Daily Archives: November 5, 2014

Mycobacteria in the Water Environment

Jitka Makovcova, Michal Slany, Vladimir Babak, Iva Slana and Petr Kralik The water environment as a source of potentially pathogenic mycobacteria. Journal of Water and Health Vol 12 No 2 pp 254–263 doi:10.2166/wh.2013.102

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are ubiquitous organisms of a wide variety of environmental reservoirs, including natural and municipal water, soil, aerosols, protozoans, animals and humans. Several of these species are potential pathogens which affect human health. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of NTM in the water environment. Samples were taken from 13 water-related facilities including fish ponds, storage ponds, drinking water reservoirs and an experimental recirculation system. Altogether, 396 samples of water, sediment and aquatic plants were collected and analysed. All samples were examined using conventional culture methods. Suspected microbial isolates were subjected to polymerase chain reaction analysis and identified using partial sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA gene. The culture revealed 94/396 samples (23.7%) that contained mycobacteria. Among known NTM we identified potentially pathogenic mycobacteria isolated from the fresh water environment for the first time: Mycobacterium asiaticum, M. chimaera, M. interjectum, M. kumamotonense, M. lentiflavum, M. montefiorense, M. nebraskense, M. paraffinicum and M. simiae. Epidemiologic studies suggest that the natural water environment is the principal source of human exposure. Our results indicate that besides the well-known potentially pathogenic mycobacteria it is important to observe occurrence, proliferation and persistence of newly discovered mycobacterial species.

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Projecting Human Dynamics Due to “Climate Change” is Unrealistic, Fictional

Climate and changes in climate have always affected human populations. A projection into the future such as this has so many assumptions that it is simply a story, fictional. It is fine that such studies are conducted. But giving any weight to a fictional projection in decision-making is inappropriate, often leading in the wrong direction.

For example, in the introduction this author states:

“For thousands of years the world’s climate has been relatively stable, and the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Concentrations in the atmosphere have been relatively constant.”

The reference given to support this statement is the IPCC 2007 report Working Group I. Not only does the author  state with all seriousness that the IPCC knows what the future will be like, but they are certain of what the past wasl like as well. These kinds of dogmatic statements should be viewed with suspicion, not because the authors are insincere or a not intelligent (they are both sincere and intelligent), but because scientists and decision makers must learn to look their study assumptions in the eye and admit they know not the future nor the past with any degree of certainty.

Mustafa M. Aral. Climate Change and Human Population Dynamics. Water Quality, Exposure and Health. June 2014, Volume 6, Issue 1-2, pp 53-62.

Mathematical models are frequently used to predict population trends in biologic systems, ecologic applications, as well as for human populations. Most commonly these models are developed for static conditions for stable population trends that reflect the carrying capacity of the system under study. In this study we extend this concept to the analysis of dynamic carrying capacity of earth systems as these limits may change as a time-dependent function of the external stresses that are imposed on the system. It is anticipated that this would represent a typical case for environmental systems where the carrying capacity of the system is a function of future climatic conditions. This question was tackled in the literature qualitatively, indicating that sustainable population levels may collapse in view of adverse climatic conditions. In this study a model of this type is proposed and the stability conditions of world population are evaluated quantitatively for some scenarios. The outcome observed is that within the projected temperature increase ranges of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) studies (1–6C) the carrying capacity stability levels of world population will be mostly maintained albeit at much lower levels than present. However, for temperature increase scenarios close to and beyond ∼6C the world population may lose its stability characteristics, in which case drastic changes in population levels are expected. These quantitative observations indicate the urgency of imposing controls over increasing temperatures worldwide.

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Groundwater Quality in Punjab State of India

Brajesh K. Shrivastava. Elevated Uranium and Toxic Elements Concentration in Groundwater in Punjab State of India: Extent of the Problem and Risk Due to Consumption of Unsafe Drinking Water. Water Quality, Exposure and Health. September 2014.

The article provides the first ever Statewise information on uranium and other toxic elements (Pb, As, Cd, Al, Hg, Se, and Ni) present in excess quantity in groundwater in Punjab State of India. It undertakes detailed analysis of 252 ground water samples, out of total 1,686 samples, which were found exceeding guideline value for uranium in drinking water as specified by different regulating agencies like Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) India, United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and World Health Organization (WHO). The groundwater samples were collected from 14 districts for analysis of uranium following suspected high level of uranium in groundwater and possible co-relationship of uranium in drinking water with high incidences of cancer, kidney problem, birth defects, and other abnormalities in some areas in Punjab State of India. Basic information on cancer-related incidences is also given. Keeping in view that there could be multiple reasons of cancer-related incidences and other health hazards, data on pesticide consumption in the State were also collected, and test results of other toxic elements (Pb, As, Cd, Al, Hg, Se, and Ni) in 7,176 groundwater-based drinking water sources are also presented.The analysis reveals that groundwater at many villages, which is used for drinking purpose, is contaminated with uranium and other toxic metals, and consumption of drinking water contaminated with many toxic elements may be one of the reason of high incidences of cancer, kidney problem, birth defects, and other abnormalities in some areas in Punjab State of India.

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Drinking Water Quality and Health in South Western Nigeria

S. O. Dahunsi, H. I. Owamah, A. Ayandiran, S. U. Oranusi. Drinking Water Quality and Public Health of Selected Towns in South Western Nigeria. Water Quality, Exposure and Health, September 2014, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 143-153.

This study was aimed at establishing a water quality database in the study area where none existed previously. Groundwater samples from bore-holes, hand-pump, and hand-dug wells of four densely populated towns in South-Western Nigeria were analyzed in respect to physicochemical factors, biological factors, and the metals Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), and Iron (Fe) for six consecutive months from September 2012 to February 2013 to give mean values for each town and water source. Total aerobic plate, total coliform bacteria, and Escherichia coli (E. coli) were detected in most of the water samples from the different towns and sources considered. Except for total suspended solids and total solids, the physicochemical parameters of all the samples were within permissible limits. The concentrations Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cd were above the minimum permissible limits. The presence of coliforms and E. coli in the groundwater samples indicates fecal contamination. The microorganisms isolated in this study includeEnterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Citrobacter, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, and Micrococcus species. The analysis of variance of data obtained from this study shows that bore-hole water samples were safer for drinking that water samples from hand-pump, and hand dug wells across the communities.

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Upgrading Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Israel

 D. Laveea. Is the Upgrading of Wastewater Treatment Facilities to Meet More
Stringent Standards Economically Justified: The Case of Israel. Water Resources, 2014, Vol. 41, No. 5, pp. 564–573.

The global use of wastewater for irrigation in agriculture is increasing, as are the requirements for more stringent wastewater treatment standards, to prevent environmental and health risks. The aim of this paper is to display a costbenefit analysis of introducing more stringent standards for wastewater treatment in
Israel, and to examine whether upgrading the wastewater treatment facilities is economically justified. The findings indicate that the introduction of the stringent standards as well as upgrading the treatment facilities are economically justified.

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