Daily Archives: October 2, 2014

Prenatal Drinking-Water Exposure to Tetrachloroethylene

Carwile JL, Mahalingaiah S, Winter MR, Aschengrau A. Prenatal drinking-water exposure to tetrachloroethylene and ischemic placental disease: a retrospective cohort study. Environ Health. 2014 Sep 30;13:72. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-72.

BACKGROUND: Prenatal drinking water exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) has been previously related to intrauterine growth restriction and stillbirth. Pathophysiologic and epidemiologic evidence linking these outcomes to certain other pregnancy complications, including placental abruption, preeclampsia, and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) (i.e., ischemic placental diseases), suggests that PCE exposure may also be associated with these events. We examined whether prenatal exposure to PCE-contaminated drinking water was associated with overall or individual ischemic placental diseases.

METHODS: Using a retrospective cohort design, we compared 1,091 PCE-exposed and 1,019 unexposed pregnancies from 1,766 Cape Cod, Massachusetts women. Exposure between 1969 and 1990 was estimated using water distribution system modeling software. Data on birth weight and gestational age were obtained from birth certificates; mothers self-reported pregnancy complications.

RESULTS: Of 2,110 eligible pregnancies, 9% (N = 196) were complicated by ≥1 ischemic placental disease. PCE exposure was not associated with overall ischemic placental disease (for PCE ≥ sample median vs. no exposure, risk ratio (RR): 0.90; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.65, 1.24), preeclampsia (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.12-1.07), or SGA (RR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.66-1.45). However, pregnancies with PCE exposure ≥ the sample median had 2.38-times the risk of stillbirth ≥27 weeks gestation (95% CI: 1.01, 5.59), and 1.35-times of the risk of placental abruption (95% CI: 0.68, 2.67) relative to unexposed pregnancies.

CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal PCE exposure was not associated with overall ischemic placental disease, but may increase risk of stillbirth.

California Must Face Reality on Water Shortages

When there is no water, you don’t have it. And life cannot continue as usual. I’ve driven by many a ghost town where there is no water and no residents. As sad as these situations are, relocation may be the only option.

“Now in its third year, the state’s record-breaking drought is being felt in many ways: vanishing lakes and rivers, lost agricultural jobs, fallowed farmland, rising water bills, suburban yards gone brown. But nowhere is the situation as dire as in East Porterville, a small rural community in Tulare County where life’s daily routines have been completely upended by the drying of wells and, in turn, the disappearance of tap water.” click here

Effects of UV radiation on humic acid coagulation

Wendong Wang, Wen Wang, Qinghai Fan, Yabo Wang, Zixia Qiao, Xiaochang Wang. Effects of UV radiation on humic acid coagulation characteristics in drinking water treatment processes. Chemical Engineering Journal. Nov2014, Vol. 256, p137-143.

Humic acid (HA) commonly exists in natural waters and drinking water treatment processes. The effects of UV light radiation on the coagulation of HA were investigated in this paper. It was determined that UV light radiation could effectively improve the removal of HA at pH above 6.0. The concentration of residual HA in the coagulated water was in the range of 1.5-3.0 mg/L, which was significantly lower compared to that without pretreatment. However, in waters tested with pH below 5.5, the UV light radiation showed an adverse effect on HA removal using coagulation, which might be connected to its high oxidation function under acidic conditions. The zeta potential of the HA solution with UV light radiation was approximately 10 mv higher compared to that without pretreatment at pH above 6.0; while its apparent diameters and heights increased from less than 130 nm and 0.5-3.5 nm to 100-240 nm and 1.0-4.5 nm respectively, after 2.0 h of UV light radiation as the aggregation of HA. The compressed double electric layer caused by the formation of positive charged sites after UV light radiation was considered to be the primary factor that led to the enhanced removal of HA in the following coagulation process.

Security, Terrorism, Immigration inextricably linked

” “What we need to do is make sure everyone coming into the United States understands who we are and that we are founded on Judeo-Christian values, that there is one rule of law and that’s what’s on the books and it’s not Sharia and we need to make sure we don’t engage in the same kind of mistakes in Europe where they did not engage in assimilation,” former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview with Breitbart News on Monday.”

Click here for full article.

Radioactive Contamination at Former Uranium Mining Sites (Kyrgyzstan)

Corcho Alvarado, J.A., Balsiger, B., Röllin, S., Jakob, A., Burger, M. Radioactive and chemical contamination of the water resources in the former uranium mining and milling sites of Mailuu Suu (Kyrgyzstan).  Journal of Environmental Radioactivity December 2014 138:1-10

An assessment of the radioactive and chemical contamination of the water resources at the former uranium mines and processing sites of Mailuu-Suu, in Kyrgyzstan, was carried out. A large number of water samples were collected from the drinking water distribution system (DWDS), rivers, shallow aquifers and drainage water from the mine tailings. Radionuclides and trace metal contents in water from the DWDS were low in general, but were extremely high for Fe, Al and Mn. These elements were associated with the particle fractions in the water and strongly correlated with high turbidity levels. Overall, these results suggest that water from the DWDS does not represent a serious radiological hazard to the Mailuu Suu population. However, due to the high turbidities and contents of some elements, this water is not good quality drinking water. Water from artesian and dug wells were characterized by elevated levels of U (up to 10 μg/L) and some trace elements (e.g. As, Se, Cr, V and F) and anions (e.g. Cl, NO3, SO42−). In two artesian wells, the WHO guideline value of 10 μg/L for As in water was exceeded. As the artesian wells are used as a source of drinking water by a large number of households, special care should be taken in order to stay within the WHO recommended guidelines. Drainage water from the mine tailings was as expected highly contaminated with many chemicals (e.g. As) and radioactive contaminants (e.g. U). The concentrations of U were more than 200 times the WHO guideline value of 30 μg/L for U in drinking water. A large variation in 234U/238U isotopic ratios in water was observed, with values near equilibrium at the mine tailings and far from equilibrium outside this area (reaching ratios of 2.3 in the artesian well). This result highlights the potential use of this ratio as an indicator of the origin of U contamination in Mailuu Suu.

Bacterial community in GAC biofilm

Wu T, Fu GY, Sabula M, Brown T. Bacterial community in the biofilm of granular activated carbon (GAC) PreBiofilter in bench-scale pilot plants for surface water pretreatment. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Sep 30.

Biofilters of granular activated carbon (GAC) are responsible for the removal of organic matters in drinking water treatments. PreBiofilters, which operate as the first unit in a surface water treatment train, are a cost-effective pretreatment for conventional surface water treatment and provide more consistent downstream water quality. This study investigated bacterial communities from the samples of raw surface water, biofilm on the PreBiofilter, and filtrates for surface water pretreatment. A bench-scale pilot plant of PreBiofilter was constructed to pretreat surface water from the Canoochee River, GA, USA. PreBiofilter exhibited a significant reduction of total organic carbon and dissolved organic carbon. The evenness and Shannon diversity of bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were significantly higher on the biofilm of PreBiofilter than in raw water and filtrates. Similar bacteria communities were observed in the raw water and filtrates using relative abundance of bacterial OTUs. However, the bacterial communities in the filtrates became relatively similar to those in the biofilm using presence/absence of bacterial OTUs. GAC biofilm or raw water and filtrates greatly contributed to the abundance of bacteria; whereas, bacteria sheared from colonized biofilm and entered filtrates. Evenly distributed, diverse and unique bacteria in the biofilm played an important role to remove organic matters from surface water for conventional surface water pretreatment.

Click here for full paper (fee).


Drinking Water Quality Perception in a Mexico University

Another study on the question of which is better: bottled water or tap water. People will do what they want to do and vote with their wallets. Trying to convince them otherwise (that bottled water is bad) is unnecessary and usually futile.

Espinosa-García AC, Díaz-Ávalos C, González-Villarreal FJ, Val-Segura R, Malvaez-Orozco V, Mazari-Hiriart M. Drinking Water Quality in a Mexico City University Community: Perception and Preferences. Ecohealth. 2014 Sep 30.

A transversal study was conducted at the University City campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City, with the goal of estimating the university community preference for drinking either tap water or bottled water and the reasons for their selection. A representative sample of three university community subpopulations (students, workers/administrative staff, and academic personnel) were interviewed with respect to their water consumption habits. The results showed that 75% of the university community drinks only bottled water and that the consumption of tap water is low. The interviewees responded that the main reason for this preference is the organoleptic features of tap water independent of quality. In general, the participants in this study do not trust the quality of the tap water, which could be caused by the facilities that distribute bottled water encouraging a general disinterest in learning about the origin and management of the tap water that is distributed on campus.

Click here for full paper (fee).