Daily Archives: June 27, 2011

CDC Lists Access to Safe Water and Sanitation in 10 Great Public Health Achievements Worldwide – 2001 to 2010

CDC 2011. Ten Great Public Health Achievements — Worldwide, 2001–2010MMWR June 24, 2011 / 60(24);814-818

“Access to Safe Water and Sanitation

Water-related diseases, principally the 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea that occur annually, are the second leading cause of childhood mortality worldwide (6). Diarrhea, almost 90% of which is related to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), kills 1.5 million children aged <5 years annually, more children than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined (6). From 2000 to 2008, the world’s population increased from 6.1 billion to 6.7 billion, while the proportion of the world’s population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 83% to 87% (covering an additional 800 million persons), and the proportion with access to improved sanitation increased from 58% to 61% (covering an additional 570 million persons) (7). These gains were made through WASH initiatives to increase water and sanitation coverage and promote hygienic behaviors (e.g., handwashing), as well as through maintaining existing services.

During the previous century, in Europe, North America, and Japan, drinking water treatment virtually eliminated waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid (8,9). More recently, although improved WASH access has resulted in significant progress in controlling water-related disease in certain countries (e.g., Mexico and Chile), neglect of WASH infrastructure has contributed to large, deadly, waterborne outbreaks in others (e.g., cholera in Zimbabwe) (10). Continued improvements in global WASH coverage require intensifying current efforts, including long-term, multisectoral commitment to constructing and maintaining water and sanitation systems, behavior change promotion, and WASH-related disease surveillance.”

Here is the complete list:

  1. Reductions in Child Mortality
  2. Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
  3. Access to Safe Water and Sanitation
  4. Malaria Prevention and Control
  5. Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS
  6. Tuberculosis Control
  7. Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases
  8. Tobacco Control
  9. Increased Awareness and Response for Improving Global Road Safety
  10. Improved Preparedness and Response to Global Health Threats

Click here for the MMWR article.

Maue 2011 – Recent Historically Low Global Tropical Cyclone Activity

Maue, R. 2011.  Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity. Geophys. Res. Lett. (in press)

Maue (2011) “examined the last 40-years of global hurricane records and found strikingly large variability in both tropical cyclone frequency and energy from year-to-year.  Since 2007, global tropical cyclone activity has decreased dramatically and has continued at near-historical low levels. Indeed, only 64 tropical cyclones were observed globally in the 12-months from June 2010 – May 2011, nearly 23-storms below average obliterating the previous record low set in 1977.”

Click here for the press release and paper.


Activists Target Drinking Water To Stop Hydraulic Fracturing

Prank signs placed by activists in Pennsylvania Turnpike stops:

Source: Don Hopey, Prank signs on rest area drinking fountains target gas drilling, post-gazzette.com, June 27, 2011.


Pharmaceuticals in California Groundwater used for Drinking Water

Fram, M.S., and Belitz, K. Occurrence and concentrations of pharmaceutical compounds in groundwater used for public drinking-water supply in California. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Jun 18.

U.S. Geological Survey California Water Science Center, 6000 J Street, Placer Hall, Sacramento, CA 95819-6129, USA.

Pharmaceutical compounds were detected at low concentrations in 2.3% of 1231 samples of groundwater (median depth to top of screened interval in wells = 61m) used for public drinking-water supply in California. Samples were collected statewide for the California State Water Resources Control Board’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Program.

Of 14 pharmaceutical compounds analyzed, 7 were detected at concentrations greater than or equal to method detection limits:

  • acetaminophen (used as an analgesic, detection frequency 0.32%, maximum concentration 1.89μg/L),
  • caffeine (stimulant, 0.24%, 0.29μg/L),
  • carbamazepine (mood stabilizer, 1.5%, 0.42μg/L),
  • codeine (opioid analgesic, 0.16%, 0.214μg/L),
  • p-xanthine (caffeine metabolite, 0.08%, 0.12μg/L),
  • sulfamethoxazole (antibiotic, 0.41%, 0.17μg/L), and
  • trimethoprim (antibiotic, 0.08%, 0.018μg/L).

Detection frequencies of pesticides (33%), volatile organic compounds not including trihalomethanes (23%), and trihalomethanes (28%) in the same 1231 samples were significantly higher. Median detected concentration of pharmaceutical compounds was similar to those of volatile organic compounds, and higher than that of pesticides. Pharmaceutical compounds were detected in 3.3% of the 855 samples containing modern groundwater (tritium activity>0.2 TU).

Pharmaceutical detections were significantly positively correlated with detections of urban-use herbicides and insecticides, detections of volatile organic compounds, and percentage of urban land use around wells.

Groundwater from the Los Angeles metropolitan area had higher detection frequencies of pharmaceuticals and other anthropogenic compounds than groundwater from other areas of the state with similar proportions of urban land use. The higher detection frequencies may reflect that groundwater flow systems in Los Angeles area basins are dominated by engineered recharge and intensive groundwater pumping.

Click here to obtain a copy of the paper (fee).

Note: I did not see any additional information for this study on the state’s GAMA web pages nor on the USGS California Water Science Center web pages.