That Stomach Ache May Be Due To Leaky Pipes

Tainted Tap Water Sickens 1.1 Million Each Year

Viruses Creep Into Public Water Supplies Through Leaky Pipes

Sept. 14, 2012 – The pipes that ferry drinking water from public wells to home taps may let in viruses that cause more than a million cases of stomach illness every year, two new studies show.

“This is a really big deal,” says Jeffrey Griffiths, MD, MPH&TM, a professor at Tufts University and chair of the drinking water committee of the U.S. EPA’s science advisory board. “This research is very important.”

“Our delivery pipe system is old in many parts of the country and leaky and not being replaced,” says Griffiths, who was not involved in the studies.

Griffiths says the research “really documents that it’s possible for people to get viruses that make them sick through their drinking water.”

The studies stem from the same government-funded research project. It is one of the largest ever to look at illnesses tied to public water supplies.

“The drinking water that we have in the U.S. is very, very good relative to other countries,” says researcher Frank Loge, an environmental engineer at the University of California at Davis. “But in terms of what we expect from our drinking water, in terms of health and safety, I was alarmed,” he says.

Looking at the Safety of Public Water Supplies

The project compared 14 public water systems in Wisconsin. Like more than 147,000 towns in the U.S., all the communities in the study pumped their public water from underground pools called aquifers. And like the majority of communities that rely on groundwater, the 14 in the study didn’t disinfect the water after it left those large wells.

For the first year, eight of the communities installed powerful ultraviolet (UV) lights to clean the water as soon as it left the underground pool. The other six continued to have no disinfection.

Scientists sampled water each month from the underground pool, from an area that was just past the UV disinfection, and then from six to eight home taps. The second year, the towns swapped. The eight towns that used UV disinfection turned their systems over to the six that didn’t have them. That let scientists compare how well the UV systems worked to clean the water.

After the two years of watching the water, researchers found that no community had consistently clean or consistently contaminated water.

When they plugged their measurements into models that estimate risk, they found that nationwide, drinking water that’s tainted as it travels through pipes to people’s homes could be responsible for as many as 1.1 million cases of acute stomach illness each year. That’s a level of illness that’s 559 times higher than what the EPA considers acceptable for public drinking water supplies.

Mark A. Borchardt, PhD, a microbiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, says that normally, the average person can expect to get sick with a stomach bug once or twice in a given year. People who drink water from public systems that aren’t disinfected can expect to see that risk climb by about 30%. Looking at the numbers another way, that means as many as 1 in 5 cases of stomach illness each year may be caused by contaminated water. That number may be as high as 2 out of 5 cases in kids.

Public Water Infrastructure Problems

Researchers were concerned about what happens to water on its way to the tap because much of the public water infrastructure in the U.S. is in a state of disrepair. In a 2009 report, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s drinking water systems a D- grade and stressed the need for more money to replace crumbling facilities and plumbing.

To make matters worse, Borchardt says many pipes that carry drinking water are laid close to lines that carry untreated sewage. Like the water pipes, the sewer lines are also often not in great shape.

“If you dig up soil around drinking water pipes, you can find all sorts of pathogens that come from leaking sewer lines,” Borchardt says. Pressure changes may then suck some of those disease-causing germs into the drinking water.

Advice for Safer Tap Water

Smaller towns and rural areas are more likely than larger cities not to disinfect their water. To find out if your water is disinfected or not, contact your municipal water supplier.

If you live in a community where groundwater isn’t disinfected, Loge says there are home systems that can be installed to clean water before you drink it.

Those systems range from $100 to $500 in price and usually need to be professionally installed.

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Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ

Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ – Published in Federal Gov’t Journal

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2012 – 5:57 am

NEW YORK, July 24, 2012 – /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Harvard University researchers’ review of fluoride/brain studies concludes “our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.” It was published online July 20 inEnvironmental Health Perspectives, a US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ journal (1), reports the NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF)

“The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas,” write Choi et al.

Further, the EPA says fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Fluoride (fluosilicic acid) is added to US water supplies at approximately 1 part per million attempting to reduce tooth decay.

Water was the only fluoride source in the studies reviewed and was based on high water fluoride levels. However, they point out research by Ding (2011) suggested that low water fluoride levels had significant negative associations with children’s intelligence.

Choi et al. write, “Although fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in animal models and acute fluoride poisoning causes neurotoxicity in adults, very little is known of its effects on children’s neurodevelopment. They recommend more brain/fluoride research on children and at individual-level doses.

“It’s senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment to satisfy the political agenda of special-interest groups,” says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President.  “Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health? It’s time to put politics aside and stop artificial fluoridation everywhere,” says Beeber.

After reviewing fluoride toxicological data, the NRC reported in 2006, “It’s apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.”

Choi’s team writes, “Fluoride readily crosses the placenta. Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature.”

Fluoride accumulates in the body. Even low doses are harmful to babies, the thyroid, kidney patients and heavy water-drinkers. There are even doubts about fluoridation’s effectiveness (2). New York City Legislation is pending to stop fluoridation. Many communities have already stopped.

Infant formula when mixed with fluoridated water delivers 100-200 times more fluoride than breastmilk.(3)

Read more here

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Rochester, NY 14623

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Increasing levels of nitrates in the water for some areas of California….

Do you have nitrates in your drinking water?

BY WATER QUALITY ASSOCIATION (WQA)
Drinking water contaminated with nitrates made national headlines recently when a University of California-Davis study predicted the presence of nitrates in drinking water will intensify in the years to come across California’s Salinas and Central valleys.

While the Davis’ study hones in on California’s nitrate problem, nitrates impact water quality across the United States.

What are nitrates?
Nitrates form when microorganisms break down fertilizers, decaying vegetation, manures and other organic materials. Principal sources of nitrate contamination include animal waste, fertilizers and septic tanks.

How are nitrates regulated?
Nitrates are regulated in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974. The law authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine safe levels of potentially harmful chemicals in drinking water. These levels are called Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG). The EPA sets the MCLG for nitrates at 10 parts per million (ppm).

Where are nitrates a problem?
Nitrate is a tasteless, colorless and odorless compound that homeowners cannot detect unless they have their water chemically analyzed. Municipalities are required to test water sources for nitrates annually and keep nitrates at safe levels. Homeowners with private wells should use a certified laboratory to test their water for nitrates and other contaminants on an annual basis.

Why is it important to regulate nitrate levels? 
Although nitrate is necessary for human and environmental health, high concentrations in drinking water can be harmful. Read more…

Top colleges shunning bottled water

NEW YORK — Bottled water is coming under attack on college campuses.

More than 90 schools, among them Brown and Harvard universities, are banning the sale or restricting the use of plastic water bottles, unnerving the $22 billion retail packaged-water industry in the United States.

Freshmen at colleges nationwide are being greeted with stainless-steel bottles in their welcome packs and encouraged to use hydration stations where free, filtered water is available. Brown, which once sold about 320,000 bottles of water a year in vending machines and campus stores, ended sales in dining halls in 2010. Harvard and Dartmouth College are installing hydration stations in new buildings to reduce trash.

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