Monthly Archives: October 2011

“…very little impact on water wells near drilling sites.”

A limited study in Pennsylvania finds little impact of Marcellus gas drilling on rural drinking water supplies… here for news report. Click here for a few more details.

Xiao et al 2011: Occurrences and genotypes of Cryptosporidium oocysts in river network of southern-eastern China

S. Xiao, W. An, Z. Chen, D. Zhang, J. Yu, and M. Yang.  Occurrences and genotypes of Cryptosporidium oocysts in river network of southern-eastern China. Parasitology Research, 2011 Oct 19.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China,

Absract: Transportation of Cryptosporidium oocysts in river type source water is of great concern in an area where extensive human activities exist. In this study, a total of 47 samples were collected from Tongxiang, China, where drinking source water was taken from a complicated river network system, by three sampling campaigns over a rainy season in 2009, to reveal the presence, genotypes, and likely source of Cryptosporidium oocysts in river water. Immunofluorescence microscopy analyses show that 37 (78.7%) were Cryptosporidium positive, with a mean concentration of 0.51 oocysts per liter. These results suggest that the protozoa were commonly distributed in the river network type source water of Tongxiang with a relatively low concentration level. PCR analysis was used to determine the species/genotypes of Cryptosporidium, which revealed the presence of the animal related species/genotypes including Cryptosporidium suis, Cryptosporidium fragile, and the avian III, pig II, cervine genotypes. Three of them were also detected in wastewater samples taken from neighboring animal farms, showing that farm animals rather than human might be the major pollution sources. This is the first report on simultaneous detection and genotyping of Cryptosporidium oocysts from surface water in China.

Click here for the full paper (fee).

Palmer, Alaska discontinues fluoride addition

Low levels of naturally occurring fluoride, as well as fluoride in toothpaste and topical treatments, were considered enough by the city council, such that adding more fluoride is not needed. Click here….

Wigle et al 2011: Epidemiological Evidence of Relationships Between Reproductive and Child Health Outcomes and Environmental Chemical Contaminants

This paper provides a detailed review of studies dealing with several routes of exposure including drinking water.  The abstract is below. As of this posting the publisher has made the article available for free…click here.

D.T. Wigle, T.E. Arbuckle, M.C. Turner, A. Bérubé, Q.Yang, S. Liu
and D. Krewski. Epidemiologic Evidence of Relationships Between Reproductive and Child Health Outcomes and Environmental Chemical Contaminants. Volume 11, Issue 5-6, 373-517.

Abstract: This review summarizes the level of epidemiologic evidence for relationships between prenatal and/or early life exposure to environmental chemical contaminants and fetal, child, and adult health. Discussion focuses on fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, birth defects, respiratory and other childhood diseases, neuropsychological deficits, premature or delayed sexual maturation, and certain adult cancers linked to fetal or childhood exposures. Environmental exposures considered here include chemical toxicants in air, water, soil/house dust and foods (including human breast milk), and consumer products. Reports reviewed here included original epidemiologic studies (with at least basic descriptions of methods and results), literature reviews, expert group reports, metaanalyses, and pooled analyses. Levels of evidence for causal relationships were categorized as sufficient, limited, or inadequate according to predefined criteria. There was sufficient epidemiological evidence for causal relationships between several adverse pregnancy or child health outcomes and prenatal or childhood exposure to environmental chemical contaminants. These included prenatal high-level methylmercury (CH3Hg) exposure (delayed developmental milestones and cognitive, motor, auditory, and visual deficits), high-level prenatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and related toxicants (neonatal tooth abnormalities, cognitive and motor deficits), maternal active smoking (delayed conception, preterm birth, fetal growth deficit [FGD] and sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS]) and prenatal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure (preterm birth), low-level childhood lead exposure (cognitive deficits and renal tubular damage), high-level childhood CH3Hg exposure (visual deficits), high-level childhood exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)(chloracne), childhood ETS exposure (SIDS, new-onset asthma, increased asthma severity, lung and middle ear infections, and adult breast and lung cancer), childhood exposure to biomass smoke (lung infections), and childhood exposure to outdoor air pollutants (increased asthma severity). Evidence for some proven relationships came from investigation of relatively small numbers of children with high-dose prenatal or early childhood exposures, e.g., CH3Hg poisoning episodes in Japan and Iraq. In contrast, consensus on a causal relationship between incident asthma and ETS exposure came only recently after many studies and prolonged debate. There were many relationships supported by limited epidemiologic evidence, ranging from several studies with fairly consistent findings and evidence of dose response relationships to those where 20 or more studies provided inconsistent or otherwise less than convincing evidence of an association. The latter included childhood cancer and parental or childhood exposures to pesticides. In most cases, relationships supported by inadequate epidemiologic evidence reflect scarcity of evidence as opposed to strong evidence of no effect. This summary points to three main needs: (1) Where relationships between child health and environmental exposures are supported by sufficient evidence of causal relationships, there is a need for (a) policies and programs to minimize population exposures and (b) population-based biomonitoring to track exposure levels, i.e., through ongoing or periodic surveys with measurements of contaminant levels in blood, urine and other samples. (2) For relationships supported by limited evidence, there is a need for targeted research and policy options ranging from ongoing evaluation of evidence to proactive actions. (3) There is a great need for population-based, multidisciplinary and collaborative research on the many relationships supported by inadequate evidence, as these represent major knowledge gaps. Expert groups faced with evaluating epidemiologic evidence of potential causal relationships repeatedly encounter problems in summarizing the available data. A major driver for undertaking such summaries is the need to compensate for the limited sample sizes of individual epidemiologic studies. Sample size limitations are major obstacles to exploration of prenatal, paternal, and childhood exposures during specific time windows, exposure intensity, exposure–exposure or exposure–gene interactions, and relatively rare health outcomes such as childhood cancer. Such research needs call for investments in research infrastructure, including human resources and methods development (standardized protocols, biomarker research, validated exposure metrics, reference analytic laboratories). These are needed to generate research findings that can be compared and subjected to pooled analyses aimed at knowledge synthesis.





Click here for the full paper (free).

Beijing, China considering desalination

Facing a serious water shortage, Beijing is looking at taking desalinated water from a water desalination plant located in Caofeidan, about 2 hours drive east of the city.  The Chinese government will invest about $3.1 billion in seawater desalination over the next 5 years… here for more.

Zhao and Castranova 2011: Toxicology of Nanomaterials Used in Nanomedicine

J. Zhao and V. Castranova. Toxicology of Nanomaterials Used in Nanomedicine. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B. Volume 14, Issue 8, 2011.

With the development of nanotechnology, nanomaterials are being widely used in many industries as well as in medicine and pharmacology. Despite the many proposed advantages of nanomaterials, increasing concerns have been expressed on their potential adverse human health effects. In recent years, application of nanotechnology in medicine has been defined as nanomedicine. Techniques in nanomedicine make it possible to deliver therapeutic agents into targeted specific cells, cellular compartments, tissues, and organs by using nanoparticulate carriers. Because nanoparticles possess different physicochemical properties than their fine-sized analogues due to their extremely small size and large surface area, they need to be evaluated separately for toxicity and adverse health effects. In addition, in the field of nanomedicine, intravenous and subcutaneous injections of nanoparticulate carriers deliver exogenous nanoparticles directly into the human body without passing through the normal absorption process. These nanoparticulate carriers themselves may be responsible for toxicity and interaction with biological macromolecules within the human body. Second, insoluble nanoparticulate carriers may accumulate in human tissues or organs. Therefore, it is necessary to address the potential health and safety implications of nanomaterials used in nanomedicine. Toxicological studies for biosafety evaluation of these nanomaterials will be important for the continuous development of nanomedical science. This review summarizes the current knowledge on toxicology of nanomaterials, particularly on those used in nanomedicine.

Click here to obtain the full article (fee).


Latin American communities urged to go to Court for access to water

Speakers at a conference in Mexico City noted that Courts are accepting lawsuits related to water rights.  Communities without water should push their Courts to recognize their right to water….

Click here for more.