Researchers identify new toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water

What's in your water? Researchers identify new toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water

Image: When phenols, compounds that are commonly found in drinking water, mix with chlorine, hundreds of unknown, potentially toxic byproducts are formed. Credit: Marissa Lanterman/Johns Hopkins University

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.

The researchers’ findings were published … [more…]

Scientists: new way to get ‘forever chemicals’ linked to cancer out of our water

Scientists found a new way to get 'forever chemicals' linked to cancer out of our water. They're in the bloodstreams of 99% of Americans.

Photo: Clarkson University professors Tom Holsen and Selma Mededovic in front of a plasma reactor. Clarkson University

They’re in the bloodstreams of 99% of Americans.

  • Researchers at Clarkson University are working with the US Air Force to remove a group of "forever chemicals" from water.
  • The chemicals, known as PFAS, have been associated with cancer, liver damage, and developmental issues.
  • They’re found in food packaging, cookware, outdoor gear, and firefighting
[more…]

PFOS & PFOA: Air Force researchers develop new weapon to cleanse water

Air Force researchers develop new weapon to cleanse water

As the state gears up for wider testing of public water systems for potentially harmful chemicals, civilian researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base believe they may be closing in on a new weapon in the battle against toxic water.

Researchers at the base recently completed a two-week field demonstration of a plasma technology they say destroys potentially harmful chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid — also known as “PFOS” and … [more…]

Nitrates Before and After: This is what happened

Photo: confluence of rivers with nitrogen loads - This is what happened

Many people are curious about Iowa stream nitrate before modern agriculture became established across the landscape. They want to know what the “natural” level of nitrate was. It turns out we do have some actual data. In 1955, the Iowa Geological Survey published a document titled “Water-Supply Bulletin No. 5, Quality of Surface Waters of Iowa, 1886-1954” (1). Some of these data are shown below (as nitrogen).

Confluence of the … [more…]

Humboldtian approach to mountain conservation and freshwater ecosystem services

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Complex environmental issues require solutions that cannot be achieved without integrating scientific disciplines and communicating science to people, decision-makers and stakeholders. Nevertheless, although Alexander von Humboldt gifted us with an approach to integrate knowledge across disciplines aiming to broadly understand environmental issues, our current scientific practice largely ignores that holistic … [more…]