Results from a recent study have revealed that disposal masks may be spreading harmful toxins into the environment. Researchers found significant amounts of toxins (lead, copper, and antimony) coming out of several masks after exposure to water.
Since the pandemic, the demand for disposable plastic face masks (DPFs) has soared. In 2020, production facilities–mainly in China–produced over 52 billion masks – some up to 450 million per day. Researchers estimate these “single-use” items could take up to 450 years for face masks to degrade.
To ensure conclusive testing, a team of scientists analyzed seven different brands of disposable face masks. They soaked all the masks in water to model the actual environmental circumstances for those that end up as trash or litter. Results revealed traces of heavy metals like lead and other toxins such as carcinogenic chemicals in the water.
December 1, 2021 — Livia Global, Inc. of Visalia, CA, is recalling two lots of its BioLifePet Liquid Probiotics due to the possibility of contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.
The image above was not included in the company’s original recall notice. It is offered here in good faith by The Dog Food Advisor in an effort to help readers identify the affected product.
What Is Pseudomonas?
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a potentially dangerous, disease-causing bacterium found in the environment. If ingested, Pseudomonas can cause a life-threatening infection in immune-compromised individuals.
Pseudomonas infections are generally limited to hospital settings.
This recall event only affects the following products with the Lot# 001005-1 Best by: 04/2023 as well as LiviaOne Nasal Probiotics with Lot# 010620-1 Best by 08/2023 with the following ship dates:
Lot numbers are located on the side of the bottle and on the bottom of the outer container in which the product is sold. (See below)
No other lots or ship dates or any other LiviaOne products are affected by this recall.
These products are distributed nationwide through Amazon, wholesale, and direct sales from the company’s website.
Editor’s Note: We find this FDA announcement to be confusing in that it appears to contain both human and pet products together on the same page.
Message from the Company
The company discovered the potential issue during routine 3rd party laboratory testing, which is part of Livia Global’s quality assurance procedures and safety protocols and decided to take this precautionary measure.
Even though the company has not received a direct complaint from using their products, we felt compelled to do this out of abundance of caution.
According to Chief Operations Officer, Deborah Moreno…
“We apologize for any concern or inconvenience this situation causes our customers and are here to support them… Livia Global is dedicated to the safety, health and welfare of its customers above all else. We continue to invest in the safety and quality protocols to ensure we produce only the best products.”
What to Do?
The company is asking consumers who have product from the above-mentioned Lot and ship dates to dispose of products.
Impacted consumers may contact Livia Global Customer Care to request a full refund (please have order # available), see contact information provided below.
For more information, please contact Deborah Moreno, Livia Global via phone, 1-559-372-8593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hours of operations are from 8:30AM – 4:30PM PST Monday – Friday.
Researchers have concluded that if cats were humans their behavior would be labeled “psychopathic”. In fact, the new study found that the average cat is likely harboring psychopathic tendencies.
“Researchers surveyed pet owners to rate their cats’ level of psychopathy — as defined by human psychological standards. Their findings revealed that most cats fall somewhere on the spectrum of psychopathy — that is, on the “triarchic” concept of psychopathy, which uses levels of boldness, meanness and disinhibition to measure the psychiatric disorder in people.
The 46-question survey, which currently includes 549 participants, asked cat owners to rate whether their cat “torments their prey rather than killing it straight away,” “cat dominates neighborhood cat(s) (e.g. chases them, picks fights with them),” “is undeterred by punishment i.e. will repeat behaviors he/she is scolded for” and “vocalizes loudly (e.g. meows, yowls) for no apparent reason.” Responses were documented on a…
Most of us look forward to the festive period, however, for cats Christmas may be a time of stress and risk of injury.
As a species cats enjoy routine and are sensitive to changes in their environment, making the celebrations challenging. In addition, the season means certain toxic plants and food may be accessible to curious cats. At International Cat Care we have consulted veterinary members to ask them what injuries they see at this time of year. Based on this information and with the input of the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) this article offers advice on what to keep out of reach and what to do to minimise the disruption to keep our cats happy this Christmas.
Poinsettia (Figure 1) is often mentioned as a potentially poisonous plant but its reputation is perhaps unfair. The Veterinary Poisons Information Service inform us that in over half the cases of pets eating Poinsettia plants reported to them, the cat or dog shows no signs of illness. Nevertheless it is still a good idea to keep the plant out of reach. In addition, Mistletoe, Holly, Ivy and Christmas Cherry can cause a tummy upset and should be kept away from inquisitive cats.
Figure 1: Poinsettia
Many cat owners have had the experience of their cat climbing the Christmas tree and it falling over. Usually both are unharmed but it is worth considering securing the tree to avoid this. Injuries are reported from falling from Christmas trees and from the resulting smashed baubles, with glass ones particularly sharp when broken. Ingestion of Christmas tree needles and the fake snow applied to them can cause stomach upset and other decorations can be ingested resulting in a ‘foreign body’ (see later – abnormal material that can get stuck in the cat’s digestive system). Chewing of lights and wires can be a problem, especially for nosy kittens and it is not uncommon for cats to pass urine just where you don’t want them to i.e. the tree, potentially a problem if electric plugs and wires are exposed. This can be a sign of stress so read on for techniques to reduce the anxiety cats may suffer at this time of year.
At this time of celebration food may be left out with left-overs within reach. We traditionally worry about dogs and chocolate toxicity, but what about cats? Chocolate is also toxic to cats, although the amount a cat needs to eat to make them ill is a lot higher than for dogs. Signs of chocolate poisoning including being sick and passing diarrhoea, drinking a lot, appearing drunk, trembling or even having a fit. Hopefully a cat’s lesser interest in sweet treats means this risk is small.
Similarly, grapes and raisins, known for causing kidney damage in dogs, may affect cats but poisoning is much less common. The VPIS would however advise treatment of cats known to have eaten these foods, and suggest that for example mince pies are not left out. If you think your cat has eaten such food, contact your vet and encourage them to call the VPIS for advice. On the subject of food it may be tempting to treat your cat this Christmas, perhaps extra cat treats or some scraps from the Christmas dinner. While a little left-over turkey will be enjoyed by the majority of cats without harm, excessive treats and human food could make a cat poorly so do try and stick to their normal feeding routine at this time of year; they won’t know they are missing out! Another hazard can be cooked poultry bones – they are hard for cats to digest and can get stuck in the digestive system so make sure your cats can’t raid the bin after the Christmas lunch.
One of our vets reported seeing a cat with a singed tail from Hannukkah menorah candles and certainly exposed candles can be a hazard to cats who tend to jump onto windowsills and mantelpieces where candles are placed. As elevated locations are still accessible to most cats, candles should be kept where you can keep an eye on them or left off the Christmas list.
Festive foreign bodies
‘Foreign bodies’ is the term used to describe non-food items that have become lodged in a cat’s body, often the digestive tract, and we have looked at them in a previous topic in our Keeping Cats Safe campaign. They are less common in cats than in dogs, but we were surprised by the number reported by our veterinary members. When we asked them about Christmas hazards this was the most commonly reported medical issue linked to the season. ‘Linear foreign bodies’, those string or string-like materials causing a problem, appear to be the most common and so tinsel, lametta (the long decorative strips of tinsel) and string (around meat or used to hang decorations) were common culprits. One of our vet members reported removing a sticky mass of sellotape from a cat’s intestine in June that had been there since Christmas, evidenced by the adhered Holly leaves visible in places! As mentioned above, cooked poultry bones may also result in injury. If your cat is seen chewing the tinsel or any other string like material, prevent their access if possible and keep an eye on your pet for signs of illness. These signs can be subtle in cats and include simply sleeping more, hiding away and being sick or refusing food. Consult your vet if you are worried about your pet and do mention any non-food material you have seen your cat chewing.
How to make Christmas less stressful for cats
This time of year means lots of changes to a home, and for cats who often thrive on predictability, routine and the perceived safety of their territory (their home and garden), this can be distressing. The furniture is often moved around, the tree is brought in, lights and decorations are put up, music is played, all making their home look, sound and smell different. In addition, unfamiliar people, and worse still unfamiliar dogs, may visit the house or even stay, again at variable times, interrupting the normal routine. In order to minimise distress during this season consider the following:
Ensure your cat has several safe and comfortable places to hide and get away from the noise and hustle and bustle. A cardboard box or igloo bed above the wardrobe or under the bed can provide security. If new beds are added to the home at this time, make them smell familiar by adding bedding already used by your cat.
Advise visitors not to approach the cat if it is in its bed, but only to stroke the cat if it initiates contact. Visiting children may be keen to see and cuddle the cat but gentle stroking on the cat’s initiation must be insisted upon.
Guests can be given cat treats and toys to help teach the cat positive associations with the new people.
Ensure there is always an open door to allow the cat to get away from any noisy parties or dinners to a quieter part of the home.
Consider plugging in a ‘Feliway’ diffuser into the room the cat spends most time in, several days before the festivities begin. This product (available from your vet) contains feline pheromones which can help the cat feel more secure. Ensure it is switched on continually throughout the festive season.
If visitors are sleeping in one of the rooms the cat usually uses, for example, for sleeping, eating or toileting, be sure to provide the required resources (beds, food or litter tray) in other, quieter parts of the house and, ideally, before the visitors arrive so that changes occur gradually and the cat is comfortable with the new location.
If the cat’s litter tray is positioned in a place that will mean more people traffic or noise during the Christmas period, it is good practice to provide an additional litter tray in a quieter part of the home.
If the cat is particularly sound sensitive, avoid crackers and party poppers.
If a dog is visiting it may be helpful to restrict its access to the cats retreat areas using, for example, baby gates on the stairs.
The Christmas season is a time for celebration but don’t forget your cat this year. Simple changes can keep them safe and make them feel more secure during the festive period.
Volmer PA. 2002 How dangerous are winter and spring holiday plants to pets?Vet Med 97 (12):879-884.
Marhold J. 1986 Prehled Prumyslove Toxikologie; Organicke Latky. Prague, Czechoslovakia, Avicenum, pp1372. Cited in: Theobromine. RTECS®: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. From MDL Information Systems, Inc. (electronic version). Thomson Micromedex, Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA.
Gwaltney-Brant S. 2001 Chocolate intoxication. Vet Med96 (2):108-111.
Catch up with our past Keeping Cats Safe topics here.
I am the feline behaviour specialist at feline charity ‘International Cat Care’. We are about engaging, educating and empowering people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion.
The 400,000-acre Bootleg Fire created a mosaic burn pattern from unburned to high severity. Photo George Wuerthner
The Capital Press, an Agricultural emphasis newspaper, recently ran a story about the 400,000-acre Bootleg Fire and the influence of forest management on the fire’s impact upon trees. In particular, the 26 Nov 2021 issue story titled Lessons from Disaster: What The Bootleg Fire Reveals About Forest Managementfeatures quotes from people representing The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Klamath Tribe, ranchers, and forestry professors.
Blackened stumps indicate this area was thinned prior to the Bootleg Fire but with no effect on fire severity. Photo George Wuerthner
The basic theme of the Capital Press article is how thinning and prescribed burning reduced the Bootleg fire’s intensity and the mortality of trees in a thinned and prescribed burned area owned by TNC. The article’s photos show treated areas with limited mortality and nearby untreated areas with blackened snags. Proponents of thinning have cited this article in favor of more forest manipulation. The article has been republished in other areas like the Deschutes River Conservancy website.
If one did not know much about wildfire ecology, the photos accompanying the article might persuade you that thinning and prescribed burning should be widely applied to our forests.
However, there is much unstated in the article. For instance, there is abundant evidence from numerous high severity blazes around the West that “fuel reductions” typically fail. Of course, not all fuel reductions fail, but most do not significantly alter the outcome of fires.
The blackened stumps are trees that were “thinned” prior to this fire in the Scratchgravel Hills near Helena, Montana. The density of the remaining trees is lower than most “thinning” projects, but still burned severely in this wind-driven blaze.” George Wuerthner
Like in nearly everything in science, there are anomalies, what I call the 99-year-old grandmother exception. Everyone has heard about people who might smoke three packs of cigarettes a day and live to be 99 years old. Some point to such people to “prove” that smoking cigarettes doesn’t cause cancer or reduce your life expectancy.
However, science is about statistical averages. And statistically, if you smoke, you are more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.
This map shows the perimeter of the Bootleg Fire, and all the bright colors indicate past “fuel reduction”. Map by Bryant Baker.
And this is where the TNC “proof” needs context. I have no idea why the fuel treatments on TNC lands appeared to reduce fire severity, but I can say that it was an exception in the Bootleg Fire. A review and map of the Bootleg Fire Perimeter showed that nearly 75% of the area had previously been “treated” by various “fuel reductions.”
TNC logging advocates would likely respond and say not all “fuel treatments” are equal, which is true. The best treatments involve thinning smaller trees, followed by prescribed burns.
The 2007 Jocko Lakes Fire in Montana severely burned an area that had been previously logged/thinned. Photo George Wuerthner
Nevertheless, I have visited dozens of large wildfires and seen many areas that had been thinned and treated by prescribed burn where the fire spread and tree mortality was unaffected by such fuel reductions. Nearly all large wildfires have burned through landscapes with significant acreage of “fuel reductions.”
More than 19,000 structures were burned in the Camp Fire which raced through Paradise, California. Note the green trees above the burned-out foundations of a gas station. Photo George Wuerthner
For example, the Camp Fire, which charred the community of Paradise, California, was surrounded by clearcuts, hazardous fuel reductions (FS euphemism for logging), and even several recent wildfires—none of which prevented the rapid spread of the blaze.
Holiday Farm Fire burned the western slope of the Cascades in a region with extensive logging. Map Oregon WIld
Similarly, the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire, which raced across the western slope of the Cascades in Oregon, burned through a landscape dominated by past commercial logging, including numerous clearcuts.
Map of the 2021 Dixie Fire in northern California where bright colors indicate past fuel reductions. Map Bryant Baker.
The 2021 900,000 acres Dixie Fire blazed across a heavily logged landscape in northern California also failed to alter the fire progress.
A previously thinned area on the Dixie Fire near Chester, California. Photo George Wuerthner
A 2016 review of 1500 fire found that fire severity was higher in areas treated by fuel reductions compared to wilderness and parks where no logging is allowed, and presumably, fuels are higher.
All of these examples are robust because they don’t focus on the exceptions, but provide a statistical test of the idea that fuel reductions can reduce large blazes.
NOT ALL BURNING IS UNIFORM
Some of the variability in fire burn patterns is due to weather, timing, and topography. For example, the wind has an enormous influence on fire spread. Wind effect is exponential. Wind gusts can push a fire through any fuel reduction or toss embers over any treatment. Conversely, if the wind dies down, fires will shift to the ground surface and often muddle along.
Slope also influences fires. A fire racing up a hill burns hotter because of the “preheating” of the fuels above by the fire below. Conversely, a fire “backing down” a slope tends to burn at a lower intensity.
Finally, most fires tend to burn at a lower intensity at night due to higher humidity and lower air temperatures.
An area that had been thinned and treated just two years previously with a prescribed burn on the Deschutes National Forest, Oregon. The robust regrowth of grass now makes this more vulnerable to fire and should be burned again. The requirement for continued “management” makes the idea of doing extensive forest-wide treatment a pipe dream. Photo George Wuerthner
Even to the degree that thinning/prescribed burning might reduce fire severity, its effectiveness wears off over time. Thus, any fuel reduction treatment must be continuously “maintained” by additional logging and burning—all of which is disruptive to the forest ecosystem, wildlife, and soils.
The people quoted in the Capital Press article attribute the larger fires across the West to “excess fuels.” However, nearly all studies show that climate/weather is the driving force in high severity large blazes. The West is experiencing one of the most severe droughts in a thousand years does not seem to enter the discussion with the “fuels are the problem, logging is the solution” crowd.
For one thing, the idea that “fire suppression” contributed to fuel build-up ignores the role of climate. Large blazes had always occurred with the right weather/climate conditions long before any “fire suppression” and even with Indian burning.
The decades in the middle of the last century (in blue) were cool and moist and the area burned was significantly less than the decades before or after which were warmer and drier. Nature was “effective” at fire suppression.
During the middle of the last century (approximately 1940-the 1980s), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a periodic shift in Pacific Ocean currents, brought cooler and moister weather to the West. During this period, there were far fewer ignitions and limited acreage burned. Interestingly glaciers also grew in the PNW during this period due to the increased moisture and cool temperatures.
Glaciers in the PNW grew during the cool PDO in the mid-1940s-1980s. Photo George Wuerthner
Fire suppression proponents point to this period as the time of “successful” fire suppression, but in reality, Nature was good at suppressing fires.
Then starting in the late 1980s and continuing to the present, the PDO shifted, and warmer, dryer weather has prevailed. That shift in climate, along with human Greenhouse Gas Emissions, has led to much warmer conditions, as well as extensive drought. It is these weather conditions that are the main factor in large blazes.
Proponents of logging like TNC and forestry professors tend to discount the harmful effects of logging on forest ecosystems. However, the snags resulting from high severity fires are not ecological disasters but critical to healthy forest ecosystems.
Dead trees killed by the Dixie Fire are critical to healthy forest ecosystems. They store carbon, provide habitat for many plants and animals. Photo George Wuerthner
Therefore, high severity fires are essential for “healthy forest ecosystems. Some studies suggest that biodiversity in the snag forests resulting from high severity burns is the highest of any habitat type. For instance, nearly 50% of all birds depend on the snags resulting from high severity fires, whether for nesting, roosting, or feeding. In addition, down logs and snags store considerable amounts of carbon.
Episodic fires are the source of snags that fall into streams creating some of the important habitats for fish and aquatic insects. George Wuerthner
And many ecosystems depend on the periodic input of large dead trees for ecological stability. For instance, the input of large trees into rivers may only occur every couple of hundred years, but that input of large snags is critical to healthy aquatic ecosystems.
Logging along the Santiam River, Oregon. Logging is a major contributor to GHG emissions which creates climate warming that promotes more wildfires. Photo George Wuerthner
Another issue downplayed or ignored in the Capital Press piece is that even dead trees store carbon for significant amounts of time. While logging releases carbon immediately. Studies in Oregon show that 35% of the annual GHG emissions result from logging and wood processing.
Thinning and new logging road on Willamette National Forest, Oregon. Logging roads are a major source of sedimentation in streams. Photo George Wuerthner
Other impacts associated with logging include sedimentation of streams resulting from logging roads, the spread of weeds, disturbance of wildlife, and changes in age and genetic structure of forest stand (resulting from thinning), compaction of soils, and other well-documented impacts associated with any logging operation are all typically ignored or dismissed.
I have often gone on field trips with thinning proponents and asked them to indicate which trees in the stand are genetically resistant to drought, fungi, mistletoe, or bark beetles. Thinning can reduce the genetic variability in a forest stand; all I get is bewildered stares as if my question is crazy.
Ironically, the proponents of massive thinning across the forested landscape are among the first to point out that the active “fire suppression” policy was a failure; few of them appear to question their promotion of a similar west-wide forest manipulation in the name of fire reduction.
An even more critical question seldom entertained is whether efforts to reduce fire severity and spread is even a wise policy. There are continued references by proponents of thinning that the forests are burning differently than in the historical past, without acknowledging that the current climate/weather conditions are different. We are experiencing one of the worse droughts in a thousand years. Under different climates, you would expect different responses by vegetation. Perhaps large blazes in some forested stands are a way for the planet to adjust to extreme drought and high temperatures.
TNC and the Forest Service’s response to wildfire is based on an Industrial Forestry Paradigm that sees dead trees as undesirable and failure to see the forest ecosystem through the trees. Even if thinning/prescribed fire reduced wildfires, translating that into a general policy of forest manipulation across the landscape might be a disaster for forest ecosystems.
Foundation of a burnt-out house near Fort Klamath. Treating the area from the home outward is the best way to protect communities. Photo George Wuerthner
Promoting fuel reductions from the home outward for a hundred feet or so can help protect communities, but beyond this distance, fuel reductions typically have little influence when extreme fire weather conditions prevail.
About The Author
George Wuerthner is an ecologist and former hunting guide with a degree in wildlife biology Visit Authors Website → If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
”At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour.”
Following in the spirit of Britain's Queen Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. A boudica.us site. I am an opinionator, do your own research, verification. Reposts, reblogs do not neccessarily reflect our views.