Lead Poisoning: Reducing Risk and Minimizing Exposure

The effects of lead are cumulative, and build up in the body over the course of a lifetime. It is vital to do everything possible to reduce or eliminate exposure to this toxic metal, as it is believed to be a main contributor to Alzheimer’s disease, fertility issues in both men and women, and ADD/ADHD.

Common Products Containing Lead

Approximately 40% of American households contain lead in some form or another – from lead paint, to lead pipes, to the water that travels through those lead pipes. In addition to household exposure to lead, there are literally millions of ways the average person is exposed to lead during his/her lifetime: Some products that may carry toxic levels of lead are:

  • coffee machines
  • the colored ink on plastic grocery bags
  • bathtubs
  • newspapers, books, and magazines
  • lunchboxes
  • vinyl baby bibs
  • Christmas lights
  • lipstick
  • tobacco
  • hair dye
  • wrapping paper
  • chocolate

Lead Content in Imported Products

While products made in America must adhere to strict regulations regarding lead content, it is important to remember that the average American may use very few products that are actually produced under those guidelines. Our supermarket aisles are flooded with inexpensive products made overseas, and some of these products are literally poisonous. When in doubt, steer clear of cheaply made products manufactured in countries that have less stringent lead laws.

Lead in the Home

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated, unequivocally, that there is simply no safe way for home owners to sand, scrape, or otherwise remove lead paint from their homes. If lead paint is suspected in the home, it is important to hire a professional when doing anything that may release lead into the environment. A professional will know how to seal the work area and dispose of all lead debris in a way that minimizes potential harm. In this age of do-it-yourself projects it may seem like a silly precaution to hire a professional to scrape old paint off the walls, but lead is one are where it simply does to pay to cut corners.

Natural Lead Detox

Fortunately there are some natural ways to remove lead from the body. Here are some great detoxifying agents that will provide great results in only a matter of weeks:

  • fresh cilantro
  • carlic
  • chlorella – a type of green algae
  • soaking feet in a clay bath
  • infrared saunas

When performing a lead detox, it is important to do so slowly, and over time. First and foremost, lead is a poison, and while it may be tempting to try and rid the body of this poison as quickly as possible, it is important not to overload the system by doing too much too soon.

Avoiding lead entirely may be all but impossible, but learning to recognize and sidestep the types of products that tend to be the most toxic is the first step in protecting ourselves from this deadly metal.

Hypnotic Trance States can Work for Everyone: Some Believe Hypnotherapy Works for Stress and Panic Attacks

The British Society of Clinical and Academic Hypnosis (BSCAH) in the UK shows a detailed history of hypnosis, but also outlines the types of conditions, which can be helped. Hypnosis is generally considered to be a useful form of treatment especially during childbirth, stress, anxiety, weight loss, panic attacks and irrational fears. The BSCAH would consider that hypnosis essentially involves creating a state of mind in which normal thinking is suspended temporarily. In 1966 John Hartland wrote a book titled Medical and Dental Hypnosis and was directed specifically for the medical profession.

The History of Hypnosis

The Hypnotherapist Register of UK and Ireland talk about the use of trance states being traced back to before Christ in the temples of Babylonia (now Iraq), part of the ancient empire of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia (known as the land between the rivers) was a cultural and scientific area with a highly developed civilization, where the people would instigate dreaming to find answers to problems.

The Science of Trance Hypnotic States

The modern day science of hypnosis established itself when the Austrian Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) discovered a technique, which often induced convulsions, but also a loss of mental and physical control in his patients, However according to David Simmons who writes for the BSCAH modern hypnosis was discovered and practiced in1600 and by the mid 19th century a number of doctors were experimenting with what was being termed as autosuggestion. One such psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) found hypnosis very useful with anxious, neurotic patients.

From Trance to Magic With Hypnosis

There is the more magical and natural style of hypnosis with a Milton H. Erickson (1902-80), a psychiatrist who later became a hypnotherapist. This brilliant man transformed how human reaction to stress and deep-rooted problems were addressed, by using a creative type of hypnosis others had never used. Milton H. Erickson is generally considered to be the most important hypnotherapist of modern time. His sensory perception on all levels of non-verbal communication became extremely acute; some would say magical! His heightened level of awareness helped him later when he invented non-conventional Ericksonian Hypnosis.

Indirect Verses Direct Hypnosis

The indirect approach known as Erickson hypnotherapy uses stories and metaphors, which tend to relax people into a sense of curiosity. The client slowly closes their eyes, mainly because he or she wants to absorb and listen to the story. According to The Hypnotherapy Association (UK) “Hypnosis is a natural state of heightened awareness, where you are able to open your mind to beneficial suggestions and where you can make use of your imagination to help make positive changes in your life.”

Professionalismas a Hypnotherapist

There are many ways in which to find a therapist. According to the BSCAH hypnosis is a procedure that can be used to facilitate therapy. However hypnosis is not a type of therapy, like psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). According to many associations, one’s like BSCAH and others such as The Hypnotherapy Association conducts training in hypnotherapy. Associations differ the BSCAH states “Clinical hypnosis can only be used only by properly trained, registered and accredited health care professionals who have been trained in the clinical use of hypnosis and are working within the areas of their professional expertise.”

What It Means to be Rh Negative: Rare Blood and Pregnant Women

When a pregnant women is Rh-negative there can be complications that many women aren’t aware of. Many women are confused when they go in for a routine checkup in the first trimester to learn that they are Rh- negative.

What It Means To be Rh-Negative

An Rh-negative mother can make antibodies against Rh-positive blood cells, even against those of her own baby. When this happens it is Rh sensitization. These antibodies have the potential to cross the placenta and attack the babies’ red blood cells if some of the babies’ blood enters into the mother’s bloodstream. The mother’s immune system sees these cells as foreign and creates an immune response, which can cause anemia, congestive heart failure, hemolytic disease and even fetal death. This can all be preventable with a medicine called Rhogam.

RhogamRhogam is an injection that blocks the mother’s immune system from seeing the fetal cells. The mother then won’t make any antibodies against them. It is given to all Rh negative women whose babies might be Rh positive. The baby may be Rh-positive if the babies father is Rh-positive. If both parents are Rh-negative, they can only have Rh-negative offspring. Only a small percentage of the world’s population is Rh-negative.

When Rhogam is Given

The Rhogam injection is given at times during the pregnancy when there is a possibility of Rh-positive fetal blood getting into the mother’s bloodstream such as miscarriage, elective termination, when the mom is 26 weeks along, and after delivery. The babies’ blood type is taken at birth and if the baby is Rh-negative the Rhogam injection is not necessary.

Rh-sentization is Now RareBecause of the Rhogam injection, Rh-sentization is now quite rare. If it does occur it will be detected in routine pregnancy blood work. The first child is not usually affected. It is the pregnancies after that can become complicated if the baby is Rh-positive. Prior to 1968, before Rhogam was developed hemolytic disease was responsible for an average of 10,000 deaths annually in the U.S. For hundreds of years women with Rh-neative blood experienced losing baby after baby for no apparent reason. Many women gave birth to a healthy first child, only to experience following pregnancies that ended in miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth to babies wit anemia, jaundice, or other serious health problems.

Modern Medicine MiracleMany women today need to be thankful for modern day medicine, without it we might not be so lucky to have healthy babies. Long ago it would have been dreary news for a mother to hear that they were Rh-negative but with modern day medicine it really doesn’t even have an affect on the mother or baby.

Don’t be afraid to consult or doctor and look into other resources for more information regarding rh negative blood.

World Wars and Biological Agents: Intentional Use of Biologic Agents in Warfare

Biowarfare in World War I

During World War I German forces in the United States secretly infected American livestock found for Europe with glanders and anthrax. Thousands of horses were killed, but American troops in Europe were largely unaffected. Chemical warfare was by far a larger concern than biological warfare during World War I: nitrogen mustard, phosgene and chlorine gas injured or killed hundreds of thousands of troops. In 1925, thirty-eight countries signed the Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use of biological and chemical weapons. Japan refused to sign the Geneva Protocol.

Interestingly, research and production of biological weapons was not prohibited by the Geneva Protocol.

Biowarfare in World War II

During World War II, Japan began experiments using biological agents on civilians and prisoners held in Manchuria. A bio-warfare unit, Unit 731, disguised as a water-purification plant was built outside of Harbin, Manchuria. A second unit, Unit 100, was built near Changchun. Anthrax, cholera, plague, typhoid and a number of other agents were used in field tests and resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people.

In one experiment, clay pots containing infected fleas and grain were dropped over areas in Manchuria and China. The grain attracted rats; the rats became infected from the fleas and dispersed to spread disease into the human population.

Unit 731

Plague bacteria, Yersinia pestis, was released by the Japanese at Chuhsien and later dropped from planes at Ninpo and Chinhua. Approximately 120 people were killed as a result of these attacks. However, in 1941 a serious plague epidemic began following release of Yersinia pestis in Suiyuan and Ninghsia provinces.

British Biowarfare Research

At the same time Allied forces were also experimenting with biological agents. The British experimented with anthrax on Gruinard Island off the coast of Scotland. A bomb was used to disseminate anthrax. Although the Island was thought to be far enough from shore for testing to be safe, an outbreak of anthrax occured in sheep and cattle on the coast of Scotland in 1943. The oubreak resulted in discontinuation of testing.

United States Biowarfare Research

The United States established a major biological weapon and defence research facility at Fort Detrick, Maryland and later developed smaller facilities in Dugway, Utah and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. A number of agents were investigated by the U.S., and in 1955, Pine Bluff began production of large quantities of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularaemia.

Canada Biowarfare Research

Canada was also involved in research into the use of biological agents. Canada participated with the U.S. and Britain allowing field studies in remote areas of Canada.

Soviet Union Biowarfare Research

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union had been performing its own experiments with biological agents. Soviet research was directed toward plague, Marburg virus, smallpox and anthrax. The Soviets produced huge quantities of biological agents that could be loaded into missiles for deployment.

Biowarfare: Infectious Agents and Toxins in Warfare

Biological Agents

Biological agents are self-replicating living organisms or toxins produced by organisms that can be used to injure or kill humans, animals or crops. Humans, animals and plants share the earth with microorganisms: bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

Among the multitude of microorganisms that inhabit the earth, most are not harmful to humans (non-pathogens), and in many cases protect us from microorganisms capable of producing disease (pathogens). However, there are hundreds of pathogens that are capable of causing disease. Some of these have been exploited for use as weapons in warfare, terrorism and crime.

Centuries before microorganisms were discovered and recognized as potential disease agents, humans used them in attacks, or as a defence, against other humans.

The History of Biowarfare

Mycotoxins

As early as the 6th century B.C. biological agents were used to poison the wells of enemies: in Mesopotamia Assyrians used rye ergot containing mycotoxins (toxins produced by a fungus) from the fungus Claviceps purpurea to poison the wells of their enemies, and hellebore (skunk cabbage), a poisonous plant, was used by the Greeks to poison the water supply during the siege of the city of Krissa.

Plague

In 1346 the Tartar army used catapults to hurl plague-ridden corpses over the walls of the city of Kaffa, a port on the Black Sea, forcing the inhabitants to surrender. And in 1422 the plague-ridden corpses of soldiers and cartloads of excrement were hurled into enemy troops at the battle of Carolstein. The same strategy was also used by Russian troops in 1710 during a war with Sweden: corpses of plague victims were hurled over the walls of the city Reval.

At the time, the causes of death were unknown, but the ability for mysterious and often fatal diseases to spread to others was certainly recognized. Although these strategies were instrumental in defeating their enemies, plague also took a toll on the armies deploying these weapons, and on the hometowns of surviving soldiers. The use of plague in the attack on Kaffa may have been the cause of the second wave of the Black Death that wiped out much of Europe.

Smallpox

Smallpox was used by the English general, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, during the French and Indian War in 1767. Blankets and handkerchiefs from soldiers with smallpox were sold to Native Americans loyal to the French. Francisco Pizzarro used similar techniques against the native population of Peru in the 16th century. And, Captain Ecuyer of the Royal Americans presented smallpox contaminated blankets and handkerchiefs as gifts to Native Americans.

The use of biological warfare continued throughout history and was exploited during the first and second World Wars.

Oceanography: Marine Biology Chemistry Physics Geology and Engineering

The Compact Oxford English Dictionary defines oceanography as ‘the branch of science concerned with the physical and biological properties and phenomena of the sea’.

Branches of Oceanography

  • Marine Biology – Marine Biologists study everything that lives in the oceans. This includes all marine plants and animals, as well as micro-organisms. It also occupies itself with the ecology of these many organisms, from the study of the requirements of individual species upto the consideration of entire habitats and how they work.
  • Marine Chemistry – The Chemists are interested in the way the sea interacts with the atmosphere and with the complex mixture of compounds that go to make up sea-water. When one considers the extremes of temperature and pressure that can exist within the oceans this chemistry becomes very complicated.
  • Marine Geology – Geologists look at the rocks and sediments that go to make the sea-bed, and at the way the tectonic plates move. They are also interested in the materials that come up to the ocean floor through volcanic activity
  • Physical Oceanography – Physical Oceanographers concern themselves with ocean currents, the tides and the properties of waves. Differences of temperature, salinity and pressure are also part of their remit.
  • Marine Engineering – Our use of the oceans’ resources requires engineers to design and build things as diverse as ships, submersibles and oil platforms. Conditions in, on, and under the sea can be extreme and the challenges that marine engineers face are enormous.

Careers in Oceanography

Obviously you will need to decide which branch of oceanography appeals most, and then go on to study it in depth. Not all oceanographers ride around in boats, and not all marine biologists play with dolphins – there are very many Careers in Oceanography, Marine Science & Marine Biology. It is always a good idea to have an ultimate goal in mind when you begin your studies, but it is equally important to be flexible and consider new possibilities. You will probably only become aware of your abilities and interests as your studies progress, and you will hear about job opportunities that you did not know existed – indeed some of them might not yet exist! (Who could have imagined becoming a computer programmer before the invention of computers?)

Two Famous Oceanographers

  • Jacques Cousteau must be one of the most famous oceanographers of the last century, he was a writer, film-maker and involved in the invention of the aqualung and scuba diving.

Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution, but early in his life he was a keen marine biologist and during his voyage on HMS Beagle he studied many marine phenomena – surely he must rank as an ‘honorary oceanographer’ at least!