The more oil and gas companies frack, the more trouble is finding ways to happen

Fracking: Things Find a Way…

Things always find a way to happen … A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?! Watch this fracking video published by Earthjustice, april 12th 2011, to learn how the more oil and gas companies frack, the more trouble is finding ways to happen.

More information

  • It starts when oil and gas companies take good water, mix it up with not-so-good stuff and shoot it into the ground to force out the gas. And that’s when things get really strange…
  • Watch more chemicals and pesticides videos on our YouTube channel.

Apple ResearchKit Infographic

What we know about Apple’s ResearchKit so far…

What we know about Apple’s ResearchKit so far…

This infographic illustrates the key facts about Apple ResearchKit, open source software framework designed for medical and health research that helps doctors, scientists and other researchers gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants using mobile devices.

Sources and more information

Increased Incidence of Cervical and Vaginal Dysplasia in Diethylstilbestrol-Exposed Young Women

A DES Experience of the National Collaborative Diethylstilbestrol Adenosis Project.

Cervical-Dysplasia-Testing image
In this 1984 study, the incidence rate for dysplasia and carcinoma in situ was significantly higher in the women exposed to diethylstilbestrol.

1984 Study Abstract

The incidence rates of dysplasia and carcinoma in situ (CIS) of the cervix and vagina were determined in 3,980 young women exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol. Strict criteria were developed to minimize selection bias among the subset of 744 pairs of matched exposed and unexposed (control) cohort participants, all of whom were identified through review of prenatal obstetrical records. A high degree of compliance was achieved throughout the seven-year study period since in each group about 90% of the women remained as active participants, kept 77% of the annual anniversary examinations, and had separate Papanicolaou smears of the cervix and vagina performed in 99% of the anniversary examinations. The incidence rate for dysplasia and CIS was significantly higher in the women exposed to diethylstilbestrol than in those not exposed in the matched cohort (15.7 v 7.9 cases per 1,000 person-years of follow-up). The rates were higher in the exposed women if squamous metaplasia extended to the outer half of the cervix or onto the vagina. In other respects, the matched cohorts were strikingly similar.

Sources and more information
  • Increased incidence of cervical and vaginal dysplasia in 3,980 diethylstilbestrol-exposed young women. Experience of the National Collaborative Diethylstilbestrol Adenosis Project, NCBI PMID: 6502858, JAMA. 1984 Dec 7;252(21):2979-83.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

How farm workers are exposed daily to pesticides and to a toxic brew of chemicals

Pesticide Lake – The Poisoning of the Workers of Apopka, Florida

Every day, farmworkers across the county are exposed to a toxic brew of chemicals. One of the communities that has been impacted is Lake Apopka, Florida. This Earthjustice video published on 22 Mar 2015 tells their story.

More information

  • Once a bass fisherman’s heaven, Lake Apopka needed millions of government cleanup dollars to undo the decades of pesticide runoff that turned it into a toxic brew of chemicals. Our government spent additional millions studying the health effects of the local wildlife during the cleanup. However, the people who worked those fields were all but ignored, and are suffering the effects forty years later. There is a better way to get our food from farm to table. Take action and learn more.
  • Watch more chemicals and pesticides videos on our YouTube channel.

The Fracking Industry Secret Sauce

What the frack are we doing to our planet?

fracking-secret-sauce cartoon
The EPA is about to ask you an important question — and it could be mistaken as rhetorical because the answer is such a no-brainer: should frackers be required to reveal the secret sauces of chemicals that they pump into the ground?
Sources and more information

DES-exposed women presenting with vaginal discharge and cervical ectropion

DES clinic, maternity hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 1999

woman-thinking image
Not just a cervical ectropion: three case reports of 22, 22 and 26 years old patients from a DES clinic in Dublin, Ireland.
Vaginal discharge image by Bangladesh Press © all rights reserved.

1999 Report Abstract

Typical changes in the cervix are described in three women following in utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol. It is important that these changes are recognised on colposcopy and appropriate follow-up colposcopy arranged. In the absence or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, local destructive therapy is not indicated as this may be associated with cervical stenosis.

Sources and more information
  • Not just a cervical ectropion. Three case reports of diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposed women presenting with vaginal discharge and cervical ectropion, NCBI PMID: 15512425, J Obstet Gynaecol. 1999 Nov;19(6):649-51.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Cancer survival in England improves but still lags behind similar countries

Is England closing the international gap in cancer survival?

Survival among patients in England with a range of cancers has improved steadily over the past few years but remains lower than in other countries with similar healthcare systems, a new study shows.. Image of the Cancer Survivors Park sculpture, Rancho Mirage, California by James May © all rights reserved.

2015 Study Abstract

We provide an up-to-date international comparison of cancer survival, assessing whether England is ‘closing the gap’ compared with other high-income countries.

Net survival was estimated using national, population-based, cancer registrations for 1.9 million patients diagnosed with a cancer of the stomach, colon, rectum, lung, breast (women) or ovary in England during 1995–2012. Trends during 1995–2009 were compared with estimates for Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Clinicians were interviewed to help interpret trends.

Survival from all cancers remained lower in England than in Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden by 2005–2009. For some cancers, survival improved more in England than in other countries between 1995–1999 and 2005–2009; for example, 1-year survival from stomach, rectal, lung, breast and ovarian cancers improved more than in Australia and Canada. There has been acceleration in lung cancer survival improvement in England recently, with average annual improvement in 1-year survival rising to 2% during 2010–2012. Survival improved more in Denmark than in England for rectal and lung cancers between 1995–1999 and 2005–2009.

Survival has increased in England since the mid-1990s in the context of strategic reform in cancer control, however, survival remains lower than in comparable developed countries and continued investment is needed to close the international survival gap.

Sources and more information
  • Is England closing the international gap in cancer survival?, British Journal of Cancer; doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.265, bjc2015265a, advance online publication 4 August 2015.
  • Cancer survival in England is improving – but still lagging behind similar countries, Cancer Research UK, August 5, 2015.

Saving Normal: a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity

A deeply fascinating and urgently important critique of the widespread medicalization of normality

Saving-Normal book cover image.
Saving Normal is a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity.

An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life

From “the most powerful psychiatrist in America” (New York Times) and “the man who wrote the book on mental illness” (Wired), a deeply fascinating and urgently important critique of the widespread medicalization of normality.

Anyone living a full, rich life experiences ups and downs, stresses, disappointments, sorrows, and setbacks. These challenges are a normal part of being human, and they should not be treated as psychiatric disease. However, today millions of people who are really no more than “worried well” are being diagnosed as having a mental disorder and are receiving unnecessary treatment. In Saving Normal, Allen Frances, one of the world’s most influential psychiatrists, warns that mislabeling everyday problems as mental illness has shocking implications for individuals and society: stigmatizing a healthy person as mentally ill leads to unnecessary, harmful medications, the narrowing of horizons, misallocation of medical resources, and draining of the budgets of families and the nation. We also shift responsibility for our mental well-being away from our own naturally resilient and self-healing brains, which have kept us sane for hundreds of thousands of years, and into the hands of “Big Pharma,” who are reaping multi-billion-dollar profits.

Allen Frances cautions that the new edition of the “bible of psychiatry,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5), will turn our current diagnostic inflation into hyperinflation by converting millions of “normal” people into “mental patients.”

  • Alarmingly, in DSM-5, normal grief will become “Major Depressive Disorder“;
  • the forgetting seen in old age is “Mild Neurocognitive Disorder“;
  • temper tantrums are “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder“;
  • worrying about a medical illness is “Somatic Symptom Disorder“;
  • gluttony is “Binge Eating Disorder“;
  • and most of us will qualify for adult “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

What’s more, all of these newly invented conditions will worsen the cruel paradox of the mental health industry: those who desperately need psychiatric help are left shamefully neglected, while the “worried well” are given the bulk of the treatment, often at their own detriment.

Masterfully charting the history of psychiatric fads throughout history, Frances argues that whenever we arbitrarily label another aspect of the human condition a “disease,” we further chip away at our human adaptability and diversity, dulling the full palette of what is normal and losing something fundamental of ourselves in the process. Saving Normal is a call to all of us to reclaim the full measure of our humanity.

SSRI use during pregnancy increases risk of neonatal problems

New study reveals both benefits and risks of antidepressants during pregnancy

image of Happy-tablets
SSRI use in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of all neonatal problems, including breathing issues, that led to longer hospital stays and neonatal care.. Happy tablets by Spookygonk.

2015 Study Abstract

Using national register data, the authors examined the relationship between prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment and pregnancy complications, accounting for psychiatric diagnoses related to SSRI use.

This was a population-based prospective birth cohort study using national register data. The sampling frame included 845,345 offspring, representing all singleton live births in Finland between 1996 and 2010. Pregnancies were classified as exposed to SSRIs (N=15,729), unexposed to SSRIs but with psychiatric diagnoses (N=9,652), and unexposed to medications and psychiatric diagnoses (N=31,394). Pregnancy outcomes in SSRI users were compared with those in the unexposed groups.


  1. Offspring of mothers who received SSRI prescriptions during pregnancy had a lower risk for late preterm birth (odds ratio=0.84, 95% CI=0.74–0.96), for very preterm birth (odds ratio=0.52, 95% CI=0.37–0.74), and for cesarean section (odds ratio=0.70, 95% CI=0.66−0.75) compared with offspring of mothers unexposed to medications but with psychiatric disorders.
  2. In contrast, in SSRI-treated mothers, the risk was higher for offspring neonatal complications, including low Apgar score (odds ratio=1.68, 95% CI=1.34–2.12) and monitoring in a neonatal care unit (odds ratio=1.24, 95% CI=1.14–1.35). Compared with offspring of unexposed mothers, offspring of SSRI-treated mothers and mothers unexposed to medications but with psychiatric disorders were both at increased risk of many adverse pregnancy outcomes, including cesarean section and need for monitoring in a neonatal care unit.

In a large national birth cohort, treatment of maternal psychiatric disorders with SSRIs during pregnancy was related to a lower risk of preterm birth and cesarean section but a higher risk of neonatal maladaptation. The findings provide novel evidence for a protective role of SSRIs on some deleterious reproductive outcomes, possibly by reducing maternal depressive symptoms. The divergent findings suggest that clinical decisions on SSRI use during pregnancy should be individualized, taking into account the mother’s psychiatric and reproductive history.

Sources and more information

DiEthylStilbestrol in utero exposure and endometriosis incidence

Intrauterine DES-exposure and increased risk of endometriosis

In this 2004 study, the rate of endometriosis was 80% greater among women exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero.
Eva Siba image © all rights reserved Special tribute to Marilyn who suffered severe endometriosis .

2004 Study Abstract

To investigate the relation between the fetal environment and Endometriosis.

Prospective cohort study.

Nurses’ Health Study II with 10 years of follow-up.

Eighty-four thousand, four hundred forty-six women aged 25-42 who had never been diagnosed with endometriosis, infertility, or cancer at baseline in 1989.

Incidence of laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis according to birthweight, prematurity, multiple gestation, diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure, and having been breastfed.

During 566,250 woman-years of follow-up, 1,226 cases of laparoscopically-confirmed endometriosis were reported among women with no past infertility. After adjusting for age, calendar time, parity, race, and body mass index at age 18, we observed a linear increase in the incidence rate with decreasing birthweight (rate ratio [RR] = 1.3 for birthweight <5.5 pounds versus 7.0-8.4 pounds, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-1.8, P value, test for trend = .01). In addition, women who were born as one of a multiple gestation (i.e., twins or greater number) were at increased risk even after controlling for birthweight (RR = 1.7, CI = 1.2-2.5). The rate of endometriosis was also 80% greater among women exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero (RR = 1.8, CI = 1.2-2.8). Neither premature delivery nor having been breastfed were associated with the incidence of endometriosis. None of these effect estimates were modified by infertility status at the time of endometriosis diagnosis.

The fetal environment is associated with subsequent laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis in this cohort of US women.

Sources and more information
  • In utero exposures and the incidence of endometriosis, Missmer SA1, Hankinson SE, Spiegelman D, Barbieri RL, Michels KB, Hunter DJ, Fertil Steril, NCBI PMID: 15589850, Dec 2004.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources