Daily Archives: July 26, 2015

20-Ft Sea Level Rise for New York? (Amended)

Claims of a 20-ft sea level rise for New York City look more like nonsense than scientific. Click here for more.

The mean sea level trend is 2.84 mm/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.09 mm/year based on monthly mean sea level data from 1856 to 2014 which is equivalent to a change of 0.93 feet in 100 years.

The Battery New York

[I am amending this post to clarify that it is entirely possible for the land occupied by New York City to be covered with 20 ft of ocean. But such a phenomena would require a global-scale water event (aka flood). Indeed, there is convincing evidence that a global-scale flood has occurred in the past. Arguing for the possibility of New York City (or any other city) being covered by 20 ft of water assumes that such a global-scale event is possible. I would agree.

What is nonsense is the underlying assumption of such claims that anthropogenic CO2 or any other human factor is going to cause or result in a global-scale flooding of New York and that an EPA greenhouse gas regulation would have stopped or slowed it down if it did occur. This, indeed, is ridiculous.

There are much greater forces at work that could bring about a global-scale event occurred resulting catastrophic sea level rise.]

Regulation of Plant Protection Product Metabolites; EU

Laabs V, Leake C, Botham P, Melching-Kollmuss S. Regulation of non-relevant metabolites of plant protection products in drinking and groundwater in the EU: Current status and way forward. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology 2015 Jul 17. pii: S0273-2300(15)30003-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.06.023.

Non-relevant metabolites are defined in the EU regulation for plant protection product authorization and a detailed definition of non-relevant metabolites is given in an EU Commission DG Sanco (now DG SANTE – Health and Food Safety) guidance document. However, in water legislation at EU and member state level non-relevant metabolites of pesticides are either not specifically regulated or diverse threshold values are applied. Based on their inherent properties, non-relevant metabolites should be regulated based on substance-specific and toxicity-based limit values in drinking and groundwater like other anthropogenic chemicals. Yet, if a general limit value for non-relevant metabolites in drinking and groundwater is favored, an application of a Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) concept for Cramer class III compounds leads to a threshold value of 4.5 μg L-1. This general value is exemplarily shown to be protective for non-relevant metabolites, based on individual drinking water limit values derived for a set of 56 non-relevant metabolites. A consistent definition of non-relevant metabolites of plant protection products, as well as their uniform regulation in drinking and groundwater in the EU, is important to achieve legal clarity for all stakeholders and to establish planning security for development of plant protection products for the European market.

“Improved” Water Supplies are not Necessarily Safe

Heitzinger K, Rocha CA, Quick RE, Montano SM, Tilley DH Jr, Mock CN, Carrasco AJ, Cabrera RM, Hawes SE. “Improved” But Not Necessarily Safe: An Assessment of Fecal Contamination of Household Drinking Water in Rural Peru. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2015 Jul 20. pii: 14-0802.

The indicator used to measure progress toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for water is access to an improved water supply. However, improved supplies are frequently fecally contaminated in developing countries. We examined factors associated with Escherichia coli contamination of improved water supplies in rural Pisco province, Peru. A random sample of 207 households with at least one child less than 5 years old was surveyed, and water samples from the source and storage container were tested for E. coli contamination. Although over 90% of households used an improved water source, 47% of source and 43% of stored water samples were contaminated with E. coli. Pouring or using a spigot to obtain water from the storage container instead of dipping a hand or object was associated with decreased risk of contamination of stored water (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 0.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.42, 0.80). Container cleanliness (aPR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45, 1.00) and correct handwashing technique (aPR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.42, 0.90) were also associated with decreased contamination risk. These findings highlighted the limitations of improved water supplies as an indicator of safe water access. To ensure water safety in the home, household water treatment and improved hygiene, water handling, and storage practices should be promoted.