News Stories

Dust Can be Dangerous

In a study of 31 Boston offices, PBDE flame retardants, which are now banned internationally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, were detected in every one. Researchers think the concentrations of PBDEs in office dust are linked to levels of the chemicals on the HANDS of the office workers, and they think this is a good indication of how much of this chemical is in people's blood.

Meanwhile, there was a massive dust storm in Phoenix that created a wall of dust 10,000 feet high before it finally dissipated. Meteorologist Paul Iniguez says, "We heard from a lot of people who lived here for a number of storms and this was the worst they'd seen." But dangerous office dust doesn't come from dust storms, so where does it come from?

PBDEs were once widely used in computers and other electronics as well as the polyurethane foam padding in office chairs, furniture, and carpeting, so the chemicals are likely to be found in offices throughout the United States. Why is it dangerous? In recent years, epidemiologic studies have linked exposure to changes in people’s thyroid hormones, impaired fertility in women, lowered levels of testosterone in men, neurodevelopmental deficits in children, and undescended testicles in babies.

Although scientists don't know exactly how people accumulate high concentrations of PBDEs in their bodies, hand-to-mouth exposure is probably the culprit. In this study, workers who reported washing their hands with soap and water four or more times per day tended to have lower levels of them on their hands AND three times lower concentrations of in their blood.

Researcher Deborah Watkins says, "This could be through hand-to-mouth behaviors such as eating oily food without washing your hands, or because the PBDEs are absorbed into the blood from the skin." In

1998, Whitley Strieber had never heard of climate change causing massive droughts, but the Master of the Key burst into his hotel room in Toronto and told him all about it. The new edition of The Key, with a foreword that talks about how many of his statements later turned out to be true, is in bookstores NOW!

And if you're eating too much--whether or not you wash your hands first--you need to download Anne Strieber's famous diet book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she devised a diet that helped her to lose 100 pounds and YOU CAN TOO, at less than $5, it costs MUCH LESS than the ineffective diet books you'll find in stores!



The haboobs (dust storms) are common here in Arizona this time of the year and are associated with the Monsoon, but this one was a monster. These storms stir up the soil and cause the spores that cause Valley Fever to be breathed in. It is also common in the San Joaquin Valley of California.

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