Bacterial contamination in private water wells send thousands of people hurling to the ER

“It may not have been bad shrimp or dirty lettuce that kept you up all night. A recent study shows that in North Carolina, microbes in drinking water from private wells are responsible for estimated 29,200 emergency room visits for acute GI illnesses each year. That number accounts for nearly all visits of that type and cause.

This is a particularly serious problem in North Carolina, where more than a third of all residents — 3.3 million — rely on private wells for their drinking water. These wells, which can source their water from beneath the ground, a spring or a river, are largely unregulated.

(This is why contaminants from coal ash, such as arsenic, lead and chromium 6, which have even more harmful long-term health effects, are of such concern — and why widespread testing is necessary.)

An article in this month’s Environmental Health Perspectives — among its co-authors is Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson of UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health — concludes that people on private wells are more likely to get sick from their water than those on community systems, such as municipal utilities.

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From the Study

The presence of total coliforms in groundwater indicates that microorganisms from surface water have been able to reach the aquifer and a more rigorous monitoring should begin for other microorganisms (pathogenic) which might also reach the aquifer. When fecal indicators are detected, anything can happen, and will happen, with potential serious public health implications.”

 

To learn or read more – Go to  Article

More importantly to Act Now and Get Your Water Tested.

Monitoring your homes health and the hazards in your community.

 

Reduce Exposure to Toxic Chemicals and Compounds

“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)

Source:

Know Your H20 – Get a Community Hazard Report