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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

pollution kills 12.6 million per year

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Dutch Josh View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 07 2017 at 4:54am
DJ sealevelrise will worsen the situation.Most urban regions are close to the sea.

http://who.int/bulletin/volumes/95/1/16-189225.pdf

There are many compelling reasons why we need to clean up the global environment. One of the most pressing is that a polluted environment is a deadly one. Every year, almost 12.6 million people die from diseases associated with environmental hazards, such as air, water or soil pollution, and climate change.

That is one in four deaths worldwide.1 We now know that the single greatest environmental risk to human health is through our most basic need – the air that we breathe. For years, governments have struggled to improve access to energy so they can promote economic development. But the largely unsustainable energy path that the world has followed has come at an unacceptable cost. Air pollution, overwhelmingly resulting from energy production and use, causes heart and lung diseases and cancer, resulting in approximately 6.5 million deaths each year.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Satori Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 5:30am
every time I hear Trump use the phrase "clean coal"
I think
what a freaking IDIOT

my state has phased out several coal fired plants
good riddance
some of us actually like clean air
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2017 at 6:25am
Clean air is a human right, the only thing is that it is often quite impossible to get your rights. Politicians do not work for the common good but for those who pay them. Citizens in several countries are looking for legal ways to get their basic rights for clean air, drinkable water etc. 

My impression is that organized civil rights groups are facing the mix of traditional "political"parties and their sponsors; the weapons, fossil fuel, bank-industry. 

Renewal of the political process is needed to deal with enviromental issues, climate change etc. The problem is much bigger then Trump, Clinton, Le Pen or Putin. Calling independent reporting "fake news" is another step towards "totalitarian democracy". 

The idea of "trias politica" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers that was the basics of both the US and French revolution (1776, 1789) with legisletive, executive and juridical powers seperated has collapsed under the pressure of to much money in to few hands. 

History will provide correction for that-it alwas has.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2017 at 6:22am
Link between autism and mercury, arsenic and lead http://www.ecowatch.com/lead-mercury-arsenic-autism-kennedy-2181997944.html 


The new pandemics are man-made and far worse than the 1918 flu-pandemic.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2018 at 4:31pm
More joy from the Trump administration's love of "nice clean coal".

It’s 2018, and black lung disease is on the rise in Appalachia.

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) looked at three federally funded clinics between 2013 and 2017 and documented the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease — ever. In that time period, the clinics treated 416 coal miners primarily from Virginia and Kentucky with complicated black lung, the most advanced stage of the disease.

Not only are coal miners experiencing an uptick in the most fatal form of black lung, they’re also being diagnosed at a younger age.

“There’s an unacceptably large number of younger miners who have end-stage disease,” lead researcher David J. Blackley told the New York Times. “The only choice is to get a lung transplant or wait it out and die.”

This new study follows a 2016 NPR investigation revealing that the number of cases of black lung in central Appalachia was likely much higher than NIOSH’s official count.

The disease declined throughout the 1990s, but now the clinics’ black lung specialist says that within two weeks, he’s seeing the same number of cases he used to see in an entire year.

Why? After exhausting thicker seams, today’s miners have to dig more deeply into rock to unearth coal. The combination of coal dust and silica dust from cutting into rock is a deadlier concoction than what plagued miners in the past.

Justine Calma Feb 22, 2018


Source:  https://grist.org/briefly/its-2018-and-black-lung-disease-is-on-the-rise-in-appalachia/


Technophobe's comment:  To vote for Trump was to vote for better economic strength for your country, that is unarguable.  But, how big a price for that is too high? 

The yellow highlights were mine.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2018 at 10:39pm
Technophobe, I think a vote for trump may have been a vote against h.clinton, the way the "democrats" did "deal"with Bernie Sanders. The world with president Sanders may have been a better place than it is now.

The major "east-west"conflict is on fossil fuel. When you control "energy" you control the world.

Fracking is causing earthquakes, pollution is causing all kind of disease (direct-lungs, indirect by effecting a healthy enviroment, disturbing a natural balance). Humans are killing themselves high speed in many different ways.
Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be, The future is not ours to see, Que sera, sera !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2018 at 11:54am
Black lung may be on the rise, but you may not hear about it.

How do you hide the nasty effects of your latest policies?  Easy!  Change the law so people can't get a diagnosis. 

But that will mean lots of people can't sue the company that is killing them.

BONUS!!  More money for the rich - and they pay the White house's bills.

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Kentucky Lawmakers Limit Black Lung Claims Reviews Despite Epidemic


A measure signed into law in Kentucky this past week would prevent federally-certified radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung compensation claims, leaving diagnoses of the disease mostly to physicians who typically work for coal companies.

The new law requires that only pulmonologists — doctors who specialize in the lungs and respiratory system — assess diagnostic black lung X-rays when state black lung claims are filed.

Up until now, radiologists, who work in evaluating all types of X-rays and other diagnostic images, had been allowed to diagnose the disease as well.

Just six pulmonologists in Kentucky have the federal certification to read black lung X-rays and four of them routinely are hired by coal companies or their insurers, according to an NPR review of federal black lung cases.

The two remaining pulmonologists have generally assessed X-rays on behalf of coal miners but one is semi-retired and his federal certification expires June 1.

Among the radiologists excluded by the law is Dr. Brandon Crum, who helped expose the biggest clusters ever documented of complicated black lung, the advanced stage of the fatal disease that strikes coal miners.

"I do believe the coal industry is writing this bill to exclude certain doctors that they don't like," said Phillip Wheeler, an attorney in Pikeville, Ky., who represents coal miners seeking state black lung benefits.

Experts in reading X-rays

The changes are part of sweeping reforms to Kentucky workers' compensation law, known as House Bill 2. Workers' comp provides medical and wage replacement benefits for miners suffering from black lung.

Dr. Crum is the most visible of the excluded radiologists. His clinic in Coal Run Village, Ky., was the focus of a 2016 study by epidemiologists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). They verified 60 cases of complicated black lung that had been diagnosed in a period of about 20 months in 2015 and 2016.

NIOSH had previously reported 99 cases nationwide over a five-year period.

At the same time, NPR and Ohio Valley ReSource reported nearly 1,000 cases across central Appalachia, prompting NIOSH epidemiologists to declare it the worst epidemic of complicated black lung they'd ever seen. Our ongoing survey of black lung clinics and law offices has the current count of advanced black lung diagnoses at more than 2,200 since 2010.

"Throughout the United States, I know of nowhere where radiologists are taken completely out of the evaluation for potential black lung disease," Dr. Crum said. "That's what we're primarily trained in."

Physicians who read chest X-rays for work-related diseases like black lung are known as "B readers" and are certified by NIOSH for both federal and state compensation claims. B readers do not specifically have to be pulmonologists or radiologists, though they can be both.

Radiologists, on the other hand, focus entirely on reading multiple types of X-rays and other diagnostic images.

The law also bars out-of-state radiologists who are both NIOSH-certified B readers and medically-licensed in Kentucky. That includes Dr. Kathleen DePonte, a radiologist in Norton, Va., who has read more than 100,000 black lung X-rays in the past 30 years.

"It is curious to me that the legislators feel that the pulmonologist is more qualified to interpret a chest radiograph than a radiologist is," Dr. DePonte said.

"This is primarily what radiologists do. It is radiologists who receive all the special training in reading X-rays and other imaging."

Dr. Edward Petsonk, a pulmonologist at West Virginia University with decades of experience and research focused on black lung, points to a 1999 report of pass-fail statistics for physicians taking the NIOSH B reader examination. Two-thirds of the radiologists passed, while the success rate for pulmonologists was 54 percent.

Relying on the expertise of industry

Radiologists, pulmonologists and other physicians don't necessarily read X-rays the same way. Those who work for coal companies tend to be conservative in assessing black lung because the coal companies or their insurers pay black lung benefits. Those reading X-rays on behalf of coal miners are often accused of being too liberal in their assessments.

Judges often decide which assessments count most.

This seemed to frustrate Rep. Adam Koenig, a Republican from Erlanger and the primary sponsor of the changes in the law.

During the House floor debate on the measure, Koenig said one B reader finds black lung 41 percent of the time while another's rate is 91 percent.

"Obviously we do not have a standardized process so we are trying to standardize it," Koenig said. "No one here is trying to deny anyone who does that work from getting their black lung claims."

That's precisely what the new law will do, argued Rep. Angie Hatton, a Democrat from Whitesburg.

"When we're finding increased amounts of this illness it seems to me that this is when they need us the most," Hatton said. "Why are we making it tougher for them to prove their illness?"

In an interview with NPR, Koenig said he "relied on the expertise of those who understand the issue — the industry, coal companies and attorneys."

He'd heard "anecdotal stories," he said, about lung cancer being misdiagnosed as black lung.

Early stages of lung cancer and black lung can leave similar masses on lungs, according to West Virginia University's Dr. Petsonk.

But Dr. Petsonk also noted that coal miners exposed to silica dust "are at an increased risk of lung cancer. They do get lung cancer. Silica is a carcinogen."

A miner reacts

Former coal miner William McCool believes he would have been denied state black lung benefits if the new law had been in place when he applied for compensation.

"It'd be pretty much impossible," McCool said. "I've had lung doctors tell me I don't have black lung."

McCool said it took two years to win his state claim because the doctors working on behalf of a coal company were conservative in assessing his disease. But the 64-year-old from Letcher County ultimately prevailed and has been diagnosed with advanced disease.

The federal black lung compensation program continues to rely on all NIOSH-certified B readers, whether they are pulmonologists, radiologists or other physicians. But seeking federal benefits instead of state workers' compensation is not necessarily an easy option.

Dueling assessments in the federal system mean that some miners have waited more than a decade for decisions on federal benefits. Some die before receiving them. State benefits have traditionally been quicker and more generous to miners.

That seems to be changing, said Evan Smith, an attorney at the Appalachian Citizens' Law Center in Whitesburg.

Smith said the new state law "keeps Kentucky coal miners from using highly qualified and reliable experts to prove their state black lung claims [and] looks like just another step in the race to the bottom to gut worker protections."

Koenig insisted that's not the case.

"All we're doing is making sure that qualified doctors are making these determinations," Koenig said. "And if this process doesn't work, I'll be the first in line to figure out how to do it better."

Source:   https://www.npr.org/2018/03/31/598484688/kentucky-lawmakers-limit-black-lung-claims-reviews-despite-epidemic


Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 31 2018 at 11:56am
I hope you are getting LOTS of money out of the current policies, America, 'cos you sure are paying for them in misery and death.
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