Daily Archives: December 3, 2011

Degteva et al 2012: Reevaluation of waterborne release of radioactive materials from the mayak production association into the Techa River in 1949-1951.

M.O. Degteva, N.B. Shagina, M.I. Vorobiova, L.R. Anspaugh, and B.A. Napier. Reevaluation of waterborne releases of radioactive materials from the mayak production association into the techa river in 1949-1951. Health Physics. 2012 Jan; 102(1):25-38.

The Mayak Production Association was the first site for the production of weapons-grade plutonium in Russia. Early operations led to the waterborne release of radioactive materials into the small Techa River. Residents living downstream used river water for drinking and other purposes. The releases and subsequent flooding resulted in deposition of sediments along the shoreline and on floodplain soil. Primary routes of exposure were external dose from the deposited sediments and ingestion of Sr and other radionuclides. Study of the Techa River Cohort has revealed an increased incidence of leukemia and solid cancers. Epidemiologic studies are supported by extensive dose-reconstruction activities that have led to various versions of a Techa River Dosimetry System (TRDS). The correctness of the TRDS has been challenged by the allegation that releases of short-lived radionuclides were much larger than those used in the TRDS. Although the dosimetry system depends more upon measurements of Sr in humans and additional measurements of radionuclides and of exposure rates in the environment, a major activity has been undertaken to define more precisely the time-dependent rates of release and their radionuclide composition. The major releases occurred during 1950-1951 in the form of routine releases and major accidental releases. The reevaluated amount of total release is 114 PBq, about half of which was from accidents that occurred in late 1951. The time-dependent composition of the radionuclides released has also been reevaluated. The improved understanding presented in this paper is possible because of access to many documents not previously available.


Entrained air causes tap water to appear milky white

Cloudy water has invaded San Francisco! Click here….

This is a common problem in drinking water distribution systems especially during the winter months….when treatment changes cause more turbulence resulting in more air dissolved in tap water…..

When water is withdrawn from the tap, pressure is released, the water begins to warm, and the air comes out of solution appearing milky white…..just let the water sit a few minutes until the air dissipates….

Annual Energy Outlook 2011: Levelized cost of energy generation

The US Energy Information Administration has published its Annual Energy Outlook for 2011 (click here).  Of course, many assumptions have been made in this analysis……not to mention the problem of opposition by environmental activist groups and EPA regulations.  Based on this study a plot of national levelized cost estimates from generating technologies brought on line in 2016 are plotted below (source: wattsupwiththat.com):

Source: W. Eschenbach

Press Spin: Arsenic and breathing

A typical epidemiological study…..the odds ratios not significant except at the very high concentration….and they admit they did not diagnose any specific illnesses…..yet the news article (click here) says the sky is falling….so, better breathing would mean more CO2, right? So, why is the press not for more arsenic to prevent global warming?

G.R. Pesola, F. Parvez, Y. Chen, A. Ahmed, R. Hasan, H. Ahsan, and G.R. Pesola. Arsenic exposure from drinking water and dyspnoea risk in Araihazar, Bangladesh: a population-based study. European Respiratory Journal, 2011. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00042611

Abstract: Bangladesh has high well water arsenic exposure. Chronic arsenic ingestion may result in diseases manifest as dyspnoea; albeit information is sparse.Baseline values were obtained from an arsenic study. Trained physicians ascertained data on dyspnoea among 11,746 subjects. Data was collected on demographic factors including smoking, blood pressure and arsenic exposure. Logistic regression models estimated odds ratios and confidence intervals for the association between arsenic exposure and dyspnoea.The adjusted odds of having dyspnoea was 1.32-fold (95% C.I., 1.15–1.52) greater in those exposed to high arsenic well water concentrations (≥ 50 μg·L−1) as compared to low arsenic exposed nonsmokers (p<0.01). A significant dose-response relationship was found for arsenic (as-well-as smoking) in relation to dyspnoea. In nonsmokers, the adjusted odds of having dyspnoea were 1.36, 1.96, 2.34, and 1.80-fold greater for arsenic concentrations of 7–38, 39–90, 91–178, and 179–864 ug·L−1, respectively, compared to the referent arsenic concentration of less than 7 ug·L−1(p<0.01, Chi square test for trend). Arsenic exposure through well water is associated with dyspnoea independent of smoking status. This study suggests that mandated well water testing for arsenic with reduction in exposure may significantly reduce diseases manifest as dyspnoea, usually cardiac or pulmonary

Click here for the full article (fee).

Cooking-the-books on the unemployment rate

The latest jobs report claims unemployment has dropped to 8.6%.  Of course, Washington bureaucrats are good cooks…..of the books, that is.

So take a look at this report from MSNBC (click here)…..sounds pretty rosie, right?

Now, take a closer look at the data……click here.

So, the unemployment rate dropped because the labor force fell in numbers….hope and change in action!!  If the labor force falls to zero, then the unemployment rate will also fall to zero…..wow!!

Cornelis et al 2011: First assessment of population exposure to perfluorinated compounds in Flanders, Belgium

C. Cornelis, W. D’Hollander, L. Roosen, A. Covaci, R. Smolders, R. Van Den Heuvel, E. Govarts, K. Van Campenhout, H. Reynders, and L. Bervoets. First assessment of population exposure to perfluorinated compounds in Flanders, Belgium. Chemosphere 2011 Nov. 18.

With the objective to evaluate exposure of the population in Flanders (Belgium) to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), we measured perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in settled dust in homes and offices, in a selection of food items from local origin, in drinking-water and in human serum. We complemented the data with results from a literature survey. Based on this dataset we calculated intake by children and adults from food, drinking-water, settled dust and soil, and air. Dietary exposure dominated overall intake. For adults, average dietary intake equalled 24.2 (P95 40.9) ng PFOS kg(-1)d(-1) and 6.1 (P95 9.6) ng PFOA kg(-1)d(-1), whereas for children the dietary intake was about 3 times higher. Predicted intake is high when compared to assessments in other countries, and to serum levels from Flanders, but comparable to the intakes published by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2008. Intake of PFOS and PFOA remained below the Tolerable Daily Intake.

Click here to obtain the full article (fee).