“A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common pharmaceuticals detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found.
The potential human health risks associated with minute levels of PPCPs in water in general and drinking water in particular is still being determined. Until more is known, there is much the public health and environmental protection community can do to educate the public about taking proactive steps concerning the use and disposal of PPCPs.
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals including:
- all human and veterinary drugs
- dietary supplements
- topical agents such as cosmetics and sunscreens
- laundry and cleaning products
- fragrances and all the “inert” ingredients that are part of these products
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products are introduced to the environment as pollutants in a variety of ways, including:
- intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing)
- bathing or swimming
- discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems
- leaching from landfills
- excretion by humans and domestic animals
- runoff from confined animal feeding operations
- discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events, cruise ships, and some rural homes directly into surface water
- accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area
- loss from aquaculture
- spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops.”
Starting Off the New Year Right
by Brian Oram
Happy New Year, I would like to propose we make one additional commitment this year. This commitment is to care about the water we drink as we try to remember how we impact or influence the quality and quantity of the water resources. Although it is the beginning of a new year (wishing you GOOD Luck in 2017!), for the water cycle the new year started in October. This is the time of the year when the aquifer begins to recharge. Many people are unaware that the aquifer must recharge, it is not infinite. In Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States, we are blessed with having abundant water resources, but something we should not take for granted. In 2016, we had an interesting election year that brought up many concerns. Also in the news, came a reminder of the limitedness of the water. A number of regions of Pennsylvania were put on a drought advisory and many small streams, springs, and even a few shallow wells dried up, i.e., no water. With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, I would like to suggest a few small steps to help move us forward in a positive direction. These steps are as follows:
- Learn about how and where you get your drinking water – Does your water come from a private source or city water supply source?
- If the water is from a private well- When did you have the water tested? For parts of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, it is not uncommon for about 40 to 50% of private wells to have a problem that may make the user or a guest sick.
- If you are on a city water source- Have you ever looked at the Annual Confidence Report about the quality of your drinking water? The most common problem with community water sources is elevated levels of trace metals like lead and chlorine by-products like trihalomethanes, i.e., suspected carcinogens. For information on water testing, please visit water-research.net.
- Are you using your water wisely? There are ways to use our drinking water resources more efficiently. A website titled, wateruseitwisely.com, offers over 100 tips on how to best use water. My favorite tip is “Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four”. There are over 4 million households in Pennsylvania, this one lifestyle change could save 41.6 billion gallons of water. This is only one change!
- Our surface water and groundwater are connected, and “we all live downstream”. This phrase means that how we use the groundwater resources directly impacts the surface water resources and we all are interconnected. Therefore, when using cleaning products, chemicals, or managing a waste we all live downstream from someone else. For example, the biggest source of man influenced global oil pollution is not massive spills or leaks. Only 8% of man influenced oil pollution comes from pipelines and major releases. The biggest sources are the small leaks from our boats, cars, and other means of transportation and the improper disposal of waste oil by individuals.
- Know Your H20? – it is important to know how you can influence the quality of the water resources, but it is also important to know the historic hazards in your community that may be contributing to a problem. With this in mind, it is important to learn about the historic hazards in your community and surrounding your home. The Keystone Clean Water Team offers neighborhood or community hazard survey reports for communities within the Unities States. The 501 c3 offers a few free reports each month. To get more information about this program, please visit – knowyourh20.us.
The best way to start off the New Year is not with a significant lifestyle change, but baby steps. Make a few basic commitments and make small changes that will help you and your family save and conserve water, check the quality of your drinking water, learn about the hazards in your community, and perhaps implement 1 item each month that will save and conserve water. It is important to remember that the less water you use, the more money stays in your pocket.
A few short phrases we should try to remember.
We ALL Live Downstream !
Groundwater and Surface water are Connected!
We are Part of the Water Cycle – Not just an Observer!
You can help – Make A Donation !
Governor Cuomo Announces Immediate State Action Plan to Address Contamination in Hoosick Falls – PFOA
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of immediate actions by New York State to address contamination in the Village of Hoosick Falls’ water supply and at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site. These announcements follow today’s meeting between the Governor and senior state and local officials.
“We are taking immediate and aggressive actions to protect the health of Hoosick Falls residents,” said Governor Cuomo. “These actions will ensure that the source and extent of PFOA contamination is identified, and all necessary steps are taken to swiftly address the chemical’s presence. My administration is investigating this situation fully, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure safe, clean drinking water for local residents.”
Emergency regulation issued to classify PFOA as a hazardous substance; Saint-Gobain facility to be classified as a State Superfund Site to unlock state resources and legal remedy to address contamination.
State will conduct Health Risk Analysis to establish PFOA drinking water guidance level; retest private wells in the village of Hoosick Falls; and immediately install filtration systems at school and other community gathering places
State hotline (1-800-801-8092) established to help public stay informed.
NJ – Drinking Water Guidance on PFOA – DEP also has taken the first step toward developing a preliminary drinking-water guidance value (Pdf Format) for PFOA. Based on existing animal studies and estimates derived from a lifetime of exposure (70 years), DEP identified a guidance level of .04 parts per billion (ppb). Average blood levels in the United States are approximately 5 ppb.
These actions include to:
- Issue Emergency Regulation to Classify PFOA as Hazardous Substance: The state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued an emergency regulation to classify Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the contaminant found in the Village’s water supply, as a hazardous substance. This provides DEC with the legal authority to pursue State Superfund designation and cleanup of the site using State Superfund resources.
- Classify Saint-Gobain Facility as a State Superfund Site to Unlock State Resources to Address Contamination: Further, the state announced it will classify the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation McCaffrey Street Plant and other possible sources of contamination that may be identified in Hoosick Falls as State Superfund sites to unlock state funding resources under the State Superfund Program to address the contamination in the community. DEC has already initiated its investigation and inspected the Saint-Gobain property. If in the course of its continuing investigation DEC finds any additional sources of PFOA contamination, they will also be listed. The Superfund Class 2 designation will allow the state to use State Superfund resources to investigate and clean up PFOA contamination much more quickly than waiting for a federal Superfund designation. In addition, the state will be able to seek cost recovery for the investigation and cleanup activities. DEC will collaborate closely with EPA in the investigation of PFOA in groundwater, soil and other media in Hoosick Falls to determine appropriate cleanup activities.
- Conduct Health Risk Analysis to Establish PFOA Drinking Water Guidance Level: To address the water supply contamination, the state Department of Health will conduct a risk analysis, examining the latest national research, to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.
- Retest Private Wells in the Village of Hoosick Falls: In addition, the state Department of Health will retest 24 private wells in the vicinity of the Saint-Gobain facility.
- Immediately Install Filtration Systems at School and Other Community Gathering Places: Out of an abundance of caution, the state committed to installing water filtration systems at the local school, public health facilities and other community gathering places.
- Blood Testing of Community Members to Begin in Mid-February: Beginning in mid-February, DOH will begin blood testing for community members for those who wish to be tested.
- Establish State Hotline for Public to Stay Informed: Residents can contact 1-800-801-8092 for more information.
Further, once PFOA contamination is addressed, the state committed to work with the community and banks to safeguard property values.
Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “Under the direction of Governor Cuomo, New York State is working collaboratively with all levels of government from the EPA to the village and town, to address the contamination in Hoosick Falls. Classifying PFOA as a hazardous substance and making the Saint-Gobain site a State Superfund site will free up resources to investigate and clean up the contamination quickly. We will continue our open dialogue with local officials and the people of Hoosick Falls to ensure they are informed throughout our investigation and remediation.”
Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “The actions taken today by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health will safeguard the residents of Hoosick Falls and help address their concerns. The Department of Health will continue to test private wells, and will soon begin a blood testing program to measure residents’ exposure to PFOA. Additionally, DOH will continue to examine the latest and best scientific research to establish a drinking water guidance level for PFOA.”
Senator Kathy Marchione said: “I want to personally thank Governor Cuomo for convening this afternoon’s highly productive and positive meeting regarding Hoosick Falls. The announcement that the state recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is taking purposeful action that will help Hoosick Falls families is welcome news. Our discussion today focused on realistic solutions including the state’s regulation of PFOAs, testing of all local wells, blood testing and carbon filtration systems to help protect the health and well-being of families in Hoosick Falls. The positive steps agreed to today are welcome news for the community. I have been carefully monitoring this situation and will continue advocating for Hoosick Falls families as this process moves forward.”
Town of Hoosick Supervisor Mark Surdam said: “I am thankful for the Governor’s recognition of the problem our community is facing with its water supply, and for the actions the state taking today. I want to assure all of the residents in the Town of Hoosick that we are undergoing a tremendous effort to deal with these concerns.”
Village of Hoosick Falls Mayor David Borge said: “I am grateful for Governor Cuomo’s swift action to help our community quickly restore the use of our water supply – and am pleased by the level of coordination by state agencies responding to this issue. This is a major step forward for all residents of the greater Hoosick Falls community.”
Hoosick Falls Central School Superintendent Kenneth Facin said: “Today’s meeting with Governor Cuomo was productive and meaningful, and promises real results for our students and parents. We are appreciative to be a part of a singular, concerted effort to rectify the environmental issues surrounding our water supply. As a proactive measure to ensure the health and safety of our students, the state is assisting our school district with the installment of a carbon filtration system. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership in galvanizing resources to assist our community.”
State’s Earlier Actions to Address PFOA Contamination
Today’s actions build upon DEC and DOH’s initiatives announced earlier this month to address the PFOA contamination to protect public health and the environment. The state urged EPA to take vigorous action on the federal level to regulate PFOA and to quickly add the Hoosick Falls site to the Superfund National Priorities List. The state, Saint-Gobain and the Village are collaboratively working on an agreement to install water treatment systems to remove hazardous chemicals from the Village’s water supply. In addition, DOH is undertaking a cancer registry study to investigate the incidence of cancer among Village residents and biomonitoring studies. Further DOH is offering PFOA biomonitoring to measure the level of PFOA in Village residents.
PFOA was detected in the Village’s public drinking water in 2014. Since then, DOH has worked closely with the Village to provide technical advice and assistance for water sampling and to evaluate water treatment options to eliminate health risks. Because the levels of PFOA in public water were higher than the EPA health advisory level, DOH determined that people should reduce their exposure by avoiding the use of tap water for drinking and cooking. In addition, DOH continues to monitor private wells and will have more results very soon.
Although the use of PFOA is being phased out, it is still used to make household and commercial products that resist heat, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water. This includes nonstick cookware, surface coatings for stain-resistant carpets and fabric, and paper and cardboard food packaging. Studies of people have associated exposure to PFOA with an increased risk for several health effects. This includes associations with effects on the liver, immune system, thyroid gland, cholesterol levels, blood pressure during pregnancy, and kidney and testicular cancer.
“The Tendr coalition includes pediatric neurologists, several minority physician associations, nurses, learning disability advocacy groups, environmental organizations, and the Endocrine Society, which has compiled several scientific statements documenting adverse health effects linked to endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic or disrupt the hormones in our own bodies. Dozens of scientists and health providers have signed the statement, as has Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program.”
How to Limit Your Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
A coalition of doctors, scientists and health advocates says you may be able to reduce your overall exposure to toxic chemicals by taking the following steps:
- Reduce pesticide exposure by choosing organic strawberries, apples, nectarines, green beans, celery and spinach. (This may be expensive, you may want to consider growing your own or at least washing and rinsing the items or buying from a USA Source).
- Choose seafood low in mercury like salmon, sardines, and trout. (Limit the intake of bottom feeders).
- Breast-feed your baby if you can; if you use formula, make sure the water is lead-free. (Lead-free water may require the installation of a point of use water treatment system).
- When buying furniture with padding like a high chair, sofa or mattress, ask for products that are labeled free of toxic flame retardants.
- Avoid exposing the family to tobacco smoke, wood smoke from fireplaces and wood stoves, idling car exhaust, cooking fumes from stoves and grills.
- If you’re putting in a new floor, choose either phthalate-free vinyl flooring or wood, bamboo or cork. (Check on the sources of the materials).
- Avoid plastic toys, backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which can be a source of phthalates. (This may be tough- First Choice Buy Made in the USA).
- Choose fragrance-free personal care products to avoid phthalates in fragrances . (Try naturally scent oils)
- When using stool softeners, laxatives and other time-release capsules, look for phthalates on the list of inactive ingredients so you can avoid them. (How about eat more fiber).
- Use nontoxic alternatives to pesticides in your yard and on your pets. (or use them as directed)
- Screen your house for lead. If it was built before 1978, lead paint may place your family at risk. If paint is chipping or peeling, it can build up in house dust and stick to children’s hands. (Lead Paint Testing and Comprehensive Water Testing)
- Reduce household dust that may contain lead, flame retardants, phthalates and pesticides. Take shoes off before you come into the house and use a doormat to trap dirt outside and inside the doorway. Damp mop, use a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner and dust with a microfiber cloth. (Least us not forget Mold and Radon)
Know Your H20 – Get a Community Hazard Report
Since I am getting Older – I came across this product seems interesting at our local BNI Business Meeting – Where I was speaking about the Know Your H20 Program and it is part of our BUY Local and Support Local Business Efforts.
Tri-Heat is a new style heating pad that was designed to help people with muscle, joint and arthritic pain find a more comfortable and effective way of applying heat therapy.Heat application is a commonly prescribed therapy in today’s medical field and Tri-Heat’s unique design makes it perfect for treating pain in hard to target areas such as the neck, wrist, shoulder, elbow and knee, among others.
Traditional heating pads are flat, flimsy and offer no support. When you try to wrap them around the injury you have to struggle to hold them in place and fit them to your joints. When you constantly have to readjust them you lose the heat and therefore any benefit they offer.
Tri-Heat is different. When you place it in the area that needs treatment you don’t have to adjust it or struggle to make it fit into the muscle and joint because the design allows it to comfortably stay in place and heat effectively. It’s great for Arthritis sufferers, as well as athletes looking to warm up their leg, arm, and shoulder muscles before a big game.
Tri-Heat comes with:
- 4 Heat Settings
- Moist Heat Capability
- Two Heated Sides
- 40 Min. Auto Off
Forty Fort, PA 18704 Email: email@example.com 844-Tri-Heat or 844-874-4328
AquiSense can help provide families with the purest water available. The PearlAqua harnesses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy pathogens in the most natural way possible, without adding any harmful chemicals. The PearlAqua has been compactly designed to be a Point-of-Entry (POE) or Point-of-Use (POU) system. Physical filtration of the water is required before UV disinfection so a PearlAqua is a great addition to any existing water treatment system.
The PearlAqua was designed to work with any water treatment system so installation of the unit is easy and retrofitting is simple. Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems remove dissolved inorganic solids from water, but not organic materials or pathogens. This may lead to algae growing in the holding tank, but recirculating the water through a PearlAqua will prevent algae from ever growing. Traditional UV disinfection systems use a large amount of electricity and heat the water while they disinfect. These systems also use mercury gas-filled lamps to create their UV light. Mercury lamps are very fragile and release mercury into the water stream when they break.
The LEDs inside the PearlAqua last for 10,000 hours. A mercury lamp will have a similar lifespan, but a mercury lamp can only be turned off/on a few times per day. This limitation leads to the lamp remaining on, even when there is no water flow – hence annual replacement. The PearlAqua LED system can be turned on/off an infinite number of times per day, so the unit only runs when water is flowing through it, greatly extending the lamp replacement interval. For example, a PearlAqua unit that is on for 2 hours a day will only need a lamp replacement every 14 years!
The Units provide “The Home Concept“
1 .DC input power means solar power is possible
2. After hot water tank as pathogen barrier
3. Point of use legionella control
4. Disinfect rain water after storage
5. Post septic tank for environmental protection
6. Reuse grey water without concern of infection
7. RO/filter system final polishing and/or bio-film control
For more news and information – Go to News Page
A few steps
Understanding the Health Risks of Private Well Ownership
Guest blogger / writer – Julie Bowen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As a country, we are proud of our reputation for having the safest and cleanest drinking water in the world. However drinking water that is procured from privately owned wells is not regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or many state agencies, meaning that the owners of those wells are responsible for ensuring that their water is safe and drinkable. Water from private wells tastes crisp and refreshing, and it can be a wonderful gift to own your own water source. It is also important to acknowledge that many residents living in rural areas have no choice but to procure their water from private wells or cisterns. However, regardless of the reasons that their water is sourced from private wells, it is essential that private well owners are aware of the health risks involved in private well ownership as well as the myriad of benefits that they can obtain.
The Risks of Water Contamination
Drinking water from wells can be contaminated in a variety of different ways: either due to naturally occurring chemicals and minerals, the land use and farming practices in the area surrounding the well, and a malfunction of the wastewater treatment systems operating on the well itself. As a result of this, there are a wide range of illnesses that can be contracted via drinking contaminated well water. These can range from short-term gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses that includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to more severe long term illnesses such as reproductive problems, neurological disorders, and other chronic illnesses. Death by drinking water is not common, but it has happened. Individuals with compromised immune systems, as well as children, pregnant women, and elderly people, are more vulnerable to the effects of certain contaminates and should be especially vigilant about the quality of their privately owned drinking water.
Two of the parasitic illnesses private well owners should be most aware of are Hepatitis A and Giardia (which is the parasite that causes the illness giardiasis, a common cause of diarrhea). Giardiasis is a relatively short lived condition, that is caused by water becoming contaminated by either mammalian or human feces. The parasite itself is resistant to basic chlorination, meaning that it tends to be particularly resistant to water treatment methods, however once infected most individuals have overcome the illness in approximately 7 days. More deadly are the risks posed by the liver condition hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious illness that is also contracted via the fecal oral route, due to water contaminated by infected feces. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection, but the symptoms can be severe and pose a particular risk to vulnerable individuals.
Taking the Appropriate Precautions
Because of the risks of being exposed to contaminated drinking water, it is recommended that in addition to regularly checking the quality of your drinking water, and taking the necessary precautions to ensure it avoids contamination, private home owners also secure comprehensive health insurance. This will help them to ensure that they are fully protected in the unlikely instance that something should go wrong with their water supply, and they should contract one of the myriad of illnesses listed above.
The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) is committed to ensuring that home owners with responsibility for private wells are given the support, the information, and the technology that they need to ensure that their well based drinking water is as clean and as safe as possible. The quality of well water should be tested at least three times a year, and the well itself should be regularly repaired and maintained to protect the water that is inside. When it comes to modern well technology, knowledge is power, so it is important to be as informed as possible about what is happening inside your well, and well as any possible risks that you face. The process involved in maintaining healthy well water can seem complicated, and the language involved in the process unnecessarily convoluted, which is why The Keystone Clean Water Team can help homeowners interpret their test results and ensure their water is as safe as it can be.
A few thoughts from the KCWT:
- When people say may water taste great and looks great – I have no problem – 50% of the time they have a problem that can make them sick.
- Of these individuals, 50% of the time the problem can be eliminated for a few hundred dollars.
- Some recent work on lead in drinking water found that 2 out of 3 private well samples had elevated lead; whereas only 1 out of 10 city water samples had a lead issue. Testing your well water quality is important, but you must understand our risks.
- Blood lead testing is important for kids – get it done if you are living an older community that has or had historic industrialization.
A few suggestions:
- Download our free phone App.
- Get Your Water Tested (Portion of the Proceeds Help the KCWT)
- Get a Custom Neighborhood Hazard Report
- Order the Private Well Owner Educational Guide
FREE forum “EDIBLE YARDS” and FREE Seed Swap
SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education & Development Support) kicks off its 2016 education series with a free forum on Edible Yards to be held Tuesday, March 29 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Park Street Complex, 648 Park Street in Honesdale.
Learn how to grow healthy food while becoming more self-reliant and creating a bio-diverse environment for a healthy planet.
Several expert panelists will share their tips and tricks on topics including
raising chickens, foraging, growing fruit trees, beekeeping, and much more. In addition, members from the Audubon Society and Master Gardeners will be part of this informative event with plenty of time for Q & A.
No space? No problem! Learn about Honesdale’s Community Garden that provides plots for residents.
SEEDS will also be hosting a free Seed Swap. Bring seeds you’ve collected from your own garden or extra seeds you’ve purchased, and share with others.
Come and participate in this fun and informative evening.
Baked goods and light refreshments will be served. There will also be door prizes.
SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) is a non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable living. Visit www.seedsgroup.net to join our newsletter list to be notified of all our upcoming free forums.