Daily Archives: December 23, 2014

Assessing Cyber Security Using Advanced Simulation

Warwick Ashford. Experiencing a cyber attack. Computer Weekly; 10/7/2014, p21-23

The article focuses on industrial cyber security. A regional water purification plant in Great Britain faced a cyber attack, due to which thousands of people could not get drinking water, and the company’s losses were high. The Kaspersky Industrial Protection Simulation (KIPS) role-playing game is an application developed to provide experience to the challenges involved in providing advanced industrial cyber security.

The article is here.

Adsorption Processes for Defluoridation of Drinking Water

P Loganathan, S Vigneswaran, J Kandasamy, R Naidu. Defluoridation of drinking water using adsorption processes. Journal of Hazardous Materials. Mar2013, Vol. 248-249, p1-19.

Excessive intake of fluoride (F), mainly through drinking water, is a serious health hazard affecting humans worldwide. There are several methods used for the defluoridation of drinking water, of which adsorption processes are generally considered attractive because of their effectiveness, convenience, ease of operation, simplicity of design, and for economic and environmental reasons. In this paper, we present a comprehensive and a critical literature review on various adsorbents used for defluoridation, their relative effectiveness, mechanisms and thermodynamics of adsorption, and suggestions are made on choice of adsorbents for various circumstances. Effects of pH, temperature, kinetics and co-existing anions on F adsorption are also reviewed. Because the adsorption is very weak in extremely low or high pHs, depending on the adsorbent, acids or alkalis are used to desorb F and regenerate the adsorbents. However, adsorption capacity generally decreases with repeated use of the regenerated adsorbent. Future research needs to explore highly efficient, low cost adsorbents that can be easily regenerated for reuse over several cycles of operations without significant loss of adsorptive capacity and which have good hydraulic conductivity to prevent filter clogging during the fixed-bed treatment process.

Click here for paper (fee).

Fluoride in Drinking Water may Produce Developmental Neurotoxicity

Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, Bellinger D, Wang K, Yang XJ, Li JS, Zheng Q, Fu Y, Grandjean P.  Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 2014 Nov 8. pii: S0892-0362(14)00180-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2014.11.001.

BACKGROUND: A systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on developmental fluoride neurotoxicity support the hypothesis that exposure to elevated concentrations of fluoride in water is neurotoxic during development.

METHODS: We carried out a pilot study of 51 first-grade children in southern Sichuan, China, using the fluoride concentration in morning urine after an exposure-free night; fluoride in well-water source; and dental fluorosis status as indices of past fluoride exposure. We administered a battery of age-appropriate, relatively culture-independent tests that reflect different functional domains: the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) digit span and block design; finger tapping and grooved pegboard. Confounder-adjusted associations between exposure indicators and test scores were assessed using multiple regression models.

RESULTS: Dental fluorosis score was the exposure indicator that had the strongest association with the outcome deficits, and the WISC-R digit span subtest appeared to be the most sensitive outcome, where moderate and severe fluorosis was associated with a digit span total score difference of -4.28 (95% CI -8.22, -0.33) and backward score with -2.13 (95% CI -4.24, -0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study in a community with stable lifetime fluoride exposures supports the notion that fluoride in drinking water may produce developmental neurotoxicity, and that the dose-dependence underlying this relationship needs to be characterized in detail.

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