Wastewater Reclamation Based On Flawed Risk Assessments

Alzheimer’s Disease Fueled By Infectious Waste

Neurodegenerative diseases are the fastest-growing causes of death around the world. The mismanagement of infectious waste is contributing to the epidemic.

Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for his pioneering research on deadly prions—an infectious form of protein that connects a deadly spectrum disease called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.”

President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his work. Unfortunately, this groundbreaking research is being ignored. This negligence is fueling a public health disaster around the world, as critical prion pathways are being ignored and mismanaged.

wastewater treatment plants and prion disease

In June 2012, Prusiner confirmed that Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and even ALS are prion diseases similar, if not identical, to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The primary difference being which part of the brain the disease attacks first. The other variable is that there are now an unknown number of prion mutations.

“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”

Mutations of these deadly prions also are the common denominator between human forms of the disease, mad cow disease in livestock and chronic wasting disease in wildlife. Several other species of mammals, including sea mammals, also are victims of the unstoppable epidemic. Much of the carnage is being swept under the rug as the problem escalates.

Although there are many causes contributing to prion disease, many people and animals are contracting it from environmental exposure (food, water and soil) and then contaminating the environment even more with their own bodily fluids. Victims of prion disease are walking time bombs. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most deadly form of prion disease in humans. Without dispute, it is a very contagious disease that kills rapidly. There is no cure for CJD.

Alzheimer’s and CJD are often indistinguishable to neurologists and general practitioners. Misdiagnoses are common. It appears that CJD is caused by a more aggressive mutation of prion than Alzheimer’s, but a deadly prion is a deadly prion. There is no reason to believe that some prions behave differently than others in disease transmission and progression. There should be no difference in disease management.

Unfortunately, as more people contract these brain diseases, the more deadly wastewater streams become. Meanwhile, wastewater reuse is surging around the world in response to growing populations and dwindling water resources. Other by-products from the wastewater stream known as biosolids (sewage sludge) also are being used to fertilize crops, pastures for livestock, golf courses, playgrounds and gardens. Millions of people, including your family, are in harm’s way because wastewater treatment plants can’t stop prions. Regulators and industry are playing dumb as the body count keeps rising. It’s a deadly circle enabled by an outdated risk assessment. Modern science is being ignored.

Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage is dumped.

prion research Joel Pedersen

“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage

sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said. “Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables.”

land application sewage sludge

The largest prion pathway in the world is wastewater (infectious waste) from homes, hospitals, nursing homes, slaughterhouses, dental offices and other high-risk sources. The problem is that prions are in all bodily fluids and cell tissue of millions of victims who often go undiagnosed.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

Their mucus, saliva, feces, and urine are flushed down millions of toilets and rinsed down sinks every day. Once inside the wastewater system, prions proceed to migrate, mutate and multiply. Reckless risk assessments enable wastewater treatment plants to spread these deadly agents far and wide. Deadly prions are building up and incubating in sewage treatment plants and then dumped openly on land. They are swept into the air by the wind. Now, water contaminated by prions is migrating into our rivers, lakes and oceans. It’s being injected into groundwater and it’s being recycled as tap water.

biosolids land application and disease

I used to support wastewater reclamation and reuse projects until I realized that the risk assessments were prepared decades ago—before Dr. Prusiner characterized prions and prion disease. These microscopic protein particles have converted sewage and its by-products a public health disaster.

Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the George and Cynthia W. Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Brain Related Illnesses at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues are the latest to find prions in urine. The study appeared in the August 7, 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Recent studies are confirming the presence of prions in blood. The U.S. EPA and other regulatory bodies around the world are ignoring these risks.

“This is the first time that prions have been detected in human urine,” Dr. Soto told Neurology Today.

Soto failed to reference urine and blood studies performed earlier by Ruth Gabizon in 2001 and Reichl in 2002, which also detected deadly prions in bodily fluids.

sewage treatment plant and infectious waste

Wastewater Reclamation Hazards

As many hospitals have learned the hard way, deadly prions are unstoppable in the sterile confines of an operating room that has been exposed to someone with prion disease. Prions are totally unaccounted for in the high-volume streams at wastewater treatment plants. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply as they move through the environment and up the food chain. Prions from humans are the most aggressive and deadly. Wastewater treatment plants have been prion incubators and distributors for decades. The victims no longer fit under the rug of deceit.

Sewage treatment plants and their discharges are permanently infected. Once a prion reaches the soil, the soil is permanently contaminated and the entire watershed below that point is at risk forever. If your food and water is generated in that watershed, you and your family are exposed. We can’t afford to further contaminate entire watersheds – increasing the pathway to humans, livestock, and wildlife downstream.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

Read the full story about the hidden hazards associated with wastewater reclamation and reuse at http://crossbowcommunications.com/wastewater-reclamation-reuse-based-on-outdated-risk-assessments/

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the prion disease epidemic is one of our special areas of practice. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com. Stop prion disease.

Recycling Sewage Recycles Brain Disease

Sewage Sludge Spreading Deadly Diseases

I wish that I could support wastewater reclamation and the application of sewage sludge (biosolids). Unfortunately, I have reversed course on my position over the past decade and now I only see unacceptable risks. The reason for my reversal is a microscopic protein particle called a prion.

The problem is that prion diseases are on the rise around the world in people and animals. Since prions cause a deadly, incurable disease in people, wildlife and livestock, it seems to be prudent to question prion pathways and policies. Prion diseases kill everything in their path. There is no cure. They are always fatal. Since prions are unstoppable, they are a threat to food and water supplies around the world. Carelessly spreading prions via any pathway is reckless and criminal. Since the safety of biosolids cannot be proven, the practice must be stopped based on common sense.

We know these prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies–TSEs) as:

mad cow disease and prions

Mad Cow (BSE) in cattle. Mad cow disease has emerged significantly around the globe over the past 30 years. Few countries have been immune.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Alzheimer’s disease in humans. At least 10-20 percent of Alzheimer’s disease cases are actually Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Since both are prion diseases, the difference is likely due to genetic and chemistry variations in the host or due to a prion mutation prior to exposure.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) deer, elk and moose. Meanwhile, prion disease is on the rise among wildlife. Deer, elk, moose and other mammals have been dying from chronic wasting disease for more than 30 years, but the impacted regions continue to spread. The deadly disease has been found from Utah to Pennsylvania and from Canada south to Texas.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

Scrapie in sheep. Farmers in Europe have reported sick and incurable sheep for about 300 years or more. Some speculate that this is one of the origins of the outbreak because they over-bred sheep for specific genetic traits and weakened the herds. Then some of the sick animals became feed for other livestock.

While the death rate for many major diseases, including heart disease and many forms of cancer, are declining, the death rate from Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakobs disease are on the rise among many populations (in some regions more than others). If Alzheimer’s and CJD were truly random diseases without environmental influence, the death rate from these diseases would be fairly consistent around the world. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. People who live in Washington State, for example, are lmost twice as likely to die from Alzheimer’s disease as people elsewhere in the nation. Women are almost twice as likely as men to die of Alzheimer’s disease. Why?

People and animals are exposed to prions in multiple ways. Many cattle got the disease from feed that was made from ground up cattle carcasses–a cheap source of protein and an elimination of disposal costs. Some animals have been infected by touching noses with infected animals or licking or ingesting material that sick animals touched. Since infected animals have the deadly prions in their blood, urine, feces, saliva and tissue, they basically contaminate their entire environment–even after death. Animals or carcasses that come along behind them are at risk of exposure and infection. Cattle also are exposed to prions in sewage sludge.

land application sewage sludge

The same risks are present for people. A person with prion disease will permanently infect cups, utensils, dental instruments and surgical instruments. In fact, most coroners refuse to conduct an autopsy on people who are suspected of having prion disease. Call your favorite coroner and ask.

Furthermore, people with prion disease also contaminate their toilets with their bodily fluids and excretions, which contaminate the sewage treatment plant. Just one person with a prion disease will contaminate every sewage system used–forever. Most cities have had more than one resident or visitor with prion disease, which means that prions are incubating and spreading within the pipes and the treatment plants of most sewage plants around the world. Additional prions arrive frequently thanks to the growing population of people with Alzheimer’s disease or CJD.

The prion problem grows thanks to sewage recycling efforts–prions are spread on golf courses, parks and crops as reclaimed water and as biosolid applications. Entire watersheds are at risk as rain, snow and irrigation can rinse the deadly prions into creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans and groundwater. Some states, such as Wisconsin, have applied biosolids in almost every county of the state. Wisconsin also has one of the worst epidemics of chronic wasting disease in the nation. Unfortunately, the sick deer contribute to the the contamination as they expose other animals, hunters, soil, and water.

The prion problem escalates when you realize that we are dumping millions of gallons of sewage into our rivers and oceans every day. I wonder how many dolphins and whales that beach themselves or just wash ashore are victims of prion disease?

Does it all sound too much like a sci-fi thriller? The plot thickens.

prion disease epidemic

Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for identifying, naming and studying deadly prions. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the growing significance of his discovery. (In June 2012, Prusiner confirmed that Alzheimer’s disease is a prion disease like CJD and mad cow.)

In fact, prions now are such a formidable threat that the United States government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 to halt research on infectious prions in the United States in all but two laboratories. Now, infectious prions are classified as select agents that require special security clearance for lab research. The intent is to keep prions and other dangerous biological materials away from terrorists who might use them to contaminate, food, water, blood, equipment, and entire facilities.

If prions must be tightly regulated in a laboratory environment today, the outdoor environment should be managed accordingly. If we can’t sterilize surgical equipment used on people who have prion disease, why are we kidding ourselves that we can neutralize prions in sewage? Dilution is not a solution to prion contamination. They don’t have a half-life like radiation. They multiply, which means even one will become many. They can’t be stopped.

biosolids land application and disease

Recycling water and waste is a good idea, except when it concentrates and recycles deadly diseases and pathogens that migrate, mutate and multiply. Prions are worse than radiation. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security has classified them as a “special agent” that must be controlled in only two labs in the entire country. Therefore, we should not make our lands and waters an outdoor chemistry experiment that can blow up in our face–and our children’s.

Any place that recycles sewage water and sewage sludge (biosolids) is spreading pathogens and misinformation–if not outright lies. These lands could someday be condemned as Superfund sites and our diminishing water supplies could be further lost to permanent contamination.

For more information on this topic please visit http://garychandler.com/pandoras-lunchbox-filled-with-prions/ you will see that the EPA and others are mismanaging these prion risks. I hope that you don’t make the same mistake. I would be happy to discuss this matter and consult with your agency to manage this issue.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

Fact Sheet

Alzheimer’s disease patients shed infectious prions in their blood, saliva, mucus, urine
and feces. The infectious prions bind to the sewage sludge, including sludge biosolids compost, being applied on home gardens, US cropland, grazing fields and dairy pastures,
putting humans, family pets, wildlife and livestock at risk.

Other prion contaminated wastes discharged to sewers include rendering plants (which process remains of 2 million potentially BSE infected downer cows each year), slaughterhouses, embalmers and morticians, biocremation, taxidermists, butcher shops, veterinary and necropsy labs, hospitals, landfill leachates (where CWD infected and other carcasses are disposed), etc.

The US EPA lists prions as a contaminant of concern in sewage sludge and water
eight times. The EPA issued what it calls the “Sludge Rule,” which basically disclaims any responsibility for its premature and questionable risk assessments as it relates to all toxins and pathogens found in biosolids. It reserves the right to adjust the risk assessments as the test of time may disprove its pseudo-science.

Renown prion researcher, Dr. Joel Pedersen, University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infective in certain soils. Dr. Pedersen’s research also proved sewage treatment does not inactivate prions.

sewage treatment plant and disease

“Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal waste water treatment systems, most of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. Land application of biosolids containing prions could represent a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results argue for excluding inputs of prions to municipal waste water treatment,” said Pedersen.

“Prions could end up in waste water treatment plants via slaughterhouse drains, hunted game cleaned in a sink, or humans with vCJD shedding prions in their urine or feces,” Pedersen says. “The disposal of sewage sludge was considered to represent the greatest risk of spreading (prion) infectivity to other premises.” It is well known that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently warned that plants can uptake infectious prions: “. . . there is a potential risk to humans via direct ingestion of the compost or of compost particles adhered to skin or plant material (e.g. carrots). Another potential route of exposure is by ingestion of prions that have been taken up by plants.”

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Gary Chandler is a public affairs, public relations and issue management strategist with Crossbow Communications, based in Denver and Phoenix. http://crossbowcommunications.com/alzheimers-disease-surging-due-to-misinformation-mismanagement/ Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com.