Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cancer-causing microplastics are found in 100% of men's testicles in new study

The appropriate response to this finding is "so what"? The presence of the microparticles seems beyond argument. It is the added term "cancer causing" which is the problem. It is little more than journalistic licence. Evidence for the claim is very thin on the ground.

The main ill effect of the particles pointed to below is its alleged link to lowered sperm counts. Problem: It is doubtful that there has been any lowering of sperm counts
The sperm count furore was a beat-up. One of several problems with the claim is that sperm counts decline with aqe so you need to control for age in your samples and that was often not done. As a population ages, its average sperm counts will decline too. There is no known decline in young men.

I could go on in detail but a basic point is that plastics by the nature of their usage have to be very inert. They very rarely react with anything else. So if they are indeed found in human bodies they can be expected just to sit there, causing no effects of any kind. And that seems very clearly to be the case -- othwerwise we we would have many reports of them causing illess. But it is only when scientists go looking for illness that anything is found -- and even then any effects are very weak. And weak effects are notoriously not replicable so cannot be relied on for any policy response

Microplastics have been found at the top of Mount Everest, deep in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench and now in men's testicles.

Researchers from the University of New Mexico found 12 types of microplastics in all 23 human testes studied.

Data has shown that sperm counts have decreased by 59 percent in the past few decades, with other culprits ranging from cell phones in pants pockets to vape pens.

'We don't want to scare people,' the study's lead author said. 'We want to scientifically provide the data and make people aware.'

The team found that the most prevalent of the 12 microplastics was a polymer material, polyethylene, used in plastic bags and bottles.

The average human concentration was 329.44 micrograms per gram of tissue — vastly more than recent studies of human blood, which came to only tens of micrograms per gram.

Microplastics, smaller than five millimeters in length, enter our bodies through plastic packaging, certain food, tap water and even the air we breathe - and have been linked to cancer and fertility issues.

'There are a lot of microplastics,' the study's lead author Dr. Xiaozhong John Yu, noted. 'We can make our own choices to better avoid exposures, change our lifestyle and change our behavior.'

Dr. Yu was inspired to spearhead the project after a colleague, a professor in the university's pharmacy college named Matthew Campen, found alarming concentrations of microplastics in human placentas.

The presence of this invisible pollution in placentas, so close to unborn children during pregnancy, Dr. Yu noted, led them both to wonder how else microplastics might be impacting reproduction.

Campen, according to Dr. Yu, asked him, 'Have you considered why there is this decline in reproductive potential more recently? There must be something new.'

Dr. Yu and his team found that the concentration of microplastics in the human male testicular tissue was significantly higher than the average Campen found in placental tissue.

For ethical reasons, anonymized human male testicular tissue had been obtained from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator for the new study.

The state's coroners collect these tissue materials during autopsies and then store the material frozen for up to seven years for potential forensic purposes, before being permitted to legally dispose of it.

Preservation methods used to store the human tissue prevented the team from calculating the men's sperm counts.

To fill this gap, the study also looked at tissue from dogs, which showed that the volume of microplastics scaled directly to lower sperm counts in dogs.

'At the beginning, I doubted whether microplastics could penetrate the reproductive system,' Dr. Yu said of his research, published in the journal Toxicological Sciences,

'When I first received the results for dogs I was surprised. I was even more surprised when I received the results for humans.'

Health professionals have been worrying about declining sperm counts in men for years, although the causes appear to be related to multiple environmental factors.

One November 2022 study in the journal Human Reproduction Update, a review that tabulated data from men in 53 countries, found that mean sperm count had plummeted by 51.6 percent between 1973 and 2018 globally.

To analyze their samples, Dr. Yu and his team first chemically dissolved both the human and canine tissue of organic material, fats and proteins, leaving them only with contaminants, like the microplastics, to study.

Spinning the samples in an ultracentrifuge, yielded separated pellets of plastic that could then be identified using traditional lab methods, like mass spectrometry.

Dr. Yu explained that the presence of PVC plastic in particular was quite alarming: 'PVC can release a lot of chemicals that interfere with spermatogenesis [the creation of sperm in the testes] and it contains chemicals that cause endocrine disruption.'

Disruptions to the endocrine system have been known to cause issues with sex and reproductive hormones in humans, fish, and other species.

The health consequence of microplastics in people have gained more attention in recent years, as studies have shown the particles appearing to contribute to inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Amid the growing concerns about microplastics in our bodies and in the environment, 175 UN member countries have agreed to come up with a plan this year to end plastic pollution - a global plastics treaty.

Nevertheless, Dr. Yu expressed caution about jumping to worst case scenario conclusions and said he hopes more scientists will study the connections between microplastics and reproductive health.

'We have a lot of unknowns,' he said.

'We need to really look at what the potential long-term effect [could be]. Are microplastics one of the factors contributing to this decline?'


$7.5 Billion Buys Just Seven EV Charging Stations

You’re driving your electric car on a cross-country road trip but no matter where your battery begins to run low, there is a convenient charging station that would work with any make or model

How much would you pay for that kind of convenience? $19.99?

These miracle charging stations usually have a little store attached, so you’ll have something to do while you wait for your car to charge.

How much would you pay for such a deal? $29.99? $49.99? $100?

Someday — maybe not any time soon but in theory it just might happen! — these charging stations will dot our nation’s highways, providing recharges to fleets of electric vehicles people aren’t really buying any longer.

When the chargers are working, that is, which won’t be all the time.

Now how much would you pay?

One BILLION dollars.

Presidentish Joe Biden’s trillion-dollar “infrastructure” law (that spent just nine cents on the dollar for actual infrastructure — and even that is questionable, as you’re about to see) included $7.5 billion in subsidies for a network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030, less than six years from now.

Way back in December, I reported that exactly none had been built.

But these things move at the speed of government, so it was just eleven days later that I had to issue a semi-correction because one — count ’em, one — charging station was finally in operation. Located near a freeway in London, Ohio, it appears to be little used.

Well, here we are, just five months later, and I’m here to report that Biden’s EV charging station program has become a smashing success. According to an article in Monday’s Oil Price, we’re now up to seven spread across four states.

That comes out to an average of about one billion dollars per station. Not that they really cost that much, of course, but my ridiculous averaging is still a lot less ridiculous than Biden’s so-called Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

My back-of-the-envelope math also indicates that building seven stations every two years will get us to Biden’s goal of 500,000 no later than the year 144,881 AD.

Assuming we’re still using AD by then. 2030 doesn’t seem that far away now, does it?

“Missed it by THAT much,” as they say.


‘Nowhere Near Ready For Prime Time’: Biden Wants Companies To Disclose Climate Risks — A Trial Run Did Not Go Well

Six major American financial institutions struggled to accurately assess the extent of their exposure to climate change and related risks, according to the Federal Reserve.

The Fed ran a pilot program for six leading American banks to assess how ready they are to keep track of the risks that climate change poses to their businesses, a practice that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is attempting to mandate for large corporations across the country. The banks — JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup — generally struggled to assess their exposure to climate change because they lacked key data and because climate risk modeling is so new that even the country’s biggest banks could not identify reliable techniques, according to the Fed’s May report on the pilot program.

“Participants reported significant data and modeling challenges in estimating climate-related financial risks,” the report states. “For example, participants noted a lack of comprehensive and consistent data related to building characteristics, insurance coverage, and counterparties’ plans to manage climate-related risks. In many cases, participants relied on external vendors to fill data and modeling gaps"

All of the banks that participated in the exercise said that some key details of insurance markets also posed problems for their efforts to determine their exposure to climate change-related risks, according to the Fed’s report. The banks’ uncertainty on insurance deductibles and the costs of replacing destroyed property forced them to lean on assumptions about how much of the costs would fall on insurers and how much would be the burden of the banks.

Additionally, the report states that the banks outsourced certain aspects of their climate risk modeling to third party organizations because the banks do not have the right personnel or systems of their own to build their own models.

“In the end you’re not sure what the reliability of that estimate really is,” Clifford Rossi, formerly a risk officer for Citigroup’s consumer lending business and now a professor at the University of Maryland’s business school, told E&E News. “The models are nowhere near ready for prime time in making hard money decisions.”

The difficulties that America’s largest banks encountered when trying to assess their own exposure to climate change could be a troubling development in light of the SEC’s major climate risk disclosure mandate, which the agency finalized in March before pausing the regulation in April as legal challenges go through the courts.

The SEC’s rule will require certain medium-sized and large corporations to disclose material climate risks and climate-related goals and targets, as well as some types of direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, in their official filings, according to White and Case, a global law firm. While the rule’s proponents have hailed it as a major step toward providing investors and markets with much-needed data about climate change’s possible impacts on markets, critics have charged the SEC with overstepping its mandate and saddling companies with onerous new reporting requirements that are difficult to calculate.

Additionally, California has a corporate climate disclosure mandate for companies doing business in the state, which Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law in October 2023. California’s rules are more aggressive than the federal mandate, as they will require corporations with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion to report emissions, climate-related risks to their businesses and their progress on climate goals, among other things, according to the law firm McDermott Will and Emery.


Net Zero Watch calls for UK to follow Dutch example

Net Zero Watch is calling on UK ministers to follow the example of the Dutch government, which has announced the scrapping of cornerstone climate policies such as mandatory heat pump targets and the compulsory purchase of farmland.

The reversal is part of a populist backlash against environmentalist policies that has so far been more pronounced in parts of continental Europe than in the UK.

The desire of Britain’s politicians to ‘lead the world’ in the fight against climate change has led it to be early adopters of ‘ambitious’ climate targets, without thinking through their implications. Theresa May’s decision to introduce a legally-binding Net Zero target was debated for just 90 minutes in the House of Commons, but it was a decision that was followed by many other countries.

The Dutch experience shows that voters do not appreciate being on the receiving end of inflexible, compulsive policies that hit the poorest hardest. The delaying of the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel cars to 2035 and the delay by a year of the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, show that the Government has at least woken up to the risk it faces. But it will need to go much further to protect consumers.

Harry Wilkinson, head of policy at Net Zero Watch, said:

What has happened in the Netherlands is likely to be replicated across Europe. We have heard some encouraging language from Claire Coutinho, but she needs to go further to avoid a backlash.’

’I’ve never been against heat pumps, but it is absurd to mandate their use when they will be inappropriate in many homes. Green technologies must stand on their own merits, or the public will be left poorer.’


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

https://immigwatch.blogspot.com (IMMIGRATION WATCH)

https://awesternheart.blogspot.com (THE PSYCHOLOGIST)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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