Monthly Archives: March 2013

Dead pigs in the Huangpu River flowing through Shanghai (China)

“Chinese officials have fished more than 16,000 pig carcasses from the Huangpu River, from which more than one in five Shanghai residents draw their drinking water. Remember when it was just 2,000 pigs and that seemed pretty crazy? Meanwhile, officials keep saying that the water is still safe to drink. How likely is that, really?”

Click here for full news article.

The State of California is bankrupt?

“At end of the week, California’s State Auditor released its annual financial report for the state (click here). The report, compiled by Auditor Elaine Howle, found the state has a net worth of -$127.2 billion. If the state were a business, it would be a candidate for liquidation.” Click here for full news article…..

Fluorinex effective for incorporating fluoride into tooth enamel

This appears to be a very worthwhile product. Looking forward to results of additional testing….For more information on Fluorinex click here.

Zuabi O, Frankenthal S, Khawaled K, Machtei EE. The in vivo efficacy of Fluorinex topical fluoridation treatment. Quintessence Int. 2013 Mar 27. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a29504.

Objective: This randomized, single-controlled study was performed to validate in vivo the efficacy of single Fluorinex treatment by examining fluoride incorporation into enamel using electron microscopy.

Method and Materials: Twenty healthy participants referred for routine dental treatment which also required extractions of at least two teeth as part of their treatment plan were included in this study. For each participant, one randomly selected tooth was extracted and sent for blind electron microscopic fluoride assay (control, C). Next, following a single Fluorinex treatment, the second (test, T) tooth was extracted and sent for the same assay. Intra-individual and intergroup fluoride content comparisons were performed, between control and test teeth.

Results: Highly significant intra-individual and intergroup differences were found between the treated and untreated teeth. Fluoride atomic percent (at%) and weight percent (wt%) estimated least squares means of untreated group were found to be 0.56 and 0.48, and in the treated group 17.35 and 14.35. This increase in fluoride at% [16.78 ± 2.3 (SE)], was also significant statistically (P < .0001); likewise, the increase in fluoride wt % [13.86 ± 1.97 (SE)] was similarly significant (P < .0001). The system was well tolerated by the participants with minimal transitional mild side effects.

Conclusion: In vivo fluoride application using the active Fluorinex system resulted in a significant increase of fluoride content in the enamel of adult permanent teeth compared to untreated internal controls.

Merchants of doubt on effects of solar irradiance

The authors of this study appear to be living in an alternative universe (one of the multiverses, I would presume).

Antonello Pasini, Umberto Triacca and Alessandro Attanasio. Evidence of recent causal decoupling between solar radiation and global temperature. Environ. Res. Lett. 7 034020.

The Sun has surely been a major external forcing to the climate system throughout the Holocene. Nevertheless, opposite trends in solar radiation and temperatures have been empirically identified in the last few decades. Here, by means of an inferential method—the Granger causality analysis—we analyze this situation and, for the first time, show that an evident causal decoupling between total solar irradiance and global temperature has appeared since the 1960s.

The idea of a total decoupling between irradiance and temperature is rather silly. In effect, these authors are “merchants of doubt” to undermine any suggestion that the sun plays a role in global temperatures.

Cold cities less sustainable than warm cities

Michael Sivak. Air conditioning versus heating: climate control is more energy demanding in Minneapolis than in Miami. 2013 Environ. Res. Lett. 8 014050

Energy demand for climate control was analyzed for Miami (the warmest large metropolitan area in the US) and Minneapolis (the coldest large metropolitan area). The following relevant parameters were included in the analysis: (1) climatological deviations from the desired indoor temperature as expressed in heating and cooling degree days, (2) efficiencies of heating and cooling appliances, and (3) efficiencies of power-generating plants. The results indicate that climate control in Minneapolis is about 3.5 times as energy demanding as in Miami. This finding suggests that, in the US, living in cold climates is more energy demanding than living in hot climates.

Click here for the full paper (Open Source). Click here for more discussion of this study.


Fluoride bioaccumulation in crayfish an indicator of fluoride pollution

Aguirre-Sierra A, Alonso A, Camargo JA. Fluoride Bioaccumulation and Toxic Effects on the Survival and Behavior of the Endangered White-Clawed Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013 Mar 27.

Laboratory experiments were performed to examine the toxic effects of fluoride (F-) on the survival and behavior of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes). Body fluoride contents (bioaccumulation) of test crayfish were also examined. No significant differences between male and female crayfish regarding mortality, escape (tail-flip) response, and fluoride bioaccumulation were detected. For mortality, 48-, 72-, 96-, 120-, 144-, 168-, and 192-h median lethal concentrations (LC50) were estimated to be 93.0, 55.3, 42.7, 36.5, 32.9, 30.6, and 28.9 mg F-/l, respectively. For the escape response, 48-, 72-, 96-, 120-, 144-, 168- and 192-h median effective concentrations (EC50) were estimated to be 18.4, 11.1, 8.6, 7.4, 6.7, 6.2 and 5.9 mg F-/l, respectively. Average food consumption in test crayfish tended to decrease with increasing water fluoride concentration with a 192-h lowest-observed effect concentration of 10.7 mg F-/l. These results indicate that the escape response was the most sensitive end point to fluoride toxicity followed by food consumption and mortality. Fluoride bioaccumulation in test crayfish increased with increasing water fluoride concentration and exposure time. The exoskeleton accumulated more fluoride than muscle. A comparison of the obtained results with previous data for other freshwater invertebrates shows that white-clawed crayfish are relatively tolerant to fluoride toxicity. We conclude that fluoride pollution in freshwater ecosystems should not be viewed as an important risk factor contributing to the catastrophic decrease of A. pallipes in many European countries. Our results indicate that fluoride bioaccumulation in A. pallipes might be used as a bioindicator of fluoride pollution in freshwater ecosystems where it is present.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia in Three Gorges Reservoir (China)

Guosheng Xiao, Zhiqun Qiu, Junsheng Qi, Ji-an Chen, Fengdan Liu, Wenyi Liu, Jiaohua Luo, Weiqun Shu. Occurrence and potential health risk of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in the Three Gorges Reservoir, China. Water Research, Volume 47, Issue 7, 1 May 2013, Pages 2431–2445.

Microsoft Word - Figure.doc

The Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) is the biggest lake in the world and a major water source in China. There is no information about occurrence and impact of Cryptosporidium and Giardia on the aquatic ecosystem. 61 surface water samples from 23 monitoring sites and 5 treated effluent samples were collected and analyzed. Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts were found, respectively, in 86.4% and 65.2% of a total of 66 water samples, with high concentrations in treated effluent. The mean percent recovery was 29.14% for oocysts and 34.86% for cysts. A seasonal pattern was observed, with positive samples for Cryptosporidium more frequent in flood period and positive samples for Giardia more frequent in impounding period. Counts of enterococci, fecal coliforms and total coliforms, and turbidity were significantly associated with Cryptosporidium concentration in backwater (water in a main river which is backed up by the Three Gorges Dam) areas of tributaries but not Giardia. High associations were also found between oocyst and cyst in backwater areas of tributaries and cities. The risks of infection and illness due to water consumption in four different exposure routes were estimated. The results showed that swimming in the TGR has the highest infection risk with 1.39 × 10−3 per time (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.05–600.3 × 10−5) for Cryptosporidium and 2.08 × 10−4 per time (95% CI: 0.05–878.87 × 10−6) for Giardia, while directly drinking unboiled tap water treated with the conventional process has the highest morbidity with 524.98 per 100,000 population per year (95% CI: 10.35–2040.26) for Cryptosporidium and 5.89 per 100,000 population per year (95% CI: 0.08–22.67) for Giardia. This study provides new useful information for drinking water plants, health care workers and managers to improve the safety of tap water and deduce the risk of surface water contamination in China.

Click here for full paper (fee).