Daily Archives: January 8, 2016

Mr. Obama Must Match Words with Deeds to Stop Christian Persecution

Mr. Obama’s 2015 Christmas statement (here) acknowledged that Christians and other religious minorities are being persecuted because of their faith.

But words alone cannot prevent the ongoing jihad against Christians, Yazidis, Shabaks, Mandaeans, and other Middle Eastern minorities who have been raped, tortured, enslaved, and murdered by ISIS and other jihadists.

The U.S. government must match words with deeds.

Hollow-Fiber Nanofiltration for Improved Organics Removal

Köhler SJ, Lavonen E, Keucken A, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Spanjer T, Persson K. Upgrading coagulation with hollow-fibre nanofiltration for improved organic matter removal during surface water treatment. Water Research 2015 Nov 27;89:232-240. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.11.048.

Rising organic matter concentrations in surface waters in many Nordic countries require current drinking water treatment processes to be adapted. Accordingly, the use of a novel nanofiltration (NF) membrane was studied during a nine month period in pilot scale at a large drinking water treatment plant in Stockholm, Sweden. A chemically resistant hollow-fibre NF membrane was fed with full scale process water from a rapid sand filter after aluminum sulfate coagulation. The combined coagulation and NF process removed more than 90% of the incoming lake water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (8.7 mg C L-1), and 96% of the absorbance at 254 nm (A254) (0.28 cm-1 incoming absorbance). Including granulated active carbon GAC) filter, the complete pilot plant treatment process we observed decreases in DOC concentration (8.7-0.5 mg C L-1), SUVA (3.1-1.7 mg-1 L m-1), and the average nominal molecular mass (670-440 Da). Meanwhile, water hardness was practically unaffected (<20% reduction). Humic substances (HS) and biopolymers were almost completely eliminated (6510-140 and 260 to 10 μg C L-1 respectively) and low molecular weight (LMW) neutrals decreased substantially (880-190 μg C L-1). Differential excitation emission matrices (EEMs), which illustrate the removal of fluorescing organic matter (FDOM) over a range of excitation and emission wavelengths, demonstrate that coagulation removed 35 ± 2% of protein-like material and 65 ± 2% of longer emission wavelength, humic-like FDOM. The subsequent NF treatment was somewhat less selective but still preferentially targeted humic-like FDOM (83 ± 1%) to a larger extent than protein-like material (66 ± 3%). The high selectivity of organic matter during coagulation compared to NF separation was confirmed from analyses with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS), and liquid chromatography with organic carbon detection (LC-OCD), as coagulation exclusively targeted oxidized organic matter components while NF removed both chemically reduced and oxidized components. DOC removal and change in DOC character in the GAC filters showed marked differences with slower saturation and more pronounced shifts in DOC character using NF as pre-treatment. Fluorescence derived parameters showed a similar decrease over time of GAC performance for the first 150 days but also indicated ongoing change of DOM character in the post NF GAC filtrate over time even after LC-OCD indicated steady state with respect to outgoing carbon. During our trial iron concentrations were low (<30 ppb) and thus A254 could be directly related to the concentration of HS (R2 = 0.9). The fluorescence derived freshness index (β:α) proved to be an excellent variable for estimating the fraction of HS present in all samples. Given the recommended limit of 4 mg L−1 for chemical oxygen demand (COD) for Swedish drinking water, coagulation will need to be supplemented with one or more treatment steps irrespective whether climate change will lead to drier or wetter conditions in order to maintain sufficient DOC removal with the current increasing concentrations in raw waters.

Presidential Executive Action Should Not be Used to Impose Gun Restrictions

“A CNN/ORC poll embargoed for release until the start of Obama’s gun control town hall shows that a majority of Americans oppose the use of executive actions for gun control.” click here

Arsenic Intake for Diet in Korean Adults

Seo MN, Lee SG, Eom SY, Kim J, Oh SY, Kwon HJ, Kim H, Choi BS, Yu IJ, Park JD. Estimation of Total and Inorganic Arsenic Intake from the Diet in Korean Adults. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2015 Dec 26.

Arsenic (As) is a major environmental pollutant and a known human carcinogen that is widely distributed in the air, soil, and water. General population is mainly exposed to As through drinking water and food from the contaminated water and soil. Arsenic in drinking water is generally well controlled now. This study was performed to estimate total and inorganic As intake and to determine the major contributing source in the Korean adult diet. The study subjects were 2117 healthy adults (922 males and 1195 females) who had not been occupationally exposed to As. Total dietary intake was studied using the 24-h recall method, which included 138 specific food items. The estimates of total As and inorganic As intake were based on total and inorganic As contents in each food item consumed during the last 24 h. Daily dietary intake was estimated to be 1373.6 g. Total As intake was estimated to be 145.4 µg As/day. Total dietary As intake was correlated with consumption of fish/shellfish, seaweeds, and grains. Approximately 87 % of total dietary As intake was attributed to seafood, such as 105.5 µg As/day from fish/shellfish and 20.5 µg As/day from seaweeds. Inorganic As intake was estimated to be 10.4 µg As per day. Inorganic As intake was mainly provided by grains (6.4 µg As/day), followed by seaweeds and fish/shellfish. Our results indicate that seafood and grains are the main As dietary sources in Korean adults and that dietary As exposure may be associated with individual dietary habits and environmental As contamination among countries.