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Study Finds Evidence for Heart Tumors From Cellphone Radiation

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Cellphones were classified as a Group 2B “possible carcinogen”1 in 2011 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization and the global gold standard for the classification of toxins.

This classification was based on evidence showing that nonionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from cellphones can trigger abnormal cell growth and tumors.2,3
In my view, this is a mistake and, just like smoking, I am confident it will be recategorized in the future to a 1A carcinogen.

Earlier this year, preliminary findings of two government-funded animal studies4 were published that further support the notion that cellphone radiation has carcinogenic potential.

The finalized report5 of these two studies — conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program under the auspices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — was released November 1, 2018. While the preliminary report released in February 2018 significantly downplayed the findings, subsequent peer review upgraded the findings of risk.

Cellphone Radiation Linked to Brain and Heart Tumors

The NTP rates cancer risk based on four categories of evidence: “clear evidence” (highest); “some evidence;” “equivocal evidence;” and “no evidence” (lowest). According to the NTP’s final report, the two studies, done on mice and rats of both sexes, found:6

Clear evidence for heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) in male rats. These types of tumors started developing around week 70, and are very similar to acoustic neuromas found in humans, a benign type of tumor that previous studies have linked to cellphone use

Some evidence of brain tumors (malignant gliomas) in male rats. Glial cell hyperplasias — indicative of precancerous lesions — began developing around week 58.

(Incidentally, incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (the deadliest type of brain tumor) more than doubled in the U.K. between 1995 and 2015.7,8 According to the authors of the analysis, the dramatic increase is likely due to “widespread environmental or lifestyle factors,” which would include cellphone usage)

Some evidence of adrenal gland tumors in male rats, both benign and malignant tumors and/or complex combined pheochromocytoma

Equivocal or unclear evidence of tumors in female rats and mice of both genders

The studies also found evidence of:

Low body weight in female rats and newborns exposed to high levels of radiation during pregnancy and lactation

DNA damage and damage to heart tissue in exposed male and female rats, but not mice

Prostate, liver and pancreatic tumors in both rats and mice

Are Humans at Risk?

According to The New York Times:9

“‘We believe that the link between radio-frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real,’ John Bucher, a senior scientist at the National Toxicology Program, said in a statement.

But he cautioned that the exposure levels and durations were far greater than what people typically encounter, and thus cannot ‘be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience’ …

The lowest level of radiation in the federal study was equal to the maximum exposure that federal regulations allow for cellphone users … The highest level was four times higher than the permitted maximum.”

While the NTP insists the exposure — nine hours a day for two years, which is the lifetime of a rodent — is far more extensive than that of heavy cellphone users, I would strongly disagree, seeing how many, especially the younger generation, have their cellphones turned on and near their body 24/7.

Many are literally sleeping with their phone beneath their pillow. What’s more, cellphones are not the sole source of radiofrequency (RF) EMFs. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled tablets, computers, smart TVs, wireless baby monitors, cordless phones, smart appliances, smart meters and nearby cellular phone basestations are sources of similarly harmful radiation, and most of us are exposed 24/7. So, my guess is that the duration of RF-EMF exposure is actually far greater than the one tested in the study.

Did NTP Minimize Press Coverage of Their Report?

According to Microwave News, the NTP may have purposely minimized press coverage of its final report, which upgraded the risks. “Reporters were given very little notice to join the NTP teleconference on the release of the report. Nor was there much time to prepare a story for publication,” Microwave News reports,10 adding they were not informed of the teleconference via email until 10:45 a.m. October 31.

The conference was held at 2 p.m. that same day. While NTP refused to state how many reporters were on the call, the transcript reveals only eight reporters asked questions, giving the impression that many likely missed the advisory. Editors also had precious little time to assign a reporter to cover the story. Microwave News adds:

“The news that the NTP now believes the cancer link is “real” was under embargo until the next day, November 1. That gave the news media less than 24 hours to prepare their stories, an unusually short time for a technically complex subject. The main reason for embargoes is to give reporters time to do their homework and prepare a clear and accurate write-up …

Even the fact that the report was coming out in less than a day was embargoed by the NTP. It apparently wanted no advance notice of any kind … There was one exception among major media outlets: The New York Times … As it happened, [William] Broad, a long-time member of the science desk, was already working on the story. He was making background calls a week earlier …

There’s a long history of New York Times science reporters — Broad included — downplaying, if not outright dismissing, news of electromagnetic health effects. Anyone wanting to conceal the fact that NTP had found ‘clear evidence’ that cellphone radiation could lead to cancer would likely leak the story to the Times. And the Times delivered.

Here’s the headline from its web site: ‘Study of Cellphone Risks Finds ‘Some Evidence’ of Link to Cancer, at Least in Male Rats’ … [T]here is the obvious error in the headline: NTP found more than ‘some evidence’ — it saw ‘clear evidence’ … The subhead … ‘Many Caveats Apply, and the Results Involve Radio Frequencies Long Out of Routine Use,’ offers additional — unjustifiable — reasons to discount the NTP finding.”

The New York Times also claims the results are out of date due to the fact they used 2G, which is no longer in widespread use, and that 3G, 4G and 5G are “far less successful at penetrating the bodies of humans” due to the higher frequencies. However, there’s no evidence to suggest the newer technologies are safer. Quite the contrary. As noted by Microwave News:

“Two different German labs have exposed mice to 3G. Cancer promotion was found in each case. The lead author of the second study, Alex Lerchl, concluded that 3G signals ‘obviously enhance the growth of tumors’ … The fact is that we don’t know whether the higher G’s are any safer than 2G. Believing so is simply wishful thinking.”

The NTP also downplayed the risks by stressing that “high exposure” was associated with cancer in male rats, when in fact the results in some instances revealed a greater effect at a lower dose.

Such nonlinear dose response was also found in Lerchl’s study, in which a dose 50 times lower than the highest dose resulted in a greater response. “At this point, one can only guess where the threshold for RF effects may be. It could be lower than now commonly believed, possibly much lower,” Microwave News notes.

Why Evidence of Rodent Schwannomas Could Spell Trouble for Human Health

As explained by Louis Slesin, Ph.D., editor and publisher of Microwave News, the increased incidence of schwannomas in rodents exposed to radiofrequencies is of great concern for public health:11

“Schwann cells play a key role in the functioning of the peripheral nervous system. They make the myelin sheath, which insulates nerve fibers and helps speed the conduction of electrical impulses. There are Schwann cells just about everywhere there are peripheral nerve fibers. They are present in most organs of the body — whether mice, rats or humans.

Schwann cell tumors are called schwannomas. The NTP found schwannomas in many other organs, in addition to the heart, of rats chronically exposed to cellphone radiation. These included a variety of glands (pituitary, salivary and thymus), the trigeminal nerve and the eye … The NTP also saw schwannomas in the uterus, ovary and vagina of female rats.

The brain has no Schwann cells — the brain is part of the central nervous system. There, glial cells play a similar function. In fact, Schwann cells are a type of glial cell … Tumors of the glial cells are called gliomas. The NTP also saw an increase in glioma among the male rats exposed to GSM and CDMA radiation …

While schwannomas and gliomas are commonly noncancerous tumors, they can develop into malignant schwannomas or glioblastomas … The implication is that instead of searching for consistency in radio frequencies’ ability to cause cancer in specific organs, the emphasis should now be on specific cell types — beginning with Schwann cells in the periphery and glial cells in the brain.”

Mitochondrial Dysfunction Is the Primary Hazard of Cellphone Radiation

In my view, the primary hazard of cellphone radiation is not brain cancer per se but rather systemic cellular and mitochondrial damage,12,13,14,15 which can contribute to any number of health problems and chronic diseases. The process begins when low-frequency microwave radiation activates voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs)16 — channels in the outer membrane of your cells.

Once activated, the VGCCs open up, allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell. This increased intracellular calcium and the accompanying increase in calcium signaling appears to be responsible for a majority of the damage that occurs. This is reviewed in more detail in my interview with professor Martin Pall below.

For example, excess calcium activates nitric oxide, and while nitric oxide has many health benefits, massively excessive nitric oxide reacts with superoxide to produce peroxynitrites — extremely potent oxidant stressors.17 Peroxynitrites in turn:

  • Can cause single-strand DNA breaks18
  • Modify tyrosine molecules in proteins to create nitrotyrosine and nitration of structural protein.19 Changes from nitration are visible in human biopsy of atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia, inflammatory bowel disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and septic lung disease20

This pathway of oxidative destruction — triggered by low-frequency radiation emitted from mobile devices — may partially explain the unprecedented growth rate of chronic disease since 1990,21 and is a far greater concern than brain tumors.


Heart Problems, Neurological Disorders and Infertility Are Risks of EMF Exposure

While an estimated 80,000 U.S. men, women and children are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year,22 another 787,000 people die from heart disease.23 So, while the relative rarity of brain cancer may lead you to believe that cellphone use is safe, that’s only because you’re looking at a less prevalent outcome.

Cellphone radiation has also been shown to have a significant impact on neurological and mental health,24 contributing to and/or worsening anxiety, depression and dementia, for example, and all of these conditions are rampant and growing more prevalent. (This also makes sense as brain dysfunction will occur much faster than a tumor, which can take decades.)

Research also suggests excessive EMF exposure is contributing to reproductive problems. For example, researchers have found prenatal exposure to power-frequency fields can nearly triple a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage.25

According to lead author and senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente’s research division, Dr. De-Kun Li,26 “This study provides fresh evidence, directly from a human population, that magnetic field exposure in daily life could have adverse health impacts,” adding his findings “should bring attention to this potentially important environmental hazard to pregnant women.”

According to Li, there are at least six other studies, in addition to two of his own, showing this link.27,28,29,30,31 EMF exposure may also play a significant role in testicular cancer and male infertility.

Studies have linked low-level electromagnetic radiation exposure from cellphones to an 8 percent reduction in sperm motility and a 9 percent reduction in sperm viability.32,33 Wi-Fi equipped laptop computers have also been linked to decreased sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation after just four hours of use.34

US Food and Drug Administration Stands Firm on Cellphone Safety

NTP’s final report has now been given to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the two agencies involved in the regulation of cellphones and assessment of health risks. Unfortunately, the FDA appears unwilling to change its stance on cellphone safety.

This is no surprise as the telecommunication industry has far more political lobbying influence than Big Pharma and Big Food combined. To expect anything other than full support for the telecommunication industry would be irrational.

In a November 1 press statement, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, reaffirmed the agency’s position, saying:35

“The Food and Drug Administration is charged with ensuring cellphones — and any radiation-emitting electronic product — are safe for the public to use. Our scientific expertise and input, along with other health agencies, are used by the [FCC] to set the standards for exposure limits of radiation from cellphones, called radiofrequency energy …

We reviewed the recently finalized research conducted by our colleagues at the [NTP] … [W]e disagree, however, with the conclusions of their final report regarding ‘clear evidence’ of carcinogenic activity in rodents exposed to radiofrequency energy.

In the NTP study, researchers looked at the effects of exposing rodents to extremely high levels of radiofrequency throughout the entire body. This is commonly done in these types of hazard identification studies and means that the study tested levels of radiofrequency energy exposures considerably above the current whole body safety limits for cell phones … [T]hese findings should not be applied to human cell phone usage.

NTP hosted a three-day peer review of this study in March, as part of their normal process for issuing scientific reports … which included an assessment of the study methods and data by a panel of 15 peer reviewers to determine the basis of evidence for the final report.

Based on their assessment, the panel voted to upgrade the conclusions from some evidence to clear evidence for malignant heart schwannomas in male rats, and from equivocal (ambiguous) to some evidence for malignant gliomas of the brain and benign tumors of the adrenal gland in male rats. It’s important to note that the vote does not mean new data or findings were reported in the final assessment …

Based on our ongoing evaluation of this issue, the totality of the available scientific evidence continues to not support adverse health effects in humans caused by exposures at or under the current radiofrequency energy exposure limits. We believe the existing safety limits for cellphones remain acceptable for protecting the public health.”

NTP Findings Have Already Been Reproduced, and at Power Levels Below FCC Limits

While the FDA insists it “must thoroughly evaluate and take into consideration the totality of the data, and do so within the context of the complete body of evidence rather than drawing conclusions from the results of a single study,” it fails to address the elephant in the room, which is the corroborating evidence published by the Ramazzini Institute just one month after the NTP released its preliminary report in February 2018.

The Ramazzini study36 reproduces and clearly supports the NTP’s findings, showing a clear link between cellphone radiation and Schwann cell tumors (schwannomas)37,38,39 — but at a much lower power level than that used by NTP.

While NTP used radiofrequency (RF) levels comparable to what’s emitted by 2G and 3G cellphones (near-field exposure), Ramazzini simulated exposure to cellphone towers (far-field exposure). Ramazzini’s rats were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM radiation at electric field strengths of 5, 25 and 50 volts per meter40 for 19 hours a day, starting at birth until the rats died either from age or illness.

To facilitate comparison, the researchers converted their measurements to watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg), which is what the NTP used. Overall, the radiation dose administered in the Ramazzini study was up to 1,000 times lower than the NTP’s — and below the U.S. limits set by the FCC — yet the results are strikingly similar.

As in the NTP studies, exposed male rats developed statistically higher rates of heart schwannomas than unexposed rats. They also found some evidence, although weaker, that RF exposure increased rates of glial tumors in the brains of female rats.

The fact that the Ramazzini study used a radiation dose well below FCC limits yet still reproduced the NTP’s findings of cancer really weakens the FDA’s claims of safety.

Telling Trend: Silicon Valley Founders Don’t Want Their Own Kids to Use the Technology They Created

The good news is that after more than a decade of mounting warnings, many are finally starting to take cellphone exposure seriously — at least as it pertains to their kids. Adults still struggle to curb their own cellphone and computer use, but at least minimizing exposure to children is a step in the right direction, and in my view a really crucial one.

The New York Times recently reported on the trend among Silicon Valley parents to forbid the use of tablets, computers, cellphones and TVs by their young children, and nannies are increasingly having to sign contracts to that end. New York Times contributor Nellie Bowles writes:41

“Even a little screen time can be so deeply addictive, some parents believe, that it’s best if a child neither touches nor sees any of these glittering rectangles. These particular parents, after all, deeply understand their allure … Enter the Silicon Valley nanny, who each day returns to the time before screens.

‘Usually a day consists of me being allowed to take them to the park, introduce them to card games,’ said Jordin Altmann, 24, a nanny in San Jose, of her charges. ‘Board games are huge. Almost every parent I work for is very strong about the child not having any technical experience at all … In the last two years, it’s become a very big deal’ …

The fear of screens has reached the level of panic in Silicon Valley. Vigilantes now post photos to parenting message boards of possible nannies using cellphones near children. Which is to say, the very people building these glowing hyper-stimulating portals have become increasingly terrified of them …

‘The people who are closest to tech are the most strict about it at home,’ said Lynn Perkins, the CEO of UrbanSitter, which she says has 500,000 sitters in the network throughout the United States. ‘We see that trend with our nannies very clearly.’”

Take Safety Precautions to Lower Your Family’s EMF Exposure


cellphone radiation

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There’s no doubt in my mind that RF-EMF exposure is a significant health hazard that will damage your DNA and contribute to premature death. It needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health, and that of your family. To learn more about the special risks RF-EMF pose to your little ones, see “Children’s Health Expert Panel on Cellphones and Wi-Fi.”

To protect yourself and your family from cellphone radiation and other sources of harmful EMFs, consider taking the following precautions:












Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.42

When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. I typically use my cellphone less than 30 minutes a month, and mostly when traveling. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection.

Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.

If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.

Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night. This typically works to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your wall unless there is an adjoining room next to your bedroom. If that is the case you will need to use a meter to determine if you also need to turn off power in the adjacent room.

Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.43

If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.

Avoid using “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new “smart” TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal and, unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don’t emit Wi-Fi.

Refuse smart meters as long as you can, or add a shield to an existing smart meter, some of which have been shown to reduce radiation by 98 to 99 percent.44

Consider moving your baby’s bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.

Replace CFL and LED bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs. And, definitely do NOT purchase light bulbs you can control from your cellphone, as they emit RFR just like a Wi-Fi router.

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Sweet! Here are 7 reasons to eat sweet potatoes

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(Natural News) Sweet potatoes may not be as popular as regular potatoes, which is too bad — since they’re packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of sweet potatoes can provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin A. It’s also rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese. Both purple and orange varieties contain antioxidants that can protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Eating sweet potatoes is beneficial for your health

Sweet potatoes are brimming with micronutrients and antioxidants —  making them useful to your health. Below is a list of reasons why you should incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

They improve brain function

The purple variety of sweet potato contains anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have revealed that anthocyanins are effective at improving cognitive function. Moreover, the results suggest that purple yams can help protect against memory loss. Antioxidants from the purple variety safeguard the brain against damage from free radicals and inflammation.

They aid digestion

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This macronutrient prevents constipation, diarrhea, and bloating by adding bulk and drawing water to the stool. In addition, fiber keeps a healthy balance in the gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.

They slow down aging

The beta-carotene in orange sweet potatoes can help reduce damage caused by prolonged sun exposure. This is especially true for people diagnosed with erythropoietic protoporphyria and other photosensitive diseases. Sweet potatoes also contain antioxidants that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals are not only linked to diseases but also premature aging.

They boost the immune system

Orange and purple sweet potatoes are loaded with a good number of antioxidants that help protect the body from harmful molecules that cause inflammation and damage DNA. This, in turn, protects the body from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.

They can prevent cancer

Eating sweet potatoes can help protect against various types of cancers. The compounds in sweet potatoes restrict the development of cancer cells. Test tube studies have shown that anthocyanins can prevent cancers in the bladder, breast, colon, and stomach.

They lower blood sugar

Despite its relatively high glycemic index, studies have shown that the regular intake of sweet potatoes can help lower blood sugar, thanks to the presence of dietary fiber. While fiber falls under carbohydrates, it is digested differently, compared to starchy and sugary forms of carbohydrates. Interestingly, insulin doesn’t process fiber (unlike other types which get turned into glucose), and it only passes through the digestive tract.

They promote healthy vision

Orange sweet potatoes are rich in a compound called beta-carotene, an antioxidant which transforms into vitamin A in the body. Adequate intake of vitamin A promotes eye health. Conversely, deficiencies in vitamin A have been linked to a particular type of blindness called xerophthalmia.

Sweet potatoes are easy to incorporate into your everyday meals. They are best prepared boiled but can also be baked, roasted, or steamed — they can even replace other carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, and toast. (Related: Understanding the phytochemical and nutrient content of sweet potato flours from Vietnam.)

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Frostbite: What it is and how to identify, treat it

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Manitoba’s temperature has plummeted to its coldest level this season, triggering warnings about the extreme risk of frostbite.

Oh, we know it’s cold. We can feel Jack Frost nipping at our noses. But what about when he gnaws a little harder — what exactly does “frostbite” mean?

People tend to underestimate the potential for severe injuries in the cold, says the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. We laugh off the sting of the deep freeze, rub our hands back from the brink of numbness and wear our survival proudly like a badge.

That’s because, in most cases, frostbite can be treated fairly easily, with no long-term effects.

But it can also lead to serious injury, including permanent numbness or tingling, joint stiffness, or muscle weakness. In extreme cases, it can lead to amputation.

Bitter cold can cause frostbite in just minutes. Here’s how to recognize the warning signs and treat them. 0:59

Here’s a guide to identifying the first signs, how to treat them, and when to seek medical help.

What is frostbite and frostnip?

Frostbite is defined as bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and colour in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes — those areas most often exposed to the air.

Cooling of the body causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, slowing blood flow. In temperatures below –4 C, ice crystals can form in the skin and the tissue just below it.

Frostnip most commonly affects the hands and feet. It initially causes cold, burning pain, with the area affected becoming blanched. It is easy to treat and with rewarming, the area becomes reddened.

Frostbite is the acute version of frostnip, when the soft tissue actually freezes. The risk is particularly dangerous on days with a high wind chill factor. If not quickly and properly treated, it can lead to the loss of tissues or even limbs. 

Signs of frostbite

Health officials call them the four P’s:

  • Pink: Skin appears reddish in colour, and this is usually the first sign.
  • Pain: The cold becomes painful on skin.
  • Patches: White, waxy-feeling patches show when skin is dying.
  • Prickles: Affected areas feel numb or have reduced sensation.

Symptoms can also include:

  • Reduced body temperature.
  • Swelling.
  • Blisters.
  • Areas that are initially cold, hard to the touch.

Take quick action

If you do get frostbite, it is important to take quick action.

  • Most cases of frostbite can be treated by heating the exposed area in warm (not hot) water.
  • Immersion in warm water should continue for 20-30 minutes until the exposed area starts to turn pink, indicating the return of blood circulation.
  • Use a warm, wet washcloth on frostbitten nose or earlobes.
  • If you don’t have access to warm water, underarms are a good place to warm frostbitten fingers. For feet, put them against a warm person’s skin.
  • Drink hot fluids such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea when warming.
  • Rest affected limbs and avoid irritation to the skin.
  • E​levate the affected limb once it is rewarmed.

Rewarming can take up to an hour and can be painful, especially near the end of the process as circulation returns. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the discomfort.

Do not …

There are a number of things you should avoid:

  • Do not warm the area with dry heat, such as a heating pad, heat lamp or electric heater, because frostbitten skin is easily burned.
  • Do not rub or massage affected areas. This can cause more damage.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not walk on your feet or toes if they are frozen.
  • Do not break blisters.

Seek immediate medical attention

While you can treat frostbite yourself if the symptoms are minor — the skin is red, there is tingling — you should seek immediate medical attention at an emergency department if:

  • The exposed skin is blackened.
  • You see white-coloured or grey-coloured patches.
  • There is severe pain or the area is completely numb.
  • The skin feels unusually firm and is not sensitive to touch after one hour of rewarming.
  • There are large areas of blistering.
  • There is a bluish discolouration that does not resolve with rewarming.

Be prepared

The best way to avoid frostbite is to be prepared for the weather in the first place.

Wear several loose layers of clothing rather than a single, thick layer to provide good insulation and keep moisture away from your skin.

The outer garment should breathe but be waterproof and windproof, with an inner thermal layer. Retain body heat with a hat and scarf. Mittens are warmer than gloves because they keep the fingers together.

Be sure your clothing protects your head, ears, nose, hands and feet, especially for children.

Wind chill and frostbite rates

Wind chill: 0 to –9.
Frostbite risk: Low.

Wind chill: –28 to –39.
Frostbite risk: Moderate.

Exposed skin can freeze in 10-30 minutes

Wind chill: –40 to –47.
Frostbite risk: High.

Exposed skin can freeze in five to 10 minutes.

Wind chill: –48 to –54.
Frostbite risk: Very High.

Exposed skin can freeze in two to five minutes.

Wind chill: –55 and lower.
Frostbite risk: Extremely High.

Exposed skin can freeze in less than two minutes.
 

NOTE: In sustained winds over 50 km/h, frostbite can occur faster than indicated.

Source: Environment Canada

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Awkward Flu Jabs Attempted at Golden Globes

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In what can only be described as a new level of propaganda, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh featured a flu shot stunt during the 76th Golden Globe Awards ceremony. They told the audience to roll up their sleeves, as they would all be getting flu shots, while people in white coats stormed down the aisles, syringes in hand.

Most of the audience looked thoroughly uneasy at the prospect of having a stranger stick them with a needle in the middle of an awards show. But perhaps the worst part of the scene was when Samberg added that anti-vaxxers could put a napkin over their head if they wanted to be skipped, basically suggesting that anyone opposed to a flu shot deserved to be branded with a proverbial scarlet letter.

The flu shots, for the record, were reportedly fake,1 nothing more than a bizarre gag that left many people stunned by the Globe’s poor taste in turning a serious medical choice into a publicity gimmick.

Flu Shot Stunt Reeks of Desperation

Whoever came up with the idea to turn the Golden Globes into a platform for a public health message probably thought it was ingenious, but the stunt only serves as a seemingly desperate attempt to make flu shots relevant and in vogue. During the 2017 to 2018 flu season, only 37 percent of U.S. adults received a flu shot, a 6 percent drop from the prior season.2

“To improve flu vaccination coverage for the 2018-19 flu season, health care providers are encouraged to strongly recommend and offer flu vaccination to all of their patients,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote. “People not visiting a provider during the flu season have many convenient places they can go for a flu vaccination.”3

Yet, perhaps the decline in people choosing to get vaccinated has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with their dismal rates of efficacy. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.4

The 2017/2018 flu vaccine was a perfect example of this trend. The overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B virus infection was just 36 percent.5

Health officials blamed the flu season’s severity on the dip in vaccination rates, but as Dr. Paul Auwaerter, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told USA Today, “[I]t is also true that the vaccine was not as well matched against the strains that circulated.”6

But bringing flu shots to the Golden Globes, and calling out “anti-vaxxers,” is nothing more than “medical care, by shame,” noted Dr. Don Harte, a chiropractic activist in California. “But it was entertaining, in a very weird way, including the shock and disgust of some of the intended victims, notably [Willem Dafoe],” he said, adding:7

“This Hollywood publicity stunt for the flu vaccine is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen from celebrities. But it does go with the flu shot itself, which is, perhaps, the stupidest of all the vaccines available.”

Did 80,000 People Really Die From the Flu Last Year?

The CDC reported that 79,400 people died from influenza during the 2017/2018 season, which they said “serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.”8 It’s important to remember, however, that the 80,000 deaths figure being widely reported in the media is not actually all “flu deaths.”

According to the CDC, “We look at death certificates that have pneumonia or influenza causes (P&I), other respiratory and circulatory causes (R&C), or other nonrespiratory, noncirculatory causes of death, because deaths related to flu may not have influenza listed as a cause of death.”9

As for why the CDC doesn’t base flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that list influenza, they noted, “Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease … Additionally, some deaths — particularly among the elderly — are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).”10

In other words, “flu deaths” are not just deaths directly caused by the influenza virus, but also secondary infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, as well as sepsis.11

According to the CDC, most of the deaths occurred among those aged 65 years and over, a population that may already have preexisting conditions that makes them more susceptible to infectious diseases. As Harte said of annual flu deaths, “[M]ost if not all, I would assume, are of people who are already in very bad shape.12

CDC Claims Flu Vaccine Reduces Flu Deaths in the Elderly — But Does It?

Since people aged 65 and over are those most at risk from flu complications and death, the CDC has been vocal in their claims that the flu shot significantly reduces flu-related deaths among this population. The research, however, says otherwise.

Research published in 2005 found no correlation between increased vaccination rates among the elderly and reduced mortality. According to the authors, “Because fewer than 10 percent of all winter deaths were attributable to influenza in any season, we conclude that observational studies substantially overestimate vaccination benefit.”13

A 2006 study also showed that even though seniors vaccinated against influenza had a 44 percent reduced risk of dying during flu season than unvaccinated seniors, those who were vaccinated were also 61 percent less like to die before the flu season ever started.14

This finding has since been attributed to a “healthy user effect,” which suggests that older people who get vaccinated against influenza are already healthier and, therefore, less likely to die anyway, whereas those who do not get the shot have suffered a decline in health in recent months.

Journalist Jeremy Hammond summed up the CDC’s continued spreading of misinformation regarding the flu vaccine’s effectiveness in the elderly, as they continue to claim it’s the best way to prevent the flu:15

[T]here is no good scientific evidence to support the CDC’s claim that the influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations or deaths among the elderly.

The types of studies the CDC has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited due to their systemic ‘healthy user’ selection bias, and the mortality rate has observably increased along with the increase in vaccine uptake — which the CDC has encouraged with its unevidenced claims about the vaccine’s benefits, downplaying of its risks, and a marketing strategy of trying to frighten people into getting the flu shot for themselves and their family.”

Death of Vaccinated Child Blamed on Not Getting Second Dose

In January 2019, the state of Colorado reported the first child flu death of the 2018/2019 flu season — a child who had received influenza vaccination. But instead of highlighting the vaccine’s failure and clear limitations, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment blamed the death on the child being only “partially vaccinated.”

“It’s an unfortunate but important reminder of the importance of two doses of influenza vaccine for young children who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who is the state communicable disease epidemiologist, said in a news release.16 For those who aren’t aware, the CDC notes that one dose of flu shot may not be enough to protect against the flu. Instead, they state:17

“Children 6 months through 8 years getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season …

The first dose ‘primes’ the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine.”

Not only may the flu vaccine fail to provide protection against the flu, but many people are not aware that other types of viruses are responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory infections during any given flu season.18 The flu vaccine does not protect against or prevent any of these other types of respiratory infections causing influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms.

The chance of contracting actual type A or B influenza, caused by one of the three or four influenza virus strains included in the vaccine, is much lower compared to getting sick with another type of viral or bacterial infection during the flu season.

Does Flu Vaccine Increase the Risk of Influenza Infection, Contribute to Vaccine Shedding?

There are serious adverse effects that can come along with annual flu vaccination, including potentially lifelong side effects such as Guillain Barré syndrome and chronic shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). They may also increase your risk of contracting more serious flu infections, as research suggests those who have been vaccinated annually may be less protected than those with no prior flu vaccination history.19

Research presented at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego also revealed that children who get seasonal flu shots are more at risk of hospitalization than children who do not. Children who had received the flu vaccine had three times the risk of hospitalization as children who had not. Among children with asthma, the risk was even higher.20

There’s also the potential for vaccine shedding, which has taken on renewed importance with the reintroduction of the live virus vaccine FluMist during the 2018/2019 season. While the CDC states that the live flu virus in FluMist is too weak to actually give recipients the flu, research has raised some serious doubts that this is the case.

One recent study revealed not only that influenza virus may be spread via simple breathing (i.e., no sneezing or coughing required) but also that repeated vaccination increases the amount of virus released into the air.21

MedImmune, the company that developed FluMist, is aware that the vaccine sheds vaccine-strain virus. In its prescribing information, they describe a study on the transmission of vaccine-strain viruses from vaccinated children to nonvaccinated children in a day care setting.

In 80 percent of the FluMist recipients, at least one vaccine-strain virus was isolated anywhere from one to 21 days following vaccination. They further noted, “One placebo subject had mild symptomatic Type B virus infection confirmed as a transmitted vaccine virus by a FluMist recipient in the same playgroup.”22

Are There Other Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season?

Contrary to the CDC’s and Golden Globe’s claims that flu vaccinations are a great way to prevent flu, other methods exist to help you stay healthy during the flu season and all year, and they’re far safer than annual flu vaccination. Vitamin D testing and optimization have been shown to cut your risk of respiratory infections, including colds and flu, in half if you are vitamin D deficient, for instance.23,24

In my view, optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best respiratory illness prevention and optimal health strategies available. Influenza has also been treated with high-dose vitamin C,25 and taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory illness can also be helpful.

Following other basic tenets of health, like eating right, getting sound sleep, exercising and addressing stress are also important, as is regularly washing your hands.

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