Acid precipitation affects the solubility of several metals in aquatic systems and in soil. Cadmium levels in tap water samples from geological areas having low resistance to acidic pollution were significantly higher than those in samples from a neighbouring reference area where there was a different geological structure. The median cadmium levels and pH values were 0.14 microgram l-1 and 5.6 respectively, for the acidic areas compared with 0.07 microgram l-1 and 6.4 respectively for the reference area. Further, there was a significant inverse relationship between both cadmium and lead contents and the pH values of the samples. The mobility of the metals was thus dependent on the acidity. The blood lead levels in 195 subjects from the acidic areas were lower than those in 91 subjects from the reference area (medians 60 vs. 70 micrograms l-1); no significant differences were found in blood cadmium or blood mercury levels. Subjects in the acidic areas had lower plasma selenium levels than those from the reference area (medians 85 vs. 90 micrograms l-1); the difference was mainly attributed to subjects with private wells. The data may indicate a negative effect of the acidic pollution on selenium intake via water and/or foods. There was also a positive relationship between intake of fish on the one hand and blood mercury and plasma selenium on the other, which is in accordance with the role of fish as a source of these metals.
BACKGROUND. Acute fluoride poisoning produces a clinical syndrome characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and paresthesias. In May 1992, excess fluoride in one of two public water systems serving a village in Alaska caused an outbreak of acute fluoride poisoning. METHODS. We surveyed residents, measured their urinary fluoride concentrations, and analyzed their serum-chemistry profiles. A case of fluoride poisoning was defined as an illness consisting of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or numbness or tingling of the face or extremities that began between May 21 and 23. RESULTS. Among 47 residents studied who drank water obtained on May 21, 22, or 23 from the implicated well, 43 (91 percent) had an illness that met the case definition, as compared with only 6 of 21 residents (29 percent) who drank water obtained from the implicated well at other times and 2 of 94 residents (2 percent) served by the other water system. We estimated that 296 people were poisoned; 1 person died. Four to five days after the outbreak, 10 of the 25 case patients who were tested, but none of the 15 control subjects, had elevated urinary fluoride concentrations. The case patients had elevated serum fluoride concentrations and other abnormalities consistent with fluoride poisoning, such as elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase concentrations. The fluoride concentration of a water sample from the implicated well was 150 mg per liter, and that of a sample from the other system was 1.1 mg per liter. Failure to monitor and respond appropriately to elevated fluoride concentrations, an unreliable control system, and a mechanism that allowed fluoride concentrate to enter the well led to this outbreak. CONCLUSIONS. Inspection of public water systems and monitoring of fluoride concentrations are needed to prevent outbreaks of fluoride poisoning.
Agricultural activity on Prince Edward Island poses a potential hazard to groundwater, which is the sole source of drinking water on the island. This study investigates the potential impact of groundwater nitrate exposure on prematurity and intrauterine growth restriction on Prince Edward Island. A total of 210 intrauterine growth restriction cases, 336 premature births, and 4098 controls were abstracted from a database of all Island births. An ecological measure of groundwater nitrate level was used to gauge potential exposure to agriculturally contaminated drinking water. The higher nitrate exposure categories were positively associated with intrauterine growth restriction and prematurity, and significant dose-response trends were seen, even after adjustment for several important covariates. Nevertheless, these risks must be interpreted cautiously because of the ecological nature of this exposure metric. An investigation using nitrate levels for individual study subjects is needed to confirm this association.
To analyze prevalence and variability of Legionella strains isolated in town Verkhnaya Pyshma located in Sverdlovsk region during prophylactic surveillance of potentially dangerous water objects in 2007 - 2008.
Sequencing of mip gene was conducted for identification of species of Legionella. Multi-locus sequence typing was used for describing of allelic profiles of Legionella pneumophila strains.
Five firstly identified on Russian territory strains of Legionella species were deposited in institute's collection. Sixty-three strains of L. pneumophila belonging to 28 sequence types were characterized. Relation between strains isolated in industrial building and from water supply system was demonstrated.
Observations made on the basis of study of L. pneumophila strains isolated from cooling stacks of industrial plants confirmed potential danger of these objects as a source of dissemination of Legionella infection.
This study examined the possibility that lead pipes in the drinking water distribution system were elevating the blood lead levels of children in London, Ontario, Canada. Based on their postal codes, 164 children admitted between 1984 and 1989 to an institution for the behaviorally disordered or developmentally challenged were categorized according to whether they lived in the area of the city known by the local Public Utilities Commission to be serviced by lead pipes. Analysis of covariance was used to obtain confounder-adjusted geometric means in each area. After adjusting for gender, year of lead test (a surrogate for gasoline source), and census tract prevalence of low family income, children in the lead service area (LSA) were found not to have higher blood lead levels (geometric means: LSA = 4.7 micrograms/dl, Non-LSA = 4.8 micrograms/dL; p = 0.839). The average blood lead level declined 60.9% between 1984 and 1989. Using municipal tax assessment data on the age of each child's home, those children living in homes built during or before 1945 (when interior paints were as much as 50% lead by dry weight) had an average blood lead level that was 62.3% higher (p = 0.011) than that of those in homes built since 1975 (when interior paints were limited to no higher than 0.5% lead by dry weight). A clear gradient was observed. This association with age of home remained significant after adjusting for gender, diagnosis, and year of lead test. Variables indicating the amount of industry near the child's residence and the presence of lead service pipes did not enter the model after house-age. In conclusion, no evidence indicated that the lead service pipes were elevating blood lead levels in these London children. The data suggest that with the removal of lead from gasoline, lead-based paint is a significant remaining source of lead exposure. Little data are available on childhood lead exposure from paint in Canada. The present descriptive data suggest that more research into this potential problem in Canada is warranted.
Population exposure in the Urals region occurred due to the releases of radionuclides by the Mayak plutonium facility in the 1950's. The major sources of radioactive contamination were the discharges of liquid wastes into the Techa river (1949-1956); an explosion in the storage facility for high level radioactive wastes which formed the East Urals Radioactive Trace in 1957; and gaseous aerosol releases within the first decade of the facility's operation (1949-1957). The problems of dose reconstruction for the population exposed on the Techa river banks and East Urals Radioactive Trace are outlined. The initial data sets and basic models for dose reconstruction are described. The main tasks of the Techa River Dosimetry System Project and the approaches to individual internal and external dose reassessment are formulated.
The mortality rates from anencephalus from 1950-1969 in Canadian cities are shown to be strongly correlated with city growth rate and with horizontal geomagnetic flux, which is directly related to the intensity of cosmic radiation. They are also shown to have some association with the magnesium content of drinking water. Prior work with these data which showed associations with magnesium in drinking water, mean income, latitude and longitude was found to be inadequate because it dismissed the observed geographic associations as having little biological meaning, and because the important variables of geomagnetism and city growth rate were overlooked.