Monthly Archives: May 2011

S.78 Protecting Pregnant Women and Children from Perchlorate Act

S.78
Latest Title: Protecting Pregnant Women and Children From Perchlorate Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] (introduced 1/25/2011)      Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 1/25/2011 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Click here for the full text of the bill.

S.79 Protecting Pregnant Women and Children From Hexavalent Chromium Act

S.79
Latest Title: Protecting Pregnant Women and Children From Hexavalent Chromium Act of 2011
Sponsor: Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] (introduced 1/25/2011)      Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 1/25/2011 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Click here for the full text of the bill.

S. 875 Drinking Water Right to Know Act

S.875
Latest Title: Drinking Water Right to Know Act
Sponsor: Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] (introduced 5/3/2011)      Cosponsors (None)
Latest Major Action: 5/3/2011 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Click here for the full text of the bill.

S. 999 Small System Safe Drinking Water Act

S.999
Latest Title: Small System Safe Drinking Water Act of 2011

Mr. INHOFE (for himself, Mr. COCHRAN, Mr. VITTER, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mr. RISCH, and Mr. CRAPO) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

Latest Major Action: 5/16/2011 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Go here for the full text of the bill.

Skeletal Fluorosis from Brewed Tea

Some foods are known to have a very high fluoride content…such as brewed tea…as illustrated in the recently published study below.  In comparison fluoridation of drinking water at the optimal dose of ~1 mg/L is a minor source of exposure and well below the USEPA MCL of 4 mg/L.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 May 18.
 
Skeletal Fluorosis from Brewed Tea.
 
Izuora K, Twombly JG, Whitford GM, Demertzis J, Pacifici R, Whyte MP.
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipids (K.I., J.G.T., R.P.), Department of Medicine, Emory University, School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322; Department of Oral Biology (G.M.W.), Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912; Musculoskeletal Disease Section (J.D.), Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110; Center for Metabolic Bone Disease and Molecular Research (M.P.W.), Shriners Hospital for Children, St. Louis, Missouri 63131; and Division of Bone and Mineral Diseases (M.P.W.), Washington University School of Medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.

Background: High fluoride ion (F(-)) levels are found in many surface and well waters. Drinking F(-)-contaminated water typically explains endemic skeletal fluorosis (SF). In some regions of Asia, however, poor quality “brick tea” also causes this disorder. The plant source of brick, black, green, orange pekoe, and oolong tea, Camellia sinensis, can contain substantial amounts of F(-). Exposure to 20 mg F(-) per day for 20 yr of adult life is expected to cause symptomatic SF. High F(-) levels stimulate osteoblasts and enhance bone apposition but substitute for OH(-) groups in hydroxyapatite crystals and thereby result in skeletal fragility and perhaps lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Beginning in 2005, we showed that daily consumption of 1-2 gallons of instant tea made from this plant can lead to SF.

Aim: We describe a 48-yr-old American woman who developed SF from brewed tea.

Patient and Methods: Our patient had elevated bone mineral density revealed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (spine Z-score, +9.9), severe chronic bone and joint pain, and kyphosis after consuming 1-2 gallons of brewed orange pekoe tea daily for more than three decades. F(-) levels were high in her serum, urine, and clippings of fingernails and toenails, as well as in our reproduction of her beverage. Renal function was normal. She had vitamin D deficiency. Elevated serum PTH levels were unresponsive to adequate vitamin D supplementation. Pain resolved over several months when she stopped drinking tea and continued ergocalciferol.

Conclusion: Our patient shows that SF can result from chronic consumption of large volumes of brewed tea.

Abstract source: National Library of Medicine

On-Line Chlorine Monitor Calibration

Below is a copy of a memorandum being distributed by USEPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water – Technical Support Center that describes calibration requirements of on-line chlorine monitors.MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: Complying with Calibration Requirements of On-line Chlorine-monitors

FROM:    Gregory Carroll, Director
         Technical Support Center

TO:      Regional Drinking Water Branch Chiefs
         Regional Certification Authorities
         Regional Certification Officers
Our office recently learned of confusion regarding the calibration requirements of on-line chlorine-monitors employed at public water systems to continuously measure disinfectant residuals. Continuous monitoring of disinfectant residuals is addressed in both the Ground Water Rule (GWR) and the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR). The Surface Water Treatment Rule [141.74(a)(2)], indicates that, “Instruments used for continuous monitoring must be calibrated with a grab sample measurement at least every five days, or with a protocol approved by the State.” The Ground Water Rule repeats these requirements at 141.403(b)(3)( i) by referencing 141.74(a)(2). Therefore, when using a continuous chlorine disinfectant residual monitor for compliance with these rules, the unit must be calibrated with a grab sample at least every five days, or with a protocol approved by the State. This requirement applies to all methodologies used for continuous monitoring.

Consistent with the regulations, and presuming State concurrence, utilities can operate their continuous chlorine disinfectant residual monitor under the requirements of EPA Method 334.0, approved as an “alternate testing method” on November 10. 2009 (74 FR 57908). Once routine operation of the continuous monitor is achieved by meeting the demonstration of capability requirements, the method specifies that a calibration check standard is to be run at least every seven days. Therefore routine re-calibration is not required as long as (1) the weekly calibration check meets the quality control requirements of the method and (2) this calibration verification protocol and frequency are approved by the State (i.e., in lieu of re-calibration every five days).

If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Steve Wendelken of the Technical Support Center at wendelken.steve@epa.gov or (513) 569-7491.

cc: Pamela Barr, SRMD
    Ann Codrington, DWPD
    Mindy Eisenbe rg, DWPD
    Michael Finn, DWPD
    Dan Hantman. TSC
    Ed Moriarty, DWPD
    Carrie Wehling, OGC
    Steve Wendelken, TSC

Cr-VI Greece Epidemiological Study

This new paper was published online May 24 presenting the results of an epidemiology study in Greece in an area with drinking water contaminated with Cr-VI.  

Athena Linos, Athanassios Petralias, Costas A Christophi, Eleni Christoforidou, Paraskevi Kouroutou, Melina Stoltidis, Afroditi Veloudaki, Evangelia Tzala, Konstantinos C Makris and Margaret R Karagas. Oral ingestion of hexavalent chromium through drinking water and cancer mortality in an industrial area of Greece – An ecological study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:50 doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-50

Linos et al (2011) used an ecologic design and therefore the study has significant limitations noted in the paper. Based on small numbers of exposed population, the exposure is expressed as residing in the area assuming that all residents consumed water provided by the municipality, but no individual exposure data was availalbe. The study is hypothesis-generating and not very informative with regard to the role of Cr-VI given the ecologic design and potential confounding factors.  The authors conclude:

“Water contaminated with hexavalent chromium has been suggested as a potential
carcinogen in humans through the oral route. This study provides further evidence of this relationship. In light of the potentially widespread health implications of such contamination, further studies are critically needed to explore the possible causal link between exposure to hexavalent chromium through drinking water and cancer risk. Such evidence is needed to establish guidelines for the prevention of this form of contamination and formulate public health recommendations.”

The full-text of the article can be found here. (Open Source)