Wastewater Treatment Plants Recycling Brain Disease
The urge to reclaim and recycle wastewater in the face of climate change and rising human populations is tempting. Places such as Singapore have been doing it for years. Unfortunately, reclaiming wastewater and spreading biosolids (sewage sludge) on our crops, parks and golf courses is creating an environmental nightmare. The practice must be stopped to protect our remaining water, our food and our lives.
We have an unstoppable and untreatable global epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s killing 50 million people around the globe now. Related diseases include Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans, mad cow (livestock), chronic wasting (deer, elk, moose and other animals) and others. Canada announced that chronic wasting disease (CWD) in its wild herds is unstoppable.
All prion diseases are unstoppable. The time for denial is over. The time for intelligent management is now. All prion diseases will escalate, but that is no rationale for spreading the disease around with even more wastewater reuse.
Despite the confusing name game, these diseases all have a common thread called a prion (PREE-on). Prions are a deadly form of protein that attacks and consumes the nervous system of its victims. Prion diseases are deadly and unstoppable. The prion itself is unstoppable and mammals with prion disease contaminate everything that they touch and many things that they don’t.
Prions are a formidable threat. When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it included a provision to halt research on infectious prions in all but two laboratories. It classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and health systems. Unfortunately, the Center For Disease Control quietly took prions off the list about two years ago because the classification criminalized multi-billion dollar industries and many industry practices.
Prion disease also is known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Prusiner claims that all forms of TSE are caused by infectious prions. Prion disease often is described as a wasting disease that causes a loss of body mass and brain mass.
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. When the presenting symptom is memory loss, the diagnoses flow along the following chart.
In humans, the prion spectrum includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and an extremely aggressive version known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The difference between these diseases is very slight and often indistinguishable to neurologists. For example, millions of people have been told that they have Alzheimer’s disease, when, in reality, it’s CJD–where it’s clearly infectious. Millions of cases of deadly CJD are being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease. Millions of patients and caregivers are being misinformed, misguided and exposed to an aggressive prion disease.
The prion pathogen is spread through blood, urine, feces, mucus, saliva, milk, skin and cell tissue. This means that as more and more people get neurodegenerative disease, the more deadly prions are going into our sewage systems. The treatment technology does not stop prions. The U.S. EPA admits the risk and the inability to detect or neutralize prions. The EPA has refused to issue guidance on the matter, which leaves it up to states to plead ignorance and approve more and more reuse projects. This has been very profitable for industry, convenient for dried up towns, and ludicrous by all measures of reason.
There are many sources and pathways for deadly prions. However, we can’t ignore the biggest pathways. The cruel irony of prion disease is that victims become part of the greater problem. As stated earlier, studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them. Infectious prions are in the urine, feces, blood, skin, tissue, mucus and saliva of each victim. Infectious bodily fluids and tissue are contributing to the rapid spread of Alzheimer’s disease and other mutations of prion disease.
“There has been a resurgence of this sort of thinking, because there is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”
A study published in the journal Nature adds to the evidence about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 supports the claim. Meanwhile, there is absolutely no evidence to the contrary. Even wildlife and sea mammals are contracting brain disease from people because of the dumping of infectious waste on farms, ranches and forests.
The pathogen has already been spread far and wide, but it’s not too late to stop the stupidity. The pathogen is real. Just ask Nobel-Laureate Stanley Prusiner, who earned the Prize for discovering and characterizing these deadly proteins. The pathogen is deadly and unstoppable. International reform is critical. We are happy to consult with industry, regulators or advocates for reform on wastewater, biosolids and overall disease management.
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Crossbow Communications is a public affairs and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs.