Daily Archives: March 17, 2015

VOCs in Consumer Products: Time to Abandon Using the Word “Green” as an Adjective

This study has received  much press coverage recently. It confirms my believe that “green” is just marketing term. Time to abandon using the word “green” as an adjective. Eschew obfuscation.

Anne Steinemann. Volatile emissions from common consumer products. Air Qual Atmos Health DOI 10.1007/s11869-015-0327-6

Consumer products emit a range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can affect air quality and health. Risk reduction is hindered because of lack of information about specific product emissions. This study investigates and compares VOCs emitted from 37 common products (air fresheners, laundry products, cleaners, and personal care products), including those with certifications and claims of green and organic. It extends a prior study of 25 consumer products by adding 12 more products, including fragrance-free versions of fragranced products, representing the first such comparison in the scientific literature. This study found 156 different VOCs emitted from the 37 products, with an average of 15 VOCs per product. Of these 156 VOCs, 42 VOCs are classified as toxic or hazardous under US federal laws, and each product emitted at least one of these chemicals. Emissions of carcinogenic hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from green fragranced products were not significantly different from regular fragranced products. The most common chemicals in fragranced products were terpenes, which were not in fragrance-free versions. Of the volatile ingredients emitted, fewer than 3 % were disclosed on any product label or material safety data sheet (MSDS). Because health effects depend on many factors, not only individual ingredients, this study makes no claims regarding possible risks. However, knowledge of product composition can be an important step to understand, assess, and reduce potential exposures and effects.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).


Mrs. Hillary Clinton Deleted Files to Avoid FOIA

Perhaps having a personal server is technically allowed because it is not prohibited. But it represents the underlying attitude of Washington DC politics (and the Obama Administration) to “do whatever it wants until someone stops them”. 

However, deletion emails and files to avoid FOIA is a different matter. As a federal employee (and so called public servant) Mrs. Clinton is accountable to the public. FOIA is only means of public accountability. It’s the act of deleting files to avoid public accountability (congressional or otherwise) that is the crux of the problem no matter how trivial Mrs. Clinton believes those files are.  

“Technically, is she correct when she says I’m allowed? Yes, she wasn’t prohibited from doing it,” noted Blanton. “But every piece of language from the Foreign Affairs Manual, to the Code of Federal Regulations, to the [Federal Records] statute itself, says you shouldn’t,” Blanton continued. “It’s discouraged.” here for more

Oxypurinol as a Wastewater Contamination Marker

Funke J, Prasse C, Lütke Eversloh C, Ternes TA. Oxypurinol – A novel marker for wastewater contamination of the aquatic environment. Water Research 2015 Feb 18;74C:257-265. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.02.007. 

The anti-gout agent allopurinol is one of the most prescribed pharmaceuticals in Germany and is widely metabolized into oxypurinol (80%) as well as the corresponding riboside conjugates (10%) within the human body. To investigate the occurrence of allopurinol and oxypurinol in the urban water cycle an analytical method was developed based on solid phase extraction (SPE) and subsequent liquid chromatography electrospray-ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In raw wastewater concentration levels of oxypurinol ranged up to 26.6 μg L-1, whereas allopurinol was not detected at all. In wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, concentrations of allopurinol were <LOQ, whereas oxypurinol concentrations ranged from 2.3 μg L-1 to 21.7 μg L-1. Elevated concentrations of oxypurinol in biologically treated wastewater originate from the transformation of allopurinol as well as the cleavage of allopurinol-9-riboside, which was confirmed by laboratory experiments with activated sludge taken from a municipal WWTP. Further tracking of oxypurinol in the urban water cycle revealed its presence in rivers and streams (up to 22.6 μg L-1), groundwater (up to 0.38 μg L-1) as well as in finished drinking water (up to 0.30 μg L-1). Due to the high biological stability and the almost ubiquitous presence in the urban water cycle at elevated concentrations, oxypurinol might be used as marker for domestic wastewater in the environment. This was confirmed by correlation analysis to other wastewater markers with strong correlations of the concentrations of oxypurinol and carbamazepine (r2 = 0.89) as well as of oxypurinol and primidone (r2 = 0.82).

Paper is here (fee).