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Review of the Medical Literature

This unique Covid-19 medical website provides brief summaries and online links to important COVID-19 research that has not been adequately relayed to the medical community, media or general public. All studies are peer-reviewed from the National Library of Medicine and pertain to environmental circumstances found to increase the spread and susceptibility to Covid-19 infection. Each summary lists the journal name and volume while also giving a link to the original article in the National Library of Medicine database. This allows for immediate confirmation on content accuracy, providing credibility needed for initiating critical discussions. The navigation bar below gives a quick link to each toxicology section.



1. Satellite maps identify vehicle exhaust and coal emmissions as major driver in COVID-19.
2. Immune system defects found in severe and fatal COVID-19 patients.
3. Studies showing colder outdoor temperatures decrease immune system defenses.
4. Understanding first immune system steps in stopping viruses.
5. Chemicals in disinfectants found to weaken first-line immune defense, increasing viral infections.
6. 50 Year NIH study observing annual weakening of adult immune system counts.
7. Immunotoxicology: Additional studies linking environment with weakening immune system.

SECTION 1: Fossil Fuel Toxicology
Climate Change and Global Warming have historically been the reasons society is moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy such as solar and wind. However, new scientific discoveries spanning the past 8 months have uncovered an ominous and far greater time-sensitive reason for cutting ties with fossil fuels at a dramatically faster pace. Fossil fuel emissions (especially nitrogen dioxide) come primariy from coal-fired power plants and vehicle exhaust emissions. This highly toxic gas is now being described as the "biggest" driving factor behind the increases in Covid-19 infections. This occurs as nitrogen dioxide (even at small levels), decreases immune cell function in lung cells, thereby increasing viral growth and rates of Covid-19 infection. This has been confirmed by overlaying metropolitan satellite pollution imagery with citywide maps of Covid-19 infection. These studies and immunological reasons behind this major issue are described below:

Air Pollution Increases Corona Virus 84%

Investigating the CoronaVirus (SARS) outbreak of 2003, this study found higher levels of air pollution resulted in a nearly doubling of infection rates. Chemicals studied included those associated with power generation and vehicle exhaust emission.

The School of Public Health at University of California published a study showing there was an 84% increase in CoronaVirus (SARS) infections in areas with higher air pollution. This study adds to the rapidly growing list of medical research showing that background levels of various common chemicals can seriously weaken the immune system.

The air pollution chemicals identified are found at high levels in vehicle exhaust and from the burning of coal and other petroleum energy sources. This included particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ground-level ozone. Again, all of these come from burning of fossil fuels (cars, trucks, coal, etc.)

CROSSING OVER While fossil fuel burning increases global warming issues that will cause major problems decades from now, this study (and others) show how the burning of fossil fuels is harming each and every one of us at this very second - continually eating away at the hundreds of genes controlling the critical function of immune system cells. We are now at the point where large numbers of our population are crossing over - going from where the immune system can protect the body from viruses - to where it can no longer protect.

HIGHEST POLLUTION CITIES GOING DOWN FIRST Studies such as this show why it is no coincidence that New York City had the highest CoronaVirus infection rate in the country (latest figures show 1 in 1000 NYC residents have had COVID-19). This is far higher than other cities showing 1 in 10,000 or 1 in 100,000.

New York City also has the honor of being one of the cities with the highest concentrations of vehicle traffic on its streets. Each car's tailpipe continuously pumping the guilty chemicals into the air just feet above the ground. All of this is concentrated further by high-rise structures that prevent dilution and funnel exhaust chemicals back onto the streets. Unsuspecting residents walking down the sidewalk or driving in their car then inhale these poisons deep into the lungs at highly concentrated levels.

REDUCING IMMUNE SYSTEM Some of these exhaust chemicals have been shown in other studies to reduce levels of natural interferon inside our lungs and respiratory cells. Since interferon is our first immune system defense that literally blocks virus growth - it is not surprising that viruses increase rapidly among people living in cities with higher background pollution levels.

IN THE DARK While studies such as this were routinely reported 20-30 years ago, they are rarely reported in the media today (another topic - another day). In the meantime - the majority of our population is left in the dark only to wonder why infections such as the CoronaVirus (and flu) are increasing.


Environmental Health
Vol. 20;2(1):15, 2003
View Journal HERE

High Air Pollution Increases COVID-19 Cases

Harvard researchers looked at air pollution levels in over 3000 locations across the United States and found higher rates of CoronaVirus infections in areas with the highest levels of fine particle air pollution.

Harvard researchers collected air quality data and COVID-19 infection rates from 3,080 counties across the US. Counties with high levels of fine particulate pollution averaged the highest rates of CoronaVirus infections. Fine particle pollution (also called PM2.5) are only a fraction the width of a human hair. In fact, it takes about 40 PM2.5 particles side by side to equal the width of a human hair. PM2.5 particles are generated largely from fuel combustion from cars, refineries, and power plants.

The study found that someone who lives for decades in a county with high levels of fine particulate pollution at 13 micrograms per cubic meter is 15% more likely to die from COVID-19 than someone who lives in a region that has just 12 micrograms per cubic meter.

The researchers concluded by stating:
"The study results underscore the importance of continuing to enforce existing air pollution regulations to protect human health both during and after the COVID-19 crisis."


Not Yet In PRINT (see link below to Harvard Report)
View Journal HERE

Car Exhaust = Higher COVID-19 Cases

Satellite surveys over Europe linked high corona death rates with high exposure to the chemical nitrogen dioxide. The largest source of nitrogen-dioxide is vehicle exhaust.

Nitrogen dioxide is a trace-gas found in the air that is formed by both natural and man-made processes. Long-term exposure to nitrogen-dioxide is believed to cause a wide spectrum of severe health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and cardiovascular diseases and even death.

A satellite, called the Sentinel-5P, was launched in 2017 and used for mapping the lower atmosphere for levels of nitrogen-dioxide. The nitrogen-dioxide data was combined with the number of death cases taken from 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

Results showed that out of the 4,443 fatality cases - 3,487 (78%) were in five regions located in north Italy and central Spain. Additionally, the same five regions showed the highest nitrogen-dioxide concentrations, combined with downwards airflow which prevent an efficient dispersion of air pollution.

The authors concluded by stating,

These results indicate that long-term exposure to this pollutant may be one of the most important contributors to fatality caused by the COVID-19 virus in these regions and maybe across the whole world.


Science of the Total Environment
Vol. 726, July 15, 2020
View Journal HERE

Car Exhaust + Electromagnetic Fields = Decreased Immune System

This study found simultaneous exposure to both vehicle exhaust and electromagnetic fields (ELMFs) resulted in lower number of immune system natural killer cells.

In the "real-world," people are not exposed to harmful situations one at a time. In this study, women with and without allergies were exposed to both ELMFs and vehicle exhaust to determine how single and combination exposures affected their immune system. While most lymphocytes were not affected with the levels studied, it was found that exposure to ELMFs reduced interferon (a natural chemical that enhances immune activity) and decreased natural killer cell function.

In conclusion, the researchers stated,

"This result, which demonstrates a different influence of ELMF on non-atopic (non-allergic) fertile women exposed to the toxic compounds of traffic and the non-atopic (non-allergic) ones, suggests that exposure to toxic compounds may increase the effects of ELMF in the atopic (allergic) subjects more than in those non-atopic. (non-allergic)"


Industrial Health
Vol.38(3):294-300, July, 2000
View Journal Summary HERE
View Full Article HERE

Diesel Exhaust Increases Influenza Infection Rates

Mice exposed to diesel exhaust for longer time periods had higher levels of virus growth in lungs and lower levels of interferon. They also made 4 times less antibodies.

White Swiss mice were exposed to diesel engine emissions (DEE), a combination of both (CD/DEE), or to filtered air (control) for durations of 1, 3, and 6 months at 2 mg/m3 of either coal dust (CD). The course of infection in mice previously exposed for 1 month to various particulates did not differ appreciably among the four animal groups with respect to mortality, virus growth in lungs, interferon levels, or hemagglutinin antibody response. In mice exposed for 3 and 6 months to different particulates, the mortality response was similar among all animal groups. However, the percentage of animals showing lung consolidation was significantly higher in the 3-month groups exposed to DEE (96.5%) and CD/DEE (97%) than in the control (61.2%); in the 6-month groups, the percentages were twice that of the control for both DEE- and CD/DEE-exposed animals. Complementing these observations of both 3- and 6-month-exposed animals was the higher virus growth levels attained in the DEE and CD/DEE animals with concomitant depressed interferon levels which were the inverse of findings noted in the control group. Hemagglutinin-antibody levels in particulate-exposed animals, especially at the 6-month interval, were fourfold less than the control. Histopathologic examination of lungs revealed no qualitative differences in the inflammatory response at any one specified time interval of exposure to influenza virus among the control and particulate-exposed animal groups. However, there were differences in severity of reaction in relation to the particulate component of the exposures. Focal macular collections of pigment-laden macrophages were seen only in DEE and CD/DEE but not in CD animals after 3- and 6-month exposures. The findings of this study indicated that the severity of influenza virus infection is more pronounced in mice exposed to diesel engine emissions than in control animals and it is not appreciably accentuated by coal dust.


Environmental Research
View Journal HERE

Diesel Exhaust Increases Influenza Replication by New Mechanism

This study, by the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of North Carolina, demonstrated that a short 2 hour exposure to diesel exhaust greatly increases the rate viruses were able to grow inside human nasal and lung cells. Time to learn about surfactant proteins.

Diesel exhaust contains carbon particles that work like microscopic sponges absorbing a wide variety of toxic chemicals. These are inhaled deep into the lungs while driving on highways or living near high traffic areas.

In a review of other research on the topic, the authors referred to work by Hahon et al.(1985) which showed mice chronically exposed to diesel exhaust for 6 months (and then infected with influenza virus) have decreased ability to produce interferon by 78%. This reduction of interferon led to reduced viral killing and increased viral multiplication. Interferon is essential for blocking virus replication and recruting other immune cells to the area.

Short Diesel Exposure Disarms Defenses In this study from University of North Carolina, researchers exposed live human lung and nasal cell cultures to a liquid solution of diesel exhaust compounds for only two hours. This 2 hour exposure did not reduce interferon like the previous study using a 6 month exposure, but the short exposure did result in a greatly increased growth rate of viruses.

Since interferon was not reduced, the scientists suspected that the large increase in viral growth was at least in part because of a reduction in compounds called Surfactant Protein A and C (called SPA & SPC).

These surfactant proteins are important for to learn about because they are literally the first defenders that protect us from viruses. So, if SPA and SPC are doing their job, when you breathe in a virus, the mucus in your airways will catch the virus like a sticky trap, and SPA and SPC then move into action to render the virus harmless. Studies suggest that SPA and SPC can actually wrap themselves around the virus - somewhat analagous to a spider wrapping its prey, and therefore, block the virus from entering the cell.

While much discussion is given to immune system cells and understading their ability to stop an ongoing viral infection, the topic of preventing an infection before it starts is one that needs to be brought into the discussion forefront. Any mechanism that has the ability to cripple either interferon or surfactant proteins, needs to be identified as it is certainly more efficient to prevent a virus from starting than having to deal with several weeks of misery. Additional Studies Linking nitrogen dioxide vehicle exhaust to increased rates of Covid-19 infection. Below are links to 10 of the 15 studies demonstrating that low level air pollution is definitively increasing rates of Covid-19. It's time the media starts talking, before we regret not talking.

Currently, you must copy and paste URL into browser - links will be added shortly.

1. THE NIH STUDY Air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States

2. Air pollution increases coronavirus deaths in China

3. Role of air pollution in Italy's Covid-19 outbreak.

4. Correlation between air pollution and Covid-19 in California

5. Short term exposure to air pollution increases Covid-19

6. COVID-19 spread in northern Italy. The role of pollution?

7. Re-evalutation of pollution's role in viral pandemics

8. Ozone and nitrogen dioxide linked to Milan, Italy Covid-19

9. Air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in United States

10. Air pollution reduction & benefit from COVID-19 lockdown


Toxicological Sciences
Vol.85(2):990-1002, June, 2005
View Journal HERE

Reports from Wuhan, China showed COVID-19 patients who did not survive had extremely low levels of a group of "virus-fighting" cells called lymphocytes. Very important to understand this specific type of white blood cell.

Severe Corona Cases - LOW LYMPHOCYTES

Researchers in China found those who died of COVID-19 had extremely low levels of important immune system white blood cells called lymphocytes. Those who survived Covid-19 had more than twice as many lymphocytes as those who died. Details on these numbers - how they protect from viruses - how they are made in the body - and why they could be low are also discussed.

While it has been reported that the elderly population is more vulnerable to serious infection from the CoronaVirus due to a weaker immune system, the public has yet to be informed of what this specifically means. Lack of discussing readily available information has led to over-exaggerated concerns in many cases and unnecessary hardships for families and the public. The aim of this first section is to clarify what it means to have a "weakened immune system" as it relates to COVID-19. Along with this, it would certainly be prudent to discuss the latest research concerning environmental conditions that can weaken immune system integrity.

LYMPHOCYTES PROTECT FROM VIRUSES The specifics on what parts of the immune system are weak in patients with serious COVID-19 symptoms was addressed by researchers at the Department of Infectious Disease in Hubei, China. Doctors found those who died of the CoronaVirus (COVID-19) had dramatically lower numbers of a specific type of immune system white blood cell called a lymphocyte.. These are white blood cells have a strong ability to attack and remove all viruses within the body. Lymphocytes comprise approximiately 30% of all white blood cells in the blood and are "born" in the bone marrow and develop to maturity in lymmph nodes, tonsils and thymus. Most people have lymphocyte levels between 1,100 and 3,100 per cubic millimeter of blood (less than a drop), however, those who died from CoronaVirus infection had far fewer lymphocytes of only 600 per cubic millimeter of blood. The chart below (taken from supplement 1), shows lymphocyte blood counts of COVID-19 patients who perished and those who recovered and were discharged from the hospital. Those who survived had more than double the amount of lymphocytes than fatal COVID-19 outcomes.

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Since lymphocytes are the primary white blood cell that fights a virus infection, having lower numbers is well-known to predispose an individual to a far more serious outcome in any viral infection. In fact, having numbers below 1000 is considered to greatly increase one's risk of serious infection and is medically known as "lymphopenia."

In trying to explain the very low levels of lymphocytes in those who do not survive COVID-19, some have put forth the theory that the CoronaVirus itself infects lymphocytes, however, no research is available to support this, in fact, it is highly unlikely since the receptor that binds the virus to cells (called the ACE2 protein), is not present on lymphocytes (Nature, 426:450-4).

It has also been stated the more likely cause of very low lymphocytes in severe Corona patients, is the recruitment of white blood cells to the site of infection. However, low levels of white blood cells does not happen to all individuals with CoronaVirus infection, therefore, something else must be going on as well.

Other scientists have suggested that the lymphocyte white blood cell production system within the bone marrow and thymus gland becomes "exhausted" - and can no longer keep up with the increased demand for new lymphocytes needed to combat a growing virus.

Whatever the cause of low lymphocytes, it is a fact that nearly 2% to 3% of the adult population already has very low lymphocyte levels below 1000 - even before being infected with the virus. Therefore, for anyone who develops a CoronaVirus infection, it is common sense that going into viral battle with a lymphocyte count of 2000-3000 would be far more advantageous than having a lymphocyte count of 1000 or less. Certainly, a strategy that can be appreciated by anyone with a military background.


Intensive Care Medicine
March 3, 2020
View Journal HERE
View detailed lab results - Suppl 1)

Specific Lymphocytes Low in CoronaVirus Patients

Specific types of lymphocyte white blood cells were found abnormally low in patients who had severe or fatal reactions to the CornaVirus (SARS) outbreak in 2002/03. The cells identified are called Helper T-Cells and Killer T-Cells. The importance of these cells in fighting viruses are discussed.

When investigating people who died of COVID-19, the previous report identified dramatically lower numbers of protective white blood cells known as lymphocytes. In this study from the Capital University of Medical Sciences in Beijing, China, investigators identified two types of lymphocyte white blood cells that were very low in those with fatal outcomes in the SARS outbreak of 2003. These were Helper T-Cells (also known as CD4) and Killer T-Cells (known as CD8). Since the COVID-19 virus is in the same class and very similar in structure to SARS, it is very likely that immune reactions and defects would be similar. The lowest number of CD4 Helper-T cells occured 7 days after symptoms appeared dropping to 317 per unit measured (normal is 500 - 1500). The lowest number of CD8 Killer T-cells (the cells that directly seek out and destroy virus infected cells) occurred on day 8, reaching 239 cells (normal is 259-1262).


Helper T-Cells mature in the Thymus gland (hence the letter "T") and give instructions to other immune cells on how best to attack and remove invading viruses. Since Killer T-Cells have the ability to directly kill virus infected cells, low numbers would greatly predispose an indidual to a more severe viral outcome.

Although the virus itself can sometimes lead to lower numbers of lymphocytes in someone with an infection (as they are called to the area of infection), the inability of the bone marrow and lymphoid organs to keep up with demand for new cells is a topic of concern.


Intl. J of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 9:323-330, 2005
View Journal HERE

Natural Killer Cells Low in Patients with CoronaVirus (SARS) 2002-2003

Natural Killer Cells are another type of lymphocyte white blood cell that can quickly attack and eliminate viruses. People with low numbers of natural killer cells were found to have a higher risk of viral infections.

It has been stated by the World Health Organization that the SARS CoronaVirus infection of 2002-2003 (which also originated in China), is nearly identical in genetic structure to the current COVID-19 virus we are experiencing in 2019-2020. Because of this, scientists state this similarity allows us to take much of what was learned from the previous Corona Virus and use this information to help us understand the current COVID-19 situation.

For example, a type of immune system white blood cell found low in those with the 2002-2003 SARS CoronaVirus is the Natural Killer Cell. These are a specific type of lymphocyte that makes up about 5-10% of all lymphocytes. They are considered to be one of the - if not the first lymphocyte to attack virus infected cells. Therefore, if natural killer cells are working properly (and in sufficient numbers) they would be expected to take control of the any viral situation and kill the first viruses that do infect nasal and/or lung cells.

However, in this study comparing blood samples of 221 patients infected with the CoronaVirus in 2002-2003 with that of 44 healthy adults, it was found that CoronaVirus patients had significantly lower levels of Natural Killer Cells. In other words, this critical part of their first line immune defense was also found to be defective when compared to healthy individuals. This observation should also lead to discussions on factors known to erode proper Natural Killer Cell function.


Amer. J of Clinical Pathology
Vol. 121(4):507-11, April, 2004
View Journal HERE

Natural Killer Cells Protects from the Flu

Stanford University found volunteers inoculated with the influenza virus did not come down with the flu if they had higher levels of natural killer cells. This study strongly supports the contention that natural killer cells are critical for stopping viruses. This also raises concern as other toxicology studies are finding natural killer cells are unusually vulnerable to negative effects from low levels of various environmental factors.

Some people get the flu and others don't... This fact may also provide useful information in understanding why some people develop severe CoronaVirus symptoms and others none at all.

Researchers at Stanford University have identified a type immune system white blood cell that appears to be responsible for protecting us from the flu.

Dr. Purvesh Khatri, associate professor at Stanford, worked with researchers at Harvard and Duke University to recruit 52 volunteers who generously allowed themselves to be infected with a common influenza virus.

Before inoculating students with the virus (via Q-Tips in the nose), researchers conducted a detailed immune system analysis of all 52 volunteers. After the Q-Tip infection procedure, some students came down with the flu and others did not. The researchers went on to state:

“We found that a type of immune cell called a natural killer cell was consistently low at baseline in individuals who got infected. Those who had a higher proportion of natural killer cells had better immune defenses and fought off illness."

Blood tests of those who came down with the flu showed that less than 10% of their white blood cells were natural killer cells. Students who avoided the flu entirely had 10-13% natural killers. Dr. Khatri went on to state,

It’s a fine line, but the distinction between the groups is quite clear: Everyone who had 10 percent or more natural killer cells stood strong against the infection and showed no symptoms.

While this study was not directed specifically for the COVID-19 virus, it is interesting to note that another study in our report found that COVID-19 patients with a fatal outcome had less natural killer cells than people who recovered.


Genome Medicine
Vol. 10:45, 2018
View Journal HERE
A shorter comprehensive description is available on the
Stanford Medical website

A number of studies have shown colder air temperature increases virus growth by reducing interferon in respiratory cells (interferon reduces viral replication). Higher body temperatures in the fever range have also been shown to increase the number and quality of many immune cells (including natural killer cells).

Colder Days = 18 Fold Increase in CoronaVirus (SARS) Infection

Surprisingly, this major study reported in the journal Epidemiology & Infection has not receives discussion (as of June 2020). Yet, the research clearly shows that days of colder temperature translate into greater numbers of CoronaVirus infections. This occurs because cold temperatures were found to reduce levels of our immune chemical interferon, which literally, has the ability to stop virus growth before it starts.

Researchers studied weather conditions in Hong Kong during the SARS CoronaVirus epidemic from March 11 to May 22, 2003. A detailed analysis of records showed an 18.8 fold increase in SARS CoronaVirus patients entering the hospital on days of colder air temperature compared to days of warmer temperatures. Researchers found that every 1 degree centigrade increase in air temperature (approximately 2 degrees fahrenheit) was associated with an "average reduction of 3.6 diagnosed Corona cases per day (see page 228, paragraph 2)."

Dept of Public Health
Shantou University Medical College
Shantou, China

NOTE: With the average air temperature increasing by about 1 degree centigrade (2 degrees Fahrenheitrenheit) each week in April and May in the northern central hemisphere - this would suggest a noticeable decrease in infection rates being observed by early May and steadily continuing after that.


Epidemiolgy & Infection
Vol. 134(2): 223-230, 2006
View Journal HERE
View PDF

Cold Temperature & Low Ultraviolet Light Increase Flu Severity

This study found that influenza in northern Europe was tied to several weeks of colder temperatures and had a more pronounced effect on those 65 and older.

Researchers investigated the number of weekly influenza cases reported in six Northern European countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) to determine if temperature, sunlight, and humidity could affect the rates of influenza (flu). Researchers concluded that low temperature (especially around 2 degrees C (about 36 degrees Fahrenheit), greatly increased the rate of flu infection. Humidity did not seem to have much of an effect.

In conclusion, researchers stated:

It was shown that low winter temperatures correlated with both influenza incidence and global mortality, which mainly affected those aged 65 and older [21,23,24]. Low UV indexes could also be associated with global mortality. Indeed, data from six Northern European countries reported to the EuroMOMO project showed an excess mortality from all causes between the beginning of Januaries and the end of Februaries in 2010–2018, and coincided with IV (Influenza Virus) epidemic peaks, low temperature and low UV indexes.


Vol. 11(3): 207, March 2019
View Journal HERE

Common Cold Virus Grows Faster in Colder Temperature

Yale University researchers found the cooler temperatures inside the nasal area (from breathing cold air) reduces the ability of respiratory cells to produce interferon. Why is this important? Interferon is a natural compound that prevents viruses from growing. This provides evidence supporting increased virus growth from colder temperatures.
Although not a CoronaVirus, we may be able to learn something from the common cold virus called a rhinovirus. While the temperature of our lungs is typically a warm 98.6 degrees F, (37 C), the temperature inside our nasal cavity is often 7 degrees cooler coming in at around 91.6 degrees F (33 C). This occurs because the nasal cavity is the first tissue exposed to the colder outside air.

As mentioned in the previous section, type-1 interferon is a main defender that protects the human body from the first stages of virus replication. In this 2015 study conducted at Yale University, researchers tested the ability of different temperatures to alter virus growth in mouse airway cells grown in culture (petri-dishes). Their findings showed that warmer temperatures resulted in higher levels of type-1 interferon in nasal cells, which in turn, resulted in far less viral growth. In conclusion, the scientists stated,

These findings demonstrate that in mouse airway cells, rhinovirus replicates preferentially at the lower nasal cavity temperature due, in part, to a less efficient antiviral mechanism. Additional analysis revealed that both type 1 and type 3 interferon were induced at much higher levels at 37 degrees C (98.6 F) than at 33 degrees C (91.6 F) during the rhinovirus replication cycle.

This is another of many published studies showing how warmer temperatures dramatically improve the ability of the human body to fight viruses, and supports findings of lower CoronaVirus infections and severity in warmer temperatures as well.

Yale University School of Medicine


(Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences)
Vol. 112(3):827-832; January 20, 2015
View Journal HERE

Body Temp of 102 degrees (39C) Improves Interferon

Human volunteers placed in hot water baths to raise their core temperature showed greatly improved output of interferon. Interferon is a natural chemical made by cells in the body that greatly improves the ability of the immune system to attack and remove viruses.

When a virus invades the body, the immune system and body cells ramp up production of a natural chemical known as interferon. There are two types of interferon produced in the body; interferon alpha and beta make up type 1 and interferon gamma is type-2. Some people have defects in their ability to produce adequate amounts of interferon.

In this study conducted by the Department of Biology, Indiana University, researchers placed human volunteers in warm water baths up to 105 degrees to raise their body temperature. When the body temperature reached 102 degrees, it was found that certain white blood cells increased interferon gamma output 10-fold.

Individuals who require hospitalization from COVID-19 were shown in previous studies to have low levels of natural killer cells and other lymphocytes. Since interferon gamma increases the number and functioning ability of natural killer cells to remove viruses), this would appear to be an economical and easy to administer intervention to potentially reduce the severity of any viral infection (including the corona virus).


Journal of Interferon Research
View Journal HERE

Interferon is a compound inside you that stops virus infections many times throughout the day. This makes understanding how it works essential when attempting to understand Corona or any virus infection. Section 3 explains the latest knowledge on interferon - how it works and why it sometimes fails. Other under-appreciated pre-infection defenses in respiratory mucus are also discussed.

Type 1 Interferon: Understanding the Paul Revere of Virus Infection

The moment you inhale any virus, it is typically stopped by soldiers called "collectins." which include substances called surfactant proteins. These antimicrobial defenders hide within mucus lining that covers and protects cells in your nose, throat and lungs. These are just one of several defenders working to prevent viruses from growing inside you. Collectins are not alone, they have a powerful friend known as interferon. Interferon is not an immune system cell but is simply a compound with a tremendous ability to not only recruit other immune cells to the area, but can also block viruses from entering nearby healthy cells. However, when these first defenders are weakened and fail in stopping a virus, that's when your remaining immune system army is called in.

Sometimes, however, the collectins are asleep at the wheel. When this happens, the invading virus continues toward its primary target (the surface of your respiratory cell in the nose, throat or lungs). Once the virus sets up camp on the outside of its chosen respiratory cell, it injects its baby making machinery deep into the cell. At that exact moment, the cell is notified immediately. It then sends up a flag to its surface which can literally tell immune system it has been hijacked and that it needs to be destroyed.

Along with this, the cell apparently cares greatly about its neighboring cells. and broadcasts a warning to all cells in the vicinity. This warning is a natural chemical called interferon and has the powerful ability to block other viruses from entering his friends. Unfortunately, scientists are finding a number of situations can reduce the volume of this siren, and therefore, allow for viruses to grow

It was discussed earlier how our lymphocyte white blood cells protect us from basically all virus infections. We discussed how they were found to be critically low in people with fatal COVID-19 outcomes. Another team member, also on the front lines protecting from viral infection, is called Type-1 and Type-2 Interferon (taken from the word interfere). The studies on this topic suggest that while Type 2 interferon is involved more in removing the virus once infected, Type-1 plays the most important role by preventing the virus from successfully replicating after infecting the first cell in your throat or lung (for Corona) or in the nasal cavity (as with common cold rhinoviruses). Interferon is not a cell like your lymphocyte white blood cells, but is a powerful chemical messenger that hides below the surface inside apparently all body cells - including cells in your nose, throat and lungs (with the latter two locations being the main growth area for the CoronaVirus.

If a virus makes it past the "sticky" mucus protection covering these cells (another defender and another topic), the virus injects its viral baby-making contents into a cell (and if like a cold virus), 20 minutes later another 100 viral babies come out to carry on the dirty work. However, if the nasal or lung cell is working properly, at the moment the virus enters the cell, it turns on a siren known as type-1 interferon. This chemical messenger is the Paul Revere of the human immune system and literally warns adjacent cells that the Viruses are Coming - the Viruses are Coming. This causes adjacent cells to go through a biological lock-down sequence that literally prevents entry of any new viral babies that make it out from the first infected cell.

Call in the Cavalry
Not only does type-1 interferon warn cells to lock their doors to block the identified virus attack, but this chemical messenger also calls in the Cavalry to literally attack and destroy any respiratory cells that did succumb to the virus entering the cell. The Calvary in this case, is a group of fighter cells called Natural Killer Cells. (another type of lymphocyte white blood cell). These powerful soldiers have the ability to inject poisons into a virus infected cell to kill it on the spot. This secondary role of interferon was reported in the Journal of Immunology, 135(2):1145-52

Considering the two critical roles of type-1 interferon, it becomes clear that any situation that reduces the ability of our respiratory cells to produce interferon could quickly change a viral infection status from minor to severe.


Virus Research
Vol. 209:11-22, Nov, 2015
View Journal HERE

Surprising studies showing common home disinfectants are having an opposite effect than expected by actually increasing rates of influenza and other infections. Disinfectant chemicals have been shown to form new chemicals that seriously weaken the immune system. Research also provided showing disinfectants linked to DNA damage, increased rates of birth defects, COPD and asthma.

Common Bleach Increases (not decreases) Child Infection Rates - Toxic Chemical By-Products Suspected

This study found common household bleach increased (rather than decreased) child infections. Other studies support these findings by showing bleach forms immunotoxic chloroform and other chemicals, which in turn can weaken the immune system.
Common household bleach is typically made from a mixture of water and the chemical sodium hypochlorite. The product is promoted as a "safe" way to disinfectant homes, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. While it is accurate that bleach can reduce surface levels of bacteria and viruses after treatment, scientists are now finding the main chemical in bleach undergoes reactions that form far more toxic chemicals that have not been previously addressed. These chemicals include carbon-tetrachloride and chloroform.

In this study out of Barcelona, Spain, researchers studied homes of over 2000 children ages 6-12 in Spain and Finland. Detailed questionnaires were given to the families inquiring about the use of bleach and frequency of infections including influenza, sinusitis, tonsilitis, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Results showed that using bleach had an opposite effect of what would be expected and actually increased the rate of influenza by 20% - recurring tonsilitis by 35% - and risk of any infection by 18%. The authors concluded by stating:

"Passive exposure to cleaning bleach in the home may have adverse effects on school-age children's health by increasing the risk of respiratory and other infections. The high frequency of use of disinfecting irritant cleaning products may be of public health concern, also when exposure occurs during childhood."

Centre for Environment and Health
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Leuven
Belgium Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)
Barcelona, Spain CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP)
Barcelona, Spain University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain


Occupational & Environ. Medicine
Vol.73(3):215, 2016
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Chlorine Cleaning Products (and Bleach) Create High Levels of Chloroform

15 common cleaning products containing bleach or other chlorine compounds were found to emit high levels of toxic chloroform gas. Adds support to the previous study finding higher rates of influenza and infections among children living in homes using bleach products.

Researchers tested 15 cleaning products (including household bleach) for levels of toxic chemicals. Chloroform was detected in all 15 products tested and carbon-tetrachloride in 13 products. Both chemicals have been banned and considered highly toxic. After using the products, the estimated exposure for breathing chloroform gas was .041 mg/kg per day and .0240 for carbon-tetrachloride. The scientists concluded by stating:

"According to the calculated result, the total estimated human exposure of chloroform were determined to exceed the tolerable concentration of inhalation exposure presented by the World Health Organization."

This study adds further support to the hypothesis that chemical disinfectants, rather than helping, could be a significant driving factor in worsening the current state of COVID-19 infections via a weakening of the human immune system. Because of the widespread increase in residential chemical disinfectant use since the COVID-19 outbreak, it is imperative to investigate the immuno-toxicology of chemical disinfectants with special emphasis on children, the elderly and those with weakened chemical detoxification systems (i.e. cytochrome P-450). Non-toxic disinfectants being shown to have similar effectiveness to chemical disinfectants should also be encouraged - including basic detergent, low ph white vinegar and thymol.


Vol. 174: 157-164, 2017
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Toxic Gas Emitted from Household Bleach

This study tested 8 chlorine bleach products and found high air concentrations of the highly toxic chemical carbon-tetrachloride.

Sodium hypochlorite is the main disinfectant chemical found in household bleach. This study demonstrated that a number of new and highly toxic chemicals are found in indoor air immediately following the use of bleach to disinfect.

Researchers tested 8 different chlorine bleach products for their ability to emit or create potentially toxic chemicals. Indoor air samples were taken before, during and 30 minutes after bathroom, kitchen, and floor cleaning applications. Of great concern, the highly toxic chemicals chloroform and carbon-tetrachloride significantly increased during the use of bleach containing products.
Researchers went on to state:

"One of the most surprising results was the presence of carbon tetrachloride (a probably human carcinogen and powerful greenhouse gas that was banned for household use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in very high concentrations (up to 101 mg/m(-3). By mixing surfactants or soap with NaOCl (bleach), it was shown that the formation of carbon tetrachloride and several other halogenated VOCs (15 in total), is possible.


Environ. Science Technology
Vol. 42(5): 1445-51, 2008
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Interferon Decreased by Bleach Chemical

Interferon in our lungs, throat and nasal area is essential in stopping viral infections literally before they start. Unfortunately, common household bleach disrupts the ability of interferon to do this job properly.
Since it is now well established that interferon production by cells lining the inside of our nose, throat and lungs is essential for preventing all viral infections (including COVID-19), the next question is if there are environmental circumstances that can reduce interferon output?

In this next study from the Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology at University of Louisiana School of Medicine, researchers pretreated mouse embryo cell cultures with a number of different chemicals. Results showed pretreatment with the chemical chloroform severely inhibited the production of alpha/beta interferon by cells.

Since chloroform gas was shown to reach exceptionally high air levels after use of bleach products (as demonstrated in a previous journal review), this study provides a plausible explanation for the higher rates of influenza (and other infections) found in 6-12 year old children living in homes that use bleach products.


Environmental Research
Vol. 31(2):355-361
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Bleach Damages DNA in Immune System Cells

Our lymphocyte white blood cells rely on their DNA to tell them what to do and how to stop a virus. In this study, it was found that common bleach damaged the DNA in these white blood cells.
Lymphocytes are the type of white blood cell found in abnormally low numbers in people who develop severe CoronaVirus and have been found low in those who also do not survive Influenza. In this study, researchers wanted to determine how different levels of the chemical sodium hypochorite (the main chemical in common bleach and some water treatments) affected the chromosomes of lymphocytes. Blood samples were collected from healthy non-smoking adults and added to a culture that encourages the survival and growth of lymphocytes. Blood cultures were exposed to different concentrations of sodium hypochlorite at levels measured in micrograms per milliliter. Levels included - 0.030 - 0.065 - 0.100 - 0.25 - 0.50 - 1 - 2 and 4. In summary, the researchers stated (page 117):

A significant increase in chromosomal aberration (abnormality) frequency was observed in all treatments of NaOCl (sodium hypochlorite).... at 24 and 48 hours compared with the negative control... In conclusion, our data provide evidence that NaOCl (sodium hypochlorite) increases the chromosomal aberration rate, micronuclei formation (small nucleus) and cytotoxicity (cell damage) in human lymphocyte cells in vitro at concentrations approximate 33 times lower than that found in drinking water.

Department of Biology, University of Kafkas, Kars, Turkey

Vol. 599:113-119, 2009
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Birth Defects Higher from Common Disinfectant

The second most common disinfectant after bleach is called Quaternary Ammonium Compounds. These have also been found to cause severe health consequences including neural tube birth defects. The "neural tube" is the very first stage of brain growth in humans and other mammals.
Another group of disinfectants is called Quaternary Ammonium Compounds. These chemicals are used in common commercial and residential disinfectants and do not contain bleach. Researchers at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Virginia became interested in these chemicals after being informed of two separate incidents at two laboratories in which there was an observed decrease in animal health and an increase in neural tube defects after switching to a particular disinfectant. The disinfectants in question contained a combination of two chemicals including alkyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyldimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC). To determine if the disinfectants were causing a problem, both mice and rats were divided into groups with some being fed the chemicals, other receiving injections and others being exposed to the chemicals normally in the ambient air. The main findings showed exposure from the ambient air (breathing in fumes) caused more neural tube defects than the other exposure conditions. Also of concern, the rate of neural tube birth defects continued for 2 generations, (thereby suggesting potential for genetic damage). In conclusion the researchers stated,

These results demonstrate that ADBAC+DDAC in combination are teratogenic to rodents. Given the increased use of these disinfectants, further evaluation of their safety in humans and their contribution to health and disease is essential.

Although this study is not related specifically to the CoronaVirus (or other viral infections), it is of concern as this type of disinfectant is being used with much greater frequency during the COVID-19 situation.


Birth Defect Research
Vol. 109(14):1166, 2017
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Detergent as Effective as Disinfectants

Studies comparing chemical disinfectants to detergents found using basic detergents was just as effective for reducing infections in hospital patients.

As seen in the previous reports, common chemical disinfectants are suspected of weakening the the immune system, thereby resulting in higher infection rates for influenza and other pathogens. In this report out of Freiburg University Hospital in Germany, researchers reviewed 4 scientific studies investigating the effectiveness of chemical disinfectants for reducing infection in a hospital setting.

After analyzing results, the study concluded that cleaning of floors with basic detergents was just as effective as using chemical disinfectants.

Scientists concluded by stating:

"None of these studies showed lower infection rates associated with routine disinfection of surfaces (mainly floors) versus cleaning with detergent only... Disinfectants may pose a danger to staff, patients, and the environment and require special safety precautions. However, targeted disinfection of certain environmental surfaces is in certain instances an established component of hospital infection control. Given the complex, multifactorial nature of nosocomial (hospital) infections, well-designed studies that systematically investigate the role of surface disinfection are required."


Am J Infectious Control
Vol.32(2):84-9, 2004
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Immune System Counts Dropping Annually in U.S.
Link to COVID-19

Major study out of the National Institutes of Health showing white blood counts have been dropping annually in adults over the past 50 years. Since having low numbers of white blood cells is well known to increase the frequency and severity of viral infections, this trend serves as a wake-up call and is reason for serious concern. The importance and meaning of these numbers are discussed along with references to environmental factors found to decrease white blood cell counts.

Not Good News... The part of our immune system that plays the biggest role in removing viruses from the body has been steadily declining for more than four decades. These virus fighting cells (called white blood cells), are dropping at the rate of about 50 per year in each cubic millimeter of our blood (a little less than a drop). These were the findings reported from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Aging Division, which has been looking at blood test reports over the past 40 years.

Counts Below 3,500 = Higher Risk of Death
When you go to the doctor for a routine blood test, they will often take a blood sample and measure your white blood count. This is the number of immune system white blood cells in a cubic millimeter of blood (a little less than a drop). The so-called "normal range" is what 95% of the population scores, with 2.5% above that range and 2.5% below that range.

Normal Range Shifting
The NIH study looked at 2,853 people spanning from 1958 to 2002. Participants were asked to return every few years to conduct cognitive and blood tests, thereby observing changes in the aging process. Along with the steady decline in blood counts seen in participants each decade, scientists found people with white blood counts below 3,500 (the number considered very low) had a 3-times greater risk of dying than people who averaged closer to 5,000 and 6,000. This certainly makes sense, since having lower numbers of immune-system fighting cells should correspond with a faster growth rate for viruses.

wbc graph

Extremely Low Blood Counts Increasing Rapidly
Each column in the chart above gives the number of people per 1000 with a white blood count below 3,500 (the number considered low). In the first decade from 1958-1969, people with very low white blood counts averaged on 2 per 1000 people. During the second decade (1970-79), the number of people with very low white blood counts doubled to 4 per thousand. In the third decade (1980-89), this number nearly doubled again reaching 7 per thousand people. Of great concern, during the fourth decade (1990 to 2000), there was a tripling of the number of people with low white blood counts - now reaching 22 people per thousand!

The study was published in 2007, and does not have numbers for the last two decades from 2000 to 2020. Because of the exponential growth (and extreme seriousness of this condition), it would be in our interest to determine how numbers have changed during this last 20 year period - especially in light of new research showing that having a low white blood count greatly increases the risk of overall death including a fatal outcome in influenza and apparently, in CoronaViruses as well.

The average white blood count over the 42 year study was also seen to be dropping for those involved in the study. While scientists stated that reductions in cigarette smoking was partially responsible (cigarette smokers have higher counts), they also stated that smoking did not explain all of the reductions. Below is the chart that shows the reductions in average white blood cell count from 1958 to 2002.

NIH graph

Why are Blood Counts Dropping?

Obviously, such dramatic changes in blood counts over a relatively short period of time suggests something around us is suppressing white blood cell development (which occurs in our bone marrow, lymph organs and thymus). Toxicology research over the past several decades has identified a number of circumstances in daily life that can lower the number of white blood cells and/or quality.

Studies investigating environmental factors that lower white blood counts will be discussed at the end of this report and include chemicals that can suppress bone marrow production of cells, chemicals found to damage DNA inside white blood cells, as well as the myriad of chemicals found to weaken and damage the thymus gland. The thymus is critically important for the final maturation of white blood cells called "T-Cell lymphocytes." These cells play a critical role in organizing and continuing the attack against viruses in the body. Perhaps not coincidentally, individuals who eperience severe reactions to COVID-19 have extremely low levels of T-Cells. Also of interest, the thymus plays an essential role in filtering/removing autoimmune cells causing arthritis, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases.


Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Vol. 49(18): 1841-1850, 2007
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The rate of influenza and other viral infections is increasing at the same time immune system counts are decreasing (as noted by the previous National Institutes of Health Aging Study). This strongly suggests environmental factors are involved. Section 7 summarizes the latest research on circumstances identified that can weaken immune system function (and thereby, predispose someone to serious viral infection outcomes). Along with the issues with air pollution and disinfectants discussed previously, this section will analyze studies investigating immune weakening effects from pesticides in food - homes and lawns, alcohol, cigarettes, plastic products in the home, cosmetic chemicals, chemicals in paints, fragrances and others. Because of the large number of studies on this topic (called immuno-toxicology), we will be adding new studies as frequently as possible. .

Chemicals in Cosmetics & Plastics Weaken Immune System

Another disinfectant chemical, called Phenol, is being found to damage tissues critical for development of white blood cells. In this case, phenol damages the lymph systems (tonsils, lymphnodes, etc) that literally make lymphocytes.

The chemical phenol is used in many products around us. In this study from the Dept. of Basic Sciences, University of Tehran, researchers found that phenol caused severe deterioration of organs that make lymphocyte white blood cells (the type extremely low if fatal COVID-19 outcomes).

Phenol is used to make plastic bottles (bisphenol-A), epoxies, nylon, detergents, and a number of weed killers. It is used at a 1.4% concentration in sprays for sore throat (Chloraseptic) and is also used as a preservative in some vaccines. [Wikipedia].

Phenol derivatives are also used in the preparation of cosmetics including sunscreens, hair colorings, skin lightening preparations, as well as in skin toners/exfoliators. Because of its anesthetic and disinfectant properties, phenol is used widely in pharmaceutical products such as ointments, ear and nose drops, sprays and antiseptic lotions (Finkelstein et al. 2007).

Once phenol enters the blood it is transferred to the bone marrow (where all immune cells originate) where it is then converted into several other biologically toxic compounds. Due to safety concerns, phenol is banned from use in cosmetic products in the European Union and Canada - but is still allowed in cosmetics in the U.S. (Wikipedia).

How Phenol Weakens the Immune System
Our lymphocyte white blood cells are the main fighters that remove viruses from the body. They begin in the bone marrow and then develop further in other lymphoid organs including thymus, spleen, lymph-nodes, tonsils and bone-marrow. In this study, conducted at the Department of Basic Sciences, University of Tehran, researchers found that phenol administered to mice at levels of 80, 180 and 320 mg/kg/day, resulted in a visual decrease in the quality of the spleens, thymus, and other lymphoid organs. This included a reduced number of thymocytes in the thymus (thymocytes are cells that eventually become mature lymphocyte T-Cells - and were found deficient in those experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms). In a study by Baj et al. (1994), it was reported that subjects with the highest levels of phenol in urine had decreased T-helper lymphocyte numbers. Since these organs are essential for lymphocyte immune cell development, this would strongly imply that phenol is another chemical to be added to the growing list of chemicals with the ability to weaken a critical part of our immune system.


Comparative Clinical Pathology
Vol. 23(3): 529-534, 2014
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Electromagnetic Exposure Weakens Immune System

Electromagnetic fields are produced by electric devices around us. 15 men and women working near a large power cable in their office had lower levels of important natural killer cells (an important virus fighting blood cell).

The objective of this study was to analyze the immune response to electromagnetic fields (ELMFs) in seven men and eight women employed in a museum. All individuals worked in a room that contained a building power cable running along the back wall behind their work stations. This created a 50 Hz exposure in the range 0.2-3.6 microT and 40-120 Volts per meter. These are levels considered acceptable for people in the workplace. Their blood test results were compared to a similar age control group of 45 subjects.

Results showed the electromagnetic exposure had significant effects on reducing immune system function. Women were found to experience a significant reduction in the percentage of B-Cell lymphocytes (cells that make antibodies) and also natural killer cell lymphocytes. Women also showed significantly lower levels of interferon gamma (which helps stop viruses before they start).

Men exposed to the electromagnetic fields experienced a statistically significant reduction in both the number and percentage of natural killer cell lymphocyte subsets.

In conclusion, the researchers stated,
"On the whole, this investigation demonstrates a reduction of blood NK (Natural Killer) lymphocytes and of the production of interferon gamma in workers exposed to low frequency ELMFs."

Science of the Total Environment.
Vol. 270(1-3):13-20, Apr 10, 2001
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Living Near Cell Towers Reduces Immune Cells

People living near cell towers were found to have reductions in important immune system cells and lower levels of antioxidants when compared to people living farther away.

Microwave radiation emitted by mobile phone base stations have raised concerns on its adverse impact on humans residing in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. This present study (conducted by the Cancer and Radiation Biology Laboratory, Mizoram University, India) compared blood test results from 40 people living less than 30 meters from a cell tower with 40 people living more than 300 meters away (nearly 1000 ft). Both groups were matched according to age, gender, dietary pattern, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, duration of mobile phone use and average daily mobile phone use.

The first abnormality detected increased frequency of what is called "micronuclei" in people living close to the cell tower. Micronuclei were found in lymphocyte white blood cells and are evidence of DNA damage. This is of concern since lymphocytes are the primary blood cell that removes viruses from the body. Any reduction in lymphocyte numbers and quality would be expected to increase the onset and severity of any viral infection.

The second abnormality detected in people living close to a cell tower was a "significant reduction" in blood level antioxidants. This included reductions in glutathione, superoxide dismutase, and catalase. These 3 antioxidants provide important protection to all cells by continuously scavaging free-radicals that could otherwise damage the cell well, cell DNA and cellular mitochondria - eventually resulted in cell death. Free radicals are formed from basic oxygen metabolism as well as exposure petroleum-based chemicals. They are also formed in high levels as a consequence of the immune-system ridding the body of a virus infection. Therefore, having low levels of antioxidants would be expected to increase collateral damage to healthy cells during any viral infection.


Electromagnetic Biol. Medicine
Vol.36(3):295-305, 2017
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Car Exhaust + Electromagnetic Fields = Decreased Immune System

This study found simultaneous exposure to both vehicle exhaust and electromagnetic fields (ELMFs) resulted in lower number of immune system natural killer cells.

In the "real-world," people are not exposed to harmful situations one at a time. In this study, women with and without allergies were exposed to both ELMFs and vehicle exhaust to determine how single and combination exposures affected their immune system. While most lymphocytes were not affected with the levels studied, it was found that exposure to ELMFs reduced interferon (a natural chemical that enhances immune activity) and decreased natural killer cell function.

In conclusion, the researchers stated,

"This result, which demonstrates a different influence of ELMF on non-atopic (non-allergic) fertile women exposed to the toxic compounds of traffic and the non-atopic (non-allergic) ones, suggests that exposure to toxic compounds may increase the effects of ELMF in the atopic (allergic) subjects more than in those non-atopic. (non-allergic)"


Industrial Health
Vol.38(3):294-300, July, 2000
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Common Pesticide Weakens Main Defense Against CoronaVirus

A common food pesticide was found to weaken an immune system cell that plays a critical role in protecting from a major CoronaVirus infection. The cells are called natural killer cells and were found to be highly susceptible to damage from the pesticide known as chlorpyrifos.

When a CoronaVirus is on the verge of starting a major infection in the human body, an immune cell called a natural killer cell is attacking the virus with intensity and desperately trying to sway the see-saw so the virus loses and the body wins. Unfortunately, the common food pesticide chlorpyrifos, appears to have the ability to sway things in favor of the virus winning.

In a study out of Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan, researchers exposed natural killer cells to low levels of chlorpyrifos from 0 to 100 parts per million for 1 to 72 hours. The effect was so great that the cells didn't just become "weak" - the exposures resulted in the death of natural killer cells by a process called apoptosis.


Vol.239(1-2):89-95, 2007
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Fragrance Chemical Weakens Defense against Viruses

A common chemical used in fragrances, cosmetics and plastics was shown to reduce levels of a very important virus fighting part of your immune system called interferon type-1.

The chemical is known as phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) and is used as a solvent in perfumes/colognes - - in plug-in air fresheners - as a thickening agent in cosmetics - lotions - sunscreens - and also used to make plastics soft and pliable.

The news is not all good, researchers at the College of Medicine in Taiwan found this common chemical also has the ability to disrupt the secretion of interferon type-1. The cells affected are important cells lining our respiratory tract called dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are one of the first responders in virus attacks and work as a cheerleader, sending out chemical messages to motivate other cells to join the attack against viruses. One of these motivational chemicals is called interferon type-1, which calls in and stimulates a number of important white blood cells (including natural killer cells.

Unfortunately, the ability of dendritic cells to produce interferon is reduced significantly by the presence of the phthalates. Without sufficient levels of interferon type-1, there is an inadequate immune response to the first viruses entering into the respiratory tract.

Researchers concluded by stating that phthalates may interfere with immunity against infection, and can weaken the ability of dendritic cells to stimulate other important immune cells to join in the fight against the virus. The chemical does this, not by causing DNA damage, but instead, by suppressing critical genes that control interferon output.


Vol.68(7):870-09, 2013
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Food Coloring Decreased White Blood Count

Titanium dioxide is food coloring used in many food products and medicines to make the item white in color. This study showed titanium dioxide caused strong reductions in immune system function including decreased white blood count.

Mice were exposed to the titanium dioxide particles at levels of 0, 1.25, 2.5, or 5 mg kg-1 body weight for 9 consecutive months. After the 9 month period, animals were tested for many aspects of blood and immune system quality. Results showed the color accumulated in the thymus gland which is the organ responsible for lymphocyte T-Cell development. Reductions in many subsets of lymphocytes were noted, including antibody producing B-Cells, T-helper Cells and natual killer cells.

Of interest, as mentioned in studies from Section 1, T-helper and natural killer cells were found to be low in patients with CoronaVirus infections. This study gives evidence that common food colorings have the ability to contribute to a weakening immune system.

Environmental Toxicology
Vol.32(10):2234-2243, 2007
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4 Food Preservatives Damage DNA in White Blood Cells

The food additives citric acid, phosphoric acid, benzoic acid and calcium propionate were found to cause DNA damage in white blood cell lymphocytes.

To prevent spoiling, foods often contain chemical preservatives. In this study, immune system lymphocytes were exposed for 1 hour to four different food preservatives: Citric acid at a level of 200 micrograms/milliliter - Phosphoric Acid at 25-200 micrograms/ml - Benzoic Acid at 50-500 micrograms/milliliter and Calcium Propionate also at 50-100 micrograms/milliliter.

Results showed that the levels tested were able to induce DNA damage.

The most toxic preservative was phosphoric acid (found in popular soft-drinks) while calcium propionate caused the least amount of DNA damage. It is important to note that when DNA damage occurs, the immune system cell will not function properly.


Toxicology & Industrial Health
Vol.30(10):926-37, 2014
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