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Left Hand Brewing Launches CBD Seltzer Water

Several Colorado craft breweries have been making hard seltzer drinks as a way to soften declining beer sales, but Left Hand Brewing is twisting the formula a bit: Instead of adding booze to flavored sparkling water, the Longmont brewery is making seltzer water with CBD.

Partnering with Berthoud hemp and CBD supplier WAAYB Organics, Left Hand has created Present, a line of bubbly drinks with 20 milligrams of CBD per can, and no alcohol, sweeteners or calories. The tasteless CBD distillate is derived from industrial hemp, which contains 0.3 percent THC or less and is not intoxicating.

The seltzer craze has been strong in 2019, with drinks like White Claw becoming so popular that craft breweries such as Denver Beer Co., Oskar Blues and Upslope Brewing Company have all released seltzer lines. In July, Colorado (and possibly the country) saw its first seltzery open when Elvtd at 5280 replaced Grand Lake Brewing in Arvada. The cannabis industry has jumped in, too, with two new THC-infused seltzer brands debuting this year.

Left Hand had some struggles before seltzers took over this summer, laying off six staffers at the beginning of the year and increasing its focus on grocery store accounts as beer sales declined, according to a Westword report.

And what do you see at grocery stores now? A lot of seltzers.

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“At Left Hand, we always strive to put the best beverages possible out in the market — we’re committed to what’s best for beer and what’s best for the community,” says Lefthand president Eric Wallace in a statement announcing Present. “We look forward to offering an organic, zero-calorie option that’s free from artificial ingredients, additives or adaptogens and offers the same high standards and integrity of our beers.”

Although hemp has been federally legal since late 2018, CBD derived from the plant is still in a gray area with the United States Food and Drug Administration. Ingestible products containing CBD such as edibles, drinks and vaporizers face heavy scrutiny outside of states like Colorado, which have legalized recreational marijuana and hemp-infused foods; those products are still technically illegal when shipped across state lines, the FDA warns. That hasn’t stopped companies from doing it, though, and they generally remain out of trouble as long as they don’t make any unsubstantiated health claims about the products.

According to WAAYB co-founder Anson Mitchell, the idea for making a CBD drink with Left Hand was spawned over a few other types of beverages. “The idea for an organic CBD beverage started while sharing some beers with Eric Wallace, and it’s incredible to see that conversation evolve into a reality that consumers all over the country will enjoy,” he says.

The drinks will be available online August 12 and in stores later this summer, according to Left Hand, and will come in classic seltzer, blood orange and lemon-lime flavors. 


Toke of the Town

High Arsenic Levels Found in 2 Bottled Water Brands

High levels of arsenic were found in two brands of bottled water sold at Whole Foods, Target and Walmart, the Center for Environmental Health in California says.

The nonprofit group found that the brands Penafiel, owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, and Starkey, owned by Whole Foods, contain levels of arsenic that are higher than tap water and violate California guidelines, USA Today reported.

High levels of arsenic can cause reproductive damage and cancer, and products that violate recommended state levels of arsenic must carry a warning, according to California law.

Research also shows that arsenic can cause hormone disruption and organ damage, especially in children.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released findings that the same brands of bottle water contained nearly double the federal limit of arsenic in water, USA Today reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not recalled either brand of bottled water.

Whole Foods and Keurig Dr. Pepper did not respond to requests for comment from USA Today.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Water Polo Study Highlights Head Injury Risk

SATURDAY, May 25, 2019 — Water polo players appear to face similar head injury risks as athletes in better-known sports, a new study FINDS.

“For years, water polo’s head trauma risks have been downplayed or overshadowed by football-related brain injuries,” said study co-author James Hicks.

“Our data quantifies the extent of the problem and sets the stage for additional research and possible rule changes or protective gear to improve water polo safety,” Hicks added. He is chairman of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine.

“People who’ve never seen a game may not realize how physical it is,” Hicks said in a university news release. “Head-butts and elbows. Balls flying up to 50 miles per hour.”

And while no concussions were diagnosed among players in the study, the force of the head blows was “similar to those observed in collegiate soccer, another sport that is commonly studied for the risks associated with repeated head impact exposure,” he added.

For the study, Hicks and his colleagues tracked several dozen players in Division 1 NCAA Men’s Water Polo over three seasons. The players wore caps embedded with electronic sensors.

Overall, the researchers counted an average of 18 head hits per game.

Offensive players were far more likely to get hit in the head than players in defensive and transition positions (60%, 23% and 17%, respectively), the findings showed.

Players attacking from the left side of the goal suffered more head hits than players on the right, possibly because right-handed athletes commonly throw shots from the left zone, the researchers noted.

Offensive center was the most dangerous position in terms of hits to the head. On average, those players took nearly seven blows to the head per game, which amounted to 37% of all head impacts recorded in the study.

The second-most vulnerable position, defensive center, averaged two head hits per game, according to the report.

The study authors concluded that “intercollegiate water polo athletes may represent a valuable cohort for studying the acute and chronic effects of repeated head impacts in sport to extend our knowledge of athlete physiology and neurology and to inform evidence-based policies to promote the safety of athletes and the benefits of sport.”

The study was published online May 2 in the journal PLOS ONE.

In a previous study, Hicks and a colleague found that 36% of 1,500 USA Water Polo players recalled at least one concussion during their playing career.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on water polo injury risk and safety.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Lack of Water Consumption Tied to Kids’ Obesity

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — On any given day, 1 in 5 American youngsters don’t drink any water at all, a new survey shows.

And those who don’t end up consuming almost twice as many calories from sugar-sweetened beverages.

That, investigators warn, translates into an extra 100 calories per day, which over time can raise the risk for becoming overweight or obese.

“Drinking water is the healthiest beverage to drink,” said study author Asher Rosinger, director of the Water, Health and Nutrition Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. “Water is an essential nutrient that is critical to proper physiological and cognitive functioning.”

By contrast, sugary drinks “are problematic because they have been linked to many negative health conditions, such as weight gain, dental caries [cavities], and type 2 diabetes,” said Rosinger. He noted that current guidelines recommend limiting daily intake of added sugars to less than 10% of all calories consumed.

“Kids should drink water every day, and it should be the first option [parents] go to when their kids are thirsty,” Rosinger said.

In the study, data was collected from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 2011 and 2012 and between 2015 and 2016.

About 8,400 children (aged 2 to 19) reported whether they drank water each day (although amounts were not quantified), and how much of sugar-sweetened beverages they routinely consumed.

The latter included all non-diet sodas, sweetened fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and/or presweetened tea and coffee drinks. (Zero-calorie diet sodas and drinks, 100% fruit juices, and/or unsweetened coffee and teas were excluded.)

Among the 1 in 5 who didn’t drink any water daily, sugared-drink calories totaled 200, on average, compared with 100 calories a day among water drinkers.

Sugared-drink habits varied somewhat by race, however. For example, white non-water drinkers were found to consume more additional calories from sugared drinks than Hispanic non-water drinkers (123 extra calories per day versus 61 extra calories per day).

Regardless, are such relatively low amounts of excess calories really a big deal? Yes, say investigators, who point out that taking in an extra 3,500 calories means packing on an extra pound. That breaks down to just a little more than a month of 100 extra calories per day.

Continued

Rosinger did note that sugary drink consumption among American children has dropped over the last 15 years. But he added that “there are still pockets and sub-populations that have high consumption levels. [So] it’s critical to identify which kids are particularly at risk for high sugar-sweetened beverage intake, since this can lead to these negative health effects.”

On that front, Rosinger noted that water insecurity due to contamination “is a growing problem in the U.S., so we need to keep that in mind as important context, especially when it comes to parents who may be giving their kids soda or juice because they distrust the water. Therefore, it’s critical to ensure that everyone has access to safe, clean water.”

The findings were published April 22 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Lona Sandon is program director in the department of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She said the findings “confirm what I have seen in practice: If someone is not drinking water, they are drinking something else, likely soft drinks or other sugary drinks.” She was not involved with the study.

Sandon’s advice to parents? “Provide water and low-fat plain milk at the table. Keep flavored milk only for special occasions. Avoid purchasing soft drinks or other fruit juice-type drinks that are laden with added sugar. Try no-calorie, flavored seltzer water instead. Make a no-soft drink or other sugary drinks rule in the household. Save them for special occasions. Keep 100% fruit juice to 1 cup per day. Keep sports drinks for sports, not with meals, and only if the child will be exercising for more than an hour.”

And dump the energy drinks, Sandon concluded. “Kids do not need them.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Asher Rosinger, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, biobehavioral health and anthropology, and director, Water, Health and Nutrition Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Lona Sandon, Ph.D., R.D.N., L.D., program director and associate professor, department of clinical nutrition, School of Health Professions, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; April 22, 2019,JAMA Pediatrics

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Attention, Seniors: Drink More Water and Head Off Disease

THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 — Not drinking enough water is a common but under-recognized problem among American seniors that puts their health at risk, researchers say.

“So many health issues are related to inadequate hydration,” including urinary tract and respiratory infections, frequent falls and other problems, said study author Janet Mentes. She’s a professor of nursing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

One problem in determining seniors’ hydration levels is a lack of a gold standard of assessment. In this study, the researchers investigated whether a method called salivary osmolality could be used to check hydration levels in older adults.

Salivary osmolality compares the ratio of water to certain chemicals that occur naturally in saliva. It can be measured using a simple, noninvasive device called an osmometer.

The study of 53 people, aged 65 or older, in Los Angeles found that, overall, seniors had higher osmolality (that is, greater dehydration) than younger adults. Seniors’ dehydration was higher in the morning than the afternoon, and it was a bigger problem for those with limited mobility, the findings showed.

Interviews with participants pointed to a major reason for higher osmolality in the morning: Many avoid drinking water so they won’t have to urinate during the night.

The study was recently published online in the journal SAGE Open Nursing.

“Many seniors are underhydrated for a period of time, and when they are exposed to a virus or bacteria they are more likely to develop an infection, such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia or other respiratory diseases,” Mentes said in a UCLA news release.

“And they will be treated for the infection, but the underlying underhydration will not be recognized,” she added. “Thus, an opportunity to educate the individual about adequate fluid intake is missed.”

Up to 40 percent of older people who live in the community may be chronically underhydrated, the researchers said.

Dehydration accounted for a 5 percent increase in preventable emergency department visits between 2008 and 2012, and adults older than 65 have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about hydration.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: March 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Brain-Eating Amoeba Tied to Tap Water in Neti Pot

Dec. 10, 2018 — The use of tap water in a nasal-flushing Neti pot likely led to a Seattle woman’s death from a brain-eating amoeba, doctors write in a case study.

Instead of using sterile water or saline, it’s believed the 69-year-old woman used tap water she’d put in a filter-equipped pitcher, CBS News reported.

The amoeba got into her upper nasal cavity and then into her bloodstream, eventually reaching her brain, according to the study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

This a rare case that serves as a reminder for people to follow the directions when using a Neti pot, and to use only boiled or distilled water, said Dr. Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle who treated the woman, CBS News reported.

“She had not been boiling water, using sterile water or using sterile saline. She had been using water that had been put through a filter and maybe it had been sitting there and somehow the amoeba from somewhere else got in there. So that’s what we suspect is the source of the infection,” Cobbs said. “This is so rare there have only been like 200 cases ever.”

Swimming in warm freshwater lakes and rivers is the most common cause of such cases, but there are rare instances where such infections occur after tap water gets into the nose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This type of infection cannot occur from swallowing water, and cannot pass from person to person, CBS News reported.

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More Water, Mom? H2O Is Top Kids’ Beverage in U.S.

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — U.S. kids are drinking far more water than sodas and fruit drinks, health officials say.

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that water accounts for almost half of kids’ total beverage consumption.

And together, water and milk comprised about two-thirds of the beverages consumed by Americans aged 2 o 19 between 2013 and 2016.

The findings add to growing evidence that consumption of sodas and other sweet drinks — a big source of sugar in Americans’ diets — has dropped in the past decade.

“It is good news that kids are consuming less sugar-sweetened beverages and more water and milk, including plant-based milks,” said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Most sugar-sweetened drinks are nutritionally bankrupt and contribute to obesity in children and teens, she said.

However, gender and ethnicity play a role in determining what kids drink, the researchers found.

Soda, for example, made up 30 percent of daily beverages consumed by black children and teens compared to 22 percent for Hispanics, 18 percent for whites and just 9 percent among Asians, the findings showed.

In addition, the report noted that boys were somewhat more likely to drink milk and less likely to drink water than girls.

According to lead researcher Kirsten Herrick, “Beverage consumption is not the same for all U.S. youth.” Herrick is an epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“Since beverages contribute to hydration, energy, and vitamin and mineral intake, these choices can impact diet quality and total caloric intake,” Herrick said.

For the study, the researchers used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013-2016.

Overall, the researchers found that water accounted for nearly 44 percent of all the beverages consumed. That was followed by milk (22 percent), soda (20 percent), 100-percent fruit juice (7 percent) and other drinks (8 percent).

As children age, they drink less milk and juice but more water and soda, the researchers found.

Continued

In terms of ethnicity/race, water comprised over 55 percent of fluids consumed by Asian children, versus 38 percent among black children and 40 percent among Hispanic kids. For white kids, the figure was 46 percent.

Heller said that “the disparity among race is disturbing, but not surprising, since research has found that there is aggressive marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to younger people, especially black and Hispanic youths.”

A Yale University study found that in 2013, black children and teens saw more than twice as many television ads for sugary drinks than white kids, she said.

“Parents can help shield kids by limiting screen time, encouraging more physical activity and having healthy beverages, snacks and foods on hand,” Heller suggested.

The increase in consumption of water and milk is a step in the right direction, she said, adding that healthy beverages should be part of an overall healthful diet.

Such a diet should include vegetables like spinach and broccoli, whole grains like brown rice and barley, beans such as soy and lentils, and nuts and fruits. Ideally, these should take the place of fast and highly processed foods, such as French fries, burgers, pizza, chips and desserts, Heller said.

The researchers noted that 100-percent juice, while nutritious, lacks fiber and can add too many calories when consumed in excess.

The report was published Sept. 13 in the CDC’s NCHS Data Brief.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Kirsten Herrick, Ph.D., epidemiologist, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., senior clinical nutritionist, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Sept. 13, 2018, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’sNCHS Data Brief

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

More Water, Mom? H2O Is Top Kids’ Beverage in U.S.

THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2018 — U.S. kids are drinking far more water than sodas and fruit drinks, health officials say.

A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that water accounts for almost half of kids’ total beverage consumption.

And together, water and milk comprised about two-thirds of the beverages consumed by Americans aged 2 o 19 between 2013 and 2016.

The findings add to growing evidence that consumption of sodas and other sweet drinks — a big source of sugar in Americans’ diets — has dropped in the past decade.

“It is good news that kids are consuming less sugar-sweetened beverages and more water and milk, including plant-based milks,” said Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Most sugar-sweetened drinks are nutritionally bankrupt and contribute to obesity in children and teens, she said.

However, gender and ethnicity play a role in determining what kids drink, the researchers found.

Soda, for example, made up 30 percent of daily beverages consumed by black children and teens compared to 22 percent for Hispanics, 18 percent for whites and just 9 percent among Asians, the findings showed.

In addition, the report noted that boys were somewhat more likely to drink milk and less likely to drink water than girls.

According to lead researcher Kirsten Herrick, “Beverage consumption is not the same for all U.S. youth.” Herrick is an epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“Since beverages contribute to hydration, energy, and vitamin and mineral intake, these choices can impact diet quality and total caloric intake,” Herrick said.

For the study, the researchers used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013-2016.

Overall, the researchers found that water accounted for nearly 44 percent of all the beverages consumed. That was followed by milk (22 percent), soda (20 percent), 100-percent fruit juice (7 percent) and other drinks (8 percent).

As children age, they drink less milk and juice but more water and soda, the researchers found.

In terms of ethnicity/race, water comprised over 55 percent of fluids consumed by Asian children, versus 38 percent among black children and 40 percent among Hispanic kids. For white kids, the figure was 46 percent.

Heller said that “the disparity among race is disturbing, but not surprising, since research has found that there is aggressive marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to younger people, especially black and Hispanic youths.”

A Yale University study found that in 2013, black children and teens saw more than twice as many television ads for sugary drinks than white kids, she said.

“Parents can help shield kids by limiting screen time, encouraging more physical activity and having healthy beverages, snacks and foods on hand,” Heller suggested.

The increase in consumption of water and milk is a step in the right direction, she said, adding that healthy beverages should be part of an overall healthful diet.

Such a diet should include vegetables like spinach and broccoli, whole grains like brown rice and barley, beans such as soy and lentils, and nuts and fruits. Ideally, these should take the place of fast and highly processed foods, such as French fries, burgers, pizza, chips and desserts, Heller said.

The researchers noted that 100-percent juice, while nutritious, lacks fiber and can add too many calories when consumed in excess.

The report was published Sept. 13 in the CDC’s NCHS Data Brief.

More information

For more on healthy drinks, visit the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Gulp! Georgian boy solves six Rubik’s cubes under water in one breath

TBILISI (Reuters) – An 18-year-old student from Georgia solved six Rubik’s Cubes under water in one breath on Friday, in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record.

Vako Marchelashvili was submerged in a glass tank for just over one minute and 44 seconds as he flipped, turned and solved the cubes in front of a crowd at the Gino Paradise aqua park Tbilisi.

He said he had been preparing for the underwater challenge for six months, training several hours a day.

“I trained a lot planning to break a record – and to ensure my safety, because even a small mistake could be dangerous and life-altering,” Marchelashvili said afterwards.

“I think my result will stay as a record for a long time. I hope to break many other records.”

After observing Marchelashvili’s attempt, the Georgian Records Federation issued a diploma confirming his result. They will send their evidence to the Guinness World Records headquarters for verification.

The current underwater record of five cubes was set by Anthony Brooks in New Jersey in the United States in August 2014, according to the Guinness World Record website.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Hugh Lawson; editing by John Stonestreet

Reuters: Oddly Enough

E. coli Outbreak in Romaine Tied to Canal Water

June 29, 2018 — Contaminated canal water in Yuma, AZ, led to the outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce this spring, according to the CDC.

The outbreak is over, it said in a news release Thursday.

Since the outbreak was first announced on April 10, tainted lettuce has sickened 210 people in 36 states. Ninety-six people were hospitalized, 27 developed kidney failure, and five died. California had the most reported cases, 49.

During the outbreak, the CDC urged restaurants and stores not to sell romaine, and consumers were urged not to eat it.

CDC researchers found that the identified strain of E. coli in the water samples was closely related to the strain found in people who became sick from eating contaminated lettuce. Researchers are continuing to test other environmental samples from the area. It is unknown how the bacteria entered the water supply and contaminated the lettuce.

The last of the Yuma lettuce was harvested on April 16, the CDC says. Because the harvest season has ended, lettuce from this outbreak is no longer a threat.

The CDC recommends these tips for avoiding E. coli infection:

  • Wash your hands, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers, before and after preparing/eating food, and after contact with animals.
  • Don’t prepare food for others when you are sick.
  • Cook meat thoroughly to kill germs.
  • Clean food preparation areas. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, and cooking utensils after preparing raw meat.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Avoid raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products.

Sources

CDC: “Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce (Final Update),” “E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce – Advice to Consumers, Restaurants, Retailers, and Clinicians.”

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Hot Garden Hose Water Poses Scalding Risk

June 6, 2016 — Hot water in garden hoses that have been left in the sun can cause scalding, Las Vegas fire officials say.

In the warning issued Tuesday, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue cited a case that occurred two years ago. A 9-month old baby suffered second-degree burns on 30 percent of his body after being sprayed with scalding water from a hose heating by the sun, CBS News reported.

“Here in Las Vegas, a garden hose exposed to direct sunlight during summer can heat the water inside the hose (not flowing) to 130-140 degrees which can cause burns especially to children & animals,” the fire department warned.

It recommended letting water flow from a hose for a few minutes so that it can cool before it’s sprayed on people or animals, CBS News reported.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Ready, aim, fire: Australian diners given water pistols to ward off seagulls

PERTH, Australia (Reuters) – Annoyed at seagulls that pester its patrons, a restaurant in the Australian city of Perth has armed customers with water pistols to stop the birds from ruining the waterfront dining experience.

Toby Evans, the owner of 3Sheets restaurant in the capital of Western Australia, said the seagull problem was unusually bad and something had to be done to keep customers from being scared away.

“It was bad, it was bad. I think it’s the time of year,” he told Nine Network television on Wednesday. “Now they are getting cheekier and cheekier.”

The seagulls congregate near the waterfront restaurants at a marina, Hillary’s Boat Harbour, scavenging leftovers or hoping for scraps from diners.

Evans decided to equip each table with a water pistol and customers say the strategy, adopted since Saturday, works.

“We didn’t have to throw anything at them or run for cover,” said one customer.

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Recycled Toilet Water Aces Its Taste Test

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Think you could taste the difference between recycled toilet water, bottled water or tap water?

It’s unlikely, results of a blind taste test suggest.

Years of drought in California have given momentum to household use of recycled wastewater. Six water agencies in the state already use wastewater that’s produced through a technology called indirect potable reuse (IDR), the University of California, Riverside, researchers noted.

The IDR approach redirects treated wastewater into groundwater supplies, where it re-enters the drinking water system.

Although research has shown that recycled wastewater is safe, people are often repulsed about things such as taste.

“It seems that this term [wastewater], and the idea of recycled water in general, evokes disgust reactions,” said study author Daniel Harmon, a graduate student in psychology.

“It is important to make recycled water less scary to people who are concerned about it, as it is an important source of water now and in the future,” Harmon said in a university news release

He and his colleagues asked 143 people to compare the taste of IDR tap water, conventional groundwater tap water and bottled water.

“The groundwater-based water was not as well liked as IDR or bottled water,” said study co-author Mary Gauvain, a professor of psychology.

“We think that happened because IDR and bottled water go through remarkably similar treatment processes, so they have low levels of the types of tastes people tend to dislike,” she said.

Looking at personality types, the researchers found that nervous and insecure people tended to prefer IDR and bottled water.

Also, folks who were more open to new experiences rated the three types of water about the same. And women were two times more likely to prefer bottled water than men.

“We think this research will help us find out what factors people pay attention to in their water decisions, and what populations need to be persuaded to drink IDR water and how to persuade them,” Harmon said.

The study was recently published in the journal Appetite.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: University of California, Riverside, news release, March 13, 2018

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Crayfish staff help Czech brewery keep its water as pure as can be

PROTIVIN, Czech Republic (Reuters) – Crayfish equipped with high-tech sensors have been drafted in by a Czech brewery in its quest to keep their water supply pure.

The Protivin brewery in South Bohemia has placed the creatures, which react quickly to changes in their aquatic environment, in fish tanks through which is pumped water from the same natural source that the brewery uses.

The animals are fitted with infrared bio-sensors which monitor their heartbeat and movement. Data is analyzed by a computer, and any changes in the animals’ body or behavior flags a change in the purity levels of the water in its tank.

“When three or more crayfish are moving or change their pulse activity, we know that the water parameters have changed. We can react quickly because we have the result within three minutes,” head brewer Michal Voldrich told Reuters.

A scientist from the Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters places a crayfish, equipped with a sensor, to a fish tank in Protivin brewery in Protivin, Czech Republic, September 26, 2017. Picture taken September 26, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny

The water system was developed and patented by scientists at the Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Water at South Bohemia University at Vodnany.

“We are using crayfish like a living chemical laboratory – like a bio indicator and bio sensor together,” said Pavel Kozak, Director of the university’s Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology.

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“The crayfish react very fast on any non-specific change, which is different than any other detectors, which react fast on a very low concentration (of pollution) but only on one specific agent.”

Researchers aim to upgrade the technology used in the scheme, and plan to use special cameras to monitor the animals’ hearts.

Scientists use naturally occurring crayfish populations in bodies of water as a method of studying water pollution, effectively turning the animals into bio-sensors.

Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Reuters: Oddly Enough

What’s Lurking In Your Pool Water?

June 30, 2017 — The holiday weekend is upon us, which for many Americans means it’s time to fire up the grill, plan a picnic, and head to the pool.

But while swimming pools and water parks look refreshing, dangers can lurk in them.

Indiana health officials shut down a water park in June after two children got chemical burns from chlorine in the water — reportedly a result of an equipment malfunction.

But a more common danger comes from something else: urine. And it’s staggering how many people are peeing in pools.

So how can you keep yourself and your family safe while swimming? WebMD takes a closer look.

Peeing in the Pool

It’s a hard truth, but after 20 years studying swimming pool chemistry, Ernest Blatchley III, an environmental engineer at Purdue University, is willing to tell it like it is: People pee in swimming pools.

“It’s fair to assume that any pool that has people in it, also has urine in it,” Blatchley says. “What we have found is the average swimmer leaves about roughly the equivalent of a shot glass (1 to 2 ounces) of urine in the pool.”

Blatchley says he’s never studied a pool that didn’t have urine in it.

“If one person pees in a pool, it probably doesn’t make a difference. But it’s not a situation where only one person is peeing in pools. There is a large fraction of people who regularly pee in pools,” he says.

That’s what researchers at the University of Alberta recently found, too. In a study published in March, researchers collected samples of the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium (ACE) from 31 different swimming pools and hot tubs and found high levels of the sweetener in every location.

Based on the amount of sweetener, researchers estimated that a 220,000-gallon pool would have an average of 20 gallons of urine.

“This provides us evidence that people are indeed urinating in pools,” says researcher Lindsay Blackstock, who was involved in the study. The only way it gets into swimming pools or hot tubs is from urine, she says.

Blackstock says urine in recreational water isn’t necessarily a risk for swimmers. But things like urine and sweat can react with chlorine to create toxic compounds known disinfection by-products, or DPBs, she says.

The potential health issues include more asthma in elite swimmers and less-major respiratory and skin issues sometimes seen in swimmers, lifeguards, and pool workers.

Susan Richardson, PhD, an environmental chemist at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, says there is definitely a risk for asthma from these compounds, mostly among Olympic athletes and other swimmers that spend a lot of time in pools. A recent university study found more than 100 chemicals in pools and hot tubs, some of which are toxic.

“Like anything, it depends on the dose and contact time. So, how many hours per day and how many days per week you would spend in a pool,” Richardson says. “I think the risks are much lower for the casual swimmer.”

Still, scientists say it is important to know that when your eyes get red in the pool or you smell that classic “chlorine” odor, it’s not due to chlorine.

“A healthy pool doesn’t have a chemical smell,” says Michele Hlavsa, RN, chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “It’s not the chlorine that is making your eyes red, it is the urine and sweat that combines with the chlorine,” she adds.

It also cuts the amount of chlorine that’s left to kill germs, she says.

Scientists are looking for solutions. Richardson says her team is looking into a promising new treatment that uses silver/copper disinfection and doesn’t rely on much chlorine, or potentially no chlorine at all. They are testing it in pools in Myrtle Beach, SC.

“From what we can tell so far, it does a great job keeping the water clear and disinfected, without necessarily needing to add chlorine,” Richardson says.

Health Outbreaks

Fecal matter (poop) can find its way into water by washing off people’s bodies when they swim. This can be a more serious health risk, since fecal matter has germs like cryptosporidium that can cause gastrointestinal illness.

Pool management is important on this front, and not all local and state governments inspect swimming pools. You can go online to see if yours does and check to see if it has been cited or closed for any violations. Results might also be posted at your pool or water playground.

The CDC says that when state and local health departments inspected almost 50,000 public pools in 2013, 12% of inspections resulted in immediate closures of pools for serious public health violations, often because there was no disinfectant in water or no safety equipment.

Hlavsa, the CDC’s pool safety researcher, says it is important to know that while chlorine kills most germs within minutes, it doesn’t kill them instantly. “When we swim and are ill with diarrhea, we are potentially sharing germs. We share water. We immerse bodies in it, and sometimes we swallow it,” she says.

A May 2017 CDC report showed that cryptosporidium outbreaks linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds doubled from 16 to 32 between 2014 and 2016. The federal agency says it’s not clear if outbreaks are on the rise or outbreak detection is improving. Hlavsa says the good news is overall, those numbers are small. “We are swimming hundreds of millions of times a year. Most of us, most of the time, will be OK,” she says.

Still, she says the CDC warns that “swallowing just a mouthful of water contaminated with crypto can make otherwise healthy people sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.”

Despite the dangers, Hlavsa doesn’t think any of this should scare people away from pools. They can be fun and are a great place for exercise and outdoor activity. In fact, she says she swims often with her two young children.

“When we bike, we put on helmets. When we drive, we put on seat belts. This is the same thing. We are sharing water,” she says. “So it’s not about avoiding swimming. It’s about being healthier and smarter about the way we are swimming.”

Other summer safety tips:

  • Do your part to keep the pool clean. Practice good hygiene. Before getting into the water, use the bathroom and at least rinse off in the shower to remove any sweat, urine, poop, or excess personal care products.
  • Don’t urinate in the pool, and teach your children the importance of not doing that, too.
  • Help maintain water quality. If you or your child is sick with diarrhea, don’t swim. Don’t swallow water in the pool. People with weakened immune systems should also talk with their health care provider before swimming.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour while at the pool, and check your children’s diapers regularly.
  • Don’t sit on splash park or playground water jets.
  • Use test strips to check the pH and chlorine concentrations of your pool. They are widely available online and at big-box stores, cost around $ 10 for a bottle containing many of them, and they are easy to use. Generally, you stick a piece of the strip in the water for a few seconds and compare the colors the stick turns with a chart on the back of the bottle.
  • Designate a “water watcher” when you are with children who are swimming, even if there are lifeguards in the pool.
  • Also check the drain at the bottom of the pool. You want to see them secured and in good repair, and you want water to be clear so if someone is in distress near them at the bottom of the pool, you can see them.

To learn more about keeping your family safe in the pool this summer, visit cdc.gov/healthswimming.

Sources

Ernest Blatchley III, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Michele Hlavsa, RN, CDC, Atlanta.

Susan Richardson, PhD, University of South Carolina, Columbia.

EJ Daiber, Environmental Science & Technology, April 28, 2016.

LK Blackstock, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, March 1, 2017.

M. Lomax, Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, May 12, 2016.

CM Villanueva, American Journal of Epidemiology, January 15, 2007.

CDC: “Check out healthy and safe swimming,” “Make a health splash,” “Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming have doubled since 2014.”

KidsHealth.org: “Water Safety.”

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: “Immediate Closures and Violations Identified During Routine Inspections of Public Aquatic Facilities.”

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 20, 2016.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2017.

E.Yue, Elsevier, September 12, 2016.

J.H.Jacobs, European Respiratory Journal, 2007.

J. Westerlund, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, July 7, 2015.

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