Bromate formation during ozonation

Lin T, Wu S, Chen W. Formation potentials of bromate and brominated disinfection by-products in bromide-containing water by ozonation. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2014 Jul 19.

The ozonation involved in drinking water treatment raises issues of water quality security when the raw water contains bromide (Br-). Br- ions may be converted to bromate (BrO3 -) during ozonation and some brominated disinfection by-products (Br-DBPs) in the following chlorination. In this study, the effects of ozone (O3) dosage, contact time, pH, and Br- and ammonia (NH3-N) concentrations on the formation of BrO3 - and Br-DBPs have been investigated. The results show that decreasing the initial Br- concentration is an effective means of controlling the formation of BrO3 -. When the concentration of Br- was lower than 100 μg/L, by keeping the ratio of O3 dosage to dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration at less than 1, BrO3 - production was effectively suppressed. The concentration of BrO3 - steadily increased with increasing O3 dosage at high Br- concentration (>900 μg/L). Additionally, a longer ozonation time increased the concentrations of BrO3 - and total organic bromine (TOBr), while it had less impact on the formation potentials of brominated trihalomethanes (Br-THMFP) and haloacetic acids (Br-HAAFP). Higher pH value and the presence of ammonia may lead to an increase in the formation potential of BrO3 - and Br-DBPs.

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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Low Income Countries

Tilley E, Strande L, Lüthi C, Mosler HJ, Udert KM, Gebauer H, Hering JG. Looking beyond Technology: An Integrated Approach to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Low Income Countries. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Jul 15.

Despite investment stimulated by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), sanitation-related diseases, such as diarrhea, cholera and typhus, remain a leading cause of death of children under five in low-income countries. Prevention of diarrhea requires a combination of access to safe drinking water, good hygiene and adequate sanitation. The sanitation problem has proven to be particularly intractable, demonstrating the shortcomings of past efforts that have focused on increasing access to toilets. An alternative view positions the toilet within a service chain that extends to the final point of disposal or end-use of excreta-derived products. An integrated perspective that addresses improved planning, takes advantage of economic opportunities, incorporates specialized technology, and follows-up with behavior change could help to ensure not only access but also sustainable use, operation and maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions.

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Obama administration ignored border crisis for reelection, amnesty?

“In 2013, “a team from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) raised alarms about the federal government’s capacity to manage a situation that was expected to grow worse” and “the researchers’ observations were among the warning signs conveyed to the Obama administration over the past two years.” ” click here for full article.

Radiative forcing and temperature change: Potsdam, Germany

Gerald Stanhill and Ori Ahiman. Radiative forcing and temperature change at Potsdam between 1893 and 2012. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. DOI: 10.1002/2014JD021877

Radiative forcing in both the short and long-wave lengths reaching the Earth’s surface accounted for more than 80% of the inter-annual variations in the mean yearly temperatures measured at Potsdam, Germany during the last 120 years. Three-quarters of the increase in the long-wave flux was due to changes in the water content of the lower atmosphere; the remainder was attributed to increases in CO2 and other anthropogenic, radiatively active gases. Over the period radiative forcing in the short-wave flux slightly exceeded that in the long-wave but its effect on air temperature was much less as the climate sensitivity to atmospheric radiation, 0.187 °C per Wm−2, was three times greater than to short-wave global radiation. This anomalous finding, similar to that previously reported at two coastal sites, awaits explanation as does the complex interaction existing between radiative forcing and advection in determining temperature change.

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National Children’s Study household testing does not reflect drinking water exposures in rural areas

This particular paper evaluated the applicability of household water sampling in rural NCS study areas. But in general, measurement of tap water concentrations do not directly measure human exposures regardless of how tight the statistics turn out. Tap water measurements can only serve as a surrogate measure used to estimate actual human exposure if other data (e.g. actual tap water intake) are known or are estimated (the common practice). This is true even in large metropolitan water systems.

Binkley TL, Thiex NW, Specker BL. Validation of drinking water disinfection by-product exposure assessment for rural areas in the National Children’s Study. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. 2014 Jul 16. doi: 10.1038/jes.2014.51.

The objective of this study was to provide evidence to evaluate the proposed National Children’s Study (NCS) protocol for household water sampling in rural study areas. Day-to-day variability in total trihalomethane (TTHM) concentrations in community water supplies (CWS) in rural areas was determined, and the correlation between TTHM concentrations from household taps and CWS monitoring reports was evaluated. Daily water samples were collected from 7 households serviced by 7 different CWS for 15 days. Coefficients of variation for TTHM concentration over 15 days ranged from 8% to 20% depending on the household. Correlations were tested between TTHM household concentrations and the closest date- and location-matched CWS monitoring reports for the 15-day mean (R=0.85, P50 μg/l corresponded to measured NCS household concentrations ranging from 2 to 60 μg/l. TTHM concentrations were higher in CWS than NCS samples (11.2±3.2 μg/l, mean difference±SE, P<0.01). These results show that in rural areas there is high variability within households and poor correlation at higher concentrations, suggesting that TTHM concentrations from CWS monitoring reports are not an accurate measure of exposure in the household.

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Radioactive substances in Fukushima-area tap water undetectable or below levels of concern

Atsuumi R, Endo Y, Suzuki A, Kannotou Y, Nakada M, Yabuuchi R. Radioactive Substances in Tap Water. Fukushima J Med Sci. 2014 Jul 15.

A 9.0 magnitude (M) earthquake with an epicenter off the Sanriku coast occurred at 14: 46 on March 11, 2011. TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F-1 NPP) was struck by the earthquake and its resulting tsunami. Consequently a critical nuclear disaster developed, as a large quantity of radioactive materials was released due to a hydrogen blast. On March 16th, 2011, radioiodine and radioactive cesium were detected at levels of 177 Bq/kg and 58 Bq/kg, respectively, in tap water in Fukushima city (about 62km northwest of TEPCO F-1 NPP). On March 20th, radioiodine was detected in tap water at a level of 965 Bq/kg, which is over the value-index of restrictions on food and drink intake (radioiodine 300 Bq/kg (infant intake 100 Bq/kg)) designated by the Nuclear Safety Commission. Therefore, intake restriction measures were taken regarding drinking water. After that, although the all intake restrictions were lifted, in order to confirm the safety of tap water, an inspection system was established to monitor all tap water in the prefecture. This system has confirmed that there has been no detection of radioiodine or radioactive cesium in tap water in the prefecture since May 5th, 2011. Furthermore, radioactive strontium (89 Sr, 90Sr) and plutonium (238Pu, 239Pu+240Pu) in tap water and the raw water supply were measured. As a result, 89 Sr, 238Pu, 239Pu+240Pu were undetectable and although 90Sr was detected, its committed effective dose of 0.00017 mSv was much lower than the yearly 0.1 mSv of the World Health Organization guidelines for drinking water quality. In addition, the results did not show any deviations from past inspection results.

Lithium in drinking water and suicide prevention; A hypothesis

Vita A, De Peri L, Sacchetti E. Lithium in drinking water and suicide prevention: a review of the evidence. Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014 Jul 14.

Suicide is a serious public health problem worldwide, and many nations are committed to developing prevention programmes to reduce the incidence of suicide. To date, several strategies have been proposed for suicide prevention, both at the population and at the individual level, some of which may be pharmacological. In particular, a substantial amount of data show that lithium significantly reduces mortality in patients with mood disorders. Initiating from this evidence, some recent studies have investigated whether a relationship might exist between levels of lithium in drinking water and mortality rates for suicide in the general population. We have systematically reviewed all the articles published on this issue to date. The available literature indicates that higher lithium levels in drinking water may be associated with reduced risk of suicide in the general population.

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