Daily Archives: August 27, 2011

New Jersey Governor issues 1-year fracking ban

Bill S-2576 (click here) was passed by the state legislature in late June that would ban hydraulic fracturing in New Jersey. The bill was conditionally vetoed by the Governor and a one-year moratorium placed on fracking so that the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection can further evaluate the potential environmental impacts of this practice in New Jersey.

Governor Christie had stated that he will wait for the results of two ongoing studies by both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy before making a final decision on a permanent fracking ban in New Jersey.  Recommendations from the DOE study were recently released (click here). The EPA study is still in progress.

Click here for a news report.

Click here for a flaming report from the News Blaze, with the activist’s position….Is this blowing smoke? I think so….


Merle et al 2011: Drinking water test methods in crisis-afflicted areas: comparison of methods under field conditions

The relative performance of the available test methods for microbial contaminants is an on-going research topic. Not all methods perform equally, and widely different results can be obtained. Below is a recent study from Germany.

Merle, R, I. Bleul, J. Schulenburg, L. Kreienbrock, and G. Klein. 2011. Drinking Water Test Methods in Crisis-Afflicted Areas: Comparison of Methods Under Field Conditions. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, Aug 21.  doi:10.1089/fpd.2011.0893.

 Click here for the full article (fee).

Abstract: To simplify the testing of drinking water in crisis-afflicted areas (as in Kosovo in 2007), rapid test methods were compared with the standard test. For Escherichia coli and coliform pathogens, rapid tests were made available: Colilert(®)-18, P/A test with 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-glucoronid, and m-Endo Broth. Biochemical differentiation was carried out by Enterotube™ II. Enterococci were determined following the standard ISO test and by means of Enterolert™. Four hundred ninety-nine water samples were tested for E. coli and coliforms using four methods. Following the standard method, 20.8% (n=104) of the samples contained E. coli, whereas the rapid tests detected between 19.6% (m-Endo Broth, 92.0% concordance) and 20.0% (concordance: 93.6% Colilert-18 and 94.8% P/A-test) positive samples. Regarding coliforms, the percentage of concordant results ranged from 98.4% (P/A-test) to 99.0% (Colilert-18). Colilert-18 and m-Endo Broth detected even more positive samples than the standard method did. Enterococci were detected in 93 of 573 samples by the standard method, but in 92 samples by Enterolert (concordance: 99.5%). Considering the high-quality equipment and time requirements of the standard method, the use of rapid tests in crisis-afflicted areas is sufficiently reliable.

Armfield 2010: Community effectiveness of public water fluoridation in reducing children’s dental disease

This is just one of several published studies on fluoridation conducted in Australia.

Armfield, J.M. 2010. Community effectiveness of public water fluoridation in reducing childrens’s dental disease. Public Health Reports, Sep-Oct;125(5):655-64.

Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, School of Dentistry, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. jason.armfield@adelaide.edu.au


Objectives: Water fluoridation is one of the most effective public health programs of the past century. However, efforts to extend water fluoridation into currently non-fluoridated areas are often thwarted. Despite considerable evidence regarding the effectiveness of water fluoridation at an individual level, published national community-based studies are rare. This study compared children’s decay experience and prevalence between areas with and without water fluoridation in Australia.

Methods: Oral health data were obtained from clinical examinations of 128, 990 5- to 15-year-old children attending for a regular visit with their respective Australian state or territory School Dental Service in 2002. Water fluoridation status, residence remoteness, and socioeconomic status (SES) were obtained for each child’s recorded residential postcode area.

Children from every age group had greater caries prevalence and more caries experience in areas with negligible fluoride concentrations in the water (<0.3 parts per million [ppm]) than in optimally fluoridated areas (> or = 0.7 ppm). Controlling for child age, residential location, and SES, deciduous and permanent caries experience was 28.7% and 31.6% higher, respectively, in low-fluoride areas compared with optimally fluoridated areas. The odds ratios for higher caries prevalence in areas with negligible fluoride compared with optimal fluoride were 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29, 1.39) and 1.24 (95% CI 1.21, 1.28) in the deciduous and permanent dentitions, respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the continued community effectiveness of water fluoridation and provides support for the extension of this important oral health intervention to populations currently without access to fluoridated water.