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Will Leaf Blowers Jeopardize Your Hearing?

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Inside your inner ear are tiny hair-like structures vital to your hearing. As you age, these cells begin to degrade, reducing your sensitivity to sound. However, you may also suffer damage to your hearing from exposure to loud noises.

As James Fallows, staff writer at The Atlantic discusses in this short video, dangers to your hearing don’t have to come from loud music, entertainment or massive construction machinery. The seemingly inconsequential gas-powered leaf blower may play a pivotal role increasing your risk of hearing damage and loss.

Even minor hearing loss is associated with negative consequences. After controlling for education and other important demographic factors, hearing loss is independently associated with economic hardship and underemployment.1

Social rejection, loneliness and avoidance or withdrawal from organized social situations triggered by hearing loss also increases the risk for depression,2 and since hearing loss reduces the ability to be alert to environmental cues that may signal dangerous situations, your risk of an accident also increases.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University3 found a strong link between the degree of hearing loss and the risk for dementia. Hearing loss may also complicate the diagnosis and prognosis of those suffering from dementia.

Hearing and Loud Noise

Hearing is a complex function that begins in the outer ear and ends once sound waves are converted into neurological signals and transmitted to your brain. These electrical impulses are created in the cochlea after sound has vibrated your eardrum, moving a tiny group of bones in your middle ear, called the malleus, incus and stapes.

These bones are collectively known as the ossicles and amplify sound force, passing them to your inner ear and cochlea. Inside the cochlea, a conch shell-shaped structure, are 20,000 to 30,000 small hair-like fibers.4 The movement from these cells sends an electrical impulse through the cochlear nerve, which is in turn transmitted to the cerebral cortex in your brain where sound is interpreted.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO),5 more than 1.1 billion teens and young adults are at risk of losing their hearing due to unsafe levels of recreational noise. Nearly half of those aged 12 to 35 are exposed to unsafe sound levels from personal audio devices, and they estimate over 43 million young people worldwide are currently living with disabling hearing loss.

WHO recommends levels no higher than 85 decibels (dB) for a maximum of eight hours in the workplace in order to protect against hearing loss. However, they note many are exposed to levels of 100 dBs or more in entertainment venues. As a comparison, the American Hearing Research Foundation compiled a chart of approximate levels of common sounds, including:6

  • 30 dB — whisper in a quiet library
  • 60 dB — normal conversation
  • 90 to 100 dB — lawnmower, shop tools, truck traffic, chain saw, snowmobile; two hours maximum exposure without protection
  • 115 dB — sandblasting, rock concert, auto horn; 15 minutes per day maximum exposure without protection
  • 140 dB — gun blast, jet engine; brief exposure injures unprotected ears

The Sound of Fall Weather

Fall weather used to herald the sounds of metal or plastic rakes against dry leaves and lawn debris. With the invention of the backpack gas engine leaf blower, the sound of fall has gotten noticeably louder. And, unfortunately, while these leaf blowers are highly productive, they also damage your ears and the hearing of those who happen to be nearby.

According to Nancy Napolitano, interim director of audiology at St Luke’s University Health Network, more people are arriving with noise-induced hearing loss than in years past, many of them in their 50s and younger.7 According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition.8

Nearly twice as many report having hearing loss as suffering from diabetes or cancer. The more often people are exposed to loud noises over 90 dBs, the greater the damage. Nearly 53 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 69 who have hearing damage report they had no on-the-job exposure to loud noise, indicating their exposure may have occurred at home or at entertainment venues.9

Approximately 20 percent of adults with no job exposure to loud sound have hearing damage. It is believed hearing damage is triggered at 85 dB of exposure for approximately eight hours. To compare, traffic noise inside your car measures 80 dB, while a leaf blower can measure between 90 and 115 dBs depending on the device. Exposure to 90 dBs of noise for two hours can trigger hearing damage.

Nearly 7 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 29 report hearing loss. The prevalence rises with age, reaching 50 percent by age 50 and 68 percent by age 60.10

Noisy work environments, medications that affect your hearing, being over the age of 40 and a male are also risk factors. As discussed earlier, hearing loss is more than just an inconvenience. It can lead to cognitive decline, depression and anxiety, social isolation and even loss of income.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor,11 an estimated $242 million is spent each year on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability. The first year of treatment in older adults is projected to increase more than 500 percent from $8 billion spent in 2002 to an estimated $51 billion in 2030.12

Tinnitus May Signal Hearing Damage and Future Losses

Many have experienced ringing in their ears, especially after being in a loud environment. Also called tinnitus, this perception of noise is not triggered by a source in the environment but, rather, is related to damage in the inner ear.13

In the past year, roughly 10 percent of U.S. adults have experienced tinnitus and more than a third of those have nearly constant symptoms. The exact experience differs from person to person. Some describe it as a ringing in their ears, while others as a high pitched hissing, low-pitched roar, chirping, screeching or even musical sounds.

Tinnitus may be experienced in one or both ears; it may remain constant or be intermittent; and some only hear tinnitus if they’re in a completely quiet setting.14 In the past, the majority of cases were diagnosed after the age of 50, but recent data demonstrates it is becoming common in youth, likely due to an increased exposure to environmental noise.

In a study15 of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17, researchers from McMaster University in Canada found “risky listening habits,” including exposure to loud noise at parties or concerts, were the norm. More than half the participants experienced tinnitus in the past, considered a warning sign for hearing damage.

Nearly 29 percent of the students had already developed chronic tinnitus measured by a psychoacoustic examination in a sound booth. Those with tinnitus had a reduced tolerance for loud noises, a sign of damage to the auditory nerves. When damaged, they prompt the brain to increase sensitivity to noise, essentially making sounds seem louder than they really are.

Tinnitus is also associated with coexisting anxiety and those with tinnitus have a higher risk of suffering depression and anxiety disorders. In one study, emotional exhaustion — or the feeling of being drained due to chronic stress — was a strong predictor of symptom severity.16

Age-Related Hearing Loss May Be Positively Impacted by Exercise and Nutrition

Hearing loss reported in those over 60 may be affected by age-related cell damage in the cochlea. While benefits from exercise range from weight loss, improved bone density and cardiovascular fitness to supporting your immune system, research has also linked aerobic exercise with a lower risk for hearing loss with age.

Using an animal model,17 research data showed sedentary mice lost important auditory structures in the cochlea affecting their hearing. Those who exercised experienced 5 percent hearing loss during their lifetime while sedentary mice experienced an average of 20 percent hearing loss.

Researchers estimated 70 percent of hearing loss in people over 70 is related to the loss of these structures. As your auditory system never stops working, it requires a high level of energy and a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients.

It is not surprising to also find nutritional imbalances may be another significant causative factor in hearing loss. Nutrients found to be most beneficial for protecting and improving your hearing are:18,19,20,21

  • Carotenoids, especially astaxanthin and vitamin A
  • Folate (vitamin B9)
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium

Nutrients function by protecting against oxidative stress and preventing free radical damage. This improves blood flow and reduces the damage to the cochlea related to a compromised vascular system. Those affected by noise-induced tinnitus may benefit from higher folate levels.

Folate lowers homocysteine,22 high levels of which have been associated with age-related hearing loss.23 The ideal way to raise your vitamin levels is through your diet. Folate can be found in fresh, raw (ideally organic) leafy green vegetables, asparagus, spinach, turnip greens and broccoli.

There is a difference between folic acid typically found in supplements, and folate. In order for folic acid to be used by your body it must first be activated into a biologically active form to cross the blood-brain barrier.

It’s estimated nearly half of all Americans have difficulty converting folic acid because of a genetic reduction in enzyme activity. For this reason, if you take a B vitamin supplement, ensure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.

Gas Powered Leaf Blowers Present Yet Another Risk

Aside from hearing damage, wearing a leaf blower strapped to your back may also increase your risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). The most dangerous pollution affecting you today is likely the invisible sea of EMF your body swims through daily. Your risk of exposure increases with your proximity to the source.

When the leaf blower is worn as a backpack, this places the source of EMF pollution directly against your body. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,24 EMFs are “invisible areas of energy, often referred to as radiation, that are associated with the use of electrical power.”

Damage from EMF begins at the cellular level. Martin Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, has identified and published several papers on the subject.25,26 

For an end in-depth discussion of how EMF exposure affects the development of chronic diseases, see my previous article, “Reduce EMF Exposure.” These are important concepts as they relate to your close contact exposure when using a gas powered leaf blower harnessed on your back.

Protect Your Ears and Reduce Your Risk of Hearing Loss

If you’re a homeowner or work in the landscape business, a leaf blower is likely the most effective way to remove leaves and debris from the property. But, before shouldering an engine-powered yard machine, consider switching to a hand-held, cordless, battery-powered option.

These are lighter weight, easier to handle and are not directly attached to your body over a large surface area — your back. If you must use an engine-powered leaf blower, it is vital you use ear muffs rated at least up to 120 dB. Although ear plugs are available, Napolitano recommends ear muffs as they are much easier to use, and provide better protection.27

It is also important to eat a diet high in nutrient-rich, organic, whole foods to protect your hearing. Foods high in nutrients important to your hearing include dark leafy greens, orange colored vegetables, quinoa, avocado and pastured, non-GMO, organic dairy products.28,29,30

The effects of noise pollution also extend to reduced sleep quality, increased risk of heart disease and rising stress levels. For a discussion of these effects and more, see my previous article, “Quieting Down Could Save Billions in Heart Disease Costs.

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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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