Category Archives: Health managment

Drug residues in rivers

Small amounts of drugs in our drinking water, built up through the food chain, may explain many a malaise of our society, including transgender growth, depression and many others. Maybe not? Nevertheless, it can;t be good.

Researchers in Australia have detected 69 medications in small aquatic creatures in rivers. The residues identified included antidepressants, painkillers, antibiotics, and blood pressure-lowering agents. The highest levels were found in insects near wastewater plants, but low levels were also detected in those from more pristine areas.  There is a food-chain effect with river-borne pharmaceuticals most likely to accumulate in flies and beetles while they are underwater larvae, then transfer to spiders that feed on them after they emerge as adults, and, of course, on upwards into their predators like fish, platypuses, birds, bats and frogs.  Eventually, no doubt, into humans.

How to stop this?  Well, firstly to reduce the use of drugs to what is strictly necessary.  Secondly, by increasing aerobic digestion in waste water treatment works.  Carefully controlled composting can crack these molecules.  There are now new digestion processes developing.  On the scale required, only farmers can do this.

 

For more detail, go to https://www.newscientist.com/article/2184420-more-than-60-prescription-drugs-are-getting-into-river-foodchains/

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 11 November ‘18

Recycling contraceptive “pill” and hospital wastes

Residues of drugs, hormones,antibiotics and disease organisms do get right through the sewage treatment systems into our rivers and land.

 

We have known for over 30 years that, when women take the contraceptive “pill”, they urinate out the residues which do get through the sewage treatment system and end up in the rivers where, in one research study, male sticklebacks (a small fish) produced eggs.

It is relevant to note that much (maybe most or even all) sewage from hospitals is, quite legally (but questionably safely) put directly into the public sewer system and treated, along with general urban sewage, in conventional public sewage treatment works (STW’s) with the products released to water courses (some of which are later, down-river, extracted for human consumption) and farm fields. That sewage will certainly involve the technical issues involving drug and antibiotic residues, and significant pathogen levels.

I will, over the next couple of years, be looking at recycling hospital wastes, safely.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 17 October 2018

How to manage pandemic planning

Salisbury NHS; the most famous, and probably the safest, A & E entrance in the world – if you have Novichok poisoning. Being prepared costs commitment and cash.

When it comes to flu pandemics, fortunately we can and do have the factories in place and producing vaccines.  When a new strain comes along, it is possible to take an existing vaccine and tag on one or more proteins to try to mimic the new strain and get out immune systems responding.

Watch out.  Whether it be a disease of cattle, bees, humans or whatever species, it has to start somewhere and it might be your stock, family or you. Hold your nerve. Watch for and observe symptoms.  Consult the web. Ask your vet ot doctor for advice.

Speak out against denial. Many, including politicians, will prefer to think it will never happen. Write to your MP and stress that the health services need funding to make preparations.

Plan with your local hospital or veterinary surgery. Ask what you can do to help prepare in your neighbourhood.

Plan how you can steer clear of others if and when. Plan how you can do your bit to keep society and the economy working but protect yourself.

Bill Butterworth, Land Network Ltd.  7th July 18

The next pandemic and when it will happen

Foot and Mouth Disease of cattle, new global diseases of bees; these are pandemics.  Pandemics in the global human population are part of our history and future;

Date                 Place                       Pandemic Pathogen                             Deaths

BC430                   Athens             Typhus or Smallpox?                          75,000 to 100,000

AD

541 to 542 Europe & Asia             Bubonic Plague                                  25 to 50 million

1347 to 1351 Europe/Asia/Africa  Black Death Bubonic Plague          75 to 200 million

1545 to 1576         Mexico            Smallpox                                               17 million

1665 to 1656         Europe             Bubonic Plague of London               100,000

1817 to 1824         Asia Europe    Cholera                                                100,000

1918 to 1920         World              Spanish flu                                          20 to 50 million

1980 to date          World              HIV                                                     35 million

2013 to 2016         West Africa     Ebola                                                   11,000 plus

Diseases like Ebola are truly awful but are transmitted in body fluids, i.e.by touch of bodies or contaminated materials.  So, with very careful, detailed isolation these diseases are comparatively easy to contain.  Airborne disease, such as flu viruses, can be transmitted very quickly in high population densities where transfer to others, and mutation to more, or less, virulent strains are more likely to occur.  Cross infection is easier too, particularly in public transport places such as busses and underground railways.  Avian and swine flus, fortunately for us, mutated the right way and became less fatal.  Mutation to be more fatal will, sooner or later, happen. It is difficult to be precise about when the next one will occur but any time now would not be misleading. This year: possible.  Within 5 years; very likely

How to prepare to combat the next pandemic, see the next blog in this series.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd   5th July 18

 

Fewer nurses and police. More taxes

Will there be a better tomorrow?Only if we can very urgently cut out a big slice of un-productive costs.

Some years ago, I was working for TACIS (the technology transfer arm of the EU) in Tajikistan. The economy had collapsed and my team’s job was to assist in reviving it.  I remember some of the characteristics of that failed economy and draw some ominous comparisons with the UK now. We have increasing crime but have police stations closing on a wide scale.  We have a growing population but not enough nurses and are closing wards in hospitals. We have poor productivity and yet we have a growing civil service.   Yet we pay more taxes, or some of us do.  There was a warning recently from one of the think tanks that the national debt would reach £3 trillion.  That will be around £100 million pa interest, maybe more. I remember the historian, Jane Marshal, observing;

“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the centre pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline.  What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline.  That is what is happening here (the UK) and now.”

We really do need to urgently axe some layers of government, otherwise the whole lot will go.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 13 June 18

 

Peace in our time – farming for others

THIS

Can deliver this to others

Farming and the Health Budget.2. Recuperation

Recuperation in the community clearly reduces the pressure on hospitals and GP’s.   organising close links and understanding between the health services and farms has some clear advantages in terms of relaxation, fresh air, exercise, good food and mental repair and re-building hope.  However, it only works if the farm used is a production operation because the hope of harvest, the hard work of others, the peace in that hard work, is what allows peace to the visitor.

What better place to learn about diet and health education than on a farm.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 27 Feb 18

 

Farming, the NHS and Exercise

Farming and the Health Budget.No 1 of 9 daily posts; Exercise

WHAT’S THE FINANCIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THIS…

..AND THIS?

How about government joining the farm and health budgets and offering cash for a joint program between a hospital, local GP’s and local farmers to run jointly-designed exercise programs to;

  • Promote health generally. (so as to reduce health costs later.)
  • Prepare for operations. (e.g. lose weight).
  • Recuperate after treatment.
  • Prevent recurrence.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 26 February 18