Saturday, February 23, 2013

there have been errors

i never mind admitting making mistakes,
that is why we scientist review things.
The errors were with metals results that had been reported to me and then i tried to correlate them.
The errors were two-fold:
In the database numbers were divided into a base number and before the number, an "operator".  The operator could be the less than sign or a not detected symbol, in a query I wrote, used the base number of the result instead of the combination of using a less than operator and the not detected operator as 0.
They are not actually zero, but they are less than whatever detection limit was achieved in analysis.
This made a big difference in the Arsenic report, which previously had shown 3 tests results at the action level.  Each of those results were a less than 10, meaning that arsenic has not been found elevated in any of the 227 tests that i had on record.
Cadmium results were correct:  there was one test above the MCL of 64 tests, however the level was recorded as 40 mg/L (i used mg/L as the base measurement) and it was really 40 ug/L, a huge difference.
Chromium was correct, 1 test was above the MCL of 36 tests.  The only thing i can say is that it was performed in 1989 and we never saw another elevated Chromium level.
Apparently all the other test result did not have this error.
The errors occurred during the years after my operation and i knew i was not doing that well and would be prone to errors and is one of the reasons i retired.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Coming home this afternoon, i was listening to a guest speaker on NPR in CT.
The speaker was identified as an organic chemist and was talking about a new book promoting healthy eating.
It worked for her, then she started to name the issues and the first on the list was MSG.
In the course of the discussion there were many things to believe - that the food industry is able to "hide" different additives in food through a variety of methods, being the foremost.  I've seen and analyzed very serious issues in that respect.
But to blame obesity in children on MSG and aspartame seemed out of bounds, but i would allow for it.
I suppose if this chemist wanted to, they could have analysed food to determine if the statements they were making were true, but that was not presented.
Both are present as amino acids, naturally in the human body, but have been played with to create the effects they have.
So do i swallow it whole, no, but there might be a bit of credibility to it.
Then she went off on something i have heard before and it made me angry on many levels.
This was the talk about we need to make our bodies more alkaline to ward off disease.
Okay this got me -
1) Much of our body is naturally acid, Stomach acid having a pH of 1.5 to 3.5 (7.0 being neutral and lower being acidic), Saliva being mostly acidic with a pH between 6.0 to 7.4, urine being mostly acid at a pH of 6.0 and blood being slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.35 to 7.40.
2) Most "bad bugs" or bacteria that cause illness grow best in alkaline situations - that is what you use in a lab to isolate them and provide the best growth.
3) Acidity kills them - Campylobacter, e coli, Staph and MERSA and many others are KILLED with vinegar, lime or lemon juice and do not come back in those situations.
Here is whee i became upset and turned the nonsense off.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I went to a Committee meeting on Wednesday night to support the continued testing of pesticides in well water in Stamford.
I learned a few things:
While the meeting was strictly about extending the time of the ordinance, there were questions raised concerning what is going to be done with the data.
I found that interesting.
I guess if you want to blame someone, then you look for a single source.
And in the past i have found multiple source of something affecting wells, it was published.  Some of that information was used when the CT public health code was being reviewed.  It showed that softeners which discharge the salt brine into a septic system (commonly done) added chloride to wells near the system and to the south.
The information was made public and presented every time some one came with a question concerning treating their well water.  It changed things because the homeowner was aware.
This is public health.
You find something dangerous - in this case, pesticides.
You test and tell the homeowner yes or no.  There is treatment.  It gets fixed.
This is public health!
And for the question, there is a slight pattern, in relationship to the south side of farms that have been broken up and become residential, but the pesticides were used by homeowners in there own right and so there are places that it is found that can not be "predicted".
The message?
There are other things that concern me though.
The Board seems , in private statements to be limiting the testing to the concern in regards to pesticides.
Maybe this is correct because i believe the Health Department should be on the forefront in saying things need to be tested for the sake of public health.

My list mostly involves the following metals:
and the nonmetal is Radon.
Most of these are natural, but lead, copper and arsenic have man used sources.
Expect me to continue speaking.