Sewage Sludge Spreading Brain Disease

Biosolids Spreading Brain Disease Among Mammals

In 1972, world leaders realized that dumping millions of tons of sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately, while others did not.

The U.S., for example, finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988. It required dumping all municipal sewage sludge and industrial waste on land. That meant dumping it into landfills or dumping it openly on land, including farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, sport fields and beyond. The Act went into effect in 1992 and it sparked a public health disaster. The practice is spreading pathogens to people, livestock, wildlife and beyond every day.

Landfills designed to handle this toxic soup are extremely expensive. So, the dumpers hired a public relations firm to convince unsuspecting citizens that neurotoxins are fertilizer. The PR firm called this toxic waste biosolids. It’s even sold in bags at your local home and garden store as soil for your garden and potting plants. It should be called death dirt.

biosolids management land application

Since then, millions of tons of sewage sludge have been given to farmers as fertilizer every year. Those farmers and ranchers who don’t believe that “fertilizer” bullshit are being paid to dump it on their land and shut up. The farmers are held harmless if the infectious waste causes damage to people or property.

“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).”

Unfortunately, the practice of dumping extreme quantities of sewage sludge on land has created an even bigger public health problem. It’s now killing wildlife and it still kills sea mammals. Livestock are not immune to the threat.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is transmissible. TSEs are more commonly known as:

  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in cattle;
  • scrapie in sheep;
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Alzheimer’s disease in humans; and
  • chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk, moose and reindeer.

According to Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and Huntington’s disease also are on the TSE spectrum. All are fatal, neurodegenerative brain diseases.

Prions and Prusiner win Nobel Prize

Infectious prions are in the bodily fluids of its victims, including blood, urine, mucus, saliva and feces. These victims send prions to the municipal sewage treatment plant where they remain untouched. Wastewater effluent and sewage sludge recycles prions into the environment. Once dumped on open land, they remain infectious. Irrigation, precipitation and wind carry the prions into groundwater, streams, lakes, oceans and airways, including homes, offices and beyond.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

Reckless wastewater treatment policies and practices are now fueling a global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among people, wildlife and livestock. The risk assessments are based on fraud and outdated information. The risk assessments for the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) were developed back in the 1970s and 1980s–before we knew about prions and other killers in modern sewage streams, including many forms of infectious medical waste.

The risk assessments were questionable then and they are total failures now. Plus, these risk assessments do not account for the possibility of sewage sludge dumped on land going airborne. It’s much more than a possibility–airborne sewage sludge is killing people and animals. It’s dumping the toxins and infectious waste everywhere.

land application sewage sludge

Unfortunately, the U.S. exported these ridiculous ideas to other nations who proceeded to contaminate their food and water supplies with sewage. If hospitals can’t stop prions, neither can the brain surgeons at wastewater treatment plants.

The legislation banning ocean dumping was very explicit about the need to stop dumping potentially infectious medical waste into the oceans. Ironically, the current policy that promotes LASS ignores the risk of infectious medical waste and many other threats. It also ignores radionuclides, endocrine disruptors, birth control pills, antibiotics, flame-retardants and other toxins and superbugs. This toxic waste belongs in a lined landfill not our watersheds and food supplies. It’s time for immediate reforms.

The same sewage-borne toxins and pathogens are still contaminating our oceans. Now, they’re dumped in further upstream. Entire watersheds are now being infected—including the oceans. The body count among people, livestock and wildlife has been stacking up ever since ocean dumping began phasing out. Biosolids and other forms of sewage mismanagement are now fueling a global epidemic of neurological disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, microcephaly and more. Industry and governments are scrambling to blame the global epidemic on anything but contaminated soil, water, food and air. They are playing dumb in the face of fraud and scientific suppression. Negligence is too kind of a word for these public servants.

biosolids land application and disease

Sewage also contaminates our food with listeria, e-coli, salmonella and other killers. In fact, scientists are scrambling to come up with new names for the growing list of sewage-related ailments, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, epizoic hemorrhagic fever, equine herpes, valley fever and others. Industrial disease is a more accurate label.

Crops contaminated by sewage sludge can uptake prions and deliver them throughout the plant. Plants then deliver the deadly prions to mammals that consume the plant. In fact, infected plants are spreading prion diseases to several species. When hamsters consumed infected wheat grass, the animals were infected with prion disease. Researchers also found deadly prions in plants exposed to infected urine and feces. The concept of a species barrier is a myth. A deadly prion is a deadly prion. They don’t discriminate among victims.

“These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease,” said Claudio Soto, the lead investigator from the University of Texas at Houston.

Killer prions are impossible to stop. Prions are contributing to the death of millions of people now. Victims produce and spread prions daily because they’re in the bodily fluids of all victims. Millions of people with brain disease are contaminating their homes and communities, while exposing caregivers and family members to the contagion. The sewage from these victims is contaminating the local wastewater treatment plant and everything that enters or leaves these facilities, including reclaimed wastewater and sewage sludge. Once dumped on open land, these contagions remain infectious as they migrate, mutate and multiply forever.

biosolids land application LASS

Prions demand more respect than radiation. They require containment and isolation, not distribution and consumption through air, food and water. These toxins demand lined landfills not reckless dumping on our dinner tables. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply, so dilution is not a solution. Prions are a nightmare.

The world has never done an effective job of managing its sewage. It’s an industry that drives by looking in the rear view mirror. It only swerves when the road is buried in body bags. After enough people get sick and die, new alternatives emerge. Today is no different. The bodies are stacking up. The prion contamination grows stronger and spreads further every day. It’s time to stop dumping sewage sludge on land because of the prion risk and many others that are not accounted for in the antiquated and fraudulent risk assessments. It’s time for citizens to defend our land, water and air–not just our guns.

chronic wasting disease caused by prions

Today, the land application of sewage sludge is killing mammals and more around the world. Pathogens in sludge are causing brain disease, cancer and death. Let’s take a meaningful stand for food safety. Just say no to biosolids in our watersheds and food supplies.

Take a free preview of our new eBook to learn everything that you need to know about the epidemic and the mismanagement. The rest of the book explains how to defend yourself with aversion and targeted nutrition. Please join our campaign for truth and reform.

For More Information About Food Safety and Water Quality, please visit http://crossbowcommunications.com/land-application-of-sewage-sludge-spreading-brain-disease/

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

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.

CJD Kills North Carolina Boy

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Taking Younger Victims

By Andrew Kenney

It wasn’t bacteria or a virus that plagued young Michael Mendy’s body and mind. He did not inherit his symptoms from his mother or father. Nothing toxic was in his blood. An autopsy reveals that he died of prion disease. And while he was sick, Michael’s parents had no explanation.

“I had to figure it out. I had to find an answer. I had to find a doctor that could help him,” said Michael’s mother, Kathleen Mendy, who lives in western Cary. “You don’t think you’re going to come across something that nobody’s ever seen.”

Michael Mendy dies of CJD

But they had. Dozens of specialists and three years of suffering brought no diagnosis. Michael died a year ago, at age 16. And only then did the explanation and the terrible significance of his case emerge.

Doctors estimate that fewer than one in 100 million young people will share Michael’s journey. The sports nut and East Cary Middle School student was killed by a disease that mostly afflicts the elderly. Michael was a heart-wrenching outlier, apparently among the youngest ever to suffer a spontaneous ravaging of the brain.

biosolids land application

Kathleen Mendy thinks it started on Michael’s 13th birthday in 2009. On that January day, another boy knocked Michael’s head to the court during a basketball game. He was playing again a minute later, his mother watching with a tinge of worry.

The symptoms of a years-long illness crept in that weekend, during a mother-son Super Bowl trip to Florida. That’s where she first saw Michael’s confusion, his unsure movements and his inexplicable crying.

It seemed at first like the troubling wake of the teen’s second concussion in three months, but that theory would erode and change. Across the next three years, in a nightmare that kept unfolding, the brawny teenager would drop almost half his body weight, spend months in the hospital, lose his speech and lay debilitated by simple infections.

The printed record of Michael’s hospital visits and test appointments is three and a half pages long. It documents an increasingly desperate search, listing 140 days in the hospital, 91 visits with doctors and 426 therapy appointments from 2009 to 2012.

“I always thought he would get better,” Kathleen Mendy said. “I used to always tell him, ‘Michael, one day you’re just going to run out of your bedroom, and you’re going to come running downstairs, and you’re going to be all better.’ ”

land application sewage sludge

While his friends went on to high school, Michael was confined to a wheelchair and fed through a tube. His care grew so intense that his mother brought on a full-time medical aide. His father, divorced from his mother, drove in from Florida each time he entered the hospital, and Kathleen Mendy’s family often visited from New York. Each treatment was more esoteric than the last. By the end of 2011, the Mendys had seen more than 30 doctors, medical specialists, faith healers and alternative practitioners.

“I tried chiropractors, reflexology, myofacial therapy,” Kathleen Mendy said. “I tried everything.”

The realization came to Kathleen Mendy on the last night of January 2012, the 22nd day that Michael spent in a UNC hospital bed. He’d been kept alive in an intensive-care unit by a breathing machine while an infection took hold of his lungs. The mysterious disorder had left his body unable to respond. The memory shakes Kathleen Mendy to tears. The scene sticks in her mind.

“Not until the night before he died, is when, honestly, it hit me,” she recalled.

The doctors laid a choice before his parents that night. Michael could go home with a tracheotomy and a ventilator, but they believed he’d live just a few months longer. Or doctors could remove him from life support. Michael’s parents didn’t want him to suffer anymore. He died on Feb. 1, 2012.

sewage treatment plant and disease

Only months later would Michael’s family learn the reason for his degradation and death. An autopsy showed that the teenager died of sporadic fatal insomnia, a subtype of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

“I’m so glad I didn’t know what it was” before Michael died, Kathleen Mendy said. “Because then I wouldn’t have had hope.”

“This disease is a descent into hell,” said Florence Kranitz, president of The Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation in New York City.

She saw her own husband die in 2001 of an ailment similar to Michael’s. Since then she has heard the stories of many of the 300 CJD victims her organization identifies each year, including cases of fatal insomnia.

“We get this phone call, and tragically it’s the same phone call over and over again,” Kranitz said. “They’ve never heard of this disease.”

The story she heard from Kathleen Mendy fit the profile, with one beguiling exception. Almost everyone afflicted by CJD subtypes are older than 45, except those who contract a variant of the disease genetically or through contaminated beef, which Michael had not.

biosolids land application and disease

Michael’s case quickly drew the attention of national experts, including Pierluigi Gambetti, director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center in Ohio. Gambetti, a pioneering researcher, examined Michael’s brain and in April identified his disease as sporadic fatal insomnia.

He’d later take hours to talk with Kathleen Mendy about her son’s death. Sporadic fatal insomnia and CJD, he explained, are part of the still-mysterious field of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Some of these ravages of the brain, such as so-called mad cow disease (another form of prion disease), begin with an infection of prions, or pathogenic proteins, from the outside. CJD in the young also can be caused by prions, often transmitted during surgery.

Prions and Prusiner win Nobel Prize

Like a virus, a prion can essentially “breed.” The virus hijacks human cells, and the prion reshapes other proteins into its own mutated form. And when a prion or virus propagates enough, it can destroy its host.

But there’s a crucial difference: The prion also can come from within. Gambetti believes that Michael’s disease began when the boy’s brain misfolded a protein, creating a prion instead. The defect may then have multiplied out of control and ruined the delicate balance of the body.

It’s not uncommon for the body to make mistakes. Neurons and other cells normally catch and eliminate prions before they replicate. These defensive systems may grow weaker with age; some people may also inherit weaker defenses.

But Michael was a teenager, with no apparent family history of neurodegenerative diseases. Gambetti put the odds of such a case at one in 100 million in the general population; another doctor said it was one in 600 million. In fact, Michael may be among the youngest ever to be affected by a neurodegenerative disease without an inherited or outside cause.

“We just haven’t seen this disease affect someone this young,” said John Trojanowski, a professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gambetti, who played a key role in the discovery of fatal insomnia, theorizes that Michael’s illness was random, despite the odds. It may be that, by chance or some unknown factor, Michael’s brain perfectly bred its own pathogen.

“The bodies of all animals are a marvel of things, in positive and negative,” Gambetti said. “They can do things striking for the good, but also for the bad.”

Nearly a year after Michael’s death, Kathleen Mendy finds love and support from family, friends and Compassionate Friends, a local group. But the extreme rarity of Michael’s case is isolating.

When she attended a CJD conference last summer with her twin sister, they met the families of people who had mostly died in middle and old age.

Some nights she goes up to her only child’s room. It’s lined with dozens of sports team caps and trophies. Athletes’ names are still painted on the blades of his ceiling fan, and the UNC comforter is still on his bed. All that’s new is the shrine on the desk, where Michael’s photo stands near a glazed statue of praying hands.

“Sometimes I think I’m OK, and other times it’s like it just happened last night. It’s like a rollercoaster,” Kathleen Mendy said.

She may have as many logical answers now as she’ll ever get – a medical, if not a spiritual description of why Michael died.

She still doesn’t know what it was that made her son vulnerable. She believes Michael’s concussions triggered his illness, but his doctors haven’t confirmed the idea.

“I’m a little bit resolved that I’ll never hear the answer,” she said. “It would be nice to know, but if I don’t know it, it’s not what matters now.”

She finds hope instead in the idea that she could help others; she’s thinking of writing a book and becoming a public advocate for those who suffer with CJD.

Meanwhile, as Michael’s birthday and the first anniversary of his death approach, Gambetti and one of Michael’s former doctors are preparing to present his case to their respective medical communities. As painful as the case is, “its rarity may contribute to expand the knowledge on this terrible disease,” according to Gambetti.

He hopes his research will one day allow much earlier diagnosis and treatment of fatal insomnia. Such a breakthrough could key medical progress across the spectrum of prion-related diseases, which are fatal in practically all cases.

Gambetti’s research into Michael’s case will soon yield a more immediate result too: He’ll be able to tell caregivers that sporadic fatal insomnia can strike not just the mature, but perhaps people who are just beginning their lives.

And with Michael’s story spreading, the next stricken family may at least know the harrowing path ahead.

Original Post At: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/19/2619247/at-last-answers-to-a-mothers-grief.html

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

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