[LINK] Sanitised Airconditioning - Was - Japanese face masks (was Re: Radiation)

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Wed Mar 23 12:31:21 AEDT 2011

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Birch, Jim
> Sent: Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:04 PM
> To: Link list
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Japanese face masks (was Re: Radiation)
> Fred said:
> > Bizarre. From a public health POV surely that's creating an
> immunocompromised population.
> Not really.  For most of human history people lived in small 
> groups numbering like 50 or less individuals, with occasional 
> interactions with neighbouring clans.  Global transmission of 
> virus variants may have
> taken centuries, millennia, or just not happened at all.   Levels of
> nutrition and cleanliness meant that people still got sick, 
> they just weren't subject to the barrage of novel pathogens 
> that we get today. The human immune system doesn't cope well 
> with a steady stream of new diseases.  It just ain't natural. 
>  If you had to try every available pathogen, you'd be dead, 
> not protected.
> People in isolated groups report an absence of what we 
> consider normal disease.  For example, the people who winter 
> over in Antarctica report that after a month, no one gets a 
> cold until the next summer people and disease influx.  A lot 
> of common modern diseases, eg, TB, smallpox, are thought to 
> have come to humans when they began living with domesticated 
> animals.  The people who lived with these animals developed 
> genetic resistance to (the human versions of) these pathogens 
> but they were lethal when exported to places without domestic 
> animals and no genetic resistance.
> The primary biological immune strategy is keeping disease out 
> of your body.  Strategies include mucus membranes, stomach 
> acids and, in some places, face masks.  Once a pathogen gets 
> in, it's down to much less effective systems: genetic 
> immunity if you're lucky, "razed earth, kill everything" 
> immune strategies, and the much slower adaptive immunity 
> which takes a week or two to get going.  Things like 
> recirculating aircon, congregating in numbers, air travel and 
> so - basically, modern
> life - place a radical new demand on the immune system.   I 
> imagine that
> one day things like unsanitised aircon - which has been shown 
> to have a significant impact on sick days taken - will have 
> the same status as open sewers and household cesspits.

Wow, today is most definitely an interesting one content wise on Link.

Unsanitized Aircon.

A favourite bugbear of mine.
Especially on aeroplanes, trains and buses. 

I think that all transit carriers should be forced to upgrade their
aircon systems to pathogen scrubbing technology.
The boost to the economy (apart from the medical and pharmaceutical
sectors)in saved "lost work" days would add an approximate 4% to the

Imagine of we could increase the GDP by 4% every year...  (It's a
harvest moon, and I'm dreaming...)

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