Carbon County Pennsylvania Groundwater Help to Hometown

The Keystone Clean Water Team has its roots in Carbon County, Pennsylvania.  The organization is attempting to educate and inform private well owners about issues related to water quality.  We were just recently contacted by someone in the Hometown Area that was having a problem.  He called and discussed the issues which appeared series.  we asked the person to email us with the details = but we have not received the information.

So – We decided to post this message !

1. If you called the Keystone Clean Water Team looking for help and spoke with Brian – please email us a cleanwater@carbonwaters.org.   Please provide a full description of the problem and type of information you have available and your street mailing address.
2. If you are having a problem with your well water in Carbon County, PA- please provide us a description of the problem and your mailing address.
3. We do not have the funds to fix any problems, but we do have the opportunity to compile the problems and attempt to compare the problems to known historic environmental hazards in the area.
4. If you are outside of Carbon County, PA and are having a problem – we would be happy to review any data, but we would also suggest running a Neighborhood Environmental Hazard Report.

Everything we do began with an idea.

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.  Our new PSAs.

Help the Organization and Get Your Water Tested or Order the Private Well Owner Guide (proceeds benefit This Organization).  Keystone Clean Water Team!
For more information, please go to KCWT’s About Page or contact us.  Follow us on Twitter 

ATSDR Initial Study Finds Elevated Levels of Radon Gas, Radium in Polycythemia Vera Study Area in Pennsylvania

ATLANTA (7/2014)—Some homes in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill counties of Pennsylvania have elevated levels of radon gas in indoor air and radium in soils, according to a health consultation released today by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Researchers were unable to determine if a cluster of cases of Polycythemia Vera (PV) in people living in the counties is related to exposures to the substances.

The report provides an analysis of radiologic sampling information researchers reviewed to learn more about the possible cluster of PV cases in northeastern Pennsylvania. PV is a rare form of cancer of the blood that causes the body to make too many red blood cells. It occurs more often in men than women, and is rare in patients under age 40.

“Based on analysis of the samples, ATSDR considers the exposures to radon gas in indoor air at these homes to be of public health concern and encourages residents living in the study area to have their homes tested,” said Lora Werner, Director, ATSDR Region III. “The elevated levels of radium in soils are not considered to be a health risk but may be worthy of further study.”

At the request of ATSDR, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (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.

The ATSDR report also 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.

This report is part of a larger investigation of the cluster of cases of PV in northeast Pennsylvania. Overall, there are 18 projects in four areas for investigation: epidemiology, genetics, toxicology, and environmental analysis. The findings of these projects will provide information about PV and other blood disorders, as well as share information on environmental investigations in the study area.

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.

The health consultation report on radon gas and radium in the PV study area is available at:www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera.

For more information, please call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). Please request information about: “Review of Radiological Data Measured in the Polycythemia Vera Investigation Study Area in Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties.

Our Radon Portal – Links to Air and Water Testing -Outside of Study Area –http://www.water-research.net/index.php/radon

###

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

Getting Well Water Tested Carbon County Pennsylvania

The Carbon County Environmental Education Center, in conjunction with the Keystone Clean Water Team, is offering a low-cost well-water testing opportunity for area residents.

Test kits are available now for pick-up at CCEEC. Homeowners may collect water samples, then return them on Sunday, April 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, where Environmental Consultant and Hydrogeologist Brian Oram will perform certain tests immediately. Other results will be mailed confidentially within two weeks.

Two testing options are available: a $50 test includes total coliform, pH, iron, and other parameters, and a more comprehensive test is available for $95.

Homeowners with private wells are encouraged to test their water at least once each year, and area residents whose property might be impacted by any future development should consider testing to establish a baseline of well water quality.

For more information on this program, call CCEEC at (570) 645-8597. The Center is located at the west end of Mauch Chunk Lake Park, just outside Jim Thorpe, at 151 E. White Bear Drive in Summit Hill.

The program is underwritten by the Organizations Sponsors – Your Company or Business Can Sponsor- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJPOkLpWQo4

or Become an Individual Supporter – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbOXE7HS7PE

 

 

 

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.

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

 

Pennsylvania Cancer Clusters – 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.

Status

As of October 1, 2013, all but one of the contracts for the 18 projects have ended.  The one exception is the tissue bank, which will remain open for recruitment of new tissue donations from the PA tri-county study area through May 2014.  After May 2014, 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.

The graphic with this email provides this summary as of April 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 May 8, 2014, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for projects.  We are happy to announce that one new project (#3) moved from yellow to green since my October update; we now have a factsheet and final publication analyzing the accuracy of PV diagnoses using Geisinger Medical Center’s electronic medical records.  This is an important study that highlights that inconsistencies in PV diagnoses and record keeping remain despite more widespread use of the JAK2 genetic marker.   These documents are available at:

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/docs/fact_sheet_for_manuscript_determination_of_accuracy_of_pv_diagnoses_and_JAK2V617F_test_usage.pdf

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/polycythemia_vera/docs/manuscript_determination_of_accuracy_of_pv_diagnoses_and_use_of_the_JAK2V617F_test_in_the_diagnostic_scheme.pdf

Note, one of the projects (#1) that was green in my October update moved to yellow since we are now expecting a journal publication for that effort when we were not before.  Final products for another 11 projects are in progress; this is an increase in two projects moving from red to yellow since my October update.  Final products for 2 projects are anticipated but not yet started (this is a decrease from 4 in this red stage in my October update).

I want to take a personal moment to acknowledge the work of our colleague Dr. Paul Roda.  He was the primary author for the work in project #3 that is now available for your review, as well as for projects #1 and #2.  Dr. Roda passed away suddenly in November 2013, and I really miss working with him.  I am so glad to share some of the results of his work with you.  This work remains a testimony to his dedication to this investigation and his profession of hematology.

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.

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 CCGG, 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.

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Waiting on Official Name change to the Keystone Clean Water Team by the IRS.  Unsolicited donations are appreciated.

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

 

More:

Professional Education and Training (Continuing  Education)
Career Training and Heatlh Care 
Information on Groundwater Well Water Quality (Iron, Arsenic, Manganese, and More)

Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)

Updates about the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work to study the occurrence of polycythemia vera (PV) in three northeastern Pennsylvania counties (Carbon, Luzerne, and Schuylkill), or you are one of the researchers involved in this work.  When updates are available, my goal is to share this kind of email update with you periodically.  If you are not interested in these updates from me, please just let me know and I will remove you from our contact list.  Thank you!

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.

Status

As of October 1, 2013, all but one of the contracts for the 18 projects have ended.  The one exception is the tissue bank, which will remain open through May 2014.

In meetings with community members this summer, ATSDR was asked to share a summary of the status of final products anticipated from the 18 projects of the overall PV investigation in northeast Pennsylvania.  The graphic with this email provides this summary as of October 2013.  I’ve attached this graphic as a  PV Research Projects Status Graphic October 2013 (pdf).  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 October 30, 2013, work is complete and a final product is available (if applicable) for 5 projects.  Final products for another 9 projects are in progress.  Final products for 4 projects are anticipated but not yet started.

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.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss this information further, or you have suggestions on how I might improve this update in the future.  I know this is a detailed graphic, if you would like me to mail you a hard copy of a larger version I would be happy to do that, just let me know your mailing address.

Heavy Metal Poisioning Metals in Your Environment

It May NOT Be the Water  (This is not our work, but great information- see credit).

“Heavy metal poisoning is caused by metals that accumulate within the body’s fat cells, central nervous system, bones, brain, glands, and/or hair to produce negative health effects. Such metals are unsafe at any level in the body, and their presence in the body is not normal.

The most common heavy metal poisons are lead, cadmium, mercury, and nickel. Aluminum, while not a heavy metal, can also cause toxicity and poor health. They are by no means the only toxic metals that can cause poor health.

Do You Have a Problem
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning can vary greatly, and depending on the type of metal toxicity, the age of the affected person (children are more susceptible to heavy metal poisoning), the length of the exposure, and the presence or absence of protective minerals and other nutrients that inhibit the absorption, binding, and effects of the toxic metals. For example, calcium deficiency exacerbates lead toxicity, while normal levels of calcium in the body help to protect against lead toxicity.

One common side effect of these metals is a metallic taste in the mouth. What follows are other common side effects for each of these toxic metals:

Aluminum: Aluminum toxicity may be associated with headaches, cognitive problems, learning disabilities, poor bone density (osteoporosis), ringing in the ears, gastrointestinal disorders, colic, hyperactivity in children, and ataxia (an abnormal walking pattern). Its possible role in poor memory or Alzheimer’s disease is speculative at this time but also worth noting.

Cadmium: Cadmium toxicity can cause fatigue, irritability, headaches, high blood pressure, enlargement of the prostate gland, increased risk for cancer, hair loss, learning disabilities, kidney and liver disorders, skin disorders, painful joints, and decreased immune functioning.

Lead: Lead toxicity can cause poor bone growth and development, learning disabilities, fatigue, poor task performance, irritability, anxiety, high blood pressure, weight loss, increased susceptibility to infection, ringing in the ears, decreased cognitive functioning and concentration and spelling skills, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, constipation, muscle and joint pain, tremors, and overall general decreased immune functioning.

Mercury: Mercury toxicity can cause cognitive and memory problems, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, gastrointestinal disorders, decreased immune response, irrational behavior, numbness, tingling, muscular weakness, impaired vision and hearing, allergic conditions, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

Nickel: Nickel toxicity may be associated with fatigue, respiratory illnesses, heart conditions, skin rashes, psoriasis, fatigue, and headaches.

Exposure

Exposure to toxic metals is quite common, given the degree of environmental toxins that now affect our planet. What follows are some of the most likely sources of exposure for each of the most common toxic metals:

Aluminum: Aluminum-containing antacids, many over-the-counter drugs and douches that contain aluminum, aluminum cookware and aluminum foil (especially when preparing and storing acidic foods), antiperspirants, most commercial baking powders, and contaminated water.

Cadmium: Possible contamination from cigarette and pipe smoke, instant coffee and tea, nickel-cadmium batteries, contaminated water, some soft drinks, refined grains, fungicides, pesticides, and some plastics.

Lead: Cigarette smoke, eating paint that is lead-based (in children, especially in poor housing or older housing), eating and cooking foods in ceramic glazes that are lead-based, leaded gasoline, eating liver that may be contaminated with lead, living in the inner city that may have elevated lead air levels, contaminated water, canned foods (especially fruit in which the lead-soldered cans may leach into the food), certain bone meal supplements, and insecticides.

Mercury: Possible contamination from mercury-based dental amalgam fillings, laxatives that contain calomel, some hemorrhoid suppositories, inks used by some printers and tattooists, some paints, some cosmetics, and many products that may contain small amounts of mercury such as fabric softeners, wood preservatives, solvents, drugs, and some plastics and contaminated fish.

Nickel: Many pieces of jewelry contain nickel and wearing them next to skin creates some absorption. Some metal cooking utensils have nickel added to them, even stainless steel, which is mostly a problem when cooking acidic foods. Cigarette smoke, hydrogenated fats (as nickel is the catalyst for the reaction to create them), some refined foods, and fertilizers contain nickel.

Note: Vaccinations and common dental amalgam fillings are two primary causes of heavy metal poisoning from mercury, as mercury is contained in many vaccines and well as in silver amalgams.

Caution: Heavy metal poisoning is a serious health problem and should not be ignored. To determine whether you are affected by this problem, consult with a holistic practitioner with experience in screening for these poisons and then work with him or her to effectively detoxify your body.”

It may be your drinking water – So get it tested and you should learn about drinking water quality. You are free to choose any lab you want and any testing options you want. If any result is above the Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) or you just don’t understand the results, you can receive specific advice and recommendations if you send a copy of the tests to Mr. Oram at 15 Hillcrest Drive, Dallas, PA 18612.   Also, you should order the new booklet for Private Well Owners In PA – proceeds benefit our non-profit organization.

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 CCGG, enabling us to better understand and address the concerns of well owners.

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.

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

Carbon County Groundwater Guardians is a 501(c)(3) IRS approved nonprofit, volunteer organization and your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Source – http://www.naturalhomecures.com/member/heavymetalpoisoning.html

Blood disease: No answer

www.tnonline.com/2012/sep/21/blood-disease-no-answer
Friday, September 21, 2012
By DONALD R. SERFASS dserfass@tnonline.com

DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS A portion of the crowd at the Tamaqua Public Library on Thursday listens to an update on the status of a rare blood disease found in the local area in 2004.

A government agency provided a status update Thursday on research into a rare blood disease found in our area.

But the update left locals frustrated.

Joe Murphy, Hometown, voiced exasperation due to the slow pace of progress. Murphy represents the Citizens Advisory Committee and said he and his group would like to see improved flow of information and a more open approach.

“After six years, all I can say is where’s the beef,” said Murphy at the conclusion of an informal update provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

The session drew over 50 concerned residents to the Tamaqua Public Library, where Lora Siegmann Werner and Dr. Elizabeth Irvin-Barnwell, both of the ATSDR, were on hand to respond to public questions. Also available were officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Protection and several project partners.

The update included progress reports on 18 projects funded through $7.9M in government grants aimed at getting to the bottom of the cause of clusters of a disease that makes too many blood cells. The condition, polycythemia vera (PV), has been found at an alarming rate in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.

Among the new information provided by Irvin-Barnwell:

  • 77 participants have been enrolled in an epidemiologic study through the University of Pittsburgh. The study compares the pattern of PV occurrences in the commonwealth.
  • More accurate physician reporting of PV cases. This step is complete and the cases are undergoing internal quality control and data analysis.
  • Physician education has been completed with regard to diagnosis, reporting and treating of PV cases.
  • The Tri-County area case study is under way and 55 people with one of a number of slow-moving blood cancers have been recruited along with 473 people without the condition. Medical records are being examined for accuracy.
  • A genetic study is under way with a review of blood samples from 39 volunteers to see if patients in the cluster area are genetically prone to develop PV. Gene profiling also is under way.
  • Other studies under way include detection of a JAK2 mutation, recruitment for a tissue bank, and toxicology assay to evaluate whether 18 environmental contaminants can cause DNA damage.
  • An air and water sampling plan has been finalized and samples are being collected. Air modeling is complete.
  • Creation of a database for federal, state and other data relating to possible human exposures to contaminants from hazardous waste sites, industries, or businesses that release toxic substances has been completed. The data warehouse contains 100,000 samples and 2.5 million records for 2,700 substances.
  • Environmental testing near the McAdoo Superfund site, three waste coal burning plants, and residential sampling have been collected and analyzed. The ATSDR is evaluating results.
  • Murphy expressed concern that funding for the Citizens Advisory Committee was curtailed in January, 2010, and the ATSDR’s chief investigator, Dr. Vince Seaman, left for Nigeria in 2010 on a separate endeavor and is not due back until next year.

 

“Citizens have had a role in this … but we haven’t had a lot of money,” Joe Murphy, Hometown, addressing the public forum on polycythemia vera held at the Tamaqua Public Library. Funding for the citizens advisory group was cut in 2010.

Those setbacks, among others, have dealt a blow to local initiatives, said Murphy.

He is hoping the Betty Kester Alliance for a Healthy Future can step in to pick up the slack.

“Our goal is to continue to explore,” said Murphy.

“We’ll continue to have more of these updates,” says Dr. Irvin-Barnwell.

Kester and her husband, Lester, were Still Creek residents. Both developed PV. They are now deceased.

There have been 2,099 cases of PV reported in Pennsylvania. Of those, 227, or 10.8 percent, are found in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.