Article Submitted to Connections Magazine for February 2018 American Heart Health Month

Show Your Partner You Care – “Know Your H20”

By: Brian Oram, Professional Geologist

This article was prepared based on the topic of “Romance”.   On the topic of romance, I am not an expert.  I have been married only twice and currently love only one women my current wife.  Robin is great!   Many see this as a time to show the one you love you care by going that extra mile, saying I love you, being more considerate, and trying to at least let that other person know you care and you love them.   Therefore, it is good to have big strong heart and for that reason it is “American Heart Month”.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and in the month of January my good friend had a massive heart attack.  He is currently doing well.   Since I am not a physician I can only tell you what my doctor tells me   “Make heart-healthy choices” and “Know the risk factors”, and stay hydrated.

Since I am in expert in geology and water quality, I would like to add “Know YOUR H20”.  It is critical to know what you are putting into your body and what you are using to hydrate your system.    Humans are big bags of water.    Since hydration impacts the circulatory system, improper hydration may cause the heart to pump quicker.  There are a number of contaminates in drinking water that can impact your heart and overall health.  These contaminants include: atrazine, arsenic, antimony, barium, cadmium, lead, microorganisms, and selenium.   In general, 50% of private wells in Pennsylvania have elevated levels of bacteria and 8% contain elevated levels of arsenic, and about 40% may contain elevated levels of lead/copper and other trace metals.  Even “city water” may contain elevated levels of trace metals and chlorine by-products that can impact your health.  To show your partner you care, get your water tested and make sure you “KnowYour H20” and the hazards in your community.

PS: Buy native flowers and say I love you !

Keystone Clean Water Team
http://www.pacleanwater.org

Brian Oram is a licensed professional geologist and a soil scientist.  He is the owner of B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. and the manager for the Keystone Clean Water Team a 501 c3.

 

Radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania

Evaluation of radon occurrence in groundwater from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, 1986–2015, with application to potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air
Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5018

“Results from 1,041 groundwater samples collected during 1986‒2015 from 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania, associated with 25 or more groundwater samples with concentrations of radon-222, were evaluated in an effort to identify variations in radon-222 activities or concentrations and to classify potential radon-222 exposure from groundwater and indoor air. Radon-222 is hereafter referred to as “radon.” Radon concentrations in groundwater greater than or equal to the proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) for public-water supply systems of 300 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) were present in about 87 percent of the water samples, whereas concentrations greater than or equal to the proposed alternative MCL (AMCL) for public water-supply systems of 4,000 pCi/L were present in 14 percent. The highest radon concentrations were measured in groundwater from the schists, gneisses, and quartzites of the Piedmont Physiographic Province.

In this study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, groundwater samples were aggregated among 16 geologic units in Pennsylvania to identify units with high median radon concentrations in groundwater. Graphical plots and statistical tests were used to determine variations in radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air. Median radon concentrations in groundwater samples and median radon concentrations in indoor air samples within the 16 geologic units were classified according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits to explore potential radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air. All of the geologic units, except for the Allegheny (Pa) and Glenshaw (Pcg) Formations in the Appalachian Plateaus Physiographic Province, had median radon concentrations greater than the proposed EPA MCL of 300 pCi/L, and the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc), which is in the Piedmont Physiographic Province, had a median radon concentration greater than the EPA proposed AMCL of 4,000 pCi/L. Median concentrations of radon in groundwater and indoor air were determined to differ significantly among the geologic units (Kruskal-Wallis test, significance probability, p<0.001), and Tukey’s test indicated that radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air in the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) were significantly higher than those in the other units. Also, the Peters Creek Schist (Xpc) was determined to be the area with highest potential of radon exposure from groundwater and indoor air and one of two units with the highest percentage of population assumed to be using domestic self-supplied water (81 percent), which puts the population at greater potential of exposure to radon from groundwater.

Potential radon exposure determined from classification of geologic units by median radon concentrations in groundwater and indoor air according to proposed and recommended regulatory limits is useful for drawing general conclusions about the presence, variation, and potential radon exposure in specific geologic units, but the associated data and maps have limitations. The aggregated indoor air radon data have spatial accuracy limitations owing to imprecision of geo-coded test locations. In addition, the associated data describing geologic units and the public water supplier’s service areas have spatial and interpretation accuracy limitations. As a result, data and maps associated with this report are not recommended for use in predicting individual concentrations at specific sites nor for use as a decision-making tool for property owners to decide whether to test for radon concentrations at specific locations. Instead, the data and maps are meant to promote awareness regarding potential radon exposure in Pennsylvania and to point out data gaps that exist throughout the State.”

Link to Study