According to a study done last year in 48 U.S. cities, researchers discovered that death rates tended to be higher on days when the ozone pollution in the area was higher. In this study they researched over 2.7 million deaths across the country in every area. As with all health risks, the elderly were more vulnerable. Although this might seem to reduce the value of the research in that elderly people are more likely to die at any given time no matter what, it must be considered that in this case elderly women were more at risk than men. Overall, in all other causes of death the risk is greater for men. The study also revealed an interesting twist that says a lot for the validity of the study. It showed that blacks were more vulnerable than other racial groups, with elderly black women the most vulnerable.

Just on the face of it, this study seems to warn that black women should not be living in polluted cities. And most especially elderly black women. As in other studies of health risks, people with health conditions were affected more than the healthy among us. In this study it showed that people with atrial fibrillation, which is a disturbance of heart rhythm, seemed to be dieing on days with poor air quality. This would not be an assumption. In fact, it’s an anomaly.

This study was conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health. It is a credible published study that can be found online.


I found this online at Science Daily and it freaked me out. I mean, they are finding that toxic chemicals in plastics may be the cause of metabolic syndrome, a condition that makes people fat, slow and sick. This report was based on new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) and this research implicates the primary chemical used to produce hard plastics-bisphenol A (BPA)-as a “risk factor” for metabolic syndrome and its consequences. When I saw this, I was immediately feeling anger as I thought “what if they find” that plastic is making America obese? I mean, wouldn’t that just take the cake?

Getting back to the Science, this report states that in a laboratory study, using fresh human fat tissues, the UC team found that BPA suppresses a key hormone, adiponectin, which is responsible for regulating insulin sensitivity in the body and puts people at a substantially higher risk for metabolic syndrome. This syndrome, as I’ve read about it online, is also a cause of Diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that include lower responsiveness to insulin (insulin resistance) and higher blood levels of sugar and lipids (cholesterol). According to the American Heart Association, about 25 percent of Americans have metabolic syndrome. Left untreated, the disorder can lead to life-threatening health problems such as coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

And they are saying that some chemical in plastic bottles, forks, containers, bags, etc.. is causing this? Seriously. I find this unsettling.

The article also refers to Nira Ben-Jonathan, PhD. This doctor and her team are the first to report scientific evidence on the health effects of BPA at environmentally relevant doses equal to “average” human exposure. Previous studies have primarily focused on animal studies and high doses of BPA. Think of how many bottles, forks, bags, wrappers, bowls, etc… your family uses every day.

Scientists are now estimating that over 80% of the people they have tested have measurable BPA in their bloodstream. The UC study was designed to mimic a realistic human exposure (between 0.1 and 10 nanomolar) so that a more direct correlation between human exposure and health effects could be drawn.

Ben-Jonathan is a professor of Cancer and cell Biology at UC and has studied BPA for more than 10 years. She has been quoted as saying that “people have serious concerns about the potential health effects of BPA. As the scientific evidence continues to mount against the chemical, it should be given serious attention to minimize future harm.”

“Experimenting with human tissue is the closest we can come to testing the effects of BPA in humans. It’s a very exciting breakthrough because epidemiological studies looking at BPA effects on humans are difficult since most people have already been exposed to it,” she concedes.

To conduct this study, the UC team collected fresh fat tissue from Cincinnati patients undergoing several types of breast or abdominal surgery. These samples included three types of fat tissue: breast, subcutaneous and visceral (around the organs). This tissue was immediately taken to the laboratory and incubated with different concentrations of BPA or estrogen for six hours to observe how the varied amounts of BPA affected adiponectin levels. The effects of BPA were then compared to those of estradiol, a natural form of human estrogen.

The researchers found that exposing human tissues to BPA levels within the range of common human exposure resulted in suppression of a hormone that protects people from metabolic syndrome.

“These results are especially powerful because we didn’t use a single patient, a single tissue source or a single occurrence,” Nira Ben-Johnathan has noted. “We used different fat tissues from multiple patients and got the same negative response to BPA.”

According to the source quoted in Science Daily, UC’s Eric Hugo, PhD, Terry Brandebourg, PhD, Jessica Woo, PhD, J. Wesley Alexander, MD, and Christ Hospital surgeon Jean Loftus, MD, participated in this study. The study was funded by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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