Storing and Handling Pool Chemicals Safely
Bob G. Vincent

This YouTube video on Pool Chemical Safety provides tips on avoiding pool chemical accidents and injuries.

What’s more refreshing than swimming in crystal-clear pool water?  It takes chemistry to achieve “crystal clear”—the appropriate use of disinfectants, pH adjusters and algaecides.  Pool water would quickly become a cloudy, hazardous “microbial soup” without pool chemicals, but as with all chemicals, the ones we use in the pool must be treated with a heaping dose of healthy respect.  The following three case studies, taken from recent news reports, illustrate the unfortunate and sometimes tragic results of mishandling pool chemicals.  “Lessons learned” from these examples are highlighted below.… READ MORE >>

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World Water Day, 2015:  A Vital Role for Dihydrogen Oxide in Sustainable Development
Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD

World Water Day, March 22, is an annual celebration of one of humanity’s most precious resources—the chemical compound dihydrogen oxide, more commonly known as water, or, “H2O,”   the medium of life on the Blue Planet.  Twenty-two years ago, the United Nations General Assembly instituted this annual celebration, and each has a particular theme.  This year’s theme, “Water and Sustainable Development,” shines a light on the critical role water will play in our future, from life-giving drinking water to agricultural and manufacturing process water and so much more.… READ MORE >>

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TTHM in Drinking Water: The Flint, Michigan Story, A Lesson for Us All
Joan B. Rose, PhD

The citizens of Flint, Michigan used to take the high quality of their drinking water for granted, expecting, like most of us, to access safe, wholesome water at the tap.  Lately, however, they are worried about the quality of their water and they have many questions for municipal officials.

Flint residents are outraged over reports that a water contaminant known as TTHM exceeded federal allowance levels in 20141.  According to a recent mlive.com article, last year’s high TTHM levels prompted the city to issue federal violation notices to customers in January.  Although current readings have fallen below allowance levels, another violation notice will likely be distributed this month.  That’s because violation notices are based on annual running averages, and last year’s high readings are still boosting the average above the level allowed in drinking water.  However, their TTHM violations are probably a minor consequence of more fundamental … READ MORE >>

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A Fresh Look at C. Diff Infection in the US
Water Quality and Health Council

Bacterial superbug “C. diff” infected nearly one-half million people in the US in 2011, causing inflammation of the colon and potentially deadly diarrhea. The infection killed over 15,000, but was found associated with an estimated 29,000 deaths1, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.2   The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr.Tom Frieden, said the study underscores two critical strategies for controlling C. diff:  smarter use of antibiotics and improved infection control in healthcare environments (see CDC Newsroom article).

C. diff, formally known as “Clostridium difficile,” is the most common cause of health care-associated infections in the US.  It is an antibiotic-resistant germ, which is how it earned its “Superbug status.” Most patients infected with C. diff, say the study authors, “had either inpatient or outpatient health care … READ MORE >>

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Is Your Well Drinking Water all Well and Good?
Bruce Bernard, PhD

Mrs. Joan Betty Bernard (me mum), paraphrasing Senator Adelai Stevenson, told me over and over,  “Americans demand simple answers to complex questions“(as you would expect his actual quote was significantly more erudite).  Their statements are as true today as they were 50 years ago.

Is private well water safe to drink?  Well, that depends on what’s IN the water.  Evaluating the quality of drinking water from a private well doesn’t have to be that complicated.  It all starts with knowing what to look for, the risks associated with what you find, and how to correct it.… READ MORE >>

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