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2, No. 7 -- February 14, 2001
Radon rule-watchers get a surprise
with an important development. A water utility's experience with
trihalomethanes and consumer information is examined in depth with
revealing detail. Legionella control measures elicit interesting
discussion and disagreement.
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Washington, DC insiders report that
a major development regarding USEPA's radon in drinking water
regulation has quietly occurred. It is reported that, at least
in part in response to California Congressman Jerry Lewis' input,
new Administrator Whitman has recalled the proposed final radon rule
back from OMB for further review. (It was sent to OMB by the
Clinton EPA on the day before President Bush's inauguration.)
Whitman likely has solid knowledge of the radon issue because of her
previous position as Governor of New Jersey. Meanwhile, a
routine article on Schools
in New York area re-testing for radon due to high readings and local
health concerns (Binghamton Press, February 9)
serves as a reminder of what the
real health issue related to radon might be.
at drinking water reservoir results in "Don't use the water" alert
is the worst enemy of a water utility when faced with clear evidence
that the security of a drinking water facility has been breached but
where there is no indication that the water has been
measures are called for, but a normal "boil water
advisory" is insufficient, because a chemical contaminant could
have been added. Testing is necessary,
but for what? The SDWA makes tampering with a drinking water system
a crime (Section 1432a).
PCE levels traced to Santa Rosa dry cleaner
Rosa Press-Democrat, February 13)
This high-profile case of
groundwater contamination, with the resulting investigations and
state action to assist private well-owners, is similar to others
around the country. In citing the proposed California Public
Health Goal of 0.056 micrograms per liter (compared to the pending
USEPA one-in-10,000 cancer risk level of 0.07), the article is a
reminder that PCE is a possible candidate for a reduced MCL
(currently 5 micrograms per liter) by both CDHS and the USEPA.
Carcinogenicity evidence is strong, analytical capability is good
with detection significantly below the MCL, and treatment is
Salt Water Intrusion
concludes that extremely poor dental health in Sonoma County
children is preventable
(Santa Rosa Press-Democrat,
The primary problems identified are the inadequacy of health
education and an insufficient number of dentists willing to
treat low-income kids. Fluoridation of drinking water is identified as a
long-term goal since only one small city (Healdsburg) and a U.S.
Coast Guard station fluoridate their drinking water supplies. The
level of naturally-occurring fluoride in most Sonoma County drinking
water is considerably below the recommended optimum range for
prevention of dental caries.
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