Emerging Contaminants in the Urban Water Cycle

Pal A, He Y, Jekel M, Reinhard M, Gin KY. Emerging contaminants of public health significance as water quality indicator compounds in the urban water cycle. Environment international. 2014 Oct;71:46-62. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.05.025.

The contamination of the urban water cycle (UWC) with a wide array of emerging organic compounds (EOCs) increases with urbanization and population density. To produce drinking water from the UWC requires close examination of their sources, occurrence, pathways, and health effects and the efficacy of wastewater treatment and natural attenuation processes that may occur in surface water bodies and groundwater. This paper researches in details the structure of the UWC and investigates the routes by which the water cycle is increasingly contaminated with compounds generated from various anthropogenic activities. Along with a thorough survey of chemicals representing compound classes such as hormones, antibiotics, surfactants, endocrine disruptors, human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, X-ray contrast media, pesticides and metabolites, disinfection-by-products, algal toxins and taste-and-odor compounds, this paper provides a comprehensive and holistic review of the occurrence, fate, transport and potential health impact of the emerging organic contaminants of the UWC. This study also illustrates the widespread distribution of the emerging organic contaminants in the different aortas of the ecosystem and focuses on future research needs.

Blind Advocacy on “Climate Change”is Indeed Blinding

The book “Merchants of Doubt” is now a movie coming soon. Sure to stir up unsuspecting but sincere viewers with a distorted message that poisons the well as well as poisoning the science.  Blind advocacy such as this is indeed blinding these “historians” into viewing the history of science to fit their advocacy. 

“Ms. Merchants of Doubt is directed by Robert Kenner and based on the 2010 book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, two esteemed historians of science. The film, simultaneously entertaining, instructive and extremely important, traces the techniques through which profit-seeking corporations seek to undermine honest science in the public mind so that they might continue to make money poisoning our bodies and destroying our planet.” click here

Leadership Needed on Climate Issues, Not More Political Rhetoric

Mr. Todd Stern, the US envoy on climate change, continues to push the political rhetoric of “climate change denial”.  Changes in climate do indeed occur in many ways. The real question is upon what basis and in what way should action be taken in the United States and Internationally. The Obama Administration seems to have simply avoided any serious consideration of the science in answering the most important questions and has just continued to stir up unnecessary controversy through political rhetoric.  

“Climate change denial will switch from being a litmus test for major Republican politicians to a liability in the near future.”

“At least that’s the hypothesis that Todd Stern, the United States envoy on climate change, shared with a packed auditorium at Yale Law School in New Haven on Tuesday.” click here

Groundwater Quality in Northern Bangladesh

Islam MJ, Hakim MA, Hanafi MM, Juraimi AS, Aktar S, Siddiqa A, Rahman AK, Islam MA, Halim MA. Hydrogeochemical quality and suitability studies of groundwater in northern Bangladesh. Journal of environmental biology. 2014 Jul;35(4):765-79.

Agriculture, rapid urbanization and geochemical processes have direct or indirect effects on the chemical composition of groundwater and aquifer geochemistry. Hydro-chemical investigations, which are significant for assessment of water quality, were carried out to study the sources of dissolved ions in groundwater of Dinajpur district, northern Bangladesh. The groundwater samplish were analyzed for physico-chemical properties like pH, electrical conductance, hardness, alkalinity, total dissolved solids and Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, CO3(2-), HCO3(-), SO4(2-) and Cl- ions, respectively. Based on the analyses, certain parameters like sodium adsorption ratio, soluble sodium percentage, potential salinity, residual sodium carbonate, Kelly’s ratio, permeability index and Gibbs ratio were also calculated. The results showed that the groundwater of study area was fresh, slightly acidic (pH 5.3-6.4) and low in TDS (35-275 mg I(-1)). Ground water of the study area was found suitable for irrigation, drinking and domestic purposes, since most of the parameters analyzed were within the WHO recommended values for drinking water. High concentration of NO3- and Cl- was reported in areas with extensive agriculture and rapid urbanization. Ion-exchange, weathering, oxidation and dissolution of minerals were major geochemical processes governing the groundwater evolution in study area. Gibb’s diagram showed that all the samples fell in the rock dominance field. Based on evaluation, it is clear that groundwater quality of the study area was suitable for both domestic and irrigation purposes.

Gastroenteritis and Tap Water Quality in Nantes Area Tap Water, France

Other studies such as this have been completed. Given the limitations of the methodology the results are only suggestive at the very best.

Beaudeau P, Zeghnoun A, Corso M, Lefranc A, Rambaud L. A time series study of gastroenteritis and tap water quality in the Nantes area, France, 2002-2007. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2014 Mar-Apr;24(2):192-9. doi: 10.1038/jes.2013.5.

In the Nantes area, 410,000 inhabitants are supplied with water pumped from the Loire River. The treatment of this water is carried out through a process of complete clarification and disinfection. During the study period (2002-07), the quality of drinking water complied with European microbial standards and mean turbidity in finished water was 0.05 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units). We aimed to characterize the link between produced water turbidity and other operational data and the incidence of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in the Nantes area. The daily number of medical prescriptions for AGE was drawn from the French national health insurance system’s drug reimbursement data. We modeled this time series using Poisson regression within the framework of a Generalized Additive Model. We showed that an interquartile range turbidity degradation (0.042-0.056 NTU) was connected to a 4.2% (CI95=(1.5%; 6.9%)) increase in the risk of AGE in children and a 2.9% (CI95=(0.5%; 5.4%)) increase in adults. The slope of the turbidity risk function was higher during both high- and low-water conditions of the river. High values of daily flow of produced water were also associated with higher endemic levels of AGE.

Click here for full paper (fee).


Greenland National Caries Strategy

Ekstrand KR, Qvist V. The impact of a national caries strategy in Greenland after 4 years. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry. 2014 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/ipd.12138.

AIMS: (1) To describe dental health – and financial goals to be achieved with a national caries strategy in Greenland (CSG) implemented in 2008; (2) to describe the principles of CSG; (3) to report caries outcome data for the 3-and 9-year-olds in 1996, in 2008 (baseline), and in 2012; and (4) to assess the effect of CSG on the same age.

GOALS AND RESULTS: Ad (1) Caries status recorded ≥85% of the children; 3-year-olds in 2012:defs = 0 ≥ 80%, defs > 8 ≤ 5%; 9-year-olds in 2012: DMFS = 0 ≥ 80%;DMFS > 4 ≤ 5%. CSG should not increase the cost compared to the old programme. Ad (2) CSG focused on predetermined visits/examinations, risk-related visits, oral health promotion, and predetermined fluoride and sealing policies. Ad (3) 75% and 88% of the total cohorts of 3- and 9-year-olds in 2012 were recorded, respectively. Seventy-six percent of the 3-year-olds showed defs = 0 in 2012 compared to 64% in 2008 (P < 0.0001). DMFS = 0 data for the 9-year-olds were 65% vs 57% (P = 0.003). The cost for running CSG was comparable to the cost before 2008. Ad (4) The annual percentage increase of children with defs/DMFS = 0 after implementation of CSG was twice as high as during 1996-2008.

CONCLUSION: The caries status improves significantly from 2008 to 2012 exemplified in the 3- and 9-year-olds without increasing the costs.

Limnoithona sinensis Protects Bacteria From Disinfectants

Lin T, Cai B, Chen W. Limnoithona sinensis as refuge for bacteria: protection from UV radiation and chlorine disinfection in drinking water treatment. Canadian journal of microbiology. 2014 Sep 18:1-8.

In this study, we tested the potential of Limnoithona sinensis to provide its attached bacteria refuge against disinfection. The experimental results indicated that in water devoid of zooplankton, both UV radiation and chlorine disinfection significantly decreased the viability of free-living bacteria. In the presence of L. sinensis, however, the attached bacteria could survive and rapidly recover from disinfection. This demonstrated that L. sinensis provided protection from external damage to various aquatic bacteria that were attached to its body. The surviving bacteria remained on L. sinensis after disinfection exposure, which enabled a rapid increase in the bacterial population followed by their subsequent release into the surrounding water. Compared with UV radiation, chlorine disinfection was more effective in terms of inactivating attached bacteria. Both UV radiation and chlorine disinfection had little effect in terms of preventing the spread of undesirable bacteria, due to the incomplete inactivation of the bacteria associated with L. sinensis.