Monthly Archives: July 2013

Manila Bay hotbed for drug resistant bacteria

pasig manila bay

Everything that goes down our drains will find its way to the sea, including the stuff we flush down the toilet. This quirky way by which humans pollute the water systems has shown to cause antibiotic resistance of disease causing bacteria in the aquatic and marine environment of Metro Manila, a study found.

Monitoring conducted by the researchers revealed sulfamethoxazole (SMX) as a major contaminant along the waterways of the Metro. SMX belongs to a group of antibiotic drugs called sulfanomides. It is a common medicine used for treating infection in humans and animals. It is believed SMX in the water come from manure and wastewater that are released to Laguna Lake and Pasig River, subsequently concluding in the Manila Bay area. Continue reading

Toxic wastes take toll on ‘healthy years of life’ of people in India, Indonesia and the Philippines

More than 8 million people in India, Indonesia and the Philippines live under constant exposure to toxic wastes, a study found.

Focusing on the impact to health of 373 toxic wastes sites researchers found that the economic opportunities lost because of premature deaths or disabilities incurred by the people due to the hazardous wastes is comparable, if not higher, to those caused by well-known diseases and other environmental risk factors.

By calculating the disability-adjusted life years (DALY), a measure of overall disease burden used by the World Health Organization (WHO), researchers were able to determine healthy years of life lost due to illness, disability or premature death. One DALY is equivalent to one year of healthy life loss by a person, which represents opportunities in life destroyed forever due to failing health or death.

The study revealed that toxic wastes sites are responsible to 828,722 DALYs or 828,722 years of life full health lost due the effects of toxic wastes exposures.

Furthermore, children or women of childbearing age constituted for 60% of the affected population. With many toxic chemicals affecting brain development in children and unborn babies, researchers insisted that children and women of childbearing age are considered to be most vulnerable. Heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, pollutants found to be of high concentration in the sites tested, are known to affect brain development in children and unborn babies. Other chemicals have debilitating effects on kidneys and livers, while several others, such as chromium and asbestos, cause cancer.

Result of the study emphasized the need for a concrete step to control the ill effects of pollution to human health, researchers said. Environmental remediation of toxic waste sites was recommended in order to remove the pollutants and rehabilitate the environment. While completely eliminating exposure to toxic wastes may be impossible, remediation of would help minimize amount of toxic chemicals on these site and reduce exposure.

Toxic wastes sites around the world are not only detrimental to the environment, but also to health. While global concern is growing, assessments on how these sites affect the health of communities around them is still limited or lacking in many developing countries. The study provided a rich resource for policymakers on how to manage toxic wastes sites and help affected communities.


Reference:Chatham-Stephens K, Caravanos J, Ericson B, Sunga-Amparo J, Susilorini B, Sharma P, Landrigan PJ, Fuller R. (2013). Burden of disease from toxic waste sites in India, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2010. Environmental Health Perspectives. 121(7):791-6.

Croc on the Loose

croc on the loose

I thought I want to keep an aquarium on my desk. But then fish can be very difficult to maintain, so I settled for something that demands less attention – a crocodile.

Been planning for a long time to buy similar stuff, like say a model building or jet fighter. But the crocodile got my attention when I visited a bookstore last Saturday.

It was fairly easy to assemble. There was a paper enclosed with the set that gives a number to every part of the pieces so you know which one will connect to what part.