|Issue #144 December 2014|
to this edition of Naturopathic News, issue #144. If you are wondering what
happened to November’s newsletter, it never made it past the planning stage.
The move to
For 22 years I’ve made it my mission to help you find optimal solutions to your health problems. This newsletter has been one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the more you are able to take control of your health. If you would like to stop receiving my newsletter please send me an email and let me know. If you have a friend or family member who you think would appreciate the information provided, send me their email address.
We Made It!!
Thanks to family and friends we made a
successful move from PA to
I am continuing my naturopathic/homeopathic
I am unaware of any naturopath or homeopath
that will be in the
For physical medicine I highly recommend
that you seek care with Solley Chiropractic. For Cranio Sacral Therapy I
recommend Beth Shafranco in
For acupuncture I recommend Linda Spencer in Wellsboro.
There will be no change with your Emerson Ecologics status after I leave. Your account will still be associated with my practice and you will continue to receive your 10% discount on the supplements and herbs that you order.
It will be more expensive for me to
It's worked very well to care for my long distance patients. However, there are limitations to using phone or Skype. If I need to examine you--take your blood pressure, feel your glands, listen to your lungs, etc.--I can't do that long distance. You can find some common homeopathic remedies in local stores, but Emerson has the best selection. Anything beyond that I will have to mail to you. You will have to pay more attention to how much medicine you have left to not be stuck without your remedy for longer than a day or two. I will do my best to make this transition as smooth as possible so that your healing process will not be disrupted. If you have any questions about how this can work for you please email.
FRACKING CHEMICALS POSE POTENTIAL HEALTH THREAT TO CHILDREN AND MOTHERS
Chemicals from fracking pose "serious health risks" to pregnant women, babies, and children, a new study has claimed.
Research published in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health on Dec., 5, 2014 finds fracking operations use and create chemicals linked to birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, impaired fetal growth, low birth weight, preterm birth, and premature or delayed sexual development, among other health problems.
During fracking, chemicals, sand and waters are blasted into the ground at high pressure to shatter rock formations and release shale gas and oil.
The report's authors, from the non-profit Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in California and the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany, find more than 750 chemicals may be used in fracking operations, many of which are "routinely released" into the environment, posing a potential threat to nearby communities.
They state that the substances include about 130 known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been linked to a range of health problems including altered reproductive function, increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth and developmental delays in children, and changes in immune function.
The report says benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX chemicals), a commonly used fracking cocktail, are associated with impaired sperm quantity and quality in men and could effect menstruation and fecundity in women, while acute exposure to heavy metals released from fracking is associated with increased risk of miscarriage and/or stillbirths.
fracking boom in the
early December, a report by the
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: When it comes to toxic chemical exposure I adhere to the ‘precautionary principle’. The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.
The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.
HUGE AMOUNTS OF CARCINOGENIC CHEMICALS CONTAMINATE AIR NEAR FRACKING SITES
seems as though, with each day that passes, yet another health and
environmental hazard is identified as being linked to hydraulic fracking, the
process of injecting more than 200 chemicals at high pressure into the ground,
shattering rock and releasing one
Hydraulic fracking continues to be proven more dangerous than scientists imagined, with the latest research unmasking unthinkable health effects in residents living near a fracking site.
Only through observation have scientists begun to learn exactly which chemicals are being injected at high pressures into the earth, as the industry believes proprietary rights trump the public’s right to know about which chemicals make up fracking mixtures.
have observed eight poisonous chemicals near fracking wells in
A study conducted by Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany-State University of New York tested air samples taken by trained volunteers living near fracking wells.
The measurements were taken during “heavy industrial activity” or when the volunteers experienced symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or headaches, according to U.S. News. Other samples were taken during designated periods to monitor for formaldehyde.
Slightly less than half of the samples exceeded recommended limits, according to lab results. Samples that exceeded recommended limits did so by very high margins, with benzene levels ranging from 35 to 770,000 times greater than normal concentrations, comparable to a driver being exposed to 33 times the amount they would be while fueling their car.
Hydrogen sulfide levels were 90 to 60,000 times higher than federal standards, while formaldehyde levels reached 30 to 240 times higher than normal.
“This is a significant public health risk,” said the study’s lead author. “Cancer has a long latency, so you’re not seeing an elevation in cancer in these communities. But five, 10, 15 years from now, elevation in cancer is almost certain to happen.”
Benzene, one of the four chemicals in diesel, produces known health complications in people, prompting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require permits for any drilling involving diesel. However, an FDA loophole known as the “Halliburton Loophole” exempts fracking companies from restrictions set by the Safe Drinking Water Act and federal Clean Water Act.
“I was amazed,” said Carpenter. “Five orders of magnitude over federal limits for benzene at one site — that’s just incredible. You could practically just light a match and have an explosion with that concentration.” Benzene is known to cause leukemia and cancers of other blood cells, as well as short-term effects like headaches, tremors, sleepiness and vomiting, according to Cancer.org.
Hydrogen sulfide, which carries a rotting egg smell, is linked to asthma, headaches, poor memory and eye irritation. Formaldehyde, also a known carcinogen, is linked to nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia, among other health effects.
near fracking wells report sudden asthma, cognitive difficulties and nose
polyps. Deb Thomas, a
“We see a lot of cognitive difficulties. People get asthma or breathing difficulty or nose polyps or something with their eyes or their ears ring — the sorts of things that come on very subtly, but you start to notice them.”
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: Asthma, cancer, headaches, poor memory, tremors, vomiting, etc. Who will pay the healthcare costs for these conditions when they manifest over the next 1-20 years?
FRACKING FUMES - WHERE THERE'S A WELL, ALL IS NOT WELL
After analyzing 24 scientific studies, the Natural Resources Defense Council finds plenty to worry about, from birth defects to deadly effects. Emissions from oil-and-gas production pose a significant threat to human health, and immediate steps must be taken to reduce exposure to the toxic pollution, according to an analysis of these scientific studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
After reviewing the findings of 24 studies conducted by both government agencies and academic organizations, the evidence shows that people living both close to and far from oil-and-gas drilling are exposed to fracking-related air pollution that can cause at least five major types of health problems, according to the NRDC's report, “Fracking Fumes”.
The report says fracking threatens air quality as much as it does water quality and calls for an immediate moratorium on any new wells until a comprehensive analysis of health effects can be performed.
Putting a halt to fracking won't jeopardize jobs or local economies, said Kate Sinding, a senior attorney for the NRDC. It will encourage development of alternative energy sources that will mean jobs and financial growth, she said. She argues that these new energy sources will be more sustainable and consequently have a longer-lasting financial impact than oil-and-gas extraction.
An investigation by
InsideClimate News and the Center for Public Integrity earlier this year
focused on the danger of emissions from oil-and-gas facilities in south
Those findings come as no surprise to Lynn Buehring, a Karnes County, Texas resident who wears a respirator outdoors to keep from becoming overwhelmed by the fumes that envelop the small ranch house she shares with her husband. More than 50 wells have been drilled within 2.5 miles of her home. Ugly black smoke wafts from towering flares used to burn off unused gas, the air is heavy with the odor of rotten eggs, and occasionally a mysterious slime coats the ground.
She has sought medical treatment for respiratory problems, severe headaches and rashes––all symptoms reported by people across the county who live near oil-and-gas facilities.
"Until you have to breathe this air, you have no idea how bad it is," Buehring said. "It feels like someone is squeezing your chest so tight you can't breathe."
She's infuriated that the industry brushes aside the fears of people, and that regulators give little credence to the emerging science that shows the dangers of fracking emissions.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves injecting water, chemicals and sand down a well to crack open bedrock and extract fossil fuels.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, an NRDC senior scientist who was one of two authors of the report, said the lives of people like Buehring and tens of thousands of others in heavy drilling states are at risk. "While industry continues to try to sweep the impacts of fracking under a rug, the science keeps revealing serious health threats for families living nearby," she said.
Rotkin-Ellman attributes the heightened consciousness to a growing body of science and the public awareness generated by news stories like those by InsideClimate News and the Center for Public Integrity. "What we are seeing in the science are pollutants in concentrations high enough to be harmful and what we are hearing from people speaking out is that they are being made sick," Rotkin-Ellman said. "When taken together that presents a pretty compelling picture of the consequences associated with fracking operations."
Now that scientific studies are beginning to catch up with the fracking boom, she said, it's becoming more difficult for the industry to dismiss public health worries. "The science allows us to move beyond speculation," Rotkin-Ellman said. "We can drive the conversation based on scientific facts."
The NRDC report provides an analysis of available science gleaned from 18 peer-reviewed academic publications and six government studies on toxic air pollution from oil-and-gas development. When taken together, a pattern emerges of unsafe levels of air pollution near fracking sites around the country, Rotkin-Ellman said. The report breaks down the health impacts that scientists have identified on the local, regional and global scales. NRCD is a New York City-based, non-profit environmental group that advocates strict environmental protection.
Health threats from fracking-generated air pollution are not limited to communities with drilling directly in their backyards. Rather, entire regions with high levels of oil-and-gas activity are paying the price with smog-filled skies and respiratory problems, according to the report.
Studies reviewed by the NRDC revealed high enough concentrations of hydrocarbon pollutants including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene to trigger illness.
a study of gas wells in rural northeastern
In another study considered by the NRDC, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection found benzene concentrations one-eighth of a mile from oil wells in excess of levels the Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers "the minimum risk level for no health effects." That distance is farther than many states require as a buffer from oil-and-gas operations, according to the study.
The NRDC study acknowledged that it is difficult to measure actual exposures to pollutants from nearby fracking operations and establish a firm relation to adverse health effects. Yet some studies reviewed by the NRDC found links between air pollutants that are present at oil-and-gas production sites and health impacts in nearby communities.
an example, the study cites an evaluation of birth defects in areas of
of the most substantive reports reviewed by the NRDC was prepared by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
a federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations
for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. The agency surveyed the
exposure of oil-and-gas workers to petrochemical emissions. In 2010, the deaths
of at least four workers had links to chemical and petroleum vapor exposure at
oil well sites in
regional and global impacts associated with fracking and other stages of oil-and-gas
production are found in the release of nitrogen oxides and VOCs, which react to
sunlight to form ozone, a prime component of smog. A growing number of studies
attribute emissions of ozone precursors from rapidly growing oil-and-gas
development to significantly elevated ozone concentrations in
with the growing body of scientific evidence, the NRDC's Rotkin-Ellman laments
that there remains reluctance in some circles to acknowledge the connection
between fracking and air contamination.
The NRDC report makes six recommendations, including: improved air quality monitoring near oil-and-gas facilities; defining and mandating adequate setback requirements to reduce the exposure of residents to air pollutants; additional scientific studies in regions with intensive oil-and-gas development to examine the effects of air pollution on human health.
David Brown, a toxicologist with the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, which helps residents whose health may be affected by natural gas development, said the NRDC's report fortifies the evidence connecting fracking emissions with health issues. "The industry and regulators have been able to say there is nothing showing the emissions are creating problems," he said. "This puts a face on the very real problems."
"If there had been a look at public health risks before the runaway development; the kind of examination that we are seeing now—I think you’d see a whole different approach to the way the industry conducts business," he said.
A team of
In published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology on Oct. 21, 2014, the researchers say their new forensic tool can distinguish fracking wastewater pollution from other contamination that results from other industrial processes — such as conventional oil and gas drilling. Fracking is a controversial oil and gas well stimulation technique that uses a great deal of water, mixed with chemicals, to extract oil and gas from miles deep underground. Once the rock is fractured by the high pressure fluid, fossil fuels follow the fracking fluid to the surface. The disposal of this often-radioactive water mixture, known as “fracking fluid,” is to be one of the biggest environmental threats that fracking poses, along with the emissions of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.
There have been of
water contamination since the technique gained popularity in 2008, but it’s
been difficult to determine if fracking was really the cause — mainly because
fracking companies are not required to disclose what chemicals they use in the
process (the mixture is often ). With the new tool, though,
scientists no longer need to know the chemical make-up of the fracking fluid to
determine whether it’s getting into the environment, according to
“This is one of the first times we’ve been able to demonstrate that, here, you have a spill in the environment, and yes, this is from fracking fluid and not from other source of contamination,” Vengosh said. “It’s a pretty cool way to overcome the issue of trade secrets.”
In order to do this, Vengosh and a team of researchers from
The tracers track two elements — boron and lithium — which occur naturally in shale formations. When fracking fluid is injected underground, those two elements are naturally released along with oil, and the fracking fluid then becomes enriched with the elements. When the fluid comes back to the surface, Vengosh said they have an isotopic fingerprint that is different than any other type of wastewater, including wastewater from conventional oil and gas operations.
“Many of the fracking operations today are happening in areas that have a legacy of 20, 30 years of conventional oil and gas development,” Vengosh said. “So when there’s contamination, [fracking companies] can say ‘Oh, it’s not us — it’s the legacy of 30 years of operations here.” “We now have the tools to say, well, sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong,” he added.
As fracking has boomed across the
Vangosh was also part of a research team that found there are more risks of drinking water contamination from fracking wastewater than was previously believed. In a September 2014, he and other scientists from Duke and Stanford found that even when fracking wastewater goes through water treatment plants, and is disposed of in rivers that are not drinking water systems, the treated water still risks contaminating human drinking water. That’s because there are generally drinking water systems downstream of those rivers, and treatment plants aren’t doing a good job of removing contaminants called halides, which have the potential to harm human health.
DR. PAIS’S COMMENTS: One piece of potential good news. If this comes to fruition the excuse of “you can’t prove it” will be rendered moot.
Here are some pages from my website that are of particular interest:
Store: 458 supplements and herbs can be accessed from this page. If yours isn’t one of them please let me know and I will add it so you can order online. This is particularly convenient after hours or on the weekend. Of course, you can always order by phone from Emerson at 800-654-4432.
Newsletter: Here you will find all 143 issues of my health newsletter, "Naturopathic News”.
Optimal Health Points: This is my blog that I update periodically. Check out my latest post, “Wet sock treatment”.
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LET ME HELP YOU MAKE WISE SUPPLEMENT CHOICES
As is often the case, a recent new patient asked if I would review their choice and use of supplements and herbs. Why does this happen so often? For many, taking a vitamin or herb is their introduction to natural medicine. Their desire to be healthier drives them to take supplements and herbs. The death, pain, discomfort, and side effects experienced with over the counter and prescription drugs compel people to look elsewhere. It’s very different with supplements and herbs which, when used correctly, have an incredibly low risk of harm.
Some people take this to an extreme and take every supplement or herb that someone tells them is ‘good for them’. It might be a clerk, an internet ‘expert’ source, or a friend who is marketing the latest or greatest fad. Most of these individuals or companies have no professional training or experience in the medical use of the supplements or herbs that they’re selling. The people they’re selling to come into my office with 5, 10, 15, or more supplements that they’re taking. Sometimes it’s been so long since they started taking them that they don’t remember why they’re doing it. When I ask, they can’t tell me what, if anything, a particular product is doing for them. Yet, they can be quite fearful of stopping any of these items, as if their health would careen off a precipice without them.
Why do I think my approach is any different? Partly, it’s because of my background. I’ve literally been working with nutritional supplements since 1974. That’s 40 years assessing the quality and effectiveness of supplements. Beginning in 1980 I started working with Western and Chinese herbs. The quality of herbs used and how they’re combined together has the greatest effect on the efficacy of the final product. Because I’ve grown, identified, harvested, and produced medicinal herbal products I recognize a good formula when I see one.
Licensed naturopaths like me receive the
most extensive academic and clinical training in the use of nutritional supplements
and herbal medicines of any professional in the
What I’m offering to is easy access to this experience and training. Both for you and your family. If you have questions about the supplements or herbs you are taking, or are thinking about taking, now is the time to ask. Send me an email with the brand and name of the product you’re taking. Let me know that you want to bring the bottles in at your next visit, so I can see what you’re taking. Start a discussion on my Facebook fan page. Either way I’ll give you honest feedback about what I think is good, or what isn’t. We’ll fine tune what you’re taking to maximize effect and eliminate waste.
Let me hear from you and we’ll get started.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D TEST
For a long time I looked for a home
Vitamin D test. One that would be simple, easy, and accurate to do on your own.
For a few years now I've been using ZRT Laboratory in
Until a few years ago, venipuncture blood serum was the standard medium for testing Vitamin D. Since then, the blood spot method was developed. A few drops of blood from a quick and nearly painless nick of the finger, placed on a filter paper to dry are all that is needed. The total 25 (OH) Vitamin D is then determined by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). This method has been shown to be as accurate as the assay standard.
Ordering A Vitamin D Test
The cost for ordering a Vit. D test through my office is $70 prepaid. Once you prepay I can order you a kit. Then you can either pick it up at my office or have it shipped to your home. Once you’ve taken the sample and sent it back to the lab it’s only a matter of time before your results are sent back to me. I can even look at them online before the paper copy arrives.
If your doctor has refused to order a Vitamin D test or worse, ordered the wrong one, this is the fastest, least expensive, and most accurate way to do it yourself. Once we know what your Vitamin D levels are, the next step is making sure that you achieve optimum levels for disease prevention and health maintenance.
I am often asked what supplements I recommend. Many of you have been surprised to discover that I favor food over pills; lifestyle changes over fads. I have been working with nutrition for over 40 years, herbs for over 30 years. Where and when appropriate I recommend them to my patients. I strive to act from knowledge, experience, and research.
Emerson Ecologics (800-654-4432) carries almost all of the nutritional supplements and botanical extracts that I think are useful. Their customer service is excellent and their delivery is reliable (often only 2-3 days). It’s a great way to get physician quality products at reasonable prices.
To offset the cost of shipping, reference my name when you establish your account and receive a 10% discount on every order. At the same time, I receive a percentage of each supplement sale. If you have any questions about these items feel free to email me.
That’s it for this issue of Naturopathic News. If you’ve thought a bit extra or learned something new, then I achieved my goal. As usual, if you have questions or concerns brought up by these subjects, let me know.
Pais, ND, DHANP