On March 25, the AWWA webcast series will continue with Perchlorate, Pharmaceuticals, and Other Emerging Contaminants—Where Are We Now? Emerging contaminants remain a concern, particularly for those most vulnerable in our population. Several environmental studies have sought to identify an association between drinking water contaminated with perchlorate and measures of thyroid impairment.

AWWA’s panel of experts will discuss perchlorate and other issues, as well as whether or not the new Administration will be able to address this situation given other competing priorities.

Webcast presenters include:

  • Alan Roberson – Director of Regulatory Affairs, AWWA Government Affairs
  • Zaid Chowdhury – Vice President, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.
  • Dr. Shane A. Snyder – R&D Project Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Brett Vanderford – Research Chemist, Southern Nevada Water Authority

For more information, visit www.awwa.org/Education/webcasts.

About AWWA
AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the entire water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.

SOURCE: AWWA

The importance of recycling paper is increasing year by year. Newspapers, magazines and packaging of commercial products recycling allows human beings to safeguard the forests and, consequently, to safeguard the future of all living species. But the reason for this interest is not only related to ecological benefits but to economic advantages too. In fact the use of secondary material (pulping) limits the use of virgin raw materials and simultaneously reduces the amount of material destined for landfill with disposal costs reduction.

The quality of recycled paper is increasing as well allowing its use in the graphics industry in place of virgin fiber paper for the most of the uses. Technological evolution and mind-changing of consumers have encouraged the development of this kind of paper and the evolution of green printing, which in addition to using recycled paper utilizes for example soy based inks rather than petroleum based inks, with consequent lower emission of volatile organic compounds than traditional petroleum inks and improving the recycling process itself.

The production of recycled paper does not pollute as long as the paper mills have adequate facilities for handling both paper for pulping and waste water and process residuals. Important to stress, confirming the sustainability of the production of recycled paper, that process residuals (sludge) can be reused in several sectors: brick industry, road works as substrates, amendments in agriculture.

Finally, in a world of “disposable” the philosophy of “use and reuse” finds its place in the paper industry and the outcome is positive because it allows the use and development of alternative materials and alternative products.

Cleaning up the dangerous contaminants — dry-cleaning fluids, solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons — found in underground water presents one of the most urgent challenges facing environmental science. A report issued January 30 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sheds light on a new way to monitor and improve the success of clean-up efforts using a technique developed at the University of Toronto.

“The most common method to clean-up groundwater is biodegradation — using microbes to consume the contaminants and break them down into more benign end products that are not harmful to the environment,” says U of T geochemist Barbara Sherwood Lollar, the scientist who initiated the concept and goals for the EPA report and is one of its five international authors.

The report outlines how this can be done using a novel technique called Compound Specific Isotope Analysis, developed in U of T’s Stable Isotope Laboratory. The elements of carbon that form the basis for the hydrocarbon contaminants actually come in two types called isotopes, explains Sherwood Lollar. “When microbes degrade contaminants, they prefer the lighter isotope carbon 12 over the heavier isotope carbon 13. The resulting change in the ratio of these isotopes in the contaminant itself is a dramatic and definitive indicator that the biodegradation is successfully taking place.”

Beginning in the 1990s, U of T’s Stable Isotope Laboratory has been an international pioneer in discovering how different carbon isotopes can be used to identify whether or not biodegradation is taking place. “Today, dozens of students in Canada have been trained in this method, drawn in by the fascinating combination of fundamental research that has important applications such as the clean-up of drinking water,” says Sherwood Lollar. Over the past decade, as the new technique has become more widespread, centres for research and education —- and even private companies — have blossomed worldwide.

“Much of the research on new methods of analyzing groundwater contamination has been published in scientific and professional journals but this report — written specifically for the practitioners in accessible language with clear procedural information and decision-making strategies — is a milestone,” says Sherwood Lollar.

“It is particularly gratifying to be able to take a technique out of the lab and to put it into the hands of the people working on this issue every day around the world,” she says.

The report can be found on the EPA website. It was funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, the EPA and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

University of Toronto. “New Way To Monitor And Improve Clean-up Of Contaminated Groundwater.” ScienceDaily 1 February 2009. 3 February 2009 <http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/01/090130093405.htm>

Article from: The Australian

AUTHORITIES in Queensland have dismissed as obsolete a state government study that concluded there was likely to be a high risk of viruses, bacteria and other contaminants entering the drinking water supply through a recycled waste-water scheme.

The scoping study was commissioned in 2000 by the Queensland Natural Resources Department, when the Beattie government first began considering the recycling option as a solution to the future water needs of the state’s heavily populated southeast.

The Bligh Government has been on the defensive this week over plans to begin pumping recycled industrial effluent and sewage from the Western Corridor Recycled Water Project to Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam from early next year.

The Government has said advanced water treatment plants similar to those built in southeast Queensland have been in use overseas for up to 40 years.

The 2000 scoping study, prepared by Queensland Health Scientific Services and the National Centre for Environment Toxicology, was able to draw on the experience overseas.

The study said there would probably be a high risk of people contracting viruses from drinking recycled water. It said 15 genera of bacteria and two genera of fungi were most commonly associated with waste water.

There were also risks in drinking recycled water from parasitic invertebrates, and from hepatotoxins and neurotoxins, which could produce symptoms ranging from mild gastroenteritis to death.

Other potential contaminants included radioactive elements and organic chemicals. Pesticides, including organochlorines that had been banned for health reasons but were environmentally persistent, were another hazard. The study cautioned that little was known about the health implications of drinking recycled water.

“The lack of information in some areas reflects that little is understood of the health impacts without further extensive literature review and scientific study,” it said.

But Queensland Health population health director Linda Selvey said the report was obsolete.

“It should be emphasised that this was a scoping report done eight years ago and referred to potential issues and not to any particular recycling technology,” Dr Selvey said.

“It was not based on technology that became available subsequently that will be used in the western corridor project.”

Dr Selvey said the direct recycling referred to in the report did not have the benefits of the sixth and seventh barriers in the seven-stage treatment process being used in Queensland.

“Bacteria and viruses are effectively eliminated by this process,” she said.

Queensland Water Commission chief executive John Bradley said chemicals and other industrial contaminants would be removed during treatment.

“This technology is used in a number of other places around the world and has been the subject of extensive testing, which confirms its effectiveness in the removal of both biological and chemical contaminants,” Mr Bradley said.

Tests on bottled water turned up a variety of contaminants often found in tap water, according to a study released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

The findings challenge the idea that bottled water is purer than tap water, the researchers said. All the brands in the study met federal health standards, but two violated a California standard, said the Washington-based Environmental Working Group.

The study’s lab tests on the 10 brands detected bacteria and 38 chemicals including caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic ingredients and the radioactive element strontium.

The International Bottled Water Assn. called the findings “alarmist.”

From the Associated Press

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Environmental Protection Agency is targeting four key pollutants in its effort to clean up toxics in the Columbia River.

The agency has released a draft report focusing attention on four toxic contaminants which are found in the river basin at levels that could harm people, fish and wildlife.

The contaminants include PCBs and the pesticide DDT, which persist in the environment despite being banned since the 1970s. The two others are mercury and a flame retardant commonly found in mattresses, furniture and electronics.

Mary Lou Soscia, the EPA’s cleanup coordinator in Portland, Ore., told The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash., that the four are among the most toxic to humans and representative of other substances entering the river.

Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

An overview of studies on environmental pollutants in human milk has found that not breastfeeding an infant typically poses more of a threat than does exposure to any of the chemical agents measured in human milk, as reported in the 11th Annual Children’s Health Issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Given the tendency for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants to accumulate in human milk, researchers and parents alike are asking whether the nursling’s exposure to these pollutants might reduce or even override the health benefits.

Yet, even in highly polluted areas, author M. Nathaniel Mead indicates a better outcome for breastfed infants. Numerous studies strongly indicate significantly decreased risks of infection, allergy, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers in both childhood and adulthood among those people breastfed as infants.

Because of human milk’s nutritional, immunologic, anticancer, and detoxifying effects, scientists encourage women to continue the practice of breastfeeding even in the context of widespread pollution. Breastfeeding mothers should also be educated on the negative effects of alcohol and drugs, and be advised on how to create a healthier, safer, and cleaner environment for themselves and their children.

EHP editor-in-chief Hugh A. Tilson, PhD said, “The collaborative message from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Pediatrics is clear: breastfeeding remains the recommended best practice for infants, even in the presence of today’s potential levels of environmental contaminants.”

Today, the prevalence of initial breastfeeding among U.S. mothers is about 71%, according to a report in the 3 August 2007 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, but only 11-14% of infants are exclusively breastfed (i.e., consume nothing else, including water) in the first six months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO. Only 16% of U.S. infants are still breastfeeding at one year of age; probably far fewer go on to breastfeed for the two years recommended by the WHO.

The article is available free of charge at http://www.ehponline.org/members/2008/116-10/focus.html.

EHP is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. EHP is an Open Access journal. More information is available online at http://www.ehponline.org/. Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing handles marketing and public relations for the publication, and is responsible for creation and distribution of this press release.

Benefits of ‘point-of-use’ systems increasingly touted

LISLE, Ill., Oct 22, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — As consumers become more aware of contaminants in their drinking water, independent organizations are recommending home-based treatment systems as a solution.
Recently, ABC News with Charles Gibson reported on the issue of pharmaceuticals in water supplies. According to the outlet’s Web site, “ABC News asked researchers to test a widely available water filter for the home. They found it greatly reduced the traces of drugs in the water.”
The National Resources Defense Council now provides a guide on choosing home treatment, available at http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/gfilters.asp.
According to the NRDC, “As a general rule, look for filters labeled as meeting NSF/ANSI Standard 53 and that are certified to remove the contaminant(s) of concern in your water.” Under its Gold Seal program, WQA certifies products to NSF/ANSI standards.
NRDC is one of the nation’s most effective environmental action organizations, boasting 1.2 million members and online activists.
The issue of pharmaceuticals in water emerged last spring, following the first of several Associated Press studies. Just last month, AP reported that almost one in six Americans may be affected by pharmaceuticals in their household water.
Filtering systems in the home provide the highest technology available for treatment of drinking water, according to Joseph Harrison, PE, CWS-VI, technical director of WQA. Less than two percent of all water consumed is ingested by humans, making these “point-of-use” systems the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly treatments.
“While utilities are required to meet safety standards set by the US EPA, home filtering systems act as a final contaminant barrier and can further purify water for drinking,” Harrison said. Specific product performance standards have not yet been developed for pharmaceuticals, but many point-of- use technologies have proven effective for some of these emerging contaminants.
With more than 2,500 members, WQA is a not-for-profit alliance of water treatment companies and has become a resource for consumers and public policy makers seeking information about the issue.
WQA offers an online fact sheet with answers to the issue of pharmaceuticals in water, available at wqa.org. WQA has also joined a task force to develop independent testing standards that will be able to tell consumers what devices are successful at removing many of these newly discovered contaminants.
WQA provides WQA Gold Seal certification for products that remove a variety of contaminants. Consumers can learn about different treatment systems and find locally certified dealers by visiting the WQA Web site’s Gold Seal and “Find A Water Professional” features. Among contaminants that products are certified to remove are arsenic, radium, lead, and other elements.
David Loveday
630-505-0160
dloveday@wqa.org
SOURCE Water Quality Association
http://www.wqa.org

Copyright (C) 2008 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Author: dorothy smith

World Environment Day, which is commemorated each year on June 5th, is one of the most significant mode through which the United Nations stimulates the global awareness of the environment. It is by this way that the United Nations attract political attention and enhances action to shape a better global environment. Each year the World Environment Day is celebrated in recognition of unique theme. Norway was honored to host International World Environment Day 2007 celebrations in recognition of the theme — ‘Melting Ice – The Hot Topic’. Over a hundred nations across the globe celebrates the World Environment Day with highly relevant theme each year.

The slogan for World Environment Day 2008 is ‘Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy’. With an understanding of the fact that the change in climatic condition is gradually becoming one of the most defining issue of the age, UNEP is requesting the nations, companies and communities to put special focus on the greenhouse gas emissions and to put spare thought over how to reduce them. The World Environment Day 2008 is going to highlight resources and focuses on promoting low carbon economies with a view to shape a better and healthier future. Promoting a low carbon economy involves steps towards improved energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption. The chief international celebration of the World Environment Day 2008 is going to be held in New Zealand.

The Heads of State, Prime Ministers and Ministers of Environment deliver statements and commit themselves to care for this only green planet of the universe. Serious pledges establish sound and non-transitory governmental policies related to environmental management and economic planning. bicycle parades, tree planting , recycling campaigns, clean-up campaigns, street rallies, school level essay and poster competitions etc. are organized all over the world on June 5th to celebrate the World Environment Day.

Here are some information on World Environment Day for the last ten years regarding where the WED celebration was held at and what were the respective themes each year:

Places of celebration:
World Environment Day 2007 – Tromsø, Norway
World Environment Day 2006 – Algiers, Algeria
World Environment Day 2005 – San Francisco, U.S.
World Environment Day 2004 – Barcelona, Spain
World Environment Day 2003 – Beirut, Lebanon
World Environment Day 2002 – Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China
World Environment Day 2001 – Torino, Italy and Havana, Cuba
World Environment Day 2000 – Adelaide, Australia
World Environment Day 1999 – Tokyo, Japan
World Environment Day 1998 – Moscow, Russian Federation

Themes of celebration:
World Environment Day 2007 – Melting Ice – a Hot Topic?
World Environment Day 2006 – Deserts and Desertification – Don’t Desert Drylands!
World Environment Day 2005 – Green Cities – Plan for the Planet!
World Environment Day 2004 – Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive?
World Environment Day 2003 – Water – Two Billion People are Dying for It!
World Environment Day 2002 – Give Earth a Chance
World Environment Day 2001 – Connect with the World Wide Web of Life
World Environment Day 2000 – The Environment Millennium – Time to Act
World Environment Day 1999 – Our Earth – Our Future – Just Save It!
World Environment Day 1998 – For Life on Earth – Save Our Seas

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/environment-articles/world-environment-day-2008-kick-the-habit-towards-a-low-carbon-economy-433386.html

About the Author:

Dorothy Smith, the author of this article, writes about the events & special occasions. Want to know more about world environment day or world environment day ecards ? Celebrate world environment day 2008 by sending free ecards and check some other resources .

The programme represents a substantive development in applied science that addresses three primary environmental concerns – firstly, what harmful chemicals are in the environment, secondly, what are the effects of these harmful chemicals, and, thirdly, how can the harmful chemicals and their effects be reduced and/or mitigated?
The aim of the programme is to achieve improved capability for assessing and mitigating the impacts of contaminants in air, land, and water. The programme incorporates basic science research with applied science in relation to environmental contaminants and the development of services to end-users.
It is evident that the programme has the potential, through scientific validation and mitigation techniques, to benefit New Zealand‘s ‘clean and green’ environment status both nationally and internationally. This will affect urban and rural environments, as well as the health of people and ecosystems. It is proposed to achieve the aims of the programme through a new generation of ‘effects-based’ environmental performance indicators integrated with traditional chemical assays.

http://www.frst.govt.nz