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Researchers Find Microplastics in Stool Samples

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Tests reveal both tap water and bottled water1 contain microplastics, as does your household dust2 and many foods, especially seafood3,4 and sea salt,5 but also any food that has been stored in plastic packaging.

The suspicion that we’re consuming our own plastic pollution was recently reconfirmed when researchers reported the discovery of microplastic particles in human stool samples. The consequences of ingesting microscopic plastic bits and pieces is still relatively unknown.

But considering the fact that plastic will not degrade within a human lifetime, and that many of the chemicals used in the production of plastic are known endocrine disruptors, chances are the impact on human health may be greater than suspected.

Animal research has also shown microplastics affect the gut barrier and the composition of gut microbiota in mice, and that they have toxic effects on the liver in fish.

Microplastic Debris Found in Human Stool Samples

The study6,7,8,9 in question was done by researchers from the Medical University of Vienna in collaboration with the Austrian Environment Agency. The findings of this pilot study were presented October 23, 2018, at the annual United European Gastroenterology conference in Vienna. As reported by Salon magazine:10

“Eight people from Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria participated in the study. Each person kept a food diary the week before the stool sampling occurred which showed researchers that all participants were exposed to foods that were either wrapped in plastic, or they drank from plastic bottles. Six of the eight ate sea fish, too; none of them were vegetarians.”

The stool samples were tested for the presence of 10 different types of plastics, of which nine were found in the samples. On average, participants had 20 microplastic particles per 10 grams of stool.

The most common types of plastic were polypropylene (found in bottle caps), polyethylene terephthalate or PET (found in water bottles, plastic bags and textile fibers) and polystyrene (found in takeout food containers, cups and plastic utensils). The particles ranged in size from 50 micrometers (about the width of a human hair) to 500 micrometers. According to lead researcher Dr. Philipp Schwabl, who called the results “astonishing”:

“This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut. Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases11

There are initial indications that microplastics can damage the gastrointestinal tract12 by promoting inflammatory reactions or absorbing harmful substances13

While the highest plastic concentrations in animal studies have been found in the gut, the smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the blood stream, lymphatic system and may even reach the liver. Now that we have first evidence for microplastics inside humans, we need further research to understand what this means for human health14

I believe that trying to reduce plastic usage and plastic-packed food might be beneficial for nature and for us. Certainly, plastic is a very useful material and has a lot of clever applications. But maybe we should try to rethink about the necessity of abundant plastic use, and search for and support ecological and sustainable alternatives.15

World’s Oceans Will Soon Contain More Plastic Than Fish

Indeed, the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050, the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish,16 thanks to the addition of 8 million metric tons of plastic each and every year — a figure expected to increase 10-fold17 over the next decade alone unless decisive action is taken. Already, in some ocean waters plastic exceeds plankton by a factor of 6-to-1.18

To avert such a travesty, the World Economic Forum recommends focusing on three key strategies, all of which hinge on rethinking how plastics are made in the first place, i.e., switching to renewable sources rather than using crude oil to produce plastic:19

  1. Improving the design of plastic packaging and other plastic products
  2. Devising “new and creative delivery models based on reusable packaging”
  3. Making recycling pay off — Plastic can, and should, be recycled, but a 2017 analysis20 reveals a staggering 91 percent aren’t
transform plastic packaging strategies

Disturbingly, plastic pollution is also accumulating on farmland. According to research21 published in Science of the Total Environment, the annual release of plastics to land may actually be four to 23 times greater than that released to oceans! The use of sewage sludge (biosolids) as fertilizer is one major source of all this plastic pollution.

When factoring in the range of sludge application rates, and assuming data from certain other countries with similar plastics usage are comparable, the total annual input of microplastics to European and North American farmlands is thought to be 63,000 to 430,000, and 44,000 to 300,000 tons respectively.

Are Microplastics Contributing to Bowel Diseases and Cancer?

Dr. Herbert Tilg, president of the Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and chair of the United European gastroenterology scientific committee (who did not take part in the study), worries that microplastics may be a factor contributing to rising rates of inflammatory bowel syndrome and colon cancer. He told New Hampshire Public Radio:22

“Colon cancer is increasing in young people, and we think that either dietary or environmental components are a factor. Now that we know we can detect microplastics in humans, we can develop larger studies, in both healthy and diseased patients, to find out if they are a contributing factor.”

Microplastics Linked to Altered Microbiota, Impaired Metabolism and Liver Toxicity

As noted by Schwabl, recent research suggests microplastic may indeed have an adverse effect on gut microbiota. The study,23 published in The Science of the Total Environment, found that polystyrene microplastics affected the gut barrier, microbiota and metabolism of mice. As reported by the authors:

“In this study, we exposed male mice to 5 micrometers pristine and fluorescent polystyrene microplastics (MP) for six weeks. The results showed that the polystyrene MP was observed in the guts of mice and could reduce the intestinal mucus secretion and cause damage the intestinal barrier function …

At the phylum level, the content of Actinobacteria decreased significantly in the polystyrene MP-treated group … [T]he diversity of gut microbiota was altered after polystyrene MP exposure. At the genus level, a total of 15 types of bacteria changed significantly after exposure to polystyrene MP.

Furthermore, the predicted KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) metabolic pathway differences indicated that the main metabolic pathways of the functional genes in the microbial community were significantly influenced by the polystyrene MP.

In addition, indexes of amino acid metabolism and bile acid metabolism in the serum were analyzed after polystyrene MP exposure. These results indicated that polystyrene MP caused metabolic disorders. In conclusion, the polystyrene MP induced gut microbiota dysbiosis, intestinal barrier dysfunction and metabolic disorders in mice …”

Another study24 published in 2016 found polystyrene microplastics accumulated in zebrafish and stressed the liver. After just seven days of exposure, particles measuring 5 micrometers had accumulated in the gills, liver and gut. Particles measuring 20 micrometers in diameter accumulated the gills and gut only.

Histopathological analysis revealed the particles caused inflammation and the accumulation of lipids in the liver, and “significantly increased activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase, indicating that oxidative stress was induced.” Metabolomic analysis also found the microplastics “induced alterations of metabolic profiles in fish liver and disturbed the lipid and energy metabolism.”

Earlier research25 has also proven that microplastics are taken into cells and cause significant effects on the tissue of the blue mussel under laboratory conditions.

Bottled Water Nearly Universally Contaminated With Microplastics


As mentioned earlier, recent tests26 reveal drinking water is now nearly universally contaminated with microplastics, whether you’re getting it from your tap or from bottled water. Just 17 of 259 bottles of water tested were found to be free of microplastic particles, and none of the 11 brands tested consistently free of plastic contaminants.

On average, the bottled water tested contained 325 pieces of microplastic per liter. The worst offender was Nestlé Pure Life, the most contaminated sample of which contained 10,390 particles per liter, while the least contaminated brand, San Pellegrino, contained a high-end density of 74 particles per liter. Here’s a summary breakdown of the most and least contaminated brands:27







Most contaminated brands Least contaminated brands

Nestlé Pure Life

San Pellegrino

Bisleri

Evian

Gerolsteiner

Dasani

Aqua

Wahaha

Epura

Minalba

As noted by Orb Media, which commissioned the testing:28

“[F]indings suggest that a person who drinks a liter of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year … For microplastic debris around 100 microns in size … bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of microplastics per liter (10.4) than the tap water samples (4.45) …

According to existing scientific research, the plastic particles you consume in food or drinks might interact with your body in a number of different ways … Some particles might lodge in the intestinal wall. Others might be taken up by intestinal tissue to travel through the body’s lymphatic system …

Smaller debris, in the range of 20 microns (0.02 mm) has been shown to enter the bloodstream before it lodges in the kidneys and liver … Ninety percent of the plastic particles we found … were … small enough … for some to cross the gut into your body.”

In response to these findings, the World Health Organization has promised to launch a safety review to assess the potential short- and long-term health risks of consuming microplastic in water.29

How You Can Be Part of the Solution

Our cultural affection for all things disposable has left a trail of destruction. Now, how can you be part of the solution? In short, by becoming a more conscious consumer. Really give some thought to the manufacturing of the products you buy, how they may affect you during use, and what will happen to them once you dispose of them.

Few of us are capable of living a zero-waste lifestyle at this point in time, but every single one of us can take small but definitive steps toward the goal of reducing plastic trash in all of its forms. Here are a few suggestions to consider:





Avoid bottled water — Instead, invest in a good water filtration system for your home and fill your own reusable bottles with filtered tap water. Previous testing has revealed most bottled water is nothing but tap water anyway, which may or may not have undergone additional filtration. With over 267 toxins found in public tap water, it’s worth the investment to install a high-quality filter and bring your own water wherever you go.

Reduce your use of all things plastic — Purchase products that are not made from or packaged in plastic. While the items involved are near-endless, here are a few ideas:

  • Use reusable shopping bags for groceries
  • Bring your own mug when indulging in a coffee drink, and skip the lid and the straw
  • Store foods in glass containers or mason jars as opposed to plastic containers or bags
  • Take your own leftover container to restaurants
  • Request no plastic wrap on dry cleaning

Avoid microfiber clothing such as fleece, and/or wash them as infrequently as possible — Stretchy fabrics and fleece items shed copious amounts of microscopic plastic fibers each time they’re washed. Due to their tiny size, these microfibers30 flow straight through the wastewater treatment plant without being caught.

Up to 1.7 million tons of microfibers enter the ocean each and every year,31 and testing shows synthetic microfibers make up 85 percent of shoreline debris worldwide.32 Once in the water column, this plastic microdebris blocks sunlight required for plankton and algae to thrive, and the ramifications of this reverberates throughout the entire food chain.

Not only do the actual fibers pose a health hazard to the sea life that consume them, since they bioaccumulate, these fibers also act like sponges, soaking up and concentrating toxins like PCBs, pesticides and oil, making the animal — which could end up on your plate — even more toxic than it normally would be.

A far “cleaner” option all-around is 100 percent organic clothing — cotton, hemp, silk, wool or bamboo fabrics dyed with natural, nontoxic dyes. The Bluesign System Certification33 tells you the item has been manufactured with a minimal amount of hazardous chemicals, or none.

Wash synthetic clothing as irregularly as possible using a mild detergent. Line dry instead of putting them in the dryer, as the heat and agitation will break down fibers. Handwashing or using the gentle cycle with cold water will also minimize the shedding of fibers, as will using a front loading washing machine.

You can also install a microfiber filter on your washing machine, but the fibers will still end up in the environment since they’ll end up in trash destined for a landfill.

Recycle what you can — Take care to recycle and repurpose products whenever possible, and/or participate in “plastic drives” for local schools, where cash is paid by the pound.

Remember recyclables must never be placed in a plastic bag, as recycling facilities will simply send bagged items to a landfill.34 So, to ensure your recyclables actually get recycled, make sure you place the items loose in your recycle bin.

For more do’s and don’ts of recycling, see “Surprising Recycling Mistakes Most People Make.” You can also check out this Lifehacker article for more information about what you can and cannot recycle in general, over and beyond plastic.35

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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