Skip Navigation

Your Environment. Your Health.

Visionary Ideas: Public Health Impact

New Strategic Plan

Table of Contents

Idea 1: Build on successful health behavior change strategies

Build upon successful behavior change strategies to increase population level impacts on conservation related attitudes and behaviors, climate change, environmental degradation, and health behaviors. Health behavior change research has been highly successful in promoting smoking cessation, dietary change, exercise and many other healthy behaviors. Encouraging alternative transportation and other sustainable behaviors will help reduce personal and environmental hazards related to sedentary lifestyle, carbon footprint, air pollution, congestion and stress.

Idea 2: The built environment and health

The conditions of modern living (work and life pressures and the physical places we inhabit) threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans and billions of people across the earth. Chronic autonomic responses to stressful events and unhealthy settings can lead to long-term physiological dysfunction and put individuals at higher risk for cardiac disease, stroke, and obesity and can also threaten their mental health.

There is mounting evidence, however, that exposure to some aspects of the built environment can enhance the resources necessary to manage the demands and pressures of modern living. Settings that include trees, grass, and open space have been shown to reduce the psychological symptoms of stress and promote recovery from mental fatigue.  Some settings encourage people to walk and exercise more than others. And some places promote stronger ties among neighbors and seem to support the development of social capital – which we know from considerable research, has important consequences for health.

Although it is clear that some places promote health, the particular combination of health promoting characteristics of these places is entirely unclear. Lack of a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships between the built environment and health is an important problem because it prevents planners, designers and public-health officials weighing the health costs and benefits of particular design solutions against one another. So, for instance, is it better on the whole to have a large public park 2 miles from a person’s home or a more robust urban street tree planting program that will result in a healthy urban forest on all residential streets?

I suggest that NIEHS invest in a considerable effort to understand the impacts of the built environment on the health and wellbeing of Americans. Although we have some good data on the costs of living in crowded, noisy, or stressful conditions, we have very little data on the health promoting consequences of built environments. Health officials, planners, designers, and policy-makers will be able to make better decisions and make more sound recommendations if they had a more comprehensive understanding of the health promoting aspects of built settings.


Comment

The research proposals on this website focus on possible environmental causes of autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity/intolerance, military veterans’ illnesses, as well as individuals who report symptoms associated with oil spills, fracking, hazardous waste sites, various community exposures, dioxin, home remodeling, poor indoor air quality, mold, pesticide use, and myriad other environmental exposures. But, in fact, individuals with these seemingly unrelated exposures and multi-system health problems share a great deal in common: their multi-system symptoms are often triggered by every day, low-level chemical exposures. Many also report adverse reactions to foods, medications, alcoholic beverages and/or caffeine. Dr. Nicholas Ashford of MIT and I first described this phenomenon 15 years ago. Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) is the name we gave to the underlying dynamic. It involves a two-step process whereby an initial acute or chronic toxic exposure causes loss of tolerance for everyday exposures. These new-onset intolerances perpetuate the disease process. We described how low-level exposures to common chemicals, foods, and medications may be the driving force behind the increased incidence of many hitherto unexplained medical symptoms and how masking—resulting from overlapping responses to multiple incidents—obscures the fact that everyday exposures can perpetuate illness. These concepts arose from reports by physicians, researchers and patients from more than a dozen industrialized nations. Collectively, their observations provide evidence that toxicant-induced loss of tolerance may be a new theory of disease. Currently, we are at the germ theory stage in terms of our understanding of this phenomenon. Well-founded theories—those based on careful observation, as in the case of the germ theory—are vital for developing shared scientific understanding and igniting future research.

In summary, it appears we are dealing with a two-stage disease process: (1) loss of tolerance resulting from an acute or chronic exposure event, followed by (2) repeated triggering of symptoms by everyday exposures, such as gasoline vapors, engine exhaust, fragrances or cleaning agents—exposures which had not been a problem for the person previously. This phenomenon became increasingly common with the widespread introduction of synthetic organic chemicals following WW II. This, coupled with the fact that 90% of Americans spend 90% of their day inside poorly ventilated structures where unprecedented types and levels of synthetic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are present, has led to the epidemic of chronic illnesses we are witnessing today. If we are to understand the extent to which these exposures contribute to the host of chronic illnesses mentioned on this website, doctors and researchers must have access to environmental medical research units— hospital-like research facilities in which people with major illnesses such as autism or autoimmune disorders, can be placed on an elimination diet in a chemically clean environment to see if their symptoms improve. If their symptoms resolve, then everyday exposures and foods can be reintroduced, one at a time. We are all so different and we respond differently to different exposures. NIEHS has an unprecedented opportunity: new approaches for assessing gene and protein expression and new brain imaging techniques can be used both before and after challenges in an EMU. We need to move forward, but not without this essential research tool—the Environmental Medical Unit (EMU). The EMU has been a priority recommendation of several professional and governmental conferences, yet still no research EMU exists in the U.S. It is time for NIEHS/NIH to add the EMU to its portfolio, so that we can all begin to understand the common dynamic shared by so many chronic, costly, and disabling medical conditions. The many excellent comments shared on this website testify to this need.

1. Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller (Wiley). May be downloaded at no charge from www.chemicalexposures.org, along with a published and validated screening questionnaire for chemical intolerance, the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI).

2. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance—an emerging theory of disease? Miller CS. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:445-453 (1997).

3. Empirical approaches for the investigation of toxicant-induced loss of
tolerance. Miller C, Ashford A, Doty R, Lamielle M, Otto D, Rahill A, Wallace L. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:515-519 (1997).

4. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller CS. Addiction 96(1):115-139 (2000).

Idea 3: A coordinated GEH network: integrating a GEH architecture

There is a need to obtain better and more coordinated local and global data collection on environmental exposures and to relate these exposures to disease outcomes. It would be of great benefit to develop a global strategic network to understand the relationship between environmental exposure and ill health.

This can be accomplished by enhancing collaborations and communications between environmental health investigators, integrating investigator-initiated research, establish and maintain partnerships, and develop community-based primary care and health services for selected vulnerable populations. This new vision is practical and would create a coordinated Global Environmental Health Network of integrated architecture. The four interrelated areas:
1,Use of new internet-based mechanisms for coordination of research, training, and public health intervention efforts; 2, Launch of a new animal model research program involving networked teams in global regions; 3, Launch of a new population-based research (biomarkers) involving networked teams to address specific diseases; and 4, Launch of a new partnership that would include existing partnerships, with, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO), Gates
Foundation, United Nations Foundation, Wallace Foundation, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, NATO, Pew Charitable Trusts, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, and the National Institutes of Health-National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases infectious disease partners consortia, and others. In developing the GEH Network and focusing our research, we need to consider the entire environmental pathway as the majority of diseases are the consequence of both environmental exposures and genetic factors. We need a better understanding of the genetic influences on environmental response to lead to more accurate estimates of disease risks and provide a basis for design of disease prevention and early interventions that will improve the environmental health of all vulnerable populations.

Idea 4: Data sharing between EPA/Office of Pesticide Programs and NIEHS

This may also extend to other portions of EPA as well.  Another organization to look at talking with would be the Animal Health Information organization in USDA for where animal health could cross over to affecting human health.

Currently EPA/OPP has a system to track incident data, data where pesticides were inadvertently or occasionally purposely inappropriately exposed to human and animal populations.  It would seem to make a lot of sense to expose our data sets to each other to mine actual health effects from exposures or where we know there is a health correlation to use the NIEHS data set to indicate where a possible unreported incident occurred.  With exposed web services and some clever technology usage, we could more readily help each other and the public understand their risks from exposures.


Comment 1

I wasn't suggesting that sharing doesn't exist, but I specifically work in OPP and know of little data sharing, particularly between information systems, that goes on.

Since you've mentioned lack of funding, I'll expand this to think of ways we can use a Lean Start-Up model to get useful information products available quickly and cheaply.

 

Comment 2
The amount of data and information sharing (and research planning and research results sharing) is substantial. To think that EPA and NIEHS do not share is uninformed.  What substantial sharing that is now on-going can, of course, be enhanced with increases in funding and personnel resources.

Idea 5: Define "the environment"

One important first step is to define what NIEHS means when it says "environment."  The environment means lots of different things to lots of different people, to some it encompasses literally everything while to others, it means very specific things.  By defining "environment" NIEHS will be able to better communicate what it means and what its priorities are, and also have an easier time prioritizing its resources.

Idea 6: EMF and children

There are still some gaps in scientific knowledge and there is a need for prioritorized further research into the effects of EMF on children (High Voltage Power Lines near homes and school). What about children living, learning and playing near Mobile base stations? Are operation guideline adequate? EMF is short for electromagnetic fields or sometimes known as electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or electromagnetic energy (EME). Electromagnetic fields are present everywhere in our environment – the earth, sun and ionosphere are all natural sources of EMF.

 

Electric and magnetic fields are part of the spectrum of electromagnetic energy which extends from static electric and magnetic fields, mains power frequencies (50/60Hz) through radiofrequency, infrared, and visible light to X-rays.

Idea 7: Environmental protection policy's effect on worldwide health

When a policy regulates an industry in the US for the purpose of protecting the health of workers or the general population, it often leads to outsourcing of the affected industries to locations with less regulation.  Although there is improvement locally, the net effect may be  negative globally due to the increase in harmful practices elsewhere.

 

Comment 1
We need to put in more Tests for Food being imported from other Countries.  3-5-11----“India bans food imports from Japan for three months or until credible information shows the radiation hazard has subsided”-----The Canadian Press

 

Comment 2
When we make decisions affecting Coal in the U.S. We have to be aware that the majority of the World dose not practice our Environmental Standards.  Last year the US Chemical Production was over 100,000,000 ton.  Sulfur comprised 40% or 40,000,000 ton.  We are living in a World of Double Standards.  Every time that I was required to recycle in business I made nothing but money.  Sulfur goes into Batteries, Matches, Rubber, Fertilizers, and Sulfa Drugs.  Maybe it is time that we put some import restrictions on Countries and Businesses that sell us Toxic Food and Pollute as a standard practice.  Double Standards are not Fair.

Idea 8: Environmental sustainability in healthcare

Healthcare itself uses a tremendous amount of fossil fuel based energy, toxins and creates an inordinate of waste.  We do understand that some of these are harmful to human health.  We do not understand alternative (less toxic) products and processes well.  NIEHS could support research in this area.

Idea 9: Finally solve the fluoridation puzzle

At a time of the foreseeable end to water fluoridation (because of severe side effects and easy availability of topical fluorides) there exists the big danger that an unscientific myth of benefits of fluoridation will remain which misleads researchers, the public and politicians even in the future.

 

The NIEHS should therefore recognize its responsibility for correcting biased or wrong views of harmful environmental pollutants like fluoride, especially in drinking water, focus on fluoridation’s alleged efficacy and initiate and fund independent research aiming at a complete solution to the fluoridation puzzle, especially by investigation of  the following not well-known aspects:

 

1. While promoters can provide a lot of papers which show reduced caries findings in fluoridated children compared to nonfluoridated ones of same age, other papers as early as of 1969 (Ziegelbecker 1969, 1970, …) show that the findings of the first fluoridation trials cannot be interpreted as a sustainable increase of teeth’s resistance against decay and that no correct assessment of a possible benefit of fluoridation can be made without information about tooth eruption.

 

2. In spite of this scientific demand for a correct assessment of fluoridation, in spite of the fact that already Hodge and Short already found tooth eruption delay by fluoride, in spite of the fact that also later papers found tooth eruption or emergence delays of magnitude 1 year and being easy to show (and substantiate this by real data - unpublished though - see Ziegelbecker jr.’s 2010 handout to the EU SCHER Committee) that 1 year delay compellingly produces (pretended) caries “reductions” of 30%, 50% or more (depending on age, compared to unfluoridated children of same age) only on the basis of less erupted teeth, each of which being younger and therefore having been exposed to caries attacks for a shorter time which “squares” the effect, there are no studies which simultaneously track changes in tooth development (emergence delay, eruption speed) and caries development.
A single study controlled for emergence delay, by which correction fluoridation’s benefit became insignificant (Komarek 2005).

 

3. Except for an analytical effort by Ziegelbecker around 1970 no one ever tried to separate the “wonderful” effects observed in the first fluoridation trials or in later fluoridation experiments into the formal components a) emergence delay, b) temporary caries delay, and c) true permanent changes in susceptibility to caries, d) changes in teeth’s susceptibility to caries due to more years or life-long fluoridation. For example, no one has ever explained why in Grand Rapids’ the 6 year olds received fluoridation’s maximum benefit after only 1 year of fluoridation, i.e. during age 5 to age 6. More than 1 year of fluoridation before age 6 apparently increased caries again.

 

4. Even without correction for emergence delay there are a number of fluoridation studies suggesting that, at least under today’s different premises, fluoride above about 0.5 ppm in water could rather be without an effect or even increase, not reduce caries (see e.g. Ziegelbecker 1981 and 1993, Osmunson 2007), while in Dean’s famous “inverse relation” of 1941/42 it can be proven by comparison with the 1933/34 data that the high caries values at low fluoride concentration must have been created by non-fluoride influences. Since high caries findings at fluoride below about 0.3 ppm occur also in other studies (e.g. Kirkeskov 2010), while in other cases caries is low under these conditions, the reason for this different behavior should be found since fighting caries susceptibility of teeth causally might be more effective.

 

5. Additionally, investigating scientists should carefully examine the experimental setup: In Grand Rapids, for example, the data of the following years were gathered only from samples, selections are possible.
By gathering caries data from children of the same level, but at different times of the year - once in autumn and once in spring - different caries levels could have been produced.
Selective publication was also very common in the 1970ies and 80ies, while today’s most challenging questions might be
a) why the only completely industry-independent, open-access scientific journal for fluoride research, “Fluoride”, has been somehow “kept away” from the unsuspecting, well-meaning scientific medical community by not listing it in Medline/medinfo, and
b) why there is not more funding of completely independent researchers by government institutions in order to finally solve the fluoridation puzzle.

 

There are independent scientists in the U.S. who would be able to do part of this work, but – in view of this large task and it’s urgency in a time when more and more side effects and overdosing of fluoride occurs  – these few who are already familiar with the problem should be financed and their work should additionally be supported by a well-financed interdisciplinary team of scientists without direct or indirect interests in promoting fluoridation, in order to compensate for the highly specific, sometimes low quality research which has not been able to establish a simultaneous investigation of tooth development and caries development as a standard until today. For further questions and literature see FLUORIDE 42(3)162-166, www.fluorideresearch.org 

Idea 10: Health costs of transportation behavior

Both people and policy makers are largely ignorant of the real health costs of our primary transportation system (motor vehicles). For example, our fuel tax is only 1/6 of the average fuel tax in other developed nations. By shielding motorists from the true costs of driving, we effectively encourage and subsidize behaviors that increase risks for traumatic injuries, asthma, obesity, heart disease, depression, etc. Research comparing the actual health consequences and costs of conventional and alternative transportation behavior could guide rational choices, both at the individual and social policy level.


Comment

The Fuel for our Cars and Electrical Generation is about 20—40% Energy Efficient.  Our Car Engines are 18-24% Energy Efficient.  Our Country is over 52% Powered by Coal/Steam. The Coal/Steam Plants are between 10-25% Energy Efficient.  I would like to see a major push to make the Gas Car Engine 75% Energy Efficient.  I would like to see our Coal/Steam/Electric be 85% Energy Efficient.  If we can achieve those goals we would reduce over 50-70% of the Toxic Emissions.  The Health Benefits Speak for themselves.

Idea 11: Health effects caused by environmental contamination

Idea is to study geographical populations having known issues with, and discovery of NEW clusters of: diabetes, pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, {in adults}, and autism, and specific brain tumors, and juvenile onset diabetes {in children}, and  to study feasibility of inclusion of health status of households during the Census. Simply put, when the Census Takers distribute the forms door to door, have them also give out a "Health Evaluation" form listing the health status of all family members, and persons living in the household. A person living in the household would be designated to fill out a simple form listing the occupants of the household and check boxes beside the specific diseases listed above, denoting presence or absence of these diseases in individual households. Information would have to be gathered also on how long individuals with sickness have lived in the household and a listing of previous residences of the impacted individuals. {A listing of previous residences would be required due to the now, well known time lag between exposure and the diagnosis of these diseases, sometimes, up to ten years}.This information would then be required with the Census, submitted, and reviewed, for clusters of these specific diseases, and analyzed for inclusion in a public database developed by Information Technology experts. The purpose is to map clusters of specific diseases of unknown etiology in an effort to determine the cause. It is much easier to find a CURE if you know the CAUSE. Also, this brings about a fairly new concept regarding these specific diseases... THEY MAY BE PREVENTABLE. Think of the money that could be saved if cancer was determined to have been PREVENTABLE. The idea of this type of statistical analysis is very new to public health officials and the medical community in general. The medical world has only very recently come to realize the importance of monitoring this kind of information, and the "cluster" concept as presented by the EPA needs to be revised. Obviously.  Please reference: http://home.earthlink.net/~diabetestype1/ 

 

This is a new website showing how much could be learned by the proposed analysis of this specific information. The result would be quite dramatic, and I predict... quite revealing. There really is no telling how much could be learned from a thorough evaluation of this kind of data!  Inclusion of this information WITH THE CENSUS would be the cheapest, most reliable way for the government to gather and review this kind of information, AND I WANT A PART IN THIS PROPOSED RESEARCH.

 

Comment 1

NEED TO CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE:
http://home.earthlink.net/~diabetestype1/

 

Comment 2
I agree

When you buy a house you should be given a full disclosure of all Clusters of Cancers and other Diseases.   I would like to see a service where you can find out the amount of Radon, Mold and other Toxic Chemicals in your Community.  If you are buying a house next to major industry---I would like to see a report of Clusters of Diseases that could be linked to that Industry.

Idea 12: Healthy environments improve outcomes and reduce cost of care

Address national crisis over escalating cost of health care with new longer-term community-based research and evidence from natural experiments that identifies improved outcomes in clinical management of asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and cost savings from reduced care and Rx needed and complications averted, due to health-supportive physical environments (air quality, neighborhood walkability, access to healthy food, etc.)


Comment

"The research proposals on this website focus on possible environmental causes of autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity/intolerance, military veterans ‘illnesses, as well as individuals who report symptoms associated with oil spills, fracking, hazardous waste sites, various community exposures, dioxin, home remodeling, poor indoor air quality, mold, pesticide use, and myriad other environmental exposures. But, in fact, individuals with these seemingly unrelated exposures and multi-system health problems share a great deal in common: their multi-system symptoms are often triggered by every day, low-level chemical exposures. Many also report adverse reactions to foods, medications, alcoholic beverages and/or caffeine. Dr. Nicholas Ashford of MIT and I first described this phenomenon 15 years ago. Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) is the name we gave to the underlying dynamic. It involves a two-step process whereby an initial acute or chronic toxic exposure causes loss of tolerance for everyday exposures. These new-onset intolerances perpetuate the disease process. We described how low-level exposures to common chemicals, foods, and medications may be the driving force behind the increased incidence of many hitherto unexplained medical symptoms and how masking—resulting from overlapping responses to multiple incidents—obscures the fact that everyday exposures can perpetuate illness. These concepts arose from reports by physicians, researchers and patients from more than a dozen industrialized nations. Collectively, their observations provide evidence that toxicant-induced loss of tolerance may be a new theory of disease. Currently, we are at the germ theory stage in terms of our understanding of this phenomenon. Well-founded theories—those based on careful observation, as in the case of the germ theory—are vital for developing shared scientific understanding and igniting future research.

 

In summary, it appears we are dealing with a two-stage disease process: (1) loss of tolerance resulting from an acute or chronic exposure event, followed by (2) repeated triggering of symptoms by everyday exposures, such as gasoline vapors, engine exhaust, fragrances or cleaning agents—exposures which had not been a problem for the person previously. This phenomenon became increasingly common with the widespread introduction of synthetic organic chemicals following WW II. This, coupled with the fact that 90% of Americans spend 90% of their day inside poorly ventilated structures where unprecedented types and levels of synthetic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are present, has led to the epidemic of chronic illnesses we are witnessing today. If we are to understand the extent to which these exposures contribute to the host of chronic illnesses mentioned on this website, doctors and researchers must have access to environmental medical research units— hospital-like research facilities in which people with major illnesses such as autism or autoimmune disorders, can be placed on an elimination diet in a chemically clean environment to see if their symptoms improve. If their symptoms resolve, then everyday exposures and foods can be reintroduced, one at a time. We are all so different and we respond differently to different exposures. NIEHS has an unprecedented opportunity: new approaches for assessing gene and protein expression and new brain imaging techniques can be used both before and after challenges in an EMU. We need to move forward, but not without this essential research tool—the Environmental Medical Unit (EMU). The EMU has been a priority recommendation of several professional and governmental conferences, yet still no research EMU exists in the U.S. It is time for NIEHS/NIH to add the EMU to its portfolio, so that we can all begin to understand the common dynamic shared by so many chronic, costly, and disabling medical conditions. The many excellent comments shared on this website testify to this need.

 

  1. Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller (Wiley). May be downloaded at no charge from www.chemicalexposures.org, along with a published and validated screening questionnaire for chemical intolerance, the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI).
  2. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance—an emerging theory of disease? Miller CS. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:445-453 (1997).
  3. Empirical approaches for the investigation of toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller C, Ashford A, Doty R, Lamielle M, Otto D, Rahill A, Wallace L. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:515-519 (1997).
  4. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller CS. Addiction 96(1):115-139 (2000).

Idea 13: Include environmental health in the national prevention strategy

A National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy is being developed by the  National Prevention, Promotion, and Public Health Council chaired by the U.S. Surgeon General. The strategy seeks to emphasize an approach centered on prevention and wellness to reduce the burden of the leading causes of death and disability, with actions grounded in science-based prevention recommendations and guidelines.  Our environment is a significant determinant in health and wellness, and it is vital that environmental health research is translated into science-based prevention recommendations and guidelines that can be used to build and update this strategy.  The goal is to reduce the burden and to prevent diseases, disabilities, and illnesses for which there is an environmental cause or contributor.

Idea 14: Inflammation, cancer and genetic polymorphism

The association between chronic inflammatory conditions and the development of cancer in inflamed tissues is well established from epidemiological data. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, chemicals in the diet and polluted environments, drugs, estrogen-like compounds, viruses and bacteria can induce the inflammatory response and subsequent malignant transformation of tissues. The impact of human polymorphisms or variations in genes that govern the inflammatory response and the development of inflammation-related diseases is not well understood and deserves more attention than it is receiving.

 

For example, it has been suggested that cytokine gene polymorphisms affects the development of gastrointestinal malignancies associated with chronic inflammation caused by H. pylori. Why does one person develop a disease while another exposed to the same environmental hazards does not? This is a key question that, if resolved, could help to identify those who are genetically predisposed to disease caused by environmental factors and thus contribute to the prevention of debilitating diseases such as cancer.

Idea 15: Inform the general public of NIEH research findings

Adults as well as children need to be informed of NIEH research findings and implications. Use all means of outreach and different kinds of media to inform the public of what they need to know in order to make better daily decisions and better understand how our choices impact the environment in good ways and bad.


Comment

This comment can be offered for any governmental program that has within its remit public information, not solely NIEHS. It is incumbent upon the public to educate itself so as to be able to seek out and read all of the types of information available from government.  The NIEHS and other agencies prepare and release for "public" understanding a vast array of information and data.  The public, unfortunately, show little real interest in understanding a problem until it has become an overwhelming problem.

Idea 16: Inform general public where Agent Orange herbicides were used

A public data base be developed to IDENTIFY all locations where AGENT ORANGE HERBICDES WHICH INCLUDES ALL THE RAINBOW VARIETIES, I.E. AGENT WHITE, AGENT BLUE, AGENT PIINK, etc. WERE USED, TESTED, DEVELOPED AND MANUFACTURED by locations map to be used as an overlay for disease outbreaks, cancers, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, etc. THIS DATA BASE SHOULD BE BOTH PUBLIC RECORD AND ALSO IDENITFY MILITARY BASES which used this using VETERANS TESTIMONY, MILITARY DEPENDENTS TESTIMONY, CONGRESS, DOD, VA, BUSINESS EMPLOYEES OF MANUFACTURERS OF THES DIOXINS.


Comment 1
Information about Toxic Chemicals in the Community should given to all Medical Doctors.  When a Patient sees their Medical Doctor they will also give their Address of where they Work and Where they Live.  The Doctor will enter all that information into Their Computer and a Print Out of all Toxic Chemical Clusters and Public Records will be Printed Out.  What a Wonderful Tool in treating a Patient.

 

Comment 2
Sharing of chemical exposure, chemical manufacturer, chemical burn pits, chemical disposal methods, chemical use in communities, in addition to the above comment by MRKRUSS and also health department entries along with public school health records as well as regional research programs that involved chemical exposure diseases, etc.

 

Comment 3
tkerker6897_1said: the more information the more we may understand problems from the exposer

 

Comment 4
I like the data base idea. My father was USAF as well. My mother was diagnosed with SLE Lupus as well as Huntington's Disease. No one before her or since has had these. SLE Lupus, an autoimmune disease can be environmental induced. I, too, have a poor immune system that no one can explain as well as unstable angina and an odd valve in my heart but since it has not caused severe problems, I leave it alone.

 

Comment 5
The data base is a good idea, but will be dependent on the government to provide all locations where AO was used, stored, tested, developed, and manufactured.  Despite hard copy evidence in USAF documents, and photographs the DOD and USAF are denying AO was at some locations, like Guam, and the Panama Canal area.  What can you do about that data?  Will you include it, or not?

 

Comment 6
I lived in Panama Canal Zone from age 4 to first grade. I did not realize they had AO on our USAFB. That explains a lot.

 

Comment 7
I think this is a GREAT idea!  I would be interested to know if this caused my husband's bad skin conditions since he was born and raised on Guam.  My only concern is how forthcoming the government and businesses would be but if there is a way to get accurate information I am all about it!

 

Comment 8
It will take a class action suit to make them forthcoming as no one wants to be sued. The companies will pressure Washington, etc. The only other way is to get a Congressional Hearing going, like they did for BP oil spill...then there will be openness. This will take a Democratic leader under a Democratic president who advocates transparency. Strategy wise, it would be best after or just before a presidential election. probably after. right now budgets are tight and everyone is focusing on jobs and money.

 

Comment 9
THE GENERAL PUBLIC WOULD BE THOSE AFFECTED BY LIVING NEAR MILITAY BASES, BUT ALSO THOSE WITH MILITARY FAMILY MEMBERS, EX FAMILY MEMBERS WITH CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN/GREAT GRAND CHILDREN DIRECTLY DESCENDED FROM AO EXOSED VETERANS AND OR MILITARY DEPENDENTS DIRECTLY EXPOSED. THEREFORE NOT ONLY WOULD THOSE LIVING NEAR MILITARY BASES/FACILITIES BUT THOSE RELATED TO IN DESCENDENCY OVER THE LAST FIFTY YEARS. NOW THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH GENERATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES. ALSO AGRICULATURE COMMUNITIES AND DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION AREAS WHICH MAY HAVE USED AGENT ORANGE HERBICDES LIKE WHICH HAS HAPPENED IN CANADA


Back to top Back to top

Idea 17: Interdisciplinary research to address complex EH issues

Interdisciplinary research that integrates environmental health sciences with related environmental science and engineering disciplines (geochemical, ecological sciences, etc.). The model is the NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP). The goal to improve public health by supporting integrative, multidisciplinary research incorporating the following: 1.) advanced techniques for the detection, assessment, and evaluation of the effect of hazardous substances on human health; 2.) methods to assess the risks to human health presented by hazardous substances; 3.) methods and technologies to detect hazardous substances in the environment; and 4.) basic biological, chemical, and physical methods to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances. The SRP is an outstanding model that could be used to address a number of complex environmental health related issues. NIEHS has a reputation for developing
similar, yet focused, extramurally supported research programs, but it is important to broaden its constituency as environmental health is broad-based.


Comment 1

Greater interdisciplinary cooperation, collaboration, and communication is the basis for the One Health concept, which recognizes that the health of people, animals, and our environment are inextricably linked. One Health is defined as the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines--working locally, nationally, and globally--- to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. Fostering greater One Health multi -disciplinary collaborations will provide for more effective and efficient approach to solving environmental health challenges, and should be implemented not only in research, but also in education, clinical medicine, and public health practice.

 

Comment 2
A plethora of such interdisciplinary research is going on already. In fact, it can now be seen as the norm.

Idea 18: Learn from other public health efforts

NIEHS should examine the historical public health campaigns around tobacco (smoking cessation), lead (abatement in gasoline and paint), etc. to see what was successful in leading to limiting these exposures. What are the impacts we may have a lot of scientific information on but may not be as comfortable moving to policy? There is a lot of research already done by NIEHS that should be mined for public health policy.


Comment

Very Well Put.


We have great amounts of information regarding Lead Poisoning and Cigarette Smoking and the effects.   Sometimes great Vision is not to “Reinvent the Wheel”.  Great Vision is to sometimes state the Simple Research of the Day and Save thousands of Lives.    

Idea 19: Multidisciplinary system science approaches and methodologies

An emphasis on the application of multidisciplinary system science approaches and methodologies to address the disparities that exist in communities of color with respect to the disproportionate effects resulting from exposure to environmental pollutants.  That is to say that programmatic mechanisms must be designed which seek to proactively identify solutions to public health and health care systems problems thereby contributing knowledge that will enhance Con’effective decision making around the development of and prioritization of policies, interventions, and programs that result in improved health for the affected vulnerable and susceptible populations.

Idea 20: New generation of activist and preventing deaths at the workplace

We need to 1) consciously and systematically development of a new generation h/s and environmental health advocates who are both good technically and who understand the broader issues involved; 2) develop more exacting research on causes and prevention of workplace deaths and other catastrophic events.


Comment 1

Workers across the US face unsafe conditions each day.  Employers have address hazards in many workplaces, but leave many unchecked and tell workers to 'work safely'. When injured workers are blamed. 



NIEHS is a major force in worker training via WETP.  The need exists for additional focus on the causes of fatalities and occupational disease as well as the push to develop those who will continue to push these issues in their workplaces in the years to come.

 

Comment 2
It's time workers had a true voice in their health and safety on the job.  That can only happen when workers become knowledgeable about the hazards they deal with and the basic causes of incidents.  Today companies spend more effort convincing their workers that accidents are the workers' fault because of the workers' behaviors than they do educating them on workplace hazards or making design changes that will eliminate those hazards.

We don't need just a new generation of H&S activists but a generation of Worker H&S Activists.  People with a true knowledge of the job or process, what its problems are and a real interest in getting things fixed.  Only then will a worker feel confident that he or she will be able to go home at the end of their shift just as whole and healthy as when they arrived. 

 

Comment 3
We need to teach our young workers what it is and how to health and safety activists.  No only the technical skills but the organizing skills to get their co-workers behind each and every issue.  Without the support of other workers, young activists will feel overwhelmed.  With this activism in the workplace, we all will be able to work toward the reduction of catastrophic or fatal incidents in our workplaces.

 

Comment 4
In past history too many movements have started, grown and then faded into the sunset. One of the main reasons this happens is because the leaders have failed to make room for the next generation. The "us 4, no more, shut the door" mentality is an easy trap that ensnares far to many institutions. To sustain a movement two things are required 1)Experience 2)New Ideas. To achieve both of these objectives it will take planning, effort, and leadership, it will not just happen.

 

Comment 5
today there unfortunately is a growing trend of the push for a need in production. Coming off one of the worst recessions in history employers are not giving good comprehensive training in either health and safety issues or worker performance so now we have untrained workers working in dangerous environments with out being fully trained in anything and telling them they have to meet production goals its a disaster waiting to happen we must force employers to recognize that a health intelligent properly trained work force is there very best resource

 

Comment 6
It is of utmost importance to educate our young workers on every aspect of health and safety and activism. Passing the torch of activism from generation to generation is the foundation of workplace safety. Starting with the young worker and developing the shop floor worker activist from the early days of one's career will improve the culture for workers for generations to come. Engaging all workers to work collectively to eliminate hazards using their knowledge of the workplace will hopefully lead to fewer fatalities, injuries, and suffering for workers and their families now and in the future.

 

Comment 7
Todays work force have been denied the hands on training of old and thrown into their jobs with the bare minimum training to get the job done.


Long gone are the days when the older more experienced worker, would take the younger worker under his or her wing .

 

Transferring the skills and knowledge that they have developed, through their years of experience and training they received.

 

Now that chain has been broken, with inexperienced supervision fresh out of school that have no job experience, pressuring workers with the new style training. Our work force would be lost without the training the USW and the NIEHS have developed, to train the workers and the worker trainers to teach and help develop the safety skills and knowledge to keep workers safe. That’s why its so important we continue the new chain of training and knowledge, for the workers from the workers . One worker with the proper knowledge, skills and passion will not only keep himself safe but all those around them.

Idea 21: NIEHS is the National Institute for Prevention

NIEHS fulfills its primary role of preventing disease and disorder by supporting state-of-the-art research on the health effects of environmental exposures.

Comment

To understand the health effects of environmental exposures, one must understand the interaction of genetic susceptibilities with environmental triggers.

Idea 22: Positive effects of natural environments

Researchers around the world have in increasing numbers begun to address the possibility that experiences and activities in natural environments can promote physical and mental health. A growing amount of experimental, survey and epidemiological research is converging on claims that active and passive recreation in parks, urban greenspaces, beaches, wilderness areas and other natural settings can promote health through intertwined pathways of stress reduction, physical activity, and the promotion of social contacts. The European Union's 7th framework research funding program recently included a call for proposals on medium-sized projects on this topic. A recently published book (Forests, trees and human health: Springer Publishers) presents the work of a 4-year network project (funded by the European Science Foundation) that brought together some 160 researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss the ways in which activities and experiences in natural environments can serve health.

Idea 23: Prevention and sustainability

Preserving and promoting health as we address economic and environmental sustainability will be one of the greatest health challenge of the 21st century. NIEHS should take a leading role in research to cultivate sustainability and public health, which includes health impacts of energy production, green chemistry, and climate change.

Idea 24: Prioritizing toxic environmental triggers

Focus on the highest priority toxicants based on likelihood of exposure, cumulative exposures and toxicity (ATSDR list) and create plans of action to reduce those exposures before studying the 1000’s of new chemicals that “might” be a problem.  Successful plans of action will inform future research and interventions for the less common chemicals.

Idea 25: Public health

Prevention is important, but the bigger topic is Public Health.  NIEHS should steer itself explicitly toward the improvement of public health.  Prevention is a part of this, but Public Health is the bigger goal.


Comment 1

Historically public health strategies have been much cheaper and more effective when they are based directly on a fundamental understanding of the underlying biology.

 

Comment 2
Should NIEHS focus on public health as impacted by exposure to known and suspected toxicants, as impacted by behaviors, or as impacted by health services?  Each area is important, but which aspect should be specifically addressed by THIS institute?

Idea 26: Public health means prevention

My idea is that as a public health institute, NIEHS should consider prevention as the cornerstone and primary motivation of all of its activities including research, outreach, and training.


Comment 1

Preventing exposure is our most powerful mechanism to prevent environmental health disorders. However, to prevent exposure we must first identify the environmental chemicals that are responsible for our increased susceptibility to various disorders. Identifying those chemicals will require much better biological assays than we have currently. Creating those assays will require additional basic research. Hence the continuing validity of the adage, "stronger science for stronger policy."

 

Comment 2
We've already identified many environmental (and behavioral) factors associated with disease.  The next question is should NIEHS address behavioral issues that increase exposure to toxicants?

 

Comment 3
This concept should be the foundation of the NIH.  "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Prevention does not have the monetary support of selling a product and is underfunded. 

Inventing more toxic chemicals for pharmaceutical companies to profit is still needed, but should be funded by big Pharma and not NIH.

 

Comment 4
Unfortunately, our Public Health institutions, both at the local level and the federal level, believe that "prevention" equals vaccinations and fluoridation, rather than nutrition and sunshine.  They refuse to question their own policies and practices, even to the exclusion of a landslide of scientific evidence.  In the US, "prevention" is the word that is used to force or coerce citizens to buy products and services (vaccines, fluoride, statin drugs, mammograms...to touch only the tip of the massive iceberg) that generate enormous corporate profits, which wouldn't be so bad if they actually worked and did no harm.  But that isn't the case.  In this country the selling of so-called "preventative medicine" has become so perverted and corrupt that it blinds even good doctors to fall into step with the massive marketing machine, without questioning who conducted the studies to support that product or service in the first place, nor questioning why their patients don't get better.

 

Comment 5
Right on, Audrey.

Prevention is as much "not doing" as it is "doing" something.  Prevention is mostly education for life style changes.

In our capitalistic system, emphasis is on "selling" something such as supplements to supplement a bad diet. 

Just talked to a State Dental Public Health Director and he said, "I do whatever I want to do. I don't pay any attention to the law unless a judge tells me different."   In other words, without any concern for liability, because he has no personal liability, the Dentist can do or promote anything he wants. 

In my public health Master's Degree, one teacher said as a public health official we were to promote what we were told to promote regardless of our opinion of the science.  I asked if that ment we had to promote tobacco smoking if our employer told us to and the professor answered, "yes." I changed professions.  Might as well have a robot public health director instead of a human. 

Your example of fluoride is excellent.  More people lose their teeth from periodontal disease than decay.  A good diet and careful cleaning prevents both dental caries and periodontal disease. . . and a host of other diseases.  Topical fluoride shows some benefit but ingesting fluoride is not recommended by most European dental associations and benefits are highly controversial with many studies showing no benefit.

A good diet, exercise, clean air, clean water, and hygiene are the foundations of preventive health care. 

NIEHS should focus on making sure the public is not subjected to pollution, chemicals, illegal drugs such as fluoride, and any public health supplement or industrial chemicals without consent.

 

Comment 6
I agree with this. However, "Clinical-trial" quality interventions to prove that an environmental intervention works to prevent or reduce disease is so costly though that our Institute will need to partner with other Institutes and agencies and plan this work carefully.  If we want to position ourselves as the prevention institute, we also need to get a better handle on the direct and indirect costs of preventions in terms of mortality, morbidity, hospital admissions, school/work absences, and costs of premature deaths and disabilities. 

Idea 27: Research the effect of climate change on public health

Prioritize research that can provide the public more information about the predicted effects of climate change and resulting weather, meso- and micro-climate changes on habitability, food production, and other basic needs for human life and human health.

Idea 28: Study on families of veterans

No study has been done on the lasting effects of those who come home ill from combat with ptsd or other diseases/illnesses related to the environment the troop is returning from, and how the family is affected emotionally and physically.  As well the community aspect of those returning and how it affects the various communities within a community; police, health departments, schools, etc.  As a result the families suffer long term which in turn creates many issues within society in general.

Idea 29: Study positive environmental factors as well

Almost everything that NIEHS studies relate to environmental risk factors for disease; exposures that are detrimental to health outcomes or increase disease risk.  If we really want to make our mark as the prevention institute, we should study positive environmental factors as well.

Idea 30: Taking another look at the things we've always thought were safe

NIEHS and NTP should spend some more time and effort looking at exsposures in our everyday environment which have been ongoing since the early 1900's... but never actually tested for safety with modern techniques and technologies.


Comment 1

On one hand, I think this is a good idea, as it could improve the health of many people even one such factor was identified.

On the other, though, most of the things we think are safe, and have used for a long time, probably are. If they weren't, we probably would have noticed them by now, as we did with, say, asbestos. So, if there are hidden dangers from everyday things, they are probably relatively minor dangers.

 

Comment 2
Absolutely correct. 

Our biggest problem is not what we don't know, but what we think is correct and is wrong. 

For example, as a dentist, like the CDC, I used to think fluoridation was safe and effective, but ingesting fluoride is neither safe nor effective in reducing dental caries. The negative economic impact is huge.

Idea 31: Toxic insults to mothers and infants

Identify toxic environmental exposures that are avoidable and study the ways to reduce toxic exposures that are most likely to improve maternal and infant health.


Comment

The research proposals on this website focus on possible environmental causes of autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity/intolerance, military veterans ‘illnesses, as well as individuals who report symptoms associated with oil spills, fracking, hazardous waste sites, various community exposures, dioxin, home remodeling, poor indoor air quality, mold, pesticide use, and myriad other environmental exposures. But, in fact, individuals with these seemingly unrelated exposures and multi-system health problems share a great deal in common: their multi-system symptoms are often triggered by every day, low-level chemical exposures. Many also report adverse reactions to foods, medications, alcoholic beverages and/or caffeine. Dr. Nicholas Ashford of MIT and I first described this phenomenon 15 years ago. Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) is the name we gave to the underlying dynamic. It involves a two-step process whereby an initial acute or chronic toxic exposure causes loss of tolerance for everyday exposures. These new-onset intolerances perpetuate the disease process. We described how low-level exposures to common chemicals, foods, and medications may be the driving force behind the increased incidence of many hitherto unexplained medical symptoms and how masking—resulting from overlapping responses to multiple incidents—obscures the fact that everyday exposures can perpetuate illness. These concepts arose from reports by physicians, researchers and patients from more than a dozen industrialized nations. Collectively, their observations provide evidence that toxicant-induced loss of tolerance may be a new theory of disease. Currently, we are at the germ theory stage in terms of our understanding of this phenomenon. Well-founded theories—those based on careful observation, as in the case of the germ theory—are vital for developing shared scientific understanding and igniting future research.

In summary, it appears we are dealing with a two-stage disease process: (1) loss of tolerance resulting from an acute or chronic exposure event, followed by (2) repeated triggering of symptoms by everyday exposures, such as gasoline vapors, engine exhaust, fragrances or cleaning agents—exposures which had not been a problem for the person previously. This phenomenon became increasingly common with the widespread introduction of synthetic organic chemicals following WW II. This, coupled with the fact that 90% of Americans spend 90% of their day inside poorly ventilated structures where unprecedented types and levels of synthetic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are present, has led to the epidemic of chronic illnesses we are witnessing today. If we are to understand the extent to which these exposures contribute to the host of chronic illnesses mentioned on this website, doctors and researchers must have access to environmental medical research units— hospital-like research facilities in which people with major illnesses such as autism or autoimmune disorders, can be placed on an elimination diet in a chemically clean environment to see if their symptoms improve. If their symptoms resolve, then everyday exposures and foods can be reintroduced, one at a time. We are all so different and we respond differently to different exposures. NIEHS has an unprecedented opportunity: new approaches for assessing gene and protein expression and new brain imaging techniques can be used both before and after challenges in an EMU. We need to move forward, but not without this essential research tool—the Environmental Medical Unit (EMU). The EMU has been a priority recommendation of several professional and governmental conferences, yet still no research EMU exists in the U.S. It is time for NIEHS/NIH to add the EMU to its portfolio, so that we can all begin to understand the common dynamic shared by so many chronic, costly, and disabling medical conditions. The many excellent comments shared on this website testify to this need.

1. Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller (Wiley). May be downloaded at no charge from www.chemicalexposures.org, along with a published and validated screening questionnaire for chemical intolerance, the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI).

2. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance—an emerging theory of disease? Miller CS. Environmental Health Perspectives: vole 105 Sup 2:445-453 (1997). 

3. Empirical approaches for the investigation of toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller C, Ashford A, Doty R, Lamella M, Otto D, Rahall A, Wallace L. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:515-519 (1997).

4. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller CS. Addiction 96(1):115-139 (2000).

Idea 32: Understanding relationship to foods, health, and the environment

Not enough research is done on these areas and thier relationship to each other. All sectors of the population need better education concerning these matters.


Comment 1

the increased prevalence of food allergies in children is one example of where/how more focus is needed.

 

Comment 2
Many people have food Allergies.  Others have Auto Immune Responses to Foods.  We need to test all our Foods to see the possible effects to the Community and to the Person eating the food.  Many of us are Eating Fast Foods Diets and don’t know the effects of this Food on our Own Bodies.

The Emergency is the Lack of Knowledge of the Foods that we consume.  

 

Comment 3
The research proposals on this website focus on possible environmental causes of autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity/intolerance, military veterans’ illnesses, as well as individuals who report symptoms associated with oil spills, fracking, hazardous waste sites, various community exposures, dioxin, home remodeling, poor indoor air quality, mold, pesticide use, and myriad other environmental exposures. But, in fact, individuals with these seemingly unrelated exposures and multi-system health problems share a great deal in common: their multi-system symptoms are often triggered by every day, low-level chemical exposures. Many also report adverse reactions to foods, medications, alcoholic beverages and/or caffeine. Dr. Nicholas Ashford of MIT and I first described this phenomenon 15 years ago. Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) is the name we gave to the underlying dynamic. It involves a two-step process whereby an initial acute or chronic toxic exposure causes loss of tolerance for everyday exposures. These new-onset intolerances perpetuate the disease process. We described how low-level exposures to common chemicals, foods, and medications may be the driving force behind the increased incidence of many hitherto unexplained medical symptoms and how masking—resulting from overlapping responses to multiple incitants—obscures the fact that everyday exposures can perpetuate illness. These concepts arose from reports by physicians, researchers and patients from more than a dozen industrialized nations. Collectively, their observations provide evidence that toxicant-induced loss of tolerance may be a new theory of disease. Currently, we are at the germ theory stage in terms of our understanding of this phenomenon. Well-founded theories—those based on careful observation, as in the case of the germ theory—are vital for developing shared scientific understanding and igniting future research.

In summary, it appears we are dealing with a two-stage disease process: (1) loss of tolerance resulting from an acute or chronic exposure event, followed by (2) repeated triggering of symptoms by everyday exposures, such as gasoline vapors, engine exhaust, fragrances or cleaning agents—exposures which had not been a problem for the person previously. This phenomenon became increasingly common with the widespread introduction of synthetic organic chemicals following WW II. This, coupled with the fact that 90% of Americans spend 90% of their day inside poorly ventilated structures where unprecedented types and levels of synthetic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) are present, has led to the epidemic of chronic illnesses we are witnessing today. If we are to understand the extent to which these exposures contribute to the host of chronic Con’tillnesses mentioned on this website, doctors and researchers must have access to environmental medical research units— hospital-like research facilities in which people with major illnesses such as autism or autoimmune disorders, can be placed on an elimination diet in a chemically clean environment to see if their symptoms improve. If their symptoms resolve, then everyday exposures and foods can be reintroduced, one at a time. We are all so different and we respond differently to different exposures. NIEHS has an unprecedented opportunity: new approaches for assessing gene and protein expression and new brain imaging techniques can be used both before and after challenges in an EMU. We need to move forward, but not without this essential research tool—the Environmental Medical Unit (EMU). The EMU has been a priority recommendation of several professional and governmental conferences, yet still no research EMU exists in the U.S. It is time for NIEHS/NIH to add the EMU to its portfolio, so that we can all begin to understand the common dynamic shared by so many chronic, costly, and disabling medical conditions. The many excellent comments shared on this website testify to this need.

 

1. Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes by Nicholas A. Ashford and Claudia S. Miller (Wiley). May be downloaded at no charge from www.chemicalexposures.org, along with a published and validated screening questionnaire for chemical intolerance, the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI).

2. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance—an emerging theory of disease? Miller CS. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:445-453 (1997).

3. Empirical approaches for the investigation of toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller C, Ashford A, Doty R, Lamielle M, Otto D, Rahill A, Wallace L. Environmental Health Perspectives: vol 105 Supp 2:515-519 (1997).

4. Toxicant-induced loss of tolerance. Miller CS. Addiction 96(1):115-139 (2000).

Idea 33: Use long human experience to understand herbal supplements

Dietary supplements and herbal medicines currently under evaluation by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) include bitter orange, black cohosh, butterbur, Dong quai, evening primrose oil, valerian, ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, goldenseal root, green tea extract, kava kava extract, and milk thistle extract. For some of these substances, testing – often involving thousands of animals – is completed or nearly completed while for others, testing is at a preliminary stage with future animal tests projected. Many of these substances have a long history of safe and widespread use in traditional medicines with few reported incidences of adverse effects. NTP generally discounts this wealth of human experience, however, focusing instead on one or two laboratory studies reporting questionable results as was recently the case for butterbur, Dong quai, evening primrose oil and valerian. We call for the suspension of animal testing on dietary supplements and herbal medicines by NTP and these substances and for their reevaluation on a weight-of-evidence basis giving due consideration to existing human experience.

Idea 34: Use metagenomics to monitor environments and prevent diseases

Metagenomics has emerged as a powerful tool to monitor environmental changes by analyzing DNA of microbial genomes in environmental samples from a specific environment. NIEHS should develop a program that the uses metagenomics to conduct a large-scale annual survey study of environmental changes and disease association, which may be the best way to prevent environmental related diseases.

Idea 35: Vaccine abroad protect us

Vaccine is the most important contribution of XX century, more important than antibiotics, but vacination it does not work in we do not reach, at least the 75 % of our neighbors.


It is very important to make a vacinations campaings where the disease begins to spread in order to prevent reach us.  And if the disease reach us is very important that people accept to be vacinated to protect each other.


Comment 1

Joan,

I respectfully disagree.  There are many questions of concern about not only the efficacy of some vaccinations but also the safety. 
For example, several years ago I was on a school board when we had an outbreak of pertussis.  About a third of the children were not vaccinated and a statistically virtually impossible event happened, only the vaccinated children got pertussis. Of the more than a hundred children getting sick, not one was without vaccine. 

Did the health departments and company fully investigate?  No. 

Did anyone report on the failure of the vaccine or the cause of the outbreak?  No.

When I was young we had a hand full of vaccinations, not kids get over 50 and the manufacturers have no liability for errors.  No liability if the vaccine doesn't work.  No liability or responsibility to investigate failures of the vaccine or whether the vaccine is causing the disease.  Yes, one of my friends limps around because the polio vaccine had live viruses and he got polio from the vaccination. 

A big problem is that many of the diseases were decreasing without vaccination and we don't know whether it was the vaccine which helped reduce the disease or whether it was the vaccination.  The big problem is so many people simply "believe" rather than demand science to ensure cause effect.

NIEHS really doesn't have anything to do with vaccinations (I don't think), but they do have responsibility over chemicals added to the environment in an attempt to prevent disease.  Mass medication without consent should be rigorously and constantly reviewed.

 

Comment 2
I'm not convinced that this topic belongs in this forum, but it begs to be responded to:

My son got the measles exactly 10 days after the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine. The doctor called it a "vaccine reaction" and later said that he shouldn't get and didn't need the followup booster entering 6th grade because "he already would have full immunity" from having gotten the measles. 

My sister-in-law got the measles as a college student even though she was fully vaccinated as a child.  Vaccines carry many risks---such as getting the disease itself FROM the vaccine and not having the expected immune protection from the disease.  There are many more long term risks from vaccines, including seizures, neurological injury, permanent disability and death. 

Anyone who wants to get their own jab, go ahead, but don't expect others to follow your lead just because you say so.

Idea 36: Will the federal HIT strategic plan work?

If you have a pulse, then you are stakeholder in the Federal Health Information Strategic Plan that is open for public comment until April 22nd, 2011. As a Health Informatics professional, I am knee-deep in jargon and propaganda from professional association discussions and media coverage. "The Plan"  took a considerable amount of time to come together and contains a lot of buzz words like "meaningful use" which is one of may issues covered in the plan but the fact that it took so long to agree on the meaning of "meaningful use" provides a microcosmic example over complicated Healthcare environment.

What about our privacy? Everyone will know about that "rash" you got during Spring Break 1992! Internet Pirates from all over the world will steal your medical identity and use it to get drugs and trade them for weapons of mass destruction. On the other hand, there is a lot of talk about incentives and in this economy who could turn down the opportunity to be incentivized, granted, or funded. We are creating jobs! We need jobs! Where have all of the Jobs gone?

Like it or not, we will all have to face our fears and put our hopes in check while we figure out how to make Healthcare stop killing us. No pressure.

After hearing the endless opinions of IT, Health IT, Clinical, Public Health, and Healthcare Finance professionals, I noticed the deafening silence of the party that's paying for this strategic plan. That's where you come in. I am preparing a public comment to submit to the Office of the National  Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) but I did not feel I can make a complete statement without getting a fix on public opinion. After all, I am a healthcare consumer with baby-boomer parents and small children so I have some very definite opinions and concerns about "the plan". My personal views are often in direct opposition to the hand that feeds me.

 

What are your concerns?

Idea 37: A world without diesel fuel

Minimize Power-Sources&Return to more Natural Way of Living


Comment

I don’t think that we will do away with Diesel Fuel in the coming Years.  What we need to do is to come with a way to eliminate 80% of the Toxins.

Back to Top