For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, there’s something in your kitchen sink.
It seems that tap water may be what the doctor ordered.
A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water — tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle — by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.
People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, according to a paper by University of Illinois community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily.
Here’s what he said: (and here is the report)
“The impact of plain water intake on diet was similar across race/ethnicity, education and income levels and body weight status. This finding indicates that it might be sufficient to design and deliver universal nutrition interventions and education campaigns that promote plain water consumption in replacement of beverages with calories in diverse population subgroups without profound concerns about message and strategy customization.”
In plain words?
Drink water. Lose weight.
Ian: Of course the study didn’t take into account water quality which has reared its head recently with the discovery of a vast avoidance of water quality testing in hundreds of locations across the US. here in Australia my friend and water technologist Neil Sweeney has this to say:
“I would encourage all families to get the news out about the dangers lurking in our drinking water. Encourage them to join here or read up as much as they can about the hidden risks in the water supply. Connect my page to any groups you are in if you feel I am right after reading and considering this.
For the past 2 years I have been writing articles about the dangers of Bioaccumulation in the body from Heavy Metals, Chemicals and Pharma in our Potable (Tap) Water.
If you have been following the news you will have seen, finally, this year, Sydney Water and the NSW govt are now coming clean about the dilapadated state of our ageing water pipe system and the impossible and restrictive costs placed on replacing the thousands of kilometres of 60 to 100 year old pipes in this country. The costs runs into the billions PLUS we just dont have the manpower to replace it quickly.
Have you noticed the increase in water main bursts?
So why are we JUST being told now?
The growing presence of Endocrine Disruptors in our reservoirs, the increased concentrations of pharmaceuticals, in particular; antibiotics, the development of organic super bugs and the ever-growing concentration of heavy metals from mining are polluting our catchment and dam systems in this country like never before.
This means that every time we have a heavy downpour of rain the concentration levels of bio-toxins and metals increase exponentially in the reservoirs creating new mutations at the molecular level of harmful chemicals, larger concentrations of soft and heavy metals and more virulent and resistant super bugs and microbial infestations which effect our G.I. tract, Neurological and Endocrine systems.”
Ian: We are about to field test our new UltraStream UltraH2+. It’s still in prototype but the BIG news is that we’ve been able to enhance the already excellent filtration of the present UltraStreams. It will increase its ability to filter out:
>99.9 % of viruses, (polio, rotovirus, norovirus)
>99.99% of bacteria (e-coli, legionella, pseudomonas, etc)
>99.95% cysts( giardia, cryptosporidium)
>80% Ferrous Iron
>95% Arsenic V
PCB’s and BPA
This takes the UltraStream, already an unchallenged leader in water filter and ionizer filtration, to a level unparallelled anywhere in the industry, yet still at a price ordinary people can manage.
You don’t even have to wait for the ‘new improved model’ with an UltraStream. If you order our present model, you’ll get the new model when you order a new replacement filter. That’s the joy of the UltraStream. It never gets obselete!
Just 5 years ago, the US EPA was asked by Congress for a study of impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water. Fracking has propelled a boom in U.S. oil production and added to the steep fall in gas prices. However.. the environmental impact of this technique are not well understood or researched. The draft study—released last June —concluded that fracking has already contaminated drinking water, stating in the report:
We found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells… Approximately 6,800 sources of drinking water for public water systems were located within one mile of at least one hydraulically fractured well … These drinking water sources served more than 8.6 million people year-round in 2013… Hydraulic fracturing can also affect drinking water resources outside the immediate vicinity of a hydraulically fractured well.
Despite the findings, and EPA’s own admissions of “data limitations and uncertainties” and “the paucity of long-term systemic studies,” the agency concluded that “there is no evidence fracking has led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources.”
Industry cheerleaders ran with it, proclaiming “the science is settled” on fracking and that any concerns are just crazy greenies pursuing their own agenda. Now it turns out that the EPA’s own science advisers have repudiated the study’s major conclusion, saying that it is “inconsistent with the observations, data and levels of uncertainty.” The 31-member scientific review board said on Thursday “Major findings are ambiguous or are inconsistent with the observations/data presented in the body of the report,” . The conclusions have already aroused suspicion of political meddling. Add the fact that EPA neglected to include high-profile cases in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming “where hydraulic fracturing activities are perceived by many members of the public to have caused significant local impacts to drinking water sources.” The draft report also found that failed wells and above ground spills may have affected drinking water resources, with evidence of more than 36,000 spills from 2006 to 2012. Bloomberg said:
“Spill data alone “gives sufficient pause to reconsider the statement” that there’s no evidence of systemic, widespread damage, said panelist Bruce Honeyman, professor emeritus at the Colorado School of Mines. “It’s important to characterize and discuss the frequency and severity of outliers that have occurred,” said panelist Katherine Bennett Ensor, chairwoman of the Rice University Department of Statistics. And panel member James Bruckner, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Georgia, said the report glosses over the limited data and studies available to the agency. “I do not think that the document’s authors have gone far enough to emphasize how preliminary these key conclusions are and how limited the factual bases are for their judgments,” Bruckner said. Young, the University of California professor who suggested rewriting the top-line conclusion, faulted the document for trying “to draw a global and permanent conclusion about the safety or impacts of hydraulic fracturing at the national level” given the “uncertainties and data limitations described in the report.””
It would appear there may be heavy pressure to revise the EPA’s conclusion in the final report, and the oil and gas industry will have a PR mosh pit to contend with. Fracking was pushed into use before the environmental impacts could be assessed. Public health and environmental quality took a back seat to profits of an industry that long ago cemented its grip on federal and state governments. The oil and gas industry tried their hardest, with the help of government agencies, to keep the identity of fracking fluids from becoming public knowledge. But as that information has come out, we are finding that these chemicals pose catastrophic risks to human health, as a study by the Yale School of Public Health points out. In an analysis of more than 1,000 chemicals in fluids used in or created by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), researchers from the School of Public Health at Yale found that many of the substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental health problems, and the majority had undetermined toxicity due to insufficient information. Further exposure and epidemiological studies are urgently needed to evaluate potential threats to human health from chemicals found in fracking fluids and wastewater created by fracking. Contamination of drinking water is not the only threat that fracking poses. Oklahoma, which has gone full speed ahead with fracking operations, has seen a 730 percent increase in earthquake activity since 2013. Since the start of the new year, 69 earthquakes have struck, with two registering a magnitude of 4.7 and 4.8. The state’s own Geological Survey admitted, “we know that the recent rise in earthquakes cannot be entirely attributed to natural causes.” They say the earthquakes are caused by wastewater injection wells, not fracking, but this is dubious considering the tremendous influence of the oil and gas industry in that state. A report released last year by a group of seismologists, researchers, and oil and gas industry representatives “overwhelming connected hydro fracturing to the surge in earthquakes.” It is past time for government to stop endangering public and environmental health by protecting the fossil fuel industry with bogus conclusions in its risk assessments. With thanks to Naturalblaze.com
Fluoride may cause depression and weight gain
Scientists from the University of Kent warn that fluoride in drinking water could be causing depression and weight gain, and suggest that councils stop adding it to prevent tooth decay. The new research shows nearly double the number of cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated areas compared to the number found in unfluoridated areas. Lead author Professor Stephen Peckham believes “it is concerning for people living in those areas” as it is “a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems.” Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at Public Health England, maintains that fluoridation is safe and effective and has accused the study of being skewed by population bias.
1. Are pesticides a serious problem in our drinking waters?
2. Are there systems that can remove them?
What are pesticides?
The legal definition of ‘‘pesticide’’ is: (1) any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest; (2) any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant; and (3) any nitrogen stabilizer.
Pesticides are called economic poisons. They control undesirable “pests” in our environment so they are intended for beneficial uses. However, because they are poisons to a greater or lesser degree, they are intensively examined and regulated prior to being allowed to be used. There are over a thousand registered pesticide active ingredients and many thousands of registered formulations of combinations of pesticides (active ingredients) and inactive (inert ingredients).
There is a huge database available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/PPISdata/. They include antimicrobials and biopesticides, in addition to the conventional substances.
Many pesticides are organic chemicals, but there are also inorganic chemicals like arsenic, lead, chlorate and chlorine that fit the definitions.
Can the Law help?
There are four major laws that control the uses and human exposures to pesticides in the U.S.: The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA).
The Safe Drinking Water Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) control of contaminants in public drinking water supplies. All pesticides used in the U.S. must be registered (licensed) by the EPA. Registration assures that pesticides will be properly labeled, and that if used in accordance with specifications they will not cause unreasonable harm to health or the environment. Use of each registered pesticide must be consistent with use directions contained on labeling.
FIFRA gives the EPA the authority for comprehensive regulation of all pesticides from their manufacture, transport, sale, distribution and use. Its history goes back to 1910 and it has been amended numerous times.
By law, pesticides must be applied according to the label directions. FFDCA gives the EPA the authority to produce Pesticide Tolerances that set limits on the amounts of pesticide residues allowed in food or animal feed.
FQPA increased the safety standards for assessing new pesticides and also required that older pesticides and tolerances to be periodically reassessed using the new tougher standards. FFDCA and FQPA have special provisions to protect infants and children. The registrants pay the costs of the registration and review processes carried out by the EPA.
Pesticides production and use
According to the Cornell Safety Education Program (CSEP), pesticides production in the U.S. tripled from 400 million pounds in 1950 to over 1.4 billion pounds in 1980 — this probably included exports as well as domestic use. However, remarkably, the estimated use in 2001 was less, 1.25 billion pounds (www.extension.org), indicating more restrictive and cancelled registrations and more careful application management.
The change is happening, and an apt term might be ‘a ‘grass roots’ movement!
The types of pesticides in current use have also changed substantially, from persistent pesticides like DDT and chlordane, to more biodegradable pesticides. About half are herbicides like glyphosate and atrazine. Application rates are very small, ranging from a few ounces to a few pounds per acre.
Pesticides in drinking water
Surface waters and especially small streams in agricultural areas frequently have measurable amounts of at least one pesticide. This can be seasonable, such as from the widespread use of the pre-emergent herbicide atrazine in the Corn Belt in the spring.
Groundwater contamination is a function of soil transmissivity and physical and chemical properties of the pesticides used in the area. Groundwater contamination tends to be persistent once it occurs because of its slow movement and less biochemical transformation that occurs in that environment.
Nitrate increase is a possible indicator of the possibility of some pesticide presence because of its use in fertilizers and solubility and mobility in water. It can also be an indicator of potential microbial contamination.
Among many health and environmental assessments, the registration process uses specific criteria involving the potential for applications and use patterns and quantities to contaminate drinking water, and the potential human exposure that could result in relation to risk-based concentrations.
The EPA establishes Maximum Contaminant Levels for each contaminant based upon toxicology, health risk and control feasibility. In the European Union, pesticides detections in drinking water are a method for regulating their use in the watershed of a water supplier. If any pesticide’s level exceeds 0.1 ppb in the drinking water or the total exceeds 0.5 ppb, the use in the watershed is investigated and modified, up to a ban in that watershed.
Public drinking water suppliers have specified monitoring and reporting requirements. They are required to produce Consumer Confidence Reports that describe the condition and regulatory status of the supply. Compliance information is available online or from the supplier.
Drinking waters are regulated for at least 30 pesticides, plus four disinfectant-related chemicals like chlorite. That count is probably low because numerous other chemicals have minor uses in applications such as fumigants. Most pesticides are seldom detected in compliance monitoring, or do not exceed standards when detected.
CSEP reports that 22 pesticides have been detected in U.S. wells, and up to 80 were estimated to have the potential for movement in groundwater under favorable conditions.
If a source water is contaminated by any regulated chemical, it must be managed to achieve the standard. This could include the use of appropriate water treatment technology or changing the source, such as by drilling a new well.
Drinking Water Safety
In addition to the regulations, EPA’s Water Office has published Drinking Water Health Advisories (EPA 822-S-12-001) that include about 100 additional health-based values for unregulated contaminants.
EPA’s Pesticides Office has published drinking water benchmark values for more than 355 pesticides. The latter needs to be read carefully because they are not prospective drinking water standards. They calculated benchmarks from health data applying a 20 percent relative source contribution for drinking water. Actually, relative source contributions (RSC) in standards usually can range from 20 to 80 percent — the higher the RSC, the higher potential drinking water standard.
For example, the 20 percent RSC for chlorate yields a benchmark of 210 ppb, but applying an 80 percent RSC, as used by Canada and the World Health Organization, would give a benchmark of 840 ppb.
Where are pesticides in drinking water’s greatest concerns?
Pesticides can be found in some surface waters and groundwaters, however, many pesticides are regulated. Public water supplies are generally monitored and treated, so they are usually not a concern.
The more likely problems would be found in rural home wells, shallow groundwaters, associated with agricultural activities, in porous sandy soils and seasonally where small streams are draining agricultural areas and in small public water systems where limited monitoring is required.
There are probably millions of at risk home wells, and thousands of small public water supplies.
Is POU/POE decentralized water treatment effective for compliance with drinking water standards?
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) specifically allows use of POU or POE for public water system compliance. When EPA lists compliance technologies for Maximum Contaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques for small systems, they must include packaged or modular systems and POU and POE treatment units.
POU, POE or bottled water may be required as part of a Variance or Exemption delay from meeting a regulation to avoid an unreasonable risk to health during the time that the compliance delay is allowed.
Bottled water is not allowed for compliance. If the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has issued product standards applicable to a specific type of POU or POE treatment unit, those units must be independently certified to those ANSI standards (see Water Technology, April 2014, Professor POU/POE for details).
Central treatment using packaged plants is available for small water supplies. These are usually more cost effective for small systems than having engineered systems designed on site. They also are usually more rapidly installed, automated and less costly to operate than “stick built” systems. One would suspect that consulting engineers prefer the latter.
Some heavily chlorinated pesticides that bind well to sediments, like DDT or chlordane, are removed by conventional coagulation and sand filtration.
Granular activated carbon technology is usually effective, especially for the more modern pesticides that are less hydrophobic. Ozonation can reduce the less chlorinated more reactive pesticides. Reverse osmosis could also be effective, though probably most costly and wasteful of reject water.
We also n to be sensitive to co-contamination by nitrate and microbials that might indicate potential for pesticide contamination.
Chemical analysis for the broad spectrum of pesticides can be expensive — in the multiple hundreds of dollars per sample. However, it would often be possible to pinpoint the most likely pesticide contaminants from other monitoring data that has been collected in the area, and from information on the pesticides that have been used. Ask your local authority what facility they have for testing or existing data on your property.
Available pesticides have been shifting to less toxic, less persistent and more biodegradable chemicals, and they are being applied at lesser loadings. Many registered pesticides are applied annually at the billion pound level — many are regulated in drinking water so they are generally managed in public drinking water supplies. Rural groundwaters and small streams probably have the greatest likelihood for unmanaged pesticide water contamination that can be treated by POU and POE technologies.
But.. is there a ‘good level’ for pesticides in your drinking water? NO.
The Ultrastream takes filtration of pesticides to the ultimate. It uses the best catalytic carbon – up to 8 times more effective than granular activated carbon – and KDF, the patented media acknowledged as the best heavy metals reduction media in the world. Yes, it’s more expensive than a big box carbon filter but it’s a complete health system.. not just a filter.
Here’s a glaring example of the fact that you can’t trust ’em.. (From Alternet)
Nearly 7,500 gallons of crude MCHM (AKA 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol) — a little-known chemical used to wash coal — had leaked into the Elk River on Jan. 9, perplexing state officials on how exactly to get the chemical out of the water and what exactly it would do to people if they used it. It was Jan. 13, a Monday, when the first bans were lifted. As of Saturday, everyone affected by the spill was given the all-clear — water everywhere, state officials said, was now fine to drink.
In a perfect world, that would be the end of the story. But according to statistics released by the state health department on Saturday, it turns out that since the bans on water began being lifted, hospital admissions and calls to the poison control center have doubled. Emergency room visits have nearly tripled.
On Jan. 12, the day before do-not-use orders began being lifted, health department officialscited 10 hospital admissions, 169 people treated and released from the emergency room, and a little more than 1,000 calls to the poison control center.
By Saturday — the same day the final 2 percent of people affected by the spill got their water back — those numbers had increased significantly. According to a report in the Charleston Gazette, health officials said 20 people had been admitted to the hospitals, 411 had been treated and released from the emergency room, and 2,302 had called the poison control center. Of those, 1,862 were human-related, 98 were animal-related and the rest were requests for information only.
Saturday’s numbers were also much greater than Thursday’s numbers, when health officials said only 317 had been treated and 14 had been hospitalized.
Part of the increased hospitalizations and calls may be due to confusion on the part of West Virginia residents, who in the last week have been repeatedly given conflicting information about the spill and whether they should use the water. The “do-not-drink” order finally lifted on Saturday, for example, was in a town that had actually had their ban lifted on Tuesday. On Thursday, however, West Virginia American Water rescinded their statements that the water was safe to drink, after water from a fire hydrant registered chemical levels above the 1-part-per-million (ppm) limit.
It’s not the only instance of conflicting information. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said pregnant women should not drink water with any amount of the chemical in it, despite West Virginia American Water saying two days earlier that water in some areas was safe to drink.
Chemical levels in the water must be below 1 ppm for human ingestion. But health experts have questioned that logic. Specifically, some are saying that the study being widely used to determine whether the water is safe does not include several chemical components that leached into the water.
“A key corporate study used by federal health officials to set a screening level for ‘crude MCHM’ in the West Virginia American Water system actually tested a pure form of the material’s main ingredient and might not account for potential toxicity of other components,” the Charleston Gazette reported on Friday.
The chemical that is thought to have spilled, crude MCHM, is actually a mixture of chemicals that is used to wash coal of its impurities, explained Evan Hansen, president of Morgantown-based Downstream Strategies, in an interview with Climate Progress’ Kiley Kroh on Saturday. Of those multiple ingredients, only one of them has any information about exposure limits, he said.
Ian: A case for an UltRo.
Very close to home… a very good reason NOT to buy a water filter.. a cheap one anyway. And all the people affected by NTM disease are on TOWN WATER.
High strontium levels found in eastern Wisconsin groundwater. By Don Behm of the Journal Sentinel
Add naturally occurring strontium to the list of contaminants — along with arsenic, bacteria and nitrates — possibly lurking in the groundwater of eastern Wisconsin and capable of causing health problems for people drinking water from wells, a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay scientist says. Families with young children using deep wells in eastern Wisconsin should have their drinking water tested at least once for strontium, a metal that dissolves out of bedrock, according to John Luczaj, an associate professor in the department of natural and applied sciences. This is not radioactive strontium, a byproduct of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons testing. Tests of water from wells in northeastern Wisconsin, primarily in Brown and Outagamie counties, found unhealthful amounts of natural strontium in 73 of 115 samples, or 63%, Luczaj says in a report summarizing the department’s ongoing study of strontium in groundwater in the region. The report was released last week by the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute in Madison.
Florida now has a realtime webpage that residents can view to see the latest trihalomethane count in their drinking water. THM’s are chlorine byproducts and the unsolved problem of the most common method of water purification. To quote the site, “TTHMs are four organic chemicals which form as byproducts of chlorination. When chlorine is added to water that contains organic matter (such as algae, riverweeds or decaying leaves), residual chlorine molecules react with this harmless organic matter to form these organic chlorinated chemical compounds known as Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs).”