Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule
Monday, 18 February 2013 07:12

Calibrate: Fine Tuning Your Knowledge of Current Laboratory Issues Jerry L. Parr, Editor

EPA Federal Register Activity: Week of February 11, 2013

EPA has finalized revisions to the 1989 Total Coliform Rule (TCR). There is no longer a monthly maximum contaminant level (MCL) violation for multiple total coliform detections. Instead, the revisions require systems that have an indication of coliform contamination in the distribution system to assess the problem and take corrective action that may reduce cases of illnesses and deaths due to potential fecal contamination and waterborne pathogen exposure. The rule also updated provisions in other rules that reference analytical methods and other requirements. Among the changes noted to the analytical requirements were:

Mercury Contamination in Water Can Be Detected With a Mobile Phone
Thursday, 07 February 2013 11:14

Feb. 6, 2013 — Chemists at the University of Burgos (Spain) have manufactured a sheet that changes colour in the presence of water contaminated with mercury. The results can be seen with the naked eye but when photographing the membrane with a mobile phone the concentration of this extremely toxic metal can be quantified.

Mercury contamination is a problem that is particularly affecting developing countries. It poses a risk to public health since it accumulates in the brain and the kidneys causing long term neurological illnesses. It is emitted from industrial and mining waste, especially small-scale gold mining.

The Kilogram Has Gained Weight
Monday, 07 January 2013 10:40
By Tia Ghose |

The international prototype kilogram is a cylinder of platinum and platinum-iridium alloy, which is kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) near Paris.Enlarge Photo

The kilogram may need to go on a diet. The international standard, a cylinder-shaped hunk of metal that defines the fundamental unit of mass, has gained tens of micrograms in weight from surface contamination, according to a new study.

ASTM International Committee
Friday, 25 January 2013 12:21

By David Smith, Technical Specialist

On January 27 and 28 I will be attending the annual meeting of D18 on soil and rock. The committee is forming a brand new subcommittee for the development of methods pertaining to the emerging industry of hydraulic fracturing or fracking as it is commonly called. Members of subcommittee D18.26 will be at the forefront of change in this dynamic field, developing the consensus standards that guide best practices throughout the oil and gas industry and safeguard precious water, land and air resources. The committee will pursue a standards agenda that fills critical needs across all aspects of hydraulic fracturing including:

EPA Releases First Set of Draft Risk Assessments Under Existing Chemicals Work Plan Effort
Monday, 07 January 2013 06:38
WASHINGTON - EPA today released for public comment draft risk assessments, for particular uses, on five chemicals found in common household products. The draft risk assessments were developed as part of the agency's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, which identified common chemicals for review over the coming years to assess any impacts on people's health and the environment. Following public comment, the agency will seek an independent, scientific peer review of the assessments before beginning to finalize them in the fall of 2013.
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