Dr. Tim Ball: Factual Science Omitted by Politicians and Academia Who Prosper From Alarmism

Color, Iron, and Organic Carbon in Swedish Watercourses

Temnerud J, Hytteborn JK, Futter MN, Köhler SJ. Evaluating common drivers for color, iron and organic carbon in Swedish watercourses. Ambio. 2014 Dec;43 Suppl 1:30-44. doi: 10.1007/s13280-014-0560-5.

The recent browning (increase in color) of surface waters across much of the northern hemisphere has important implications for light climate, ecosystem functioning, and drinking water treatability. Using log-linear regressions and long-term (6-21 years) data from 112 Swedish watercourses, we identified temporal and spatial patterns in browning-related parameters [iron, absorbance, and total organic carbon (TOC)]. Flow variability and lakes in the catchment were major influences on all parameters. Co-variation between seasonal, discharge-related, and trend effects on iron, TOC, and absorbance were dependent on pH, landscape position, catchment size, latitude, and dominant land cover. Large agriculture-dominated catchments had significantly larger trends in iron, TOC, and water color than small forest catchments. Our results suggest that while similarities exist, no single mechanism can explain the observed browning but show that multiple mechanisms related to land cover, climate, and acidification history are responsible for the ongoing browning of surface waters.

Click here for paper (Open Access).

“Genome Profiling-based Mutation Assay” Method Proposed for Drinking Water

An interesting approach. But it is premature to conclude that this technique is epidemiologically important. Additional work is needed to validate non-accepted methods and this technique is no different. Further, measuring the generic “mutagenicity” of water is not new and the findings were to be expected. A more sensitive assay may or may not be relevant or useful. To be useful the method results and interpretation must be relevant to human exposure and health risk to specific contaminants. In this case attribution is made to THMs but this may have been premature as there are other differences in water quality between tap water and bottled water. Such a technique may be useful for identifying the more mutagenic contaminants. (As was done in the past for MX.)

Kumari P, Kamiseki M, Biyani M, Suzuki M, Nemoto N, Aita T, Nishigaki K. Detection of ultra-low levels of DNA changes by drinking water: epidemiologically important finding. Journal of biochemistry. 2014 Nov 17. pii: mvu072.

The safety of drinking water is essential to our health. In this context, the mutagenicity of water needs to be checked strictly. However, from the methodological limit, the lower concentration (less than ppm) of mutagenicity could not be detected, though there have been of interest in the effect of less concentration mutagens. Here we describe a highly sensitive mutation assay that detects mutagens at the ppb level, termed GPMA (Genome Profiling-based Mutation Assay). This consists of two steps; i) E. coli culture in the medium with/without mutagens and ii) Genome profiling (GP) method (an integrated method of random PCR, temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE), and computer-aided normalization). Owing to high sensitivity of this method, very low concentration of mutagens in tap water could be directly detected without introducing burdensome concentration processes, enabling rapid measurement of low concentration samples. Less expectedly, all of the tap waters tested (22 samples) were shown to be significantly mutagenic while mineral waters were not. Resultantly, this paper informs two facts that the GPMA method is competent to measure the mutagenicity of waters directly and the experimental results supported the former reports that the city tap waters contain very low level of mutagenicity reagent trihalomethanes.

Click here for paper (fee).

West Bengal, India Fluoride Exposure

Samal AC, Bhattacharya P, Mallick A, Ali MM, Pyne J, Santra SC. A study to investigate fluoride contamination and fluoride exposure dose assessment in lateritic zones of West Bengal, India. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International. 2014 Nov 19.

To assess the status of severity of fluoride contamination in lateritic Bankura and Purulia districts of West Bengal, concentrations of fluoride in different water sources and agricultural field soils were investigated. The fluoride content (mg/l) was observed to differ with aquifer depths: 0.19-0.47 in dug wells, 0.01-0.17 in shallow tube wells, and 0.07-1.6 in deep tube wells. Fluoride within the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed range (1.0-1.5 mg/l) was estimated only in ~17 % of the total collected water samples while ~67 % showed <0.7 mg/l fluoride and thus may impede in the production and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones of the residents, especially children. Fluoride in water was found to be significantly correlated (r = 0.63) with pH. The exposure dose of fluoride (mg/kg/day) from drinking water in infants, children, and adults was estimated in the ranges 0.02-0.53, 0.01-0.24, and 0.01-0.14, respectively against the standard value of 0.05. A clear risk of dental fluorosis is apparent in infants and children of the study area. The fluoride in soil (55-399 mg/kg) was detected to be significantly correlated with the fluoride content in deep tube wells and soil pH (r = 0.56 and 0.71, respectively). The relationships of soil fluoride with total hardness and that with phosphate were not significant. There is a high possibility of bioaccumulation of fluoride from contaminated soil and water of the study area to cultivated crops. This will enhance the quantity of fluoride intake into human food chain in addition to drinking water pathway.

Mr. President, What Happens in Las Vegas Should Stay in Las Vegas. The Rest of the Country Does Not Need Lawlessness.

“President Obama will travel to Las Vegas on Friday to announce his decision on executive amnesty for illegal immigrants, according to several reports.” click here

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The National Climate Data Center (NCDC) Fudges the Data

I’ve watched this happen first hand at a university where data was adjusted or thrown out as an outlier without justification. It is a very big temptation. But the NCDC is fooling itself. click here for the evidence.

Health Insurance Companies as Appendages of the Federal Government

Just like any other government-dependent business, health insurance companies like UnitedHealthCare have now become agents or appendages of the federal government, and specifically to promote their own institutional self-interest.

“As Americans shop in the health insurance marketplace for a second year, President Obama is depending more than ever on the insurance companies that five years ago he accused of padding profits and canceling coverage for the sick.”

“[S]ince the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, the relationship between the Obama administration and insurers has evolved into a powerful, mutually beneficial partnership that has been a boon to the nation’s largest private health plans and led to a profitable surge in their Medicaid enrollment.”  click here