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Daily Archives: October 14, 2020

Consumer Reports – What’s Really in Your Bottled Water?

CR recently tested 47 bottled waters, including 35 noncarbonated and 12 carbonated ones. “For each product, we tested two to four samples. The tests focused on four heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury), plus 30 PFAS chemicals, which pose special concerns because they can linger in the environment almost indefinitely.  The federal government has issued only voluntary guidance for PFAS, saying the combined amounts for two specific PFAS compounds should be below 70 parts per trillion. A few states have set lower limits, of 12 to 20 ppt, according to American Water Works, an industry group. The International Bottled Water Association, another group, says that it supports federal limits for PFAS and that bottled water should have PFAS levels below 5 ppt for any single compound and 10 ppt for more than one. Some experts say the cutoff for total PFAS levels should be even lower, 1 ppt…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

See also Radio.comToxic ‘forever chemicals’ found in popular bottled water brands: Report – “Bottled water is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States with Americans drinking more of it than any other beverage. But a new report from Consumer Reports has found that there may be more than just water in some of the bottles. A test of 47 types of bottled water found “toxic PFAS chemicals” in several popular brands of water. The report found that two brands of noncarbonated water, Tourmaline Spring Sacred Living Water (4.64 PPT) and Deer Park Natural Spring Water (1.21 PPT), exceeded the threshold of 1 part per trillion PFAS. The report also found seven carbonated waters that exceeded the same threshold. Those brands are Topo Chico Natural Mineral Water (9.76 PPT), Polar Natural Seltzer Water (6.41 PPT), Bubly Blackberry Sparkling Water (2.24 PPT), Poland Spring Zesty Lime Sparkling Water (1.66 PPT), Canada Dry Lemon Lime Sparkling Seltzer Water (1.24 PPT), LaCroix Natural Sparkling Water (1.16 PPT), and Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (1.1 PPT). The test looked for 30 PFAS chemicals, as well as arsenic, lead, mercury, and cadmium. James Rogers, director of food safety research and testing for Consumer Reports, told Today that “these chemicals are called forever chemicals because the way that they are put together, it’s hard for them to be broken down.” Rogers said that because “they last very, very long” they are “advocating to both the FDA and the EPA that they look at putting a mandatory standard for PFAS for all water that consumers would drink.” PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are man-made chemicals found in many products. Resistant to oil, water, heat, and grease, they can be found in things like paint and nonstick cookware…”

The 2020 Elections: Selected Resources for Members and Constituents

CRS report via LC – The 2020 Elections: Selected Resources for Members and Constituents, October 14, 2020: “The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and reports of potential election interference might raise questions for Members and constituents about the 2020 elections. Potential disinformation campaigns and changes to election procedures in response to COVID-19might make it more… Continue Reading

The coronavirus is surging again

Axios: “Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Why it matters: The U.S. is headed solidly in the wrong direction — and at a dangerous time, as experts say the fall and winter will likely make the pandemic worse.… Continue Reading

Textbooks in Short Supply Amid COVID Quarantines

Inside Higher Ed: “Librarians are quarantining print materials for several days between loans to stop the spread of COVID-19. For students who rely on the library to access textbooks, that’s a problem…The quarantining system is simple. When a book is returned to the library, a librarian wearing gloves and a mask places it on the… Continue Reading

Wildfires, Global Climate Change, and Human Health

New England Journal of Medicine:  “The world has already observed many devastating effects of human-induced climate change. A vivid manifestation is the several large wildfires that have occurred recently — in some cases, fires of unprecedented scale and duration — including wildfires in Australia in 2019 to 2020, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil in 2019… Continue Reading

2.1 Million of the Oldest Internet Posts Are Now Online for Anyone to Read

Vice: “Decades before Twitter threads, Reddit forums, or Facebook groups, there was Usenet: an early-internet, pre-Web discussion system where one could start and join conversations much like today’s message boards. Launched in 1980, Usenet is the creation of two Duke University students who wanted to communicate between decentralized, local servers—and it’s still active today. On… Continue Reading

Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Freedom on the Net 2020: The Pandemic’s Digital Shadow – “The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a dramatic decline in global internet freedom. For the 10th consecutive year, users have experienced an overall deterioration in their rights, and the phenomenon is contributing to a broader crisis for democracy worldwide. In the COVID-19 era, connectivity is not… Continue Reading

Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign

Harvard University Berkman Klein Center – Mail-In Voter Fraud: Anatomy of a Disinformation Campaign Working paper shows Disinformation Campaign Surrounding the Risk of Voter Fraud Associated with Mail-in Ballots Follows an Elite-Driven, Mass Media Model; Social Media Plays a Secondary Role in 2020. READ THE WORKING PAPER | EXPLORE FIGURE 1 | EXPLORE FIGURE 2  “The… Continue Reading