Tuesday, June 25, 2013

US EPA Opens 60-day Reveiw ad Comment Period for Another Step in it's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program

In continuing it's efforts to evaluate the potential exposure risk from Endocrine Disruptors, yesterday US EPA released a 60-day "...Public Review and Comment on Draft Information Collection Request for Tier 2 Data for Pesticide Chemicals for Endocrine Disruptor Screening".

Short version? They are creating a list that is a subset of the Final Tier 1 list (posted June 14, 2013) already created that would need additional testing.

Science helps create the questions, but both the regulations and the monitoring & sampling plans have to fit into a legal structure, while attempting to comply with the rights of ALL individuals who would be impacted. While that all may sound like "double-speak", it is the system we have allowed and encouraged to be created by our legislatures.

The key is to take time to read, ask questions, and GET ANSWERS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND. Not doing that leaves us with answers and actions we don't like! We are responsible...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What is an Endocrine Disruptor, and why should I care?

The simplest explanation of the endocrine system is a group of organs distributed throughout the body the send messenger chemicals (hormones) through the bloodstream to cell receptors (which are sort of like an antenna) to cause changes.  They have a wide range of functions, need to be balanced, and are critical to our health.   Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that the cell receptors (or the organ) misinterpret, and then act accordingly.  This can deplete necessary resources, impair proper function, or cancel out messages sent by an organ that the body needs.

The chemicals being evaluated are at lower levels, and the concern is both exposure and cumulative effects. Low levels of these over time can cause a stress reaction, dampen the response from overstimulation (an example is Type II Diabetes), or block receptors.  Sometimes an endocrine disruptor can stay locked onto the receptor, effectively removing it as a receiver.  And we have little information about the long term impact of a group of endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic the same hormone. 

Research continues on impacts, but one part of the regulatory assessment (and therefore risk) is “opportunity for exposure”.  That is why these chemicals are being targeted for regular monitoring.

If you would like to do some additional reading, below are several links, from different perspectives to the problem, for you to look over. There are many more, but these are a great place to start:


Natural Resources Defense Council:

National Institute of Environmental Health Science: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/


ED FOR Dummies:

One additional resource to see current and recent research is Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry: http://www.setac.org/



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rose-colored glasses...

There is a water main break this morning in the complex where I live. I'm sure not everyone sees the magic I do, but I am suddenly awash in waves of childhood nostalgia...

Many years ago, when the town of Montrose, California was established, the plan laid out was to run all the streets in a curved pattern to simulate rose petals as you viewed the city from the air.  Lovely plan, but not so practical, as the rain and runoff patterns from the hills tended to sheet over the entire area.  So the plan was modified to build the main roadways in straight drainage lines down from the Foothills towards the normal "wash", at the lower edge of the town.  Development in the area was always rapid, not so well planned, and spotty, with the fill-in areas not necessarily receiving all the proper infrastructure.  We lived in one of those areas. 

Rosemont Avenue was a main thoroughfare, and had large sections without sidewalks or storm drains.  The street itself served as the storm drain, sitting slightly below grade from the walk ways.  The normal sand/gravel alluvial soils along each side of the road base would fill and drain - not actually a bad system except for the speed and volume of water that would be conveyed during the rainy season.

In between storms though, would be large puddles and continuously low-flow "streams" of water along the areas in front of our house.  Even more after the immediate up hill neighbor installed asphalt drive and walk ways to stop the normal annual erosion.  And hence, my future was set...

I would literally spend hours and hours "managing the runoff" through the dirt parking strip in front of our home.  Cars were usually moved to the back yard during a storm, as the rushing water would get deep, soaking the wheels and wrecking havoc on the brakes.  Sometimes it would even splash up under the hood and keep the car from starting.  So I had over 2,000 sq feet of area to build dams, tunnels, and water diversion "projects" including lakes and recreational areas.  Or so they were in my mind's eye, that wonderful world of a child's imagination.  I learned about slope, volume, flow, and the amazing power and persistence of water.  Even then, most of my plans included slowing the water and the impact of plants.

The infatuation has never left.
But I'm pretty sure those repairmen outside would rather I not get in their way...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We've moved!  Surface Water Solutions is located in Riverside, Missouri.  We're located on the Missouri River, just north of Kansas City.