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Reports, Tests

Another Ban on Water Fluoridation

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August 19  |  Case Studies, Latest News, Reports, Tests, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Israel Court Rules To Stop Water Fluoridation in 2014, Citing Health Concerns

It seems that almost the entire world is now realizing the health consequences of poisoning the water supply with fluoride. Most developed nations, including all of Japan and 97% of western Europe, do not fluoridate their water. Israel will now be added to that list in 2014. This begs the question as to when the west will wake up from their unscientific beliefs and embrace the irrefutable evidence that ingestion of fluoride is of no benefit and actually a detriment to human health.

Biological Effects of Sodium Fluoride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information on this article visit: 

http://preventdisease.com/news/13/081113_Israel-Court-Rules-To-Stop-Water-Fluoridation-in-2014-Citing-Health-Concerns.shtml

http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/israel-court-rules-to-stop-water-fluoridation-in-2014-citing-health-concerns/

Additional information on our site about the health effects of water fluoridation can be found here: http://www.puroxi.com/reports-case-studies

We invite you to do your own research and make an informed decision:

http://www.fluorideaction.net/issues/health

http://preventdisease.com/news/09/022709_fluoride.shtml

http://www.fluoridealert.org/

 

 

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Antibiotics in Meat

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July 18  |  antibiotics, Beef, Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Opinion, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

The resistance to over-use of antibiotics is gaining steam throughout North America after the recent release of a detailed study by Consumers Report.  Apparently 82% of those surveyed said that they would buy antibiotic-free meat and poultry if it were available. This sounds quite convincing and seems to endorse the position of the Consumers Union and its supporters:  (FixFood, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, Natural Resources Defense Council, etc.)

However, closer inspection reveals that it was 82% of the 24% of respondents who said that the stores where they shopped did not offer antibiotic-free meat/poultry.  That in fact amounts to less than 20% of the total people surveyed.

Most large cattle ranchers and hog and chicken farmers put antibiotics in  either feed or water to help their livestock process food more efficiently and  to bulk up faster.  Veterinarians and cattle experts argue that using small doses of antibiotics  as a preventive measure cuts the risk of an animal getting sick by 25 percent to  50 percent.

But many scientists and medical doctors believe giving antibiotics to animals  when they are not sick contributes to more drug-resistant infections, known as “superbugs” in humans.  The most recent data used by the “no antibiotics” camp is a 2002 report released by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.  It states that the “vast majority” of the 99,000 people who died from hospital-acquired infections, were caused by antibiotic-resistant infections.

Undoubtedly, this debate will rage on for some time.  It may even become a political hot button approaching the November primaries.  For more information on this topic, we have listed some links below. 

http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2012/06/consumer-reports-poll-majority-of-americans-want-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-sold-at-local-supermarkets.html

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/06/antibiotics-are-widely-used-by-u-s-meat-industry/index.htm

http://notinmyfood.org/press_release/consumers-union-launches-marketplace-campaign-for-meat-raised-without-antibiotics

http://www.meatwithoutdrugs.org/#the-issue

Also, for those who prefer to examine their options, we have included a real-time map of farms, markets, eateries and retailers who serve meat raised without excessive use of antibiotics.

http://www.realtimefarms.com/fixantibiotics

http://blog.realtimefarms.com/2012/06/21/real-time-farms-powers-the-fixantibiotics-food-finder/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog

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Editor’s Note:

Oxy Blast customers report drastic reduction in the need to use  anitbiotics and report improved health and weight gains in all species.

 

 

 

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Oxy Blast follow up in India

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June 19  |  antibiotics, Farm, Immune System, Latest News, Poultry, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

Oxy Blast is revolutionizing India.  This just keeps getting better! 

I just got off the phone with our dealer in India with updated information.   No antibiotics have been used through this entire process.   The average cost for anitbiotics on this farm was $45.00 U.S. per day.  The complete Oxy Blast protocol has so far averaged only $15.00.

As of today we are down to .0003% mortality.  That is in just 7 Days – amazing!   And all at 1/3 of his previous cost using antibiotics and other hopeful solutions. The farmer is over-joyed and can’t wait to start our Oxy Blast protocol from the very beginning with the new batch of chicks arriving in a couple of days. 

Once word spreads, we will be inundated with requests from other chicken operations, especially with the Eid festival coming up soon, when the demand for chickens surges.  We will have to ramp up our dealership and distribution systems accordingly throughout all of India.

We’ll keep you updated 🙂

P.S.  How could you benefit from Oxy Blast ?

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Importance of Water for Poultry

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May 7  |  Case Studies, Farm, News, Newsletters, Poultry, Reports, Tests, Research  |   Webmaster

We have many articles and studies on our website about the importance of water for health; both for us humans, as well as for our animals and livestock.  All life forms depend on water; in fact, after air/oxygen, it is the single most important factor to sustain life!  You can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. So it only stands to reason that the quantity, and especially quality of water, should be taken seriously.

However, water is not only a key ingredient to sustain life, it is also an important nutrient to maintain key bodily functions and the immune system. It is a critical agent to:

  • help dissolve minerals and nutrients making them accessible to the body
  • carry these nutrients and oxygen to all of the cells in the body

  Water also serves the body in many other critical areas, including:

  • protecting the body’s tissues and organs
  • moistening tissues in mouth, eyes, and nose
  • regulating body temperature
  • lubricating joints
  • helping to flush out waste products through kidneys and liver

In addition to the important factors listed above, water also plays a key role in preventing disease, for all humans and animals.

Following is a recent report by scientists at the University of Georgia, focusing on poultry.

The importance of water

Factors affecting water consumption, water quality and management tips are reviewed by Brian D. Fairchild and Casey W. Ritz, Extension Poultry Scientists at the University of Georgia.

 

Water is a critical nutrient that receives little attention until a problem arises. Not only should producers make an effort to provide water in adequate quantity, they should also know what is in the water that will be flowing through the water lines to be used in evaporative cooling systems and consumed by the birds.

Water Functions

Water is needed for bird consumption, reducing air temperature (including evaporative cooling pad and fogging systems) and facility sanitation. Broilers consume approximately 1.6 to 2.0 times more water than feed on a weight basis. Water is a critical nutrient in bird metabolism and nutrition. From a physiology perspective, water consumed by the bird is used for nutrient transportation, enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body, body temperature regulation and lubrication of joints and organs.

There is a strong relationship between feed and water consumption, therefore, water can be used to monitor flock performance. Many of the electronic controllers in poultry houses have the ability to monitor daily water consumption and have inputs for multiple water meters. This would allow a water meter to be installed separately on the lines supplying water to the front and rear of the house. Bird uniformity between the front and back of the house can be monitored using water consumption. Water consumption will be greater in the area of the house that has more birds. When birds are not distributed evenly between the front and back of the house it increases the competition for feed and water space. This, combined with the extra heat from excessive numbers of birds, can reduce bird performance.

water poultry figure 1

Figure 1. Water consumption in a tunnel ventilated broiler house

Factors Affecting Water Consumption

There are several factors that affect water consumption:

Bird age: Water consumption increases with age but decreases as a percentage of body weight.

Environmental temperature/heat stress: Birds consume more water as temperature increases. One of the main ways birds regulate body temperature is by evaporating water through the respiratory system during panting. As birds pant, water is lost and needs to be replaced in order to maintain body-water balance. Water consumption can double and even triple during periods of heat stress. Water consumption in broilers increases approximately seven per cent for each degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature.

A study at the University of Georgia examined the relationship of feed consumption to water consumption of seven consecutive flocks on a commercial broiler farm. As temperatures increased, the water consumed per pound of feed consumed also increased (Table 1).

 water poultry table 1

Water temperature: Several studies have examined the effects of providing cool water to birds during hot weather. In most of these studies, water temperature has improved the performance of broilers and layers. Any water temperature below the body temperature of the bird will be beneficial. The water consumed will help dissipate body heat and aid the bird in body temperature regulation. However, it is very difficult to cool the water significantly when moving the water hundreds of feet down a house.

Electrolytes: During periods of potential heat stress, many producers supplement drinking water with electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that can be found in the blood and are important for normal cell function and growth. Electrolytes, as the name implies, help regulate nerve and muscle function by conducting electrical signals from nerves to muscles.

Electrolytes are also important for the acid-base balance of the blood and fluid retention. Some of the electrolytes found in blood plasma include sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), chlorine (Cl), bicarbonate (HCO3) and sulphate (SO4). The addition of the electrolytes not only replenishes those depleted during heat stress, but also stimulates water consumption. When the results of these are added together (electrolyte intake and increased water consumption), the mortality due to heat stress can be reduced.

Lighting programs: Light is another environmental factor that can influence bird water consumption. Birds will not drink if they are not eating and vice versa. During dark periods, the birds rest and as a result, they do not consume water. The exception is long dark periods. In dark periods exceeding eight hours, it is not unusual to see some water consumption register on the water meter. In operations that utilize lighting programs, two distinct water consumption peaks can be observed. The first peak is just after the lights come on (dawn) and the second is just prior to lights turning off (dusk).

The correlation of water consumption with feed intake and many environmental factors indicate its importance in bird metabolism and body function. Efforts should be made in all poultry operations to ensure that adequate and unlimited access to water is provided. Failure to do so will result in reduced feed intake, poor egg production, reduced growth and reduced feed efficiency.

water poultry figure 2

Figure 2. Lighting influences water consumption

Water Quality

While water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen molecules (H2O), it is a universal solvent and as a result can contain many minerals and compounds. The only sure way to get pure water is to use distillation or other treatment methods to remove dissolved minerals and compounds. This can be expensive considering the volume of water a typical broiler farm consisting of four or more houses would consume. Water treatment should be done based on the results of water quality analysis. While poultry drinking water does not have to be pure, heavily contaminated water is undesirable.

Water composition varies with geographical region as the nature of the geological makeup changes. Water contamination can occur if surface water drains into the well. All farms should submit water samples to a qualified laboratory for testing to establish a baseline for water quality. This will help producers determine if and what water treatment might be warranted.

Water quality should be of concern to all poultry operations. Poor water quality may interfere with digestion and subsequent bird performance. The effectiveness of vaccines and medications administered through the water lines could be reduced when water quality is poor. Water contaminants could create equipment problems that would either restrict the amount of water available for consumption or the effectiveness of the evaporative cooling and fogging systems. Reduced water consumption or cooling capacity may have detrimental effects on both growth and reproduction. Poor water quality could also result in leaky water nipples inside the house, which will wet litter and lead to increased ammonia production. Poor litter quality and high ammonia can result in reduced performance and livability.

Standards for water quality should include factors that affect taste, solid buildup within water systems and toxicity. Factors that should be observed for poultry production include, but are not limited to those listed in Tables 2 and 3.

water poultry table 2

Many of the water quality standards for poultry drinking water were originally developed from those for human drinking water. Few of the standards recommended today are based on research utilizing broiler or layers.

Recently, a series of studies has been conducted examining the effects of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nitrates (NO3) and pH levels in drinking water on poultry performance. The results of these studies have found that very high levels of Fe, Mn and NO3 do not impact broiler health. In those studies no differences in performance were noted due to 600ppm of Fe, 600ppm of NO3 and 20ppm of Mn.

It should be noted that the water lines were thoroughly flushed between studies and that particulates that result from high Fe and Mn levels can lead to equipment problems such as leaky nipples and clogged fogging nozzles. Broiler performance is more likely to be affected by improper equipment function rather than bird health due to high concentrations of these substances. Poor water quality can lead to increased microbial growth (such as iron bacteria) and biofilm build-up.

water poultry table 3 Water Management Tips

Conduct water tests

Each farm should have its well water tested. Water quality can change during periods of heavy rain or drought and additional water tests during these periods will ensure that water lines continue to deliver adequate water volume for both the birds and the cooling systems. County agents can provide more information on the tests available, provide information on fees for testing and submit samples to the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratory at the University of Georgia.

Change filters regularly

Sediment and other particulates can cause leaky water nipples that can have negative effects on litter quality. Clogged filters restrict water flow to the drinker and cooling systems. In some cases, simple cartridge filters may not be adequate, such as for water with high iron. In those cases, other water treatments will need to be considered.

Flush water lines regularly

A high–pressure flush should be performed on water lines between each flock and after adding supplements through the medicator, e.g. vaccines, medications, vitamins, electrolytes, etc.

Plan ahead before treating water

Before implementing water treatment or sanitation programs, consult your county agent to ensure that contaminants in your water will not react negatively and cause the water system to become clogged.

References

Batal, A.B., B.D. Fairchild, C.W. Ritz and P.F. Vendrell, 2005. The effect of water manganese on broiler growth performance. Poultry Sci. 84 (Suppl. 1.).

Bell, D.B., 2002. Consumption and quality of water. In: Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production. D.D. Bell and W.D. Weaver, eds. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA. p411-430.

Carter, T.A. and R.E. Sneed, 1987. Drinking water quality for poultry. PS&T Guide No. 42, Extension Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.

Dozier, D.A., M. Czarick, M.P. Lacy, and B.D. Fairchild, 2002. Monitoring water consumption on commercial broiler farms: Evaluation tool to assess flock performance. Poultry Sci. 80:154 (Suppl. 1.).

Fairchild, B.D., A.B. Batal, C.W. Ritz and P.F. Vendrell, 2006. Effect of drinking water iron concentration on broiler performance. J. Appl. Poultry Res. 15:511-517.

May, J.D., B.D. Lott and J.D. Simmons, 1997. Water consumption by broilers in high cyclic temperatures: Bell versus nipple waterers. Poultry Sci. 76:944-947.

Pesti, G.M., S.V. Amato and L.R. Minear, 1985. Water consumption of broiler chickens under commercial conditions. Poultry Sci. 64:803-808.

Schwartz, D.L. Water Quality. VSE, 81c., Penn. State Univ. (mimeographed)

Waggoner, R., R. Good and R. Good, 1984. Water Quality and Poultry Performance. Proceedings AVMA Annual Conference, July.

For more information about water quality studies, reports, resources, and solutions, please contact us or your local OxyBlast dealer:  CONTACT PAGE


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Scrapie Disease

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April 30  |  Editorial, Farm, food safety, Latest News, Livestock, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

It seems to be a week of news, on both sides of the border, for transmissable livestock diseases.

Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats.  It is among a number of diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) and very similar to BSE (mad  cow disease) found in cattle.

A fatal disease that affects sheep and goats has been confirmed at a quarantined sheep farm in eastern Ontario.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says scrapie (SKRAY’-pee) was confirmed in a sheep that recently died on the farm.

The agency says there is no human health risk associated with scrapie.

However, the CFIA aims to eradicate it from Canada as the disease has serious impacts on sheep.

It said in a weekend release that the farm was placed under quarantine because a sheep that originated from there had previously tested positive for scrapie.

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating the removal earlier this month of 31 sheep from the same farm in violation of the quarantine order.

See: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/

 

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Animal Antibiotics Over-use

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April 22  |  antibiotics, Beef, Farm, food safety, Immune System, Latest News, News, Pork, Poultry, Reports, Tests  |   Webmaster

Following is one of the first major media stories exposing the threat to human health of the over-use of antibiotics in livestock, presented by Katie Couric with CBS. It is still compelling, in light of the recently announced FDA guidelines.

“It’s scary, I mean, you just can’t describe it really,” said Bill Reeves.

Two years ago, 46-year-old Bill Reeves, who worked at a poultry processing plant in Batesville, Arkansas, developed a lump under his right eye.

“It went from about the size of a mosquito bite to about the size of a grapefruit,” he said.

CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric reports doctors tried several drugs that usually work on this potentially deadly infection: methicillin resistant staph or MRSA – before one saved his life.

WebMD: MSRA

“You go from a just regular day to knowing you may die in a couple of hours,” Reeves said.

He wasn’t the only worker from this farming community to get sick. Joyce Long worked at the hatchery, handling eggs and chicks. She got MRSA at least a dozen times, and had to try several drugs as well.

“It was real painful. Shots don’t help, because it’s so infected, it don’t help much,” she said.

Within weeks, 37 people at the hatchery got sick. They’ve filed personal injury claims against the company, Pilgrims Pride, which has no comment.

This is not an isolated incident and chickens aren’t the only concern. A University of Iowa studylast year, found a new strain of MRSA — in nearly three-quarters of hogs (70 percent), and nearly two-thirds of the workers (64 percent) — on several farms in Iowa and Western Illinois. All of them use antibiotics, routinely. On antibiotic-free farms no MRSA was found.

To read the rest of the story and view the CBS video, follow this link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6191530.html

 

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Water Report double-speak

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April 17  |  Case Studies, Latest News, Reports, Tests, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

Water test reports leave homeowners in need of a translator

By Laura Legere (Staff Writer)  

Published: April 16, 2012
 

In a recent study by Penn State University researchers about Marcellus Shale drilling and rural water supplies, 75 percent of homeowners surveyed said their water test reports were either somewhat or very difficult to understand.

The tools provided by laboratories to help residents interpret their water tests range from very thorough to none at all.

 

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/gas-drilling/water-test-reports-leave-homeowners-in-need-of-a-translator-1.1300620#ixzz1sEoWybxf

 

Contact the writer: llegere@timesshamrock.com

Unsafe Drinking Water in Schools

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October 26  |  Latest News, News, Nutrition, Reports, Tests, Research, safe drinking water  |   Webmaster

 

Drinking water unsafe at thousands of schools

Federal government has done little to monitor the problem, AP finds

Gary Kazanjian  /  AP

 

At Lovell High School in Cutler, California, signs posted above the kitchen sink, warn students not to drink from the tap because the water is tainted with nitrates, a potential carcinogen, and DBCP, a pesticide that scientists say may cause male sterility.

The Associated Press

CUTLER, Calif.
Over the last decade, the drinking water at thousands of schools across the country has been found to contain unsafe levels of lead, pesticides and dozens of other toxins.

An Associated Press investigation found that contaminants have surfaced at public and private schools in all 50 states— in small towns and inner cities alike.

But the problem has gone largely unmonitored by the federal government, even as the number of water safety violations has multiplied.

“It’s an outrage,” said Marc Edwards, an engineer at Virginia Tech University who has been honored for his work on water quality. “If a landlord doesn’t tell a tenant about lead paint in an apartment, he can go to jail. But we have no system to make people follow the rules to keep school children safe?”

The contamination is most apparent at schools with wells, which represent 8 to 11 percent of the nation’s schools. Roughly one of every five schools with its own water supply violated the Safe Drinking Water Act in the past decade, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency analyzed by the AP.

In California’s farm belt, wells at some schools are so tainted with pesticides that students
have taken to stuffing their backpacks with bottled water for fear of getting sick from the drinking fountain.

Experts and children’s advocates complain that responsibility for drinking water is spread among too many local, state and federal agencies, and that risks are going unreported. Finding a solution, they say, would require a costly new national strategy for monitoring water in schools.

Schools with unsafe water represent only a small percentage of the nation’s 132,500 schools. And the EPA says the number of violations spiked over the last decade largely because the government has gradually adopted stricter standards for contaminants such as arsenic and some disinfectants.

Children at risk

Many of the same toxins could also be found in water at homes, offices and businesses. But the contaminants are especially dangerous to children, who drink more water per pound than adults and are more vulnerable to the effects of many hazardous substances.

“There’s a different risk for kids,” said Cynthia Dougherty, head of the EPA’s Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water.

Still, the EPA does not have the authority to require testing for all schools and can only provide guidance on environmental practices.

In recent years, students at a Minnesotaelementary school fell ill after drinking tainted water. A young girl inSeattle got sick, too.

The AP analyzed a database showing federal drinking water violations from 1998 to 2008 in schools with their own water supplies. The findings:

* Water in about 100 school districts and 2,250 schools breached federal safety standards.

* Those schools and districts racked up more than 5,550 separate violations. In 2008, the EPA recorded 577 violations, up from 59 in 1998 — an increase that officials attribute
mainly to tougher rules.

* California, which has the most schools of any state, also recorded the most violations with 612, followed by Ohio (451), Maine (417), Connecticut (318) and Indiana (289).

* Nearly half the violators in California were repeat offenders. One elementary school in TulareCounty, in the farm country of the Central Valley, broke safe-water laws 20 times.

* The most frequently cited contaminant was coliform bacteria, followed by lead and copper, arsenic and nitrates.

The AP analysis has “clearly identified the tip of an iceberg,” said Gina Solomon, a San Francisco physician who serves on an EPA drinking water advisory board. “This tells me there is a widespread problem that needs to be fixed because there are ongoing water quality problems in small and large utilities, as well.”

Schools with wells are required to test their water and report any problems to the state, which is supposed to send all violations to the federal government.

But EPA officials acknowledge the agency’s database of violations is plagued with errors and omissions. And the agency does not specifically monitor incoming state data on school water quality.

Critics say those practices prevent the government from reliably identifying the worst offenders — and carrying out enforcement.

‘Just no excuse’

Scientists say the testing requirements fail to detect dangerous toxins such as lead, which can wreak havoc on major organs and may retard children’s learning abilities.

“There is just no excuse for this. Period,” said California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “We want to make sure that we fix this problem in a way that it will never happen again, and we can
ensure parents that their children will be safe.”

The problem goes beyond schools that use wells. Schools that draw water from public utilities showed contamination, too, especially older buildings where lead can concentrate at higher levels than in most homes.

In schools with lead-soldered pipes, the metal sometimes flakes off into drinking water. Lead levels can also build up as water sits stagnant over weekends and holidays.

Schools that get water from local utilities are not required to test for toxins because the EPA already regulates water providers. That means there is no way to ensure detection of contaminants caused by schools’ own plumbing.

But voluntary tests in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattleand Los Angeles have found dangerous levels of lead in recent years. And experts warn the real risk to school children is going unreported.

“I really suspect the level of exposure to lead and other metals at schools is underestimated,” said Michael Schock, a corrosion expert with the EPA in Cincinnati. “You just don’t know what is going on in the places you don’t sample.”

Stomach aches, nausea

Since 2004, the agency has been asking states to increase lead monitoring. As of 2006, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control found nearly half of all schools nationwide do not test their water for lead.

Because contaminant levels in water can vary from drinking fountain to drinking fountain, and different children drink different amounts of water, epidemiologists often have trouble measuring the potential threats to children’s health.

But children have suffered health problems attributed to school water:

* In 2001, 28 children at a Worthington, Minn., elementary school experienced severe
stomach aches and nausea after drinking water tainted with lead and copper, the result of a poorly installed treatment system.

* In Seattleseveral years ago, a 6-year-old girl suffered stomach aches and became disoriented and easily exhausted. The girl’s mother asked her daughter’s school to test its water, and also tested a strand of her daughter’s hair. Tests showed high levels of copper
and lead, which figured into state health officials’ decision to phase-in rules requiring schools to test their water for both contaminants.

Many school officials say buying bottled water is less expensive than fixing old pipes. Baltimore, for instance, has spent more than $2.5 million on it over the last six years.

After wrestling with unsafe levels of arsenic for almost two years, administrators in Sterling, Ohio, southeast of Cincinnati, finally bought water coolers for elementary school students last fall. Now they plan to move students to a new building.

In California, the Department of Public Health has given out more than $4 million in recent years to help districts overhaul their water systems.

But school administrators in the farmworker town of Cutler cannot fix chronic water problems at Lovell  High School because funding is frozen due to the state’s budget crisis.

Signs posted above the kitchen sink warn students not to drink from the tap because the water is tainted with nitrates, a potential carcinogen, and DBCP, a pesticide scientists say may cause male sterility.

As gym class ended one morning, thirsty basketball players crowded around a five-gallon cooler, the only safe place to get a drink on campus.

“The teachers always remind us to go to the classroom and get a cup of water from the cooler,” said sophomore Israel Aguila. “But the bathroom sinks still work, so sometimes you kind of forget you can’t drink out of them.”

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Swine PRRS

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October 2  |  Farm, food safety, Livestock, News, Newsletters, Pork, Reports, Tests, Research  |   Webmaster

 Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome  (PRRS)

We had a situation I want to share with you. I do not have the customer’s permission to share his personal information, but we did something pretty important on a hog barn in Canada.

It all started with the customer calling me about 2 years ago.  I was actually at the Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock.  He talked to me for about 1 1/2 hours on the phone and we decided we needed to get a water report, which he agreed with.  To make a long story short, the customer did not get the report back to us.  Time went by and a year ago, we placed a Dealer in their area. The Dealer followed up with the customer and sold them Oxy Blast and companion products, since they had tried everything else and were not happy with the results.  The customer commented that the price was good for most of the other products, but they were using a product that was costing them about the same, or maybe a little more, than Oxy Blast.

They had a blood viral infection in their hogs.  So, they used Oxy Blast at high levels that we recommended and  a little while later, the hogs started doing really well.  The customer started believing in the product, so we started a protocol of prevention and using the product while documenting results. The customer did an Elisa in July after using Oxy Blast according to our protocol.  The Elisa showed that the customer had PRRS Positive. From what I understand, this is a test to see if PRRS was ever present at any point. To find out if they currently have PRRS they do a Titer, but the Titer came back Negative;  meaning there was none there! This customer has had an increase in the pigs they sell to a local butcher shop because of the quality of the meat & fat content and the customers say that it’s the best tasting pork they have ever had. This customer now calls me on a weekly basis to discuss what they should do next.  We have them on some additional protocols that are proving a lot of interesting things. 

This is just another of our many success stories from livestock producers.

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New MRSA Strain

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June 6  |  Case Studies, Farm, food safety, Latest News, News, Reports, Tests, Research  |   Webmaster

New MRSA strain found in UK dairy cattle

Farmers Guardian.com June 3, 2011 | By Jack Davies

A NEW strain of antibiotic-resistant MRSA has been discovered in UK dairy cows for the first time, and scientists believe it may now be being passed on to humans who come into close contact with infected animals.

The new strain of Staphylococcus aureas was discovered in samples of milk by researchers carrying out a study into mastitis in dairy cows. The study, due to be published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that unlike other human strains of the bacteria, the new form of the bacteria cannot be identified using a common test for MRSA.
 

Researchers have now identified evidence that cattle could act as a reservoir for the bacteria, raising the risk of passing it on to farm workers and others who come into
close contact with dairy cattle.

Studies carried out by the team found that in geographical locations where they identified the new strain in cattle, they also found an incident of the strain infecting humans. In total, the research team discovered 12 confirmed cases of the new strain in humans in Scotland, 15 in England and 24 in Denmark.

The discovery however is not thought to be a public health risk as pasteurisation would kill the bacteria, said Dr. Mark Holmes, senior lecturer in preventive vet medicine at Cambridge University.

“It is important to stress that drinking milk or eating dairy products is not a public health risk,” he said.  “The main worry is that dairy cows represent a pool of infection and it could infect people who live and work on farms and they could then take that out into the wider community.”

Even for farm workers, the risks may be small as MRSA typically doesn’t cause disease unless the infected person has a weakened immune system such as after an operation. Where concern could come however is if farmers and farm workers pick up the bacteria and spread it to a susceptible person in the wider community, it could lead to a serious
infection.

Similarly there could be risks from drinking unpasteurised milk, although Dr Holmes said the risk was low and he would be more concerned about contracting Brucellosis than he would about the new strain of MRSA.  Dr. Holmes said it was not yet clear how prevalent the new MRSA strain is, but the study showed it could be present in almost three per cent of the UK dairy herd.

The Soil Association used the discovery to reiterate its calls for an end to routine antibiotic use. Helen Browning, director of the Soil Association said “In the relentless drive for increased per animal productivity, and under acute price pressure, dairy systems are becoming ever more antibiotic dependent.

“We need to get farmers off this treadmill, even if that means that milk has to cost a few pennies more. That would be a very small price to pay for maintaining the efficacy of these
life-saving drugs.”

The claims were dismissed by Dr. Holmes who said dairy farmers faced with a mastitis problem were understandably going to use antibiotics to combat infection and that it was unfair to suggest it was causing the rise of so-called superbugs.

Readers’ comments

Charles Henry | 3 June 2011 8:14 am

So now it’s MRSA.is it? Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (Staph a).
WHAT A COINCIDENCE! They’ve found another stick to beat the farmers and
agriculture with, just as the pressure grows to deal with rise and rise of M.bovis in the wildlife.

I’ve been campaigning about the rise of MRSA in our hospitals for nigh on 20 years now. It’s a killer in the hospital environment; have no doubts about it. . I dubbed it ‘MISERY’ years ago. But the more we protested, the more they just stated it was an everyday bacteria that was being brought in with the patients and by the general public and visitors.

But now the ‘experts’ are on the march again with their new stick! You couldn’t make it up!!!

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