Marin County, CA
WELCOME TO THE MARIN COUNTY, CA SECTION OF THE ADC WEBSITE.
WE WILL BE ADDING & UPDATING THIS SECTION WITH IMPORTANT LOCAL ISSUES ON A MONTHLY BASIS UNLESS AN ISSUES IS VERY IMPORTANT.
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2012
ALERT FOR MARIN COUNTY RESIDENTS
You might like to know that your area had the worst air quality in years. There were more air quality alerts and the air quality was worse in 2011 & 2012, than in 2008, when we had the lightning induced fires in Northern California starting on June 19, 2008.
We know that agriculture and backyard burning in Northern California has increased between the months of November and January from previous years...the Sonoma & Marin County Air Quality Districts have copies of the burn permits which are available to the public under the California Public Records Act.
When backyard and agriculture burning is allowed in all Northern California Counties it is not surprising that the air quality is so bad. The ADC is adding a link below to a section on the ADC website which will provide studies on many of the symptoms and the health effects from smoke and jet fuel emissions.
With the unusual inversions in your area coupled with man-made clouds from the jets and their jet fuel emissions, Northern California has become a pea soup of toxic air to breathe. The Sonoma & Marin County Air Quality Districts should have curtailed agriculture and backyard burning...and apparently did so only to a limited extent. The political ramifications of telling both agriculture and those that burn in their backyards to stop burning and chip their wood and backyard waste instead of burning it...requires political courage even when it comes to protecting the public health. The ADC can offer concrete suggestions to reduce the amount of air pollution in your respective counties and how to take action.
The Sonoma & Marin County Board of Supervisors, respectively, are in charge and can change the decisions made by their respective Air Quality Control Districts. It will take some pressure on them to change...worth the effort if you continue to live in these areas. The ever-increasing acreage that is going into agriculture in your area...especially between Mendocino County and Marin County, will only exacerbate your air quality between November and March each year.
The ADC understands the issue about the jets but they only worsen the air pollution in your area from huge amounts of agriculture and backyard burning. The Sonoma & Marin County Air Quality Districts like to blame stoves and fireplaces and ignore agriculture and backyard burning. And they certainly don't like discussing jet fuel emissions or the impact of man-made clouds coupled with air inversions which exacerbate these problems.
Please note that the California Air Resources Board in Sacramento, CA is now taking complaints and suggestions about air quality in your respective areas for the next two weeks.
The California Air Resources Board Website: http://www.arb.ca.gov/homepage.htm
Contact Information: For further information, please contact the Clerk of the Board or call (916) 322-5594
Complaints and Requests for an investigation should go to:
Mary D. Nichols Chairman, California Air Resources Board
Chairman - Mary D. Nichols - Telephone: (916) 322-5840 Mailing Address:
California Air Resources Board, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, CA 95812
Street Address: 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Complaints to the California Air Resources Board should also be addressed to: the Sonoma County or Marin County Board of Supervisors and the Sonoma & Marin County Air Quality Districts, local city elected officials, the California EPA, your state senator and state assemblyman, and Governor Brown. They should also go to your U.S. Congressman as well. You will need to cover all the bases with your complaint.
If you want the air quality in your area to improve this is one way to start the things moving toward air quality improvement in your area. The ADC has taken action on this issue in Mendocino County as we are having the same problems here. The more of us who raise this issue the better...especially if we want to be heard and improve our air quality...the better.
The California Air Resources Board is now taking complaints and suggestions due to the poor air quality in Northern CA this year...some of the worst in years. The ADC will be placing all of the health information and all of the Air Quality Alerts on the Sonoma County and Marin County Websites early next week. They show more moderate alerts than in 2008, and also more unhealthy air alerts. The information on Smoke, your health, and the EPA report below will also be on your respective websites.
Check the following website for information on Smoke & Health Related Issues:
California Air Resources Board Information Section:
When you add agriculture and backyard burning to jet fuel emissions as listed below by the EPA you have an air quality disaster which is what is now happening in your area and will continue to get worse between November and March each year unless local action is taken in all communities.
This EPA report Summary and the link to the actual EPA Study document may be helpful to you. Note the human health and agriculture symptoms from jet fuel emissions exposure in this study:
SUBSONIC JET EMISSIONS REPORT
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY PA420-R-99-013 - Final Report "Evaluation of Air Pollutant
Emissions from Subsonic Commercial Jet Aircraft", U.S. Environmental Protection Agency April 1999.
Excerpts from this report are reprinted below:
"Public Health and Aircraft Emissions"
"Ultimately, EPA's principal concern in evaluating and controlling (jet fuel) emissions is the preservation of human health and, secondarily, the protection of public welfare (including protection against damage to crops, vegetation, animals, and buildings)...In particular, they have significant concerns regarding the effect of NOx on local and regional environments. Tropospheric NOx has multiple environmental quality impacts…contributing to ground-level O3 and PM, but also air toxic concentrations, excess nitrogen loads to sensitive water bodies, and acidification of sensitive ecosystems (EPA 1997a)." (PM = Particulate Matter)
"Table 1.1 Representative health effects of air pollutants.” Jet Emission Pollutants:
‘Ozone - Lung function impairment, effects on exercise performance, increased airway responsiveness, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection, increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits, and pulmonary inflammation, lung structure damage. (Examples of these effects are chronic inflammation and structural damage to lung tissue and accelerated decline in baseline lung function.)”
“Carbon Monoxide - Cardiovascular effects, especially in those persons with heart conditions…Similar health effects on animals as on humans.”
“Nitrogen Oxides - Lung irrigation and lower resistance to respiratory infections. Premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, changes in lung function and increased respiratory symptoms, changes to lung tissues and structure, and altered respiratory defense mechanisms…” (Asthmatics are especially sensitive.)
“Volatile Organic Compounds - Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment.”
“Table 1.2 Representative Environmental Effects:
Ozone - Crop damage, damage to trees and decreased resistance to disease for both crops and other plants. (Ground-level ozone interferes with the ability of plants to produce and store food so that growth, reproduction and overall plant health are compromised. By weakening trees and other plants, ozone can make plants more susceptible to disease, insect attacks, and harsh weather ...Ground level ozone can also kill or damage leaves so that they fall off the plants too soon or become spotted and brown...")
“Nitrogen Oxides - Acid rain, visibility degradation, particle formation, contribution towards ozone formation. NO2 is an important precursor to both ozone and acidic precipitation, which harms both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems...NOx also plays a role in the formation of acid rain. Acid rain causes surface water acidification and damages trees...NOx contributes to the formation of particles in the atmosphere, with the resulting health and visibility effects...)”
“Particulate Matter - Visibility degradation and…safety effects for aircraft from reduced visibility. (PM is the generic term for a broad class of chemically and physically diverse substances that exist as discrete particles...over a wide range of sizes...PM may either be emitted directly or formed in the atmosphere by the transformations of gaseous emissions of compounds including NOx, VOCs, and sulfur oxides SOx...In addition to the evidence found for health effects associated with aggravation of asthma and increased respiratory
illness, and that they may be chronic health effects associated with long-term exposure to high concentrations of coarse particles (FR, July 18, 1997)..."
"...the nature of the effects that have been reported to be associated with ambient PM, including premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease…change in lung function and increased respiratory symptoms, changes to lung tissues and structure, and altered respiratory defense mechanisms; and sensitive sub-populations that appear to be at greater risk to such effects, specifically individuals with respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and the elderly...children, asthmatic children and adults..."
“Volatile Organic Compounds - Contribution towards ozone formation, odors, and some direct effect on buildings and plants." (...They can arise from evaporation or incomplete fuel combustion. As a class, VOCs react with NOx in the atmosphere to form ozone, but individual VOCs may have additional health effects. Some VOCs have little or no known direct health effect, while other VOCs, such as benzene, are carcinogens...Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics...At high levels, VOCs can have a damaging effect on plants...VOCs that contain chlorine can also contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion.)..."
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC Special Report - Aviation and the Global Atmosphere - Summary for Policymakers – 1999:
"2. How Do Aircraft Affect Climate and Ozone? Aircraft emit gases and particles directly into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere where they have an impact on atmospheric composition. These gases and particles…trigger formation of condensation trails (contrails)…”
"4.6 Cirrus Clouds. Extensive cirrus clouds have been observed to develop after the formation of persistent contrails. Increases in cirrus cloud cover (beyond those identified as line-shaped contrails) are found to be positively correlated with aircraft emissions..."
*Note: The full EPA REPORT ON JET FUEL EMISSIONS is available online at:
or on the EPA Website.
CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY WARNING
LIGHT BULB HAZARDS: FLUORESCENT, CFLs, LEDs & Other Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
All of these types of light bulbs are hazardous and require hazards waste disposal if they break or burn out. You may find more information in the CATEGORY section of this website under Fluorescent Light Bulbs or you may scroll to the bottom of this page and view links to the EPA website and critical information regarding this issue.
If you require more information and the law with regard to disposal and cleanup of burned out or broken bulbs visit: http://www.calepa.ca.gov
Mercury is a natural element that has many uses. However, mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and causes a variety of adverse health effects due to exposure. Those who are at most risk from mercury exposure are pregnant women and developing children. These types of light bulbs also contain arsenic, lead, and older ballasts release PCBs.
It is Illegal to Discard Fluorescent Light Tubes / Lamps in the Trash According to the California EPA!
“A fluorescent light tube in your dumpster is a violation of the hazardous waste laws. Violation of these laws can result in large fines and criminal prosecution. Fluorescent tubes contain mercury and become hazardous wastes when they no longer work. Mercury poses especially serious hazards to pregnant women and small children. Nonworking tubes must be recycled by an authorized recycling firm and cannot be discarded in the trash…”
Visit this website for more information: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/mercury/upload/hwmp_fs_fluorescent-tubes-trash.pdfhttp://www.calepa.ca.gov/pressroom/Releases/2006/PR7-020906.pdf
Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and other mercury-containing lamps:
These types “…Include Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge (HID), metal halide, sodium and neon bulbs. These lights contain mercury vapor that may be released to the environment when they are broken. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause harm to people and animals including nerve damage and birth defects. If mercury is released into the environment it can contaminate the air we breathe and enter streams, rivers and the ocean, where it can contaminate fish that people eat.
When a fluorescent or other type of energy efficient light bulb breaks please refer to the following guidelines found on this website which include but are not limited to the following:
Open all doors and windows to ventilate the area for at least 15 minutes.
Turn off your AC/Fan/Heater so as not to circulate any mercury vapor.
Young children and pregnant women should leave the area during cleanup.
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a dust mask and gloves to keep bulb dust and glass from being inhaled or contacting your skin.
Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container. Next, begin collecting the smaller pieces and dust.
It is recommended that you use two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or one of the many commercial mercury spill kits available.
Put all material into a sealed container.
Pat the area with the sticky side of duct, packing or masking tape.
Wipe the area with a damp cloth.
Put all waste and materials used to clean up the bulb in a secure closed container and label it "Universal Waste - broken lamp".
Take the container for recycling to the household hazardous waste facility (HHW) nearest you.
THE ADC HAS PROVIDED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN REQUESTED BY VARIOUS RESIDENTS OF MARIN COUNTY WITH REGARD TO WATER QUALITY ISSUES.
The California State Department of Health, Drinking Water Division, is the repository of all public drinking water tests taken in the entire State of California. The Drinking Water Graphs of various water contaminants below are from spreadsheet data received from the California State Department of Health, Drinking Water Divsion. This data is supplied to the public on a CD free of charge to anyone who requests this data. The data on the CD is in spreadsheet form and can be viewed by County, water district name, by chemical, by test date, or sample desigantion in parts per billion.
The Water Quality CD will be created and mailed which you should receive in approximately one week of your order via the Internet or in writing.
California Department of Public Health
Drinking Water Program
Telephone: (916) 449-5568
Fax: (916) 440-5602
Included in the drinking water test results from the California State Department of Health, Drinkig Water Division, one will find a Drinking Water Chemical Database or Storlist. This list designates the allowable Maximum Contaminent Level (MCL), allowed in public drinking water in California. The Skywatch graphing program used this data at the time it graphed the original information supplied by the State. Thus, the graphs show the information given to us by the State at the time of the water tests data CD and do not reflect changes in standards since the time these tests were provided to Skywatch in 2006 and 2007. Please be advised that the MCL and other standards may change each year. Thus, standards in one year may not be the standards that are adopted for the following year.
I have placed some of the Marin County Municipal Water District Annual Water Quality Reports Online below for your information. Please note that it appears that these few denoted water test results are in summary form and the actual dates of times of their test results showing a positive sample reading are not given in this summary.
Please note that every Marin MWD Annual Report since 2008 gives their water users the following warning:
SPECIAL NOTICE for IMMUNO-COMPROMISED PERSONS
"...Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791)..."
It should be noted for the public record that physicians and pharmacists are not advised about the source of their patients drinking water. Patients get drinking water from a wide variety of sources such as muncipal water districts, bottled water, private companies who supply bottled water, private wells (that have no water treatment and are subject to few if any drinking water tests), and other sources.
If contaminants are found in public drinking water supplies the vast majority of physicians do not receive any special notices from drinking water companies letting them know that certain contaminants are found in drinking water in their area. Also physicians are not experts in the health effects of drinking water contaminants on their patients unless this is the field of their expertise. Since physicians may not know the source of the drinking water that their patients use it would be almost impossible for them to be able to make any determination about the impacts of drinking water contaminants with regard to their patients or to the medications they may prescribe for those patients.
(Water treatment may not take all contaminants out of drinking water. Arsenic, for example, in drinking water is extremely expensive to remove and requires specialized treatment methods. Thus, many water districts may not have the money to purchase such equipment. Please note that the standards for bottled water are not as stringent as those for municipal water districts at this time. Home water filters may or may not remove all contaminants and may vary in the type of contaminants they remove.)
Please note that California Skywatch has ordered a new water quality test CD from the California State Department of Health. When this CD arrives we will put up the exact spreadsheet data from their CD below for every drinking water test taken in Marin County. The reason that Skywatch graphed the previous data, some of which is shown below, is that it is easier to read in graph form than by sorting through hundreds of pages of spreadsheets. However, since the graphing program and the graphs below have been called into question by the Marin County Municipal Water District - Skywatch has decided to put the exact spreadsheet data on this section straight from the California State Department of Health Drinking Water Division. This data should be online by January 20, 2011.
This spreadsheet data will cover a period of time from the 1980s through 2010. And it will show the exact test results from every public drinking water source in Marin County, California. If a chemical was taken the result of that test even if -0- is recorded by date, name of public utility (etc.), time of sample test, chemical name, and other information will be provided.
This information is provided in order for the public to be able to determine which contaminants are being found in their drinking water supplies. With this information the public can visit the California EPA Website, type in the name of the chemical in the search engine and have the latest information on the health effects, allowable contaminant levels in drinking water, if this chemical contaminant is a carcinogen, and other information.
Contaminants in drinking water can be caused by a variety of conditions, from chemical factories, air pollution sources, use of perscription drugs, backyard and agriculture burning, and other methods and sources of contamination. Skywatch does not know the source of the pollutants in any drinking water or soil samples other than what has been reported by the California EPA or in the news media reports of contamination problems.
We do know from NASA, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy studies and information that they are conducting upper atmospheric tests using rockets or the space shuttles. The chemicals they are using, like aluminum oxide, barium, magnesium, trimethylaluminum, strontium, SF6, and other chemicals for their tests and studies are provided in the documents on this website and also on the NASA website. We also document that the military uses tons of aluminum coated fiberglass or Chaff each year. Chaff particles float in the air up to twenty hours and then fall to the ground. The above chemicals (along with many others), and particles do return to the ground polluting our water and changing the pH of both water and soil. Airborne pollutants from factories, jet and rocket fuel emissions may impact human health, water supplies, and crop production (See EPA Studies).
(NOTE: THE GRAPHS BELOW HAVE ONE ERROR WHICH WAS MISSED WHEN WE ORGINALLY PUT OUR GRAPHING PROGRAM ONLINE. The California State Department of Health Services, Drinking Water Divsion was listed in the graphing progam incorrectly as: California Department of Health Sciences.)
California Department of Public Health - Drinking Water Program
California Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Schedule Notification documents
All California drinking water quality analyses data are available to download at the
California State Department of Health
EPA & California Department of Toxic Substances Control Final Report on Mercury August 2002
Note: Energy Efficient Light Bulb Hazards include Mercury, Arsenic, Lead & Possible PCBs in older ballasts.
See California EPA Website for more information: http://www.calepa.ca.gov
California State Department of Health - Drinking Water Division - State of California
Lists of Public Drinking Water Tests for your County between January 1, 2011 and November 15, 2011
Is new form of pesticide to blame for catastrophic decline in honey bees?
US study shows latest nicotine-based sprays attack insects' immune systems:
By Tamara Cohen
Last updated at 8:07 PM on 29th January 2012
"...A new generation of pesticides may be to blame for the catastrophic decline in Britain’s honey bees. The contain chemicals, routinely used on farms and in garden centres make bees more vulnerable to disease, a study has shown. There have been concerns for some years about neonicotinoids, a family of chemicals based on nicotine, but a study by an expert based in the US finally confirms a link..." Other information about honey bees: http://www.bouldercountybeekeepers.org/toms-corner/
Live Well With Cantwell WCGH 1490 Radio-Connecticut February 7, 2012 Audio Podcast
The Increasing use of 2,4-D in Agriculture, in Drinking Water Sources to Control Aquatic Weeds, Along Roadways, and in Forest Lands to Kill unwanted Trees & Plants. Pauline's Guests: Rosalind Peterson & Author Carol Van Strum provides information on this usage, public health impacts, and deadlines for Public Comment.
DAS-40278-9 Corn: For Public Comment
U.S.D.A APHIS is also making available today a PPRA and a draft EA to address a request from Dow, Inc. seeking a determination of nonregulated status of its DAS-40278-9 corn. This corn has been genetically engineered to provide tolerance to 2,4-D and aryloxyphenoxypropionate (AOPP) acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase) inhibitors, also known as “fop” herbicides. DAS-40278-9 corn has been field tested in the major corn growing regions of the continental United States as well as Hawaii. APHIS’ risk assessment indicates that DAS-40278-9 corn is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. APHIS is making available for public comment the Dow petition for nonregulated status, APHIS’ PPRA and draft EA. These documents can be found at:
The public comment period will close on Feb. 27, 2012.
See Other Biotechnology Regulatory Actions (Genetically Modified Crops) below and their U.S.D.A. Deadlines.