Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Very Scary Report ~ Toxic Schools ~ What Is Really Making Us Sick?

We all started feeling much better on Monday, it took the entire weekend for all of us to get over our colds. Now for the toxic schools...

Earlier this week on the “Today” show, they had a report that caught my eye. It was about toxic air in schools. Here is a link to the USA Today story. After watching this, I went online to see what if anything was toxic in our area (you can find out your levels here). I was shocked to say the least at what I found! Two of the schools not to far from our home were nationally ranked in the 4th and 17th percentile. The school ranked 4th was due to manganese and manganese compounds (96% of overall toxicity), sulfuric acid (1%), chromium and chromium compounds (1%), lead and lead compounds (1%), arsenic and arsenic compounds (0%). The 17th ranked school report is as follows; manganese and manganese compounds (90% of overall toxicity), sulfuric acid (3%), chromium and chromium compounds (1%), isocyanides (1%). The rest of our district’s schools ranked from 4th all the way down to around 61st. Not a pretty picture, and frankly it was a WTF moment. After reading Crimes Against Nature by, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., I always wondered what the pollution rate was in Dallas and its surrounding areas. Houston and small town Midlothian were two of the worst polluted cities or towns mentioned in the book. What I found out about the 9 schools in Midlothian (25 miles southwest of Dallas) was really shocking! Two of the schools ranked 1st, three ranked 3rd and then one each of 6th, 14th, 21st and 32nd. Here are some of the pollutant levels in Midlothian. Sulfuric acid (85%) manganese (19%) chromium (2%). In JRK Jr.’s book mentioned above Midlothian has one of the highest Down Syndrome birth rates in the state due to the huge concrete factory there.

Back to the 96% of overall toxicity of manganese close to us. I am fairly sure you are thinking to yourself, what the heck is manganese? I did too. So, I looked it up and I was shocked to find out what the results of high exposure to manganese was…Parkinson’s disease. As my regular readers know, I have two close relatives who have had Parkinson’s (my grandfather and an uncle). Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system, caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. There is no cure and it is virtually a death sentence. My grandfather suffered a excruciating battle for close to 25 years (for someone to live this long with Parkinson’s is quite rare). It is also more rare for someone under 40 to be diagnosed, actor Michael J. Fox is one.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my hematologist (all of my blood work came back good except for my white count (almost always high), my EBV titer test (higher than it has been) and low potassium levels. Before I left, I told him about the USA Today story and what I had found out about the manganese levels close to our house. He almost as shocked about this as I was so, he ordered a manganese level. I am anxious to find out what my level is. As soon as I find out I will keep you all posted. If you look up what is toxic in your area please, let me know.