Archive for the ‘LEAD - MERCURY- SMOKE’ Category


Sunday, November 18th, 2007




So much of our world is drug oriented. We understand overall, that without drugs, even chemicals, our world would be full of disease, food sources would be lessened, and conveniences would be limited. As this thesis is written, the touch is embracing plastic keys, rubberized mouse pads, vinyl coated wiring – my elbows pushing steadily on laminate. The rubber tips of my work tools include rubber ear tips on my stethoscope, rubberized tubing to the metal plated bell to listen to patients’ hearts with a plastic cover shield to clean off.

So what is the deal with the lead in the toys? The recent recall included over 405,000 lead contaminate toys from the Chinese manufacturers. Some of the toys recalled were “Duck Family,” Robot 2000, Big Red Wagons, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning products.

To my knowledge, no child has been severely poisoned with these toys, nor injured in a poisoning sense with these lead toys. The greatest majority of lead cases these days are from old paints…pre-1976…when lead was taken out of the USA marketplace of paints. So old paint chips that children eat or ate, especially in older home and apartment buildings renovations, was and are the source. But the biggest reduction in lead overall in the USA was the reduction of lead in gasoline. This essentially stopped the big problem. More discussion of lead poisoning was when under Clinton’s administration, the lead limits were reduced to an absolute low level despite little or no data to support the new change. But even with this new limit in children, few ever have had disease.

Nicotine in itself is a drug, a chemical that has been used obviously in smoking addiction, but in itself is not a bad thing. It has been used in industry in a variety of compounds. Nicotine, however, is the buzz in smoking. Just good old craziness allowed the U.S. to create multi-millionaire attorneys fighting for “our rights” and for those who “didn’t know” cigarettes were bad, yet the USA funds tobacco, the tribes sell tobaccos at reduced prices to entice smoking, and the CDC funds research to explore “the nicotine drug cure,” and it is all still legal. At a recent American Heart Association meeting, research on the new nicotine vaccine has made some promising head roads. One year and five shots later, the vaccine doubled the number of “stopped” addicted smokers from about 6% to 15% over the year. The problem still exists that less than 10%, some say lower, smokers of cigarettes ever stop that consistently try to stop. How many smokers? About 46-50 million in the U.S. and about half of them will try to stop sometime. The vaccine is a potentially great drug to help. The nicotine blocker med which castMD has written on before still helps to, but so far is not necessarily more effective than the patch or the gum. Stopping smoking takes good old will power.

And then there is the date-rape drugged toys. Most of this happened if not all was with the “Aqua Dots” toys. It seems that one of the chemicals in the surrounding coating changes or gets metabolized in the body when eaten. This is an extremely unique and interesting mass-market finding. It is really quite amazing that it was found. The GHB that was found is extremely difficult to measure generally. Many times in the ER, labs can not find it. It is metabolized quickly. Some of the previous day’s internet drug providers (illicit) sold chemicals that would convert to GHB. Some of these chemicals are still passed around and used at “rave parties” and other parties. GHB is a dangerous drug. It is illicit. It can kill you or make you unable to defend, protect, or interact. Thusly, called the date-rate drug. However, it was a prescription drug known as Rohypnol that was one of the original date rape drugs. It is also now illegal in the U.S., but probably can be found in the international markets illegally…not sure of legally however. Always open your own beverage and never leave one sitting around…especially in the club scene.

Did Bonds do it or not? Will the “asterisked” marked Hall of Fame baseball be delegated a fraud by another drug story? Not just another drug related story in recent and past news. Maybe all steroids should just be allowed in all athletics. Tell the athletes the risk, the wrestlers, the baseball players, and the Olympians. All these steroid abuse stories have hit the news just in the past months.

But the problem with that is…this story…

Doping in sports is a problem. But would you give or have someone else give your daughter or son steroids for performance enhancement? Watching little league and junior to senior sports makes me wonder. How far would a parent or caregiver go?

From the 1976 Olympians of East German come the latest stories of abuse, which is being called in a new documentary “The Great Olympic Drug Scandal: Revealed.” The sports “theme plan” developed relied on anabolic steroids. That year, 40 gold medals were placed over East Germany’s team members with a heavy emphasis on women’s swimming events winning all the golds in nearly all the events. Children were given oral tablets and injections, even on the day of competition in the Olympics, untraceable at that time. Coaches were rewarded by success, despite the unethical mark. Some athletes recruited prior to teenage were started on performance enhancement drugs. Doctors were required to sign confidentiality agreements despite the unethical mark.

Some of the athletes had sexual identity and self-worth problems while growing up. Many had obvious gynecological irregularities. In later life, sexual identity was explored and some even had sex changes. But many have been left out of the story lines…How has their lives been altered? How many have died unknown, changed forever by the decay of human value, gross ethical breaches of doctors, and limitless greed of self-flagellating coaches.

Systematic. Documented in abusive performance. Involuntary. Organized to destroy human life. Sidelined by death. Welcome to professional sports and Olympian sports.

Welcome to Beijing anyone?

Welcome to the Drugs’ Hall of Shame! It is NOT about performance…


Sunday, June 10th, 2007


Manage albums


Those darn "yellow-bellied" marmots.  Yes, my wife and I did talk with the Minister of the Blog-O-Sphere last Saturday at the Shabby sale.  I was telling him, while my wife laughed WITH me, not AT me the infamous tales of the marmot wars going on at our home.



Manage albums

We live up on a hill.  It has always been peaceful.  Then one day, while playing my guitar sitting on the deck…I see what??  This big flowered plant in my wife’s garden area is shaking back and forth.  What??  Did my eyes deceive me??  Looking around the lawn and into the aspen trees, no wind was noted.  Then suddenly, like someone had yelled, “TIMBER” in my ears, the plant fell over..crashing into the lawn.  Now one might think I was crazy.  But, I carefully placed my guitar on the stool…walked over to the now fallen beautiful comrade.  Yup…eaten flat across…sharp dissection as with a scalpel blade…less bloody in vision, but more bloody in revengeful feelings.  Let the war begin! 

Manage albums

We had been having trouble with some of our plants and flowers.  It continued randomly until more lakeside building below us happened.  These marmots, cute, furry, and cuddly, are quite the resistant critter.  What to do.  One of the local varmint guys said, “All’s you can do is shoot ‘em.”  In the neighborhood I thought?  Hardly.  Plus, they’re stealthy and quick.  They watch for you.  A squeak from a door alone will alarm their defensive dive into the ground.


We saw an ad or product about keeping the varmints away.  They were these submarine-torpedo looking aluminum rods.  Standing about 20 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter, with batteries loaded, you push them into the ground.  At random times, a signal is sent shaking the earth…maybe similar to the new movie, Ocean’s 13.  Well, anyway, we had these avenger rods throughout our garden and greenery.  Day after day…the plants were felled like a clear-cut in the woods.  What were we to do…?


We thought there was a rather large family reunion of these varmints, marmots now called of the squirrel family…near one of our home-grown rock planters.  I paid my son and his buddies years ago, a dime for every rock bigger than their hands, to build these planters.  This area became ground zero.  So, the water hose it was, "water boarding," I thought.  We waited and stalked the critters.  Flushed for hours, trying to make their life miserable.  What did I see?  I swear to the Almighty, one of them sliding down the hillside, like kids on a Slip n’ Slide®!


Now knowing that my enemy was strong and well fortressed, it was time to talk with more professionals.  Well, my attention was directed to the smoke bombs.  These things are more powerful than Superman, more web entangling than Spiderman, and more dangerous than CatWoman.  So I purchased a sleeve of these poisonous smoke producing rods.  Well, off to the planning stage again, securing a savagely strategic plot against those critters.  No more buying flowers and plants redundantly.  Think of the money to be saved.  Early retirement I thought.


So, I carefully inspected the hillside.  Monitoring each and every move by these unwelcome visitors, THIS plan would become the "Mission Accomplished.” 


While holding my breath literally, I lit one of these smoke bombs and slid it into the hole.  Then number two into another, then number three, and lastly number four…like torpedoes being called from the master.


I thought this will be it.  Victory so close to grasp. 


After about three to four minutes, happily watching from my perched binocular position, an amazing universal, near existential experience was witnessed.  My whole hillside now smoked, not the four holes…but hundreds.  Like the exhausting sulfur gas fields of Yellowstone and Glacier, the property was steaming with this poisonous smoke. 


Within a few minutes, I thought, someone is going to call the Fire Department due to all the smoke.  Outlet after outlet, the rising smoke then diminished.  It was over.  The offensive was over.  My observation keen.  Success.


Call me crazy, but thinking back, I swear the smell of cigar smoke was amongst the gas-smoke smell.  Could those little furry varmints have been sittin’ back with a cold one, smokin’ a cigar in their cozy dens, watching the doctor’s next strategic play? 


The next morning, about three more plants had been felled…But soon, new construction left huge rocks and boulders about a block away.         

It seemed they found a new territory.


Manage albums





Monday, April 30th, 2007
(generic photos from and generic medicines)
The Herald – Everett, Wash. –

Published: Saturday, April 28, 2007

Toxic drug at Portland clinic causes three deaths

Associated Press


PORTLAND, Ore. – Three people in the Pacific Northwest have died after receiving a drug that was erroneously made 10 times more potent than intended, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday.

ApotheCure Inc., a drug-compounding pharmacy company in Texas, said an employee made a weighing error in the creation of the drug colchicine, which lead to the deaths. Colchicine is commonly used to treat gout, but in these cases it was being given intravenously to treat back pain.

The drug was sent to the Center for Integrative Medicine in Portland, where three people received injections of the defective batch of the drug this spring. All three people, two from Portland and one from Yakima, died between the end of March and beginning of April from the toxic levels of the drug.

The defective doses were sent only to the Portland clinic, ApotheCure said.

The Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating the case but believes the problem has been contained.

The Center for Integrative Medicine has since closed, and representatives from the organization could not be reached.

Colchicine works by stopping cells from dividing, which reduces inflammation in conditions such as gout, said Dr. Rob Hendrickson, associate medical director for the Oregon Poison Center. But in excess doses, the drug stops all cells from dividing – eventually leading to organ failure and death.

The medication is not commonly used anymore and the use as a back pain treatment is less common than for gout.

Gary Osborn, a pharmacist and certified clinical nutritionist for ApotheCure, said the situation could have been contained earlier, but the clinic did not contact ApotheCure until nearly two weeks after the first death. He said the second death occurred before the company was able to complete recalling the batch and sending them a new lot. He said this is ApotheCure’s first incident of this sort.

“We are kind of the leaders in the industry,” Osborn said. “But you know what people say, stuff happens.


Copyright ©1996-2007.
The Daily Herald Co.



Friday, April 27th, 2007

This is the time of year when lawn chemicals, yard cleanups, and neighborhood events start to be exposed and available to little hands.  Certainly many chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, fuels, and cleaning agents are ubiquitous in homes and garages.  But beware.  Many of these chemicals are poisonous and dangerous with regard to flammability, explosiveness, and chemical burns.

Each dollar invested in poison centers saves about seven dollars in expenses not needed if the patients go into their doctor, their clinics, or their hospitals.  This is a great public health service.

Over the years since the early 60's, the poison centers have become an integral part of the healthcare network.  Now with the terrorism issues, the poison centers have become an integral monitoring source of information, as many times calls come to the poison centers early and often, thereby making a grid of what is happening and where it is happening.

For instance, when the bad botulism toxin product that was being used by spas and clinics that were trying to save money by not buying and using the approved botulinum toxin brand, the poison centers were seeing a problem early.  Patients across the country, in pockets, were being paralyzed – not just the muscles of the eyebrow, forehead, and other smaller muscles.

The poison centers across the USA now have a single number.  Depending on your area code, your call will be forwarded to the center in your area, or the one contracted by your state officials.  For instance, Idaho calls go to Denver's poison center.  Alaska's poison calls go to Oregon.  Washington's poison center gets all of Washington State's calls.  This year that number will be around 150,000 calls!   Poison calls are answered by an expert group of pharmacists, nurses, Pharm Ds and have backup by physicians specializing in toxicology and poisonings.  It is the number that the experts in all fields, from dermatologists to kidney specialists, call when the patient has been poisoned, or is toxic from unknown sources, or when the patient doesn't act or change based upon "normal" disease states.

The goal of Poison Prevention Week is to reduce illnesses, injuries, and deaths due to poisonings; build safer communities; and reduce unnecessary health care costs for everyone.


Here are some ways to be poison cautious:

Obtain syrup of ipecac and keep it in your home – but use it ONLY if instructed to do so by a poison center or physician

Use child-resistant containers and remember, they are not childproof

Keep products in their original containers

Never call medicine candy or take it in the dark

Return products to storage areas immediately after use

Teach children about Mr. Yuk

Put Mr. Yuk stickers on all poisonous products  

Call the Poison Center for a free information packet and Mr. Yuk stickers  

Keep emergency numbers next to your phone:



What is National Poison Prevention Week?

Public Law 87-319 authorizes the President to designate annually the third week in March as National Poison Prevention Week. This act of Congress was signed into law on September 16, 1961, by President Kennedy, after which the Poison Prevention Week Council was organized to coordinate this annual event. Congress intended this event as a means for local communities to raise awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisonings and to take such preventive measures as the dangers warrant.

(PC week and listing adapted from website with commentary from


Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the field burning practice since 1993 has been illegal.  The unanimous decision by the Court forces a reconsideration of events that allowed the practice to continue despite widespread opposition. The EPA federal laws overpower the lobbyist-generated state laws.  An environmental plea must go out to the owners of the lands where field burning is conducted. has been writing about this issue for months – where has the EPA been?  Where have the protectors of the land, water, and air been?  To lease or rent, knowingly for the practice, is like knowlingly leasing a house for meth making or meth distribution.  All the parties know that this practice pollutes.  All the parties know that this practice is unsafe for patients.  All the parties know this is harmful to the people of the earth.  Isn't it time for leadership by the elders, officials, elected few, and, as "Country Attorney" Jerry Spence would say:  "Faceless corporations?"   Which leaders will be strong, bold, and sincere to tell the truth AND do the right thing? It is time to "walk the environmental talk."



quit smoking – cessation by drug – nicotine blocker chantix – how good is it? side effects and risks?

Saturday, January 27th, 2007


The latest news on this new nicotine receptor blocker to assist you to quit smoking is good but not the great breakthrough. Research is getting hotter.  And we can help patients "shock" that habit with this new drug at a brain receptor level.

What castMD has been told is a reality of about 25 % of patients on this medicine (lest we forget…risks of medicine exist here also) continue to be smoke-free at about 3 months, and about 45 % are smoke-free at about 6 months.  This is the latest scoop on this as compared to previous numbers below.  As with all new drugs, the love affair of the honeymoon settles in to reveal the subsequent anniversaries and the baseline love still there.  Thus, as with new drugs…but this addiction research is approaching marvelous breakthroughs with the MRI, PET, 3D scanners and high tech computer software in the brain research world. 

Many patients have success with the gum, patch, or control device.  Yet many simply quit cold turkey…but often this is after "an event" such as a heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, emphysema attack…landing that patient in the hospital.

The "click of the heels" and make a wish still remains hard work, commitment, and desire to stop smoking.  Moral, family, and friend support must be involved to a level that they all qualify for an "Oscar" for best supporting role!



Journal of the AMA published an article in July, 2006 on the Chantix nicotine receptor blocker and its goal of stopping smoking:

44% of those on Chantix were not smoking at 12 weeks 
29.5%% of those on Zyban were not smoking at 12 weeks 
18% of those on a placebo were not smoking at 12 weeks 
22% of those on Chantix did not smoke from week 9 to 52 
16% of those on Zyban did not smoke from week 9 to 52 
8.4% of those on a placebo did not smoke from week 9 to 52


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of Chantix (varenicline tartrate) tablets, to help cigarette smokers stop smoking. The active ingredient in Chantix, varenicline tartrate, is a new molecular entity that received a priority FDA review because of its significant potential benefit to public health.

Chantix acts at sites in the brain affected by nicotine and may help those who wish to give up smoking in two ways: by providing some nicotine effects to ease the withdrawal symptoms and by blocking the effects of nicotine from cigarettes if they resume smoking.

"Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States and is responsible for a growing list of cancers as well as chronic diseases including those of the lung and heart," said Scott Gottlieb, MD, Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. "The agency is committed to helping facilitate the development of products to help people quit smoking and improve their overall quality of life."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 44.5 million adults in the United States smoke cigarettes and more than 8.6 million of them have at least one serious illness caused by smoking.

"Cigarette smoking is a very difficult habit to break due in large part to nicotine dependence or addiction" said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Chantix therapy has proven to be effective in smokers motivated to quit and will provide another tool for physicians to use for the millions of smokers who want to quit."

The effectiveness of Chantix in smoking cessation was demonstrated in six clinical trials, which included a total of 3659 chronic cigarette smokers who were treated with varenicline. Five of the six studies were randomized, controlled clinical trials in which Chantix was shown to be superior to placebo in helping people quit smoking.

The approved course of Chantix treatment is 12 weeks. Patients who successfully quit smoking during Chantix treatment may continue with an additional 12 weeks of Chantix treatment to further increase the likelihood of long-term smoking cessation.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse effects of Chantix were nausea, headache, vomiting, flatulence (gas), insomnia, abnormal dreams, and dysgeusia (change in taste perception).

Chantix is manufactured and distributed by Pfizer, Inc., New York, NY.

(adapted from FDA-AMA sources)


Monday, January 15th, 2007

Fire victims, EMS providers, methlab remediation teams, and firefighters will be greatly served by this medical advancement in the United States.  This cyanide antidote replaces the "lilly kit" that had been used for years, which used early, was lifesaving but medically cumbersome at best.  Three medicines quickly had to be given to these severely critical patients – and the antidote itself had poisoning problems itself.  This new antidote uses an extremely novel idea.  Vitamin B12, hydroxycobalamin, likes cyanide.  With a little molecular twist, the new antidote drug, hydroxocobalamin, simply exchanges a part of the drug and binds the cyanide with impressive results.  Dr. Steve Borron, well know to some of us, and definitely an international leader in this arena, has done significant and life changing research on this new antidote to get the approval through the FDA.  This antidote has been used in Europe for over a decade with great success.  Others like Dr. Hall in Denver has done work on the FDA project years ago.  Many have contributed to this landmark success of getting this drug in a workable form into the United States.  Congrats to all of them!


FDA News

December 15, 2006

Media Inquiries:
Press Office, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Cyanide Poisoning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Cyanokit (containing the drug hydroxocobalamin, intravenous tubing and a sterile spike for reconstituting the drug product with saline) for the treatment of known or suspected cyanide poisoning.  The approval, which is based on evidence of the drug's effectiveness when tested in animals, improves the nation's ability to respond to emergencies, including a potential attack by terrorists.

"Cyanide is a potent poison and one of the substances that could be used in a chemical attack," said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.  "Today's approval is yet another measure to counter the threat of terrorism, which is a critical component of FDA's public health mission."

Cyanokit received a priority review and was approved under the Animal Efficacy Rule, which  allows use of animal data for evidence of a drug's effectiveness for certain conditions when the drug cannot be ethically or feasibly tested in humans. 

In a controlled study in cyanide-poisoned adult dogs, the use of Cyanokit reduced whole blood cyanide concentration by approximately 55% by the end of the infusion, and significantly improved survival of the Cyanokit-treated dogs compared with dogs receiving placebo.

The safety, metabolism and excretion of Cyanokit were evaluated in 136 healthy adult humans.  At the proposed starting dose of 5 grams, the drug was found to be generally well tolerated with side effects that were mild to moderate.  The drug exits the body unchanged in the urine.  In the presence of cyanide, Cyanokit's active drug takes up the cyanide and becomes a form of vitamin B12.

The most frequently reported adverse reactions in the trial were red urine, skin redness (both from the drug's coloration itself), a temporary increase in blood pressure, headache, nausea and injection site reactions.  Allergic reactions were observed in a small number of individuals but were relatively mild and responded quickly to treatment.

Cyanokit is manufactured for EMD Pharmaceuticals, Inc by Merck Sante s.a.s. in Semoy, France and packaged by Dey Laboratories of Napa, California.

More information about FDA's efforts to counteract bioterrorism is available on FDA's website at


(photos courtesy: google images)



Friday, January 12th, 2007

Methlabs continue to plague society. Costs continue to rise.  New laws embedded.  New techniques on how to get the drugs to help make meth continue, for example:

Typical mechanisms that the non-cartel methlab cooks get pseudoephedrine are: smurfing and shelf sweeping.  Individuals that “smurf” go to a large number of stores and buy amounts at each retailer of pseudoephedrine that are under the legal limit but in the aggregate are much more.  A less sophisticated version of smurfing involves sending many individuals into the same store to buy amounts of pseudoephedrine just below the legal limit.  “Shelf sweeping” occurs when an individual or a group goes into a store and remove all the pseudoephedrine on the shelf and then exit without paying.



photo courtesy srhd



Recently, radio listening to a report of the "significant" risks to persons entering into methlab areas that already have been cleaned up or decontaminated or remediated.  The report left me believing that any site with any amount of meth activity is the same.  Not true.

The report said after the cleanup process has occurred, the persons are still able to be "poisoned" and become "toxic" from being in the decontaminated room.  Not probable either.

The epidemic of methlabs across the country have spawned the entire "cleanup industry" making many companies extremely wealthy in the "abatement industry."  One operator told me, "If I just turn on the truck, the fee is $2500 dollars, then the bill goes up depending on what we do."

Most ingredients of methlabs are dangerous.  Some can be flammable.  Some have bombs or incindary devices. However, after the cleanup has occurred, risk is minimal, probably non-existent.

Do you clean out your garage or shed as a methlab decon project – the spaces that have been storage for such contaminants of lawn mower gasoline, oil, garden chemicals, camping or cooking supplies, glass cleaner, carburator fluids, drain cleaners, windshield washer fluids, antifreeze, and other highly toxic day to day chemicals of household use?

The risk of financial collapse for cleanup is hard hitting for any owner that needs to hire a "cleanup" company.  It is estimated that a methlab cleanup can cost from $1000 to hundreds of thousands, depending on cartel activity or the mom-pop variety.

Google "methlab cleanup companies" (remediation) and nearly 60,000 hits arrive at the "deal or no deal" option.

Searching and searching, little is found on "risk of after-cleanup toxicity."   Colleagues in this area have been surveyed.  An anwer is in waiting.  Thus far, experience has not shown me one person ill, sick, contaminated, physically harmed, toxic from a space declared "clean."