Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue, Blood Ban, Sarin Affects, 911 Rescuers Issues that US Legislators Are Not Adequately Providing Leadership


by Denise Nichols

Just a short collection of articles that should be of high interest to all Americans!  The implications are huge for millions including our gulf war veterans who suffer quietly with their illnesses since serving in the Gulf War 1990-91.

These veterans suffer from CFS/ME and have many researchers that are also connected to the civilians suffering from CFS/ME.  The veterans had multiple exposures including Sarin, depleted uranium, oil fire exposures, dirty dust exposures, pyridostigmine bromide, vaccines, and who knows the complete list of biological chemical exposures.

There is breaking news in several news items to include the research occurring in the XMRV/MLV ( a new human retrovirus) issue over the last year, the breaking news of a blood ban on CFS patients, Sarin exposure (Gulf War Veterans 90-91) and cardiac  body system effects, Exposures information not only for Gulf War 1990-91 but also our troops that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and legislation on  911 Rescuers that suffer health problems.  All of these have connections to health problems that need urgent attention!

The 911 Rescuers have a mighty defender with their US Senators from New York but where are the 100 Senators and 435 Representatives that should be looking to all of these critical health issues?  Have the Gulf War Veterans that have been sufferring for 20 years had adequate answers?

Have they had the attention as much as the 911 Rescuers?  How about the millions of civilians sufferring from CFS?  And the troops that have returned from OIF that are suffering from high rates of suicide, have their physical health been adequately addressed or is suicide a result of deterioration in their physical health also playing a part?  The point here is there are connecting issues.

The reality is that each of these groups have huge health problems and each group is having to send sick and ailing people to DC to try to get these issues addressed and fight for bread crumbs in research funding to get answers and help.  Try being ill and having to scrap together money to get to DC to make the big issue be heard and to fight for research money to get help!  Much less to be ill and just try to make a trip to participate in research and not have any funds made available to be a part of that research.  Much less to be ill and the effect on families that have lost one income provider.    The mainstream media does not even focus on these huge needs!

The VA has no effective education of its physicians on the issue of Chronic Fatigue and Environmental Health problems.  The VA Raters also have not had the basic education of how to deal with Gulf War Veterans of 90-91 claims.  Hopefully some day the legislators in DC will get the big picture and make oversight that truly works and get the funding to these critical health needs of our veterans, troops, 911 Rescuers, and the civilians that suffer from CFS.  Maybe they will finally see that this is insanity to make ill veterans, troops, 911 Rescuers, and CFS civilian sufferers beg for help while they try to backdoor an immigration bill  as a Dream Act to help illegals have a path to citizenship deal with the US Veterans and Civilians you have NOW!  Please continue reading the articles below on urgent health care issues!

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(6):677-93.

Why myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) may kill you: disorders in the inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative stress (IO&NS) pathways may explain cardiovascular disorders in ME/CFS.

Maes M, Twisk FN.

Maes Clinics, Wilrijk – Antwerp, Belgium. [email protected]


There is evidence that disorders in inflammatory and oxidative and nitrosative (IO&NS) pathways and a lowered antioxidant status are important pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Important precipitating and perpetuating factors for ME/CFS are (amongst others) bacterial and viral infections; bacterial translocation due to an increased gut permeability; and psychological stress. Recently, Jason et al (2006) reported that the mean age of patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome dying from heart failure, i.e. 58.7 years, is significantly lower than the age of those dying from heart failure in the general US population, i.e. 83.1 years. These findings implicate that ME/CFS is a risk factor to cardio-vascular disorder. This review demonstrates that disorders in various IO&NS pathways provide explanations for the earlier mortality due to cardiovascular disorders in ME/CFS. These pathways are: a) chronic low grade inflammation with extended production of nuclear factor kappa B and COX-2 and increased levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha; b) increased O&NS with increased peroxide levels, and phospholipid oxidation including oxidative damage to phosphatidylinositol; c) decreased levels of specific antioxidants, i.e. coenzyme Q10, zinc and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate; d) bacterial translocation as a result of leaky gut; e) decreased omega-3 polyunsatutared fatty acids (PUFAs), and increased omega-6 PUFA and saturated fatty acid levels; and f) the presence of viral and bacterial infections and psychological stressors. The mechanisms whereby each of these factors may contribute towards cardio-vascular disorder in ME/CFS are discussed. ME/CFS is a multisystemic metabolic-inflammatory disorder. The aberrations in IO&NS pathways may increase the risk for cardiovascular disorders.

PMID: 20038921 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Low-dose exposure to chemical warfare agent may result in long-term heart damage
October 13, 2010 New research found that the pattern of heart dysfunction with sarin exposure in mice resembles that seen in humans. Sarin is a chemical warfare agent belonging to class of compounds called organophosphates — the basis for insecticides, herbicides and nerve agents. As an inhibitor of the nervous system enzyme acetylcholinesterase, sarin can cause convulsions, stoppage of breathing and death.

Aiming to determine the delayed cardiac effects of sarin, researchers studied mice injected with sarin — at doses too low to produce visible symptoms — 10 weeks after the exposure.

“The two-month period was used to simulate the late onset effect of sarin/nerve agents in gulf war veterans,” said Mariana Morris, director of the research program. “There are suggestions that gulf war illness; in which symptoms are long-lasting, may be related to exposure to low-dose chemical warfare agents.”

Cardiac damage detected in sarin-exposed mice at 10 weeks, but not earlier, included:
Left ventricular dilation, meaning the heart’s left ventricle is larger.

Prolonged ventricular repolarization, an electrical conduction anomaly that could lead to heart rhythm abnormalities.

Reduction in contractility, the extent of ventricular contraction and hence the amount of blood pumped from the ventricle when it contracts.
“These results have implications for the military in times of conflict and for civilian populations in cases of environmental or occupational exposure,” Morris said.
Provided by American Heart Association


Iraq, Kuwait dust may carry dangerous elements
By Kelly Kennedy – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Dec 7, 2010 14:46:27 EST

Researchers studying dust in Iraq and Kuwait say tiny particles of potentially hazardous material could be causing a host of problems in humans, from respiratory ailments to heart disease to neurological conditions.

After taking samples, scientists found fungi, bacteria and heavy metals — including uranium — that could all cause long-term health effects.

“You can see the dust,” said Dale Griffin, an environmental public health microbiologist with the U.S. Geologic Survey. “It’s what we can’t see that will get you.”

Three recent reports detail the problems, and Griffin said there are more to come.

Capt. Mark Lyles, who chairs the medical sciences and biotechnology department at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, part of the Naval War College, co-authored with Griffin a report that they presented last year at the International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies in Italy.

The paper summarized their analysis of sand samples taken in 2004 in Iraq and Kuwait, which revealed a “significant biodiversity of bacterial, fungi and viruses of which 25 percent are known pathogens.”

Just as troubling, according to the paper, was the presence of 37 elements — including 15 bioactive metals, including uranium, known to cause serious, long-term health effects in humans.

Heavy metals
Microbiologists Dale Griffin of the U.S. Geologic Survey and Capt. Mark Lyles of the Naval War College analyzed dust samples taken in Iraq and Kuwait in 2004 and found a wide range of heavy metals at rates in excess of World Health Organization maximum safe exposure guidelines. Some don’t even have maximum exposure guidelines because they are not expected to be present in airborne dust. The elements of “greatest concern” and the proportions found in dust samples:

• Arsenic at 10 parts per million: poisonous and can cause long-term health effects or death.

• Chromium at 52 parts per million: linked to lung cancer and respiratory ailments.

• Lead at 138 parts per million: can lead to headaches, nausea, muscle weakness and fatigue.

• Nickel at 562 parts per million: can lead to lung cancer, respiratory issues, birth defects and heart disorders.

• Cobalt at 10 parts per million: can lead to asthma and pneumonia.

• Strontium at 2,700 parts per million: linked to cancer.

• Tin at 8 parts per million: can cause depression, liver damage, immune system and chromosomal disorders, a shortage of red blood cells, and brain damage that can lead to anger, sleeping disorders, forgetfulness and headaches.

• Vanadium at 49 parts per million: can cause lung and eye irritation, damage to the nervous system, behavioral changes and nervousness.

• Zinc at 206 parts per million: can cause anemia and nervous system disorders.

• Manganese at 352 parts per million: linked to metabolic issues, Parkinson’s disease and bronchitis.

• Barium at 463 parts per million: can cause breathing problems, heart palpitations, muscle weakness and heart and liver damage.

• Aluminum at 7,521 parts per million. Aluminum was of particular concern to Lyles and Griffin because the metal has recently been linked to “multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases.”

Some of the toxins may occur naturally in the soil in the Middle East, and some may come from refineries or factories in industrial areas, Griffin said. He also said the toxins could have been exposed or loosened as U.S. Humvees and tanks churned up the hardened desert top layer that has held dust down for centuries.

In a separate study, Griffin researched dust in Kuwait and around the world, and reviewed other studies, and found that bacteria can be carried by the wind. He said that finding contradicts military researchers during the 1991 Persian Gulf War era who did no microbiological research because they incorrectly concluded the region was too hot for anything to live in the desert sand.

A recent Military Times analysis of military health data from 2001 to 2009 showed the rate of respiratory issues among active-duty troops rose by 32 percent; cardiovascular disease rose 30 percent; pregnancy and birth complications were up 47 percent; and neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, were up nearly 200 percent.

The National Research Council of the National Academies released a report this year that said the Defense Department’s Enhanced Particulate Matter Surveillance Program needs to be reworked, and that the military lacked sufficient data to properly study the health effects of particulate matter exposure.

That report came in the wake of two other military studies — one that looked at various health concerns, and another that looked specifically at heart and respiratory issues. Neither had found any connection to exposure to particulate matter.

But the National Academies report stated that “a large body of epidemiologic research has shown associations between short- and long-term exposures to particulate matter and a broad array of respiratory and cardiovascular effects in the general population and in susceptible people.”

The tiniest particles — up to 1,000 of which can sit on the head of a pin — embed deeply in the lungs along with whatever matter they carry. Griffin said he worries that the combination of bacteria, fungi and metal found in Iraq and Afghanistan can further complicate the health risks to U.S. combat troops.

Noting the rise in respiratory and heart problems over the past decade, Griffin said, “If you look at the [civilian] population, you don’t see these numbers.”

Service members are generally “a healthy group, too,” he added. “You would think they’d be less susceptible.”


American Red Cross Statement On XMRV And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Article Date: 08 Dec 2010 – 1:00 PST

At present, there are no specific federal recommendations regarding deferral of individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or other diseases that have been associated with Murine Leukemia Virus-related virus (XMRV) infection. Nevertheless, in the interest of patient and donor safety, the American Red Cross will defer indefinitely any donor who reveals during the donor interview that they have been diagnosed with CFS.

XMRV infection has been associated in some studies with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, but at the present time these disease associations have yet to be confirmed.

There is currently insufficient data to conclude that XMRV is transmitted through blood transfusion. However, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Task force is conducting research to determine the frequency of the virus in the donor population, whether it is transfusion-transmitted, and whether recipients become infected and develop the disease.

An AABB Interorganizational Task Force is charged with reviewing all available data, making recommendations for further action to assess the risk of XMRV transmission through blood transfusion, develop mitigation strategies as needed, and to provide information for blood donors, recipients and the public.

The AABB Taskforce released Association Bulletin #10-03 in June 2010, recommending that blood collecting organizations – through the use of donor education materials available at the donation site actively discourage potential donors who have ever been diagnosed by a physician with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), from donating blood or blood components. In addition, any donor with symptoms of CFS would be deferred if, on the day of donation, they respond negatively to the question, “Are you feeling well today?”

The Red Cross has implemented the AABB recommendations and has gone further to implement indefinite deferral for donors who reveal a history of a medical diagnosis of CFS.

American Red Cross


Test Vote On Health Bill For Ground Zero Workers Expected
Main Category: Bio-terrorism / Terrorism
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 08 Dec 2010 – 2:00 PST

The Wall Street Journal: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., “is trying to find one additional Republican senator to vote for a $7.4 billion” health care bill for Ground Zero workers. The bill would “re-open a victim-compensation fund and provide 10 years of health tracking and treatment for those who have become sick from exposure to the toxic dust and debris of the World Trade Center site. A test vote on the bill is expected Wednesday” (Barrett, 12/6).

The Hill: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed a motion for cloture on four bills Monday,” including the Ground Zero health bill. “The motion sets up a Wednesday vote to end debate on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Democrats need one Republican vote to end the debate and move forward on a final vote” (Millman, 12/6).
This information was reprinted from

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