Treating Chronic Lyme Disease with Antabuse (disulfiram)

There is an exciting possibility that Antabuse (disulfiram) can effectively treat, and possibly even cure, chronic Lyme disease. Antabuse has been used for years to discourage alcoholics from consuming alcohol, because consuming even small amounts when taking this drug can cause a terrible hangover. But it turns out that disulfiram also has antibiotic properties. Lab experiments found that disulfiram was significantly more effective at killing Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) than other antibiotics commonly used to treat it, and in some cases, disulfiram completely eradicated this bacteria.

The jury is still out about disulfiram’s effectiveness in humans, but initial case reports of Lyme patients who are trying disulfiram are positive. One patient who took disulfiram for four months has remained symptom-free for two years after discontinuing the drug.

For more information about treating chronic Lyme disease with Antabuse (disulfiram), see this excellent article by Dan Kinderlehrer, MD, “Disulfiram-breakthrough drug for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases?”

Disulfiram–breakthrough drug for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases?

Human Health Effects of Forest Fire Smoke

I recently researched the human health effects of exposure to forest fire smoke for the Santa Fe Forest Coalition (SFFC). My report was included in SFFC comments on a proposed revision of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) makes cursory mention of the possible adverse health effects of smoke from prescribed fires on the elderly and other sensitive populations, but basically dismisses it. It certainly fails to analyze these impacts in a thorough way as required by NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act).

Some things I learned in doing the research is there is no safe level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), there is evidence to suggest that PM2.5 from burning vegetation is more toxic than that from urban sources, and in 2013, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) classified outdoor air pollution and particulate matter as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). This is not good news considering the fact the U.S. Forest Service is planning to conduct increased regular prescribed burns into perpetuity. The attitude of the SFNF is if you do not like their smoke, move.

Even though it will be a difficult to change their attitude and behavior, I encourage everyone to let the Forest Service know how prescribed fire smoke harms you and/or why you do not want yourself, your children, or pets to be exposed to it, especially since aggressive forest thinning and burning will not accomplish the goal of reducing catastrophic wildfires.  Most evidence indicates these fires are the result climate change, not too many trees.

Relating to Others When You Are Chemically Sensitive

I am pleased to announce that I am adding a new article to my web site. Years ago, I wrote a booklet entitled Relating to Others When You Are Chemically Sensitive, but I never published it.  Recently, I updated it and today am making it available on my website under Writings and Publications.

Relating to Others When You Are Chemically Sensitive

Communicating With Others When You Are Chemically Sensitive

Yesterday, I was a featured guest on a conference call hosted by MCS Friends, an online and phone support group for people with chemical sensitivities.  This call was one of a series of discussions on how to communicate with others when you are chemically sensitive, including suggestions for how to explain chemical sensitivities to friends, family members, doctors, etc. We also discussed health and medical issues of interest to those with MCS.

The hour and a half discussion was recorded and the replay is available to MCS Friends members.

To become a member, go to www.mcsfriends.org and follow instructions there, or you can call 248-301-2283 to join by phone.

 

The Problem With Air “Fresheners”

TEN QUESTIONS CONCERNING AIR FRESHENERS AND INDOOR BUILT ENVIRONMENTS

Building and Environment 111 (2017) 279-284

Anne Steinemann, University of Melbourne, Australia

Highlights

• Air fresheners are used throughout society.

• Air fresheners, even ones called green and organic, can emit potentially hazardous chemicals.

• Fewer than 10% of air freshener ingredients are typically disclosed to the public.

• Over 20% of the general US population report adverse health effects from air fresheners.

• Fragrance-free indoor environments receive a majority of support.

Abstract

Air fresheners are pervasive within indoor built environments, such as workplaces, schools, housing, transportation, hotels, hospitals, care facilities, and a range of private and public buildings. Air fresheners are designed to impart an aroma to the air environment or to mask odors, with the intent of creating a pleasing indoor space. However, despite the intent, air fresheners can emit and generate a range of potentially hazardous air pollutants that can impair air quality. Even so-called green and organic air fresheners can emit hazardous air pollutants. Air freshener ingredients are largely unknown and undisclosed, owing to regulatory protections on consumer product ingredients and on fragrance formulations. In studies, fewer than ten percent of all volatile ingredients are typically disclosed on air freshener labels or material safety data sheets. From an indoor air quality perspective, air fresheners have been indicated as a primary source of volatile organic compounds within buildings. From a health perspective, air fresheners have been associated with adverse effects, such as migraine headaches, asthma attacks, mucosal symptoms, infant illness, and breathing difficulties. This article investigates the seeming paradox that products designed to improve the indoor environment can pose unintended and unknown risks. It examines the science, health, and policy perspectives, and provides recommendations and research directions.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132316304334

Ecosystem Rights Movement

This week I stumbled on to an exciting new movement seeking to grant ecosystems the rights of personhood under the law! At first this may seem odd, but corporations already enjoy this right, which has significantly hampered efforts to protect the environment.  Granting ecosystems personhood rights would at least make it a fairer fight. 

Environmentalists Seek Personhood for Colorado River Ecosystem

VICTORIA PRIESKOP, September 27, 2017

DENVER (CN) — In a new twist in the long, tortuous history of Western water law, an environmental group sued Colorado this week in federal court, as next friend of the Colorado River Ecosystem, asking the court to grant the river personhood.

Deep Green Resistance and its members want the Colorado River ecosystem granted personhood in the same way a ship, an ecclesiastic corporation or a standard commercial corporation have it — as famously stated by presidential candidate Mitt Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend” — for purposes of constitutional protection and enforcement.

Numerous Supreme Court rulings have upheld corporate personhood, particularly in the realm of campaign finance, notable Buckley v. Valeo (1976), First National Bank of Boston v.Bellotti (1978), and Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010).

The plaintiffs spend five of the lawsuit’s 22 pages arguing why the Colorado River ecosystem should be granted personhood, using corporate rights as “an instructive analogy.”

“The Colorado is 60 to 70 million years old and has enabled, sustained, and allowed for human life for as long as human life has been extant in the Western United States, yet the Colorado has no rights or standing whatsoever to defend itself and ensure its existence; while a corporation that can be perfected in fifteen minutes with a credit card can own property, issue stock, open a bank account, sue or defend in litigation, form and bind contracts, claim Fourth Amendment guarantees, due process, equal protection, hold religious beliefs and perhaps most famously invest unlimited amounts of money in support of its favorite political candidate.”

After citing the Supreme Court rulings in Citizens United and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), the plaintiffs continue: “The American system of law is replete with doctrines, examples and solutions with regard to when a party cannot bring suit itself and requires another to stand in its stead, including guardians ad litem, parens patriae, executors who can bring suits on behalf of an estate, and trustees. The fiduciary relationship in which one party can litigate in the best of interests of another party has long been recognized by U.S. courts.”

Forty million people in seven states draw water from the Colorado River, which irrigates nearly 4 million acres of cropland. Thirty-four Native American tribes also draw water from the river, which has been reduced to barely a trickle by the time it empties into the Gulf of California.

The complaint enumerates the river’s ecological importance and the dangers presented to it by laws and practices, including a series of compacts which allow various states to divert more water from the than it contains. The so-called Law of the River encourages upstream states to divert water whether they need it or not, in a use-it-or-lose-it arrangement.

The plaintiffs attribute much of the damage done to the river’s ecosystem to a failure of how environmental law views the land itself. “Environmental law has failed to protect the natural environment because it accepts the status of nature and ecosystems as property, while merely regulating the rate at which the natural environment is exploited. Its failure can be seen from the worsening of climate change, the continued pollution of ground and surface water, and the decline of every major ecosystem on the continent.”

Citing recent rulings in Ecuador, Colombia, India and some U.S. municipalities which have recognized that rivers, glaciers and other ecosystems may be treated as legal persons, the plaintiffs ask the court to grant the Colorado River ecosystem a person, capable of possessing rights, and that among these rights are the right “to exist, flourish, regenerate, be restored, and naturally evolve.”

It asks also that Deep Green Resistance be recognized as a guardian and/or next friend of the river, and be allowed to sue the State of Colorado on the river’s behalf.

Deep Green Resistance member Deanna Meyer, a plaintiff, said in a statement: “Without the recognition that the Colorado River possesses certain rights of its own, it will always be subject to wide-scale exploitation without any real consequences. I’m proud to stand with the other next friends in this lawsuit to enforce and defend the rights of the Colorado, and we’re calling on groups across the country to do the same to protect the last remaining wild places in this country and beyond.”

The group is represented by Jason Flores-Williams, a criminal defense attorney who became well known when he sued Denver for its sweeps upon the homeless.

“We’re bringing this lawsuit to even the odds,” he said in a statement. “Corporations today claim rights and powers that routinely overwhelm the efforts of people to protect the environment. Our judicial system recognizes corporations as persons, so why shouldn’t it recognize the natural systems upon which we all depend as having rights as well?”

Environmentalists Seek Personhood for Colorado River Ecosystem

Susan Molloy’s Presentation to Access Board 5/23/18

Susan Molloy’s Presentation to U.S. Access Board at Phoenix Meeting on 5/23/18

U.S. Access Board

1331 “F” Street NW

Washington, DC 20004

Dear President Robertson, Board Members, and Executive Director Mr. Capozzi:

First of all, we are honored by your visit to ABILITY360, our Phoenix Disability Empowerment Center. Thank you, and ABILITY360 Executive Director Phil Pangrazzio, for all your efforts organizing this meeting and for hearing our presentations. Please extend our appreciation to your staff members as well for their hard work.

We trust that you are as encouraged as we, by which I mean people facing environmental barriers to public spaces and facilities, by the Indoor Environmental Quality (“IEQ”) Report of 2005. It was published by the National Institute of Building Sciences, sponsored by the U.S. Access Board, and coordinated by the Access Board’s then Chief Counsel Jim Raggio.

Through this project, we developed concepts and language through which to make the Access Board’s work more comprehensive.

While implementation of the measures we suggest in that document, and in subsequent communications, may not all be immediately achievable, it is our responsibility to see that inadvertent barriers to our access do not go unnoticed and that we assist the Board in drawing up applicable specifications and policies in accordance with the IEQ Final Report.

We are at your service to make this happen.

Toward that end, I endorse the presentations of Mary Lamielle, Director of the National Center for Environmental Strategies, of Ann McCampbell, M.D., from whom you have just heard, from Libby Kelley regarding electrical hypersensitivities and related issues, and from our other colleagues who have participated in preparation for this meeting.

Now, I would like to familiarize you with a few bare-bones features that can enormously and immediately improve our access to public places, with little or no expense, while more extensive measures are developed for future implementation.

SHORTLIST of Free, Readily Achievable Structural and Design Considerations

Windows that open (consider air-to-air heat exchanger technology)

Daylight, skylights, and the option of incandescent lightbulbs (no fluorescents or LEDS) in at least some specified areas of the facility

Landscaping using plants, trees, ground covers that require no chemical maintenance, and no extensive watering (to minimize mold growth)

Non-chemical IPM inside facility, paths of travel, and outdoors (sidewalks, parking area, bus stop)

No Fragrance Emission Devices (“FEDS”) in at least designated restrooms, and no fragrance distribution systems in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) systems

No smart meters for electricity, gas, or water installed in public areas of a facility unless thoroughly and effectively shielded

Separate electrical wiring and/or fiber optics, and kill switches, for at least some areas of the facility so that non-essential computers, printers, fluorescents, others can be shut down without impacting other areas of the facility

No carpet in designated areas

Maintain existing landline phones, and re-install the old ones

Independent variable fresh air ventilation system (aka “fan”), for at least certain areas of the facility, that can be operated by the room occupant without assistance

Signage on and around the facility, in pertinent formats, indicating where accessible (for our purposes) sidewalks, ramps, doors, restrooms, phones, conference rooms, parking are located, along with a posted, readily available schedule of recent maintenance and materials

Signage, in pertinent formats, to designate areas where wi-fi is present, to prevent inadvertent exposure to the degree possible

Designation of areas for re-charging wheelchair batteries, cell phones, computers, vehicles, others using wired electrical outlets

Essential: buzzer or intercom outside the facility to summon building occupants such as the clerk, doctor, child, police, social services employee, grocer, shopkeeper

Study the “Cleaner Air Room” concept and language as per the Indoor Environmental Quality (“IEQ”) Report, pages 47-55, 2005, which is posted on the Access Board’s website (www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality)

 

Susan Molloy, M.A.

Hansa Trail, Snowflake, AZ 85937

928.536.4625

molloy@frontiernet.net

My Presentation to Federal Access Board 5/23/18

On May 23, 2018, the federal Access Board held a town hall meeting in Phoenix to hear from members of the public about their access needs.  I was honored to be on a panel, along with Susan Molloy, to make a presentation on the access needs of people with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) and electromagnetic hypersensitivities (EHS).

Click here to listen to my presentation (7.5 mins).

Susan Molloy and I, as well as several other people with MCS and/or EHS who made public comments, stressed the profound lack of access that people with these disabilities have to housing, health care, employment, and almost the entire built environment.  We urged the Board to take action to increase this access.

For specific next steps, Susan and I endorsed the National Center for Environmental Health Strategies (NCEHS) recommendations for action shown below:

NCEHS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
US Access Board, January 8, 2018
 
Unfinished business from the IEQ (Indoor Environmental Quality) Project
(www.access-board.gov/research/completed-research/indoor-environmental-quality):
 
Work with our community to develop a plan to address IEQ and the disability access needs of people with chemical and electrical sensitivities or intolerances.
 
Fulfill the promises of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Recreational Activities, September 3, 2002:
 
Develop an action plan that can be used to reduce the level of chemicals and electromagnetic fields in the built environment;
 
Develop technical assistance materials on best practices to accommodate individuals with chemical and electrical sensitivities or intolerances;
      
Address recommendations in the IEQ Report including the need for research on cleaning products and practices that are effective and protective of occupant health.
 
New Initiatives:
 
Create a partnership or working group with the National Council on Disability (NCD) and other agencies as appropriate to address our issues.
 
Appoint a liaison from our community to work with the partnership or working group.
 
Appoint at least one staff member and one board member as a contact on these issues.
 
Support the appointment of an individual with knowledge of these issues to the U.S. Access Board and/or the National Council on Disability (NCD).
 
Facilitate efforts to educate members of the U.S. Access Board and staff, the NCD, and other agencies and organizations, as the opportunity presents.
 
Invite knowledgeable experts and advocates to work with the U.S. Access Board and the National Council on Disability to advance these issues.
 
Convene a meeting with the experts to formalize a plan of action to address the proposed initiatives. This plan should in part include joint hearings or stakeholder meetings sponsored by the U.S. Access Board, the NCD, and other agencies as appropriate, to get input from the community. Invite those with environmental sensitivities or intolerances to “SPEAK for themselves” about their health, access, and disability needs. 
 
 
National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, Inc. (NCEHS), Mary Lamielle, Executive Director, 1100 Rural Avenue, Voorhees, New Jersey 08043 (856)429-5358; (856)816-8820
 
 
 

MCS Booklet Now Available as a Kindle E-Book!

I am happy to report that my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) booklet is now available as a Kindle E-book. It can be purchased through Amazon. On that site you can “look inside” and preview the first 4 pages.  Feel free to leave me a customer review and tell me what you think of the booklet. 

NM Public Regulation Commission Denies Approval of Electricity Smart Meters

This is terrific news!  PNM is the largest provider of electricity in NM.  At last, those with electromagnetic hypersensitivity are acknowledged and their needs taken into account.

Arthur Firstenberg

Cellular Phone Task Force

April 11, 2018

Today we won a victory in the fight against radiation. The Public Regulation Commission has denied PNM’s application for Smart Meters. “The plan presented in the Application does not provide a net public benefit and it does not promote the public interest,” wrote the Commission.

The Commission accepted the Hearing Examiner’s recommended decision without alteration. It ruled that:

• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will save money.

• PNM did not demonstrate that smart meters will produce energy efficiency.

• PNM did not show that customers want smart meters.

• PNM did not evaluate alternatives.

• PNM did not say how it would protect customer data privacy.

• Cybersecurity issues need to be addressed.

• 125 good, high-paying jobs would be lost.

• Proposed opt-out fees were unreasonable.

• There was insufficient public input.

• There was insufficient response by PNM to public objections.

EVIDENCE ABOUT HEALTH EFFECTS was discussed at length. “Customers who have strong feelings about the health effects of the meters should be allowed to protect their stated health concerns without a prohibitively high cost.

The decision goes on to state: “The conditions of the portion of the population who believe they are electromagnetically sensitive deserve acknowledgment and consideration as decisions are made regarding the implementation of an AMI Project. Accommodations could include reasonable opt-out provisions and fees and perhaps the selection of technologies that minimize the impacts on such people. Such accommodations may be desirable to minimize health risks to customers and address the needs and preferences of PNM’s customers. These are issues that can and should be addressed in a public input process of the sort PNM stated in its 2012 Report that it would conduct before bringing a smart meter proposal to the Commission for approval.

The decision means there will not be smart meters [to measure electricity] in the near future in New Mexico’s metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Clayton, Ruidoso, Tularosa, Alamogordo, Silver City, Lordsburg and Deming. 

Archives

Categories