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Rudy Garns

Rudy Garns's Public Library

  • At least 20,000 people have died prematurely from this mysterious disease in Central America in the last two decades, according to one estimate, but the real scope of the problem is unknown. The illness is not related to diabetes or hypertension -- drivers of kidney disease in the United States -- and affects primarily young men.

  • The study showed that fieldworkers, particularly those in who worked as cane cutters, seed cutters or irrigators had lower kidney function at the end of harvest season than other workers. The study points to heat exhaustion and dehydration from fieldwork as possible causes for the epidemic.

  • Symptoms include fatigue, panting, lack of appetite, nausea, and anemia.
  • Geographic “hot spots” of CKDu have emerged in a number of countries, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, India, and Sri Lanka,
  • CKDu cases in Sri Lanka are concentrated in the North Central and North Western provinces and are also appearing in the Uva, Eastern, and Northern Provinces.

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  • At least 20,000 people are estimated to have died of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Central America in the past two decades – most of them sugar cane workers along the Pacific coast.
  • In the municipality of Chichigalpa, the disease is responsible for almost half of male deaths in the last 10 years. Sick men hasten their deaths by continuing to work in secret to support their families. The town is fast becoming a land of widows.
  • “The morally right thing to do is follow up patients with abnormal kidney function, if the company has the resources. There is no justification for not giving patients their test results, that is unethical.”

  • In Central America, a form of kidney disease is attacking men in the prime of their lives. Researchers are struggling to explain what's causing it.
  • This form of kidney failure, known as insuficiencia renal cronica in Spanish (or chronic kidney disease of unknown origin in English), is now found from southern Mexico to Panama, Turcios-Ruiz says. But it occurs only along the Pacific coast.
  • A similar epidemic is afflicting sugar farmers in Sri Lanka, which has a hot, dry climate similar to western Nicaragua. In response, the Sri Lankan government banned the use of glyphosate this past March. Glyphosate is the generic version of the popular herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup.

  • A mysterious form of chronic kidney disease — CKD — is afflicting thousands of people in rural, agricultural communities in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. The struggle to identify its causes is baffling researchers across multiple continents and posing a lethal puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes.
  • tubulo-interstitial disease, consistent with severe dehydration and toxic poisoning.
  • “I absolutely think that it’s preventable,” said Daniel Brooks, an epidemiologist at Boston University who is leading a study in Nicaragua of the new form of CKD. “I’m very convinced that what is happening to individuals is from some sort of exposure.”

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  • The incriminating agent, or Compound “X,” must have  certain characteristics, researchers deduced. The compound, they  hypothesized, must be: made of chemicals newly introduced in the  last 20 to 30 years; capable of forming stable complexes with  hard water; capable of retaining nephrotoxic metals and  delivering them to the kidney; capable of multiple routes of  exposure, such as ingestion, through skin or respiratory  absorption, among other criteria.
  • Rice farmers, for example, are at high risk of exposure to GMCs  through skin absorption, inhalation, or tainted drinking water.  GMCs seem to evade the normal liver’s detoxification process,  thus damaging kidneys, the study found.

  • For years, scientists have been trying to unravel the mystery of a chronic kidney disease epidemic that has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka.
  • In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals.
  • the kidney tubules are a major site of injury in CKDu, suggesting a toxic etiology.

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  • Dr. Catharina Wesseling is a physician with a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute. She has worked during decades in Costa Rica at the Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances (IRET) of the Universidad Nacional, where she is currently the Regional Director of the Program on Work & Health in Central America (SALTRA).

  • This information, while shocking to many who still consider glyphosate herbicide and the GM food produced with it to be relatively non-toxic, is not surprising to those who have been tracking the published research on glyphosate's wide ranging harmful effects, and which now shows a link between glyphosate and several dozen health conditions.

  • The current chronic kidney disease epidemic, the major health issue in the rice paddy farming areas in Sri Lanka has been the subject of many scientific and political debates over the last decade. Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them has concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy.

  • he possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America.

  • chronic kidney disease is killing thousands in poor farming regions like Sri Lanka.
  • killed more people in El Salvador and Nicaragua than AIDS, diabetes, and leukemia combined over the past five years.
  • extremely toxic when it mixes with the heavy metals in hard water.

  • Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) has escalated into an epidemic in North Central Province (NCP) and adjacent farming areas in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Studies have shown that this special type of CKD is a toxic nephropathy and arsenic may play a causative role along with a number of other heavy metals.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) has escalated into an epidemic in North Central Province (NCP) and adjacent farming areas in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Studies have shown that this special type of CKD is a toxic nephropathy and arsenic may play a causative role along with a number of other heavy metals.
May 21, 15

Weak evidence for word-order universals: Language not as 'innate' as thought? -- ScienceDaily

  • word-orders in languages from different language families evolve differently.
  • languages do not primarily follow innate rules of language processing in the brain. Rather, sentence structure is determined by the historical context in which a language develops.
  • "The evolution of language does not follow one universal set of rules."

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May 21, 15

A plea to people doing twin studies. Stop using the word "environmental" when you just mean "non-genetic"!

May 21, 15

.@cathyby Yes, lots! See here: and here: + this paper:

  • glyphosate disrupts the shikimic acid pathway through inhibition of the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase
  • reductions in aromatic amino acids that are vital for protein synthesis and plant growth
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