Finding Out Who is at Risk

Simon Cooke, in his blog ” The View from Cullingworth“, has suggested that ‘Public Health, England’ should be scrapped. His reason is that it has issued advice about the ‘heatwave’:

Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm. Apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection. Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes.   Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf. Drink lots of cool drinks.

“What heatwave?”, says Simon. (Temperatures were expected to reach 29ºC in places) How on earth do Spanish and Italian people survive? To say nothing of middle-Eastern countries. 

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It was that which prompted the title of this post.

What happened before anyone invented suncream and UV sunglasses? Take out the modern inventions and discoveries and you are left with:

Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf. Drink lots of cool drinks.

Further, how can people whose jobs entail being out in the open avoid the hours 11am to 3pm? We do not have siestas in this country because we have no need for them. And how can such people wear “light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf”. People who are not obliged to be outside between those times are hardly likely to stand about in some sort of stupor just frazzling. They move around, in and out of buildings, sometimes facing the sun and sometimes with their backs to the sun. That is, unless they are deliberately sunbathing, in which case they will take appropriate precautions. Finally, why should drinks be cool? You have a drink when you are thirsty, or for pleasure – like tea or coffee. Beer is cool and nice, but you don’t drink it simply because it is cool.

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But Simon’s post led me to think. Let us suppose that ‘Public Health, England’ had one useful brain within it. What might that brain suggest?

“We are having some really pleasant weather at the moment. Let us enjoy it. We are sure that everyone who enjoys sunbathing knows that it is desirable to use some sort of suncream. But there are some people who should be especially careful. These are people who …………………………”

And there is the rub – who are “the people who ……”? For that is what PHE should know. It should know who are the sort of people who are most at risk of, say, suffering melanomas. Surely, multiple epidemiological studies have discovered what those factors might be? Well …. There have been such studies, see here: (When reading the article, pay attention to how much greater the risk is for some people – up to 15oo% in some cases)

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/melanoma/about/melanoma-risks-and-causes

If you read that article, you will see that CRUK does not have the foggiest idea why some people get melanomas and others do not. The best they can do, as a general rule, is to say that ultra-violet light seems to have something to do with it, but only for some people, who are ………. blank. They do not know. They do not know WHO IS AT RISK.

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Clearly, the reason that PHE can only present advice which is pathetically inept is because it has no alternative. It might as well just say, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”, but mad dogs do not get melanomas, so don’t do it!” That makes more sense that the advice given above.

But is this not also true of the enjoyment of tobacco? As far as I know, few if any studies about lung cancer have really investigated possible associations other than smoking. You might like to look at this page from CRUK:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/lung-cancer/about/lung-cancer-risks-and-causes

You will see that CRUK claims that LC is caused by smoking, smoking and smoking. Other possibilities are glossed over pretty quickly. For example, here is the quote re ‘air pollution’:

Air pollution

We know that air pollution can cause lung cancer. The risk depends on the levels of air pollution you are regularly exposed to. At UK levels, the extra risk is likely to be small – and much smaller than being a smoker.

But what about the ‘great smogs’? These smogs did not only occur in London. They occurred all over the country in industrial areas. How many people’s lungs were permanently damaged by breathing sulphur-laden air with every breath they took? That is the most important thing – ‘with every breath they took’ – and not the occasional puff on a fag. So where are the studies of ‘lung cancer ‘hot spots’? You will not see them, but they exist. One such was a study by Kitty Little in South Africa. She found a greater incidence of LC in smoggy inland cities than in smoggy coastal cities. She also found far less LC in country areas, at the same level of smoking, than in city areas. Smoggy City versus Smogless Countryside. Allowing for smoking habits, far more LC cases were observed in Smoggy City than in Smogless Countryside. There have been other studies more locally. Again, LC has appeared far more in cities like Belfast than in surrounding country areas, even when the people smoked as much in either place.

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Drawing this post to a close, regardless of what compromised organisations like CRUK say, the fact is that no one knows why one individual succumbs to cancer of any sort before or instead of another individual. And that is one reason that ‘population statistics’ is not a reasonable basis upon which to base Government Policy, especially when that policy includes prohibitions (or their equivalent, such as minimum unit pricing of alcohol).

If Cameron (and indeed Clegg and Miliband) had any sense whatsoever, he would realise that posturing on the world stage means nothing to voters. What matters to voters is what hits them personally. Why are voters so anti-EU? It can only be that they see their lives being eroded by the EU in all sorts of ways, rather than their lives being enhanced. They see ‘strangers’, wearing funny clothes and talking in funny languages, and they ask themselves, “What is going on?” And they are unhappy about it – deep down.

And all of this unhappiness is cause by academic ‘experts’, since their deliberations and prognostications are based upon rumours and  superstitions. There is no difference to speak of between Public Health, England and Medieval Witchcraft.

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “Finding Out Who is at Risk”

  1. Samuel Handley Says:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716090734.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28Latest+Science+News+–+ScienceDaily%29

    • junican Says:

      The potential cancer risk in non-smokers — particularly young children — of tobacco smoke gases and particles deposited to surfaces and dust in the home has been demonstrated by researchers.

      No it hasn’t. More verbal trickery. A ‘potential’ is something that might happen in the future. How can you ‘demonstrate’ something which might happen in the future? The mere fact that there is tobacco residue on walls etc does not ‘demonstrate’ harm. To demonstrate future harm, there is to be previous, proven harm.

  2. Rose Says:

    Who is at risk?

    When asked that on BBC Breakfast, someone from Public Health England called McCann informed us rather gloatingly that it was people with lung diseases and heart problems, I thought her big smile at that point was very inappropriate, even ghoulish.

    • junican Says:

      Then people with lung and heart problems should not smoke and avoid SHS. It is up to them. Perhaps they should wear masks whenever they are outdoors, or anywhere with a potential risk for them personally. Your McCann made my point very well.

  3. beobrigitte Says:

    Great post, Junican!! Indeed, the BBC blabbing on about “the heatwave” and warnings made me laugh out loud!

    Although it was mostly sunny and “sticky”, the temperature of 24 degrees celsius was hardly something to shout about!!!
    Perhaps the wet flannels working in “health” and the BBC would care to go and pick beans at 10 am in the sun and already 38 degrees centigrade in the shade. Sunscreen? I had sunburn that turned into a “bronzie” and that was it. To this day I do not buy sunscreen.

    Indeed, why do some people get melanomas and others do not? This is a common sense question that is being ignored in favour of papers….. papers…. and more papers. How many of these studies does the taxpayer fund?

    • junican Says:

      Fisher’s objection to the multiple studies on smoking was that ‘they are doing the same thing’. That is the point, isn’t it? All the smoking studies found an involvement of smoking, but it is their nature not be able to answer the question, “Who, when and why?” The idea of persecuting smokers into stopping smoking does not answer those questions.

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