Thursday, May 23, 2019

A global wake-up call: titanium dioxide, Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), and plutonium 239

Three news stories yesterday caught my eyes, and, when the dots are connected, offer a piercing siren sound warning on the state of our world. Each story focused on a specific chemical compound, the new anti-human arsenal of stealth foes (non-improvised explosive devices) against which our culture, and certainly our governments are unprepared to protect us.

The three compounds are respectively: titanium dioxide, Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), plutonium 239.

The first, titanium oxide, is a food additive in many of our processed foods (including the tooth paste I used this morning), the second a chemical used in the production of foam, and the third, the radioactive element in nuclear waste with a half-life of 24,000-plus years.

Bobby Hristova, reporting in National Post (22 05 19) writes:

Titanium oxide is behind the sheen on sweets and the bleach0-white colour of toothpaste and chewing gums, but new research shows it may also be behind colorectal cancer, colitis and other stomach problems….

A 2015 study in the U.S. showed some of the products with the most titanium dioxide include Mentos Freshmint Gum, Kool Aid Blue Raspberry, M&M’s Chocolate Candy and Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Frosting….

Research from Queen’s University showed when pregnant mice consumed a conservative amount of titanium dioxide nanoparticles,, their babies were born with deformities, while fruit flies exposed to the whitener had fertility issues….

France is banning titanium dioxide in 2020 after being unable to guarantee it is safe, with other studies linking it to obesity and diabetes….

Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, a professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Guelph, says the stomach’s microbiota has 100 times more genes than human genomes, and researchers have missed these microbiota for years. Not looking at the genes means not getting a full understanding of how the additives impact the body….

I don’t see that in my lifetime we would ever be able to do all the experiments using the plethora of nanoparticles and all different chemical str4uctures, Virginia Walker, a professor of molecular genetics at Queen’s University says.

Also in the National Post, (22-05-19) Jacob Dube writes:

…scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association found that global emissions of Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) have actually been increasing since 2013. The increase implied that someone was secretly violating the Montreal Protocol (signed by 197 countries around the world, including Canada, the U.S. and China. As the ozone layer in our upper atmosphere slowly depleted—letting in an increasing amount of the sun’s ultraviolet rays—the protocol contributed to a significant reduction in harmful CFCs, which then allowed for a slow healing of the ozone layer.)…
Now in a new study published in Nature on May 22, scientists from the University of Bristol, Kyungpook National University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that between 40 and 60 per cent of total global CFC-11 emissions originate from eastern China…

Manufacturers (in China) told the EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) they continued to use the banned product because of its better quality and cheaper price. The New York Times reported that some factories were producing the gas in secret, while other manufacturers said the local governments turned a blind eye….

Matthew Rigby, (Reader in Atmospheric Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol), said scientists and watchdogs didn’t know just how much manufacturers in China were emitting---about 7000 tonnes of CFC-11 since 2013…more than double the emissions we were expected from China at that time…
Rigby also mentioned that CFC-11 is a greenhouse gas, about 5000 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the climate…
Also in the National Post, (21-05-19), we find this headline:

The U.S. stuffed  waste from nuclear bomb tests under a dome on a Pacific island. Now, the dome is cracking open

The report continues:

At 6:45 a.m. on March 1, 1054, the blue sky stretching over the south Pacific Ocean was split open by an enormous red flash. Within seconds, a mushroom cloud towered seven kilometers high over Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The explosion, the U.S. government’s first weaponized hydrogen bomb, was 1000 times more powerful than the “Little Boy” atomic bomb blast that flattened Hiroshima—and a complete miscalculation…Radioactive ash dropped more than 7,000 square miles from the bomb site, caking the nearby inhabited islands. “Within hours, the atoll was covered with a fine, white powder-like substance,” the Marshall Islands health minister would later testify, according to the Atomic Heritage Foundation. “No one knew it was radioactive fallout, The children played in the ‘snow.’ They ate it.”…

Beginning in 1977, the (U.S.) Defense Agency began a sustained cleanup of the nuclear debris left over on Enewetak Atoll, a slender archipelago in the Marshall Islands’s northwest corner. The material was then transported to Runit Island, where a 328-foot crater remained from a May 1958 test explosion. For three years the American military dumped the material into the crater. Six men reported died during the  work. Locals took to calling it, “The Tomb,” the Guardian reported….

In 1980, a massive concrete dome—18 inches think and shaped  like a flying saucer—was placed over the fallout debris, sealing off the material on Runit. But the $218 million project was only supposed to be temporary until a more permanent site was developed, according to the Guardian, However, no further plans were ever hatched….

According to a 2017 report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, among the fallout material was plutonium-239, an isotope that is one of the world’s most toxic substances, and one with a radioactive half-life of 24,100 years. The staying power of that material is the problem.. It’s still there, only 18 inches of concrete from waters that are rising.
“That dome is the connection between the nuclear age and the climate change age,” climate change activist Alson Kelen told the Australian broadcaster….

Cracks reportedly have started to appear in the dome. Part of the threat is that the crater was never properly lined, meaning rising seawater could breach the structural integrity. “The Bottom of the dome is just what was left behind by the nuclear weapons explosion,” Michael Gerrard, the chair of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, told the ABC. “It’s permeable soil. There was no effort to line it, And therefore, the seawater is inside the dome….

The Marshallese government…does not have the money to shore up the structure, leaving it vulnerable to both rising tides and typhoons. “It’s clear as day that the local government will neither have the expertise or funds to fix the problem it is needs a particular fix,” a Marshallese official told the Guardian.

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