Monday, June 2, 2008

CFC Inhaler Ban-Is It Going To Hurt?


Thanks to president bush and his signing of the Montreal Protocol, we're going to join forces with other countries to clean the air of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbon) their harmful effects on our planet.

However noble in it's appearance, this document has serious health implications for those suffering from COPD or Asthma. Since the Montreal Act requires all CFC propellents be phased out by December 31, 2008, alternative medicines have been in the works since the original ban of CFC uses back in 1997.

Since then, there have been advances in alternative treatments. The invention of HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) inhalers has sparked controversy of their use and cost effictiveness. Also, the overall scientific basis for the ban has some scientists baffled. The Montreal Protocol was initiated to combat the rising rates of skin cancer possibly resulting from ozone depletion. The scientists disagree that the rates were caused by that, since the rates continue to rise each year even without having CFC's in most products over the last 10 years.

I'm worried that these new treatments will pose more harmful effects from these new HFA chemicals in them. They're still the same medication, but a different propellant. I know the CFC's aren't nutritious, but since they've been on the market for many many years, we're more knowledgable of the long term effects.

"The safety of new agents cannot be known with certainty until a drug has been on the market for many years." (Journal of the American Medical Association, May 1, 2002)

As for my family, I worry that these new inhalers won't be as effective to treat an attack. For example, my husband and 8yro son both have asthma attacks when an allergen causes severe symptoms. Their Albuterol inhaler will act within seconds to restore their breathing. They haven't tried the new HFA inhaler yet, but from what I have read, they act within 5 minutes to an attack, rather than 15 seconds of the old inhalers. That has me worried.

So, it's off to the doctor for a new prescription to see if these new inhalers work for my husband and son the way they're supposed to. I'm taking notes on the various names of these new inhalers with us to the doctor to make sure it's an educated prescription, not just one there might be a vested interest in/or a good drug rep with bagels came by that morning.

If anyone has tried both inhalers for attacks, please mention the exact medication name and what your symptoms pre and post inhaler were. Also, any side effects.

For more info, names of the new drugs and even a petition, go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/

I'll certainly be back with the results very soon and we'll decide whether or not to sign the petition after some of our own testing! At least we know we can trust ourselves!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Let's Spread The Measles!


VACCINE-PHOBIA!

Leave it to the Germans to do this!
Get Wild at a Measles Party
Imagine being invited to a party where the sole purpose is to infect your child with measles. It's actually not all that uncommon in Germany. But then, many in the country are afraid of vaccines.

DPA
How to ward off Germans: Hold out a vial of vaccine.


Mother 1: “How is Jan? Did you find out what he has?”

Mother 2: “His doctor says it’s definitely the measles.”

Mother 1: “The measles?!”

Mother 2: “Yeah, why don’t you come over with Kerstin tomorrow afternoon? She hasn’t had the measles yet has she? ”

Mother 1: “No, but ..."

Mother 2: “Then come by. We’ve invited the other kids from the playgroup too.”

Mother 1: “You invited other ...?”

Mother 2: “Now’s a chance for Kerstin to get it and have it over with. They put all kinds of poisons in those vaccines. Besides, it’s better for them developmentally if they get through it. Could you bring some cookies?”

Lest you think the above is mere fiction, we at the Survival Bible actually got on the telephone for once to quell your doubts. “We don’t know how often they happen.” says G√ľnther Dettweiler from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. “But we do know that such parties take place.”

In other words, in order to protect their loved ones from vaccines -- responsible, incidentally, for the virtual disappearance of smallpox and for the radical reduction of a number of dangerous infectious diseases the world over -- German mothers would rather throw a party to infect their kids with a potentially deadly disease like measles. Chicken pox parties are also a highlight on a number of childhood calendars in Germany.

What gives?

Partially, the phenomenon has to do with a widespread German feeling that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger -- the corollary when it comes to dangerous infectious diseases apparently being, "if it kills you, you must not have been strong enough in the first place."

But Germans are also extremely leery of ingesting chemicals (more...), even in the form of potentially life-saving medication. And immunizations are not required by law in Germany for entrance to public schools and kindergartens as they are in the US and France, for example.
Combine the two, and German parents are confronted with a dilemma which appears patently ridiculous to most of the world: "To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?" Most do opt for inoculation -- but there are some parents who believe that kids ought to, literally, sweat it out. A strong tradition of homeopathy and natural remedies in Germany add to the equation.

“All of my kids made a developmental leap after they got through their childhood diseases,” says Barbara Kemter, a mother of four from Freiburg, who doesn’t believe in vaccinations. The former nurse treated all of her kids with homeopathic remedies through the measles, mumps, rubella and whopping cough. But she kept her kids at home, away from other children. Some parents are even advised by their doctors as to the right timing for a germ spreading shindig.

Perhaps not coincidentally, measles seem to be making a bit of a comeback in Germany this spring. Fully 1,200 cases have been reported in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia -- which plays host to 11 World Cup matches -- already in 2006. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the problem could easily become worse. Only 65.7 percent of Germans have had the second booster shot necessary to thwart measles.

But then, maybe they're already immune. Maybe they had the pleasure of attending a measles party as children. After all, with measles transferred easily via sneezing and coughing, a gaggle of playing children is a particularly effective method of sharing this disease -- which can lead to serious respiratory and ear complications and even a deadly form of encephalitis.
Another effective way of transferring the disease, of course, is crowded football stadiums and post-game events. And German officials have warned World Cup fans to get jabbed before heading over. Or, if you plan on coming, just find a German family in your neighborhood before you go. Maybe you can get yourself invited to a measles party. Don't forget the cookies.
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