Daily Archives: June 6, 2015

Obamacare Raising Insurance Premiums up to 51%

“Major insurers in some states are proposing up to 51 percent premium increases for health plans sold under the Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Despite single digit increases for 2015, insurance companies are seeing their costs jump and are demanding to be compensated with dramatically higher rates.” Click here for Brietbart article

Click here for the full Obamacare legacy.

100% Association of Water-Related Waterborne Infections with precipitation and temperature

Precipitation (high or low) and temperature (high or low) will always be a factor in waterborne infections in some way. Studies such as this are based on flawed premises. Each article uses an ambiguous definition of “climate change” and questionable metrics. Let’s just say precipitation and temperature are factors in 100% of the cases. What new insights are provided? None really.

Guzman Herrador BR, de Blasio BF, MacDonald E, Nichols G, Sudre B, Vold L, Semenza JC, Nygård K. Analytical studies assessing the association between extreme precipitation or temperature and drinking water-related waterborne infections: a review. Environmental Health 2015 Mar 27;14(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s12940-015-0014-y.

Determining the role of weather in waterborne infections is a priority public health research issue as climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of extreme precipitation and temperature events. To document the current knowledge on this topic, we performed a literature review of analytical research studies that have combined epidemiological and meteorological data in order to analyze associations between extreme precipitation or temperature and waterborne disease. A search of the databases Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, SCOPUS and Web of Science was conducted, using search terms related to waterborne infections and precipitation or temperature. Results were limited to studies published in English between January 2001 and December 2013. Twenty-four articles were included in this review, predominantly from Asia and North-America. Four articles used waterborne outbreaks as study units, while the remaining articles used number of cases of waterborne infections. Results presented in the different articles were heterogeneous. Although most of the studies identified a positive association between increased precipitation or temperature and infection, there were several in which this association was not evidenced. A number of articles also identified an association between decreased precipitation and infections. This highlights the complex relationship between precipitation or temperature driven transmission and waterborne disease. We encourage researchers to conduct studies examining potential effect modifiers, such as the specific type of microorganism, geographical region, season, type of water supply, water source or water treatment, in order to assess how they modulate the relationship between heavy rain events or temperature and waterborne disease. Addressing these gaps is of primary importance in order to identify the areas where action is needed to minimize negative impact of climate change on health in the future.

Effects of Fluoride on Alum Coagulation

Liu R, Liu B, Zhu L, He Z, Ju J, Lan H, Liu H. Effects of fluoride on the removal of cadmium and phosphate by aluminum coagulation. J Environ Sci (China). 2015 Jun 1;32:118-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2014.10.024. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

This study focuses on the effects of pH and fluoride at different molar ratios of fluoride to Al (RF:Al) on the removal of cadmium (Cd(2+)) and phosphate by Al coagulation. Fluoride at RF:Al≥3:1 inhibits the removal of Cd over wide Al dose ranges from 5 to 10mg/L as Al. The removal of phosphate decreases significantly at high RF:Al of 10:1 whereas at lowered RF:Al (i.e., ≤6:1), an adverse effect is observed only at insufficient Al doses below 2mg/L. Fluoride shows inhibitive effects towards the removal of Cd at pH7 and 8 and that of phosphate at pH6. Fluoride decreases the ζ-potential in both systems, and the decreasing extent is positively correlated to the elevated RF:Al. The Al fluoride interactions include the formation of Al-F complexes and the adsorption of fluoride onto Al(OH)3 precipitates, i.e., the formation of Al(OH)nFm. Al-F complex formation inhibits Al hydrolysis and increases residual Al levels, and a more significant increase was observed at lower pH. Al-F complexes at high RF:Al complicate the coagulation behavior of Al towards both negative and positive ionic species. Moreover, fluoride at low RF:Al shows little effect on Al coagulation behavior towards Cd(2+) and phosphate, and the spent defluoridation adsorbent, i.e., aluminum (Al) hydro(oxide) with adsorbed fluoride at RF:Al of below 0.1:1, may be reclaimed as a coagulant after being dissolved.

Improving Microbial Quality of Drinking Water Sources

Grady CA, Kipkorir EC, Nguyen K, Blatchley ER 3rd. Microbial quality of improved drinking water sources: evidence from western Kenya and southern Vietnam. Journal of Water and Health. 2015 Jun;13(2):607-612.

In recent decades, more than 2 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water sources thanks to extensive effort from governments, and public and private sector entities. Despite this progress, many water sector development interventions do not provide access to safe water or fail to be sustained for long-term use. The authors examined drinking water quality of previously implemented water improvement projects in three communities in western Kenya and three communities in southern Vietnam. The cross-sectional study of 219 households included measurements of viable Escherichia coli. High rates of E. coli prevalence in these improved water sources were found in many of the samples. These findings suggest that measures above and beyond the traditional ‘improved source’ definition may be necessary to ensure truly safe water throughout these regions.