Gazette’s Famous Water Pictures:  Dr. Semmelweis Washing His Hands

 

semmelweiswashinghands

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before attending to patients.

History of Hand-Washing

The idea that “germs” that cause disease get on people’s hands and that they can be spread from person to person by unclean hands hasn’t been around that long. In fact, it was 19th-century Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who, after observational studies, first advanced the idea of “hand hygiene” in medical settings.  Here’s how Semmelweis, working in an obstetrics ward in Vienna in the 19th century, made the connection between dirty hands and deadly infection.

Hand-Washing in the old days

While we certainly don’t know the name of the first guy to wash his hands, the history of hand-washing extends back to ancient times, when it was largely a religious practice. The Old Testament, the Talmud and the Quran all mention hand-washing in the context of ritual cleanliness, and it may be that ritual hand washing had some public health implications.  During the Black Death of the 14th century, for instance, the Jews of Europe had a distinctly lower rate of death than others. Researchers believe that hand-washing prescribed by their religion probably served as protection during the epidemic.

Dr. Semmelweis

Hand-washing as a health care practice did not really surface until the mid-1800s, when a young Hungarian physician named Ignaz Semmelweis did an important observational study at Vienna General Hospital.

Semmelweis started working in obstetrics, a relatively new and not very prestigious area for physicians, in the Vienna Hospital in 1846. Obstetrics had to that time been dominated by midwifery and conventional doctors were trying to expand into the childbirth business.

The leading cause of maternal mortality in Europe at that time was puerperal fever–an infection, now thought to be caused by the streptococcus bacterium, that killed postpartum women. Prior to 1823, about 1 in 100 women died in childbirth at the Vienna Hospital. But after a policy change mandated that medical students and obstetricians perform autopsies in addition to their other duties, the mortality rate for new mothers suddenly jumped to 7.5%.

When the hospital opened a second obstetrics division, staffed entirely by midwives, the older division, where Dr. Semmelweis worked, was quickly seen to have a much higher mortality rate than the new midwives’ division.

Semmelweis set out to investigate. He examined all the similarities and differences of the two divisions. The only significant difference was that male doctors and medical students worked in the first division and female midwives in the second.

What transmits disease?

At that time, the general belief was that bad odors called “miasma” transmitted disease. It would be two more decades at least before germ theory–the idea that microbes cause disease–took over as the accepted theory, the theory that persists until today.

Semmelweis reasoned that no midwives ever participated in autopsies or dissections, but students and physicians regularly went between autopsies and deliveries, rarely washing their hands in between. Realizing that chloride solution rid objects of their odors, Semmelweis ordered hand-washing across his department. Starting in May 1847, anyone entering the doctors’ obstetrical division had to wash his hands in a bowl of chloride solution. The incidence of puerperal fever and death dropped sharply by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, as in the case of his contemporary John Snow, who discovered that cholera was transmitted by polluted water and not miasma, Semmelweis’ work did not get him a place in history or even a promotion.  In fact, he lost his job because his boss was envious of his success and got no recognition for the discovery during his lifetime.

Hand-washing has now, of course, become a part of the medical ritual, but it gets a definite bump of compliance whenever there is disease outbreak. Even in times of pandemic, though, we do not have a day on our calendar that honors Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. There is no justice.

Adapted using information drawn from The Conversation.

The ‘Longest animal ever’ was discovered in a deep-sea canyon off the Australian coast

siphonophore

 

Underwater explorers found a 150-foot-long (45 meters) siphonophore — a translucent, stringy creature that, like coral, is made up of smaller beings — living in a submarine canyon off the coast of Australia. It’s “seemingly the largest animal ever discovered,” they said.

Every individual siphonophore is made up of many little “zooids,” creatures that live lives that are  similar to animals we’re familiar with, although they are always connected to the larger colony.

Zooids are born axsexually, and each one performs a function for the siphonophore’s larger body.   Linked together in long chains, the colonies were already known to reach lengths of up to 130 feet, though each siphonophore is only about as thick as a broomstick.

The new, record-setting siphonophore was one of several discoveries made by a team aboard the research vessel Falkor while exploring deep-sea canyons near Australia’s Ningaloo Coast.

 

Disinfecting the Hot Water Supply, Step-by-Step

Excerpted from “Shock Chlorination: Disinfecting the Hot Water Portion of Household Plumbing,” by Mark Walker, et al. See full citation below. 

Gazette Introductory Note: These rather elaborate instructions from the Univ. of Nevada describe a way to disinfect your hot water heater without cutting or disconnecting pipes. An easier way is to have a water filter somewhere in front of the heater and use the filter housing to introduce household bleach into the water line.

1. If the water heater is electric, turn the power off. If the water heater is gas or propane, set the thermostat as low as it will go. This keeps the water temperature cool, which preserves the active ingredients in bleach.

 

2. All hot water heaters have a pressure relief valve that prevents explosions. In most cases the relief valve is connected to a pipe that leads outside to prevent damage from water discharges in the house. Be sure that the pressure relief piping is unobstructed. The end of the pipe should always be open and dry. If you can see water dripping steadily from the end of the pipe, the relief valve should be replaced.

 

3. Make sure that all hot water faucets are off. Bleach is introduced into the system by siphoning, which will not be possible if a hot water faucet is left on.

 

4. Locate the cold water valve leading into the hot water tank and turn it off. Normally this valve is on top of the tank. By closing this valve the hot water tank will be isolated from the rest of the water system in the house.

 

5. If the garden hose that was used to drain the sediment from the tank has been removed, reattach it and direct the hose to a location, preferably outdoors, where hot water discharges will not cause injury or damage.

 

6. Attach the short piece of garden hose to a hot water tap nearest to the water heater. In most cases this faucet will be located in a laundry room. If there is a hot water tap available that has male hose thread (such as the hot water tap for the washing machine), attach the hose there. If such a connection is not available use a piece of hose that can be slipped over the end of a faucet and attached with a hose clamp to make the connection air tight. Make sure that the hose is sturdy, because it will be used to siphon the bleach solution and flimsy hoses may collapse when the siphon begins. Also do not use a tap with a decorative brass finish. Bleach will discolor brass.

 

7. Use gloves and goggles when pouring and mixing bleach solutions. Dilute a suitable quantity of bleach (see Table 1, below) in the two-to-five gallon plastic bucket. The bleach solution may damage fabrics and other surfaces, so be sure to not splash or overflow the bucket. The actual amount of bleach to use is dependent upon the size of the hot water tank and the amount of time that can be dedicated to the process. In general, if you create a 250 ppm solution of sodium hypochlorite in the hot water tank and plumbing, it should rest for twelve hours before being purged. Table 1 provides guidelines for the amount of bleach needed to disinfect the hot water heater and associated household plumbing. Table 1 assumes that the volume of water in the hot water part of household plumbing is approximately five gallons.

Table 1: Amount of Bleach Needed to Disinfect Water Heaters of Specific Sizes, with Associated Household Plumbing:

40 Gallon Tank= 3.25 cups of bleach.

50 Gallon Tank = 4 cups of bleach.

80 Gallon Tank = 6 cups of bleach.

120 Gallon Tank = 8.75

 

8. Place the free end of the drain hose in the plastic bucket containing the bleach solution, making sure that it reaches all the way to the bottom of the bucket.

9. This is the point in the process when having two people involved is helpful. In order to start the siphon, the drain on the heater must be opened at the same time that the hot water faucet equipped with the hose is opened. Open the hot water heater drain first, then open the hot water faucet.

 

10. Watch the bucket containing the bleach solution carefully. If the siphon is working properly, the level of bleach solution should be dropping as it is drawn into the hot water tank and piping. If the liquid level in the bucket is rising, turn off the hot water faucet immediately and start again. When most of the bleach solution has been siphoned out, shut the hot water tank drain, then shut the hot water tap and remove the short hose. Be sure to rinse the tap to avoid corrosion.

 

11. After the bleach solution has been siphoned into the hot water tank, open the cold water valve to the water heater.

 

12. One by one, open each of the hot water faucets in the house until you can smell bleach in the water. After water with bleach is introduced throughout the hot water system, do not use hot water faucets.

 

13. After at least twelve hours, drain the hot water tank to a location where it will not cause damage. Never drain water with a high concentration of bleach to the septic tank. A septic tank is dependent upon bacteria to operate properly and bleach could kill these beneficial bacteria.

 

14. Go to the hot water tap furthest from the water heater and let it flow for a few minutes to purge any introduced air from the system and remove any bleach from the pipes. Repeat this at each of the hot water taps until the chlorine smell goes away. Be sure to check all hot water taps to verify that all bleach has been purged from the hot water system

 

15. Reset the water heater thermostat.

 

The instructions above are excerpted from a University of Nevada Cooperative Extension publication.  Go here for the full article.

 

Pure Water Gazette Fair Use Statement

Covid-19 could infect the water supply, say researchers

 Gazette Introductory Note:  We’re reprinting this piece because so little has been said about Covid-19 as a water contaminant. Please don’t take this is as a recommendation to install special water treatment equipment to guard against coronaviruses. Your  chance of being infected by Covid-19 from shower water in your home seems to us way less than remote.

Scientists are calling for more research into whether current water treatment methods are enough to kill Covid-19 to ensure it is not being spread through water infrastructure.

It is already known that coronaviruses, including Covid-19, can remain infectious for days or even longer in sewage and drinking water.

The virus is also commonly transported in microscopic water droplets, or aerosols, which enter the air through evaporation or spray.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need for a careful evaluation of the fate and control of this contagious virus in the environment,” said University of California researcher Haizhou Liu. “Environmental engineers like us are well positioned to apply our expertise to address these needs with international collaborations to protect public health.”

During a 2003 Sars outbreak in Hong Kong, a sewage leak caused a cluster of cases through aerosolisation. Although this has not occurred during the current pandemic so far, its similarities to Sars mean this infection route could be possible.

It is also thought Covid-19 could colonise biofilms that line drinking water systems, making showerheads a possible source of aerosolised transmission. This transmission pathway is already thought to be a major source of exposure to the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease.

Most water treatment routines are thought to kill or remove coronaviruses effectively in both drinking and wastewater. Oxidation with hypochlorous acid or peracetic acid, and inactivation by ultraviolet irradiation, as well as chlorine, are thought to be enough to eradicate the virus.

However, the researchers have cautioned that most of these methods have not been studied for effectiveness specifically on Covid-19 and other coronaviruses and are calling for additional research.

They also suggest upgrading existing water and wastewater treatment infrastructure in outbreak hot spots, which possibly receive coronavirus from places such as hospitals, community clinics and nursing homes.

Energy-efficient, light-emitting, diode-based, ultraviolet point-of-use systems could disinfect water before it enters the public treatment system. Potable water-reuse systems, which purify wastewater back into tap water, also need thorough investigation for coronavirus removal, and possibly new regulatory standards for disinfection, the researchers said.

“It is now clear to all that globalisation also introduces new health risks. Where water and sanitation systems are not adequate, the risk of finding novel viruses is very high,” said researcher Vincenzo Naddeo.

“In a responsible and ideal scenario, the governments of developed countries must support and finance water and sanitation systems in developing countries, in order to also protect the citizens of their own countries.”

Engineering and Technology.

Pure Water Gazette Fair Use Statement

Venturi Aeration Systems


Posted March 31st, 2020

  Simple, Inexpensive Aeration System for Treatment of Iron and Hydrogen Sulfide

Pure Water Products offers state-of-the-art AerMax systems with electric air pumps for treatment of iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide, and we provide a good variety of parts for these systems on our main website. We also offer “single tank aerators,” which are filter that draw in air to treat contaminants during their regeneration process.  In addition, we have the simple, inexpensive aeration system described below.

These parts fit and interchange with the Nelsen Corporation’s “Terminator” Aeration Systems. Please call for information and pricing on complete Terminator units or for any of the parts shown on this page.

aeration_venturi (3)

In the passive venturi aeration system pictured above, when the well pump is running, water from the well passes through the venturi valve which draws air into the water line. An aeration tank which follows the well’s regular pressure tank provides contact time and mixing space so that the air can oxidize the iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfide for removal by a filter. (The filter is not shown and is not included in this product. We provide many excellent filters for this purpose on our main website.) The vent valve on top of the aeration tank vents off excess air.

 venturi (1)

Waterite Venturi Air Injector. Air is drawn into the water stream through the stem on the right. The nut on the left provides an adjustment.

We offer the parts and entire units listed, but information and sales are done by phone or email only.  

Pure Water Products

Email: pwp@purewaterproducts.com, or call 940 382 3814 for information or purchase.

Please call for pricing.

Part Number
Description
AM200 Waterite Air Injector, 1″–3/8 to 16 gpm. Installs on 1″ water line.
AM220 Honeywell Air Mix Tank Kit, ¾”
AM221 Honeywell Air Mix Tank Kit, 1″
AM222

Honeywell/Braukmann Air Vent, 1/8″. Passive Air Vent without vent tube.

AM223

Vent Tubing Connector for Honeywell Air Vent. Adapts 1/8″ Vent Nipple to 1/4″ tube

AM230 PWP Budget Air Mix Assembly. Include Honeywell Vent Kit, 1″, Waterite Injector, 1″, and 8 X 44 Mix Tank
AM229 PWP Budget Air Mix Assembly. Includes Honeywell Vent Kit, 3/4″, Waterite Injector, 1″, and 8 X 44 Mix Tank (Identical to AM230 except that the vent head is for 3/4″ pipe.)

This equipment is not available for order by shopping cart, but you can order by calling 940 382 3814.

Pure Water Products

940 382 3814

Viqua VH200 UV Units


Posted March 30th, 2020

The Viqua VH200 Series UV Units

The Perfect UV Unit for Most Residential Applications

VH200-F10-265x300

 

The Viqua VH200 F10

 

The compact but powerful Viqua VH200 ultraviolet unit is ideal for most residential use, either for well water or city water.  Though it is rated for nine gallons per minute, the unit puts out double the dosage needed for bacteria like E. coli even at sixteen gallons per minute.  This makes it plenty powerful for all but very large homes.

The VH200 is an economical unit that uses only about half as much current as a 60-watt light bulb and consequently it generates far less unwanted heat than more powerful UV units.

The VH200 comes from the factory in two formats: as a single, independent UV chamber, or as a bracket-mounted 2-stage system that includes a 4″ X 10″ sediment filter. (See picture above.) In either format it can easily be coupled with standard filtration equipment to add carbon filtration as well.

VH200-ForWeb-300x274Viqua VH200 UV Unit comes complete with mounting bracket. Easy to install, easy to maintain.

 

Here are some highlights:

  •  Versatile: Available with a sediment prefilter (Model VH200 F-10), and can be easily combined with other standard filtration equipment if desired.
  • Convenient: Mounted on a reversible, heavy duty, painted steel bracket for installation flexibility and convenience. This means you can install with the inlet water on the left or on the right. Combo inlet fits both 3/4″ and 1″ pipe.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Audible lamp replacement reminder and countdown timer with digital display. It reminds you when it’s time to change the lamp. Lamp life is a bit over a year. Controller will also go into alarm if the lamp fails.
  • Reliable: The constant current feature ensures stable UV lamp output, regardless of power fluctuations
  •  Powerful: High-performance UV lamp, rigorously tested to provide consistent output over the entire lamp life (9000 hours). See power ratings below.
  • Space Efficient: High UV output lamp technology allows for a smaller footprint, while maintaining the same UV dose as a longer chamber.

 

Features & Specs  VH200 F-1

Disinfection Flow Rates
16mJ/cm2 16 GPM (60 lpm) (3.6 m3/hr)
30mJ/cm2 9 GPM (34 lpm) (2.0 m3/hr)
40mJ/cm2 7 GPM (26 lpm) (1.6 m3/hr)
Specifications
Dimensions 17″ x 10 1/2″ x 18″ for VH200 F10.  VH200 is 17.75″ X 3.5″.
Shipping Weight lbs (kg) 26 lbs. for VH200 F10.   (VH200 is 12 lbs.)
Connection Size 1″MNPT INLET / 1″ x 3/4″ COMBO OUTLET.
Power Consumption 35W

Pure Water Products part numbers for these units are UV909 for VH200 single unit and UF918 for VH200 F-1 unit with sediment filter.

We also have upgrade kits that allow the VH200 to be combined with high flow carbon block systems.

Please call or email for information and pricing.

940 382 3814

pwp@purewaterproducts.com

Water Transmission and COVID-19

Drinking Water, Recreational Water and Wastewater: What You Need to Know

Information about  COVID-19 and Water from the website of the Centers for Disease Control.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?

The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces?

The virus that causes COVID-19 has been detected in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The amount of virus released from the body (shed) in stool, how long the virus is shed, and whether the virus in stool is infectious are not known.

The risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person is also unknown. However, the risk is expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). There have been no reports of fecal-oral transmission of COVID-19 to date.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?

CDC is reviewing all data on COVID-19 transmission as information becomes available. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low. Although transmission of COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date that this has occurred. This guidance will be updated as necessary as new evidence is assessed.

SARS, a similar coronavirus, has been detected in untreated sewage for up to 2 to 14 days. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was documented transmission associated with sewage aerosols. Data suggest that standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices may be sufficient to inactivate coronaviruses, as long as utilities monitor free available chlorine during treatment to ensure it has not been depleted.

Wastewater and sewage workers should use standard practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as prescribed for current work tasks.

Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus?

Wastewater treatment plant operations should ensure workers follow routine practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. These include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE normally required for work tasks when handling untreated wastewater. No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for employees involved in wastewater management operations, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.

For additional information:

CDC: Guidance for reducing health risks to workers handling human waste or sewage

CDC: Healthcare professionals: Frequently asked questions and answers

CDC: Healthy Water

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 Control and Prevention: Solid waste and wastewater management workers and employers

World Health Organization: Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19

 

 

 

 

Fluoridation

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Part I

by C. F. Michaud, CWS-VI

Editor’s Note: this article appeared first in Water Conditioning and Purification magazine then in reprinted form in the Pure Water Occasional’s Feb. 2010 issue.  Here is the Occasional’s introductory note by Pure Water Gazette editor Hardly Waite.

In lots of important ways,  the United States leads the civilized world at being backward.

Although we somehow worked our way past witch burning, we’ve had trouble keeping up with the rest of the civilized world on issues like capital punishment, dealing with drugs, providing medical care for our citizens, and figuring out the metric system.  And when you look at the fact that we’re still, in 2010,  intentionally putting a powerful systemic poison into our drinking water, it makes you wonder how we ever got past the fear of witches.

As the article that we’re featuring in this issue points out, fully 97% of modern western Europeans have reached the conclusion that putting fluoride into the water supply is a bad idea.  Nevertheless, fluoridation is still practiced in most parts of the USA.  What’s surprising is that a large portion of Americans  haven’t even heard that there might be something a little strange about adding the toxic waste products of aluminum and fertilizer plants to the public water supply.  

Since the idea of selling municipalities toxic industrial waste as a way to prevent dental cavities first popped into the entrepreneurial brain in the middle of the past century, there’s been a battle going on, though most Americans seem blissfully unaware of it. 

Fluoridation became an official policy of the United States Public Health Service by 1951, and by 1960 water fluoridation had become widely used in the U.S., reaching about 50 million people. By 2006, almost 70% of the U.S. population on public water systems were receiving fluoridated water.  

During this period there has been strong opposition to fluoridation but also strong and well-financed support for it.  The aluminum and phosphate fertilizer industries, the chief financial beneficiaries of fluoridation, have been enthusiastic supporters, as has the American Dental Association. The fluoride industry contributes $50 million per year to efforts to influence the public to adopt fluoridation in California alone. (It also contributes to the American Dental Association.) Well financed proponents of water fluoridation have been successful at dominating local fluoride elections, often by painting opponents of fluoridation as Luddite crazies, enemies of progress, the American flag, and cavity-free teeth. (See Paul Carpenter’s excellent piece, “Once Again the Kooks Are Vanquished,” on the Pure Water Gazette’s website.)

The conventional water treatment industry has remained predictably neutral on public fluoridation over the years. I was pleased to find the article we’re reprinting below, which appeared in February 2010 issue of both the print and the online issues of Water Conditioning and Purification magazine. The author is a highly respected member of the water treatment industry. Mr. C.F. ‘Chubb’ Michaud is the CEO and Technical Director of Systematix Company, Buena Park, CA, which he founded in 1982. An active member of the Water Quality Association, Michaud has been a member of its Board and of the Board of Governors and past Chair of the Commercial/Industrial Section. He is a Certified Water Specialist Level VI. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific WQA (since 2001) and Chairs its Technical Committee. A founding member of Water Conditioning and Purification’s Technical Review Committee, Michaud has authored or presented over 100 technical publications and papers.

I’ve shortened Mr. Michaud’s article a bit to fit the email format, mainly by leaving out some graphs and charts printed with the original. If you’d prefer to read the original, it’s online it its original format. The missing graphs and charts can also be found by following the footnotes at the end of the article. I’ll confess that I added the picture of the scary fluorosis-damaged teeth just because I thought it would be interesting. Don’t blame Mr. Michaud for it.

This is the first of a two-part article. The second part, covering treatments that reduce fluoride, will appear in the next Occasional.

Fluorine (F) is the most powerful oxidizing element known. It is the lowest molecular-weight member of the halogen family (which includes chlorine, iodine, bromine and astatine), and is the most abundant halogen in the Earth’s crust. Since no other substance can oxidize fluoride ion, it is never found in its elemental free-gas form, but only as a fluoride salt. Its most common form is the compound Fluorspar, a form of calcium fluoride (CaF2).

In the latter 1800s, scientists from the medical community produced studies showing that the enamel of sound, healthy teeth contained more fluorides than was contained in the teeth of those prone to tooth decay. Further studies showed that fluoride ion was absorbed by bone as well as teeth, and was considered ‘beneficial’ for bone and tooth development and health.1

We now have learned that fluorides are known to reduce the incidence of rickets in children by stimulating the thyroid to maintain normal metabolic rates. Minute quantities in the diet limit the acid production of bacteria in the mouth, thus reducing decay. Significant advancement in oral hygiene was made when it was shown that fluoride could be applied topically. This led to a whole new era of tooth-care products and procedures. Today, the benefits of fluoride are pretty much accepted worldwide.

Fluoride is a common additive to toothpaste and mouthwash. Many dentists administer fluoride treatments to patients on a regular basis, and fluoride is frequently added to drinking water supplies or used as an additive to table salt in order to increase the element in the diet.1

Fluoride, although not essential, is touted as building stronger tooth enamel and bones, reducing cavities, reducing bone fractures, lowering the incidence of osteoporosis in older women, leading to higher birth weights and higher rates of growth in children, and reducing hearing losses (caused by otospongiosis of the inner ear). In addition, fluoride also benefits blood, skin, hair and nails.2 But fluoride consumed in excess has a dark side.

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nominated water fluoridation as one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, it published a graph which showed the reduction of cavities in US children coupled with the increase in the number of public water systems that had adopted fluoridation since the 1960s. The CDC referred to the graph with the following statement: “…as a result (of water fluoridation), dental caries declined precipitously during the second half of the 20th century.”3

What the CDC failed to mention, however, was that similar declines in tooth decay had occurred in virtually every western country, most of which did not fluoridate. Should this be considered evidence of the effectiveness of ingested fluorides on preventing tooth decay, or was it a misinterpretation of coincidental data?

Fluoride is toxic. It is an ingredient in many insecticides and rat poison. It is classified as a Class 4 (very toxic) poisonous substance.

The average person becomes a piece of history if they consume about a quarter of a gram. In addition, many people show the effects of fluoride poisoning by consuming only about 1.5 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Fluoride has never received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. It is listed as an ‘unapproved new drug’ by the FDA and as a ‘contaminant’ by US EPA. The type of fluoride salt used in municipal water treatment is a hazardous waste product generated by the aluminum and phosphate fertilizer industries.

When the fluoridation program began in the 1940s, the ‘optimal’ level of fluoride exposure for dental benefits was set at one mg/day for an adult male (presumed to drink only one liter of water a day)—other dietary sources of fluoride were very scarce.

Municipalities fluoridate at between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm. That’s 1.4 to 2.4 milligrams of fluoride packed into a two-liter-a-day water diet. This runs well below the current suggested ingestion levels of 3-4 mg/day for average adults;4 that is, if water was your only source of dietary fluoride. In addition, the correct amount of fluoride for any individual is dependent on body weight and diet. Children and infants require far less fluoride.

Natural sources of fluoride include carrots, dandelions, green leafy vegetables, nuts, garlic and spinach. Instant tea may contain as much as 6.5 mg of fluoride per liter of consumable beverage while regular brewed tea may contain up to 4.2 mg/L.

Bottled beverages (be it wine, beer, juice or soda) will reflect the average fluoride content of the water from which they were made. Wine is even higher because most crops use Cryolite, a pesticide synthesized from fluoride.

Processed cereals show up to 6.3 ppm of fluoride. Fish averages over two pm, but shellfish can be over three ppm, and canned fish can be over 4.5 ppm. Fluoridated salt contains about 250 ppm. Toothpaste may be over 10,000 ppm.

If it’s a vegetable or if it contains water, you are most certainly being exposed to additional fluoride. Even organic farmers are allowed to use fluoridated pesticides, and the use of these products has increased since the death of DDT. It’s not just about tap water any more. When a small child swallows a pea-sized gob of fluoridated toothpaste because it tastes like candy, he/she gets more than his full dose of fluoride for the day.

US EPA has established a maximum level of fluoride in drinking water at four ppm. Above that level, individuals are at risk of developing crippling skeletal fluorisis, an embrittling of the bone structure that can lead to weakening and increased incidents of fracture.

A secondary level (desirable) is set at two ppm. Above this level, children are likely to develop dental fluorosis, a brownstain mottling of permanent teeth. US EPA says that this is only cosmetic. Dental fluorosis, however, is only the first visible sign of fluoride poisoning, and other neurological damage has probably already been done.

 

fluorosis

Fluorosis

Here is what some experts in the field of medicine have to say about fluoride:5

•“Fluoride is a persistent bioaccumulator and is entering into human food and beverage chains in increasing amounts.” Marier, J. Rose. (1977) Environmental Fluoride National Research Council of Canada. NRCC No. 16081.

My take: fluoride is absorbed by teeth and bones and stays with us a long, long time. Many of the issues with excess fluoride consumption are due to its accumulation over time.

•“The prevalence of dental fluorosis in the United States has increased during the last 30 years, both in communities with fluoridated water and in communities with non-fluoridated
water.” Fromon, S.J. “Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental fluorosis.” Journal of Public Health Dentistry 60 (3): 131-9.

My take: fluorosis, caused by excess fluoride, is increasing even in areas that do not fluoridate water. This simply confirms the increase of fluoride in everything we eat or drink.
•“The majority of children in this research study drank water with the optimal fluoride level (0.7-1.2 ppm) and overall 34.5 percent had definitive fluorosis” Levy, S.M. Iowa study, Journal of Public Health Dentistry 66 (2): 92-6.

My take: the public water supply is putting kids over the top on fluoride intake and it is the only source that most can not avoid. We do not need the additional fluoride given to us by the public water supply.

•”Current standards for water fluoridation in the United States have stood since 1962. Many things have changed since then, however, and these data suggest that perhaps it is time to reconsider these standards.” Heller, K.E., et al. (1977). Dental Carries and Dental Fluorisis at Varying Water Fluoride Concentrations. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 57: 136-143.

My take: Fluoridated water has served its purpose and it is time to move on without it.

Here are 10 interesting and well-documented facts about fluoride:6

1) Ninety-seven percent of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water.

2) Fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication. All other additives improve quality or safety. Fluoride does neither.

3) Fluoride has minimal benefits (for tooth decay prevention) when swallowed.

4) Fluoridated water is no longer recommended for babies (formula preparation).

5) There are better ways of delivering fluoride than by adding it to water (such as direct topical application via
toothpaste).

6) Ingested fluoride has many risks to the brain, thyroid, and kidneys, and is implicated in bone cancer).

7) Industrial chemicals used to fluoridate water may present unique health risks not found with naturally
occurring fluoride complexes.

8) Fluoride’s benefits to teeth have been exaggerated.

9) Lower-income communities are at higher risk than the general public because they can least afford to avoid over exposure. Poorer communities show higher oral health problems and dental disfiguring from fluorosis.

10) Due to other sources, many people are being overexposed to fluoride.

When water fluoridation first started, it was about the only real source of fluoride in the diet. Most studies were done with sodium fluoride addition. Now, fluoridation is done with fluorosilicic acid and sodium silicofluoride as well. These are actually industrial waste products from the fertilizer and aluminum industries.

A recent study from the University of North Carolina showed that use of fluorosilicic acid (FSA) in water that is chlorinated can leach higher levels of lead from brass joints and piping. A University of Maryland study suggests that fluoridation can increase the blood lead levels in residents of older homes (containing lead pipes).

In hypersensitive individuals, fluoride can cause skin eruptions, gastric distress, headaches and overall weakness. The symptoms disappear when the sources of fluoride are removed.7 Hypersensitive individuals may react adversely to drinking water with as little as one ppm of fluoride.7

In addition to the concerns raised by the effects of excess fluoride on the skeletal, dental and dermal members of the human body, there are serious inferences now being leveled at general health, particularly mental health. Fluoride’s ability to damage the brain represents one of the most active areas of research on fluoride toxicity today.8

In a study by the US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) published in 1991, the agency was already aware that the general public was overexposed to fluoride .9

Medical science is finding damning evidence that elevated exposure to fluoride can be associated with IQ deficits in children. Researchers have found that fluoride accumulates in the brain of the fetus, causing damage before birth.

Elevated fluoride ingestion has also been linked to increased aluminum accumulation in the brain, which is now linked to Alzheimer’s in adults. These conclusions are not just from the isolated study here and there. The data is absolutely overwhelming.

I have carefully referenced my information sources for this article. Please verify this information for yourself and consider yourself warned. There is little if no evidence supporting the continuation of public water fluoridation, and there are volumes supporting its ban.

It is not surprising that the American Medical Association is recommending that baby formula be prepared with nonfluoridated water, and American dentists are moving away from their support of fluoridated toothpaste and other dental hygiene products containing fluorides. My own dentist no longer does routine fluoride treatments as part of the cleaning process.

So we have another contaminant in our drinking (and cooking and bathing) water. Part 2 of this series will discuss, in depth, the methods for removing fluoride from the water supply.

References

1. Michaud, C.F., Fluoride–Friend or Foe?, WC&P, September, 1996.
2. Fluoride-Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms and Food Sources.
3. Tooth Decay Trends in Fluoridated vs Unfluoridated Countries.
4. Recommended Daily Allowance for Fluoride.
5. The Fluoride Glut: Sources of Fluoride Exposure.
6. 10 Facts about Fluoride.
7. Allergy and Hypersensitivity to Fluoride,
8. Fluoride and the Brain.
9. America, Overdosed on Fluoride by Lynn Landes and Marcia Bechis, June 2000.

 

 

Garden Hose Filters Are Inexpensive, Easy to Install, and Very Versatile

ghfiltergardening

 

 

The garden hose filter above provides chemical-free water for a raised-bed garden. Garden hose filters offer an easy, convenient way to provide excellent water for plants, animals and people–for irrigation, for drinking, for washing cars, for pH amendment, for iron removal, for removing chlorine or chloramine,  for any purpose that requires high quality water. Garden hose filters come in four sizes and use standard-sized filter cartridges, so the possible applications are many.

Here are some pages to look at:

Standard Garden Hose Filters that use 9.75″ X 2.5″ cartridges.

Larger Garden Hose Filters. 

Garden Hose Iron Filters.

Garden Hose Softener.  (A 10,000 grain water softener set up  for garden hose operation. A favorite of RV owners and car washers.)

PFAS Treatment with Plasma


Posted February 25th, 2020

RESEARCH: ‘PLASMATRON’ COULD BLAST PFAS OUT OF THE WATER

Breaking down the PFAS bonds

 

plasmatreatment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With billions of dollars being spent to clean up contaminated land from PFAS, efforts are underway to find the best method to remove what are being called ‘forever chemicals’ seeping into water supplies.

A new study in the US has shown that rather than filtering out the chemicals using activated carbon or reverse osmosis, in fact, the best way is to destroy them.

Researchers from Drexel University in Pennsylvania have developed what is being called a ‘plasmatron’ technology that they claim breaks down PFAS contaminants, rather than filtering them out.

They said that with current filtration methods, such as carbon filters, PFAS are merely collected, not destroyed, so “unless the filters are incinerated at high temperatures”, the used filters “become a new source of PFAS”.

Why plasma?

Known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), these chemicals are part of a larger group referred to as per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

With PFAS leaching into ground and surface water from products sitting in landfills for decades, the chemicals do not readily biodegrade. A total of 700 PFAS-contaminated sites were recently identified in the US.

The US Department of Defense is said to be spending “billions of dollars” to clean up contaminated soil water supplies surrounding military bases where PFAS fire-fighting foam has been used.

A study from Duke University and North Carolina State University recently tested point of use/entry systems for their effectiveness in removing PFAS from household water supplies.

Meanwhile, Orange County in the US has started a $1.4 million project with Carollo to explore PFAS removal solutions, including reviewing 10 different carbons and four different resins.

The Drexel team believe that to eliminate these chemicals, you need to split the carbon-fluoride bond. By breaking these chains into smaller pieces, it renders the PFAS inert.

To then remove the fluoride – the temperature of the water needs to be raised to 1,000 Celsius – ten times the temperature of boiling water.

With this “clearly not feasible for water treatment operations” due to the high energy costs, the researchers proposed the use of highly energized gas, or plasma, to activate the PFAS atoms without heating the water.

How does the plasmatron work?

Published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, the study saw the development of a device called a “gliding arc plasmatron”.

Creating a rotating electromagnetic field that splits the chemicals apart in the water, the process was described as the chemical equivalent of “using a blender to make a smoothie”.

Researchers claim the process takes one hour and uses less energy than it takes to boil a kettle while removing more than 90 per cent of PFAS from the water.

The team said previous plasma treatment methods on PFAS did not lend themselves to being easily scaled up for use at large treatment facilities.

Alexander Fridman, PhD and director of the Nyheim Plasma Institute, said the technology could be adjusted to treat contaminated soil, achieving “near-complete defluorination of PFAS compounds”.

What the researchers said

Christopher Sales, PdD, associate professor of environmental engineering at Drexel, said: “The current standard for dealing with PFAS-contaminated water is activated carbon filters. But the problem is that it only collects the PFAS, it doesn’t destroy it.

“So unless the filters are incinerated at high temperatures, the spent filters become a new source of PFAS that can make its way back into the environment through landfill runoff and seepage.”

Fridman added: “Cold plasma has the potential to help us eliminate a variety of chemical toxins that threaten our food and drinking water  supplies.”

Source: Aquatech

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