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Archive for the ‘toxic tap water’ Category

Water and sanitation a basic human right

SOURCE - AP File Photo
image – AP File Photo

The United Nations General Assembly has declared that each person on the planet has a right to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. World leaders in 2000 called for the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation to be cut in half by 2015 (see the Millennium Development Goals)

This relates to the almost one billion people without access to safe and clean drinking water while more than 2 billion have no sanitary means of disposing human waste. The consequence of this lack of access shows up in the high numbers of children, more than one million, who die each from water and sanitation-related diseases.

Bolivia was the country sponsoring the resolution with 122 countries voting “aye” and 41 countries deciding not to vote, to abstain, such as the United States and many Western nations though Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain and Norway supported it. The United States remains, however, “deeply committed to finding solutions to our water challenges,” but the resolution “describes a right to water and sanitation in a way that is not reflective of existing international law.” READ MORE HERE

The resolution states that “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.”

READ MORE

QUESTION TO BE PONDERED – COULD THIS ENGENDER THE NEXT WAR? OR WILL THIS LEAD US TO WORLD PEACE?

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Water

To our readers

Ensuring environmental sustainability is a goal – Goal 7 – of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Muriella’s Corner is committed to support its implementation, in partnership with all who intend to help more than one billion people release their creative energies, to help free them from the shackles of a life of continuing and overwhelming poverty.

Some of you might have noticed that water has been a recurring topic* on Muriella’s Corner and blogs. This seeming bias is due to almost three decades of work in the United Nations in the area of environment, water and sanitation.

REMEMBER TO STAND UP FOR THE ELIMINATION OF POVERTY ON

17 OCTOBER 2007

Muriella’s Corner

*These are earlier issues on water
To filter or not…
End of an era…error?
Environment and you
Water, water, ice
Tips for Travelers to the Tropics

Most of my work took me to developing countries over short and long periods, working with communities, governments and not-for-profit agencies in the drilling of wells, installation of handpumps, building of latrines.

The theme of water vibrates around the globe. In most developing countries, water quantity and water quality are main hurdles for the people. In others, water quality is the main challenge.

I have seen, first hand, the pain and suffering diseases cause to families who ingest and bathe in water populated by parasites – diseases like dracunculiasis (guinea worm), schisostomiasis,bilharziasis, and all the -isises- you can think of.

People’s lives are very affected, too ill to work, not enough time to go to school as fetching water is one of the main duties, especially of girls, and so on.

But they are forced to drink what is available, even though the source is questionable.

They have no CHOICE.

On the other hand, in the developed countries, there is no lack of water. In the quest to make the water potable, many chemicals are added. One of the most insidious is chlorine.

But, since exotic diseases are not present in the water supply, people are hardly concerned about the chemicals and as such continue to drink,shower and bathe in chlorinated water (swimming pools reek of chlorine).

Some are buying bottled water, but here again, hardly any attention is given to health issues – e.g. the water source from which the water is bottled is questionable; the plastic containers are questionable, pollution issues, the financial costs of buying a bottle of water – not enough to drink per day; no attention given to the water used for showering, bathing, cooking, etc., etc.

What is to be done?

The most important thing, we believe, is for people to know that they have a choice. Information propelled them to be users of bottled water, to choose to drink bottled water instead of tap water. But if their grasp of what propelled them is understood overall, they would also be concerned about the water used for showering, bathing, cooking.

We have prepared a comprehensive newsletter on Water with the following headings:

The Water Cure
Different types of water
Bottled Water – clear choices
Brands of Bottled Water; Filtration systems
Chlorine and cancer?
Chlorine and Asthma?
Testimony on drinking water
Discussion H2O

Given the amount of information this entails, we have decided to send it to you in short sips, so that you can click through and read the article you prefer. We recommend however that you read all of them as they will be of use to you as you make your choices.

We have also developed podcasts on water and can make them available upon request.

We will continue the focus on drinking water (quality and quantity), given the focus on this issues as Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals

-Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet. The Millennium Goals recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being. Unfortunately exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful few-have caused alarming changes in our natural world in recent decades, often harming the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020. (Source: millenniumcampaign.org)

For full articles and links go to this webpage

Thank you

Muriella’s Corner

Toothpaste recall in USA culprit diethylene glycol

Toothpaste made in China

 CNN News this morning – June 28 2007 – has announced the recall of millions of tubes of toothpaste with ingredient diethylene glycol (a sort of anti-freeze).

Muriella’s Corner has been on the trail of diethlyene glycol and the toothpaste fiasco for a while now.

At the root of all this is the fact that consumers must be cognizant of what goes into their mouths and the mouths of their children for cleaning and brushing teeth.

Given the flurry and widespread concern at one time regarding fluoride in toothpaste, and now diethlyene glycol, brushing with soap seems a healthy alternative.

Women with breast cancer and laughter therapy

Click here for information on our documentary and how you can become involved, as well as for information on health and nutrition wellness and wellbeing  during challenges of breast cancer

Moringa is good for people, water, the planet

Moringa – the drumstick tree

Moringa is a tropical tree, fast growing, resistant to drought and an important source of food for people and animals in many countries. There are 13 species known, of which Moringa oleifera is particularly easy to reproduce and its growth is very fast.
It has been lauded since Aryuvedic times. Modern scientific research now shows that the leaves are full of nutritious content – for example, gram for gram, moringa leaves are an excellent source of calcium,vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and protein.

But most importantly, the moringa tree could have an important economic impact in the areas where the tree is found (Africa, Asia, the Americas) as it contains polyelectrolytes which are highly effective in water treatment and produces a biodegradable flocculent unlike aluminum sulphate, currently used in water treatment plants.

Vegetable oil extracted from the seeds are also useful in cosmetic products.

Moringa is also an important food source in many countries. In India, Moringa pods are widely consumed and plantations exist to produce pods for export, fresh and tinned, to overseas consumers.

In West Africa, Moringa oleifera leaves are commonly used to make sauces. Moringa stenopetala leaves are the staple food of the Konso people in Ethiopia.

Studies have shown the leaves to be an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein: perhaps more than any other tropical vegetable. Many programs use Moringa leaves to fight against malnutrition and its associated diseases (blindness etc.).

Bottom line, Moringa is Really Green – its leaves, its pods, its seeds, its properties, its nature…all are plusses for the environment.

Moringa is the way forward. Read More

Other Languages

English: Drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, Mother’s Best Friend, Radish tree, West Indian ben
French: Bèn ailé, Benzolive, Moringa
German: Behenbaum, Behenussbaum, Flügelsaniger Bennussbaum, Pferderettichbaum

Ghana (Ewe) Yevu-ti, Babatsi
India (Hindi) Munaga, Sahijna, Sarinjna, Segra, Shajmah, Shajna
Italian: Sàndalo ceruleo

Kenya (Swahili Mkimbo, Mlonge, Mlongo, Mronge, Mrongo, Mzungu, Mzunze
Portuguese: Acácia branca, Cedra (Brazil), Marungo, Moringuiero, Muringa
Spanish: Árbol del ben, Ben, Morango, Moringa

Sudan (Arabic) Alim, Halim, Shagara al ruwag (“The tree for purifying”), Ruwag

Sources: http://snipurl.com/moringa
http://www.treesforlife.org/project/moringa; http://www.moringanews.org

HELP the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in their billion tree campaign – PLANT MORINGA TREES

http://www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign/

Tap water, fluoride, cavities – brush with bar soap

Updated 29 June 2007

The article below reminds us of effects over time of actions taken to improve public health, effects which can cause more harm than good in the long run, with the consumer bearing the brunt of the consequences.

The practice of adding fluoride to water started some 60 years ago, and is widely held by dentists and public health experts to have been a major factor in the improvement in dental health seen in individuals living in areas where water fluoridation is practiced… the science shows that water fluoridation is of relatively limited benefit, and has the capacity to do considerable harm – including to our teeth!

Up until recently, the the most comprehensive study to assess the effectiveness of water fluoridation (often referred to as the ‘York study’) found that just one in six people drinking fluoridated water benefits from this practice [1]. However, drinking fluoridated water was also found to cause serious ‘dental fluorosis’, a condition in which the teeth become mottled, discoloured or even pitted due to excess fluoride.

Update 24 May 2007

Diethylene glycol ( an industrial solvent used in engine coolants and anti-freeze) was found in toothpaste sold in the Dominican Republic and Panama .

In the 36,000 tubes of possibly contaminated toothpaste were tubes of toothpaste marketed for children with bubble gum and strawberry flavors sold under the name of “Mr. Cool Junior.”

FDA checking toothpaste imports from other countries, including China. In Australia there is some evidence of contaminated toothpaste.

Wash your mouth with soap

Know about the link between fluoride in toothpaste, fluoride in tap water, and your dental health.

This blog is dedicated to our pearly whites.

I have been researching issues of gingivitis and periodontal disease for over a year now, as I was told that my gums are infected and that I am in danger of losing bone, and of course, teeth, as time progresses, i.e. as we age.

I have since found what I believe is the primer on caring for teeth and gums – Good Teeth from Birth to Death by Dr Judd.

What endeared me to the information in the book was an interesting meet up with two dentists on the same day – the periodontist saying that my gums were very inflamed and that I would have to have surgery; my regular dentist saying, just 20 minutes later, that my gums seemed in good condition, not inflamed in response to my query. Click here for issue of Muriella’s Corner on gum disease and inflammation.

After obtaining the Judd information, I came across Tooth Soap, and have been using it for a while now, combining oil pulling with brushing with soap, and have seen some improvements.

For those, like me, who would like to save their teeth and heal their gums, try Tooth Soap

http://snipurl.com/1io7v

Dr Judd has placed in everyone’s hand the complete answer to tooth cavities.

Following this procedure there will not be one more cavity, one more gingivitis case, or one more fluorosed, brittle, cracked tooth in the world. Bad teeth in Ireland, Canada, the USA, Britain, Australia and New Zealand will now be curbed.

Dr Judd’s 55-year fight with fluoride promoters (dentists) in these countries is over since research now establishes for certain that fluoride makes the teeth WORSE and not better. My book, Good Teeth, Birth to Death lays out in no uncertain terms all the detail to achieve my claims. Click here to purchase Good Teeth, Birth to Death
Dr Judd has talked to thousands of people about their teeth, many of whom have perfect teeth. In all those cases of perfect teeth, the practice of rinsing while eating has been the reason, and not fluoride. He found out that perfect teeth have little or nothing to do with genetics. The best way to have perfect teeth besides staying away from greedy or incompetent dentists is to pursue the following behavior:

Rinse acids off the teeth during eating
Brush the teeth with bar soap

Take calcium pills with vitamin D daily

Take monosodium phosphate daily

Take freshly made sodium ascorbate daily for gum connections to the teeth

Dispense with the worry that bacteria harm teeth: THEY CANNOT

Dispense with the worry that sugar destroys teeth. Dr Judd found that sugar has little or nothing to do with cavities

Avoid all fluoride products. They destroy teeth, unravel enzymes and cause 113 ailments

His 117-page book, Good Teeth, Birth to Death covers the perfect teeth subject thoroughly including the fluoride controversy. It is a product of thousands of hours of research. The index alone is 41 pages.
The Journal of Pub Health Dentistry, Nov 1993, published an article about a tooth decay epidemic in the US since 42% of people over 65 years of age have no natural teeth, 44-year-olds have an average of 30 decays, 17-year-olds have an average of 11 decays, the blacks and the poor are twice as bad as this and the American Indians have four times the tooth trouble.

American Indians have free dental care, and have had since almost the beginning of fluoridation. If fluoride helped prevent cavities at a rate of 80% per 15 years as the proponents of fluoride claimed in the beginning of the early studies of the forties, US residents would now have less than 2 cavities per person.

In MediZine, V6 #2, April of 2000, the American Dental Association again stated that a dental epidemic exists and 42% of those over 65 years of age and 25% of those over 44 years of age have no natural teeth. They admit their ignorance as to why.

4 curves representing a total of 480,000 students and covering over 30 years of study indicate that the increasing concentration of fluoride in drinking water from 0 to 1 ppm increases the cavities 7, 43, 22 and 10% in Japan, Tucson, India and the US. In other words, fluoridation about doubles cavitation from the normal (Dr Judd’s calculation). Numerous studies verify the fact that fluoridation of water increases cavities.

Tooth enamel (essentially calcium phosphate) reacts with all acids to form cavities (see any chemistry text dealing with solubilities). The proton of the acid pulls the phosphate right out of the enamel, and fast. By drinking a sip of water along with the acid during eating, the acid reacts chemically with water immediately to form hydronium ion and thus the enamel is saved. One can use milk or coffee for the same purpose, since they are both non-acidic. Dr. Albert Schatz, Nobelist who discovered streptomycin, found several decades ago that sharks’ teeth with their excessive fluoride would dissolve just as readily in citric acid as ordinary non-fluoridated teeth, laying to rest the hypothesis that fluoride would stop cavities.

The American Dental Association pushed aside this discovery and Dr. Schatz’ discoveries regarding excessive baby mortalities caused by fluoridation in Chili, South America as insignificant. They returned his mail 3x unopened and would not deal with him.
Some harmful acids (with pH <4) which are tart to the taste and attack the enamel include lemons, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, vinegar, cider, vitamin C (especially chewable) and stomach acid. The lower the pH, the more rapidly the acids attack. Body acid (extremely weak) is insignificant in this process. Non-acid foods such as beans, bread and potatoes have no action on teeth. Worry about such foods is over.

The only worry about non-acid foods is if they will crack the teeth due to their hardness. Chewing ice, unpopped corn kernels, extremely hard nuts, bones or other hard objects is not smart, since teeth do have a breaking strength.

Reenamelization of the teeth occurs when they are clean. All toothpastes make a barrier of glycerine on the teeth which would require 20 rinses to get it off. A good solution for clean teeth, which Dr Judd has used for 5 years, is bar soap. Wet the brush, swipe the bar two or three times with it, then brush the teeth thoroughly and the gums gently. Rinse with water three or four times. All oils are washed off the teeth and the gums are disinfected. The bacteria are killed by the soap. The teeth are then ready for reenamelization with calcium and phosphate in the diet. The enzyme adenosine diphosphatase delivers phosphate to the enamel surface. Do not use liquid soaps. Their different composition is harmful to the protoplasm.

Reenamelization is necessary on a daily basis because the enamel leaches slightly with water as well as the bones over decades leading to holey bones and holey teeth even in the absence of acid attack. Without reenamelization, we could never have good teeth.

Calcium (1.2 g if it is the only source) with vitamin D can be obtained from Walgreens at a very reasonable price of about 5 cents per pill. Other required vitamin and mineral requirements of the body can be found on page 56 of the book. Vitamin D helps to deliver calcium to its needed site. All acid-soluble calcium compounds such as calcium carbonate or calcium citrate are suitable with D. It goes without saying that calcium is necessary in building calcium phosphate teeth.

Monosodium phosphate is the best supplement for phosphate since it is very pure and highly soluble in water. Simply take about 1/5 teaspoon (1 gram), dissolve it in 1 inch of water in less than a minute, then fill up the glass and drink it daily. This takes care of all the bones, teeth, DNA, RNA and at least 30 phosphate-containing enzymes which are listed on page 53 of the book. Our bodies run on enzymes and we are hard put to lose any of them. Even the brain requires them. Phosphate also regulates body pH.
Vitamin C powder – Put 1 level tsp (4 g) in a glass, add 1/2 tsp Arm and Hammer baking soda, add 1 inch of water, let fizz, dilute to 8 oz and drink. The compound made here is fresh sodium ascorbate. This is about 1000 x as soluble as C, and is more reactive towards antibody and connective tissue construction and viral destruction. Thus the gums knit back to the teeth, avoiding any kind of oral surgery for “receding gums.” Receding gums are nothing but gum pockets caused by toothpaste and especially fluoride, which severs all proteins because of its highly negative character. Fluoride is the smallest negative ion on earth, and consequently is the most intensely negative particle on earth. As such, fluoride breaks the positive hydrogen bonds, which hold the coils together, in proteins and enzymes.
We know that bacteria have nothing to do with loss of enamel. Witness the billions of animal and human remains in the earth which have lost all the flesh and are reduced to tooth enamel and bones. It is quite evident that the teeth have been through bacterial contact but are unaffected. The same with human teeth. They cannot be affected by bacteria, because there is no carbon or hydrogen in enamel, which bacteria subsist on. Study of streptococcic mutans as a source of so-called “decay” is a waste of government funding donated to dental organizations.Sugars (fructose, glucose and sucrose) were found in Dr Judd’s laboratory studies to be unable to dissolve calcium phosphate to any extent, even in hot water solution. The reason for this is that the chelation process of the sugar towards teeth is slow because of the large size of the molecule and perhaps for the particular shape of the chelate formed.

Sugars are not the cause of tooth cavities to any great extent, but still it will do no harm to rinse them off the teeth after consuming candy, especially the sticky variety. The adhering barrier will prevent reenamelization.
Fluoride at very low levels destroys at least 66 out of 83 enzymes by uncoupling the hydrogen bond linkage between the enzyme coils. Fluoride causes 113 known ailments ten of these were established through double blind studies, which although noteworthy, may be of no more significance than the individual diagnoses.

Fluoride in the gels used (inappropriately) to harden the enamel is extremely toxic at a concentration of 13,000 ppm (1.3%). Keith Kantor of McMinneville Oregon was killed in the dentist’s chair 3 years ago by swallowing half a teaspoon of the gel. His brother nearly died from the same treatment, but was saved by having calcium gluconate administered to him.

Three kidney dialysis patients at the University of Chicago Medical School were killed 3 years ago when nurses used unpurified Chicago tap water for dialysis. Chicago water has 2 ppm fluoride in it during the winter.Fluoridated water is lethal to dialysis patients. Fluoride is also very harmful to the kidneys of ordinary people.One can look up the lethal dose of a large number of chemicals all the way from botulinum and snake poison toxins to sugar, a non-toxin, on pages 57and 58 of the book Good Teeth Birth to Death. It is interesting that the lethal dosage of fluoride compound for a 50 kg man is 2.5 mg (fluoroacetic acid), and 400 mg for arsenic oxide. Numerous people, animals and fish on earth, especially in the U.S., have been killed by fluoride, but very few, if any, by arsenic.Toothpaste companies now are required to put warning signs on tubes so children will not consume enough of the 1000 ppm (.1%) material to make them sick or cause death. This requirement arises out of lawsuits in which children were poisoned by fluoride-containing toothpaste.
The best available data indicates about 120,000 cancer patients are killed annually because of fluoride in their drinking water. These include patients with every type of cancer.The dramatic increase of cancer cases in the US in recent times can probably be laid directly on the shoulders of the dentists due to their tireless energies in converting city councils to put fluoride in the water for “the children’s teeth.” They are able to do this because of large government grants. It is irrational to believe just “anything” in the environment causes cancer. The unique character of fluoride ion in destroying enzymes deserves attention.

Source : Dr Gerard F. Judd, Speech, May 2001

Be a filter or get a filter – Click here to purchase
Click here for more information on contaminated toothpaste.

Drinking Water Sampling Stations

Local communities/school children  can get involved in sampling drinking water too

How many of us have seen a Drinking Water Sampling Station on the sidewalks in Manhattan?  How many stopped to figure out what it was all about?

Over 800 Drinking Water Sampling Stations, at a cost of $11 million,  have been installed  citywide over 10 years ago, with the aim of providing a uniform and sanitary sampling environment that will improve the efficiency of water sampling efforts, and thereby help protect public health.

DEP collects more than 1,300 water samples per month from 488 locations. Water samples are analyzed for bacteria, chlorine levels, pH, inorganic and organic pollutants, turbidity, odor, and many other water quality indicators.

Locations for the stations were chosen based on the need to gather representative samples of the water quality in all distribution areas. Consequently, factors such as population density, water pressure zones, proximity to water mains, and accessibility were considered.

The stations rise about 4 1/2 feet above the ground and are made of heavy cast iron. Inside, a 3/4 inch copper tube feeds water from a nearby water main into the station. Each station is equipped with a spigot from which water samples are taken.

THEY ARE VERY NOTICEABLE, YET GO LARGELY UNNOTICED.

Given that citizens hardly participate in efforts to improve drinking water quality, I wonder if this would be a good participatory project for citizens and EPA/DEP to work on.

Unfortunately, it is not clear whether communities participated in the decision to locate the sampling stations, and as such, I do not know how many sampling stations are installed near public schools. 

A project with potential for communities and providers collaborating would be highly beneficial for the municipality.  If school children could have been included to work together as a practicum with  EPA/DEP technicians in understanding more about water quality and health, their efforts might have led to greater participation of communities in  caring about their drinking water, knowing what is in the water, and working together with EPA/DEP to find ways to improve water quality in our taps.

Communities would thus have  had first-hand information about the quality of the water in their taps, information with which to make informed decisions on filtering or not filtering out the contaminants in the water, some of which seem to be imbedded.  They would know firsthand the type and significance of these contaminants and their potential for harm to the public. They would know why the contaminants are in the water, and why they should be in drinking water.

Their interest in water quality would also lead them to the source of our water supply – the watersheds – and increase their involvement in their protection.  So far, it is not clear whether  communities other than New York have water sampling stations.  But, the watershed partners would also include those actually sampling the water downstream and provide a wonderful understanding of the relationship between source and point of supply.

The study of the Natural Resources Defence Council (NDRC) “What’s on Tap” (see http://snipurl.com/1iuhs)  the Government — whether city, state or federal — should be doing all it can to ensure that citizens get clean, safe drinking water every time they turn on a faucet or stop at a public water fountain. And an informed, involved citizenry is the key to the process; it’s our hope that What’s on Tap? will encourage all Americans to look into the quality of their city’s water supply, and to demand that our elected officials do what’s necessary to provide safe tap water.

School children would begin to understand the unnecessary expenditure of their parents on bottled water, as. through their intimate involvement with drinking water quality issues, it would become clear to them  that what is in the bottle might be just as, or even more harmful than the tap water, as they could also take samples of the bottled water they have with them in schools and compare with the tap water in their location.

The information would help them decide whether to filter their own water instead of drinking tap or bottled water, and the benefits and disadvantages of doing so.

And so on.

In other words, the Drinking Water Sampling Stations could provide a good basis for citizen participation in monitoring water quality and understanding issues surrounding water quality and water filtration  (see http://snipurl.com/1hho4)

 

Source:  http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/sampling.html

Note:

The Information Collection Rule (ICR) was an 18-month program instituted by the EPA to collect information and assess health problems related to waterborne disease-causing organisms and disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Water samples were collected from municipalities with populations of greater than 100,000 that employ surface water, e.g., rivers, for their drinking water source. These samples were analyzed for select chemicals, parasites, and viruses. The program started in July 1997 and ran through December 1998. EPA plans to use the data generated from these samples to determine whether to revise or promulgate new regulations for controlling DBPs or pathogenic organisms in drinking water. Read more

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