Trihalomethanes (THM'S)another term for haloform:a compound derived from methane by substituting three hydrogen atoms for halogen atoms, e.g., chloroform.
Trihalomethanes (THM) are a group of four chemicals that are formed along with other disinfection by products when chlorine or other disinfectants used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water. The trihalomethanes are chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane, and bromoform.
EPA has published the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule to regulate total trihalomethanes (TTHM) at a maximum allowable annual average level of 80 parts per billion. Hannibal levels were on average of 121.72 ppb every month in 2015. They are Cancer Group B carcinogens (shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals). Trichloromethane (chloroform) is by far the most common in most water systems. Dibromochloromethane is the most serious cancer risk, (0.6 ug/l to cause a 10-6 cancer risk increase) followed in order by Bromoform (4 ug/l), and Chloroform (6 ug/l).
Current regulations limit the concentration of these 4 chemicals added together (total trihalomethane or TTHM levels) to 80 ug/l. Arsenic may also be a problem after a shock disinfection. THM's form through the partial oxidation of organic material, therefore it is a more important concern to treating surface water and/or springs that have a high organic matter content. The disinfectant/disinfection by-products (D/DBP) rule that regulates DBPs in the United States was designed to be implemented in three stages. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) does not regulate THMs or HAAs individually – there is only a standard for total THMs and total HAAs.
THMs have been associated with negative health effects such as cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes. A study by government and academic researchers adds to previous evidence that dermal absorption and inhalation of THMs associated with everyday tap water use can result in significantly higher blood THM concentrations than simply drinking the water. Inhalation and dermal contact during showering contributed 30% to 50% of total cancer risks. Scientists suspect that trihalomethanes in drinking water may cause thousands of cases of bladder cancer every year. These chemicals have also been linked to colon and rectal cancer, birth defects, low birth weight and miscarriage. THMs primarily enter the body through drinking tap water that has THMs. Additionally, THMs easily evaporate, and can be inhaled while showering, cooking, washing dishes and clothes, or absorbed through the skin.
The best water treatment option to remove THM's is to use Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC). However, utilities are choosing the cheap method of adding chloramines instead. HBPW refuses to change the water treatment over to GAC. HBPW has been in violation of TTHM levels since 2009.
For more than 50 years farmers across North America have been spraying atrazine, a pesticide, on crops, mainly corn, applying millions of pounds a year. That widespread use of the weed killer has also led to runoff. Atrazine can end up in lakes, streams and sometimes in drinking water. Atrazine is the number one contaminant found in drinking water in the U.S. Atrazine has been classified in Group III (possibly carcinogenic to humans) In the United States, the level has been set at 3 parts per billion. Atrazine is manufactured by Syngenta, the world’s largest agribusiness. There are studies showing a correlation between atrazine exposure and low sperm count or low fertility, increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of prostate cancer, and deformities of the genitals
Barium is a lustrous, machinable metal which exists in nature only in ores containing mixtures of elements. It is used in making a wide variety of electronic components, in metal alloys, bleaches, dyes, fireworks, ceramics and glass. In particular, it is used in well drilling operations where it is directly released into the ground. The MCLG for barium has been set at 2 parts per million (ppm) because EPA believes this level of protection would not cause any of the potential health problems. Short-term: EPA has found barium to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: gastrointestinal disturbances and muscular weakness. Long-term: Barium has the potential to cause high blood pressure from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL.
It’s been known for about 20 years that people can contract lung cancer when inhaling hexavalent chromium, also known as Chromium VI. But until now, toxicologists have been uncertain whether it causes cancer when swallowed. National Toxicology Program scientists reported that their two-year animal study “clearly demonstrates” that the compound is carcinogenic in drinking water. Mice and rats contracted malignant tumors in their small intestines and mouths when they drank water containing several different doses of hexavalent chromium.
A possible relationship between fluoridated water and cancer risk has been debated for years. The debate resurfaced in 1990 when a study by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, showed an increased number of osteosarcomas (bone tumors) in male rats given water high in fluoride for 2 years. Fluoride is an acid. Fluoride is added to toothpaste, mouthwash etc. Having it in the drinking water is not necessary as we are getting too much. Fluoride was not meant to be ingested. Eliminating fluoride from our water supply would save $50,000 a year.
Nitrates and Nitrites
Nitrogen is essential for all living things as it is a component of protein. Nitrogen exists in the environment in many forms and changes forms as it moves through the nitrogen cycle. However, excessive concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen or nitrite-nitrogen in drinking water can be hazardous to health, especially for infants and pregnant women.
Simazine is a general use pesticide. Simazine is highly toxic if inhaled, moderately toxic if ingested, and slightly toxic via dermal exposure.
The use of chlorine to disinfect water for the purpose of drinking produces levels of various disinfection by-products with the trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids being the most common. The trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids have demonstrated carcinogenic activity in laboratory animals.
Pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, and other drugs -- are in our drinking water supplies. The drugs get into the drinking water supply through several routes: some people flush unneeded medication down toilets; other medicine gets into the water supply after people take medication, absorb some, and pass the rest out in urine or feces. Some pharmaceuticals remain even after wastewater treatments and cleansing by water treatment plants. Utility companies contend the water is safe, experts from private organizations and the government say they can't say for sure whether the levels of drugs in drinking water are low enough to discount harmful health effects.
Chloramines: Chlorine and Ammonia
Chloramines are toxic to kidney dialysis patients and extremely toxic to fish. The EPA reported that chloraminated drinking water had the highest levels of an unregulated chemical family known as iodoacids. Some researchers consider iodoacids to be potentially the most toxic group of water treatment contaminants found to date, but there is still relatively little research on them. Chloramine actually exists in three forms: monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine. The three forms constantly and rapidly shift from one form to another. Volatile chemicals present in many municipal drinking water supplies are especially toxic to people when they are exposed to them when bathing or showering. Chloramines are all respiratory irritants with trichloramine being the most toxic. Some health effects are: Immune System Problems, Respiratory Problems, Skin Problems, Digestive and Gastric Problems, Kidney and Blood Problems
(monobromoacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, and trichloroacetic acid) are byproducts of chlorination similar to THM's. An MCL for total haloacetic acids of 60 ug/l is expected. Excessive levels can cause nervous system and liver effects. Two members of the haloacetic acid family -- dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid -- have been shown to cause severe skin and eye irritations in humans.
Lead & Copper
Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage.
Lead can be ingested, through water or other contaminated substances--the Environmental Protection Agency limits the amount of lead in water to 15 micrograms per liter, though some toxicologists think that limit should be lowered to 10 micrograms per liter. Lead can also be inhaled or sometimes even absorbed through the skin. Once it’s in the body, lead competes with calcium to be absorbed by the body. If lead is absorbed into bones, it can stay there for decades and recirculate in the person’s blood if a bone is broken or when a woman is pregnant, potentially poisoning both the mother and the fetus. When cells in the brain absorb lead, it tends to affect the frontal cortex, the area responsible for abstract thought, planning, and attention, and the hippocampus, essential to learning and memory. EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agree that there is no known safe level of lead in a child's blood. To address corrosion of lead and copper into drinking water, EPA issued the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) under the authority of the SDWA. One requirement of the LCR is corrosion control treatment to prevent lead and copper from contaminating drinking water. Corrosion control treatment means utilities must make drinking water less corrosive to the materials it comes into contact with on its way to consumers' taps.
Copper is a reddish metal that occurs naturally in rock, soil, water, sediment, and air. It has many practical uses in our society and is commonly found in coins, electrical wiring, and pipes. It is an essential element for living organisms, including humans, and-in small amounts-necessary in our diet to ensure good health. However, too much copper can cause adverse health effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. It has also been associated with liver damage and kidney disease.
is to be regulated with an MCL set at 1 mg/l. Excessive levels can cause hemolytic anemia.
the other newly regulated DBP , is a concern only for systems using ozone. An MCL of 10 ug/l is expected. Excessive levels causes gastrointestinal, kidney, and hearing effects.
Unregulated Contaminants (monitored)
Dioxane is a chemical compound commercially produced in the United States as a stabilizer and a solven . As a stabilizer, dioxane has been primarily used in the stabilization of trichloroethane; a solvent used in removing grease from machined metal products, textile and dye processes. Dioxane has been labeled an “emerging contaminant” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) due to the potential impact of the chemical on human health and environmental quality and the current limitations of the available research. The chemical is also considered “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based upon reported cancers of the liver, nasal, and mammary gland identified in animal research models exposed to high levels of dioxane in drinking water. Due to the widespread use of the chemical, soil and ground water contamination has been detected in communities throughout the United States. Exposure to dioxane from municipal drinking water has raised concerns for potential health implications.
Strontium is an alkaline earth metal that is found naturally in the minerals celestine and strontianite. Strontium shares many physical and chemical properties with calcium and barium and is highly susceptible to chemical changes. Strontium has 16 known isotopes. Strontium that occurs naturally in the earth has four stable isotopes Sr-84, -86, -87, and -88. Twelve other strontium isotopes are unstable, meaning they are radioactive. Strontium-90 is the most prevalent radioactive isotope in the environment, although strontium-89 can be found around nuclear reactors. Strontium-85 is used in bone imaging processes by the medical field. There is not a federal drinking water standard for strontium at this time. The EPA has set a health reference level for strontium. As of October 2014 the health reference level for strontium was listed as 1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L). exposure to high levels of naturally-occurring strontium during infancy and childhood can affect bone growth and cause dental changes, and there is some evidence that strontium increases bone density in adults. The isotope strontium-90 has been linked to bone cancers and leukemia.
Vanadium is a metal that naturally occurs in many different minerals and in fossil fuel deposits. The primary industrial use of vanadium is in the strengthening of steel. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that vanadium is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current reference concentration for vanadium indicates that ongoing exposure to vanadium at levels of more than 21 parts per billion per day may lead to negative health effects. There is not a federal drinking water standard or a health advisory level for vanadium at this time.
Note: ug/l is used as an abbreviation for micrograms/liter or parts per billion.
Studies have shown that there are more than 600 unwanted chemicals created by the interaction of water treatment disinfectants and pollutants in source water. Most of these water treatment contaminants have not been studied in depth. Among them: haloacetonitriles, haloaldehydes, haloketones, halohydroxyfuranones, haloquinones, aldehydes, haloacetamides, halonitriles, halonitromethanes, nitrosamines, organic N-chloramines, iodoacids, ketones and carboxylic acids. Some of these compounds are suspected carcinogens. Notably, scientists believe that hundreds more water treatment contaminants are present in drinking water but have not yet been identified..
Parasites and Viruses
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal illness known as giardiasis. Giardia (also known as Giardia intestinalis, Giardia lamblia, or Giardia duodenalis) is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals.
Giardia lamblia exists in two forms, an active form called a trophozoite, and an inactive form called a cyst. The active trophozoite attaches to the lining of the small intestine with a "sucker" and is responsible for causing the signs and symptoms of giardiasis. The trophozoite cannot live long outside of the body, therefore it cannot spread the infection to others. The inactive cyst, on the other hand, can exist for prolonged periods outside the body. When it is ingested, stomach acid activates the cyst, and the cyst develops into the disease-causing trophozoite. It takes ingestion of only ten cysts to cause infection. Trophozoites are important not only because they cause the symptoms of giardiasis, but also because they produce the cysts that exit the body in the feces and spread the infection to others.
Giardiasis occurs where there is inadequate sanitation or inadequate treatment of drinking water. Giardiasis is one of the causes of "travelers diarrhea" that occurs during travel to less-developed countries, for example the Soviet Union, Mexico, Southeast Asia, and western South America. Giardiasis is a common cause of outbreaks of diarrhea in day-care centers because of the high probability of fecal-oral contamination from children; the children, their families, and day care center workers, all are at risk for infection. In fact, children are three times more likely to develop giardiasis than adults. Cryptosporidiosis The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis that can occur in humans include diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and low-grade fever. These symptoms can come and go, but usually last less than 30 days. However, immunodeficient patients are more susceptible to cryptosporidiosis, and problems with the immune system can cause death. These include AIDS patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, those suffering from viral illnesses such as chicken pox or measles, and malnourished children. Severe dehydration due to cryptosporidiosis can also cause death. Giardiasis symptoms include gastrointestinal disturbances, flatulence, diarrhea, and discomfort. REFER TO HBPW VIOLATIONS UNDER CONTAMINANTS IN MENU http://www.hannibalbpw.org/files/HBPW/Forms/Public_Notice_for_UV_Disinfection_Violations_July_2016.pdf