Tag Archives: England

Bias in historical England and Wales precipitation data

Conor Murphy, Robert L. Wilby, Tom, K.R. Matthews, Peter Thorne, Ciaran Broderick, Rowan Fealy, Julia Hall, Shaun Harrigan, Phil Jones, Gerard McCarthy, Neil Macdonald. Multi‐century trends to wetter winters and drier summers in the England and Wales precipitation series explained by observational and sampling bias in early records. International Journal of Climatology, https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6208

Globally, few precipitation records extend to the 18th Century. The England Wales Precipitation (EWP) series is a notable exception with continuous monthly records from 1766. EWP has found widespread use across diverse fields of research including trend detection, evaluation of climate model simulations, as a proxy for mid‐latitude atmospheric circulation, a predictor in long‐term European gridded precipitation datasets, the assessment of drought and extremes, tree‐ring reconstructions and as a benchmark for other regional series. A key finding from EWP has been the multi‐centennial trends towards wetter winters and drier summers. We statistically reconstruct seasonal EWP using independent, quality‐assured temperature, pressure and circulation indices. Using a sleet and snow series for the UK derived by Profs. Gordon Manley and Elizabeth Shaw to examine winter reconstructions, we show that precipitation totals for pre‐1870 winters are likely biased low due to gauge under‐catch of snowfall and a higher incidence of snowfall during this period. When these factors are accounted for in our reconstructions, the observed trend to wetter winters in EWP is no longer evident. For summer, we find that pre‐1820 precipitation totals are too high, likely due to decreasing network density and less certain data at key stations. A significant trend to drier summers is not robustly present in our reconstructions of the EWP series. While our findings are more certain for winter than summer, we highlight i) that extreme caution should be exercised when using EWP to make inferences about multi‐centennial trends, and; ii) that assessments of 18th and 19th Century winter precipitation should be aware of potential snow biases in early records. Our findings underline the importance of continual re‐appraisal of established long‐term climate datasets as new evidence becomes available. It is also likely that the identified biases in winter EWP have distorted many other long‐term European precipitation series.

Lead intake from tap water of homes with lead plumbing, England

Jarvis P, Quy K, Macadam J, Edwards M, Smith M. Intake of lead (Pb) from tap water of homes with leaded and low lead plumbing systems. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Dec 10;644:1346-1356. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.064.

Methods of quantifying consumer exposure to lead in drinking water are increasingly of interest worldwide, especially those that account for consumer drinking habits and the semi-random nature of water lead release from plumbing systems. A duplicate intake protocol was developed in which individuals took a sub-sample from each measured drink they consumed in the home over three days in both winter and summer. The protocol was applied in two different water company regional areas (WC1 and WC2), selected to represent high risk situations in England, with the presence or absence of lead service pipes or phosphate corrosion control. Consumer exposure to lead was highest in properties with lead service pipes, served by water without P dosing. The protocol indicated that a small number of individuals in the study, all from homes with lead service pipes, consumed lead at levels that exceeded current guidance from the European Food Standards Agency. Children’s potential blood lead levels (BLLs) were estimated using the Internal Exposure Uptake Biokinetic model (IEUBK). The IEUBK model predicted that up to 46% of children aged 0-7 years old may have elevated BLLs (>5 μg/dL) when consuming the worst case drinking water quality (>99%ile). Estimating blood lead levels using the IEUBK model for more typical lead concentrations in drinking water identified in this study (between 0.1 and 7.1 μg/L), predicts that elevated BLLs may affect a small proportion of children between 0 and 7 years old.

Organic Contaminants in Chalk Groundwater, England and France

Lapworth DJ, Baran N, Stuart ME, Manamsa K, Talbot J. Persistent and emerging micro-organic contaminants in Chalk groundwater of England and France. Environmental pollution. 2015 Apr 13. pii: S0269-7491(15)00106-2. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.02.030.

The Chalk aquifer of Northern Europe is an internationally important source of drinking water and sustains baseflow for surface water ecosystems. The areal distribution of microorganic (MO) contaminants, particularly non-regulated emerging MOs, in this aquifer is poorly understood. This study presents results from a reconnaissance survey of MOs in Chalk groundwater, including pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides and their transformation products, conducted across the major Chalk aquifers of England and France. Data from a total of 345 sites collected during 2011 were included in this study to provide a representative baseline assessment of MO occurrence in groundwater. A suite of 42 MOs were analysed for at each site including industrial compounds (n=16), pesticides (n=14) and pharmaceuticals, personal care and lifestyle products (n=12). Occurrence data is evaluated in relation to land use, aquifer exposure, well depth and depth to groundwater to provide an understanding of vulnerable groundwater settings.

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Molybdenum Concentrations Low in England and Wales

Smedley PL. Molybdenum distributions and variability in drinking water from England and Wales.Environmental Monitoring And Assessment 2014 Oct; Vol. 186 (10), pp. 6403-16

An investigation has been carried out of molybdenum in drinking water from a selection of public supply sources and domestic taps across England and Wales. This was to assess concentrations in relation to the World Health Organization (WHO) health-based value for Mo in drinking water of 70 μg/l and the decision to remove the element from the list of formal guideline values. Samples of treated drinking water from 12 water supply works were monitored up to four times over an 18-month period, and 24 domestic taps were sampled from three of their supply areas. Significant (p < 0.05) differences were apparent in Mo concentration between sources. Highest concentrations were derived from groundwater from a sulphide-mineralised catchment, although concentrations were only 1.5 μg/l. Temporal variability within sites was small, and no seasonal effects (p > 0.05) were detected. Tap water samples collected from three towns (North Wales, the English Midlands, and South East England) supplied uniquely by upland reservoir water, river water, and Chalk groundwater, respectively, also showed a remarkable uniformity in Mo concentrations at each location. Within each, the variability was very small between houses (old and new), between pre-flush and post-flush samples, and between the tap water and respective source water samples. The results indicate that water distribution pipework has a negligible effect on supplied tap water Mo concentrations. The findings contrast with those for Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, and Cd, which showed significant differences (p < 0.05) in concentrations between pre-flush and post-flush tap water samples. In two pre-flush samples, concentrations of Ni or Pb were above drinking water limits, although in all cases, post-flush waters were compliant. The high concentrations, most likely derived from metal pipework in the domestic distribution system, accumulated during overnight stagnation. The concentrations of Mo observed in British drinking water, in all cases less than 2 μg/l, were more than an order of magnitude below the WHO health-based value and suggest that Mo is unlikely to pose a significant health or water supply problem in England and Wales.

Infants can receive too much fluoride if drinking water is fluoridated

Zohoori FV, Whaley G, Moynihan PJ, Maguire A. Fluoride intake of infants living in non-fluoridated and fluoridated areas. Br Dent J. 2014 Jan 23;216(2):E3. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2014.35.

Objectives: Data on fluoride exposure of infants are sparse. This study aimed to estimate total daily fluoride intake (TDFI) of infants aged 1-12 months, living in non-fluoridated and fluoridated areas in north-east England.

Methods: Daily dietary fluoride intake was assessed using a three-day food diary coupled with analysis of fluoride content of food/drink consumed, using a F-ISE and diffusion method. A questionnaire with an interview was used to collect information on toothbrushing habits. TDFI was estimated from diet, plus fluoride supplements and dentifrice ingestion where used.

Results: Thirty-eight infants completed the study; 19 receiving fluoridated water (mean 0.97 mgF/l) and 19 receiving non-fluoridated water (mean 0.19 mgF/l). Mean (SD) TDFI for the infants living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas was 0.107 (0.054) and 0.024 (0.015) mg/kg body weight per day, respectively. Diet was the only fluoride source for 87% of infants and none used fluoride supplements. For infants for whom mouth/teeth cleaning was undertaken, dentifrice contribution to TDFI ranged from 24 to 78%.

Conclusions: Infants living in fluoridated areas, in general, may receive a fluorideintake, from diet only, of more than the suggested optimal range for TDFI. This emphasises the importance of estimating TDFI at an individual level when recommendations for fluoride use are being considered.

Denied water, patient neglected dies in south London hospital

“Kane Gorny became increasingly agitated after he was deprived of the vital   hydrocortisone medication he needed to retain his fluids, an inquest heard.”

“The coroner Shirley Radcliffe delivered a damning assessment of the care he   received at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, blaming medical   and nursing staff for letting him down.”

“The errors included not monitoring Mr Gorny’s fluid after his operation or a   failure to administer essential medication and a lack of understanding by   doctors of his medical condition, she said.”

“The 22-year-old Waitrose worker from Balham, south London, suffered from   diabetes insipidus but many of the staff caring for him were unaware of   this.”

“He had undergone radiotherapy after being diagnosed with a brain tumour   and was given steroids that weakened his bones. This left him needing a hip   replacement operation in 2009 and he received surgery on May 26, but after   the operation hospital staff failed to give him the medication he needed,   Westminster coroner’s court heard.”

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