This is confidence to try again!
In a previous post I mentioned that my Grave’s Disease has come back. The hormone levels didn’t even take long to get out of range. I am already feeling the difference: my handwriting isn’t as controlled, I’m not napping as well, I’m not sleeping as well, and I feel more jazzed up. So, my doctor prescribed another Beta Blocker for me. Last night was the first night with this new Beta Blocker and I slept. Sure, I had to read a bit to calm my mind; but I slept.
Apparently, methimazole is only designed to be used very short term. Results will show at about 18 months. If they don’t show up by 18 months, chances are you aren’t going to see promising results. The success rate is less than 50%, with some sources citing only a 20% or 30% success rate. I was on it for 22 months. My thyroid hormone finally got to normal. I got off the drug, and my thyroid has started to increase its hormones. My Grave’s Disease is back.
Taxes. Essential for governments to fund essential services – police, fire, etc. My husband and I have felt and received benefits of other services like healthcare when jobs didn’t line up for us. We know what it’s like to live with a tight budget. Sure, it’d be great to buy an espresso everyday and work on building community in my local third place, but we need that money for milk. Likewise, governments, when facing downturns in economies, should work with what they have. We have grown used to just buying new and asking for raises when we should be reducing and reusing first. Conservation should be the first step when approaching a budget shortfall. Likewise, in this day of confusing politics, often when people don’t vote (the 50% who never even register, for example) it’s their way of saying, “NO!” Who has participated in one of these ubiquitous kitchen table conversations with their partner and really pondered over who or what to vote for with no clear or passionate choices? Taking away the double majority clause takes away their silent voice. Vote “No” on Measure 56 to better retain democracy.
Michelle Lasley | Art History 481: Prof. Lee Stewart
Born in 1780, Ingres came into a world rife with conflict and revolution. Trained in the school of neo-classicism, Ingres is known for using his own system for the art he created. In addition, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the eldest of seven children1, maintained a childlike hypersensitivity2 that would provide him the motivation to quit the Salon and the French Academy and move to Rome after much criticism over his painting The Martyrdom of St. Symphorien (Image 1). Andrew C. Shelton, in his thorough review, describes how the conflict surrounding St. Symphorien is less about Ingres’ technique and more about the politics of the time. In this paper, I will argue that Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres is more concerned with maintaining his style and securing commissions than in fully participating in contemporary politics.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was commissioned to paint The Martyrdom of St. Symphorien in 1824 after his Vow of Louis XIV was shown at the Salon of the same year. Monseigneur Roch-Étienne de Vichy, the Bishop of Autun requested that Ingres paint the martyr at the most dramatic moment preceding his death, outlining seven points in which he required Ingres to follow. Although Ingres hesitated, at first, in the end he followed exactly the Bishop’s recommendations. The painting was to replace Fra Bartolomeo’s The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine in Autun in the Romanesque Cathedral Saint-Lazare. Ingres reworked St. Symphorien several times during the ten years taken to complete the work before it was exhibited, untimely, at the Salon of 1834, during the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe. As a result, instead of being viewed as a simple commission completed under specific criteria, many critics at the Salon condemned the piece as warming to a religious monarchy instead of a free republic.3 4
The amateur’s eye sees the Martyrdom of St. Symphorien as a dramatic piece that focuses on the Saint, who stands nearly in the center of the canvas, slightly to the left, with his arms and body making an “X” shape, like he his parting the crowd that surrounds him. The eye is directed up and to the left where we see Augusta, Symphorien’s mother, reaching over the edge of the monumental architecture behind which she stands. She reaches toward her son in a manner reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel. The eye travels the canvas to the right along the monstrous Roman architecture down to a spired colonnade amidst the crowds, and back to the left where we come full circle to St. Symphorien. The light comes from the right side of the canvas illuminating the saint to emphasize his godly qualities while casting the crowd to the viewer’s left and behind him in shadows. A man directly above the Saint’s right hand, in a diagonal line between the saint and his mother, points to the painting’s right side toward a sign, with illegible text, held by one of the lictors leading Symphorien away.
Ignoring the politics surrounding the piece, one can clearly see how Ingres interpreted the painting in his own style while following, verbatim, the Bishop’s instructions.
The moment chosen is that in which the young Symphorien, dragged outside the gates of the city by the governor’s satellites and executioners, is being conducted to the temple of Berecynthia in order either to sacrifice to the idols there or lose his life. 5
The Bishop’s description clearly explains how Ingres was to visual the piece. The viewer sees Symphorien as the centerpiece of the painting, illuminated in white, forming the diagonals in which the rest of the painting is based. The eye next moves onto the Saint’s mother.
His mother, situated nearby atop the walls of the city, encourages her son to suffer courageously the agony that is before him and reminds him of the immortal rewards that God reserves for him in the afterlife.
The young martyr turns toward his mother in order to bid her a final farewell and to show her that his heart, fortified by faith, was ready to brave torture and death, and that he yearned to confirm with all his blood the Gospels of Jesus Christ. 6
Symphorien’s right hand is extended in a defiant pose, points towards his mother, who reaches down frantically repeating the Saint’s pose, which emphasizes the strife of fighting for religion. Although the proportions of the mother are exaggerated, it fits well within Ingres’ style and only serves to reinforce the bond between mother and son by making her appear nearly the same size as he. The viewer sees the gloriousness of answering to a higher calling, turning towards God and abandoning all worldly possessions for dying for honor of faith. The Saint’s steadfastness is juxtaposed to the mixed reactions of the crowd.
A large crowd of onlookers displays the various sentiments of astonishment and indignation, sadness and pity, that such a spectacle would inspire in a city that was still almost entirely pagan. 7
Cast in shadow, the various onlookers of the crowd, from rich to poor, individuals, and mothers with their children, surround St. Symphorien. All gaze towards him with varied emotions on their faces.
Next, the Bishop outlines the placement of the painting.
The scene takes place just outside the gate that is currently called the Portail Sante-André, which should occupy at least a portion of the background of the painting. It should be rendered faithfully after the drawing that is engraved in the work of M. Delebrode on the monuments of France.
One should perceive a bit further in the distance the colonnade forming the peristyle of the temple of Berecynthia. This last detail is left to the discretion of the artist. 8
Since the city of Autun was under Roman domination at this time, the costumes should be Roman from the time of the Antoinines’ reign.9
The people portrayed are all dressed in the age-appropriate garb, the colonnade forms the diagonal opposite Symphorien’s mother, and the location seems accurate without having visited. Regarding the politics of the time, Shelton with his thorough review points out that of sixty-three reviews, thirty-five are opposed to Ingres’ piece, twenty-five curry favor with the Saint, and three reviews are non-committal.10 Shelton further points out that the negative reviews are often found in political journals and compare Ingres to an aristocratic supporter of despotic regimes, instead of looking at the commissioned instructions. Symphorien’s mother is a strong female character, taking the role of the father figure as portrayed by David’s Brutus, for example, so it can be believed that Ingres tailored his portrayal to the request of his patron, and not to the politics of the time. For example, when painting commissioned works for Napoleon, Ingres and David both portrayed women as weaker to parlay towards Napoleon’s desires and wants for how his painting should look.11
Ingres reworked paintings and subjects for the length of his career. He is known for maintaining a style, ingrisme, which was a blend of classical and romantic intentions, although not juste milieu. He is known for his design interests and consistency. He is also known as a superb draftsman, using hard graphite points on a coated paper12 to achieve the magnificent look of being able to define texture with what appears only a few simple strokes, such as in his Portrait of Paganini. Ingres was guided “by the marvelous functional design of the ideal human body, and … the linear and spatial pictorial design which Raphael perfected.”13 With this style and sure hand, Ingres supported himself and his family by charging for graphite portraits he made for tourists when stipend dollars ran out in Rome.14 To understand Ingres’ method, it is important to look at his own words such as, “Line is drawing. It is everything,” and when instructing, “Draw for a long time before thinking of painting. When one builds on a solid foundation, one sleeps in peace.”15 One can understand better why he reworked pieces several times and exhibited a piece twenty years after its completion to show his consistency, wanting to say, “Look from where I have departed and where I have arrived.”16 He desired to be a safe investment for his patrons, and that too confined him to a particular style and level of production.17
Although Ingres was part of contemporary politics, when it came to satisfying his patrons requests, he focused more on those requests and his design elements rather than creating an overt political piece. By focusing, and refocusing on line and reworking his pieces for years, Ingres created a solid foundation, his system, for establishing his consistent type and stature as an artiste. St. Symphorien serves as a great example of how politics muddied the commissioned intent and Ingres’ interpretation, and it is understandable why the thin-skinned artist gave up the Salon and its hype and retreated to a place where perhaps he would be freer to express himself and his system of art.
- Boime, Albert. 1985. Declassicizing the academic: A realist view of Ingres. Art History. 8(1)(03):50-65.
- Brown, Marilyn R., and Rose R. Weil. 1984. Ingres’s pursuit of perfection. Art Journal. 44(2)(06):179.
- Carrier, David. 2007. Politically incorrect art. Foundation for International Art Criticism.
- Mitchell, Mark G. 2007. Learning from the masters: Ingres’ miraculous lines. Drawing. 4(12):42-57.
- Shelton, Andrew Carrington. 2000. Ingres versus Delacroix. Art History. 23(5)(12):726.
- Shelton, Andrew Carrington. 2001. Art, politics, and the politics of art: Ingres’s Saint Symphorien. Art Bulletin. 83(4)(12):711.
- Shelton, Andrew Carrington. 2005. Ingres and His Critics. Cambridge University Press: New York, New York. Pp 320.
- Siegfried, Susan L. 2000. Ingres’s reading – the undoing of narrative. Art History. 23(5)(12):654.
- Skira, Albert. 1967. Ingres: The Taste of Our Time. The World Publishing Company: Cleveland, Ohio. Pp 131.
I’ve written about this topic before. But, I suppose it will never cease to amaze me, kind of like the pager craze. My brother and his friends (Rob & Jeremy) all had pagers more than half a decade ago. It kind of felt like they were our special friends with their pagers. But now, we have phones that are music players, voice records, schedulers, and phones too. It makes sense to condense all these items we now deem oh, so important into one, but I wonder sometimes when it will stop. Will we be able to create full presentations, publication-ready documents, or maps from our palm-centrals in a few years? Or will it hold steady at basic functions like Word and Internet Exploring?
I’m also, always, amazed at how difficult it can be to get a hold of people in our digital age. We have email, phones, and regular-old in person contact, but how many of us are really connecting with each other? We have people who are tech-crazy and we have people who’d rather take the technology and shove it. It’s like we have this odd dichotomy brewing which is aiding in the loneliness our society, as a whole, feels.
I’m taking two Geography classes this term, each will require a project. In my quest to define, study, and understand this concept called Sustainability, one facet I have not really explored is Waste. Overall, however, I am interested in the education of the topic, educating people different ways of living our lives. A few years ago I was able to define it as “Educating people about the importance of a sustainable society.” So, in these classes, Thursday, we got together and discussed base tenants of our interest, this case being waste.
Regarding waste, I am interested in the cycles of waste. For example, why do we buy compost at the store when if we did things differently around our yard, we’d have a “free” supply? I’m interested in waste, how we waste things; and I’m interested in the concept of throwing things away. Some recycling advocates, some environmental advocates, and other “greens” want our vocabulary to change regarding trash. If we think of everything as trash, then we lose the potential to do other things with this “trash”. A point was made by one of the gentlemen in my group. He pointed out that since we live in such a disposable society, basically, everything we’re living in is trash. So, because we ultimately throw everything away in the end, we’re living in trash at different stages of its life. And he thinks that this is a major factor contributing to our depression and loneliness in our society.
Since our communication age doesn’t help us communicate any more, and we’re constantly living in and surrounding ourselves with trash, is there any hope? I will end with a question I would like answered. What’s your view of our disposable society, and do you agree with that claim, that living in trash leads to our dysfunction?
As soon as I got it, I ripped the package open with the razor blade that sits in the junk drawer, like a kid on Christmas Day, so eager to see what lay hidden in the box. It was an Amazon book sized box, so I was startled to see that the giant postal service air bubble took up 7/8 of the room inside! The MP3 player consisted of three small plastic-wrapped packages: one bubble wrapped MP3 player, one USB plug in sealed a plastic bag, and one set of ear buds in a small Ziploc type baggy. At first, I tried to take out the battery, but I was afraid I’d use too much force, so I gave that up. Then, my husband looked at it, and he hit the power button, and the thing immediately lit up! It even held a charge! This was something the Wooters warned against, shipping will probably drain the battery, and mine had a charge! I tried to sync it, again, according to the Wooters, and it didn’t work. Maybe the first-timer tragedy was appearing. I unplugged it from the PC, and turned it back on, tested out the choices such as the FM turner. It seemed to be working, and quite well for something that was doomed to be crap. After fiddling with it for a bit longer, I was able to get it Synced, added a small horde of songs stashed on my PC, and after the baby was put down for a nap, sat on the couch, doing what I wanted all along, study with music stuck in my ears. This is the extent of my technological insight now a days.
Growing up, we played Oregon Trail in 5th grade, I was typing 20 wpm in 8th grade while playing that silly space-alien game on our IBM 386s, and by 10th grade, my speed was up to 65 wpm, and when I was a senior, it was 75 wpm. I knew how to manage most software programs that I came across. I started on the blue screen version of Word Perfect 5.1. I gradually learned when it changed to the GUI 6.0, I started on Works 3.11 for Workgroups at home, and when Word really was rockin’ and rollin’, I used that too. It was especially handy that my favorite math teacher had the Windows 95 educational version of the Office Suite where I was able to play with PowerPoint for the first time, and it was wonderful. We made our math presentations on a projector that was placed on top of the projector to translate the computer screen to the big screen. We thought we were so cool.
I went to college in ’96, and MSU had PILOT email, a telnet based email program that was so slow, and you had to flip through email pages manually. There was no reading it on one screen. I got a job in the computer labs, where you babysat labs for 20 hours a week. Off duty, I helped a girl “fix” her computer by closing down a new document she accidentally opened, I was a hero. New friends were into text-based games, and I started playing Eternity’s Trials, a modified version of Zork, which was introduced to me by Barry and Chad in our high school computer class. In that computer class, we learned basic BASIC. But Mr. Carlton suggested that knowing software was far more transferable than knowing how to program. Maybe he just understood my personal limitations. In that on-line computer game, I eventually was “promoted” to immortal, and that trek lead me to sub-imp, which showed me the inner workings of the MUD. I learned how to reboot the mud from the UNIX server by logging in via telnet. I felt like I could learn anything.
College wasn’t working for me at the time; I just couldn’t get my head in the game. So, I moved back home. The next 6 years were spent working, trying to go back to school, and working some more. I stopped looking at office catalogs regularly. I stopped seeing what new software was out there. I stopped hanging around people where forever interested in Linux. But, I still knew Word, even backwards and forwards; Excel a little less so; and Access even less, but a great working knowledge of Access. I had managed databases, and created flow charts, so although my software skills were improving and expanding, I was in a technological funk. There was limited new information being processed, and I was beginning to feel like the older women I would teach to use a computer at whichever job I held at the time.
Now, I have an MP3 player. I’ve always been slow on the musical end of things, slow to get tapes, slow to get CDs, slow to put music on the computer, just slow musically. So, naturally, I have been quite slow getting an MP3 player. It chafes at my ideas of community and bonding. It goes against many things I hold dear, like why someone doesn’t need a cell phone. But, I have one of those now too. Studying and focusing has become harder lately, and it feels like the problem-solver will be an MP3 player. My future brother-in-law, Min, introduced Peter and me to WOOT! WOOT! was this site where they get new or refurbed products, and they sell only one a day. Min and Stacy bought two sweet looking, sweet performing cameras from the site. So, when we got home from Justin and Gina’s wedding, we started watching WOOT! everyday. One day, we saw a 2GB MP3 player for a price that seemed reasonable, just more than what we wanted to pay. Then, on Thanksgiving day, a reasonably priced, memory charge MP3 player was posted. I saw it at 10PM Pacific time, and when I was starting to prepare for the meal Thanksgiving morning, I researched it, checked to see if we could really use it here, and then I bought it.
My MP3 buying, as alluded to, is late coming. I’m getting a refurbished, first-timers MP3 player when most people have moved on to iPhones and other synced Apple products. I’m getting an MP3 player maybe as the wave of musical players is at its peak. They are all sleek, slim, and handy. This low-grade MP3 player has a color screen, basic options that let me do what I want with it regarding music listening, and I can even record voice. How can this be low-grade? Wouldn’t low-grade be an 8-track in your car? We’ve moved so far beyond 8-tracks and personal CD-players it’s dizzying. So, although I feel in many ways that I’m behind on the technology bandwagon, I think it’s just fine. Technology changes so fast, it seems almost better to be behind so you don’t get the first-run screw ups. You can wait for the $21 refurbished deals and have mild confidence, better than no-confidence, that it will do exactly what you want. For now, I’m happy to be behind the technology know-how.
- Help! My Sansa Clip Won’t Sync (brighthub.com)
- Microsoft Zune 4GB Digital Media Player (woot.com)
- Sandisk Clip 2GB MP3 Player (woot.com)
- How I Learned to Love Windows Media Player [Media] (lifehacker.com)
Farm residents with livestock, except poultry, have protection against allergy later in life
Michelle Lasley | Environmental Science & Resources 428, Professor Alan Yeakley
There has been a worldwide increase in asthma and allergies over the last half-century. Many studies link this to the Western lifestyle and increased standard of living. In addition, the rise of atopic diseases has been linked to the decline of infectious disease. Furthermore, several studies have linked the use of antibiotics in infancy and early childhood to the prevalence of asthma, eczema, and allergy rhinitis. The post-industrial period saw changes in the development of allergies, increased risk of asthma and allergy rhinitis, or hay fever.
To discuss why these changes are happening, numerous European studies have linked less likelihood to experience allergies if children have parents who are farmers and more specifically children who live on farms in the presence of animals. These children, who live on farms with animals, have decreased adult asthma, allergy rhinitis, and eczema. A New Zealand study found that this was null when children were on farms with poultry. This is important because pediatricians find asthma and allergies, during the late 1970s, to be difficult to treat. Farm environment for children protects against allergic rhinitis and asthma. Exposure to environmental mycobacteria and actinomycetes could be the explanation. If planners could incorporate these findings in urban designs, perhaps symptoms of allergies in children would decrease, increasing the quality of life for all.
Society’s quick change from an agrarian society to an industrial society has had many unforeseen affects on the urban landscape, or in the urban ecology. One such unforeseen affect is in allergies. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, there were few documented cases of hay fever, asthma, and other allergies. Victims of allergies can tell you that allergies have a debilitating affect on the sufferer. Because allergies affect every facet of the sufferer’s life, allergy has a direct correlation to Quality of Life (QOL) issues and measurements. As QOL decreases, the potential to treat allergies gets harder.1 Treating allergies and the occurrence of allergies has startling costs to society. Additionally, allergy is so prevalent that new professions have arisen out from this increase and formation of allergy.
With such a wide-ranging affect, it is helpful to know what is included in allergy. Recent papers include in allergies the following types: allergy rhinitis (hay fever), asthma (inflammation of the bronchial tubes), and atopic/eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) (skin rashes and conditions).2 Several studies over the past two decades indicate a strong correlation between protection against allergies in adulthood and exposure to farm animals, except poultry, as a child. This paper will show the debilitating affect allergy has on young people, a basic introduction on what happens in allergy sufferers; a discussion of the studies showing links between livestock and allergy protection; a discussion of the studies that show an adverse link, especially in regards to poultry; and finally a summary of what was shown with suggestions on where studies should next proceed.
Allergy – Symptoms & Basic History
For one hundred years now, modern science has known that synthetic antihistamine would protect an animal from induced anaphylaxis, meaning that for one hundred years we have known what allergies look like and a basic idea of how to control allergies. Then, about 65 years ago, immunoglobulin E (IgE) was discovered as the acting carrier of ragweed, and later other allergens, the main component whose sensitivity chooses who has allergies and who does not.3 It was learned that allergies occur when people have a hypersensitivity to triggers, and in this instance, ragweed. This sensitivity follows across the board from allergy rhinitis to asthma, and as Leffert describes asthma as an immunologic hypersensitivity, sometimes where emotional stress triggers and exacerbates symptoms. One of the key components of asthma is when antigens sensitive a child and then these antigens trigger an immunologic reaction, i.e. an asthma attack. Likewise, for allergy rhinitis, it would seem that exposure to allergens, the body developing a hypersensitivity to these allergens, and then triggers by the allergens force allergies in the sufferer, i.e. hay fever or sneezing attacks such as when a burst of pollen from sniffing a flower itches the sufferer’s nose.
Through the past 100 years, medicine has continued to study allergy, the causes of allergy, and how to treat allergy. Questionnaires have been issued, studies have been tallied, and the basic findings are that allergies are expensive to treat, can often confound the pediatrician in charge of care, and clearly makes the victim of allergy suffer sometimes year round. Some questions used to decide if someone suffers from allergy are found in Table 4.4 The questionnaires studied for this paper generally follow an if-then format. If the sufferer experiences this symptom, then continue here, if not, go to this place. It is important to differentiate between colds, flu, and actual allergy symptoms. All studies used had a 95% confidence index, suggesting strong credibility.
Livestock as an Allergy Protection
Beginning with studies in the mid-90s, several European scientists in Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, and other places in Europe, have been curious about the connections to allergies comparing urban and rural children. In the early 19th Century, it was thought that urban children had fewer allergies than rural kids did because at the time, rural places were cleaner than urban places, making exposure to allergens higher in urban places, rather than rural. Modern studies have found the opposite to be true. Ironically, studies from the past twenty years, mostly in Europe, have shown that exposure to farm animals has a protective affect against allergens, especially in regards to allergy rhinitis, or hay fever. Bråbäck illustrates the relationship between occupations and habitat in his 2004 article in Clinical & Experimental Allergy.5 Data is taken from Swiss conscript data from 1952 on. Although occurrences of allergy increased for habitats from both rural and urban dwellings, urban people had a higher increase and the gap between urban and rural grew larger.
Braun-Fahrländer and colleagues found, in 1999, that farming as a parental occupation decreased the risk of children developing symptoms of allergies.6 This paper has been documented in many following, suggesting a leading insight into this allergy conundrum. Braun-Fahrländer and colleagues hypothesized that children growing up on farms were less likely to be sensitized to common allergens and then that they would suffer less from allergic disease. To carry out their study, Braun-Fahrländer and colleagues used the Swiss Study on Childhood Allergy and Respiratory Symptoms with Respect to Air pollution (SCARPOL), a data set used by most of the European studies examined. Methods were a questionnaire at the school health services, a routine visit for the three ages groups studied, and blood samples for the older age groups. Of note in their findings was that farming families had a lower socio-economic status; had more children; had more humidity or visible mold in their home,;used traditional heating such as coal and wood; were more likely to keep furred pets, but the furred pets were less likely to be in the children’s bedroom; had mothers that were less likely to smoke; and had less hay fever, asthma, and eczema in their family history. From their findings, they discussed that the possibility exists that the living in an agricultural environment could provide a model of primary prevention. If this proves to be true, then, these findings could be taken into the urban environment as preventive maintenance for allergy sufferers.
Poultry – An Adverse Affect
Contrasting the European studies, a New Zealand study also looked at farms, children’s exposure to animals, and resistance to allergies as an adult.7 This study found that the children in the sample, their risk increased with exposure to farms. The most striking difference is the New Zealand study had more poultry, or in general poultry farms. The European studies did not, indicating that it is exposure to poultry that either increases or does nothing to the risk of being affected by allergy. Wickens, in Table 5 shows incidence where exposure to poultry nearly doubles the risk of hay fever compared to other triggers studied, such as cats and residence, the farm abode.8 Additionally, this study noted a higher incidence of allergy in regards to pigs and hay fever, farm abode in current allergic rhinitis, farm abode for asthma, and cats (inside or outside) regarding AEDS (skin problems).
The study discusses that all children living on farms had increased risk of all studied forms of allergy: hay fever, allergic rhinitis, asthma, wheezing, and eczema. Of the European studies examined, they concluded that living on farms with livestock had the protective affect against allergy later in life, but the published results did not pare down which animals were on the farms like this New Zealand study. On the other hand, the New Zealand study did not mention animals like cows (a European animal attributed to the protective affect), horses, goats, or other farm mammals besides pigs. Regardless, examining these causes in more detail and from a different vantage point, this study pushes further research to examine more fully which animals actually have the protective affect. If this is not done, one could believe that it may be something in the air in European farms rather than the animals present.
As a rebuttal to the New Zealand study, Braun-Fahrländer points out that having contact with farm animals shows the substantial decrease in the development of hay fever and asthma comparing children living on farms and non-farming children.9 He introduces in this editorial the ALEX study (ALlergy and EndotoXin) where dust samples were obtained from enrolled children and tests were done to see the development of IgE sensitization. Although not well supported, it was this sensitization that farm animals protect against, a known cause of allergy. Subsequently, although growing up on a farm does not suppress the process of IgE sensitization it protects against it. Still, though, animals remain undefined, and the New Zealand study, of the obtained articles, is the only one that specifies which animals were tested against.
In this paper I showed the debilitating affect allergy has on young people, studies showing links between livestock and allergy protection; and studies that show an adverse link in that protection, especially in regards to poultry. Several European studies over the past two decades have shown that when children live on farms with livestock, this experience later in life acts as protection against allergies, allergies that are increasing in society. This is important because of the discomfort and adverse affects to Quality of Life, the costs of health care for the afflicted persons, and the cost of healthcare for the public. If we can pinpoint what causes allergies, what can keep allergies at bay, and lastly how to overcome allergies, we would live in very different places than we do now. To take these findings further would be to introduce them into the planning stage of urban centers. If these findings could be more pinpointed for policy gurus, then we could try to make our cities allergy free. This would allow us to cure or control allergy at a local level with less cost to the individual and public. The next question could be, “Besides livestock, which animals that protect against allergies could be introduced as part of the urban landscape?” We’ve seen that poultry does not, so does that mean we need more dogs? Should every household enjoy the company of a dog, further reducing the need for places such as the Human Society?
- Asher, M.I., U. Keil, H.R. Anderson, et al. 1995. International study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC): rationale and methods. European Respiratory Journal. 8:483-491.
- Bråbäck, L., A. Hjern, and F. Rasmussen. 2004. Trends in asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema among Swedish conscripts form farming and non-farming environments; a nationwide study over three decades. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 34:38-43.
- Braun-Fahrländer, C. 2002. Do only European cattle protect from allergies? Allergy. 57:1094-1096.
- Braun-Fahrländer, C., M. Gassner, L. Grize, et al. 1999. Prevalence of hay fever and allergic sensitization in farmer’s children and their peers living in the same rural community. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 29:28-34.
- Emanuel, M. B. 1999. Histamine and the antiallergic antihistamines: a history of their discovers. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 29(supplement 3):1?11.
- Gerth van Wijk, R. 2002. Allergy: a global problem; Quality of life. Allergy. 57:1097-1110.
- Kilpeläinen, M., E.O. Terho, H. Helenius, and M. Koskenvuo. 2000. Farm environment in childhood prevents the development of allergies. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 30:201-208.
- Leffert, Fred, M.D. 1978. Asthma: a modern perspective. Pediatrics. 62(6):1061-1069.
- Wickens, K., J.M. Lane, P. Fitzharris, et al. 2002. Farm Residence and exposures and the risk of allergic diseases in New Zealand children. Allergy. 57-1171-1179.
Tables & Figures
Association of physician-diagnosed asthma during a lifetime with background factors in young Finnish adults. Adjustment performed by logistic regression model for all the other factors in the table and parental education.
|Total N*||Prevalence (%)*||Crude OR*||95% CI||P-value||Adjusted CR†||95% CI||P-Value|
|Place of Residene at Age 0-6 years|
|Day care outside the home at 0-2 years|
|Passive smoking at age 0-2 years|
|Parents’ asthma or atopy|
|Number of older siblings|
* Using all available information.
† For subjects with complete data on all the background variables.
1 M. Kilpeläinen, E.O. Terho, H. Helenius, and M. Koskenvuo. “Farm environment in childhood prevents the development of allergies” in Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2000. 30:201-208.
Association of physician-diagnosed allergic rhinitis and/or allergic conjunctivitis during a lifetime with background factors in young Finnish adults. Adjustment performed by logistic regression model for all the other factors in the table and parental education.
|Total N*||Prevalence (%)*||Crude OR*||95% CI||P-value||Adjusted CR†||95% CI||P-Value|
|Place of residence at Age 0-6 years|
|Day care outside the home at 0-2 years|
|Passive smoking at age 0-2 years|
|Parents’ asthma or atopy|
|Number of older siblings|
* Using all available information.
† For subjects with complete data on all the background variables.
Association of respiratory and allergic symptoms and allergic sensitization with farming as a parental occupation.
|Symptom prevalence accounting to parental occupation||Association with farming as parental occupation|
|Total study population (n,%)||Farming (n,%)||Non-Farming (n,%)||Crude OR (95%, CI)||Adjusted3 OR (95%, CI)|
|Questionnaire (N = 1620)|
|Repeated cough||594/36.7||103/33.6||491/37.4||0.85 (0.65-1.10)||0.90 (0.63-1.29)|
|Bronchitis||156/9.6||31/10.1||125/9.5||1.07 (0.71-1.62)||1.37 (0.77-2.40)|
|Wheeze||135/8.3||16/5.2||119/9.1||0.55 (0.33-0.94)||0.77 (0.38-1.58)|
|Asthma (ever)||150/9.3||24/7.8||126/9.6||0.80 (0.51-1.26)||1.17 (0.64-2.13)|
|Sneezing during pollen season||125/7.7||8/2.6||117/8.9||0.27 (0.14-0.54)||0.34 (0.12-0.89)|
|Hay fever (ever)||197/12.2||22/7.2||175/13.3||0.50 (0.32-0.79)||0.89 (0.49-1.59)|
|Itchy skin rash (ever)||193/12.0||27/8.9||166/12.7||0.67 (0.41-1.02)||0.86 (0.49-1.50)|
|Eczema (ever)||305/18.8||48/15.6||257/19.6||0.76 (0.54-1.07)||1.15 (0.74-1.81)|
|Serological test2 (N=404)|
|Positive SX1 test (CAP-class?2)||139/34.4||16/18.6||123/38.7||0.33 (0.18-0.59)||0.31 (0.13-0.73)|
|Specific IgE’s to outdoor allergens (CAP class?2)||119/29.5||15/17.4||104/32.7||0.43 (0.24-0.78)||0.38 (0.16-0.87)|
|Specific IgE’s to indoor allergens (CAP class?2)||81/20.1||4/4.7||77/24.2||0.15 (0.06-0.38)||0.15 (0.04-0.57)|
1 During the past 12 months if not otherwise specified.
2 318 serological tests were done in children from non-farming families, 86 in farmers’ children.
3 The logistic regression model included the following variables: age, sex, parental education, a family history of asthma, hay fever, eczema, number of siblings, maternal smoking, pet ownership, indoor humidity, study area, and heating fuels.
SAMPLE – Core questionnaire rhinitis module for 13-14-year-olds NOT INCLUDED
Adjusted† odds ratios for the association between various exposures and having hay fever ever, allergic rhinitis in the last 12 months, asthma ever, wheeze in the last 12 months, atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) ever, and skin prick test (SPT) positivity
|n (293)||Hay fever ever||Current allergic rhinitis||Asthma ever||Current wheeze||AEDS ever||SPT positivity|
|First year of life|
|Farm abode||94||1.3 (0.4-3.9)||0.5 (0.2-1.2)||0.7 (0.3-1.8)||0.5 (0.2-1.4)||0.7 (0.3-1.8)||1.3 (0.5-3.6)|
|Regular poultry||36||1.8 (0.5-6.6)||2.0 (.07-5.9)||2.7 (0.9-7.7)*||2.1 (0.7-6.6)||3.7 (1.3-0.7)**||1.1 (0.4-3.5)|
|Regular pig||29||0.4 (0.1-1.9)||0.6 (0.2-2.0)||1.0 (0.3-3.3)||0.6 (0.2-2.3)||0.6 (0.2-1.8)||0.2 (0.1-0.9)**|
|Cats inside or outside||223||0.4 (0.1-1.0)**||1.4 (0.6-3.1)||1.4 (0.6-3.1)||1.0 (0.4-2.4)||0.4 (0.2-0.8)***||0.6 (0.3-1.3)|
|Dogs inside or outside||185||0.5 (0.2-1.3)||0.7 (0.4-1.4)||0.4 (0.2-0.8)***||0.6 (0.3-1.2)*||0.8 (0.4-1.5)||0.8 (0.4-1.6|
|Farm abode||95||1.3 (0.4-3.9)||2.7 (1.0-6.9)***||2.0 (0.8-5.2)||1.9 (0.7-6.6)||1.7 (0.7-4.1)||0.8 (0.2-1.7)|
|Regular poultry||45||2.2 (0.7-7.0)||1.5 (0.6-3.8)||0.8 (0.3-2.0)||1.0 (0.4-2.6)||0.5 (0.2-1.2)||2.8 (1.0-6.9)**|
|Regular pig||22||2.8 (.6-12.2)||1.0 (0.3-3.6)||0.7 (0.2-2.3)||1.6 (0.4-5.9)||0.7 (0.2-2.2)||3.3 (0.9-11.8)*|
|Cats inside or outside||234||0.7 (0.3-1.9)||1.0 (0.5-2.2)||1.5 (0.7-3.3)||0.9 (0.4-2.1)||2.8 (1.3-6.1)***||1.4 (0.6-3.3)|
|Dogs inside or outside||214||1.5 (0.5-4.0)||1.0 (0.5-2.2)||1.6 (0.8-3.5)||1.5 (0.7-3.4)||1.3 (0.6-2.7)||2.0 (0.9-4.3)|
|Geomean endotoxin‡||0.9 (0.6-1.2)||1.0 (0.8-1.3)||0.9-0.7-1.2)||1.2 (0.9-1.5)||1.0 (0.8-1.3)||1.0 (0.8-1.3)|
|Diet at < 2 years|
|Yoghurt once or more a week||225||0.3 (0.1-0.7)***||0.3 (0.1-0.7)***||1.1 (0.6-2.4)||1.1 (0.4-2.3)||0.6 (90.3-1.20)||0.8(0.4-1.7)|
|Unpasteurized milk ever||38||1.1 (0.2-5.0)||0.3 (0.1-1.1)*||0.7 (0.2-2.4)||0.6 (0.2-0.8)||0.2 9 (0.1-2.20**)||0.6 (0.2-1.9)|
|Pasteurized milk once or more a day||192||1.7 (0.7-4.6)||1.5 (0.7-3.3)||1.3 (0.6-2.7)||1.1 (0.5-2.5)||1.4 (0.7-3.00)||0.8 (0.4-1.7)|
|Cheese once or more a week||200||2.1 (0.8-5.6)||1.3 (0.6-2.8)||1.1 ()0.6-2.4)||1.4 (0.5-3.3)||1.3 (0.6-2.7)||0.7 (0.3-1.4)|
* P = < 0.10
** P = < 0.05
*** P = < 0.01
†Adjusted for all variables in table, plus gender, ethnicity, mother’s education level, family history of allergic disease, family size, antibiotic use in first year, mother’s smoking in the first year and currently, coal and wood fires in the fires year and currently, having a history of measles and whooping-cough infection and current dairy food consumption.
‡Per unit increase in endotoxin per gram of dust.