduce the risk of infectious disease may account for a substantial portion of the cancer risk associated with drinking water. Chlorination of drinking water was a major factor in the reduction in the mortality rates associated with waterborne pathogen. The use of chlorine was believed to be safe. This view is evident in an article, which appeared on the back page of the New York Times. The report stated that with the use of chlorine, “Any municipal water supply can be made as pure as mountain spring water. Chlorination destroys all animal and microbial life, leaving no trace of itself afterwards”. This statement reflected opinion accepted until recent years when halogenated organic compounds, such as chloroform, were identified in chlorinated drinking water supplies. Recent surveys show that these compounds are common in water supplies throughout the United States.

These concerns about cancer risks associated with chemical contamination from chlorination by-products have resulted in numerous epidemiological studies. These studies generally support the notion that by-products of chlorination are associated with increased cancer risks.

Chlorine is used to combat microbial contamination, but it can react with organic matter in the water and form dangerous, carcinogenic Trihalomethanes. According to Dr. Joseph M. Price, MD, in Moseby’s Medical Dictionary, “Chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times. It is an insidious poison”.

In a 1992 study that made front-page headlines, and was reported on in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee found that people who regularly drink tap water containing high levels of chlorine by-products have a greater risk of developing bladder and rectal cancers than people who drink unchlorinated water. The study estimates that about 9 percent of all bladder cancer and 18 percent of all rectal cancer cases are associated with long-term consumption of these by-products. This amounts to over 20,000 new cases each year.

Morris, with epidemiologist Thomas C. Chalmers and his colleagues at Harvard, used a new technique called meta-analysis to combine the results from the 10 best studies, yielding the new findings. They report that people drinking chlorinated water over long periods have a 21% increase in the risk of contracting bladder cancer and a 38% increase in the risk of rectal cancer. “I am quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water.”, says Robert D. Morris of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who directed the new study.

About 90% of the population is drinking water which may contain hundreds of these Disinfection By-products (DBPs), also known as Trihalomethanes. The Environmental Protection Agency lowered the Maximum Contaminant Level for Disinfection By-products but it will be years before the new standard goes into effect.

In his book, Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine, Joseph M. Price, MD presents startling evidence that Trihalomethanes, are the “prime causative agents of arteriosclerosis and its inevitable result, the heart attack or stroke.” These Trihalomethanes are created when the chlorine that is added to the municipal water supply reacts with organic matter such as leaves, twigs, or chemicals from agricultural runoff.

Here’s What The Experts Have To Say
•  Drinking chlorinated water has finally been officially linked to an increased incidence of colon cancer. An epidemiologist at Oak Ridge Associated Universities completed a study of colon cancer victims and non-cancer patients and concluded that the drinking of chlorinated water for 15 years or more was conducive to a high rate of colon cancer. Health Freedom News, January/February 1987
•  Long-term drinking of chlorinated water appears to increase a person’s risk of developing bladder cancer as much as 80%, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some 45,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with bladder cancer. St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
•  Although concentrations of these carcinogens are low…it is precisely these low levels which cancer scientists believe are responsible for the majority of human cancers in the United States.  Report Issued By The Environmental Defense Fund
•  Chlorine itself is not believed to be the problem. Scientists suspect that the actual cause of the bladder cancers is a group of chemicals that form as result of reactions between the chlorine and natural substances and pollutants in the water. (organic matter such as leaves and twigs.) St. Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press, December 17, 1987
•  Greenpeace reports have found chlorine-based compounds to be the most common toxic and persistent pollutants in the Great Lakes.

Summary and Prevention Strategies
Contaminants may enter water supplies at many points before reaching the tap. The carcinogens in drinking water at the point of use may result from contamination of source water, arise from the treatment processes, or enter as the water is transported to the consumer. Varied carcinogens may contaminate the source water, but they usually exist in drinking water at low concentrations. However, chemicals that enter drinking water during water treatment are limited in number, but appear in drinking water supplies with greater frequency than most source water contaminants.

Under conditions of average temperature, humidity, and activity, the human body loses and, therefore, must replace about 2.3 liters of water each day. Two-thirds of this consumption is in the form of water or some other beverage. Concerns about the health risks or taste of drinking water may cause those who consume tap water to shift to bottled water, or other beverages. These beverages may include sweetened soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, which can pose health risks greater than those associated with drinking water.

To stop chlorination of drinking water to eliminate the elevated cancer risks from chlorination by-products would be foolhardy. Nonetheless, the data provide strong evidence to support expanded efforts in research and development of alternatives to chlorination for the disinfection of drinking water. Chlorination is particularly effective in preventing recontamination during distribution. Alternatives must provide a similar level of protection. Perhaps the most viable alternative is point of use water treatment units.

The weight of the evidence suggests that chlorination by-products pose substantial cancer risks that should be reduced.

Dr. Herbert Schwartz of Cumberland County College in Vineman, N.J. says: “Chlorine has so many dangers it should be banned. Putting chlorine in the water supply is like starting a time bomb. Cancer, heart trouble, premature senility, both mental and physical, are conditions attributable to chlorine treated water supplies. It is making us grow old before our time by producing symptoms of aging such as hardening of the arteries.”

Chlorine has been hailed as the saviour against cholera and various other water-borne diseases; and rightfully so. Its disinfectant qualities and economy of production have allowed communities and whole cities to grow and prosper by providing disease-free tap water to homes and industry. Some people have grown-up on tap water, and believe the taste of chlorine signifies purity and safety. Well, not necessarily so.

      Chlorine is, essentially, bleach. And what comes out of most municipally delivered faucets is, quite actually, a mild bleach solution. Consider some well-known attributes of chlorine. Let’s say, “the dark side” of the saviour. A PhD chemist friend put it this way: “If I were assigned to go into a lab and produce a menu of known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), the first thing I would do would be to grab-up a cylinder of chlorine and start bubbling it through some water that contains naturally occuring organic acids (humic and fumic acids — as are found in all natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc.).”

      Note the “chloro” part in the following: trichlorophosphate (TCP) and the trihalomethane group (THMs) which includes chloroform. You may recognize these known bad guys by the legally imposed requirement of your municipality to periodically make report to the public (newspaper) on the levels of these known or highly suspected carcinogens in the tap water being produced. There are others, but those are popularly known. And they’re all chlorine by-products.

      Another problem directly related to chlorine disinfection are the aesthetic properties imparted when chlorine is combined with organic compounds that are natural to open bodies of water (surface water). This regards the “taste and odor” problems many municipalities experience during certain times of the year (especially in four-season latitudes) which draw their water supply from surface water. Surface water includes ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, etc., as opposed to underground sources (wells, aquifers). Bubble chlorine through humic and fumic acids common to surface water supplies and you produce the “fishy” or “musty” odors and tastes so common in the spring and fall, when the lake “turns-over.”

The good news is, you don’t have to drink it anymore. The most practical and efficient method for removing chlorine, chlorine by-products, and taste and odor problems, is to filter it with granular activated carbon (GAC) or other suitable chemical-removing filter media.

      The municipalities are stuck. Environmental and public safety laws require most to maintain a chlorine residual throughout the entire water main delivery system. This is to retain some disinfecting properties in the event of groundwater infiltration and other contaminations. Barking at your local water company or water department about the taste and odor will accomplish nothing. Chances are, they’re doing their best, and meeting the laws. The most practical solution to the problem is to take it back out at the “point of use” (POU) — your own home or office.

Environmental Systems Distributing
Sunday, 20 February, 2000, The Electronic Telegraph, London, England
An independent study into the use of chlorine-treated drinking water has been ordered by the Government because of fears that it may cause spina bifida and stillbirths.

Scientists from Imperial College, London University, will carry out the research after doctors in Norway, Canada and the United States reported higher levels of birth defects in areas where chlorine is used, compared with drinking water treated by alternative methods. All of Britain’s water companies chlorinate their supplies. The only people who have non-chlorinated water are those with their own bore holes or wells.

A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over three years found a 14 per cent increased risk of birth defects in areas with chlorinated water. Scientists have already found an association between chlorine and an increased risk of bowel, kidney and bladder cancer, but it is the first time that a link has been found with higher levels of spina bifida.

Last night the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association said it was “concerned” by the findings and would be discussing them with medical advisers before considering making representations to the Government. British water industry experts have not dismissed the findings but said that the safety benefits of purification outweigh the risks of birth defects.

Dr Per Magnus, who carried out the Norwegian research, said: “This is an important finding because we know there are chemicals released by the action of chlorine on organic particles at treatment works. We have observed mutations in these chemicals which seem to tie up with mutations that are found in babies. We were in a unique position in Norway to make these observations because in some areas our water comes from the mountains and doesn’t require cleaning with chlorine.”

The Norwegian government has ordered more research. Concerned families there have been filtering tap water. A popular method has been to place sachets of coral sand, dredged from fjords, into water before it is drunk, removing all traces of chlorine in tap water in 15 minutes. In Canada, at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, researchers found that high levels of trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine in drinking water, significantly increased the risk of stillbirth.

Dr John Marshall, of the Pure Water Association, a pressure group which has been campaigning for safer drinking water, said: “It shows we should be paying more attention to the chemicals we put in drinking water and be looking for other alternatives to chlorination. A number of safe, non-toxic options exist, such as treating water with the gas ozone or ultra violet.”

Chlorine is in the same chemical group as fluoride, which has been linked with cancer and osteoporosis. There is also a connection between fluoride and increased blood pressure and an increase in problems with the thyroid gland. John Fawell, a leading specialist on water quality, and an independent industry consultant, said the British Government and water companies were taking the danger of birth defects seriously. He said: “The people who have done this work in Norway and the United States are reputable researchers and the Government and water companies have commissioned their own research from London University.

“But at present the conclusion of the World Health Organization and other concerned bodies is that the risk from contaminated water supplies outweighs the risk to health from chlorine. Levels of chlorine and its by-products have been falling in water and the amount coming out of the average tap is half a milliliter per liter.”

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C.     Environment: Top 11 compounds in US drinking water
12 January 2009 by Rowan Hooper
<http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16397-top-11-compounds-in-us-drinking-water.html&gt;

A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans has detected the widespread, but low-level presence of pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals.
[Photo at left: Our image of the kind of polluted water you might expect to find under the worst conditions in a 3rd World rcountry. We need to realize it’s not just how water looks that idicates it’s not healthy. Tap water in the USA looks clean and pure, but in large percent of the country, various types and concentrations of chemicals are in our drinking water. Chemicals that we can’t see it or taste. Think of this in the same way as nuclear radiation, we can’t see it or taste it, but a slightly higher doases over a number of years can injure you, or in the case of ‘high tech’ chemicals in the water, can disrupt activities in your body’s biochemistry causing premature illness, disability and a reduction in your quality of life over the long term.  lfp]

Little was known about people’s exposure to such compounds from drinking water, so Shane Snyder and colleagues at the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The surveys were carried out between 2006 and 2007.

The 11 most frequently detected compounds – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:
•  Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
•  Atrazine, an organic herbicide banned in the European Union, but still used in the US, which has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behaviour
•  Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilising drug used to treat bipolar disorder, amongst other things
•  Estrone, an oestrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish
•  Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug
•  Meprobamate, a tranquiliser widely used in psychiatric treatment
•  Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
•  Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant that has been used to treat epilepsy
•  Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases
•  TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
•  Trimethoprim, another antibiotic

The concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water were millions of times lower than in a medical dose, and Snyder emphasises that they pose no public health threat. He cautions, though, that “if a person has a unique health condition, or is concerned about particular contaminants in public water systems, I strongly recommend they consult their physician”.

Christian Daughton of the EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory says that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. “But several point to the potential for risk – especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health.”

Daughton says the contamination surveys help people realize how they are intimately and inseparably connected with their environment. “The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment also serves to make us acutely aware of the chemical sea that surrounds us,” he says.

Modern life
While the US government regulates the levels of pathogens in US drinking water, there are no rules for pharmaceuticals and other compounds, apart from one: the herbicide atrazine. The atrazine levels measured by Snyder and colleagues were well within federal limits.
Snyder says water utilities could make drinking water purer. But the costs of “extreme purification” – far beyond what is needed for safety alone – are huge in terms of increased energy usage and carbon footprint. Ultra-pure water might not even be safe, adds Snyder.
The widespread occurrence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors reflects improved detection techniques, rather than greater pollution, says Snyder. Contamination is a fact of modern life, he adds.
“As we continue to populate and aggregate, our wastes will certainly accumulate where we live,” he says. “We as a species have decided to live a modern life, with pharmaceuticals, plastics, transportation – therefore we must accept that there will be a certain degree of contamination.”
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D.     Pharmaceuticals and ther Contaminants in Our Drinking Water?
http://health-compendium.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121&Itemid=9
We can’t live without water…, tainted water may not seem like a big deal now, and without sounding to much like an alarmist it is an issue that will eventually affect all of us if something isn’t done soon (if it isn’t already). The issue of contaminants in the water that we drink has come to light lately in the press, and whether you believe the news or not, it is really an insidious detriment to society.

The reality of the situation is that we are completely dependent on water to survive; however we have a tendency to take this fact for granted. It is yet another environmental issue that lies just under the medical radar, and isn’t taken seriously because many ‘so called’ experts say we should not be concerned. Then there are the political issues; if the scientists that worked for the government and water treatment plants all over the U.S. let on as to how big an issue this is, there would be wide spread panic.
•  With that said; just to let you know how big a problem this is, contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in our drinking water has been shown to affect 41 million people that live in the U.S. Many of the largest cities in the country have reported that their water has been found to contain everything from antibiotics to anti-depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatment meds, hormones, pain killers, tranquilizers and derivatives of cholesterol-lowering compounds. This is only the tip of the iceberg, because when these meds come in contact with the chlorine that is already in the water, there is evidence that they become even more toxic than their original form.
•  These public water statistics are those that can be quantified because they are being extracted from documentation that comes from cities that keep these kinds of records. What about the folks that get their water from wells; this water isn’t filtered or treated in any way and therefore may contain higher concentrations of the above contaminants. So, where do these toxins come from, who is dumping them into the ecosystem? Well, the answer is fairly clear. Most of what is ending up in the system comes from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and millions of households around the country. When people are done with meds that they have not used up, they many times dispose of them by flushing what is left down the toilet, the other way they end up in circulation is by being excreted from the body as waste into the toilet, which then gets re-circulated in the water table. Most of these drugs pass through conventional sewage treatment facilities intact, and get re-deposited back into streams, lakes and even underground aquifers. The same goes for meds that have been tossed into the garbage, these pharmaceuticals often end up in dumps and landfills, and eventually again end up in our ground water. When researchers tested water from remote streams, they really didn’t expect to find much, but instead found as many as sixty different common pharmaceuticals…this really is shocking. The drugs they identified ranged from lipid-lowering drugs, antiseptics, antibiotics, beta-blockers, analgesics and contrast agents used to process X rays.
•  The information provided above has only touched on what comes from humans; the ‘other side of the coin’ are the hormones and other drugs that get deposited back into the environment as they are excreted from animals. Farm animals are also a source of contamination because they are injected with a host of drugs, and the rest they consume. An unknown fact is that approximately forty percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to farm animals to increase yields. Many of the pharmaceuticals these animals excrete end up back in the ground water that surrounds many of our largest cities.
•  The above discusses only the pharmaceuticals, but there is much more to the story. Now take into account the millions of gallons of personal care products that people worldwide use every day, that end up in our bath water, septic tanks and sewage treatment plants. These chemicals are the active ingredients in soaps, toilet/shower cleaners, and shampoo’s which include an array of ingredients too long to list here. All of these also have a direct impact on the environment. Should we even talk about the pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals that are used on farms, in home gardens and those discarded by industry? It is mind boggling…

      There has been a considerable amount of press on this subject that has been printed lately, and some scientific organizations are just now starting to take note. However, much of what is being found isn’t getting much traction. You see; since a direct correlation between what is being found in the water that we are drinking can’t be directly tied to causing any specific disease, no one in a position of authority seems to want to take this issue on. It is really all about money, since there isn’t any monetary gain to be garnered from testing for these contaminants; it is difficult to get funding to do what is needed to make the case against the contamination that is on going.

      Some will say that these toxins were found only in trace amounts, which are in the parts per million or even lower range. This may be true, but what they don’t tell you is that many of these drugs are fat soluble and they will accumulate in the body over time. And if you are already taking some of these meds to treat a disease, ingesting extra amounts from external sources, even in small amounts can be toxic. This brings up the subject of antibiotic resistance; this occurs when the system becomes resistant to certain types and therefore doesn’t protect the body from what it is supposed to. Virus’s also become resistant to some drugs after long term exposure, they then mutate and the drugs no longer perform as they are supposed to.

      What is really disconcerting is that these contaminants also make their way into the food table, that is in fish and any other wild life that drink tainted waters, it can become concentrated in their bodies and then when ‘they’ are eaten as food, the recipient gets a much more concentrated dose than they would even get from water. So, you can see that it isn’t as simple as the people in charge make it out to be. When young girls start having their periods at age ten, and young boys start to appear with what is known as gynocomastia (man breasts), this is a problem and it is happening more and more each year. This doesn’t take into account the idiopathic pathologies that manifest in millions of people that the medical profession can’t treat, because they don’t make the connection between the environmental issue and the pathology that the patient is presenting with.

      So, you have to be the judge as to whether this is an issue for you and your children, you should read everything you can get your hands on that discusses this subject so you can make an educated decision. The only way that you can protect yourself as of right now is to purchase a reverse osmosis filtration system; this is the only sure way to ensure your drinking water is safe to consume. If you listen to the officials that claim there isn’t an problem, and that their treatment plants meet government standards for safety, well the standard right now really isn’t set up to show what levels are of concern, mostly because they claim it isn’t an issue to begin with. And even if it did, to filter and treat water at this level would cost millions, and no one wants to pick up the tab for that.

So, until such time that science can show that this issue can be tied directly to large groups of people manifesting a certain disease, those that are suffering from exposure and are presenting in the doctor’s office with sub-clinical symptoms that most doctors do not know how to treat or test for…,they will have to suffer. In the mean time, we will have to take charge and fend for ourselves. When it is all said and done though, your best defense is to drink clean water to start with.

Continued in Survival Manual/Social Issues/Modern Air & Water, Part 3 of 3.

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Modern Air & Water, Part 1 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away) .
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Synopsis: Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

1.    Air pollution

[Above: US Air Quality maps present a visual picture of air quality for more than 3,000 US counties. This map shows United States air quality by county.]

 [Above: The global map of air pollution compares closely with this map of Gross Domestic Product Density.]

[Above: When the dominant airflow came from south and east Asia, the scientists saw the largest increases in   ozone measurements. When airflow patterns were not directly from Asia, ozone still increased but at a lower rate, indicating the possibility that emissions from other places could be contributing to the ozone increases above North America. The study used springtime ozone measurements because previous studies have shown that air transport from Asia to North America is strongest in spring, making it easier to discern possible effects of distant   pollution on the North American ozone trends.
We’re All In This Together: I think the take home message here isn’t so much that Asian pollution is affecting the US, but rather that the Earth is a closed system (well, not literally, but when it comes to pollution, it mostly is) and what happens in one place has impact on other places.
A lot of that pollution coming from Asia was created because goods bought by people in the US were manufactured there. A lot of pollution from the US affects other countries  (f.ex., coal plant emissions going up to Canada). It’s not about pointing fingers, but about cleaning up the whole system. We can’t expect that we can simply ship off polluting industries elsewhere forever; developing countries won’t accept that indefinitely, and once they get out of poverty they’ll also   be interested in clean air/water/soil, but also, political borders don’t matter to the atmosphere and the oceans.]
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A.     Smog – Who does it hurt?
What You Need to Know About Ozone and Your Health
Airnow, http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smog.page1
In fact, breathing smoggy air can be hazardous because smog contains ozone, a pollutant that can harm our health when there are elevated levels in the air we breathe. This publication will tell you what kinds of health effects ozone can cause, when you should be concerned, and what you can do to avoid dangerous exposures.

On a hot, smoggy summer day, have you ever wondered:
Is the air safe to breathe? Should I be concerned about going outside?

What is ozone?
Ozone is a colorless gas composed of three atoms of oxygen. Ozone occurs both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be good or bad, depending on where it is found:
•  Good Ozone. Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere-10 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface-where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by manmade chemicals. An area where ozone has been most significantly depleted-for example, over the North or South pole-is sometimes called a “hole in the ozone.”
•  Bad Ozone. In the Earth’s lower atmosphere, near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight.

Should you be concerned about exposure to ground-level ozone?
That depends on who you are and how much ozone is in the air. Most people only have to worry about ozone exposure when ground-level concentrations reach high levels. In many U.S. communities, this can happen frequently during the summer months. In general, as ground-level ozone concentrations increase, more and more people experience health effects, the effects become more serious, and more people are admitted to the hospital everyone should be concerned about ozone exposure. Children and adults of all ages who are active outdoors are at risk from ozone exposure.

Scientists have found that about one out of every three people in the United States is at a higher risk of experiencing ozone-related health effects. If you are a member of a “sensitive group,” you should pay special attention to ozone levels in your area. z
This publication describes several tools that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with State and local agencies, has developed to inform the public about local ozone levels. These tools provide the information you need to decide whether ozone levels on any particular day may be harmful to you. When ozone concentrations reach unhealthy levels, you can take simple precautions to protect your health.

[Above: This photo shows a healthy lung air way (left) and an inflamed lung air way (right). Ozone can inflame the lung’s lining, and repeated episodes of inflammation may cause permanent changes in the lung.]

How might ozone affect your health?
Scientists have been studying the effects of ozone on human health for many years. So far, they have found that ozone can cause several types of short-term health effects in the lungs:
•  Ozone can irritate the respiratory system. When this happens, you might start coughing, feel an irritation in your throat, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in your chest. These symptoms can last for a few hours after ozone exposure and may even become painful.
•  Ozone can reduce lung function. When scientists refer to “lung function,” they mean the volume of air that you draw in when you take a full breath and the speed at which you are able to blow it out. Ozone can make it more difficult for you to breathe as deeply and vigorously as you normally would. When this happens, you may notice that breathing starts to feel uncomfortable. If you are exercising or working outdoors, you may notice that you are taking more rapid and shallow breaths than normal. Reduced lung function can be a particular problem for outdoor workers, competitive athletes, and other people who exercise outdoors.
•  Ozone can aggravate asthma. When ozone levels are high, more asthmatics have asthma attacks that require a doctor’s attention or the use of additional medication. One reason this happens is that ozone makes people more sensitive to allergens, which are the most common triggers for asthma attacks. (Allergens come from dust mites, cockroaches, pets, fungus, and pollen.) Also, asthmatics are more severely affected by the reduced lung function and irritation that ozone causes in the respiratory system.
•  Ozone can inflame and damage the lining of the lung. Some scientists have compared ozone’s effect on the lining of the lung to the effect of sunburn on the skin. Ozone damages the cells that line the air spaces in the lung. Within a few days, the damaged cells are replaced and the old cells are shed-much in the way that skin peels after a sunburn. If this kind of damage occurs repeatedly, the lung may change permanently in a way that could cause long-term health effects and a lower quality of life.
•  Scientists suspect that ozone may have other effects on people’s health. Ozone may aggravate chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and bronchitis.
•  Also, studies in animals suggest that ozone may reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off bacterial infections in the respiratory system.

Most of these effects are considered to be short-term effects because they eventually cease once the individual is no longer exposed to elevated levels of ozone. However, scientists are concerned that repeated short-term damage from ozone exposure may permanently injure the lung. For example, repeated ozone impacts on the developing lungs of children may lead to reduced lung function as adults. Also, ozone exposure may speed up the decline in lung function that occurs as a natural result of the aging process. Research is underway to help us better understand the possible long-term effects of ozone exposure.

Who is most at risk from ozone?
Four groups of people, described below, are particularly sensitive to ozone. These groups become sensitive to ozone when they are active outdoors, because physical activity (such as jogging or outdoor work) causes people to breathe faster and more deeply. During activity, ozone penetrates deeper into the parts of the lungs that are more vulnerable to injury. Sensitive groups include:
1)   Children. Active children are the group at highest risk from ozone exposure. Such children often spend a large part of their summer vacation outdoors, engaged in vigorous activities either in their neighborhood or at summer camp. Children are also more likely to have asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Asthma is the most common chronic disease for children and may be aggravated by ozone exposure.
2)   Adults who are active outdoors. Healthy adults of all ages who exercise or work vigorously outdoors are considered a “sensitive group” because they have a higher level of exposure to ozone than people who are less active outdoors.
3)   People with respiratory diseases, such as asthma. There is no evidence that ozone causes asthma or other chronic respiratory disease, but these diseases do make the lungs more vulnerable to the effects of ozone. Thus, individuals with these conditions will generally experience the effects of ozone earlier and at lower levels than less sensitive individuals.
4)   People with unusual susceptibility to ozone. Scientists don’t yet know why, but some healthy people are simply more sensitive to ozone than others. These individuals may experience more health effects from ozone exposure than the average person.

Scientists have studied other groups to find out whether they are at increased risk from ozone. So far there is little evidence to suggest that either the elderly or people with heart disease have heightened sensitivity to ozone. However, like other adults, elderly people will be at higher risk from ozone exposure if they suffer from respiratory disease, are active outdoors, or are unusually susceptible to ozone as described above.

How can you tell if you’re being affected by ozone?
Often, people exposed to ozone experience recognizable symptoms, including coughing, irritation in the airways, rapid or shallow breathing, and discomfort when breathing or general discomfort in the chest. People with asthma may experience asthma attacks. When ozone levels are higher than normal, any of these symptoms may indicate that you should minimize the time spent outdoors, or at least reduce your activity level, to protect your health until ozone levels decline.

Ozone damage also can occur without any noticeable signs. Sometimes there are no symptoms, or sometimes they are too subtle to notice. People who live in areas where ozone levels are frequently high may find that their initial symptoms of ozone exposure go away over time-particularly when exposure to high ozone levels continues for several days. This does not mean that they have developed resistance to ozone. In fact, scientists have found that ozone continues to cause lung damage even when the symptoms have disappeared. The best way to protect your health is to find out when ozone levels are elevated in your area and take simple precautions to minimize exposure even when you don’t feel obvious symptoms.

How can I find out about ozone levels in my area?
EPA and State and local air agencies have developed a number of tools to provide people with information on local ozone levels, their potential health effects, and suggested activities for reducing ozone exposure.

Air Quality Index. EPA has developed the Air Quality Index, or AQI, for reporting the levels of ozone and other common air pollutants. The index makes it easier for the public to understand the health significance of air pollution levels. Air quality is measured by a nationwide monitoring system that records concentrations of ozone and several other air pollutants at more than a thousand locations across the country. EPA “translates” the pollutant concentrations to the standard AQI index, which ranges from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value for a pollutant, the greater the danger. An AQI value of 100 usually corresponds to the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for the pollutant. These standards are established by EPA under the Clean Air Act to protect public health and the environment.

The AQI scale has been divided into distinct categories, each corresponding to a different level of health concern. In the table below, the AQI ranges are shown in the middle column and the associated air quality descriptors are shown in the right column. The left column shows the ozone concentrations, measured in parts per million (ppm), that correspond to each category.

Though the AQI scale extends to 500, levels above 300 rarely occur in the United States. This publication and most other references to the AQI do not list health effects and cautionary statements for levels above 300. If ozone levels above 300 should ever occur, everyone should avoid physical exertion outdoors.

When pollutant levels are high, states are required to report the AQI in large metropolitan areas (populations over 350,000) of the United States. You may see the AQI for ozone reported in your newspaper, or your local television or radio weathercasters may use the AQI to provide information about ozone in your area. Here’s the type of report you might hear:

 AQI Colors. To make it easier for the public to quickly understand the air quality in their communities, EPA has assigned a specific color to each AQI category. You will see these colors when the AQI is reported in a color format-such as in a color-print newspaper, on television broadcasts, or on your State or local air pollution agency’s web site. This color scheme can help you quickly determine whether air pollutants are reaching unhealthy levels in your area. For example, the color orange means that conditions are “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” the color red means that conditions are “unhealthy” for everyone, and so on.

This map shows ozone  levels in the south central United States on May 15, 2011. Ozone maps are updated several times daily to show how ozone levels change throughout the day.

Ozone Maps. In many areas of the country, measurements of ozone concentrations are converted into color contours of the AQI categories (green, yellow, orange, red, and purple, shown above) and displayed on a map (see example below) to show ozone levels in the local area. The map is updated throughout the day and shows how ozone builds during hot summer days. In some areas, ozone maps are used to show a forecast of ozone levels for the next day.

What can I do to avoid unhealthy exposure to ozone?
You can take a number of steps. The chart below, Health Effects and Protective Actions for Specific Ozone Ranges,” tells you what types of health effects may occur at specific ozone concentrations and what you can do to avoid them. If you are a parent, keep in mind that your children are likely to be at higher risk, particularly if they are active outdoors. You may therefore want to pay special attention to the guidance.

In general, when ozone levels are elevated, your chances of being affected by ozone increase the longer you are active outdoors and the more strenuous the activity you engage in. Scientific studies show that:
•  At ozone levels above 0.12 ppm, heavy outdoor exertion for short periods of time (1 to 3 hours) can increase your risk of experiencing respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function.
•  At ozone levels between 0.08 and 0.12 ppm, even moderate outdoor exertion for longer periods of time (4 to 8 hours) can increase your risk of experiencing ozone-related effects.

EPA recommends limiting outdoor activities as ozone levels rise to unhealthy levels. You can limit the amount of time you are active outdoors or your activity level. For example, if you’re involved in an activity that requires heavy exertion, such as running or heavy manual labor, you can reduce the time you spend on this activity or substitute another activity that requires less exertion (e.g., go for a walk rather than a jog). In addition, you can plan outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower, usually in the early

Health Effects and Protective Actions for Specific Ozone Ranges
Ozone Level:
1. Good:   What are the possible health effects?  No health effects are expected.
2.  Moderate: What are the possible health effects? Unusually sensitive individuals may experience respiratory effects from prolonged exposure to ozone during outdoor exertion.
What can I do to protect my health?  When ozone levels are in the “moderate” range, consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion if you are unusually sensitive to ozone.
3. Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups:  What are the possible health effects? If you are a member of a sensitive group,(1) you may experience respiratory symptoms (such as coughing or pain when taking a deep breath) and reduced lung function, which can cause some breathing discomfort.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, limit prolonged outdoor exertion. In general, you can protect your health by reducing how long or how strenuously you exert yourself outdoors and by planning outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower (usually in the early morning or evening). You can check with your State air agency to find out about current or predicted ozone levels in your location.
4. Unhealthy:  What are the possible health effects?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, you have a higher chance of experiencing respiratory symptoms (such as aggravated cough or pain when taking a deep breath), and reduced lung function, which can cause some breathing difficulty. At this level, anyone could experience respiratory effects.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else-especially children-should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. Plan outdoor activities when ozone levels are lower (usually in the early morning or evening).  You can check with your State air agency to find out about current or predicted ozone levels in your location.
5. Very Unhealthy:  What are the possible health effects? Members of sensitive groups will likely experience increasingly severe respiratory symptoms and impaired breathing. Many healthy people in the general population engaged in moderate exertion will experience some kind of effect. According to EPA estimates, approximately:
– Half will experience moderately reduced lung function.
– One-fifth will experience severely reduced lung function.
– 10 to 15 percent will experience moderate to severe respiratory symptoms (such as aggravated cough and pain when taking a deep breath).
People with asthma or other respiratory conditions will be more severely affected, leading some to increase medication usage and seek medical attention at an emergency room or clinic.
What can I do to protect my health?  If you are a member of a sensitive group, avoid outdoor activity altogether. Everyone else especially children should limit outdoor exertion and avoid heavy exertion altogether. This information on ozone levels is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/airnow.

What does exertion have to do with ozone-related health effects?
Exercise and outdoor activities can play an important role in maintaining good health. Physical exertion helps build up strength in the heart and lungs. But exerting yourself outdoors can actually increase your chances of experiencing health effects when ozone concentrations are at unhealthy levels. Why is this true? Think of it this way: Exertion generally causes you to breathe harder and faster. When this happens, more ozone is taken into your lungs, and ozone reaches tissues that are susceptible to injury. Research has shown that respiratory effects are observed at lower ozone concentrations if either the level or duration of exertion is increased. This is why EPA recommends decreasing the level or duration of exertion to avoid ozone health effects.

Examples of typical daily activities that involve moderate exertion include climbing stairs, light jogging, easy cycling, playing tennis or baseball, and stacking firewood. Outdoor occupational activities such as simple construction work, pushing a wheelbarrow with a load, using a sledgehammer, or digging in your garden, would also involve moderate exertion. Activities that involve heavy exertion include vigorous running or cycling, playing basketball or soccer, chopping wood, and heavy manual labor. Because fitness levels vary widely among individuals, what is moderate exertion for one person may be heavy exertion for another. No matter how fit you are, cutting back on the level or duration of exertion when ozone levels are high will help protect you from ozone’s harmful effects.

 What can you do to reduce ozone levels?
Ground-level ozone is created when certain pollutants, known as “ozone precursors,” react in heat and sunlight to form ozone. Cars and other vehicles are the largest source of ozone precursors. Other important sources include industrial facilities, power plants, gasoline-powered mowers, and evaporation of cleaners, paints, and other chemicals.

We can all help reduce ozone levels by taking the following steps:
•     Drive less. For example, instead of using a car, you may want to walk, use mass transit, or ride a bike.
•     Carpool.
•     Make sure your car is well-tuned. Take care not to spill gasoline when you fill the tank of your car or lawn or recreation equipment.
•     Make sure that you tightly seal the lids of chemical products-such as solvents, garden chemicals, or household cleaners-to keep evaporation to a minimum.
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B.   Air and Water Pollution an Increasing Threat to Human Life
Did you know: about 2 million premature deaths are caused each year due to air pollution in cities across the world? And over a billion people in the world do not have access to clean water?
Despite attempts by the United States and other countries to regulate air and water quality, pollution continues to present a major global problem. If not fully addressed over the next few decades, air and water pollution will continue to worsen the environment and endanger other living organisms.
It will also harm our health and ultimately threaten the existence of the human species.

Attempts to Regulate Air and Water Quality
The United States began regulating air and water quality several decades ago. While Congress began passing air pollution laws as early as 1955, The Clean Air Act of 1970 was the first legislation to establish comprehensive federal and state regulations that limited emissions from both stationary and mobile sources.
The Clean Water Act, enacted two years later, called for the restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.

The Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act have greatly improved environmental quality in the U.S.
These acts have greatly improved environmental quality in the U.S. For example, the six most common air pollutants have decreased by more than 50 percent, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while air toxics from large industrial sources, such as chemical plants, petroleum refineries, and paper mills have been reduced by nearly 70 percent. New cars are more than 90 percent cleaner than they were in the 1970s, and production of most ozone-depleting chemicals has ceased. (Ceased in the USA, remember we transferred our most polluting industries-steel making to China, along with a lot of other manufacturing. lfp)
The rate at which wetlands are lost has declined some 90 percent since the early 1970s, and the amount of oil spilled annually into our waters has fallen to one-tenth of the level that once prevailed.

Worldwide Population Growth is Outstripping many of these gains
While substantial progress has been made, our worldwide population continues to grow, putting added pressures on the planet. The earth’s population has doubled from 3.3 billion to 6.7 billion in the last 40 years, and is expected to reach 9 million by the year 2040.

In the U.S. alone, energy consumption has increased by 50 percent since the 1970s, and vehicle use has increased by almost 200 percent, contributing to ever higher levels of pollutants in our air and water. 

Air Pollution Causes Global Health Risk
Studies have found that the risk of lung cancer and heart disease increases along with the level of air pollution. According to one study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the risk of lung cancer death went up by 8 percent for every 10 micrograms of fine particles in a cubic meter of air.
Air pollution is usually concentrated in densely populated metropolitan areas, especially in developing countries where environmental regulations are lax or non-existent. For example, in China, which has all 10 of the 10 most polluted cities of the world, air pollution is believed to cause 1.75 million premature deaths per year.

[Photos above: Beijing, China, air on a day after rain (left) and a sunny but otherwise smoky day (right)]

Even in cities across the U.S., air pollution is taking a toll on human life. For example, a recent study of the health impacts and associated costs of air pollution in the Los Angeles Basin and the San Joaquin Valley found that if Federal air standards were being followed the savings would be about 3,800 fewer premature deaths among those age 30 and older; 1.2 million fewer days of school absences; 2 million fewer days of respiratory problems in children; 467,000 fewer lost days of work and 2,700 fewer hospital admissions in the state of California alone.
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C.  The Major Sources of Air and Water Pollution
So what exactly causes our air and water to become contaminated? There are many sources of air and water pollution, both direct and indirect. These include emissions from power plants and factories; sewage and storm water runoff; oil pollution and motor vehicle exhaust; pesticides, fertilizers and chemical solvents; litter that makes its way into our waterways; and military weaponry.

Power Plant and Factory pollution release tons of toxic chemicals each year
Every year U.S. factories release over 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the land, air and water. This hazardous waste causes us to lose over 15 million acres of land annually, and leads to respiratory complications and other health problems. It also makes our rivers and lakes too polluted for us to swim in and drink.

Power plants, especially coal-fired plants, are a major source of air pollution. Despite the fact that coal is responsible for nearly 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., coal-fired plants continue to be used for about half of all electricity in the U.S, according to the Sierra Club’s Dirty Truth report.

[Photo at left: The Amos coal powered electric plant at Winfield, WV]

Other industries, too, including paper mills, chemical companies, mining companies and manufacturing firms emit acidifying gases such as sulphur oxide and dioxide, carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxide into the air. During precipitation, rainwater dissolves these gases, lowering the pH level and becoming acid rain.
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D.     Other forms of air and surface pollution
•  Acid Rain is reducing fish populations and decreasing biodiversity
•  Acid rain falls into lakes and streams, reducing fish population and harming plants and other organisms. A survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that acid rain caused acidity in 75 percent of the acidic lakes and about 50 percent of the acidic streams, reducing fish populations and decreasing aquatic biodiversity.
•  Acid rain also damages trees and forests by harming their leaves, limiting the nutrients available to them, and exposing them to toxic substances slowly released from the soil. In addition, acid rain takes a toll on human health. Many scientific studies have identified a connection between acid rain and increased illness and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis, according to the EPA.
•  Sewage and storm water runoff are also major pollutants. Every year, 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, stormwater, and industrial waste are discharged into U.S. waters.
•  Sewage pollution costs Americans billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, lost productivity and property damage, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
•  Stormwater runoff, caused when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over impervious surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks, and streets, also presents a major problem. Along the way, stormwater can pick up oil from automobiles, pesticides, fertilizers from gardens, micro-organisms from animal waste, and other toxic substances, depositing them into our waterways, where they damage plants, fish, animals and people.
•  Stormwater runoff is among the top sources of water contamination in the country today, according to the NRDC.

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Oil Pollution and Motor Vehicle Exhaust are major sources of air and water pollution.
•  Another major pollutant is oil, which makes its way into the water from automobiles, ships, industrial sites and tanker spills.
•  Each year, more than 700 million gallons of oil end up in our oceans worldwide, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Roughly half results from used engine oil and oily road runoff, while about a fifth comes from bilge cleaning and other ship operations.
•  Other sources include air pollution from automobiles and industry, as well as oil spills due to major tanker accidents. Not only do motor vehicles leak oil; they produce a variety of emissions that can have negative effects on humans, plants, animals and the environment. Vehicle exhaust contributes up to 60 percent of carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S., and up to 95 percent in larger cities. Hydrocarbons, which are made up of unburned or partially burned fuel, are a major contributor to urban smog, and can cause liver damage and even cancer. Other motor vehicle pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulates and sulfur oxide.

Agricultural Pesticides, Fertilizers and Chemical Solvents contaminate land and drinking water supplies
Pesticides, fertilizers and animal waste generated by the agricultural industry are another source of pollution. Americans use over 1 billion pounds of pesticides each year to control weeds, insects and other pests.
Pesticide contaminates land and water when it escapes from production sites and storage tanks, when it runs off from fields, when it is discarded, and when it is sprayed aerially. In a study by the U.S. Geological Service, one or more pesticides were detected in 90 percent of streams and 50 percent of wells that were sampled.
Pesticides have been shown to harm birds, fish and other aquatic life, and even amphibians. The use of pesticides also decreases the biodiversity of soil, reducing its quality over time.
In addition to pesticides and fertilizers, household products such as paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; insect repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; and dry-cleaned clothing emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may cause cancer in humans, depending on the amount and length of exposure.

 Litter especially plastics pollute our oceans and rivers
Every year, 15 billion pounds of plastic are produced in the U.S., while only 1 billion pounds are recycled, according to the non-profit Greenpeace. Some of this plastic ends up getting swept into the ocean, where it accumulates with other trash to form huge, swirling vortexes. For example, one huge vortex off the coast of Hawaii has now reached the size of Texas [See Post: Modern Air & Water,Part 2 of 3]. Animals often mistake the plastic for food, and die after ingesting the toxic chemicals contained within it.
Because plastic decomposes only very slowly, it remains in the ecosystem for decades. As the amount of trash increases in our oceans, it is creating a crisis of epic proportions.
An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by plastic litter every year around the world. Large marine animals such as seals and dolphins sometimes starve to death when trapped by plastic litter.

 Chemical Weapons Production, Testing and Use leach into the soil and waterways
Chemical weapons also pose serious threats to the environment. Despite numerous efforts to reduce or eliminate chemical weapons, many nations continue to research and stockpile them.
To date, about 70 different chemicals have been used or stockpiled as chemical warfare agents by several countries ranging from the U.S. to Russia to Iran.
In addition, nuclear weapons release enormous amounts of radioactive materials when they are exploded during testing, while the production of nuclear weapons generates large quantities of waste material and contaminates surrounding areas.

Millions of gallons of Radioactive Waste has made its way into soil and water
In the U.S. alone, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lists more than 4,500 contaminated sites.
Nuclear weapons production and energy research have generated “millions of gallons of radioactive waste, thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and special nuclear material, along with huge quantities of contaminated soil and water,” according to a five-year DOE environmental management plan.
Pollution from weapons programs has been associated with millions of deaths, most of them cancer-related. For example, a 2003 report by the European Committee of Radiation Risk, an international body made up of 30 independent scientists, concluded that pollution from nuclear energy and of exposures to global atmospheric weapons fallout accounted for 65 million deaths through the year 1989.

Continued in Survival Manual/ Social Issues/Modern Air & Water, Part 2 of 3.


[1] Members of sensitive groups include children who are active outdoors; adults involved in moderate or strenuous outdoor activities; individuals with respiratory disease, such as asthma; and individuals with unusual susceptibility to ozone.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 1 of 2

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare)

* Your own customized, nuclear weapons, ‘Thermal Damage Indicator’ map:
If you’d like to see a the area of thermal damage caused by a nuclear explosion shown on a street or satellite map, for any location in the USA, go to: <http://www.carloslabs.com/node/16> select your city and state, then from the drop down list, select the weapon’s size, press the “Nuke It” button and you have it.

A.  How to Kill America in 30 seconds or less
May 4, 2011, God like Productions, by John Galt
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1475105/pg1
“On last night’s radio show, I outlined the absolute worst case scenario for America should the threats, which we must pray are hollow, of Al Qaeda and the Wikileaks information turn out to become reality. The twist is that instead of thinking “inside the box” I adopted the strategy that our nation’s war gaming community and others would and decided to identify the logical location inside the United States which would benefit one group of nations and enable the Al Qaeda terrorist movement to receive a virtually unlimited amount of funding which could allow them to parallel other Islamist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas in their civilian and military dual purpose roles within Arab societies.

The first thing to consider is the dangerous situation the United States and West now find themselves in. Killing Osama Bin Laden (OBL) was a necessity and as he apparently served little more than a figurehead role in recent years, that position still gave him great weight with the most radical extremists within the Islamist community. The other aspect which should give one pause is the failure of European and American governments to seriously secure the borders of their nations and accepting the open border policy as a solution to promote understanding and world peace, a long time goal of globalists and internationalists since the emergence of Marxism in the 19th century. This combination creates the formula for accessibility any radicalized terror cell would need to infiltrate and create another serious incident, perhaps one thousand times worse than the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The information gleaned from the Guantanamo Bay detainees also may indicate a cause for alarm if Al Qaeda has the existing capacity they are reported to have. From the U.K. Telegraph on April 25, 2011 article titled Wikileaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed: Al-Qaeda terrorists have threatened to unleash a “nuclear hellstorm” on the West if Osama Bin Laden is caught or assassinated, according to documents to be released by the WikiLeaks website, which contain details of the interrogations of more than 700 Guantanamo detainees.

While the AQ boys have been known to write checks with their mouth that they cannot cash in reality, this is a disconcerting piece of information considering the wide open borders in our nation and the politically correct approach to dealing with terrorism until recently. The assassination of OBL may be the trigger event or signal which gives terrorists in the United States the green light to proceed; that does not necessarily mean just the Islamists either, as the internationalist movement has been looking for that one seminal event which forces the American population to ask for and accept an internationally structured system of finance and governance.

The information above might sound like something from an episode of the television series “24” or one of the conspiracy movies but think about the consequences of a nuclear attack on United States soil. If Al Qaeda does possess a functioning warhead or device, odds are it is from the old Russian nuclear arsenal, probably in the 10 kt to 25 kt range from the tactical warhead stockpile. In a worst case scenario it could even be a 100 kt or larger device from the Russian ICBM arsenal, yet it is highly unlikely that such a device would escape the Russian Republic, even during the confusion of the 1990′s.

The larger concern as outlined in Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons by Amy F. Woolf issued on February 2, 2011 from the Congressional Research Service is the estimated 15,000 to 25,000 non-strategic devices from their arsenal which were deployed throughout the old Soviet Union and its republics during the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. This report has one disturbing revelation on page 19 (See photocopied image below):

Unfortunately, like it or not, this gives the AQ threat a little bit more credence as even the Russians continue to refuse to acknowledge the numbers of nonstrategic weapons in their arsenal nor provide an inventory for review. This blind spot in the various nuclear weapons treaties is countered by the Russian argument that there is nothing to worry about as they have closed all storage facilities across their nation and consolidated all of the warheads in one central location. By using deductive reasoning is it not a major reach nor requirement to develop an extravagant conspiracy theory to assume that it is possible that one or more of the nuclear devices have escaped their oversight and control. That begs the question then; if Al Qaeda has studied the various documents about nuclear attack scenarios on U.S. soil provided by FEMA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies over the years, what location would cripple America for decades and kill our nation in thirty seconds or less?

Note the location, as the terrorists already have, of our petrochemical, refining, and other oil facilities in the Houston area. A detonation in the Deer Park area just southeast of the city destroying several large refineries, storage facilities, and natural gas electrical generation sites. The problem after the initial explosion beyond the immediate fatalities, panic initiated in one of America’s largest cities, contamination, and destruction of infrastructure is the spread of radioactive debris or fallout. An important difference between a surface burst and an air burst is, consequently, that in the surface burst the radioactive cloud is much more heavily loaded with debris. This consists of particles ranging in size from the very small ones produced by condensation as the fireball cools to the much larger debris particles which have been raised by the afterwinds. The exact composition of the cloud will, of course, depend on the nature of the surface materials and the extent of their contact with the fireball. I created the inset map to highlight the regions that would be impacted the greatest by a nuclear event in the Houston, Texas energy complex region. The fallout from a surface explosion based on the prevailing winds in the early autumn assuming a cold front is dropping from the north. The contamination for a small device would not be as widespread as the map displays but the terror to civilians would be palpable and create massive refugee flows away from coastal regions in the projected impact zones.

Unfortunately the areas most likely areas to receive a measurable threat from a sub 100 kiloton detonation would be more of the primary oil production and processing facilities from Beaumont, TX and coastal platforms through southern Louisiana, again depending on the upper level wind patterns at that time. Thus not only would a sizable percentage of our refining capacity be impacted directly in the blast zone, other areas would be temporarily unusable until the radiation levels decreased sufficiently for clean up and civilians were assured that they could work in those areas safely and returned.

This type of attack would remove close to thirty percent of our refining capacity not to mention an emergency evacuation of our platforms off the coast of that region, the shutting down of one of our most important military and commercial seaports, and the cessation of a large percentage of the oil and gas via pipelines originating from this region into the Midwest, Northeast, and South regions of the country. The United States economy would fall immediately into a depression, the dollar would collapse overnight, rationing of energy and foodstuffs would become a fact of life, and large quantities of our troops overseas would have to be recalled home to help maintain law and order. That begs the question, beyond Al Qaeda getting their “headline” and alleged revenge for the destruction of their leadership, who are the big winners?
•  Russia
•  China
•  Iran
•  Indonesia

Those nations either have strategic benefits extracted from the conversion of the U.S. from a superpower into a second world state or the much-needed boost into becoming an economic superpower. Russia would enjoy a renaissance as they would own Europe as a colony with the energy dependency they would gain as the American power vacuum expands instantly. China would achieve a strategic advantage over the Pacific and East Asian region as America would be economically incapable of stopping any actions they desired to engage in. Indonesia and Iran would instantly have the energy card to play and shift the OPEC dynamic from a consideration for the destabilized Arab states to a new cartel based on Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, Angola, and other nations not experiencing domestic instability and dependent on the U.S. for their security needs. Thus one has to consider the economic benefits for promising Al Qaeda billions of dollars in gold or other financing to execute such an attack from some of the nations listed above. It would also give AQ the necessary funding so their organization could expand into programs similar to the infrastructure and political programs developed by Hezbollah and Hamas, and allow them to engage in activities in Arab nations which were allied with the U.S. as an ally or adjunct to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, their old allies.

The biggest loser besides the U.S. would unfortunately be the nation of Mexico, already in the throes of domestic instability with a narco-terrorist war approaching the level of an internal civil conflict. The illegal and legal resident aliens would probably flee the U.S. as the border would instantly be militarized after such an event. With millions of unemployed citizens returning home plus the loss of one of Mexico’s largest crude oil customers (why would we buy oil we can’t process; remember that fact) the formula for a massive civil war to develop would be in place, putting further stress on our nation. One shot like this one and the United States is off of the geopolitical stage in less than thirty seconds.

These facts are nothing new to the terrorists nor those within the national security apparatus in Washington, D.C. or elsewhere. The government began taking measures to improve security and monitoring of these facilities and regions several years ago based on threats received from intelligence overseas and they have made no secret of their acknowledgment of the importance of these areas in our country. Unfortunately a nuclear device in a rental or stolen box truck with a suicide bomber at the wheel driving on the Pasadena Expressway or the Beltway would be unstoppable once the weapon is armed and he or she is on the road filled with evil intent.

Let us all pray hard that political correctness is under suspension again and those dedicated law enforcement and military personnel are doing everything in their power to prevent such an event. There are few choke points within the U.S. that could be called a “kill shot” location, but unfortunately the lack of an intelligent coherent energy policy to diversify and decentralize our energy infrastructure has created such an opportunity. I advise my readers and listeners to prepare for the worst case scenario as none of the information presented above is top secret nor classified in any way shape or form; it was all readily available on the internet and believe me, the enemies of our nation, foreign and domestic, are quite aware of this fact.”
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B.  Where are the potential targets for nuclear attacks?
http://www.undergroundbombshelter.com/bomb-shelter-questions.htm
In general, potential military targets include:
•  Strategic missile sites and military bases.
•  Centers of government such as Washington, DC, and state capitals.
•  Important transportation and communication centers.
•  Manufacturing, industrial, technology, and financial centers.
•  Petroleum refineries, electrical power plants, and chemical plants.
•  Major ports and airfields.

Potential terrorist targets include:
•  Large cities such as NY, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, L. A., Dallas, Houston, Portland, Charlotte, Denver, etc.
•  Symbolic American cities such as Philadelphia, Hollywood, or Orlando (Disney Land).
•  Heartland cities such as St. Louis, Memphis, Chicago.
•  Cities or locations on the West Coast (taking advantage of maximum casualties created through east-traveling fallout).
•  Major sporting event such as Super Bowl or other sports game.

A bird’s eye views of events
Unlike the Cold War era when we would have some warning of an attack, in today’s world where the greatest possibility of a nuclear explosion will be delivered via terrorists, you will not receive notice of an impending attack. The unfortunate souls who are vaporized by a terrorist’s nuclear blast would probably be reserved to an area 1 mile in diameter.
The blast wave will move out so fast that people within 5 miles won’t have time to escape unscathed.
Those located 5 to 20 miles from the blast will probably see the mushroom cloud or panicking people and be able to make a hasty entrance into an underground bomb shelter in time to escape fallout hazards. Many baby boomers (people in their 50s) will race to local fallout shelters once maintained by the Civil Defense plan but no longer stocked with supplies. They are the ones who grew up doing monthly “duck and cover” drills in elementary or junior high school. The decision will improve their chances of receiving less radiation than most. But, many will die.

Within half an hour, most Americans will probably know a nuclear strike has taken place, and when and where it happened. Fallout charts will pepper the news and warn people in the predicted area.
Those of us who have built a shelter will have ample time to secure ourselves within the shelter.
Everyone else within the expected fallout zone will frantically pack their bags and hit the road in hopes of escaping the fallout, which will be falling 50 miles from ground zero an hour after the explosion. The traffic jams will see large numbers of people exposed to the radiation within the fallout. Those poor souls will be dead within hours. Some people within the traffic jams will escape with their lives by heading in a direction perpendicular to the expected fallout zone.

C.  What to do if a nuclear disaster is imminent!
This guide is for families preparing for imminent terrorist or strategic nuclear attacks with expected blast destruction followed by widespread radioactive downwind  fallout.
IF ONLY A ‘Dirty Bomb’ Attack (Not the vastly more devastating nuclear weapon blasts with fallout discussed below.) – You can expect localized and downwind contamination from the explosion and dispersed radioactive materials. If you are near enough to see or hear any local bomb blast, assume that it includes radiological or chemical agents. You should move away from the blast area as quickly as possible. If the wind is blowing toward you from the direction of the blast, travel in a direction that is crosswise or perpendicular to the wind as you move away from the blast area. If possible cover your face with a dust mask or cloth to avoid inhaling potentially radioactive dust. Upon reaching a safe location, remove your outer clothing outside and shower as soon as possible. Refer to local news sources for additional instructions about sheltering or evacuation. The government is better prepared to direct and assist the public in ‘dirty bomb’ emergencies, unlike more serious nuclear weapon attacks below.

In a national crisis of imminent nuclear weapon attacks, read all the way through this guide first, THEN TAKE EFFECTIVE PROTECTIVE ACTION, WITH CONFIDENCE… FAST!


1.  Stay or go?
If you are considering evacuation, your decision requires very high confidence that it is worth the risk. You do not want to get stuck between your current location and your hoped for destination, as there will probably be no easy getting back. If you fail to get to your destination, you may be exposed without shelter, in a dangerous situation with little effective law enforcement, perhaps among panicked hordes of refugees. Whatever supplies you have may be limited then to what you can carry on foot. IF you are in a big city or near a military target, AND you have relatives or friends in the country that you know are awaiting you, AND the roads between you and them are clear, AND the authorities are not yet restricting traffic, AND you have the means and fuel, evacuation may be a viable option for a limited time. DO NOT attempt evacuation if all of the above is not clearly known, or if the situation is deteriorating too quickly to assure the complete trip. You do not want to get stuck and/or become a refugee being herded along with panicked masses. If evacuation is truly a viable option, do not wait – GO NOW! Do so with as many of the supplies listed in #7 as possible. Better to be two days too early in arriving than two hours too late and getting snagged mid-way, potentially exposing your family to a worse fate than having stayed where you were. Because of the very real danger of getting caught in an evacuation stampede that stalls, almost all families will be better off making the best of it wherever they currently are.

2.  What you need to do first
Because time is of the essence, you need to first delegate and assign to different adult family members specific tasks so they can all be accomplished at the same time. Your first priorities to assure your family survival are: Shelter, Water, and Food/Supplies. While some are working on the water storage and shelter at home, others need to be acquiring, as much as possible of the food and supplies.

See related 4dtraveler posts in Survival Manual  Categories: Social issues, Food & Water, and Medical/General Clinic

3.  Food supplies
Because much of the food and supplies listed at #7 of this guide may quickly become unavailable, you need to assign someone NOW to immediately go to the stores with that list! Get cash from the bank and ATM’s first, if it can be done quickly, but try to use credit cards at the stores, if at all possible, to preserve your cash.

4.  Water
With one or more adults now heading to the stores with the list at #7, those remaining need to begin storing water IMMEDIATELY! Lack of clean water will devastate your family much more quickly and more severely than any lack of food. Without clean water for both drinking and continued good sanitary practices in food preparation and for bathroom excursions (which could be much less sanitary than normal), debilitating sickness could rampage through your family with little hope of prompt medical attention. That is a likely but, avoidable, disaster, ONLY IF you have enough water.

Every possible container needs to be filled with water RIGHT NOW! It will be very hard to have stored too much water. When the electricity/pumps go down or everybody in your community is doing the same thing, thus dropping the water pressure, what you’ve got is all you might be getting for a very long time. Empty pop bottles (1-3 liter) are ideal for water storage, also filling up the bathtub and washing machine. (Remember, later you’ll have some in your hot water tank.) If you have any kiddie pools or old water beds, pull them out and fill them up, too. (Water from a water-bed should be used only for bathing or cleaning, not for drinking as it may contain traces of algaecide and/or fungicides.) Anything and everything that’ll hold water needs to be filled up quickly RIGHT NOW!!

One of the shopping items listed at #7 is new metal garbage cans and liner bags which you’ll also use for storing water. If you can’t get any more new cans, you could clean out an existing garbage can and scrub it throughout with bleach, then put in a new garbage bag liner and fill it with water. Even sturdy boxes could be used with bag liners. (Use two liners if they are very thin/flimsy.) Choose well where you fill up garbage cans with water because they won’t easily be moved once full and many of them together could be too heavy for some upper floor locations. Ideally, they need to be very near where your shelter will be constructed and can actually add to its shielding properties, as you’ll see below. BE ASSURED, YOU CANNOT STORE AND HAVE TOO MUCH WATER! Do not hesitate, fill up every possible container, RIGHT NOW!

5. Shelter
The principles of radiation protection are simple – with many options and resources families can use to prepare or improvise a very effective shelter. You must throw off any self-defeating myths of nuclear un-survivability that may needlessly paralyze and panic and then seal the fate of, less informed families.

Radioactive fallout is the particulate matter (dust) produced by a nuclear explosion and carried high up into the air by the mushroom cloud. It drifts on the wind and most of it settles back to earth downwind of the explosion. The heaviest, most dangerous, and most noticeable fallout, will ‘fall out’ first closer to ground zero. It may begin arriving minutes after an explosion. The smaller and lighter dust-like particles will typically be arriving hours later, as they drift much farther downwind, often for hundreds of miles. Once it arrives, whether visible or not, all that will fall will have done so usually in under an hour, then blow around everywhere just like dust does on the ground and roofs. However, rain can concentrate the fallout into localized ‘hot spots’ of much more intense radiation with no visible indication.

This radioactive fallout ‘dust’ is dangerous because it is emitting penetrating radiation energy (similar to x-ray’s). This radiation (not the fallout dust) can go right through walls, roofs and protective clothing. Even if you manage not to inhale or ingest the dust, and keep it off your skin, hair, and clothes, and even if none gets inside your house, the radiation penetrating your home is still extremely dangerous, and can injure or kill you inside.

Radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion, though very dangerous initially, loses its intensity quickly because it is giving off so much energy. For example, fallout emitting gamma ray radiation at a rate over 500 R/hr (fatal with one hour of exposure) shortly after an explosion, weakens to only 1/10th as strong 7 hours later. Two days later, it’s only 1/100th as strong, or as deadly, as it was initially.

That is really very good news, because our families can readily survive it IF we get them into a proper shelter to safely wait it out as it becomes less dangerous with every passing hour.

What stops radiation, and thus shields your family, is simply putting mass between them and the radiation source. Like police body armor stopping bullets, mass stops (absorbs) radiation. The thicker and heavier the mass, the more radiation it stops, and the more effective it is with every inch more you add to your fallout shelter. The thickness in inches needed to cut the radiation down to only 1/10th of its initial intensity for different common materials is: Steel 3.3″, concrete 11″, earth 16″, water 24″, wood 38″. The thickness required to stop 99% of the radiation is: 5″ of steel, 16″ of solid brick or hollow concrete blocks filled with mortar or sand, 2 feet of packed earth or 3 feet if loose, 3 feet of water. (BTW, lead is nothing special, same as anything else pound for pound.) You may not have enough steel available, but anything you do have will have mass and can be used to add to your shielding – it just takes more thickness of lighter wood, for example, than heavier earth, to absorb and stop the same amount of radiation. Increasing the distance between your family inside and the radiation outside also reduces the radiation intensity.

[Concepts to learn from the images above: 1) If you have a basement in your home, or at a nearby   relatives’ or friends’ house that you can use, your best option is probably to fortify and use it, unless you have ready access to a better/deeper structure nearby. 2) Leave a small crawl-through entrance and more mass  there that can be easily pulled in after you, but with a gap at the top to allow exhaust air out. Have another gap of 4-6″ square low at the other  end for incoming fresh air. Make bigger if crowded and/or hotter climate. A small piece of cardboard can help fan fresh air in if the natural rising  warmer air convection current needs an assist moving the air along. This   incoming air won’t need to be filtered if the basement has been reasonably   sealed up, however any windows or other openings will require some solid mass   coverage to assure they stay sealed and to provide additional shielding  protection for the basement. More details on this in #6 section below]

The goals of your family fallout shelter are:
•  To maximize the distance away from the fallout ‘dusting’ outside on the ground, roof and trees.
•  To place sufficient mass between your family and the fallout to absorb the deadly radiation
•  To make the shelter tolerable to stay in while the radiation subsides with every passing hour

While a fallout shelter can be built anywhere, you should see what your best options are at home or nearby. Many structures already provide significant shielding or partial shielding that can be enhanced for adequate protection. If you do not have a basement available, you can still use the techniques shown below in any above ground structure, you’ll just need more mass to achieve the same level of shielding. You may consider using other solid structures nearby, especially those with below ground spaces, such as commercial buildings, schools, churches, below ground parking garages, large and long culverts, tunnels, etc.. Some of these may require permissions and/or the acquiring of additional materials to minimize any fallout drifting or blowing into them, if open ended. Buildings with a half-dozen or more floors, where there is not a concern of blast damage, may provide good radiation protection in the center of the middle floors. This is because of both the distance and the shielding the multiple floors provide from the fallout on the ground and roof.

Bottom Line: choose a structure nearby with both the greatest mass and distance already in place between the outside, where the fallout would settle, and the shelter inside.

For an expedient last-minute basement shelter, push a   heavy table that you can get under into the corner that has the soil highest   on the outside. The ground level outside ideally needs to be above the top of   the table shelter inside. If no heavy table is available, you can take   internal doors off their hinges and lay them on supports to create your   ‘table’. Then pile any available mass atop and around the other two open   sides such as books, wood, cord wood, bricks, sandbags, heavy appliances, full   file cabinets, full water containers, your food stocks, even boxes and pillow   cases full of anything heavy, like earth. Everything you can pile up and   around it has mass that will help absorb and stop more radiation from   penetrating inside – the heavier the better. However, be sure to reinforce   your table and supports so you do not overload it and risk collapse.

With more time, materials, and carpentry or masonry   skills, you could even construct a more formal fallout shelter, such as the   FEMA lean-to on the right, but you will need to assure structural integrity   is achieved and adequate mass is utilized.

An effective fallout shelter constructed in a basement  may reduce your radiation exposure 100-200+ fold. Thus, if the initial   radiation intensity outside was 500 R/hr (fatal in one hour), the basement   shelter occupants might only experience 5 R/hr or even less, which is   survivable, as the radiation intensity will be decreasing with every passing   hour.   Adding mass on the floor above your chosen   basement corner, and outside against the walls opposite your shelter, will   also increase your shielding protection. Every inch thicker adds up to more   effective life-saving radiation shielding.

As cramped as that table space fallout shelter might   seem, the vital shielding provided by simply moving some mass into place   could be the difference between exposure to a lethal dose of radiation and   the survival of your family.

The majority of people requiring any sheltering at all   will be many miles downwind, and they will not need to stay sheltered for   weeks on end. In fact, most people will only need to stay sheltered full-time   for a few days before they can start coming out briefly to attend to quick   essential chores. Later, they can begin spending ever more time out of the   shelter daily, only coming back in to sleep. As miserable as it might seem   now, you and your family can easily endure that, especially compared to the   alternative.

It’s really not so difficult to build an effective family fallout shelter, not to get it completed… RIGHT NOW!

6. Essential details
If you’ve accomplished the above; securing your supplies, stored water, and built your family fallout shelter, CONGRATULATIONS! You have now succeeded in improving the odds of survival for your family a 100-fold, or more! Now, you need to expand your knowledge and fine-tune the tactics that will make the most of your family survival strategy. .
_a)  If you are close to a target, your first indication of a nuclear detonation may be with its characteristic blinding bright flash. The first effects you may have to deal with before radioactive fallout arrives, depending on your proximity to it, are blast and thermal energy. Promptly employing the old “Duck & Cover” strategy, immediately upon the first indication of the flash, will save many from avoidable flying debris injuries and minimize thermal burns. Those very close will soon experience tornado strength winds and should quickly dive behind or under any solid object, away from or below windows. Even in the open, laying flat, reduces by eight fold the odds of being hit by any debris. A very large 500 kiloton blast, 2.2 miles away, will arrive about 8 seconds after the detonation flash with a very strong three-second wind blast. That delay is even greater further away. That is a lot of time to duck & cover IF alert and you should stay down for 2 minutes. If not near any target ‘ground zero’ you will only, like the vast majority, have to deal with the fallout later.
_b)  Government information and guidance is a vital resource in your response to a nuclear crisis, but for many reasons it may be late, incomplete, misleading or simply in error. While evacuation might be prudent for individuals who act quickly in response to a threat, governments will be slow to call for mass evacuations before an event because of their potential for panic and gridlock. As the past government calls for duct tape and plastic sheeting led to sold-out stores, anxiety, and derision from the press, there will be great reluctance to issue similar alarms. If you want to assure that you have adequate food and supplies for your family you must act BEFORE the panic without first waiting for government instructions that may never come or as urgently as warranted. You alone are ultimately responsible for your family.
_c)  Filtering the air coming into your home shelter won’t be required. Air does not become radioactive, and if your home is reasonably tight, there won’t be any wind blowing through it to carry the radioactive fallout dust inside. Simply sealing any windows and other openings prevents significant fallout from getting inside. To improve both the radiation shielding inside and to protect the windows from being broken and letting fallout blow in later, you should cover them all with wood, and basement windows with boards and earth, sandbags or solid masonry blocks, etc. on the outside and inside too, if possible.
If the basement air gets seriously stale later on, you could re-open a door into the upper floors of the still closed house, or secure a common furnace air filter over an outside air opening leading into your basement.

[The medical effects of radiation exposure are shown in a table in Part 2 of 2 of this post.]

_d)  Regarding fallout contamination, any food or water stored in sealed containers, that can later have any fallout dust brushed or rinsed off the outside of the container, will then be safe to use. As long as the fallout dust does not get inside the container, then whatever radiation penetrated the food/water container from the outside does not harm the contents.
If you suspect that your clothes have fallout on them, remove your outer clothing before you come inside and leave them outside. A cheap plastic hooded rain poncho that can be easily rinsed off or left outside is very effective. Have water and baby shampoo near the entrance to wash and thoroughly rinse any exposed skin and hair.
Exposure to fallout radiation does not make you radioactive, but you need to assure that you don’t bring any inside. If any are stricken with radiation sickness, typically nausea, it is when mild, 100% recoverable and cannot be passed on to others. Before fallout arrives, you might also try to cover up items you want to protect outside for easier rinsing off of the fallout dust later when it’s safe to come out and do so. For instance, if you have a vegetable gardening spot or cord wood for heating, you might try covering some of it with plastic or tarp and weighting them down.
_e)  If without sufficient time to acquire radiological instruments of your own, like survey meters, Geiger counters and dosimeters, you’ll need to be extra sure that your portable radios function properly from inside your shelter and that you have plenty of fresh batteries stocked for them. Without radiological instruments, listening for official guidance about the radiation threat levels in your particular area will be the only way you’ll know when it’s becoming safe to venture out. It might also be the only way you’ll know when you first need to take your initial maximum protective action.
When not in use, emergency  radios should not be attached to any outside antenna or even have their own antenna extended. And, they should be wrapped in any non-conducting insulation, like layers of paper or bubble wrap plastic and then stored in a metal container or wrapped in aluminum foil to minimize the potential of EMP ruining the electronics. Having back-up radios would be very prudent. With extra radios, you can have one always tuned to the closest likely target city and, if it suddenly goes off the air, that could be your first indication of an attack.
_f)  When fallout is first anticipated, but has not yet arrived, anyone not already sheltered should begin using their N95 particulate respirator masks and hooded rain ponchos. Everyone should begin taking Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine, a major product of nuclear weapons explosions. If no tablets available, you can topically (on the skin) apply an iodine solution, like tincture of iodine or Betadine, for a similar protective effect. (WARNING: Iodine solutions are NEVER to be ingested or swallowed.) For adults, paint 8 ml of a 2 percent tincture of Iodine on the abdomen or forearm each day, ideally at least 2 hours prior to possible exposure. For children 3 to 18, but under 150 pounds, only half that amount painted on daily, or 4 ml. For children under 3 but older than a month, half again, or 2 ml. For newborns to 1 month old, half it again, or just 1 ml. (One measuring teaspoon is about 5 ml, if you don’t have a medicine dropper graduated in ml.) If your iodine is stronger than 2%, reduce the dosage accordingly. Absorption through the skin is not as reliable a dosing method as using the tablets, but tests show that it will still be very effective for most. Do not use if allergic to iodine. If at all possible, inquire of your doctor NOW if there is any reason why anybody in your household should not use KI or KIO3 tablets, or iodine solutions on their skin, in a future nuclear emergency, just to be sure.
_g)  When you know that the time to take protective action is approaching, turn off all the utilities into the house, check that everything is sealed up and locked down, and head for the shelter. You should also check that you have near your shelter additional tools, crow bars, and car jacks for digging out later, if required, and fire extinguishers handy, too. Also, any building supplies, tools, sheet plastic, staple guns, etc. for sealing any holes from damage. Your basement should already be very well sealed against fallout drifting inside. Now, you’ll need to seal around the last door you use to enter with duct tape all around the edges, especially if it’s a direct to the outside door.
_h)  You don’t need to risk fire, burns, and asphyxiation trying to cook anything in the cramped shelter space, if you have pre-positioned in your shelter enough canned goods, can opener, and other non-perishable foods, that are ready-to-eat without preparation. More food, along with water, can be located right outside your crawl space entrance that you can pull in quickly as needed when safe to do so.
_i)  For lighting needs within the shelter have some small LED flashlights or LED head-lamps to stretch your battery life. Try not to have to use candles if at all possible. Bring in some books for yourself and games for the children. Throw in a small/thin mattress, some cushions, blankets, pillows, etc.
_j)  Toilet use will be via a portable camp toilet or a 5 gallon bucket with a seat borrowed from one of the house bathrooms, if you did not purchase a separate one. Garbage bag liners, preferably sized for it, should always be used and a full-size and bag lined garbage can should be positioned very close outside the shelter entrance for depositing these in when it is safe to do so quickly. Hanging a sheet or blanket will help provide a little privacy as shelter occupants ‘take their turn’. The toilet needs to have its new ‘deposits’ sealed up tight with the plastic liner after each use and hand sanitizer towelettes nearby. Use a very secure top on the bucket and position it near the wall entrance with the outgoing upper air vent.
_k)  Pets, and what to do about them, is a tough call if you fail to make provisions for them. Letting pets run free is not a humane option, both for their potential to die a miserable death from radiation exposure outside and/or to be a danger to others, especially with dogs running in the inevitable packs of multitudes of others abandoned. Preparing for them is ideal, if truly realistic and not a drain on limited resources, while ‘putting them down’ might eventually become a painful, but necessary reality if the disruption of food supplies becomes very long-term.
_l)  Boiling or bleach water treatments will be used for cleaning questionable water later for drinking. (This is for killing bacteria, not for radiation contamination, which is never a concern for any stored and covered water containers or even sealed food.) Tap water recently put into clean containers won’t likely need to be purified before using.
To purify questionable water, bring it to a rolling boil and keep it there for 1 minute. If you don’t have the fuel to boil it, you can kill the bacteria by mixing in a good quality household bleach at the rate of 10 drops per gallon, and letting it sit for at least 1/2 an hour. The bleach should be at least 5.25% pure, like regular, Clorox,  be sure it has no additives such as soap or fragrance. You can later get rid of the flat taste from boiling, or some of the chlorine taste when using bleach, by pouring it from one container to another several times.
_m)  If still available and enough time to be overnight shipped your own radiation detection and monitoring instruments, potassium iodide anti-radiation pills, Nuclear Survival handbooks, etc., check at… http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php

Continued in (Survival Manual/ 1. Disaster/Nuclear & Radiological Warfare, Part 2 of 2)

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Pandemic preps: Don’t count on government agencies for protection or help

A. Homeland Security Isn’t Ready To Combat A Deadly Pandemic
9 Sep 2014, ThinkProgress, by Tara Culp-Ressler
Posted from: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/09/09/3564842/deadly-pandemic-dhs/

The Department of Homeland Security is “ill-prepared” to take the necessary steps to stem a future outbreak of a deadly disease — like a particularly ebola2 govdangerous strain of the flu, or even the continued spread of the Ebola virus — according to a federal audit released this week.

In 2006, Congress gave $47 million to DHS to take the necessary steps to prepare for a national medical crisis. So, for nearly a decade by now, the department has been stocking up on supplies like surgical masks, antiviral medications, and hand sanitizer. But that process hasn’t been undertaken in the most effective way. The audit discovered that many of those supplies are now totally useless because they’re either about to expire or because they’ve already surpassed their expiration date.

For instance, more than 80 percent of the department’s antiviral drugs will expire by the end of next year. Most of the hand sanitizer is already too old. A stockpile of about $5 million worth of antibiotics might not be effective because they’re being stored incorrectly. And because DHS hasn’t kept accurate records of its materials, employees don’t even know how to locate their emergency gear, like personal protective masks.

“As a result, the department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response,” the report, which was prepared by the Office of the Inspector General, concludes.

DHS is specifically tasked with protecting the United States from external threats, including weather disasters and potential disruptions to the nation’s infrastructure. “A severe influenza pandemic presents a tremendous challenge, which may affect millions of Americans, cause significant illnesses and fatalities, and substantially disrupt our economic and social stability,” the report points out. “It is DHS’s responsibility to ensure it is adequately prepared to continue critical operations in the event of a pandemic.”

We already saw the firsthand consequences of that type of crisis during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak — popularly called “swine flu” — which killed more than 12,000 people. Experts anticipate similar health disasters in the future. For years, the public health community has been worried about an impending global flu pandemic, which is expected to be even more deadly than previous outbreaks of respiratory illnesses like SARS. [And now they have it, Enterovirus D68.–Mr Larry.]

Previous reports have found similar gaps in the country’s readiness to address potential public health disasters. An annual review from the Trust for America’s Health on whether we’re prepared to protect Americans from “diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism” has consistently found that too many states are cutting their public health budgets. States are also falling behind on initiatives to prepare for the impending health consequences of climate change. And a 2012 study found that, despite the 2009 swine flu outbreak, most U.S. schools haven’t improved their ability to respond to infectious diseases.

Congress has recently attempted to take some steps forward in this area. Last March, lawmakers approved and President Obama signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, or PAHPRA, which authorizes more funding for medical preparedness programs. PAHPRA is an update to the original 2006 legislation that first designated the $47 million in funding to the Department of Homeland Security.

In response the release of this week’s audit, a spokesperson for DHS said that the department was previously aware of the issues and has already begun taking steps to address them.
.

 B. SHTF Medical: Basic Pandemic Preps
21 July 2014, The Rebel Prepper Network, by Rebel
Pasted from: http://www.therebelpreppernetwork.com/pandemic-preps1/

With the recent rise in global epidemics, including the flesh eating Ebola virus spreading from Africa to Italy, I was not surprised to receive messages asking if I could cover the subject of preparations to prevent exposure to a pandemic level threat. With the US/Mexican border crisis bringing thousands of disease carrying children in to the country and their relocation being kept from the general population the next Spanish flu may be closer than you think. In the last week (article written 7/21/14) there have been four confirmed cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado, this stands as a reminder that not all enemies are on two legs.

The fact is that viruses and bacteria have it out for us. Nature has developed many forms of transmission to spread disease; insects, birds, mammals, surface exposure, person to person, water borne, and the most frightening of all transmission, air borne. The mission is to multiply and when humans become the carriers then we become the battle field and the enemies secret weapon. Coughing, sneezing, mucus secretions, blood contact all aid in transfer of the illness.

If you are looking to survive a pandemic then your best bet for survival will be preventing yourself from becoming infected. This will mean a drastic change in your daily life once it is announced that the given illness (we will be using a flu for this article) has reached the epidemic level. Advanced preparation will save you from further risking exposure when the initial word goes out about what steps should be taken to help reduce chances contracting the illness.

The irony is that the CDC would put out a message to the general population to stay indoors, cover windows, avoid large groups of people and in response the vast majority of the general public would rush out to the stores for supplies exposing themselves to the conditions they should be avoiding.

Knowing that people will be the enemy in most pandemic situations you will stock up well before the CDC makes its panic inducing announcement.

1)  First you need to stock up on duct tape and 3mm plastic sheeting for doors and windows. I recommend spending the extra money on gorilla brand tape and choosing clear sheeting rather than the “fogged” type or black, you will want to be able to see through your windows. Creating a barrier is your first line of defense. I recommend covering the interior and exterior of your windows, this will create a makeshift air seal. You should also have enough to quarantine members of your family showing symptoms for observation.

ebola mask

2) Latex or polypropylene gloves are another excellent item to stock up on, but touching your face will make your efforts pointless so it should be at all costs. If the illness is air born then there is a higher risk of transmission person to person via touch which is more likely.

3) Purchasing a quality gas mask, disposable 3M dust masks, or even a bandana coated in vapor rub will help filter the air if you have to leave the safety of your home. Make sure to change filters, dispose of used dust masks and sterilize bandanas after use.

4) Next you will want some way of sanitizing yourself and your home. Rubbing alcohol between 70% – 90% (hand sanitizer could also be used) and soap will help clean/disinfect you after venturing out of your home.

5) In a bad situation stripping down, sealing your clothing in a trash bag and showering in an outdoor shower before reentering the house will be an additional step for the cautious. Washing clothing in hot water should prevent the spread of infection. Keeping your home clean will be a daily chore, bleach and room temperature water should be used to wipe down all smooth surfaces in the home including counters, floors, door knobs, toilets and refrigerators.

ebola glovr & alcohol

6) Having basic medications is always a good idea. Things like cough drops, anti-inflammatory, fever reducers and the like may help you hang on a bit longer, especially if hospitals become over crowded. However in a true epidemic a vaccine will need to be produced or nature will just have to run its course. Remember that if you are stocking antibiotics they are useless against flu viruses, so do not waste them if you have them.

7) Bolster your food and water stocks, will keep you from having to leave your home unnecessarily. It can take quite some time for scientists to come up with a cure and at a minimum flu season is three months long. Knowing this I recommend having at least three months of food stored, not including what is in your pantry or fridge, if you are prepping for pandemic. You should also have a 3 month supply of multivitamins as well as an additional stock of vitamin C, D, E and calcium. When it comes to water I believe that four months would be the smart course of action using the two gallons per person per day, so 240 gallons. Why so much water? Staying hydrated while ill is imperative to healing as well as regulating body temperature. If you cannot store that much water then you will need to make sure you have a way to obtain, filter and purify large amounts on a regular basis.

ebola2 food & water

Some diseases like plague are spread by blood sucking insects fleas, ticks and mosquitoes rather than contact with humans. In a dire situation you may be forced to choose between your families safety or your pets life. I am sure this will cause outrage to some people, but in all honesty there should be no second thought when it comes to your families well being.

Be warned that once you have made your preparations, especially those to your home, you have marked yourself to the outside world as target of possible resources. As always there will be those who did not take heed to the warning and will want to take what you have, putting you and your loved ones at risk. All the defensive safeguards in the world will not save you if someone infected busts your door down and comes in to contact with your family. You must be ready to stop all threats. Make sure you are justified in all life or death situations. Security cameras or even cell phone video could aid in you defense if you must take a life. Remember that after a WROL situation laws will return and you may be held accountable for any lives you take.

The information above is just a basic overview, if you would like more specific info let me know and I will do my best to get the information out. These points should go hand in hand with your everyday preps As always being prepared for the worst will not guarantee your survival, but anything you can do to increase your odds will not hurt. Having ways to pass the time will help from going stir crazy; playing cards, board games, art supplies are all useful tools that do not rely on electricity. As a Christian I believe that this rise in illness is just the beginning of the horsemen “Pestilence’s” run and more sickness is on its way. Having faith in something will help you deal with loss, regardless of your religious views I guarantee that in your darkest moment you will talk to something in the darkness about finding the light.

C. Why An Epic Food Crisis Will Follow A Pandemic
August 25, 2014, modernsurvivalblog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/pandemic/why-an-epic-food-crisis-will-follow-a-pandemic/

ebola2 retail closed

While the pandemic assaults the population, stores will shut down and a devastating food crisis will rapidly develop – starving millions – even those who have escaped the deadly grasp of the virus itself.

While the current Ebola virus rages in Africa, and although the mainstream media is keeping it mostly quiet, the problems there are mounting in ways which we should take notice – because one day, a pandemic will happen here…

As fear grips the population, many will stop doing their jobs as they begin to realize that their lives will literally be in grave risk while in proximity to others.

Given our ‘just in time’ (JIT) delivery systems – especially our food chains – grocery stores will rapidly deplete their food supplies (days, not weeks).

When the truckers stop delivering, when people stop showing up for work, it’s over. It will happen faster than you think.

Excerpts from a recent news report exemplifies what will happen – and what is happening right now in Africa as a result of the Ebola virus:

The first food source that disappeared from markets was “bush meat,” meat from forest animals. Other foods have become scarce as a side effect of efforts to keep the virus from spreading. Governments stopped people from moving from country to country, or even from one town to another, it stopped traders from delivering food to the markets. Imports are down. Ships are reluctant to dock in places affected by the epidemic. The Ebola came in at a time when farmers were ready to go to the field to work together, in groups, but people now have been advised to avoid such activities. Coming together in groups could spread the disease. So essential work is not happening. —--NPR.org, A Food Crisis Follows Africa’s Ebola Crisis

When you consider the follow-on effects of a deadly pandemic such as mandatory shut-down’s, the breakdown of ‘just in time’ delivery systems, people not showing up for work, coupled with the death toll itself, there will no doubt be a food crisis during and after a Pandemic.

You can prepare for a pandemic. You will need food storage.

For prepper’s, I’m ‘speaking to the choir’, but for any of you who might happen across this article who have not yet established at least a 3-month food storage, please consider it for your own life’s sake.

Set food storage goals. 3 weeks. 3 months. 6 months. 1 year. etc.

A deadly pandemic WILL happen here: 1) Given the 7 billion people on the planet, 2) given our modern world of global travel, 3) given the increase of drug-resistant strains, 4) given the tampering with biological weaponry, 5) given the reportedly careless activities at some of the world’s most dangerous biological labs, something is bound to happen one day.

The flu pandemic of 1918 infected half a billion people (that was way back then!) – before the days of world travel, etc. Don’t let your normalcy bias cloud your thinking…

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Pandemic preps: don’t count on government agencies for protection or help)

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How to pull a tooth

medical iconA.  How to Extract a Tooth
3 October 2012, DoomAndBloom.com, by Joseph Alton, M.D. (Dr. Bones)
Pasted from: http://www.doomandbloom.net/how-to-extract-a-tooth/

Many of our readers are often surprised that a medical doctor and nurse devote a portion of their writing to dental issues. Few people who are otherwise medically prepared seem to devote much time to dental health. History, however, tells us that problems with teeth take up a significant portion of the medic’s patient load.  In the Vietnam War, medical personnel noted that fully half of those who reported to daily sick call came with dental complaints.  In a long-term survival situation, you might find yourself as dentist as well as nurse or doctor.

The basis of modern dentistry is to save every tooth if at all possible.  In the old days (not biblical times, I mean 50 years ago), the main treatment for a diseased tooth was extraction.  If we find ourselves in a collapse situation, that’s how it will be in the future. If you delay extracting a tooth because it “isn’t that bad yet”, it will likely get worse. It could spread to other teeth or cause an infection that could spread to your bloodstream (called “sepsis”) and cause major damage.  Like it or not, a survival medic, will eventually find himself or herself in a situation where you have to remove a diseased tooth.

Tooth extraction is not an enjoyable experience as it is, and will be less so in a long-term survival situation with no power and limited supplies.  Unlike baby teeth, a permanent tooth is unlikely to be removed simply by wiggling it out with your (gloved) hand or tying a string to it and the nearest doorknob and slamming. Knowledge of the procedure, however, will be important for anyone expecting to be the medical caregiver in the aftermath of a major disaster.

toothextract1

Before we go any further, I have to inform you that I am not a dentist, just an old country doctor.  Please note that this is an introductory article, and that tooth extraction can be a complex procedure. Also note:  It is illegal and punishable by law to practice dentistry without a license.  The lack of formal training or experience in dentistry may cause complications that are much worse than a bum tooth. If you have access to modern dental care, seek it out.

The anatomy of the tooth is relatively simple for such an important part of our body, and is worth reviewing.  The part of the tooth that you see above the gum line is called the “crown”.  Below it, you have the “root”.  The bony socket that the tooth resides in is called the “alveolus”.  Teeth are anchored to the alveolar bone with ligaments, just like you have ligaments holding together your ankle or shoulder.

The tooth is composed of different materials:
Enamel:  The hard white external covering of the tooth crown.
Dentin:  bony yellowish material under the enamel, and surrounding the pulp.
Pulp: connective tissue with blood vessels and nerves endings in the central portion of the tooth.

toothextract2To extract a permanent tooth, you will, at the very least, need the following: A dental extraction forceps (#150A is a good general one for uppers a d #151 is reasonable for lowers; they get much more specialized for each type of tooth, however).

A periosteal (meaning “around the bone”) elevator instrument to loosen the ligaments holding the tooth in place. A typical dental elevator (see above) Gauze or cotton rolls or squares and a “pickup” forceps or tweezers. A very cooperative patient or a good local anesthetic.

Proper positioning will help you perform the procedure more easily. For an upper extraction (also called “maxillary extraction”), the patient should be tipped at a 60 degree angle to the floor and the patient’s mouth should be at the level of the medic’s elbow.  For a lower extraction, (also called a “mandibular extraction”), the patient should be sitting upright with the level of the mouth lower than the elbow.  For right-handed medics, stand to the right of the patient; for left-handers, stand to the left.  For uppers and most front lower extractions, it is best to position yourself in front.  For lower molars, some prefer to position themselves somewhat behind the patient.

To begin with, you will want to wash your hands and put on gloves, a face mask, and some eye protection. Floss the teeth and give the patient an antibacterial rinse.  Keep the area around the tooth as dry as possible, so that you can see what you’re doing.  There will be some bleeding, so have cotton balls or rolled gauze squares available.  These may have to be changed from time to time if you place them between the cheek and gum.

toothextract3

The teeth are held in place in their sockets by ligaments, which are fibrous connective tissue.  These ligaments must be severed to loosen the tooth with an elevator, which looks like a  small chisel.  Go between the tooth in question and the gum on all sides and apply a small amount of pressure to get down to the root area.  This should loosen the tooth and expand the bony socket.  Expect some bleeding.

Take your extraction forceps and grasp the tooth as far down the root as possible.  This will give you the best chance of removing the tooth in its entirety the first time.   For front teeth (which have 1 root), exert pressure straight downward for uppers and straight upward for lowers, after first loosening the tooth with your elevator.  For teeth with more than 1 root, such as molars, a rocking motion will help loosen the tooth further as you extract.

Once loose, avoid damage to neighboring teeth by extracting towards the cheek (or lip, for front teeth) rather than towards the tongue.  This is best for all but the lower molars that are furthest back.

toothextract4

Use your other hand to support the mandible (lower jaw) in the case of lower extractions. If the tooth breaks during extraction (not uncommon), you will have to remove the remaining root.  Use your elevator to further loosen the root and help push it outward.

Afterwards, place a folded gauze on the bleeding socket and have the patient bite down. Occasionally, a suture may be required if bleeding is heavy.   In a recent Cuban study, veterinary super glue (N-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate) was used in over 100 patients in this circumstance with good success in controlling both bleeding and pain.  Dermabond has been used in some cases in the U.S. for temporary pain relief, but more research is needed.

Expect some swelling, pain, and even bruising over the next few days.  Cold packs will decrease swelling for the first 24-48 hours; afterwards, use warm compresses to help with the inevitable jaw stiffness. Also, consider antibiotics, as infection is a possible complication.  Liquids and a diet of soft foods should be given to decrease trauma to the area.

toothextract5

Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as Ibuprofen for pain.  Some recommend staying away from aspirin, as it may hinder blood clotting in the socket.

The blood clot is your friend, so make sure not to smoke, spit, or even use straws; the pressure effect might dislodge it, which could cause a painful condition called Alveolar Osteitis or “dry socket”.  You will see that the clot is gone and may notice a foul odor in the person’s breath.

Antibiotics and warm salt water gargles are useful here, and a solution of water with a small amount of Clove oil may serve to decrease the pain.  Don’t use too much clove oil, as it could burn the mouth.

In a long-term survival situation, difficult decisions will have to be made. If modern dentistry is gone due to a mega-catastrophe, the survival medic will have to take on that role just as he/she may have to take on the role of medical caregiver. Performing dental procedures without training and experience, however, is a bad idea in any other scenario.  Never perform a dental procedure on someone for any reason, if you have modern dental care available to you.

Dr. Bones

Here are some very useful links and references:
Molar extraction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjiBOOhVVNo

Slideshow on extraction techniques – important to review:
http://www.slideshare.net/DrAbusallamah/simple-extraction-technique

An extraction performed at Mt. Everest base camp – note positioning of the dentist, use of the opposite hand for support,  and improvisations:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_DPqhQl4AM 

Guide to extraction forceps and procedures:
http://www.physicsforceps.com/

Prepper Barbie:
Reply October 3, 2012
“Upper molars generally have 3 roots, 2 on the outside/cheek side, and 1 on the inside…like a tripod. Keep this in mind while loosening. Don’t rush the loosening process, this is the most important part of the extraction. If you have trouble stopping bleeding, bite on a moistened regular tea bag for about 45 minutes. Do not extract a tooth if you are on a blood thinning medication…this includes many “G” herbs such as Ginko and Ginseng…stop those meds or herbs for at least 5 days prior to extracting. Warm salt water rinses the next day…a pinch of salt in an 8oz glass. After that, antibacterial rinses”

Michael Camp
“you can buy lidocane on line, the injectable solution, but you have to be careful using it, there are or can be problems related to the use of lidocane, but I think it is essential when working on teeth.”

Dr Bones
Reply December 15, 2012
“The issue with lidocaine is that accidental injection directly into a blood vessel may cause heart arrhythmia and seizures. Always aspirate the plunger of the syringe before injecting; if blood enters the syringe, pull out and try again.”

 

 B.  How To Pull A Tooth in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI
25 Nov 2011, gunsnet.net, by Mark Ducati
Pasted from: http://www.gunsnet.net/showthread.php?14094-How-To-Pull-A-Tooth-in-a-SHTF-TEOTWAWKI

I thought I’d pass on a little knowledge that might help you guys if the SHTF…
First off, dental anesthetic and syringes. You’re probably not going to have any. But holding a shot of strong whiskey (do NOT use Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol) or ethanol over the tooth for 5 minutes may help dull the pain a little bit. Even holding a cotton ball soaked with Oragel or Anbesol may give some relief (these contain Benzocaine). Another old fashioned dental anesthetic is good ‘ol “Clove Oil”.

Unless you can inject an anesthetic at the nerve, you will not achieve 100% profound anesthesia… the above methods might give you 10-15% at best, but its better than nothing in a crisis when out in the field.

 2% Lidocaine with 1:100,000 Epinephrine is probably the gold standard of dental anesthetics (we haven’t used “Novocaine” brand anesthetic in dentistry for almost 60 years now, too many allergic reactions).
IF you have access to a syringe, in a pinch, you can use liquid Diphenhydramien (benadryl), for an adult, no more than 100mg’s. Injecting Benedryl does have some anesthetic properties, estimated about 50%.

Another substance you can use in lieu of dental anesthetic is Ethanol (EtOH) alcohol… I don’t know how much that would “burn/sting” while being injecting, but it works by literally chemically cauderizing the nerve… it works, but the damage to the never can take several months to repair. Sometimes patients will have a permanent “paraesthesia”, that is, the numbness never wears off.

So, no anesthetic and holding alcohol, anbesol/oragel, or clove oil over the tooth isn’t enough to make the tooth comfortable enough to extract it… sometimes waiting, living in pain will help…. assuming you survive the spreading abcess.

As the infection/abcess progresses, this is nature’s way of trying to get rid of the tooth… the periodontal ligament becomes inflamed and during the inflammatory process the bone around the root starts to soften up… the tooth then starts to become increasingly mobile. Enough that you can either grab hold of it with your fingers to wiggle it out, or it will literally fall out all of its own accord.

Forceps: even though dental forceps may look like some fancy pliers… posterior teeth are hard to get “pliers” on as most people can’t open wide enough to get the pliers on the tooth perpendicular to the roots long axis. Secondly, hardware pliers have sharp corners on them that can score/cleave the enamel/root structure increasing the chance that the tooth will break. Dental forceps have rounded edges and have a curved contour on the beaks to engage the tooth to minimize cracking/breaking it. The head/beaks of the forceps are also specifically angled in regards to removing a tooth on top or bottom. Typically, a general maxillary (top) forcep is called a 150 Forcep and the one for the mandibular arch (bottom) is a 151 Forcep.

When grasping a tooth, even though the forceps may resemble pliers… NEVER “pull” a tooth! You “push” a tooth instead. Think of it like removing a fence post or tree stump out of the ground… put a chain around it, hook it to your bobcat and pull straight up, more often than not, the post/stump is going to break. So, you push the post/stump to one side, then the other, back and forth, again and again gradually loosening the soil to gently remove it.

Same for a tooth. Unfortunately, looking at an x-ray or in the mouth, you can’t tell if that tooth is in Rock, Clay, or soft Topsoil. As a general statement, front teeth are easier to luxate (push/wiggle) back and forth than the back teeth and the top teeth are generally easier to remove than the bottom teeth because the bone on top is softer.

So here’s what I do, I first start with an “elevator” which is kind of like a screw driver with curved tip and rounded on one side while the other side is flat. I stick that between the teeth first and rotate the edge of elevator against the tooth which I wish to remove, fulcruming off the bone and the adjacent tooth. This starts the process of loosening the tooth:

toothextract6

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 Then you switch to your Forceps (150 for the top, 151 for the bottoms). The forceps usually cost about $50-60 bucks a piece… there is no regulation against a non-dental person owning them. But you have to buy them from a dental supply company. I’d be willing to bet that if you asked your dentist nicely, they would order some for you at cost if you explained your preparedness for SHTF.

toothextract8

Back to the “pushing”… the first thing I do is get the forceps on the tooth, I seat the beaks as far down on the root as I can get them, then I push “luxate” the tooth facially towards the cheek with steady pressure and hold that pressure for about a minute. Then I push the tooth in the other direction, towards the lingual and hold that pressure again for another minute. Then we go back and forth like this for about 5-10 minutes and then usually the tooth is loose enough that you can wiggle it out like wiggling out or removing a stuck/tight drawer.

toothextract9

On a front tooth that has a round and straight root, not only do I push the tooth facially and lingually, but I often will rotate the tooth clockwise and counter clockwise like a cork screw:

toothextracr10

Now… what to do if you get the tooth out and the root breaks? Unless you’ve got a drill, root tip pick, and good light source, you’re going to have to leave the broken root tip in place… the majority of the tooth nerve is located in the coronal aspect of the tooth (the part of the tooth visible in the mouth) in the pulp chamber… if you break a root tip off, in most cases the body will “encapsulate” the root tip and it should be fine. As a general statement, in a dental office, the standard of care require that all root tips be removed, and if I can’t get it, I am obligated to refer to an oral surgeon. But I can’t tell you how many broken root tips I’ve seen on x-rays that are just fine.

You’ll likely need to follow up with an antibiotic for a week as well.

Anyway, in war, the #1 casualty is tooth related and in a SHTF scenario, I imagine dental related problems to be of great concern as well.

These are the basics of tooth removal in 5 minutes…. I suggest that you search youtube.com and watch a few videos on dental extractions for further clarification.
I hope this info may be of some use to you and also hope you’ll never need it.

 

C. How to Extract a Tooth at Home
eHow, by Charlotte Johnson, eHow Contributor
Pasted from: http://www.ehow.com/how_5057475_extract-tooth-home.html

Tooth extraction is a procedure that can be done at home. You should know, however, that there are pros and cons. The pro of at-home extraction is avoiding the cost of a visit to the dentist. The con is the tooth possibly could break off, you might not be addressing potential infection and/or abscess and there may be more pain involved since you probably don’t have the same training and tools a dentist does.

Things You’ll Need:
•  Gauze
•  Pain reliever (optional)

 Instructions
1 . Determine the looseness the tooth. If the tooth is not loose at all, you are in for an extremely difficult extraction; it would be best in this situation to call the dentist. If the tooth is loose–especially if it’s dangling–you will have a greater chance of pulling it successfully with minimum pain. Baby teeth and teeth that are loose due to gum disease are easiest to extract.

2 . Brush your teeth to make sure any extra food particles are out of the way. If you are not able to do this, swish water in your mouth and spit it back out a few times.
 3.  Grasp the tooth by using a small square of gauze. Pull firmly. If the tooth does not come out fairly quickly, you may want to stop this process and seek a dentist’s help. Continuing to pull on a firmly embedded tooth may aggravate it and cause you a considerable amount of pain.

4. Rinse and spit a few more times once the tooth is out. Hold a clean piece of gauze next to the gum where the tooth came out for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, is very heavy, or if you have significant pain, call a dentist. Otherwise, you can treat the soreness with over-the-counter medication.

5. Monitor your mouth and body for signs of infection. If you notice redness and swelling at the site of extraction, if there is a foul smell or pus in or near the tooth cavity or if you generally feel bad and have a fever, call a dentist. If infection begins, make sure you receive any necessary antibiotics so your condition doesn’t worsen.

Tips & Warnings
Warning: Most dentists advise strongly against pulling your own teeth or the teeth of others due to the chances of complications.

Excerpt pasted from: http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/news/15_1a.html
Antibiotics are prescribed for oral conditions related to endodontic, oral surgical, and periodontal manifestations. The antibiotic prescribed most frequently is penicillin or an analog, especially amoxicillin.

(Survival Manual/6. Medical/ a) Dental/ How to pull a tooth)

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Personal hygiene after SHTF

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ Personal hygiene after SHTF)

A.  Personal Hygiene After SHTF
7 May 2013, SurvivalAndBeyond, by The Maj – Prepper Resources
Pasted from: http://www.survivalandbeyond.net/personal-hygiene-after-shtf/

Staying clean by today’s standards in a post SHTF world will be a task that is close to impossible.  The daily, sometimes twice daily, bath or shower will become a thing of the past and the old joke of  “bath  night Saturday” will no longer be a joke for most people.  The world will be vastly different but the same “bugs” we are so careful to cleanse ourselves of today will be even more relentless.  The only advantage you will have then, that most do not have today, is the fact that contact with other people will be limited to you and the people trying to survive along side of you.  Everyone within that group taking some basic steps in personal hygiene will be a huge benefit to everyone in the group and even the most basic steps by today’s standards will go a long way to making you feel better.

sanitation conditionsThe no brainer here is washing your hands and I am certain that most reading this have an ample supply of hand sanitizer in their stockpile right now.  Since the average person touches their face 2,000 plus times per day and the face (and head) is the most common place where someone will contract a “bug”, it only makes sense that keeping the hands clean will help.  This is especially important to consider when preparing food for yourself and other people.  Hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, disinfectant wipes and bleach will all work to clean or sanitize your hands.  Soap and water is probably the easiest and most common mechanism for keeping the hands clean.  Even washing with clean water is better than not washing your hands at all, so do not let being out of a manufactured product keep you from washing your hands.

Let your body air out.  Whether it is the socks on your feet, your underwear, or the t-shirt you have not had a chance to wash in five days, your undergarments are going to be packing a pretty powerful punch even if you have been sedentary the entire time.  Wearing dirty, sweat soaked clothes constantly next to your skin gives bacteria a place to cling to and given enough time they will create a problem for you.  At every available opportunity, get as naked as possible and give your body a chance to air.  This may not be practical in many instances where mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects will have an open door to your body, but letting your body (especially “the dirty” parts) get some air will help to keep you healthy.  I keep a pair of loose fitting shorts and a loose fitting t-shirt in my bugout bag for this very purpose.  Also, while you are airing out, it is a good time for a “buddy check”.  Have someone else look at the areas that you can not readily see, especially your backside.  They will need to be looking for bites, boils, and insects which might have attached themselves to your nether region.  The time for modesty has long since past by this point, so put aside any apprehension you may have concerning having your buddy take a look at you.

When you are airing yourself out, take the time to take a splash bath.  Clean your feet, crotch, underarms, and face with soap and water or disinfectant/baby wipes.  Taking the time to do this will remove a lot of the bacteria that has built up in the area(s), it will help prevent chaffing, and  it will make you feel better than you did.  In a perfect world, I would try to do this before I went to bed but since the post SHTF world will be far from perfect just make the time for it.  If you have packed body powder or foot powder, dust the clean areas with powder to help keep them fresh longer.  Try to stay away from the scented powders for obvious reasons.

While we are on the subject of rank clothes, you will need to develop a plan to wash your clothes and more than likely this task will have to be done by hand.  If possible, you will want to have a “fresh” set of clothes on hand when you do finally find the chance to get a real bath or shower because I do not know of much worse than finally getting clean and then having to put back on some clothes that could stand up and walk by themselves.  You can easily go a week or longer without washing your outer garments but the undergarments and socks typically will not last as long.  Pack extra socks, underwear (or opt out of underwear), and t-shirts if possible.

As weird as it may sound, grooming will help with cleanliness as well.  Keeping finger nails and toe nails neat, clean and trimmed to proper lengths will keep germs from hiding under them.  If you happen to be a nail biter, you might want to consider breaking that habit now.  You will want to keep head and facial hair trimmed as short as possible and run a comb through it daily.  Believe it or not, your hair will get so dirty that it will actually hurt.  Avoid scratching your scalp and let the comb do the work when possible.  If you have not considered nail clippers/files, scissors, and a razor for your bugout bag, now would be the time to consider it.

Treat every scrape, bump, bite, boil, cut, burn, and hangnail as a life threatening condition.  Sanitize the area as soon as time allows with soap and water or other disinfectant, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover the area with a bandage.  If possible, avoid tasks which will unnecessarily introduce germs into the affected area, avoid food preparation for the group if the troublesome spot is on your hands, and allow the area to get air when you are resting.  If the affected area begins to swell, change color, or worsens, you will need to take additional first-aid or medical measures.

Brush and floss your teeth at least once daily, twice if your supplies allow it.  Use a good quality toothpaste or baking soda to brush your teeth and make certain to rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water.  If you have an alcohol based mouthwash in your bugout bag or stockpile use it at least once daily.  Alcohol based breath strips help to “freshen” your mouth, but other than that they do not cleanse very well.  Sans mouth wash, you can rinse your mouth with clean water or a saltwater mix to help keep your mouth clean.  If you find yourself without toothpaste, you can still use your toothbrush to break the build up loose and rinse your mouth.  Some brushing is better than not brushing at all.

Shoot for taking a bath or shower once per week, if time and your water stockpiles allow it.  Over the course of a week you will build up a lot of grime all over your body, especially during the warmer months.  A bath will become a real treat and something that you will look forward to.  Wash with unscented soap from head to toe and make certain to scrub the dirty areas very well.  Of course, if it comes down to a choice between having clean drinking water and taking a bath, opt for the clean drinking water. An example of what I have in my bugout personal hygiene kit:

  • Unscented Soap (2bars)
  • Travel Shampoo
  • Travel Bottle of Listerine
  • Hand Sanitizer (small bottle)
  • Toothpaste (1 full size tube)
  • Dental Floss (2 packages)
  • Toothbrush (2 each)
  • Q-tips (2 travel packages)
  • Tweezers
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment (2 tubes)
  • Baby Wipes (travel package)
  • Band-Aids (travel pack)
  • Safety Razor (with spare blades)
  • Small Scissors
  • Nail Clippers with File
  • Large MicroNet Pack Towel (2 each)
  • MicroNet Pack Wash Cloth (2 each)
  • Needles (one package)
  • Unscented Body/Foot Powder (small container)
  • Travel Washboard
  • Powder Laundry Detergent (small container)
  • Toilet Paper (1 roll)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellant
  • Absorbine Jr. (1 bottle)
  • Travel Mirror
  • Rubbing Alcohol (small bottle)

As with anything else, you can configure your personal hygiene supplies a thousand different ways and there is no absolute “right way” to do it.  I am not female, so I left the feminine hygiene products off of my list and they would have to be incorporated into the supplies for a female.  In a bug-in situation, you can expand this list to include more of the necessary supplies and add many nice to have items that are not very portable for personal hygiene uses.  The important thing is to have personal hygiene supplies on your list and at a minimum have a means of keeping yourself clean post SHTF

 

B.  When the SHTF, you will still have to poop
7 Oct 2012, Prepper-Resources.com, by PJ
Pasted from: http://www.prepper-resources.com/when-the-shtf-you-will-still-have-to-poop/

I have been very close to burning mixtures of fecal matter, urine, and diesel fuel and I can tell you the smell is pretty disgusting.  You never quite get used to it, nor does your appetite fully recover.  Quite often people forget that everybody poops, and should the power go out for an extended period of time in suburbia you will only have a couple options when it comes to dealing with human waste.  You can poop in buckets and bury the contents around your yard, poop buckets and attempt to burn your waste (not a good idea), or you can dig a sanitary pit away from any water supply and hopefully keep your family from getting sick.  Quite often people do not realize just how important it is to stay clean and germ free, especially in a survival environment.  No matter how hard you try to avoid it everyone has to poop.  It would be optimal to find a way to get around the hazards of exposed waste prior to some catastrophe occurring.  I have dug many pits in my day but never a full on functioning pit for an outhouse.  Since I am not the subject matter expert on this topic  I will post is an article from someone who is, take from it what you will and remember that E. Coli can kill you just as easily as a 55 grain FMJ bullet.

Here is the link to the article over on Rogue Turtle: http://www.rogueturtle.com/articles/outhouse.php.
What follows would be some practical potty advice offered up by the author.

sanitation outhousePractical potty advice
If you have small children, be sure you accompany them to the outhouse and help them use the facilities. Since the bottom opening in the potty is considerably larger than a home toilet, the urge to reach in and “play” may be too great for a toddler…with tragic results. Keeping a outside door latch mounted up high will prevent small children from straying inside while you’re not looking. Like a swimming pool, it can be considered an “attractive nuisance”.

In winter, run ropes to and from the shelter and the outhouse. That way, you won’t get lost in the blowing snow when going to the bathroom. Out west, people have died going to potty.

Until you get your first deep pit dug, temporary potties can be made from 5 gallon buckets. The walls can be simple blankets or other coverings to make tent-like walls. Unless you are digging in frozen ground, a hole large enough to use right away can be dug in less than one day. Most military units I have been around use digging latrine holes as a method of punishment. It’s considered a “crappy” job, if you get my drift. If you have an all male outfit, jut run a plank out, cut a few holes, and you are done. It’s not a pretty sight for visitors. Most people prefer walls.

A word about toilet paper: Like ammunition, you can never have too much. I do not recommend you give everyone their own roll of paper, only replace the one in the outhouse when it runs out. Too many people with toilet paper means some gets lost or “borrowed” and I have seen fights break out over this stupid subject. (Remember, I work in a jail in Florida.) One hole, one roll.

If your family is like mine, you need some sort of inside latch so accidental “embarrassing moments” are kept to a minimum. Screaming teenage girls hurt my ears. Make sure the latch can be used by the youngest person in the group who will be using the place without assistance. I’ve seen youngsters accidentally get locked into bathrooms when they don’t know how to unlock the door. It would be even more traumatic in a cold and drafty outhouse in the woods at night. Heck, that would scare me…I have a son named Jason, did you know that? He was born on Friday the 13th, no kidding. I think he owns an axe.

Lighting in an outhouse at night is on a “bring your own” basis. Don’t leave valuable lights laying around in the outhouse. First of all, they may fall into the hole never to be seen again. I’m sure not going after it. Second, someone will leave it on and it will be useless anyway. If I did mount one, the only light I would even consider is one of those “tap lights” advertised on TV. It seems to be about the easiest and cheapest to install. If you lose one of them, you haven’t lost much. Everyone in your shelter should have their own personal flashlight at night anyway.

There are many humorous stories associated with the outhouse. Many people name their outhouses: “Moldy Manor”, “Moon Room”, etc. Name it after someone you hate: “Hitler House” would have been appropriate years ago. How about “Saddam’s Palace”? “Thunder Dome”?

On a practical note, if you bag up all the dirt removed from the hole, you can berm-up the north side of the outhouse to keep the cold winter winds out. Then, when you are ready to cover the hole up, the dirt is right there ready for you. Just a thought. I don’t like doing work twice.

C.  The 4 Most Likely Ways You Can Die If the SHTF
June 2011, Ready Nutrition.com, by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/the-4-most-likely-ways-you-can-die-if-the-shtf_29062011/

The subject of survival in a long term disaster goes beyond having stockpiles of beans, bullets and band-aids. Those that do survive during a long term emergency will no doubt be tried and tested with a great many things. One of those trying scenarios is dealing with death.

Zombie attacks seem to be a prevalent theme for preppers to prepare for. In fact, the CDC has even posted a preparedness article on how to ward off zombie attacks. See the zombie article at:
http://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2011/05/preparedness-101-zombie-apocalypse/

While I believe these zombies will likely take the form of substance abusers, mental patients, chronically ill or diseased, and desperate individuals whose basic needs have not been met, they will die out in the first few months of an onset of a  major disaster, and there presence will rarely be an issue in a long term situation.

In reality, a majority of those that will die during a long-term disaster will be from illnesses brought on by acute respiratory infections due to cramped living conditions, poor water conditions (or lack of), or bacterial infections from wounds. If we survive a major disaster, America would become a third world country and the aftermath of such a scenario will be similar to those living in Africa, Ethiopia and India.

Illness Due to Poor Water Conditionssanitation germs
Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or incorrectly disposes of waste.  Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygiene leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.

Dehydration and diarrhea are also water-related matters to contend with. Those without adequate water conditions and/or are suffering from disease brought on by poor water conditions could quickly dehydrate. These types of illnesses typically affect at-risk populations such as children, the sick and the elderly. Young children in particular are at high risk for diarrhea and other food- and waterborne illnesses because of limited pre-existing immunity and behavioral factors such as frequent hand-to-mouth contact. The greatest risk to an infant with diarrhea and vomiting is dehydration. In addition, fever or increased ambient temperature increases fluid losses and speeds dehydration. Having knowledge beforehand on how to properly clean drinking water and food, and the symptomatology and treatment of these types of diseases can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.

** Recommended preparedness items: water filtration systems, water purification tablets, chlorine granules, bleach, electrolyte or rehydration powders, anti-diarrhea medicines.

Malnutrition
Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities.  Medical experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarrhea.  Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.

Those that are malnourished are more susceptible to illness and disease. Individuals who are malnourished will also be vitamin deficient and their health is likely to regress further. Those who survive from malnutrition are permanently affected by this disease and may suffer from recurring sickness, faltering growth, poor brain development, increased tooth decay, reduced strength and work capacity, and increased chance of chronic diseases in adulthood. Adult women with this condition will give birth to underweight babies.

** Recommended preparedness items: dietary supplements, vitamin powders, seeds for sprouting or  seeds for fresh vegetables and fruits, survival bars, knowledge of alternative means to attain vitamins

Acute Respiratory Infections
Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu, sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacteria and diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure.  In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.

To properly prepare for this type of medical situation, learn about the more prevalent viruses and bacteria in your country and how to prevent them in order to provide a healthy living environment in a long term situation.

Not only are URI’s a concern but other air-borne diseases such as tuberculosis will likely fester during a long term scenario. In regular non-SHTF times, treatment for tuberculosis requires 6-12 months of medication.  In a long term emergency, chances of surviving tuberculosis are slim. The best way to prevent tuberculosis is adequate nutrition, vitamin D and living in a properly ventilated shelter.

Survival groups that have multiple people living under one roof will only increase the likelihood of passing air-borne infections and diseases to one another. In addition, those in an at-risk group (elderly, immuno-deficient, infants) are more likely to catch illnesses.  If a survival group is sharing a home, an infirmary or sick room should be prepared for those who have fallen ill.  Isolating the person who is ill will limit exposure to the other members of the group. Adequate nutrition, water, rest, good sanitary practices and ventilation of the home is essential in curbing this.

** Recommended preparedness items: decongestants, expectorants, upper respiratory medicines, antibiotics (for secondary and bacterial infections), knowledge on medicinal herbs, prepare a sick room at your survival homestead

Infections From Wounds
Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death.  Antibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold.  Without proper medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections.  Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.

** Recommended preparedness items:  stock up on maxi pads for wound absorption, gauze, celox, antibiotics, suture needles and other basic first aid supplies.
**
Additionally, consider developing the following skills: basic first aid class, sign up for EMT classes in your community, an off-grid medical care class such as those offered by onPoint Tactical. Also, consider investing in books such as When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist.

Also look into making your own antiseptics utilizing alcohol distillation, such as the custom made units from LNL Protekt.

These illnesses (provided above) have impacted countries all over the world. These illness and conditions, coupled with unsanitary living conditions such as substandard sanitation, inadequate food and water supplies and poor hygiene, make disaster-affected people especially vulnerable to disease. These illnesses will affect us no matter what part of the world we live in, what socio-economic status we currently hold, and no matter how prepared we think we are.

Understanding what can happen and being prepared when it does is absolutely essential. The last thing we want to do when a serious condition arises is to panic. Preparing your supplies, developing your skills and educating the rest of your family and preparedness group on how to prevent, identify and counteract these serious conditions will provide a significant boost to your ability to survive if the worst happens.

[For the maintenance of your health and well being during and in the aftermath of a prolonged period of emergency, consider the topics in each of the following images: sanitation, general medical, OTC drugs, vitamins and key supplements, the ability to attend to temporary fillings, an emergency suture, and eye glass repair. Mr. Larry]

sanitation tools

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

How to stay cool at home

( Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ How to stay cool at home)

RainManA. How to stay cool without AC
19 July 2012 by The Ready Store
Pasted from: http://www.thereadystore.com/emergency-plans/4320/how-to-stay-cool-without-ac?utm_source=rne_ep101_mon_20120730&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ep101&utm_content=main

Summer heat is upon us and it’s important to stay cool. With heat waves rolling across the United States, it’s essential to not get overheated and dehydrated. Many deaths have even been connected to power outages during the heat wave.
These tips will help you and your family stay safe in a power outage situation but might also help you save some money during the summer months.

Heat sunClose Your Windows. Your first instinct might be to open your windows but often this will make your home hotter instead of cooler. Close your windows, blinds and shades during the day to keep the sun and heat out and trapping the cool in. Open your windows at night if it gets cooler outside.

 Eat Cold Foods. Keep your body temperature down by consuming colder foods that will lower the temperature inside of you. This will also prevent you from using stoves and ovens that will raise the temperature in your house. 

Install Attic Insulation. This is a great way to keep that cool air in your home and not escaping through the ceiling. This will allow you to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

Plant Trees Strategically. Everyone loves sitting in the cool shade on a nice hot day. Where you plant your trees can have a large effect on where that shade is. Be sure to plant deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home. During the winter, the sun won’t be blocked from getting to your home. You can also plant trees near sides of your house that have a lot of windows.

– Stay prepared with enough emergency water for your family –

Install Awnings. Just like a tree works to block the sun’s rays and provide you with shade, an awning can do the same thing.

 Wear Light-Colored, Loose-Fitting Clothing. This will keep your body cool and breezy. Wearing dark or black clothing will absorb the sun and make you hotter. Wear light colors like white and tan.

 Food and Refrigeration. If the power goes out for an extended amount of time, the food in your fridge might begin to go bad. You can use a cooler with ice to keep perishable foods good. You should also begin to eat the foods that won’t keep. If you have freeze-dried foods, you don’t need to worry, they won’t spoil!

Avoid Alcohol. To prevent dehydration, avoid drinking alcoholic drinks. Instead, stick to the water bottles and juices.

heat water Drink Water. To avoid dehydration, continue to drink water. It’s recommended that you have about eight glasses of water per day.

 Stay Out Of The Sun. This seems pretty intuitive but, to avoid the heat stay out of the sun!

Responses to How to stay cool without AC
•  I sit in front of computer, TV, or read a book with my feet in a tub of room temp water – it is amazing how cool you feel with wet feet. I also use a wet cloth around my neck and wear as few clothes as possible. I keep a couple cans of pork and beans and veggie soup in fridge and pretend I’m camping and eat them right out of the can. Cold food keeps my internal temp cool and then I try to see humor in it all so I don’t get upset and stressed and heat up gain – lol.
•  After a few a few hurricanes, a fertile imagination has proved fruitful. During our 100° days and 80,90° nights we found that putting our 10″ portable battery operated fans do great when sat between or in front of ice coolers. Making for a great ice box effect. For those that experience respiratory issues this has proved to be a life saver. One set of batteries you can easily get 12- 18 hrs of breeze depending in fan setting. For extended seasons like the months after hurricane Rita, a small solar charger is a must. Using coat hangers you can also hang the small hand held dollar store fans in the window you sleep near and get a breezy nights sleep. Which was a great help to my mother whos health was very fragile during those days. We made it almost 3 months.
•  I worked in the desert for years and now live in the semi tropical heat and humidity of southwest Florida, While out in the desert 100+ degree sun we wet our shirt and hat or bandana. At night I would run cool clean water on a top sheet and wring it out as not to soak the bedding. Lay this over you and if possible add a fan to get the air moving around you to carry away your body heat. This works great with those accidental sunburns also combined with the cooling relief of aloe.
•  We keep our claw-foot tub filled with cold water, like a mini-pool. Everyone has access to it. No washing, just cooling. Then when you wake up in the middle of the night baking hot, unable to sleep, you take a quick, cool dip.
•  keep half gallon cartons of water in the freezer. when it gets too hot place the frozen carton into a tray of water (cooking pan or aluminum ) that is at least 2 inches deep. That’s it ,and it will lower the temp. in your room at least 10 degrees…. really works.
•  I installed a “Whole House” Fan years ago. In the summer when the days are 100+, I get up at 4:30am. I open all the windows and run the fan until 7 am. This pulls all the cool outside air into the house and pushes it through the attic. From 7am on, the house is closed up tight. Stays nice and cool. I also cook outside using a Coleman stove and a crock pot. Keeps all that heat where it should be … Outside!
•  Having fans on will circulate the air so it doesn’t get “stuffy”, thus making it seem cooler even without AC.
•  I went to Texas in August a few years ago and knew I would be miserable because of how hot it gets there. So I did a search on the internet for personal cooling systems and found something called Black Ice. With Black Ice I could get into my hot rental car in the Texas heat and be comfortable until the Air Conditioning kicked in. I also bought the soft ice bag cooler and kept it in the trunk so that I could always have a Black ice charging which takes about 20 minutes in ice water. Plus the hotel had an endless supply of Ice for me to keep my Black Ice charged. I understand it works great for hot flashes too! Here is their website: http://blackicecooling.com/index.html
•  Here’s what we did, when we lost power after a hurricane in Biloxi, Ms in 1985. Prior to the hurricane I had frozen a bunch of the rectangular milk and ice cream buckets I had saved. 1 gallon ice-cream buckets are great; because they will stay frozen a lot longer. Anyway, we put that ice in the fridge and it kept pretty well for a couple of days. But, we also had blocks stored in our upright freezer to help keep that stuff frozen for as long as possible. It was miserable without cool air. but I had filled our bathtub and our washing machine with water, prior to the hurricane, for washing, bathing, and flushing, (and also some other large containers.) It was great to be able to take some of the wash water and put it in a bowl of ice and wash with wash cloths. It helped to keep us cool. There are lots of things you can do to prepare and have a few things to make life a little easier after a power outage and these are just some. Get creative about how you can help alleviate the discomfort of a situation like this, you will be surprised at the things you might innovate. And don’t forget to store drinking water
•  Battery powered fans really help. Keep blinds on the windows closed. We had an attic fan installed and it really helps on a daily basis, but if we don’t have electricity I plan to open the door to the attic and hope the heat will rise into the attic and out the fan, even if it isn’t running. You might also look at solar attic fans. I’ve also read that you should open the windows at the top so the hot air flows out.
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B. Effective Natural Cooling Strategies
Aug 27th, 2012, Off The Grid News, By Nathan F
Pasted from: http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/08/27/effective-natural-cooling-strategies/

…The dog days of summer are almost over now, as the temperatures in most places are finally starting to moderate into the range of the tolerable. The summer of 2012 has been the hottest we have seen in quite some time, and unless you have been spending the last three months holed up inside your home with the air conditioner blasting away, the chances are that you and your family have been suffering a good bit.

Of course, for those who live off-the-grid, power supplies are always at a premium, and therefore air conditioning is not really an option in most instances. Or at least, it is not a very practical option, since air conditioners are ranked near the top of the all-time energy hog list, and spending precious electrical resources to run such power-hungry machines is hardly consistent with an energy-efficient lifestyle. For this reason, off-the-gridders who live in climates where extreme summertime heat is an issue – and outside of Alaska, Hawaii, and maybe the Pacific Northwest, that is pretty much everywhere in the United States – should be leaving no stone unturned in their search for low-power and no-power ways to keep their homes cool when the mercury begins to rise.

heat fanWhile this year’s heat wave is now water under the bridge (in the form of a river of sweat), we can only imagine how bad things might get next year. So if you are willing to look ahead, there are a number of changes or modifications you may be able to make to your home and the surrounding homestead that will allow you to beat the heat when it returns with a vengeance in 2013. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to start making plans to address that situation now, so that you will be organized and ready to roll with your home renovation project come next spring, before those scorching summertime temperatures have the chance to go soaring into infinity.

Energy-Efficient Alternatives To The Air Conditioner While the need to save electricity may preclude the use of an air conditioner in most off-the-grid settings, there are a couple of power-drawing technologies that you may still want to consider using to help keep your home more comfortable in the summertime heat.

Fans of course are the alternative to air conditioners that everyone knows about. How many fans you would like to have going in your house at any one time is up to you, but for the sake of efficiency, you should certainly consider having ceiling fans installed in each and every room where people normally congregate. This low-power, aesthetically pleasing, virtually noiseless type of fan is extremely efficient in its operation and can reduce temperatures in the average room by up to four degrees when kept on for an extended period of time. Ceiling fans can be purchased that turn in either direction, so it is important to make sure you have fans that rotate in a counterclockwise direction in summer, which will create soothing indoor drafts by pulling warm air upwards.

The most powerful and effective type of ceiling fan is what is known as a whole-house fan. These centrally located machines are actually mounted in the ceiling instead of on it, and they work by drawing hot air upwards and funneling it through into the attic, where it can then be vented into the atmosphere. More sophisticated whole-house fan systems are available that can remove hot air from many rooms simultaneously before venting it through multiple interconnected openings, but the cost of a set-up like this can easily run into the thousands – which could be worth it, depending on how determined you are to keep things cool inside your humble abode.

Evaporative coolers are another possibility for those who are willing to cash in some of their electricity chips to keep their homes livable in summer. The appearance of an evaporative cooler is not all that different from an air conditioner, but rather than relying on the circulation of expensive chemical gases to remove excessive warmth from a room, these coolers instead take advantage of the process by which dry air loses heat whenever it interacts with water and causes it to evaporate. Because it operates by exploiting an entirely natural activity, an evaporative cooler only uses about 25 percent as much electricity as the average air conditioner, which can make it a good option for off-the-gridders living in arid areas where high humidity levels don’t interfere with the evaporative process.

There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Venting The thing to remember about the ability of moving air to cool warm humans is that as long as air temperatures are below the 98.6-degree threshold at which our bodies normally function, we can always make our homes feel cooler by encouraging good air movement. The best way – really, the only way – to do this without investing precious power resources is to fill our homes with as many holes or openings as possible, arranged in ways that work with prevailing wind patterns and the laws of physics to facilitate the maximum amount of interior air flow.

The most common type of opening in our homes are of course windows, and it is generally true that the more windows we have, the easier it will be to promote effective air passage. But windows aren’t the only choice available for those concerned with interior cooling; vents that allow air to enter on one side of the house and exit on the other are another possibility, and vents have an advantage over windows in that you don’t have to worry about covering them with shades to keep the sunlight from coming in during the hottest part of the day.

In order to maximize the cooling effects of both windows and vents, there are basically three things that must be done. First, once you know what the prevailing wind patterns in your area are, you will want to make sure that the openings in the walls of your home are set up to work with these patterns and not against them. In other words, if the winds in your area mostly blow from the south to the north, it will not do to have all of your windows installed in the east and west walls, or to have the largest windows on the east and west and smaller windows on the north and south. So when designing a new home or remodeling one that already exists, if good cooling is what you seek then window location is something that you must plan out with intelligence and foresight.

The second thing you must do is make sure that your openings of exit are elevated above your openings of entrance. This is because hot air naturally rises, which means if you let warm summer breezes in at a height of eight feet on the south side but try to sent them back out through vents or windows at a height of four feet on the north side, the air in your home will stagnate instead of flowing freely. Remember, you want to bring the outside air in, but you don’t want it to stick around once it enters your home, so it is important that your arrangement of vents and windows include openings that are higher on the side of exit than on the side of entrance.

The third thing you will need to do to keep air flowing steadily is to put vents, cutouts, or even windows in any walls on the inside of your home that could possibly obstruct the free movement of the air. Few homes are constructed with the principles of smooth and steady airflow in mind, so the idea of adding interior openings is nothing that should be sneezed at.

Roofs Need Venting Too As previously mentioned, whole-house fans can move air out of a home efficiently by sending it straight up through openings in the attic. But there are several other venting options available for the roofs of homes, and given the irresistible urge that all hot air has to rise, these possibilities should not be overlooked.

Some of the best roof-venting options available include:

  • Chimneys – with fireplace or without, chimneys can provide excellent vertical airflow and venting. If you paint the part of the chimney that extends above the roof black, or install a plane of glass at the top facing the southern sun, this will cause air near the top of a chimney to heat and thereby create an even stronger updraft effect than would exist under normal circumstances.
  • Operable skylights – they can be shuttered when the sun is shining directly down on them and opened during the hours of the day when it is not.
  • Turbine ventilators – these neat devices look like spinning tops sitting on top of the roof as they efficiently suck the warm air up from below.
  • Atriums these will add beauty, a feeling of serenity, and high-quality air movement to any home or indoor space.
  • Cupolas – these are dome- or square-shaped rooms that extend upward from the roof of a home. They can be large enough to actually accommodate guests or small enough to provide venting and little else. Cupolas are an attractive architectural innovation that has sadly fallen out of favor, but like atriums, they can improve your house aesthetically at the same time they are improving the interior circulation of air.

Additions to your home like these will obviously require some work and financial investment. But they could very well be worth the expense and effort for those who are truly serious about reducing their indoor suffering index in the months when the outdoor heat index rises into the stratosphere.

Keeping Things Cool On The Outside
Setting up good natural air flow is all well and good, but of course the cooler the air is when it enters your home the more effective it will be at keeping your family cool as it passes through. Shade trees that can provide shelter from the southern sun will help reduce the temperature of the air before it enters your home, and large overhangs or awnings that can keep windows in shadows will do the same. Generally speaking, the more shade you have on your homestead, the cooler things will be, so this is something you should always keep in mind when you are picking a building location or making plans for your surrounding landscape.

Another excellent way to reduce air temperature is to install a pond or fountain near your home, preferably on the side of the house facing into the wind. As we have already seen in our discussion of evaporative coolers, dry air loses heat as it evaporates water, so any time moving air sweeps across a watery surface, it will be cooled quite efficiently and effectively. In a humid climate, this would not work very well since the air is already saturated with moisture, but in an arid climate putting in a pond or a fountain can be an excellent way to help reduce the temperatures of a breeze before it actually enters a home.

One last trick is to landscape your exterior so that the trees and shrubs and outbuildings will naturally channel and concentrate the prevailing winds toward the house. And if the objects used to create this effect are tall enough to provide some shadow as well, then so much the better. ©2012 Off the Grid News

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C. Are You Ready Series: Heat Safety
1 July 2013, ReadyNutrition.com, by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/are-you-ready-series-heat-safety_01072013/

heat HOT

Heat related deaths are the number 1 weather related killer in the United States. Although this type of death is preventable, annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.

People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself through sweating but under extreme heat, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly and very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to the risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.

Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and those with mental illness and chronic diseases are all at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Your risk to heat related illnesses can be reduced by staying hydrated and being in an air conditioned environment. If a home is not air-conditioned, spend time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.

What Is Extreme Heat?
Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

During Hot Weather
To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense.

The following tips are important:
Drink Plenty of Fluids. During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Replace Salt and Minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.  Drinks that have electrolytes can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen. Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.

Pace Yourself. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.

Stay Cool Indoors. Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. a) If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. b) Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. c) Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. d) Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.

Use a Buddy System. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.

Monitor Those at High Risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.
•  Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
•  People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
•  People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
•  People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
•  People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
•  Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Adjust to the Environment. Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

Do Not Leave Children in Cars. Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
•  Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
•  To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat.  When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front of the driver.
•  When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car.  Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense. Remember to keep cool and use common sense:
•   Avoid hot foods and heavy meals— they add heat to your body.
•  Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
•  Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
•  Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
•  Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
•  Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.

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D. Deadlier Than Natural Disasters: How to Prevent Heatstroke
24 May 2012, The Survival Doctor, by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2012/05/24/how-to-prevent-heatstroke/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the period between 1979 and 2003 and found that more people died from heatstroke than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. And most heatstroke deaths are so preventable.

heat 100FTo Prevent Heatstroke, You Must …Recognize Heat Exhaustion The good news is heatstroke doesn’t just come out of the blue. It’s one problem in a spectrum of heat-related illnesses. First comes heat exhaustion. If you heed its warnings and do the right things, you can prevent what’s sure to follow otherwise—the potentially deadly heatstroke.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:
•  A sudden, massive increase in sweating
•  Muscle cramps
•  Extreme weakness
•  Dizziness
•  Headache
•  Nausea or vomiting
•  Fainting

Signs of heat exhaustion are:
•  Pale skin color
•  Goose bumps and skin that has become cool to the touch
•  A weak pulse
•  A pulse rate well below one hundred
•  Low blood pressure
•  Confusion

It is this risk of confusion that makes it very important you work with a partner so you can monitor each other.

To Prevent Heatstroke, You Must …Halt the Exhaustion

Here’s what to do if you have those signs or symptoms:
•  Stop work immediately. Not when you get to a finishing place, not in a few minutes. Immediately. Your body generates heat with activity.
•  Find the coolest spot available, and lie down.
•  Drink water or a sports drink. You’re almost always dehydrated. The fluids will help cool you and help your circulation work more efficiently to cool you off.
•  Don’t drink caffeine. It’s a diuretic and can adversely affect your circulation.
•  Don’t drink high-sugar drinks. They’re harder to absorb.
•  Stay cool the rest of the day. As I explained in my hypothermia articles, our body functions best at 98.6, give or take a degree or two. When you develop heat exhaustion, your temperature regulators go haywire. Your body has lost the ability to cool itself and will only get hotter unless you externally cool off. Your core, where your vital organs reside, have heated to 102 or more. Your whole body needs time to cool because when your temperature gets to 103, you’re getting very close to the shutdown levels of heatstroke.

If that happens, it’s a medical emergency. I’ll give you suggestions on what to do about that in the next post. [immediately below]

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E. What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can’t Get Help
29 May 2012, The Survival Doctor, by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.
http://www.thesurvivaldoctor.com/2012/05/29/what-to-do-for-heatstroke/

Many years ago, before many of you were born, I trained at a large Dallas hospital. In the summers, the ambulances carried tubs of ice, and if they picked up someone with probable heatstroke, they’d start to ice them then and there.

I don’t know if they still do that, but heatstroke continues to be an emergency, killing hundreds each year and leaving many more disabled. And cooling remains the top priority in treatment.

Heatstroke Warning Signs
In order to know what to do, you need to be able to recognize the warning signs of heatstroke (also called sunstroke). With heatstroke your vital organs shut down. Many people even stop sweating. It’s like your body has given up (or burned out).

One of the first organs that shows damage is the brain. Therefore, many of the signs and symptoms of heatstroke are related to brain function, such as:
•  Agitation
•  Confusion
•  Hallucinations
•  Disorientation
•  Euphoria
•  Seizure
•  Coma

What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can Get Help
Call 911 immediately. Never wait and see if someone with heatstroke is going to get better on their own. Their organs are cooking.heat pool

Until the ambulance arrives, cool the person off as best you can. If they can walk and it’s not far, get them into air-conditioning. Otherwise, have them lie down in the shade. Take off all but their underclothes. Spray or bathe them with cool/cold water and fan them. If the person is unconscious, place them on their side so their tongue won’t impede their airway.

What to Do for Heatstroke When You Can’t Get Help
But what can you do if there’s no ambulance—no way to get expert medical help?

Your only hope is to cool the person off as quickly as possible and get some fluids in them. In addition to the guidelines above, here are more tips:
•  If you have ice, place a pack on the person’s groin and armpits, and under their neck.
•  Even if available, there’s a debate about whether someone with heatstroke should soak in a tub of ice water. The problem is, if their heart stops, it’s going to be difficult to do CPR. I think, whatever gets them the coolest the quickest is what you should do.
•  Soak a sheet in the coolest water possible, and wrap it around their bare skin.
•  Fan them for the cooling effect of evaporation.
•  If they’re alert enough, have them slowly drink as much cool water as possible.
•  If you have access to intravenous fluids, now’s the time to give them.

Even if you fully hydrate and cool someone with heatstroke, they’ll have multiple-organ damage. Get them to a medical facility as soon as possible.

You can see why ideally, you catch heat exhaustion before it becomes heatstroke. Have you or has anyone you know had a heatstroke? What happened? How is the person now?

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F. How to Protect Outdoor Workers (and yourself) from Heat Stroke
8 July 2013, ArmageddonOnline.com, by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Pasted from: http://www.armageddononline.org/protect-from-heatstroke-2013.html

In a typical year 658 Americans die from heat-related causes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This summer extreme heat in the Southwest has left one man dead from heat stroke and dozens of people hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses. Researchers at Columbia University predict an increase in the number of heat waves over the next few years, suggesting a growing need for those who work or play outside to learn how to recognize and avoid heat-related illnesses.

Outdoor workers are particularly vulnerable in extreme heat. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are continuing their Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, a joint project that began in 2011. The campaign aims to educate outdoor workers and their employers about ways to prevent heat-related illnesses. OSHA’s Web site now includes educational resources and training information.

The leading prevention techniques include drinking water every 15 minutes regardless of thirst, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, taking regular breaks in the shade and giving new employees a lighter workload to acclimate them to working in hot temperatures. OSHA also encourages outdoor workers to learn the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. People are often unaware that their exposure to heat is harmful until they need medical assistance. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst and heavy sweating. If ignored, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention. Indicators of heat stroke include confusion, fainting, seizures and dry, red skin. OSHA has developed a free smart phone app called Heat Safety Tool that indicates the risk of heat exhaustion and provides recommended precautions based on the temperature and humidity in a given location. The app is available in English and Spanish for iPhone and Android. It can be downloaded free of charge via, OSHA’s Web site or iTunes.
[The  “OSHA Heat Safety Tool” app is also available and free for Android, found at Google Play. Mr. Larry]

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Solar EMP: Lights Out

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/Solar EMP: Lights Out)

A.  Near miss: Enormous solar blast could have devastated Earth in 2012
20 March 2014, RT.com
Pasted from: http://rt.com/usa/solar-blast-devastated-earth-2012-161/

EMP flareReuters/NASA

Citizens of Earth had no idea how close the planet was to getting slammed with a devastating solar flare back in July 2012, but scientists claim we only missed the damaging event by nine days.

As noted by Reuters, scientists found that a series of coronal mass ejections – powerful eruptions on the sun’s surface that send waves of magnetized plasma through the solar system – occurred last year sometime between July 22 and 23. The blasts traveled through Earth’ orbit, but narrowly missed colliding with the planet.

According to a new report published in the Nature Communications journal on Tuesday, if the solar eruptions occurred just nine days earlier, they would have likely hit Earth and caused a great deal of damage to the planet’s magnetic field. Fortunately for us, the Earth was on the other side of the sun by that point.

Scientists believe the blast would have equaled the might of the most powerful magnetic storm ever recorded: the Carrington event of 1859, which took down telegraph services around the world.

“Had it hit Earth, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been tremendous,” Janet Luhmann, part of the STEREO (Solar Terrestrial Observatory) team a University of California Berkley researcher, said to Reuters.

Specifically, a blast that powerful could bring down electrical grids, knock down satellites and GPS technology, and ultimately cost nations billions of dollars in damages. Considering modern society’s reliance on such technology to function, it would be extremely disruptive.

EMP sensorAFP photo/EPFL

Last year, a study produced with the Atmospheric and Environmental Research group found that a solar flare equivalent to Carrington could cost the world $2.6 trillion.

“An extreme space weather storm – a solar superstorm – is a low-probability, high-consequence event that poses severe threats to critical infrastructures of the modern society,” said Ying Liu, a physicist at China’s State Key Laboratory of Space Weather to Forbes.

“The cost of an extreme space weather event, if it hits Earth, could reach trillions of dollars with a potential recovery time of 4-10 years,” Liu added. “Therefore, it is paramount to the security and economic interest of the modern society to understand solar superstorms.”

Although flares occur every day during the sun’s solar maximum – a period in the sun’s cycle highlighted by increased solar activity – they are rarely as powerful as the one that struck Earth in 1859. Still, the amount of damage they can inflict means preparation is tough but necessary,

People keep saying that these are rare natural hazards, but they are happening in the Solar System even though we don’t always see them,” Luhmann told Forbes. “It’s like with earthquakes – it is hard to impress upon people the importance of preparing unless you suffer a magnitude 9 earthquake.”

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B.  What Would You Do If The Lights Went Out? American Power Grid Danger – 2014! EMP? Terrorists?

tv news3See the 37 minute news video with Judge Jeanine, at:
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8zc10Wpqqk0&gt;

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