Lead in Drinking Water – Quick Accurate Screening Test At Home

Lead in Your Drinking Water

Despite measures taken by the EPA, lead poisoning is still a serious concern.  Lead can be found in old water taps as well as interior and exterior piping, plus in consumer products, paints, and pigments, and even your home.  As water sits in these pipes, the water can interact with the piping or the coating on the piping.  During this reaction, the level of lead in the water may increase. You can not see lead in water, but there may be some warning signs of a problem.  These warning signs are blue-green or blue water when you fill the bathtub, coatings or precipitates that are green or bluish-green in color, water that has a metallic taste, and pin hole leaks in the piping.    Drinking this water can cause lead poisoning that results in a number of serious health concerns.  Those at the most risk are young children, pregnant women, and the elderly.  If your tap water has lead levels exceeding 15ppb, you should take action immediately to minimize your exposure.

TestAssured’s Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit is designed to test for lead in water. This test is compatible with municipal water and private water systems.  If you live in a home with older pipes or frequently drink from a water fountain where lead piping could be used, you should check the lead levels.   If you not sure, you may want to take a look at our Know Your H20 Phone App.

This fast acting Lead in Drinking Water Test Kit includes all the instructions and supplies you need to quickly test your drinking water for the presence of lead.  In only 10 minutes, the Lead in Drinking Water Test will let you know if there are harmful elements in your water. It also includes a free pesticide test strip so you can make sure there are no pesticide contaminants in your water.  This simple test kit can easily be used in your home, classroom, office and anywhere else where you would need to test water quality. Quickly and accurately test well water, city/municipal water, tap water, residential drinking water, groundwater, and spring water sources. The results are fast and easy to read by following along with the included color chart and instruction manual.

Our Suggestions

  1. Take a look at the DIY Lead in Water Test Kit.
  2. Check out and learn about your city water, using this zip code search site.
  3. Support and Share this page with others @KnowYourH20
  4. Learn about Flint Michigan do not let this happen to you – Be Proactive – Not Reactive.

Nationwide Program: Community Environmental Report Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Nationwide Program:
Community Environmental Report
Your Home Health Status and Know Your H20?

Direct Link to this Nationwide Program-
Visit Us at http://www.knowyourh2o.us

Know Your H20?

We Launched Two – New Phone Apps and they are Available for IOS and Android Platforms

  1. Know Your H20? – Know Your H2O? is an educational tool that can help you diagnose the problem with your water. This app will lead you through a series of questions to pinpoint the issues with your water. You can reach your diagnosis through describing symptoms that are effecting your home, your health, or the water itself. This App is linked to the Water Research Portal.
  2. Baseline Water Testing (Pennsylvania) – The PA Baseline Testing mobile app is an educational tool for residents of Pennsylvania who are impacted by Oil & Gas Development or Subsurface Coal Development. By selecting which factor impacts your region, you can discover various recommendations and tiers of water testing that can help bring you piece of mind about the safety of your drinking water. Got Data? You can also submit your own testing data and results to help continue to build the PA Clean Water Team’s database.

The Nationwide Program

  1. The program helps you to identify the existing and historic environmental hazards in your community.
  2. We are working with a national environmental database search company to offer a report to help you understand your home or your future homes environmental health status within a community.
  3. We are doing this by taking a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards in the community and a review of select criminal activity.
  4. Featured Activities or Issues: Old Landfills, Leaky Fuel Tanks, Hazardous Waste Sites, Department of Defense Facilities, Superfund Sites, Radiological Sources, Clandestine Drug Labs, Floodplains and Wetlands and more.
  5. Report cost $ 55.00 per property, payable to the Keystone Clean Water Team.

Questions – please contact us at (570) 335-1947 or email the program manager, Mr. Brian Oram, at bfenviro@ptd.net.

Keystone Clean Water Team – 501c3
15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612
http://www.pacleanwater.org

B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
http://www.bfenvironmental.com

@KnowyourH20

America’s infrastructure collapsing Hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) was just found in 75% of drinking water

“(NaturalNews) An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

America’s infrastructure collapsing into Third World status

This quote at a recent rally in  Michigan is very true- “”we used to make cars in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are being made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”” Nor can you safely drink public water almost anywhere in America, as it’s almost universally contaminated with chromium-6, heavy metals or other toxic chemicals.”

To Read More: http://www.naturalnews.com/055408_chromium-6_drinking_water_chemical_suicide.html

Personally – We are the solution, not big govt, we must act to be informed, understand risk, and act.  You can Act NOW! Just some suggestions:

Act NoW !

  1. Get Your Water Tested – We recommend the Well Water or City Water Test Kit.
  2. Complete a Hazardous Survey Around Your Home!
  3. Get or Install a Point of Use Water Treatment Device  (Treated Water for Pennies a Gallon) !

B.F. Environmental Partners with Keystone Clean Water Team to Share Environmental Data

WILKES-BARRE, PA—September 25, 2015—B.F. Environmental Consultants, an environmental consulting firm providing a range of services throughout the Northeast, announced today that it will begin making detailed environmental risk reports available to consumers through its partnership with Keystone Clean Water Team, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit. The new program has been launched.  The program provides detailed information regarding existing and historic environmental hazards in communities across the country.

“A great deal of environmental risk data is available today but little if any of it is being made available to consumers,” said Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scientist and founder of B.F. Environmental Consultants. “By working with the Keystone Clean Water Team, we’re able to share this information with homeowners so that they will know what dangers are lurking in their neighborhoods and have some idea about what they can do about them.”

As part of the program, B.F. Environmental works with a national environmental database search company to identify possible sources of environmental contamination and then augments that data with information from its proprietary information sources, including its Know Your H2O? app and its online Water Research Center. The reports available to consumers provide a snapshot of the current and historic environmental concerns and hazards that might impact a property as well as a review of select criminal activity.

“The combination of the mobile app, customized reports, research reports, and water testing services will help citizens identify the environmental hazards present in their communities and help them address concerns they have about their city water, well water, or local stream water quality,” Oram said. “We are very proud to link these programs to help identify the little known hazards that affect consumers, identify the possible causes for water quality issues and provide assistance in diagnosing problems.”  “If you act quickly you can request a free report- We are offering 500+ free reports – Learn More Here“.

About B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc.

B.F. Environmental Consultants, based in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Poconos, has been providing professional geological, soils, hydrogeological, and environmental consulting services since 1985. The company specializes in the following areas: hydrogeological and wastewater evaluations for siting land-based wastewater disposal systems; soils consulting (soil scientists), environmental monitoring, overseeing the siting, exploration, and development of community/ commercial water supply sources; environmental training/ professional training courses, and other environmental services. For more information about B.F. Environmental Consultants, visit www.bfenvironmental.com and www.water-research.net.

Get Your Community Hazard Report
Download the Free Phone Apps
Know Your H20?  Drinking Water Diagnostic
Baseline Water Testing App – Pennsylvania

Flint Michigan Officials Drinking Water We Have Problems

Flint Officials Are No Longer Saying the Water Is Fine

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/us/reassurances-end-in-flint-after-months-of-concern.html?_r=0

By MONICA DAVEY

OCT. 7, 2015

“FLINT, Mich. — All along, through months of complaints from residents of this city about the peculiar colors and odors they said were coming from their faucets, the overriding message from the authorities here was that the water would be just fine.

Yes, there had been a boil order when fecal coliform bacteria turned up in some neighborhoods last year. And yes, the extra chlorine that was pumped in to solve that problem seemed to create another one — increased levels of a different contaminant.

Still, the guidance from Flint officials about the temporary water supply they switched to in 2014 — partly to save money — sounded reassuring. In a notice sent to residents in July, city officials declared: “This is not an emergency. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.”

The soothing talk has vanished. In recent weeks, testing has shown increased levels of lead in the blood of some Flint children — and health officials pointed to the water as a possible source.

First, the city advised residents to run their water for five minutes before using it, to use only cold water for drinking and cooking, and to install lead-removing water filters. Then county officials issued an emergency advisory recommending that people not drink Flint’s water unless it is tested for lead or filtered.

And last Friday, after corroborating that lead levels had risen in some children, state officials called for the water to be tested at all Flint public schools and for stepped-up efforts to replace lead service lines; they also promised $1 million to provide filters.

Officials met here on Wednesday afternoon, and talks were underway, officials said, for additional solutions that could come as early as Thursday. Gov. Rick Snyder said on Twitter late Wednesday that he planned to make an announcement about the situation on Thursday morning.

Private groups have raced to donate bottled water to schools, where the water fountains are now shut off, as well as filters to families who cannot afford them. Saying “we’re just in a heck of a bind,” Robert J. Pickell, the Genesee County sheriff, began serving bottled water and food that need not be cooked in water to hundreds of inmates in the county jail. Some residents have begun washing their children and pets with bottled water.

And Flint’s mayor, Dayne Walling, who had attended a 2014 event to celebrate the switch to the new water supply, called for returning to the city’s old water supply and urged state officials to provide millions of dollars to help pay for it.

The contaminated water was just the latest blow to Flint, an economically battered city that has struggled for years with factory closings, job losses and population decline.”

Full Article

Comments

  1. This can be a problem associated with bacterial regrowth, Microbiologically induced corrosion, corrosive water, and a plumbing problem.
  2. The primary recommendations get a comprehensive water quality test of the first flush and flushed water sample.
  3. Always flush the water line prior to use and use cold water and not hot water.
  4. Base decisions on facts not fear.
  5. Special Informational Water Screening Testing – Get your water screened for water contamination including lead – unflushed and flushed water samples tested for  30 parameters including corrosion potential for only $ 175.00.  Email

B.F. Environmental Builds Expertise into New Water Quality Mobile App – Know Your H20?

B.F. Environmental Builds Expertise into New Water Quality Mobile App

Company experts have developed a new tool that will help families stay healthy

 

WILKES-BARRE, PA—September 22, 2015—B.F. Environmental Consultants, an environmental consulting firm providing a range of services throughout the Northeast, announced today the launch of a new mobile app that will make it possible for homeowners to get answers about the quality of their drinking water. Brian Oram, a professional geologist and soil scientist and founder of B.F. Environmental Consultants, developed this new diagnostic tool, called “Know Your H2O?”

“Consumers have fully embraced mobile technologies. If we want to help them, we’re going to have to make our information available to them through their IOS and Android devices,” Oram said. “This new app will put actionable information about water quality into the hands of homeowners all across the country. I’m very proud of this new product.”

Know Your H2O? relies heavily upon the massive online water quality resource the company has made available through the launch of its Water Research Center website. The first version of the software helps consumers diagnose potential water quality problems by exploring aesthetic problems, physical problems, health concerns, or specific problems in their homes. The app is supported by additional content that is directly linked to the Water Research Center.

“This tool helps consumers diagnose problems, but then goes beyond that to provide recommendations for further testing or corrective action,” Oram said. “The app is based on a holistic approach and is guided by concerns about our water, homes, and health. It is a comprehensive tool that can be used by any homeowner, building inspector, water quality professional, or water treatment professional to diagnose a problem and determine next steps.”

For more information about the mobile app or to download your own free copy, visit: http://knowyourh2o.us

About B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc.

B.F. Environmental Consultants, based in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Poconos, has been providing professional geological, soils, hydrogeological, and environmental consulting services since 1985. The company specializes in the following areas: hydrogeological and wastewater evaluations for siting land-based wastewater disposal systems; soils consulting (soil scientists), environmental monitoring, overseeing the siting, exploration, and development of community/ commercial water supply sources; environmental training/ professional training courses, and other environmental services. For more information about B.F. Environmental Consultants, visit www.bfenvironmental.com and www.water-research.net.

Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera (PV) Investigation

Background

In 2004, using state cancer registry records, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) found a PV cluster in northeast Pennsylvania. PV is part of a disease group called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which is a group of slow-growing blood cancers where the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.

In 2006, ATSDR was asked to help study PV patterns in the area. From 2007-2008, ATSDR reviewed medical records, conducted genetic testing, and confirmed this PV cluster.

In 2009, Congress funded ATSDR to continue this investigation. ATSDR is overseeing 18 projects with PADOH, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations. These projects are based on recommendations from an expert panel. The panel identified four areas for investigation; epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental studies.

In 2014, the last of the contracts for the 18 different projects ended.

PV Research Projects Status Graphic March 2015  (The Graphic)

Status

The graphic, PV Research Projects Status Graphic March 2015  (The Graphic),  this provides a summary of the status of each of the 18 projects as of March 2015.  I’ve attached this graphic both as a “snapshot” in the body of this email, as well as a pdf attachment.  Projects highlighted in “green” in the attached graphic have work complete and a final product available (if applicable).  Projects highlighted in “yellow” have final products in progress and undergoing clearance.  Projects highlighted in “red” have final products that are anticipated but not yet started.  The shapes of the projects in the graphics give you an idea of the category of work of that project, as described in the key on the graphic.

As of March 23, 2015, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for 12 projects.  We are happy to announce that 1 new project (#12) moved from yellow to green since my January 2015 update:

#12:  “Tri-County MPN Updated Surveillance Study“ conducted by the University of Pittsburgh is complete.  The published manuscript and ATSDR/CDC summary factsheet are available on the ATSDR website at:

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/

The purpose of this study was to examine PV reporting to the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry (PCR) following the original ATSDR PV investigation; to determine whether other myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) were similarly underreported or falsely reported; and to determine whether a cancer cluster persisted in the follow-up period. The original ATSDR PV cancer cluster investigation was conducted in a tri county area in northeast Pennsylvania in 2006. This study was initiated to update and expand the original investigation.  These researchers found that:

  • *       Most MPN cases had been reported to the PCR but only about half were true cases.
  • *       Using the seven true PV cases identified, these researchers did not find any statistically significant clusters in space or in space-time in this updated analysis.
  • *       Using the eleven true CML cases, these researchers did not find any statistically significant clusters in space or in space-time in this updated analysis.
  • *       Using nine true ET cases, these researchers found a statistically significant cluster at the zip-code level when evaluated in space, but not in space-time.
  • *       The estimated incidence rates for most MPNs are lower than the rates calculated from the original PCR database.
  • *       The estimated PV incidence rate was 2.5 (0.8-5.1) per 100,000, 64% lower than the original rate based on PCR reports after correcting for completeness and accuracy.
  • *       The estimated ET incidence rate was 2.3 (0.6-3.8) per 100,000, slightly higher than the original rate based on PCR reports after correcting for completeness and accuracy.
  • *       However, the wide range of values for estimated incidence rates reflects the variability associated with the findings based on the low response rate. The response rate for this study was 26%. This means that approximately ¼ of the identified cases agreed to participate in this study.

Further, #13 “Case Control Study” conducted by Drexel University (reported as already complete when Carol Ann Gross-Davis’ PhD dissertation was completed as of the October 2014 update) now has a publicly available journal article published related to this effort.  This article is entitled “The Role of Genotypes That Modify the Toxicity of Chemical Mutagens in the Risk for Myeloproliferative Neoplasms” and is available online at:

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/12/3/2465/html

This article describes Drexel’s population-based case-control study.  Eligible participants were residents of Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties born between 1921–1968 and residing in the area between 2000–2008. Drexel recruited 27  “cases” (i.e., participants diagnosed with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF))and 292 “controls” (i.e., participants not diagnosed with MPNs but similar in other characteristics such as age, residence history, etc) through random digit dialing.  Blood samples from participants were analyzed, and odds ratios estimated for a select set of polymorphisms (i.e., variations in a particular DNA sequence).  The researchers selected polymorphisms that are associated with “environmentally sensitive genes.”  The aim of this effort was to try to identify potential classes of environmental exposures that could be linked to the development of genetic changes that could be related to MPNs.

 

For more information:

Visit ATSDR’s web page on PV: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html

Call ATSDR’s toll-free PV information line: 866-448-0242 or email jcx0@cdc.gov, which will connect you to Dr. Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, ATSDR Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences.

Contact Lora Siegmann Werner, ATSDR Region 3, by phone at 215-814-3141 or by email at lkw9@cdc.gov.

For the New or Future Water Well Owner Homebuyer in Pennsylvania

Welcome to Pennsylvania and Welcome to Managing Your Own Small Water Company

In Pennsylvania,  there are generally no specific construction standards for private wells and there is only some general guidance with respect to well placement and construction.  Further, private well water is not regulated by the EPA or PADEP and therefore it is up to YOU to check your water to ensure that the well produces good clean and adequate water.    This is only a short summary of the information.  If you are interested we offer a Private Well Owner Training Course that can be offered as a Workshop for Your Community, Association, or other Organization.

There are a number of steps to this process and well will break them down as follows:

Well Placement
Well Construction
Well Testing (Yield and Quality)
Well Maintenance
Annual Water Testing

Well Placement
In general, the primary guidance with to water well placement in Pennsylvania is that a water well should be 100 feet from a septic system (regulated), 50 feet from a septic tank (regulated), 10 feet from a sewer line under pressure (regulated), and 10 feet from a property line. To be honest, these isolation distance do not consider impacts from other natural conditions or activities.  In general, we  would recommend the following:

1. If possible, the private well owner should control all activities within a 50 to  100 foot radius of the wellhead, i.e.., top of the water well. These activities should include: use of pesticides and herbicides, storage of toxic or hazardous chemicals, storage or management of manure and other waste, diversion of surface water and runoff, overuse of the area by grazing animals, location of burrow pits, burn pipes, rubbish storage, or storage of used cars or other items that may contain antifreeze, oils, and greases.
2. Well casing should extend at least 12 inches above grade.
3. Well should be fitted with a sanitary well cap that has some form of venting.
4. The well should be located at least 10 feet from a property line.

Other suggested isolation distances

Delineated wetlands or floodplains (25 feet)- with top of casing 3 feet above flood elevation.
Surface waters (25 feet) Storm water Systems (25 feet)
BioInfiltration Stormwater Systems (50 feet +)
Spray Irrigation/ Septage Disposal (100 feet+)
Sinkholes and Closed Depressions (100 feet +)
Farm silos / manure storage (200 feet) Septic Systems (100 feet)
Septic Tanks/Holding Tanks (50 feet)
Chemical Storage/Preparation Area (300 feet)

Well Construction

1. Prefer the use of steel casing that extends at least 15 feet to 20 feet into firm bedrock or 60 feet below ground, whichever is greater.
2. Casing should be of  adequate wall thickness to deal with corrosion and stress – 19lb casing.
3. The base of the casing should contain a driveshoe on the bottom of the casing and casing centralized in the borehole.
4. Wells drilled by a licensed well driller using only potable water as the drilling fluid.
5. Casing should be double circumferential welded or threaded casing
6. Well caps should be sanitary well caps that are properly vented.
7. Annular space should have a grout layer that is at least 1.5 inches thick.
8. Pitless adapters should be used over well pits.

Well Testing (Yield and Quality)

After the well is drilled, the well should be developed using surging, air-lift, or pumping the well.  This is done to clean out the well cuttings and improve yield.  In some cases, this needs to be done to improve the efficiency of the borehole. If the well yield is low, some well drillers will hydrofrac the well. If you are going to hydrofrac a water well, we recommend zone hydraulic fracturing to isolate the deeper potential water-bearing zones.   After the well development has been completed, a shock wellbore disinfection should be conducted.  The well should be allowed to fully recover and a minimum 2-hour yield test is recommend.  After the yield testing, the well should be shock disinfected.  For information on shock disinfection – we recommend visiting Water-Research Center.   The well yield data should include the static water level (water level before pumping), maximum dynamic water level (maximum depth to water during pumping), pumping rate, and length of the pumping test.  This data should be included on the well log and the specific capacity of the well should be reported.  The specific capacity is the rate of yield or gallons per minute per foot of drawdown.  The drawdown is the difference between the static and dynamic water level measurement. 

Before the end of the yield testing, it is recommended that a general water quality analysis of the well be conducted.  This testing should include bacterial quality, general water quality, and specific parameters that are known problems for your region.  Do not rely on a free water analysis or a basic water quality screening down by the well driller.  This should be either information or certified testing conducted by a laboratory.  For information on this type of testing, please contact the Keystone Clean Water Team or the Water-Research Center.   The initial water quality testing data should be reviewed and evaluated.  The first well or city water quality test should be a comprehensive water quality check.  If you are want informational water testing, we would recommend either the Well Water Check or the City Water Check Option. This evaluation should include the need for any further action to improve the well security, continue with well development, or add equipment to improve well water quality.  In some cases, water treatment systems are installed as an additional barrier or layer of protection.  In many cases, the only type of additional treatment that is needed is a whole-house particle filter and a sanitary well cap.  For information on Do-it-Yourself Water Treatment Systems.

Well and System Maintenance

At a minimum, the well water system should go through an annual inspection.  This inspection could be associated with the annual water quality test or inspection of any water treatment systems.  During this evaluation, the aesthetic quality of the water should be evaluated and some basic field water quality screening should be conducted.   For the field water screening, it is possible this can be done using a number of low-cost meters or an informational water quality screening test.

Annual Water Testing

Depending on the results of the initial evaluation, the results should be evaluated to determine what are the water quality parameters that should be monitored to help track the general water quality of the well.  If a water treatment system was installed, the annual water quality evaluation should include the performance of the water treatment system.  If you need help with determining what you need, WE can Help – Here is a partial listing of the informational water screening tests !  The Keystone Clean Water Team can provide guidance on the selection of water quality parameters, review water quality data, and make recommendations on the water quality parameters.  At a minimum, the Keystone Clean Water Team offers a Health Screen Test (only $ 50 if you have the sample bottles (video)) and testing includes bacteria, pH, conductivity, iron, manganese (if suspected), nitrate, total dissolved solids, total hardness, and alkalinity (Health Screen Test Order Form).    If you are interested, you may want to obtain a copy of our Educational Booklet and Brochure.

To Review a Number of our Case Studies – Common Private Well Problems and Fixes.

Everything we do began with an idea.

We have offered “Free” Assistance to this effort, but if you are a private well owner that needs assistance we are happy to help.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission), but we also do local educational workshops and local cellphone/small electronic recycling programs. If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera Investigation

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Northeast Pennsylvania Polycythemia Vera (PV) Investigation

Background 

In 2004, using state cancer registry records, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) found a PV cluster in northeast Pennsylvania. PV is part of a disease group called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which is a group of slow-growing blood cancers where the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.

In 2006, ATSDR was asked to help study PV patterns in the area. From 2007-2008, ATSDR reviewed medical records, conducted genetic testing, and confirmed this PV cluster.

In 2009, Congress funded ATSDR to continue this investigation. ATSDR is overseeing 18 projects with PADOH, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations. These projects are based on recommendations from an expert panel. The panel identified four areas for investigation; epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental studies.

In 2014, the last of the contracts for the 18 different projects ended.

 

Status

The graphic with this email provides a summary of the status of each of the 18 projects as of October 2014.  I’ve attached this graphic both as a “snapshot” in the body of this email, as well as a pdf attachment.  Projects highlighted in “green” in the attached graphic have work complete and a final product available (if applicable).  Projects highlighted in “yellow” have final products in progress and undergoing clearance.  Projects highlighted in “red” have final products that are anticipated but not yet started.  The shapes of the projects in the graphics give you an idea of the category of work of that project, as described in the key on the graphic.

 

As of October 30, 2014, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for 10 projects.  We are happy to announce that 3 new projects (#11, #13, and #18) moved from yellow to green since my April 2014 update:

  • #11:  “Comparative 4-County Study in South Central PA,” conducted by the University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Joel Weissfield) under contract with PADOH.  Final report received.  ATSDR/CDC summary factsheet on ATSDR website at:
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html
  • #13:  “Case Control Study,” conducted by Drexel University (Dr. Carolann Gross-Davis).  Drexel PhD dissertation completed.  Note, this was the one project out of the 18 that was funded via  via a directed appropriation to that university.  Please contact Dr. Gross-Davis regarding requests for further information about her report/dissertation via the contact information on her website at http://publichealth.drexel.edu/academics/faculty/Carol%20Ann%20Gross-Davis/.
  • #18: “Air/Water Exposure Assessment,” conducted by Equity Environmental Engineering.  Two final reports (one on water/hydrogeology and one on air) received.  Two ATSDR summary factsheets are on the ATSDR website at:
    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html

 

Final products for another projects are in progress; this is an increase in one project moving from red to yellow (#14) since my August 2014 update.  A final product for 1 project (#6) is anticipated but not yet started.

 

For more information:

Visit ATSDR’s web page on PV: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/

Call ATSDR’s toll-free PV information line: 866-448-0242 or email jcx0@cdc, which will connect you to Dr. Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, ATSDR Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences.

Contact Lora Siegmann Werner, ATSDR Region 3, by phone at 215-814-3141 or by email at lkw9@cdc.gov.

 

Make a difference starting now!

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping useable and valuable materials out of landfills and incinerators. It also helps preserve important animal habitats by reducing the demand for Coltan. In addition to recycling cell phones and electronic waste it is critical that consumers demand conflict free electronic devices.   You can help the Keystone Clean Water Team and the Environment by recycling your cell phone.  ”

If you would like to set up a program to help recycle cellphones at an event, business, or other organization.  Through our program we can recycle  cell phones, iPods, game systems, and small digital cameras.  If your interested, please contact us.

Volunteer

We seek new people at all skill levels for a variety of programs. One thing that everyone can do is attend meetings to share ideas on improving the Program, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.  We look for people that can forward solid articles, help coordinate local education efforts, and more.  Become part of the Keystone Clean Water Team!

Everything we do began with an idea.

We realize your time is precious and the world is hectic. CCGG’s volunteers do only what they’re comfortable with. It can be a little or a lot.  Get YOUR WATER Tested – Discounted Screening Tests !

For more information, please go to CCGG’s About Page or contact us.

Keystone Clean Water Team is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.    Unsolicited donations are appreciated (Helps us complete our mission).

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!

ATSDR/CDC Northeast PA Polycythemia Vera (PV) Investigation Projects Update

Background

In 2004, using state cancer registry records, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) found a PV cluster in northeast Pennsylvania. PV is part of a disease group called myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), which is a group of slow-growing blood cancers where the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets.

In 2006, ATSDR was asked to help study PV patterns in the area. From 2007-2008, ATSDR reviewed medical records, conducted genetic testing, and confirmed this PV cluster.

In 2009, Congress funded ATSDR to continue this investigation. ATSDR is overseeing 18 projects with PADOH, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and various universities and private organizations. These projects are based on recommendations from an expert panel. The panel identified four areas for investigation; epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental studies.

As of October 1, 2013, all of the contracts for the 18 projects have ended.  The last to end was the tissue bank contract, which closed for recruitment of new tissue donations from the PA tri-county study area in May 2014.  At this time, no new samples will be added from the tri-county study area, but the geographically identified (but de-identified in terms of personal information) donations from the tri-county study area will continue to be available for researchers to access via this national tissue bank established at the Myleloproliferative Disease Research Consortium (MPD-RC).  You can continue to follow the work of the overall MPD-Research Consortium on their website at: http://www.mpd-rc.org/home.php.

Status

The graphic with this email provides this summary as of August 2014.  I’ve attached this graphic both as a “snapshot” in the body of this email, as well as a pdf attachment.  Projects highlighted in “green” in the attached graphic have work complete and a final product available (if applicable).  Projects highlighted in “yellow” have final products in progress and undergoing clearance.  Projects highlighted in “red” have final products that are anticipated but not yet started.

As of August 5, 2014, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for projects.  We are happy to announce that one new project (#16/17, PADEP’s environmental testing) moved from yellow to green since my May update; we now have a factsheet and final ATSDR health consultation report evaluating an initial set of radiological environmental sampling results from the study area.  At the request of ATSDR, PADEP collected and analyzed environmental samples within the tri-county area and ATSDR evaluated the possible health effects of exposure to the radiological elements in the samples.  Environmental samples from the cluster area were collected as a component of the overall research investigation into the PV disease cluster:

  • Indoor air was analyzed for radon.
  • Soil, sediment and water samples were analyzed for metals, organic compounds, and radioactive substances.

This ATSDR public health report focuses on an initial set of the radiological environmental sampling information.  Additional reports evaluating other environmental and health information from the PV investigation will be released at a later date.

The ATSDR report found:

  • Some houses in the study area had elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air. Radon gas was also found in the private well water of some homes.
  • Soils from the study area had slightly elevated levels of radium.
  • Without additional information, ATSDR cannot determine if the cluster of cases of PV disease in the tri-county area is related to the radiological exposures observed in the environmental sampling information.

 

In this report, ATSDR recommends:

  • All residents in the study area should have their homes tested for radon gas. Houses with elevated radon levels should be retested. If a home is retested and elevated radon levels continue, residents should contact the state of Pennsylvania radon program hotline at 1-800-237-2366 and request additional information on how to reduce the radon levels in the home.
  • People in homes with high levels of radon in their drinking water should contact the PADEP Radon Program for assistance. Home water supplies can be treated to reduce radon levels.
  • ATSDR recommends that in those areas where radium in soils seems to be elevated, additional sampling may be helpful to further understand this exposure pathway. ATSDR will discuss the potential for a future collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey to further evaluate levels of radiological contaminants in environmental media in the study area.

 

These documents are available at:

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/PolycythemiaVera/Polycythemia%20Vera%20Investigation%20in%20PA_HC_07-22-2014%20FINAL.pdf

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/PolycythemiaVera/PV%20(Still%20Creek)%20Tri%20County%20-%20FINAL%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%20Review%20of%20Radiological.pdf

Final products for another 9 projects are still in progress and remain coded as yellow.  Final products for 2projects are anticipated but not yet started and remain coded as red.

For more information:

Visit ATSDR’s web page on PV: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/index.html

Call ATSDR’s toll-free PV information line: 866-448-0242 or email jcx0@cdc, which will connect you to Dr. Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, ATSDR Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences.

Contact Lora Siegmann Werner, ATSDR Region 3, by phone at 215-814-3141 or by email at lkw9@cdc.gov.

 

Other Resources

1. Radiological Testing and Screening – http://www.water-research.net/index.php/radiological-contaminants

2. Radiological – Testing Parameters – http://www.water-research.net/watertest/radiologicalwatertesting.pdf

3. Radon in Water