Tag Archives: Ohio

Ohio Arsenic Study Exposure Assessment Inadequate, Inconclusive

Alarming as this study may appear, it is simply another in a long line of weak ecologic studies examining birth outcomes and drinking water that rely on an inadequate exposure assessment. The exposure was not directly measured and is unknown. In studies such as this statistical manipulations simply cannot reliably compensate for an inadequate assessment of contaminant exposure.

Almberg KS, Turyk ME, Jones RM, Rankin K, Freels S, Graber JM, Stayner LT. Arsenic in drinking water and adverse birth outcomes in Ohio. Environ Res. 2017 May 15;157:52-59. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.05.010.

BACKGROUND: Arsenic in drinking water has been associated with adverse reproductive outcomes in areas with high levels of naturally occurring arsenic. Less is known about the reproductive effects of arsenic at lower levels.

OBJECTIVES: This research examined the association between low-level arsenic in drinking water and small for gestational age (SGA), term low birth weight (term LBW), very low birth weight (VLBW), preterm birth (PTB), and very preterm birth (VPTB) in the state of Ohio.

METHODS: Exposure was defined as the mean annual arsenic concentration in drinking water in each county in Ohio from 2006 to 2008 using Safe Drinking Water Information System data. Birth outcomes were ascertained from the birth certificate records of 428,804 births in Ohio from the same time period. Multivariable generalized estimating equation logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between arsenic and each birth outcome separately. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examine the roles of private well use and prenatal care utilization in these associations.

RESULTS: Arsenic in drinking water was associated with increased odds of VLBW (AOR 1.14 per µg/L increase; 95% CI 1.04, 1.24) and PTB (AOR 1.10; 95% CI 1.06, 1.15) among singleton births in counties where <10% of the population used private wells. No significant association was observed between arsenic and SGA, or VPTB, but a suggestive association was observed between arsenic and term LBW.

CONCLUSIONS: Arsenic in drinking water was positively associated with VLBW and PTB in a population where nearly all (>99%) of the population was exposed under the current maximum contaminant level of 10µg/L. Current regulatory standards may not be protective against reproductive effects of prenatal exposure to arsenic.

Lake Erie Microcystis Bloom Shutdown of Water Supply, Toledo, Ohio

Steffen MM, Davis TW, McKay RM, Bullerjahn GS, Krausfeldt LE, Stough JMA, Neitzey ML, Gilbert NE, Boyer GL, Johengen TH, Gossiaux DC, Burtner AM, Palladino D, Rowe M, Dick GJ, Meyer K, Levy S, Boone B, Stumpf R, Wynne T, Zimba PV, Gutierrez DB, Wilhelm SW. Ecophysiological examination of the Lake Erie Microcystis bloom in 2014: linkages between biology and the water supply shutdown of Toledo, Ohio. Environmental Science and Technology. 2017 May 23. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00856.

Annual cyanobacterial blooms dominated by Microcystis have occurred in western Lake Erie (USA/Canada) during summer months since 1995. The production of toxins by bloom-forming cyanobacteria can lead to drinking water crises, such as the one experienced by the city of Toledo in August of 2014, when the city was rendered without drinking water for > 2 days. It is important to understand the conditions and environmental cues that were driving this specific bloom to provide a scientific framework for management of future bloom events. To this end, samples were collected and metatranscriptomes generated coincident with the collection of environmental metrics for eight sites located in the western basin of Lake Erie, including a station proximal to the water intake for the city of Toledo. These data were used to generate a basin-wide ecophysiological fingerprint of Lake Erie Microcystis populations in August 2014 for comparison to previous bloom communities. Our observations and analyses indicate that, at the time of sample collection, Microcystis populations were under dual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stress, as genes involved in scavenging of these nutrients were being actively transcribed. Targeted analysis of urea transport and hydrolysis suggests a potentially important role for exogenous urea as a nitrogen source during the 2014 event. Finally, simulation data suggest a wind event caused microcystin-rich water from Maumee Bay to be transported east along the southern shoreline past the Toledo water intake. Coupled with a significant cyanophage infection, these results reveal that a combination of biological and environmental factors led to the disruption of the Toledo water supply. This scenario was not atypical of re-occurring Lake Erie blooms and thus may re-occur in the future.

Algal Toxins Undetected in Findlay Drinking Water

“Tests of both treated tap water and raw water at the plant have shown no detectable signs of microcystin, the algae-related toxin that fouled Toledo’s drinking water supply Aug. 2-4, water treatment plant worker Jeremy Carter said.” click here

Toledo, Ohio drinking water interrupted due to algae in Lake Erie

“After algae in Lake Erie created toxic, undrinkable water for residents and businesses in the Toledo area for several days, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins said in a press conference Monday morning, August 4, that water was safe to use.” click here

Columbus, Ohio joins water utilities battling taste and odor problems

“Columbus is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat its drinking water for a mysterious foul smell and flavor.” click here

Ohio Surface Temperature, 1743 – 2011

Using the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) data here, the following plot was created. It represents regional climate change for the State of Ohio.

The plot shows the mean monthly surface temperature, the mean daily maximum surface temperature, and the mean daily minimum surface temperture. Clearly, the range of actual temperature changes experienced in recent years is not extremely different than in the past. Sure, some years are colder or warmer than others, but natural variability such as this is to be expected.

As in the other plots posted on this blog, this first cut look at this data suggests that the people sounding alarms over an impending climate catastrophe are in a world of their own. The historical record suggests a very broad yet defined band of highly variable temperatures. This might be more apparent if the actual data is plotted rather than mean values. Still working on presenting that in the future, as it will take some time to dig through the BEST data set. The data for the graph below (and the others I have posted) are the means calculated by BEST. The BEST website presentation of the data is misleading at best. Running averages (as presented by BEST) only reveal central tendencies of data sets….not physical realities of the climate system.

Ohio’s Kasich parrots the GOP establishment position on climate

As reported here, Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich stated last week:

“This isn’t popular to always say, but I believe there is a problem with climates, climate change in the atmosphere,” Kasich told a Ross County Republican function on Thursday.”

He is simply parroting the GOP establishment position. This is particulary important in Ohio, which must keep government funding going to its state to fund several important government labs (e.g., USEPA Cincinnati). In this case, Kasich seems to be joining the ranks of the natural climate dynamic deniers in assuming that wind mills and solar will completely replace coal and shale gas any time soon. This is fantasy….and attempts to do so will continue the US slide towards increasing poverty.

Kasich’s remarks were reported on “Thinkprogress.org”, which is anything but…..and should be renamed “Thinkpoverty.org”.

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney, who was a believer in global warming before he didn’t know….if elected, will likley be surrounded by such GOP voices who are more interested in getting a bigger slice of the government dole….than persuing policies based on science….