Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend reading - China Addition...

It's an interesting turn events that has led to about 1/2 the meaningful stories I find on any given night seem to revolve around China.

China's Premier Warns of Risk of Double Dip.

"Looking outside of China, Mr. Wen said the world might face a "double dip" recession amid risks in financial systems and continued high jobless rates in many countries.

Mr. Wen also gave a robust defense of free trade. "I am a strong supporter of free trade," he said. "Free trade can not only promote the growth of the world's economy but it can promote peace in the world."

And without a trace of irony, the Premier went on to say....

"In a possible reference to U.S. policy on the dollar, he said, "What I don't understand is depreciating one's own currency and pressing other countries to appreciate their own currencies just for the sole purpose of increasing their trade," Mr. Wen said. "In my opinion this is trade protectionism."

Chinese Fluoride Causing Concern in MA

"However, Team 5 Investigates found the Amesbury Water Department pulled fluoride from its system amid concerns about its supply from China.

Department of Public Works Director Rob Desmarais said after he mixes the white powder with water, 40 percent of it will not dissolve.

"I don't know what it is," Desmarais said. "It's not soluble, and it doesn't appear to be sodium fluoride. So we are not quite sure what it is."

Since 2007, most of the sodium fluoride has been imported from China because it's the least expensive on the market.

And this is the key quote that I complete agree with....

"I don't think that when it comes to something that I ingest every day that the lowest bidder is good enough," Stewart said.

After China's empty airports now consider China's empty airports...

Handling just two flights a week hasn't fostered a deep sense of urgency for the 50 or so workers at the airport. On this night, a garage door-sized video monitor displays a single arrival and departure.

This is not how things were supposed to be when the $57-million airport opened in late 2007. Local officials were so confident that tourists would flock to this beautiful, mountainous county in southwestern China that they made the terminal big enough to accommodate 220,000 passengers annually, and built a runway capable of handling a 140-seat Boeing 737.

A grand total of 151 people flew in and out of Libo last year. China has added about 40 airports in the last decade alone, bringing its total to 166.

But in the mad dash to expand China's civil aviation system, many new airports are lacking one important thing: passengers. Spurred by federal infrastructure money, easy bank loans and the cachet of having planes land in their backyard, many small cities jumped at the opportunity to lay down runways and open terminals.

"An airport is like a business card for the city. It can boost tourism and the economy," said Xu Hongjun, a professor at the Civil Aviation University of China. "But a lot of small airports are not doing well. They need a lot of subsidies from the central government. They were too optimistic."


Anonymous said...

The National Academy of Sciences did a thorough review on fluoride in 2006. They documented numerous deleterious effects of fluoride on many organ systems including increased potential risk for bone fractures (the well characterized disease of skeletal fluorosis) possibly increased risk of osteosarcoma, reduced IQ, thyroid dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction and others all 300 pages is online if anyone cares to confirm it. Of course don't forget fluoride induced dental fluorsosis (i.e. teeth mottling and a sign of toxic exposure to fluoride) They ended with recommending that the EPA should more strictly regulate fluoride. Their findings mirror those in the peer-reviewed medical literature, while Harvard trained toxicologist also extensively documented behavioral changes in mice upon exposure to blood levels of fluoride not far greater than those experienced through water fluoridation and other sources of exposure. Former, well credentialed EPA scientists have been fired for bucking the political line on this issue. Meanwhile 90% of the fluoride placed into our water supply is not industrial grade sodium fluoride, it is silicofluorides, quite simply, scraped from the sides of Florida phosphate plant smokestacks. If it weren't thrown into the water supply it would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste. You can read more on this starting here if you suspect I am just making this all up.

The Artful Blogger said...

I was particularly concerned about the flouride programs instituted in NYS rural schools. I received the following feedback which I found helpful.

To answer your question, no, the fluoride used in the school-based fluoride mouthrinse does not come from China and is of a different grade - pharmaceutical - FDA regulated. The fluoride rinse we purchase for the school program is manufactured in Pennsylvania by a very reputable company that we have used for over 30 years. They make the rinse special for us, without added dyes or coloring. This fluoride is of the same grade of fluoride used in fluoride tablets, drops, toothpaste (such as Crest and Colgate) and other OTC fluoride products (like ACT rinse).

The fluoride added to water (as referred to in the case of MA) falls under a different standard- drinking water - EPA regulated. Fluoride added to water has to be certified and quality tested by NSF and AWWA and these are very stringent standards. Not all water systems that are fluoridated use this NaF that comes from China.