[Pharmwaste] RE: WRF Study: Trace Pharms in Drinking Water Too Low to Impact Human Health

Bowling, Patrick gbowling at state.pa.us
Tue Mar 17 09:32:25 EDT 2009


The group wasn't WERF (Water Environment Research Foundation) - it was the Water Research Foundation (WRF) which was formerly known (prior to a few months ago) as the American Water Works Association Research Foundation or AwwaRF.  They deal with drinking water research.  Not sure why they changed their name to something so similar to another organization.

Pat

G. Patrick Bowling, P.G. | Senior Geologist
PA Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street | P.O. Box 8555
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8555
Phone: 717-772-4048 | Fax: 717-787-9549
Email: gbowling at state.pa.us  www.depweb.state.pa.us


-----Original Message-----
From: Sue Dayton [mailto:sdayton at swcp.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 9:21 AM
To: gaiabiobus at yahoo.com; stephenmbrand at hotmail.com; feferrell48 at gmail.com; 'Breta'; 'David Mickey'; 'Jordan Puryear'; 'Christina Shento'; 'Hall Sigmon'; 'robert Jones'; 'Tucker, Bobby'; 'Brian Rosa'; 'christopher rumbley'; 'Joe Jenkins'; 'D'Amato, Victor'; pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us; 'Pete Pasterz'; 'Sludge'; Bowling, Patrick
Subject: WRF Study: Trace Pharms in Drinking Water Too Low to Impact Human Health


My two-cents:

I don't buy it, especially from the WERF, which advocates that sewage sludge is safe to use as a fertilizer.

In fact, it was the WERF that came up with the idea of a contest to "rename" sewage sludge to make it more acceptable to the public. WERF members sent in over 250 suggestions for a new name for sludge. These included "all growth," "purenutri," "biolife," "bioslurp," "black gold," "geoslime," "sca-doo," "the end product," "humanure," "hu-doo," "organic residuals," "bioresidue," "urban biomass," "powergro," "organite," "recyclite," "nutri-cake" and "ROSE," short for "recycling of solids environmentally."

The winner: BIOSOLIDS, defined as the "nutrient-rich, organic byproduct of the nation's wastewater treatment process."

I terms of risk, risk assessments can be molded, crafted, cut, changed and trimmed:

"We should remember risk assessment data can be like the captured spy: If you torture it long enough, it will tell you anything you want to know."  -- ---- William Ruckelshaus, former EPA Administrator

Not that the WERF engaged in the torture of its risk assessments on these chemicals and potential impacts to our health. However, there are many, many other factors involved that cannot be easily assessed using analytical models: each person's unique metabolism, immune system, gender, age and race. There are combinations of chemicals, of which we do not know the synergistic effects. Dose and amount of the substance is not only a key factor, but length of exposure, whether over a lifetime or a day.

But perhaps the WERF can come up with a model for that, too...


Sue Dayton
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
North Carolina Healthy Communities Program
PO BOX 44
Saxapahaw, NC 27340
(336) 525-2003
sdayton at swcp.com




Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.   -  Martin Luther King Jr.






-----Original Message-----
From: sludge-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:sludge-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Sue Dayton
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 7:26 AM
To: 'Sludge'
Subject: [Sludge] WRF Study: Trace Pharms in Drinking Water Too Low toImpact Human Health

-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Pete Pasterz
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 4:53 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: RE: [Pharmwaste] WRF Study: Trace Pharms in Drinking Water Too Low toImpact Human Health

Boy, what a relief!  I'm glad that they used the EPA's methods for determining Acceptable Daily Intake, because history has shown that this provides the foolproof certainty needed to assure us that everything is OK with exposures of every individual compound to adult male humans --even if the chemicals aren't actually tested in and of themselves and in combination with one another.

þ Pete Pasterz, NCQRP
Cabarrus County Recycling and HHW
PO BOX 707
Concord, NC  28026
704-920-3280
www.cabarruscounty.us/waste
If you're not for ZERO Waste, how much Waste ARE you for?


-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Bowling, Patrick
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2009 4:40 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] WRF Study: Trace Pharms in Drinking Water Too Low to Impact Human Health

(from: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/03/prweb2199124.htm)

Levels of Trace Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water Too Low to Impact Human Health According to Water Research Foundation Study

The concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs and endocrine-disrupting compounds found in our public drinking water are likely too low to impact human health, according to a new report by the Water Research Foundation, the nation's leading drinking water research organization.

Denver, CO (PRWEB) March 4, 2009 -- The concentrations of pharmaceutical drugs and endocrine-disrupting compounds found in our public drinking water are likely too low to impact human health, according to a new report by the Water Research Foundation, the nation's leading drinking water research organization.

The Water Research Foundation presented its findings at a February 27 congressional briefing.

Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) encompass a variety of chemical classes, including hormones, plant constituents (phytoestrogens), pesticides, compounds used in the plastics industry and in consumer products, and other industrial by-products. There is growing public attention and concern about the possibility of health effects from trace amounts of EDCs and drugs that are flushed down the toilet or enter the water supply through human and livestock waste. The Water Research Foundation report examined not only the presence of trace levels of EDCs and drugs in water, but explored if there is a potential link between the levels of these compounds found in water and effects on human health.

Water Research Foundation has committed up to $1 million per year to an integrated, multi-year research program to address specific issues associated with ultra-low levels of drugs and chemicals in the water supply.

The report, titled Toxicological Relevance of Endocrine Disruptors and Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water, concludes three years of research in collaboration with 17 water utilities.

"Even the most advanced treatment processes that we've studied won't achieve an absolute zero level of contaminants," said study researcher Shane Snyder, Ph.D., research and development project manager for Southern Nevada Water Authority. "Therefore, it's vital that we look at the real risks before we spend a tremendous amount of resources on the issue."

The study's objective was to inform water utilities, regulators, scientists, and the public about the occurrence and potential human health relevance of pharmaceuticals and EDCs in drinking water.

Research Methods and Selected Findings:

The Water Research Foundation research team first selected 62 representative chemicals for further evaluation. The selection criteria included likelihood of occurrence, production volume, toxicity, and analytical capability. The scientists drew 300 water samples from 19 sites nationwide and analyzed them for the selected suite of compounds using extremely sensitive analytical methods with low part-per-trillion detection limits. The team conducted risk evaluations assuming exposure through drinking water for all target pharmaceuticals, 10 of the suspected EDCs, and three of the hormones. Acceptable daily intakes (ADIs) were calculated using methods consistent with Environmental Protection Agency approaches for determining levels of exposure to environmental contaminants that are not likely to be associated with adverse health effects. To estimate the exposure of these compounds via drinking water, the ADIs were then converted to drinking water equivalent levels.

Key conclusions reported include the following:

* Of the 62 compounds analyzed, only three were consistently (>50 percent frequency) found in the water samples

* Trace concentrations of 24 compounds were detectable in at least 20 percent of raw (untreated) water samples

* Trace concentrations of 11 compounds were found in at least 20 percent of finished (treated) drinking water samples. Five prescription drug-related compounds were detected: atenolol, Dilantin, carbamazepine, gemfibrozil, and sulfamethoxazole. The scientists also found trace amounts of atrazine (a widely used herbicide), DEET (an active ingredient of insect repellants), metolachlor (a pesticide), and two flame retardants used in consumer products, Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TECP) and Tris (chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCPP).

* The target compound detected at the highest concentration was atrazine. Atrazine was detected at levels as high as 870 parts per trillion or nanograms per liter (ng/l), less than a third of the federal regulatory limit of 3,000 parts per trillion or ng/l. The median level of atrazine detected in the study was 49 ng/l.

"Pharmaceuticals and EDCs can certainly be detected in water, and science will continue to establish lower and lower detection limits," said Snyder. "Based on the research done so far, they appear to occur at levels far below acceptable daily intake levels."

"Concerns may be raised because detection of chemicals seems to be evidence enough of risk," Snyder added. "But in the world of toxicology, it's the dose, or amount of a substance, that can create a health risk. It's the concentration that matters."


About the Water Research Foundation:
Founded in 1966, the Water Research Foundation is an international, 501c(3) nonprofit organization that sponsors research to enable water utilities, public health agencies and other professionals to provide safe and affordable drinking water to the public. With more than 950 subscriber members who provide water for 80 percent of the U.S. population, the Water Research Foundation has funded and managed more than 1,000 projects. For more information, go to www.WaterResearchFoundation.org.

Contact:
Jill Estabrook Wisehart
Communications Director
303.347.6111

# # #

=========================

G. Patrick Bowling, P.G. | Senior Geologist
PA Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street | P.O. Box 8555
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8555
Phone: 717-772-4048 | Fax: 717-787-9549
Email: gbowling at state.pa.us  www.depweb.state.pa.us
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