The Canadian Press reports that drinking water may be behind winter outbreaks of norovirus.
Norovirus, also known as “stomach flu” or gastroenteritis, infects people much more frequently during the winter. Canadian researchers found that outbreaks are more likely to happen the week after water temperatures drop below a certain point.
The findings suggest that certain environmental conditions allow noroviruses from sewage to find their way back into drinking water. Continue reading
While the different computer models of global warming don’t agree on everything, they do agree that warmer temperatures will lead to increased rainfall. This increase in rainfall will in turn lead to more disease-carrying agents in our drinking water.
Heavy rainfalls often trigger sewage overflows that contaminate drinking water. Consequences will be most severe in the nearly 1,000 U.S. cities (including New York, Washington DC, and Milwaukee, and Philadelphia) that have sewer systems which use the same pipes for storm water and sewage. When the pipes cannot handle heavy rain, raw sewage spills into drinking water supplies. Continue reading
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. consumers buy over 3 billion dry cell batteries and 350 million rechargeable batteries each year. Unfortunately, most people simply toss batteries in the trash when they’re dead. According to Rod Muir of the Sierra Club, discarded batteries are “toxic little time bombs.”
Batteries often contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium, lead, chromium, and mercury. When batteries end up in a landfill, these heavy metals eventually end up in our water supply. Continue reading
The Orange County Register reports that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 18 million people, remained silent about uranium contamination in water at the Hayfield Groundwater Storage site. Continue reading
MSNBC reports that 46 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with a vast array of pharmaceutical drugs – everything from chemotherapy medications to hormones.
Scientists believe that most pharmaceutical contamination comes from drugs that are excreted by patients and then flushed down toilets. But U.S. hospitals and health facilities also flush an estimated 250 million pounds of drugs each year! Once these drugs go down the drain, they often end up in water supplies. Continue reading
USA Today reports that Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like chemical in plastic, has been found in 93% of Americans tested. Recent studies suggest that BPA alters the development of the brain and prostate gland in children. This synthetic estrogen chemical has also been linked to a host of cancers, heart disease, early-onset puberty, obesity, and diabetes.
BPA is found in baby bottles, plastic utensils, dental sealants, food can linings, and plastic bottles. The longer a liquid sits in a container with BPA, the more BPA leaches into the liquid. Continue reading
Last month I blogged about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vortex of garbage in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of the continental United States. Today I’d like to explore another major environmental catastrophe in our oceans: dead zones.
Dead zones are areas in the ocean that lack the oxygen needed to support marine life. The Gulf of Mexico contains a dead zone that’s nearly the size of New Jersey, according to CNN.
“There’s no oxygen in the water for shrimp, crabs, fish to live,” said Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Continue reading
Have you seen those “eco-friendly” plastic water bottles? How ironic! Plastic bottles are anything but eco-friendly. In the past decade or so, as more people have become aware of the adverse health effects associated with soft drinks, bottled water has become enormously popular. But there’s a big problem: Plastic does not decompose quickly; in fact, in can take hundreds of years to degrade. In our quest for better health, we’re polluting our grandchildren’s planet with plastic bottles.
How big is this problem? It’s likely much bigger than you think. It’s actually bigger than the United States – literally.
Earlier this year, The Independent reported on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a “plastic soup” trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean that now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States. 90% of the waste consists of plastic, and the patch is growing at an alarming rate. Continue reading
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found a toxic rocket fuel ingredient – perchlorate – in drinking water in at least 35 states, but they have no plans to regulate this dangerous chemical. Continue reading
In January 2008, Scientific American magazine shocked many members of the scientific community when it published an article that questions the practice of adding fluoride to municipal drinking water: “Second Thoughts about Fluoride.” Recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can damage teeth, bones, and the brain, particularly the thyroid gland. Continue reading
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