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Water Contamination Worries from Flint to Oahu

Water Contamination Worries from Flint to Oahu

Carbon dioxide receives the attention that real contaminants deserve.

Truly, the 21st century is not turning out as I envisioned.

We have been closely following the #FlintWatercrisis. After relying on science, technology, and public policy for decades to guarantee safe drinking water, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency head Gina McCarthy just wrote a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver explaining why the region’s water woes are going to continue into the foreseeable future.

…Among the problem areas identified by McCarthy:

  • Flint’s water system is oversized for its current and projected water demand, leading to water not moving through the system as designed. This standing water in pipes can erode the residual chlorine that protects against pathogens.
  • “The water treatment plant is not adequately staffed, operated or administered to reliably deliver safe drinking water for years into the future,” McCarthy stated. Additional “experienced and expert operators” and improved standard operating procedures and preventive and corrective maintenance programs are needed.
  • The EPA administrator also was critical of city leadership. “Flint needs a city administration that can provide stable, reliable and quick administrative support essential to a well-functioning drinking water system,” she stated in her letter….

So while the EPA is struggling to deal with the lead in Flint’s water system, another government agency has issued a troubling report on an aquatic contaminant that has become ubiquitous in the public water system: Synthetic estrogen from contraceptives.

A recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that birth-control hormones excreted by women, flushed into waterways and eventually into drinking water can also impact fish fertility up to three generations after exposure — raising questions about their effects on humans, who are consuming the drugs without even knowing it in each glass of water they drink.

The survey, published in March in the journal Scientific Reports, looked at the impact of the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), an ingredient of most contraceptive pills, in the water of Japanese medaka fish during the first week of their development.

While the exposed fish and their immediate offspring appeared unaffected, the second generation of fish struggled to fertilize eggs — with a 30% reduction in fertilization rates — and their embryos were less likely to survive. Even the third generation of fish had 20% impaired fertility and survival rates, though they were never directly exposed to the hormone.

“This study shows that even though endocrine disruptors may not affect the life of the exposed fish, it may negatively affect future generations,” said lead author of the study Ramji Bhandari, a USGS visiting scientist and University of Missouri assistant research professor.

The impact of estrogens on fish has been known for quite some time. For example, a 2007 report on minnows that studied 3-years of data showed that enhanced estrogen at levels found in untreated municipal waste waters feminized male fish and delayed the development of females.

Study leader Karen Kidd, a biologist with the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick, concluded, “It’s critical that our municipal wastewaters are treated at least with secondary treatment to reduce the input of these estrogens into surface waters.”

More recently, a University of Hawaii graduate student studied which pharmaceutical-based contaminants are most likely to leach into groundwater in the Oahu area. The substances investigated included antibiotics (a concern due to the rise of the Super-Bacteria) and three estrogen compounds.

Of 11 pharmaceuticals commonly found in sewage, University of Hawaii graduate student Jeffrey Murl has recently determined that seven of them have the potential to leach into Oahu’s groundwater, one poses an uncertain risk, and the remaining three — which are perhaps the most likely to impact humans and animals at low doses — are unlikely to leach into Oahu aquifers.

…Murl’s findings are part of an effort by the Health Department to determine how and where recycled wastewater should be used, given that it is likely laden with contaminants of emerging concern.

In a nutshell, Murl determined that though none of the estrogens were likely to leach into the groundwater, Murl direct effluent discharge to water bodies such as Lake Wilson posed a “high risk for environmental impacts.”

The key focus of the Obama Administration has been”carbon dioxide”, a compound essential for life.

It is apparent that these bureaucrats have been neglecting to effectively address compounds that present real environmental hazards. The next administration will have much work ahead of them.


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“Flint needs a city administration that can provide stable, reliable and quick administrative support essential to a well-functioning drinking water system,” she stated in her letter…

In other words, they just need a Democratic Party administration to run things…oh, wait….

Oral contraceptives contains estrogen. Women urinate that estrogen. My suggestion would be women taking oral contraceptives need to collect all of their urine for proper disposal, since estrogen is classified as a known carcinogen. These studies on too much estrogen in the water have been around for quite a while. Considering this country’s love affair with oral contraceptives, there isn’t a politician alive with the guts to suggest that.

My favorite study of this nature is the one from Boulder, Colorado. The female-male split above the waste water treatment site is 50-50. Below it was more like 80-20. If all those progressive-liberal-socialist women really loved the environment, Mother Earth, and themselves, they would be using Natural Family Planning, such as that taught by the Roman Catholic Church. When Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta taught it to over 20,000 couples, evenly split between Christian, Hindu, and Muslim, the incident of unintended pregnancy was statistically insignificant.

Perhaps the Obama administration already knows what the effect of increased estrogen will have on the population and that is why it is pushing for transgendereds to be able to use the bathroom of their choice.

Do people not realize that fish are f***ing in their drinking water???

At least as of five years ago, this seemed not to be true.

    Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | June 21, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Considering I’ve come across many reports blaming contraceptives, and this is the first I’ve seen denying contraceptives, I’ll wait for more evidence.

    That we have put more estrogen, and estrogen like chemicals in the water is undeniable. Bisphenal-A was created to be an artificial estrogen at the turn of the previous century. Scientist discovered it was excellent at making plastic softer, for example, for baby toys or baby bottles. We recently went through a scourging were parents got rid of old plastic stuff to get “BPA Free” plastics. This chemical is also used to line aluminium cans so the contents, such as soda or beer, don’t mess with the aluminum.

    Sperm counts in males in this country and other Western countries have been going down for years. Probably many different and diverse causes, such as, global warming, would explain this.

      Milhouse in reply to Milwaukee. | June 21, 2016 at 12:22 am

      We recently went through a scourging were parents got rid of old plastic stuff to get “BPA Free” plastics.

      Only the gullible parents did this. The BPA panic is just as bogus as these usually are. And the “BPA-free” plastics that people switched to are no safer (though also no less safe, since there was nothing unsafe about them in the first place.

“Flint’s water system is oversized for its current and projected water demand, leading to water not moving through the system as designed.”

Most communities have water treatment matching their size. Was the “oversized” water treatment infrastructure built by graft and corruption fueled by state and Federal subsidies? I used to live in a city in Wisconsin which had 85% of city and school budgets subsidized by the State of Wisconsin. They weren’t too particular with saving money.

    Paul in reply to Milwaukee. | June 21, 2016 at 5:19 am

    The population of Flint has been in steady decline, down roughly 50% since 1960. Steady Dim leadership will do that to a city.

Perhaps it is the exposure to these female hormones found in the water that is the real cause of the SJW movement? Is it reality or is it The Onion – it’s just so had to tell the difference anymore.