Pulse (Lentil) farmers in Victoria are contracting Parkinson’s Disease at a rate far beyond the rest of the Australian populace.
A new study suggests recorded cases of Parkinson’s, based on medication use, are 78% higher than average in Buloke, 76% higher in Horsham, 57% higher in Northern Grampians and 34% higher in Yarriambiack – all pulse farming regions.
For me, this news just amplifies the need to eat organic – particularly for vegetarians who have a far higher lentil consumption than the rest of us. But it takes my mind even further. We get these reports where the evidence shows itself, but it’s against a backdrop of a constant unrelenting cancer epidemic. Cancer has eluded all specifics in prevention and as I move towards seventy, I can’t help but feel I’m like the prisoner of war in the concentration camp wondering if it’s my day today to be ‘liquidated’.
I’m ‘in the zone’ where dear friends make the big announcement;
“Well Folks, I have _____ cancer.”
And surely, surely we can’t dismiss the idea that every mouthful of pesticide treated grain, every breath of carbon monoxide, every glass of heavy metals and carcinogenic chlorinated water contributes to this observation of imminent mortality. No, I don’t have one answer. But I am so very grateful that sixteen years ago I began becoming aware of this ‘pestilence’ of pesticides and a ‘death by a thousand cuts’. each cut may simply be one more mouthful of ever-so miniscule amounts of toxins.
We have our own amazing detoxification system. But it needs fuel, and my belief is that fuel is water.
European Food Safety Authority:
Hmm… seems they haven’t read their own name lately!
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new report: ‘The 2013 European Union report on pesticides in food’.
The report, shows the results for almost 81,000 food samples from 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway”.
Their Press Release of 12th March 2015 reports that:
“a combined total of 80,967 samples of a wide variety of processed and unprocessed food products were tested for the presence of 685 pesticides”.
It continues, “97.4% of the samples analysed fell within legal limits” but adds that,
“Residues of more than one pesticide (multiple residues) were found in 27.3% of samples”.
That’s one in four!!!! Muliple health and environmental NGOs say that EFSA does not examine the ‘cocktail effect’ of these residues on humans. Martin Dermine of Pesticide Action Network told Euractive,
“Providing statistics of single residue level in food is too simplistic”.
Ian: I totally agree. I cannot understand why people don’t understand that if we are ingesting toxins at this rate we don’t have a plan in place to continually detox – even something as basic as good hydration!
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – another totally scary chemical term – seems to be something the bald eagle likes to consume. recently a study of Michigan’s bald eagle population discovered that they are the most contaminated birds on the planet. Banned flame retardant chemicals were found in their livers.The population of bald eagles in the region is stable, but the PBDE compounds have shown, in other birds, to impair reproduction, development, disrupt hormones, and even cause weird behavior.
I guess the most iconic animal in the United States won’t catch on fire too easily…
Originally, companies started putting PBDEs into furniture cushions, electronics and clothing in an effort to slow the spread of flames if they catch fire. Chemicals quickly built up in people and the earth. Despite a phase-out beginning in the early 2000s, PBDEs are still persistent. They are still found in the air, the dirt and yes, everyone on the planet.
The eagles were probably exposed to chemicals that ended up in water, and then in the fish that they eat. Because they are at the top of the food chain, they naturally tend to accumulate higher concentrations than living things lower down. This also makes them early warning indicators for these types of pollutants.
And who else is at the top of the food chain? That’s right, you and me.
Environmental Health News says: “PBDE concentrations were “among the highest found in liver tissues of any wildlife,” the authors wrote, with one eagle measuring 1,538 parts per billion PBDEs in its liver. Americans have some of the highest levels of PBDEs in their bodies worldwide, with studies of U.S. breast milk finding median PBDE concentrations of about 30 ppb, though the types of PBDEs vary.”
Ian: So.. what can we do when we are already contaminated? For me, I love my life so I’m committed to eating good clean food and as many detoxifying greens as possible. I eat meat to get the widest range of amino acids and I drink high H2 water and use high H2 supplements.
Want to know how to make an AlkaWay team member’s day?
Tell us, just like Elaine did this morning, that you love your UltraStream.
Elaine rang to ask about filter life. She had been away for a couple of months in which time she didn’t use the UltraStream. She had called to ask if she should wait another couple of months over the 12 months before replacing her filter. I told her that it was fine to do so but advised that a filter that has gotten to its use-by date may not necessarily exhibit the usual symptoms of impending life end, like slow flow or stopping.
If you have particularly organic sediment, your filter may be 12 months old, still flow properly, but the organic ‘junk’ it has collected (as a good filter should!) may begin to decay. When that happens you can have taste changes signifying the fact that something ain’t right. I like to change mine after 12 months no matter what, becasue of this possible in-filter contaminant possibility.
Elaine had also just tested the pH of her water and after 12 months it was still giving 9.5 plus, indicating a strong flow of hydrogen rich water.
1. Are pesticides a serious problem in our drinking waters?
2. Are there systems that can remove them?
What are pesticides?
The legal definition of ‘‘pesticide’’ is:
(1) any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest;
(2) any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant; and
(3) any nitrogen stabilizer.
Pesticides are called economic poisons.
They control undesirable “pests” in our environment so they are intended for beneficial uses. However, because they are poisons to a greater or lesser degree, they are intensively examined and regulated prior to being allowed to be used. There are over a thousand registered pesticide active ingredients and many thousands of registered formulations of combinations of pesticides (active ingredients) and inactive (inert ingredients).
There is a huge database available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/PPISdata/. They include antimicrobials and biopesticides, in addition to the conventional substances.
Many pesticides are organic chemicals, but there are also inorganic chemicals like arsenic, lead, chlorate and chlorine that fit the definitions.
Can the Law help?
There are four major laws that control the uses and human exposures to pesticides in the U.S.: The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA).
The Safe Drinking Water Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) control of contaminants in public drinking water supplies. All pesticides used in the U.S. must be registered (licensed) by the EPA. Registration assures that pesticides will be properly labeled, and that if used in accordance with specifications they will not cause unreasonable harm to health or the environment. Use of each registered pesticide must be consistent with use directions contained on labeling.
FIFRA gives the EPA the authority for comprehensive regulation of all pesticides from their manufacture, transport, sale, distribution and use. Its history goes back to 1910 and it has been amended numerous times.
By law, pesticides must be applied according to the label directions. FFDCA gives the EPA the authority to produce Pesticide Tolerances that set limits on the amounts of pesticide residues allowed in food or animal feed.
FQPA increased the safety standards for assessing new pesticides and also required that older pesticides and tolerances to be periodically reassessed using the new tougher standards. FFDCA and FQPA have special provisions to protect infants and children. The registrants pay the costs of the registration and review processes carried out by the EPA.
Pesticides production and use
According to the Cornell Safety Education Program (CSEP), pesticides production in the U.S. tripled from 400 million pounds in 1950 to over 1.4 billion pounds in 1980 — this probably included exports as well as domestic use. However, remarkably, the estimated use in 2001 was less, 1.25 billion pounds (www.extension.org), indicating more restrictive and cancelled registrations and more careful application management.
The change is happening, and an apt term might be ‘a ‘grass roots’ movement!
The types of pesticides in current use have also changed substantially, from persistent pesticides like DDT and chlordane, to more biodegradable pesticides. About half are herbicides like glyphosate and atrazine. Application rates are very small, ranging from a few ounces to a few pounds per acre.
Pesticides in drinking water
Surface waters and especially small streams in agricultural areas frequently have measurable amounts of at least one pesticide. This can be seasonable, such as from the widespread use of the pre-emergent herbicide atrazine in the Corn Belt in the spring.
Groundwater contamination is a function of soil transmissivity and physical and chemical properties of the pesticides used in the area. Groundwater contamination tends to be persistent once it occurs because of its slow movement and less biochemical transformation that occurs in that environment.
Nitrate increase is a possible indicator of the possibility of some pesticide presence because of its use in fertilizers and solubility and mobility in water. It can also be an indicator of potential microbial contamination.
Among many health and environmental assessments, the registration process uses specific criteria involving the potential for applications and use patterns and quantities to contaminate drinking water, and the potential human exposure that could result in relation to risk-based concentrations.
The EPA establishes Maximum Contaminant Levels for each contaminant based upon toxicology, health risk and control feasibility. In the European Union, pesticides detections in drinking water are a method for regulating their use in the watershed of a water supplier. If any pesticide’s level exceeds 0.1 ppb in the drinking water or the total exceeds 0.5 ppb, the use in the watershed is investigated and modified, up to a ban in that watershed.
Public drinking water suppliers have specified monitoring and reporting requirements. They are required to produce Consumer Confidence Reports that describe the condition and regulatory status of the supply. Compliance information is available online or from the supplier.
Drinking waters are regulated for at least 30 pesticides, plus four disinfectant-related chemicals like chlorite. That count is probably low because numerous other chemicals have minor uses in applications such as fumigants. Most pesticides are seldom detected in compliance monitoring, or do not exceed standards when detected.
CSEP reports that 22 pesticides have been detected in U.S. wells, and up to 80 were estimated to have the potential for movement in groundwater under favorable conditions.
If a source water is contaminated by any regulated chemical, it must be managed to achieve the standard. This could include the use of appropriate water treatment technology or changing the source, such as by drilling a new well.
Drinking Water Safety
In addition to the regulations, EPA’s Water Office has published Drinking Water Health Advisories (EPA 822-S-12-001) that include about 100 additional health-based values for unregulated contaminants.
EPA’s Pesticides Office has published drinking water benchmark values for more than 355 pesticides. The latter needs to be read carefully because they are not prospective drinking water standards. They calculated benchmarks from health data applying a 20 percent relative source contribution for drinking water. Actually, relative source contributions (RSC) in standards usually can range from 20 to 80 percent — the higher the RSC, the higher potential drinking water standard.
For example, the 20 percent RSC for chlorate yields a benchmark of 210 ppb, but applying an 80 percent RSC, as used by Canada and the World Health Organization, would give a benchmark of 840 ppb.
Where are pesticides in drinking water’s greatest concerns?
Pesticides can be found in some surface waters and groundwaters, however, many pesticides are regulated. Public water supplies are generally monitored and treated, so they are usually not a concern.
The more likely problems would be found in rural home wells, shallow groundwaters, associated with agricultural activities, in porous sandy soils and seasonally where small streams are draining agricultural areas and in small public water systems where limited monitoring is required.
There are probably millions of at risk home wells, and thousands of small public water supplies.
Is POU/POE decentralized water treatment effective for compliance with drinking water standards?
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) specifically allows use of POU or POE for public water system compliance. When EPA lists compliance technologies for Maximum Contaminant Levels or Treatment Techniques for small systems, they must include packaged or modular systems and POU and POE treatment units.
POU, POE or bottled water may be required as part of a Variance or Exemption delay from meeting a regulation to avoid an unreasonable risk to health during the time that the compliance delay is allowed.
Bottled water is not allowed for compliance. If the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has issued product standards applicable to a specific type of POU or POE treatment unit, those units must be independently certified to those ANSI standards (see Water Technology, April 2014, Professor POU/POE for details).
Central treatment using packaged plants is available for small water supplies. These are usually more cost effective for small systems than having engineered systems designed on site. They also are usually more rapidly installed, automated and less costly to operate than “stick built” systems. One would suspect that consulting engineers prefer the latter.
Some heavily chlorinated pesticides that bind well to sediments, like DDT or chlordane, are removed by conventional coagulation and sand filtration.
Granular activated carbon technology is usually effective, especially for the more modern pesticides that are less hydrophobic. Ozonation can reduce the less chlorinated more reactive pesticides. Reverse osmosis could also be effective, though probably most costly and wasteful of reject water.
We also n to be sensitive to co-contamination by nitrate and microbials that might indicate potential for pesticide contamination.
Chemical analysis for the broad spectrum of pesticides can be expensive — in the multiple hundreds of dollars per sample. However, it would often be possible to pinpoint the most likely pesticide contaminants from other monitoring data that has been collected in the area, and from information on the pesticides that have been used. Ask your local authority what facility they have for testing or existing data on your property.
Available pesticides have been shifting to less toxic, less persistent and more biodegradable chemicals, and they are being applied at lesser loadings. Many registered pesticides are applied annually at the billion pound level — many are regulated in drinking water so they are generally managed in public drinking water supplies. Rural groundwaters and small streams probably have the greatest likelihood for unmanaged pesticide water contamination that can be treated by POU and POE technologies.
But.. is there a ‘good level’ for pesticides in your drinking water?
The Ultrastream takes filtration of pesticides to the ultimate. It uses the best catalytic carbon – up to 8 times more effective than granular activated carbon – and KDF, the patented media acknowledged as the best heavy metals reduction media in the world. Yes, it’s more expensive than a big box carbon filter but it’s a complete health system.. not just a filter.