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Archive for March, 2010

Hydrogen Sulfide to be Reported for Toxic Release Inventory

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Hydrogen SulfideEPA has announced plans to require reporting for hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and is accepting public comments until April 27, 2010. Under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the EPA will require H2S reporting estimates of all on-site releases and off-site transfers for disposal by each facility that meets the manufacture thresholds for hydrogen sulfide. Manufacturing limits for H2S emissions are 25,000 pounds per year, process limits are 25,000 pounds per year, and “other” use is 10,000 pounds per year.

Read more about hydrogen sulfide…

FDA expresses concern for Bisphenol-A’s potential effects on children

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

by Brian Lewis, Ph. D

Bisphenol-A effects on childrenOn January 15, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reversed its position that exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) is not harmful, stating that they now “have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children”.1 In the same report, the FDA voiced their support for the food and beverage container industry to halt production of baby bottles and feeding cups in the U.S. that contain BPA.

The FDA’s current position on BPA follows a 2008 draft report by the agency that claimed the no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 5 mg/kg body weight/day was “an adequate margin of safety … for BPA at current levels of exposure from food contact uses,” and that the 2.42 μg/kg body weight/day and 0.185 μg/kg body weight/day exposure levels found in infants and adults, respectively, was safe.2 However, when that draft report was submitted to a seven-member panel of experts for peer review, the panel refuted the FDA’s position, stating that “the available qualitative and quantitative information … provides a sufficient scientific basis to conclude that the Margins of Safety defined by FDA as ‘adequate’ are, in fact, inadequate”.3

Read more about Bisphenol-A…

USGS Study Finds Drinking Water Contaminated, but Safe to Drink

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Contaminated Drinking WaterA recent United States Geological Survey (USGS) study of public drinking water wells in California, Connecticut, Nebraska and Florida found that some were contaminated, but in amounts so minimal, human health was unlikely to be affected. The USGS tracked the movement of contaminants in groundwater and public-supply wells in four different aquifers.

According to the USGS, wells are not equally vulnerable to contamination because of differences in three factors: the general chemistry of the aquifer, groundwater age, and direct paths within aquifer systems that allow water and contaminants to reach a well. The importance of each factor differs among the various aquifer settings, depending upon natural geology and local aquifer conditions, as well as human activities related to land use and well construction and operation. However, the USGS feels that the study of the four different aquifer systems can be applied to similar aquifers and wells throughout the nation.

Read more about drinking water contamination…

New Disinfectants Rule Deadlines for Public Water Systems

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Public Water Systems
This article describes the background, stages and the new deadlines for public water systems to comply with the most current disinfectants and disinfection byproducts rule.

By Dr. Harlan H. Bengtson, PE

 

 

Background on Disinfection and Disinfection Byproducts

Jersey City, NJ was the first U.S. city to routinely disinfect its municipal water supply, starting in 1908.1 Soon after, thousands of cities and towns across the country began to do the same and this dramatically decreased the prevalence of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. To demonstrate, the incidence rate of typhoid fever in the U.S. dropped from about 100 cases per 100,000 people in 1900 to 33.8 cases per 100,000 people in 1920.2 By 2006, this rate had dropped to 0.1 cases per 100,000 people.3

Read more about disinfectants rule…

EPA Proposes New Water Quality Criteria for Florida

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Florida Water QualityThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that a new nutrient standard is necessary to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in Florida. In January 2010, the EPA proposed to adopt water quality criteria for total nitrogen and total phosphorus (nutrient pollution) in Florida lakes and streams.

Similar to the human body, bodies of water require nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, to be healthy, but too much can be harmful. According to the EPA, nutrient pollution is one of the top three causes of impairment of the nation’s waters.

Although the EPA has recognized Florida as a national leader in its efforts to manage nutrient-related pollution, substantial water quality degradation from nutrient over-enrichment remains a significant challenge in the state. The EPA plans to promulgate the new standards in October 2010, meaning that lakes and flowing waters will have to meet those new criteria within twelve months and estuaries and coastal waters must comply within twenty-four months.

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