| January 23, 2008 – Volume 9, No. 4
This week's NEWS
CDC assessment shows no basis for Vermont complaints about chloramines despite underhanded efforts by activist group to bias results. AWWA shares insights on how successful utilities got financial assistance for necessary security improvements. Major Australian health report confirms safety and efficacy of drinking water fluoridation. Maybe the lowly tricycle will be one "high-tech" answer for safe water worldwide? Water and wastewater funding needs combine to exceed half a TRILLION dollars!
Quick Links Navigation:
- CDC's report on their assessment of health concerns in a community exposed to chloramine-treated tap water in Vermont (CDC, January 16, PDF file, 84.9 K); the Vermont DOH website on chloramines
Commentary: It is pretty sad when a tiny group of zealots use extraordinary practices to get "science" to see things their way and defeat the purpose of a health investigation. The CDC report says it best: "It was reported to field investigators that the local chapter of People Concerned about Chloramine (PCAC) had implemented a mass media campaign prior to our arrival. This campaign distributed approximately 10,000 flyers by going door to door and approaching individuals "on the street" and in grocery stores. One report stated an individual with visible skin problems was approached by a member of PCAC in the grocery store and was told the source of the skin problem was the chloramine in the tap water. PCAC has also utilized the local press and public radio spots to mobilize an anti-chloramine campaign. This campaign started prior to April 2006 and continues today. PCAC’s flyers and internet website have identified symptoms they claim are associated with the change in water disinfection, including furry tongues, gastrointestinal upset, dermatitis, and respiratory ailments.
Field investigators observed PCAC members coaching survey respondents (many of whom are PCAC members) prior to the meeting on Wednesday. In one case, a PCAC member was present during the home visit and prompted the respondent to provide specific answers to our questions.
Based on these influences and biases these results cannot be interpreted as representing the rates of symptoms, health conditions, or complaints of the overall community."
The only "furry tongues" at work are the forked ones of the "incite to alarm" crowd.
- Second recent malfunction of a TCE-removal water treatment plant in Arizona:
- Small Calilfornia mutual water company updates customers on effort to lower naturally occurring fluoride levels (Mountain Enterprise, January 18)
Commentary: California has a primary drinking water MCL of 2 ppm, compared to the federal primary MCL of 4 ppm. The difference in the two standards is, in part, attributable to the state health agency viewing dental fluorosis as an adverse effect and USEPA considering it a cosmetic effect. The EPA's non-enforceable secondary MCL of 2 ppm is aimed at dental fluorosis. A recent NAS report suggested the federal standard might be too high.
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