Wastewater Reclamation Recycling Brain Disease

Neurodegenerative disease is the fastest-growing cause of death around the world. The mismanagement of infectious waste is contributing to the epidemic.

It seems that someone is failing to account for prions in sewage and reclaimed wastewater at Arizona’s Snowbowl ski area. The plan to use reclaimed wastewater for snowmaking is half-baked at best. It’s reckless and irresponsible because of a deadly pathogen called a prion. Prions are involved with a protein epidemic that is killing millions of people around the world.

The threat is so severe that health officials expect the numbers of people living with the disease to triple soon. Unfortunately, neurodegenerative diseases among people of all ages are rising around the world. The autism epidemic is part of the same problem. There are more questions than answers with these diseases. However, when we connect the dots, it paints a very sobering picture.

Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.”

Prions (PREE-ons) are a deadly and unstoppable form of protein that migrates, mutates, multiplies and kills with unparalleled efficiency. Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in humans and animals by converting the cellular version of prion protein into a toxic form that erodes the brain and body. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.

biosolids wastewater reclamation and public health

President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. Unfortunately, Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we all are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence and reckless disregard for public health. The risk assessments for wastewater reclamation and the recycling of sewage sludge (biosolids) were prepared before the world of science ever heard about unstoppable prions in sewage.

TSE is a spectrum disease that varies in severity and symptoms. It depends on which region of the brain is impacted first and by what prion mutation. Few cases are identical in terms of symptoms and diagnoses.The spectrum includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and an extremely aggressive version known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE are caused by infectious proteins known as prions. Prions are unstoppable. They migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency.

The prion spectrum varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. When the presenting symptom is memory loss, the diagnoses flow along the following chart.

prion disease spectrum

Prions now are such a formidable threat that the United States government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 to halt research on infectious prions in the United States in all but two laboratories. Now, infectious prions are classified as select agents that require special security clearance for lab research. The intent is to keep prions and other dangerous biological materials away from terrorists who might use them to contaminate, food, water, blood, equipment, and entire facilities.

The prion pathogen spreads through urine, feces, saliva, mucus, blood, milk, skin and the tissue of infected animals (not to mention soil and water). With those attributes, prions obviously can migrate through surface water runoff and settle in groundwater, lakes, oceans, and water reservoirs. If prions must be regulated in a laboratory environment today, the outdoor environment should be managed accordingly.

Unless Flagstaff and Snowbowl can guarantee that not one person with prion disease has ever used a toilet in Flagstaff, this seems to be a misguided plan that places profits over people and the planet. Also seems to be a sad example of hypocrisy.

Read the full story about prion disease and the risk associated with wastewater reclamation at http://alzheimerdisease.tv/

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