West Texas Arsenic Study Associations Premature

One could go through a list of the limits of this study but I am not going to do that here. In short, the inference drawn here is a bit premature. This study reminds me of many published in the 1980s and 1990s and written intentionally to alarm. Studies like this can be useful. But a conclusion such as this “Measures should be taken to reduce arsenic in drinking water in order to prevent hypothyroidism” based on the study design applied here is premature. 

Gong G, Basom J, Mattevada S, Onger F. Association of hypothyroidism with low-level arsenic exposure in rural West Texas. Environmental Research. 2015 Feb 23;138C:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.02.001.

It has been reported recently that a higher airborne arsenic level was correlated with higher urinary arsenic concentration and lower serum thyroxin level among urban policemen and rural highway workmen in Italy. The current study was to determine whether exposure to low-level arsenic groundwater (2-22µg/L) is associated with hypothyroidism among 723 participants (118 male and 267 female Hispanics; 108 male and 230 female non-Hispanic whites, NHW) living in rural West Texas counties. Arsenic and iodine levels in their groundwater used for drinking and or cooking were estimated by the inverse distance weighted (IDW) interpolation technique. Groundwater arsenic was ≥8µg/L in 36% of the subjects’ wells while iodine concentration was <1µg/L in 91% of their wells. Logistic regression analysis showed that arsenic in groundwater ≥8µg/L and cumulative arsenic exposure (groundwater arsenic concentration multiplied by the number of years living in the current address) but not groundwater iodine concentration were significant predictors for hypothyroidism among Hispanics (p<0.05) but not NHW after adjusting for covariates such as age, gender, annual household income and health insurance coverage. The ethnic difference may be due to a marginally higher percentage of Hispanics (p=0.0622) who lived in areas with groundwater arsenic ≥8µg/L compared with NHW. The prevalence of hypothyroidism was significantly higher in Hispanics or NHW of this rural cohort than the national prevalence. Measures should be taken to reduce arsenic in drinking water in order to prevent hypothyroidism in rural areas.

Former IPCC Chair Pachauri Confirms “Religious” Motivations

Mr. Pachauri’s resignation letter (here):

“For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

The IPCC summary reports for decision makers were not about pursuing the best available science. Mr. Pachauri and IPCC members can certainly believe and pursue whatever religious beliefs they desire. But we must be honest with ourselves and others about how those beliefs and presuppositions guide, constrain, and sometimes define how we interpret data and the conclusions we draw regarding climate changes. This holds for me, for you, as well as for Mr. Pachauri.

“Rajendra Pachauri resigned as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today. It was a long time coming. As a journalist who has followed his career for the past five years, writing enough to fill a full-length book, my assessment of 74-year-old Pachauri is a harsh one: He has been a non-stop train wreck.” click here

Obama FCC Seizes Control of the Internet; Threatens Water Sector Security

Some may find this surprising, but this action constitutes a direct threat to security within the water sector. The socialist agenda being imposed here must be derailed if security within the water security is to be maintained. 

“Earlier in 2000, he told the Marxist magazine Monthly Review: “Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism.” “

““Net neutrality’s goal is to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content,” says Phil Kerpen, an anti-net-neutrality activist from the group American Commitment.” click here

Purussian Blue Granules for Cesium Removal from Drinking Water

Chen G-R, Chang Y-R, Liu X, Kawamoto T, Tanaka H, Kitajima A. Parajuli D,Takasaki M, Yoshino K, Chen M-L, Lo Y-K, Lei Z, Lee D-J. Prussian blue (PB) granules for cesium (Cs) removal from drinking water Separation and Purification Technology 2015-03-25 143:146-151

Cesium (Cs) removal from tap water has become an emerging issue after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Prussian blue (PB), a pigment crystal with a cage size similar to the hydration radius of Cs+, is used in this study for the first time to remove Cs from drinking water. Adsorption isotherms of Cs on PB granules, which were determined at room temperature, fit Langmuir equations. The Cs-PB affinity was high, tolerating the challenge from competing ions and hypochlorite. Column tests and simulated rapid sand filter tests indicate that PB granules are highly efficient Cs adsorbents with low water head loss during applications. Possible scenarios for using PB granules as a Cs barrier in waterworks were discussed.

The paper is here (fee).

Microfiltration of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water

Shimiao Dong, Eun-Sik Kim, Alla Alpatova, Hiroshi Noguchi, Yang Liu, Mohamed Gamal El-Din. Treatment of oil sands process-affected water by submerged ceramic membrane microfiltration system. Separation and Purification Technology Volume 138, 10 December 2014, Pages 198–209

With the rapid expansion of the oil sands in Northern Alberta over past decade, oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) management has become a significant issue. Currently, there is an urgent need for the OSPW reuse and/or safe discharge. In this study, coagulation followed by submerged microfiltration (MF) with a range of ceramic membranes was investigated as a potential process for pretreating OSPW. The ceramic MF membranes with the average pore size of 100 nm were made of Al2O3 and their selective layer was further modified with SiO2 or TiO2 nanoparticles. Our results showed that membrane surface charge played an important role in controlling membrane fouling. The maximum fouling reduction was achieved when OSPW was treated by SiO2-modified membrane. Surface roughness studies also demonstrated its significant effect on membranes’ filtration performance and fouling. More foulants were deposited on the surface of rough TiO2-modified membrane as compared to smoother SiO2-modified membrane. It was found that removal of organic and inorganic fractions in OSPW was not affected neither by the type/concentration of coagulant nor by membrane’s surface modification. Thus, more than 93% removal of the total suspended solids and less than 17% and 10% removals of the total organic carbon (TOC) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), respectively, were achieved regardless of the membrane type and applied treatment. When MF permeate was used as an influent to the reverse osmosis (RO), this resulted in 98% and 100% reductions in TOC and COD concentrations, respectively. Moreover, RO filtration achieved more than 95% removal of magnesium, calcium, iron, fluoride, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, sodium and potassium and silica. The results of this study showed that combination of RO and MF could be considered as an effective and feasible option for OSPW treatment.

Click here for paper (fee).

Egypt Leader’s Call for Reform is the Path to Take

“The extraordinary, unprecedented courage of President El-Sisi in taking this position, endangering his life in the process, stands in stark contrast to the misguided message of the world’s political and religious leaders, who deceive the public by denying that the atrocities, which President El-Sisi seeks to correct, are of Islamic origin.” click here

Mr. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) Appears Determined to Shut Down DHS and Destroy the Very Document (the US Constitution) that is Intended to Protect Immigrants (Legal or Illegal)

“No, I’m not going to vote for the three-week extension [one that, according to the Associated Press, is “expected to also pass the Senate and gain Obama’s signature”]. Many of the same lack of security issues for the homeland will occur if the uncertainty is there” he said.

See my prior post here.