Sunday, December 2, 2012

Swan Song

In 7 days, i will no longer be the "chemist" at the Stamford Health Department.
There may be even fewer posts in this area after that.
I have allowed my RS in Connecticut to lapse as of November 30th, which shows you just how commited i am to leaving this feild.
I have kept my ACS (American Chemical Society) membership because chemistry is a very diverse feild and is involved in every part of our lives, whether it be using man-made items or natural products.

The lab at the Health Department will no longer be offering any metals testing - no iron or manganese, copper, arsenic, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, zinc or lead.
At least until they hire someone new who is interested in these things (read what this says about the current person, who is strictly clinical).

This bathers me, but there are other labs that offer such testing, the lab has that list.

This bothers me because lead and copper still top my list of the most prevelant metals and the reasons are fairly clear - old pipes, old well pumps or pumps that failed and could not be extracted from the well, there is not natural lead and copper in this area.
Arsenic worries me because even though only 3 wells have been found at the action limit,  Arsenic was used extensively in many products and it remains a significant hazard.
Although a person has said they found mercury in their well, thay have not shared any results and that makes it hearsay and i personally think it is just some one wanting to make trouble.  No mercury has shown up in any tests submitted to me.
Uranium, one of those "natural" products has shown up in a number of wells and this does concern me.  We never could test for this, but other labs can.
Manganese is one of those discoloration metals that has the potential to be dangerous to your health at high levels.  It exists in many wells.
VOCs (Volitale Organic Compounds, think solvents) have been found in insignificant quantities (mostly due to chlorine use) throughout Stamford.
Pesticides, the big concern, have shown to be all over and very persistant in the environment.  Political and executive descions will prety much keep this as a Stamford problem, even though it is very clear to me that it is found anywhere that had some sort of usuage when the pesticide, particularly dieldren and chlordane) where legal to use.
People continue to use pesticides on lawns with great abandon, so more problems will show in the future.
This of course seems to only be a concern as far as wells are concerned.  Everything is treatable and i will continue to say there is more risk in all the other exposures that we have in eveeryday life, than form the well water.
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