Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Glyphosate is a known teratogen, meaning "monster-maker."

Below is a brief section from an interesting and frightful article from about the most widely used herbicide in the world. I've seen hundreds of warning stories about Roundup™ but this one caught my attention — it seems especially well written. If you are at all interested in this, please read the whole article by following the link in the headline:

One Little Piggy Had Birth Defects

By Jeff Ritterman, M.D. 
Truthout | Op-Ed Friday, 08 August 2014 

Glyphosate and Birth Defects

Glyphosate is a known teratogen, meaning "monster-maker." Studies conducted on rats and rabbits since the 1980s have shown an astonishing spectrum of birth defects associated with glyphosate, including absent kidneys, missing lobes of the lungs, enlarged hearts, ventricular septal defects (holes in the heart), extra ribs, and deformed and absent bones of the skull, spine, ribs, sternum and limbs.

But if birth defects in rats and rabbits have not been enough to get our attention, we are now seeing high rates of spontaneous abortion and birth defects in human infants born in areas where glyphosate is being sprayed. This is particularly true in Argentina, Paraguay and other parts of Latin America where GM acreage has increased significantly. A group of researchers in Argentina noted alarmingly high rates of miscarriages and birth defects in families living within meters of glyphosate spraying. They decided to conduct a study with animals in the laboratory.

The scientists exposed frog and chicken embryos to glyphosate. The herbicide caused birth defects in the embryos similar to those seen in human infants. They were able to demonstrate that glyphosate attacks the Vitamin A (retinoic acid) signaling pathway, which is crucial for normal fetal development in vertebrates. Since the Vitamin A pathway is found in all vertebrates, it is likely that the piglet birth defects, too, can be explained by a glyphosate induced disturbance of this pathway during embryonic development.

    But, there's more.

Glyphosate's Role in Chronic Diseases
 … continued

Yes, there's more and none of it is good. -J

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Drug lists for MCSers revised

Please see the March 25, 2015 post for more current information.
We've told people for some time about 2 web sites that list drugs and whether or not they should be safe or safer for MCS. One of the sites, the one from Merck, is still up and running.

The other one, from the South Africa porphyria organization, seems to be down, gone. That is the one we preferred as it looked to be easier to use and more extensive. But do not be afraid. CIIN has copies of that list, and on the Internet, it can still be found via The Wayback Machine.

If you do not know about the Wayback Machine, you probably should. It is a service that takes snapshots of web sites and stores them in an archive — in theory all publicly accessible sites can be collected. Over time, zillions of sites are stored so they can be retrieved to see what sites used to look like, especially in the case of sites that are gone from the active web.

Anyway, you can get the South Africa list through The Wayback Machine at:*/

To learn more about The Wayback Machine, try Wikipedia at:

My original post about the Porphyria lists and why they are important for MCS sufferers is in a previous post on September 19, 2012. Please read that, and there is a more recent and revised post updating the whole set of resources.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Avoid moldy washers

The most efficient washing machines are generally front loaders, but those machines are subject to mold on the door seals. I hear that newer ones don't have that problem as badly. Don't know what they have done to fix the problem, and don't know how effective it works.

I have come up with a way to avoid the mold problem — after doing a load, leave the door open until the seal dries off.

Of course, that means in most cases the machine stays on; the light stays on, the control panel stays lit, and you are wasting energy.

I see two ways to deal with that:
1.  Unplug the machine. If the plug is easy to get to, that is the easiest answer. I'm not sure, but I don't think this will hurt the washer. However, if the plug is hard to reach, or if it is difficult to pull out, you can try method number two. (Which is the way I do it.)
2.  The machine is usually controlled by a switch that the is pushed in when the door closes. I use a folded piece of cardboard that I wedge between the switch and the door frame. After a few tries, I found just the right thickness that holds the switch in without damaging it. This has worked on two machines — no more mold buildup.

I hope this helps someone.