Within
Normal Limits
of
Reason

"Chance is the very guide of life"

"In practical medicine the facts are far too few for them to enter into the calculus of probabilities... in applied medicine we are always concerned with the individual" -- S. D. Poisson

November 24, 2005

AP - Toxic slick flows into major Chinese city



According to the Medical Management Guidelines (MMGs) for benzene published by ASTDR.CDC, benzene is only slightly soluble in water and floats on the water surface. Ingestion of benzene can cause both acute benzene toxicity--CNS depression, light-headedness, headache, euphoria, respiratory depression, apnea, coma, and death--and
a burning sensation of the oral mucous membranes, esophagus, and stomach may occur after ingestion. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain may also result from oral ingestion.


ASTDR's online case study on benzene toxicity, designed for PCPs (CME credits!).

Out of curiosity I queried ToxMap for industrial sources of benzene around Ann Arbor--not surprisingly there's a cluster of 4 sources in Wayne County.

According to Toxics Release Inventory, these 4 sources are:

  1. MARATHON OIL CO (EPA #48174RMLSR28000): 445 lb/year

  2. EQ RESOURCE RECOVERY INC (EPA #48174MCHGN36345): 250 lb/year

  3. FORD MOTOR CO TRUCK PLANT (EPA #48184FRDMT38303): 132 lb/year

  4. FORD MOTOR CO WAYNE ASSEMBLY (EPA #48184FRDMT37625): 60 lb/year



[update: BBC reports that the leak was 100 tonnes, "equivalent of 10 tanker-loads of toxic chemicals." 10 tonnes is about 220,000 lb, or about 250 times the environmental release of benzene in Wayne County, MI per year.]

People in China do not enjoy this kind of government oversight...
Protests have erupted in rural areas throughout China over complaints that pollution is ruining water supplies and damaging crops. Protesters often accuse officials of failing to enforce environmental rules either in exchange for bribes or for fear of hurting local business.
�This is the tip of the iceberg,� said Elizabeth Economy, director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and author of the 2004 book �The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China�s Future.� �We�ve seen over the past six months or so a number of factory-related protests ... because factories don�t live up to or don�t enforce China�s own environmental regulations and laws,� she said. �So if, in fact, this is a case of that happening, then this is part of a much broader, systemic problem.�


Dr. Elizabeth Economy, a Wolverine, is Director for Asia Studies at Council for Foreign Relations.
China's environmental crisis is evident everywhere. The country's air quality is among the worst in the world: According to the World Bank, 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities are on the mainland, and acid rain affects one-third of China's agricultural land. The country is already one-quarter desert, and that desert is advancing at a rate of 1,300 square miles per year.
The most serious environmental challenge, however, is providing clean water to the Chinese people: 60 million people have difficulty getting enough water to meet their daily needs and 10 times that many drink contaminated water on a daily basis.


A recent study published in Science found that benzene may have adverse health risks even at levels below currently accepted safety standards. Review pending.

Technorati Tags:
/ / / / /

1 comment:

bubbalop said...

Napa, CA (PRWEB) February 3, 2006 -- California Peptide Research, Inc. (www.californiapeptide.com), a peptide synthesis company located in Napa, California, announced today that they have synthetic obestatin available for bio medical research. Obestatin is a new discovery in the search of a real treatment for obesity, and shows great promise.

The beautiful Napa Valley, a place that most folks associate with fine wines, beautiful scenery and bed and breakfasts is also a place that produces peptides for research. Among the many peptides produced there, is one that is a recent discovery and may help millions that want to lose weight.

The peptide is called obestatin and it was discovered by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. It is one of many appetite-regulating hormones found in several mammals, including humans and may be the key to an actual treatment for obesity.

Obestatin is a sibling hormone to the hunger hormone known as ghrelin, which is an appetite-booster made in the stomach. However, scientists are calling obestatin the "anti-ghrelin" because it works exactly the opposite of ghrelin.

Early tests of the effects of obestatin in rats shows great promise. Rats injected with obestatin ate less and lost weight. More research needs to be done, of course in the months and years ahead to ensure it does in humans what it apparently is doing for the lab rats.

More information for researchers can be found on California Peptide Research, Inc.'s website www.californiapeptide.com.

California Peptide Research, Inc. offers a wide variety of peptides including Obestatin, Adrenomedullins, Endothelins, Endothelin Antagonists, Enzyme Substrates and Inhibitors, Sulfated Peptides such as CCK and Caerulien, and a great number of Beta Amyloids which have been found to offer useful tools in Alzheimer's research.