“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best

THE ELEPHANT BAR IS CLOSED

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drugs in Our Water: Is the US Population Too High?


Too many wolves. Too many deer. In South Africa there are too many elephants. People recognize the problems and distortions that occur when an animal population expands beyond the ability of an area to accommodate them, but what of people themselves?

The US had a population of one hundred and fifty million two generations ago. Today the number has doubled to three hundred million. Much of that growth has come from immigration. Surely there is an optimum population, a desirable population or converesely a number that is too high.

Whatever the number the results of too many people becomes apparent after the fact. Today we have an example:

Area Tap Water Has Traces of Medicines Tests Find 6 Drugs, Caffeine in D.C., Va.

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 10, 2008; Page B01


The Washington area's drinking water contains trace amounts of six commonly used drugs that typically turn up in wastewater and cannot be filtered out by most treatment systems.

The pharmaceuticals -- an anti-seizure medication, two anti-inflammatory drugs, two kinds of antibiotics and a common disinfectant -- were found in very small concentrations in the water supply that serves more than 1 million people in the District, Arlington County, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. But scientists say the health effects of long-term exposure to such drugs are not known.

Pharmaceuticals, along with trace amounts of caffeine, were found in the drinking water supplies of 24 of 28 U.S. metropolitan areas tested. The findings were revealed as part of the first federal research on pharmaceuticals in water supplies, and those results are detailed in an investigative report by the Associated Press set to be published today.

In addition to caffeine, the drugs found in water treated by the Washington Aqueduct include the well-known pain medications ibuprofen and naproxen, commonly found in Aleve. But there were also some lesser-known drugs: carbamazepine, an anti-convulsive to reduce epileptic seizures and a mood stabilizer for treating bipolar disorders; sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic that can be used for humans and animals in treating urinary tract and other infections; and monensin, an antibiotic typically given to cattle. In addition, the study uncovered traces of triclocarban, a disinfectant used in antibacterial soaps.

That the drugs were found so commonly nationwide highlights an emerging water dilemma that the public rarely considers. The drugs we use for ourselves and animals are being flushed directly into wastewater, which then becomes a drinking water source downstream. However, most wastewater and drinking water treatment systems, including Washington's, are incapable of removing those drugs.

And although the chemicals pose no immediate health threat in the water, the health effects of drinking these drug compounds over a long period is largely unstudied. Some scientists said there is probably little human health risk; others fear chronic exposure could alter immune responses or interfere with adolescents' developing hormone systems.

Washington's water regulators and utility officials say they are not alarmed by the findings because the drugs are found at such low levels -- parts per trillion, a tiny fraction of the amount in a medical dose. But they do view these "emerging contaminants" with concern.

"What concerns me is we're finding pharmaceuticals in the river that we rely upon for drinking water," said Thomas P. Jacobus, general manager of the Washington Aqueduct. "If we can't get them out, we have to find a way to neutralize them if we find there's a health effect from them."

Jacobus said the aqueduct leadership will recommend in the next few months likely upgrades for water treatment to deal with an array of newly identified and increasing contaminants in the water. The aqueduct uses chlorine, which kills a wide group of bacteria and breaks down some chemicals but cannot disrupt pharmaceuticals. Studies show ozone water treatment is the most effective in zapping such drugs.

The U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been screening Washington's and other cities' water supplies for pharmaceuticals in the first research project on pharmaceuticals in the water. The Washington Aqueduct, an arm of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, does not regularly screen for caffeine or pharmaceuticals, nor do most water utilities.

The drugs discovered in testing over the past two years typically get into the water supply because they pass through a user's body and are flushed downstream. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying some pharmaceuticals for their impact on public health but has not set safety standards for any of the drugs.

"We recognize it is a growing concern, and we're taking it very seriously," Benjamin H. Grumbles, the EPA's assistant administrator for water, said of the drugs' presence.

There is no clear evidence of a human health threat from such low levels of pharmaceuticals. But scientists warn that, because there has been very little study of the long-term or synergistic effects of this kind of drug exposure, water providers and regulators need to exercise caution. Although experts agree that aquatic life are most at risk from exposure to the drugs in rivers and streams, researchers are concerned about what they don't know about human health effects.

In other findings from its reporting, the AP said officials in Montgomery County and Fairfax have found numerous pharmaceuticals in their environmental watersheds but do not test their drinking water supplies for the same chemical compounds.

Nationwide, the AP reported that researchers found anti-depressants, antacids, synthetic hormones from birth control pills, and many other human and animal medicines in the water. In San Francisco, tests found a sex hormone. In New York, the water tested positive for heart medicines and a prescription tranquilizer.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.




11 comments:

  1. It has more to do with $48 Billion USD spent on Iraqi infrastructure since 2003, instead of US infrastructure.

    There you have it, the realities of US Governmental priorities.

    While the Iraqi squirrel away funds across the global banking system. Shades of Prescott Bush and the Union Banking Corp in play.

    But let US not go there.
    That is coloring outside the approved lines of discussion.

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  2. I'm proud to say that Moscow's first deep well into the deep aquifir(20,000 year old water, they say)is on my property. Or what used to be our property as dad gave it to the city. This well burps gallons of water out onto my land every time the pumps turn on(they have to turn on slowly so as not to blow the water lines out)and I should capture it in a surge tank, bottle it, and sell it as "bob's 20,000" or some such. Now the city has a plan, under our new administration, which kicked out the greens recently, to sell our water to a developer over the state line, a few miles away. Even I am against this. Anyway, there aren't any chemicals in this water, from the last ice melt.
    Yes, we've got too many people. But population growth now is because of the immigrants, I've read, our own folk reproducing just right at replacement level. Idaho's got too many people in my way of thinking. What are we thinking? We want to become like China, India? Noooooo!

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  3. Reverend Bob is never amazed to see Reverend Al show up Where The Action Is, leaving little time for preaching.

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  4. Are not those over the State line US citizens, bob?
    Should they not get to benefit from that water, also?

    Is not their money green?

    Who, in Idaho, is willing to buy that water, in their stead?

    Or do you favor hording that water, in which case drilling the well, not a good idea.

    Would "Bob's Pure Idaho Water" only be sold in Idaho, or would you not export it to Denver and Tacoma?

    Much as your new City Government is wanting to do?

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  5. Their money is definitely going to be green.

    But, let them drill their own well.

    I'm worried about putting too much pressure on the resource. While it seems the level is holding steady, it is uncertain what the capacity really is.

    It is very pure water, though.

    I'd export it to Phoenix, land of thirsty people.:)

    Seriously, I have thought of capturing it, and building a greenhouse there. Bottling water, I wouldn't know how to even start thinking about how to do that. The investment in bottling machines would be beyond my means. "Bob's 20,000" would be truthful advertising, I think, though maybe to be safe I'd lower it to "Bob's 12,000".

    If dad would have had any sense, he would have made provision of some sort of a cut for us, in the event the city were ever to profit from the resource, but he didn't, being the civic minded old coot he was. As it was, mom was euphoric, as were many other people, when the well came in great as it did, and she could wash clothes in something other than that shit brown at times shallow water the city was using. This well is really deep.

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  6. We have a "grandfatered" well on the National Forest, one that is pretty shallow but a real producer.

    Did a quick study of bottling the water, the equipment is not very expensive. Transporting it was.

    Would have turned out to be a whole 'nother not very profitable business to get involved in. Passed on it.

    A greenhouse could be a good idea, organic produce grown id Idaho purest water. Could have to export the product to Washington, to find an "up scale" market willing to pay a premium for purity.

    Put it in the Trust, it'd be an income producer for posterity. If your daughter not interested, leave it to the Ag Dept at the local University, with an annual fee and a % dedicated to the Trust.

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  7. What was the equipment like? About how much? Where to buy?

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  8. Thanks,
    I shoulda thought to google it!:)

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    ReplyDelete