A new study released within the last few days by the Center for Disease Control and  Prevention has shown a marked increase in Autism;  it now affects 1 in 88 children, 1 in 54 boys, an increase of 28% since and a frightenly huge jump from 1 in 10,ooo cases seen in the 1980’s.

As a early childhood education teacher I began to see the increase in autism in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I was told by parent after parent that they thought immunizations had changed their child overnight, they had observed different behaviours.

This was repeatedly refuted by the vaccination companies, but now as the rates of autism increase people are looking at vaccination as a possible cause of autism.

Another suspected source of neurotoxins in children is environmental toxins and agricultural chemicals such as organophosphates.

My husband was recently diagnosed with dementia, after a few years of research I have realized that dementia is also increasing rapidly and there are starting to be a few studies linking agricultural chemicals and dementia.

I asked the Neurologist when we went to Guadeloupe for testing and diagnosis; we discussed that there were no studies at that time that we know of. I kept researching and the links are becoming more clear.

See the studies below

Parkinsons
Exposure to certain toxins or environmental factors may increase the risk of later Parkinson’s disease, but the risk is relatively small.

Dementia

Cognitive impairment in agricultural workers and nearby residents exposed to pesticides in the Coquimbo Region of Chile.

Association between background exposure to organochlorine pesticides and the risk of cognitive impairment: A prospective study that accounts for weight change.

 

 

Autism

Prenatal chlorpyrifos leads to autism-like deficits in C57Bl6/J mice.

Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides and risk of autism spectrum disorders and other non-typical development at 3 years in a high-risk cohort.

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When I moved to Dominica in the 1990’s and traveled the island catching rides I often talked about water conservation. I already saw signs of less water in the dry river beds and low water levels of rivers. I had first came to the island in 1981 and the observation was personal.

Everyone laughed at me and said; Dominica does not need to  conserve water.

This year for this first time I remember Dominica has been warned that there could be a drought.

Tropical Storm Erica showed us that not all precipitation contributes to higher water levels in out rivers, as runoff from hard rains after long dry periods can leave as quickly as it comes.

Tips

All household faucets should be fit with aerators. This is hands-down the single best home water conservation method – and the cheapest!

Be sure taps are fully off before leaving your home. Leaving a rap running can waste gallons of water.

Check the household water system for leaks regularly. A small drip from a faucet can waste 20 gallons of water per day.

Don’t leave the water running to wash dishes. If you use a basin when washing dishes by hand, you use half the water.

Ensure  toilets are working properly. A “running” toilet with a loose or stuck seal can waste thousands of gallons of water.

Fill the washing machine with clothes before doing the load. This allows you to wash more clothes with the same amount of water.

Go to the Beach or the River. Take advantage of Dominica’s natural hot pools, rivers and ocean beaches. Private swimming pools use large amounts of water.

Hide a small water bottle or 2 filled with water/sand in your toilet water tank. This means every time you flush the toilet you save 1/2 or 1 litre of water.

Insulate hot water pipes. It’s inexpensive and very easy to insulate water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. Since hot water comes faster we don’t waste water running the tap while it heats up.

Just use the hose to rinse off the car or equipment when washing them. Use a pail of soapy water first to clean the car then turn the hose on.

Know that every drop of water saved is valuable! Climate change is here!

Low-flow faucet aerators.  This is hands-down the single best home water conservation method – and costs very little!

Make showers quick! Long, hot showers can use 5 to 10 gallons every unneeded minute.  

Not to leave the water running when you shampoo or soap up in the shower. Turn the water on to wet the body; turn it off to soap or shampoo then back on to rinse.

Open the facet a little less than full force when using the hose or tap. In Dominica water pressure can be high and that means a lot more water flows when the tap is on.

Purchase water saving household equipment. Washing machines that are water saving use less water per cycle.

Quit letting the hose run when u wash your car. Better yet don’t turn on the hose until you are ready to rinse.

Replace regular shower heads with water-saving shower heads, It’s easy and inexpensive to install water-saving low-flow shower heads. “Low-flow” means using less than 2.5 gallons per minute.

Save a few liters of water every day. This will add up to saving 1000’s of gallons of water over a lifetime.

Turn it off while brushing. After wetting the toothbrush, turn off the water while brushing. This can save 684 gallons of water in a year’s worth of brushing

Utilize efficient watering systems. We can greatly reduce the amount of water used for gardening by utilizing soaker hoses, installing drip-irrigation systems and watering plants in the early morning or late evening so the water does not evaporate as quickly. Water sprinklers use much more water often with greater lost to evaporation.

Verify the water from your guttering is caught in a rain barrel water catchment system covered for mosquitos. Free water for all your outdoor needs.

Wash sheets, towels and clothing only when they need it. Wearing an outfit more than once or washing sheets and towels less frequently can cut water usage in half.

Xeriscape with plants that suit the environment. Keep lawn surfaces to a minimum and plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants. Use native plants and flowers known to thrive in the area you live. Around Salisbury we would focus on drought resistance flowers and shrubs; perhaps cactuses and succulents. In Pond Case and Laudat we would grow plants that love the wet cool conditions there.

Yes these little tips do make a difference. Never under estimate the impact of one person in the world wide scheme of things. 

Zest for living in a mindful manner results in less resources being used per person and family. This ensures resources will still be there for our grandchildren.

It is always prudent and mindful to conserve precious drinking water as one of Dominica’s most important resources.