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Water Contamination Footprints

Posted February 01, 2017 12:00 AM by Tourmaline

Most of us know what a carbon footprint is. Now, according to Chetan Pandit, Central Water Commission, Government of India, we should also be aware of our water contamination footprint. A water contamination footprint should be distinguished from a water footprint in that the first measures the amount of endocrine disruption caused by chemicals, whereas the latter is simply the amount of water that a person uses in their lifetime. (http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/water-contamination-footprint-paper-chetan-pandit)

Undergraduate students at Penn State, under Heather Gall, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering, developed an Excel formula sheet that calculates contamination levels from medications and personal care products. The goal of the project is to help people become aware of and reduce their impact on the environment, and maybe start using more plant-based products. (http://news.psu.edu/story/440170/2016/12/01/new-tool-helps-consumers-measure-their-emerging-contaminant-footprint)

According to the Penn State Extension Water Quality Website, many of the chemicals found in household products are endocrine disruptors, which damage aquatic life at trace levels. (http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/water-testing/pollutants/endocrine-disrupting-compounds-calculator/view)

The calculator can be downloaded at http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/water/drinking-water/water-testing/pollutants/endocrine-disrupting-compounds-calculator/view.

Chetan Pandit states in his article (cited in first paragraph) that most water campaigns are aimed at reducing the amount of water used. He believes that we must now become aware that the quality of water is just as important.

http://vetmed.illinois.edu/envirovet/2006/programdeveloped.html

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Guru
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#1

Re: Water Contamination Footprints

02/01/2017 12:56 PM

Stop drinking and stop breathing. Save the world.

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Guru
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#2

Re: Water Contamination Footprints

02/01/2017 1:41 PM

Pollution....all around. Sometimes up....sometimes down.....but....always around.

The Young Ones (TV series)

However water contamination is a very serious issue.

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Guru
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#3

Re: Water Contamination Footprints

02/02/2017 8:58 AM

So quit *itching about it and tell PSU to develop technology for the sewer plants to remove such contaminants. PSU has an engineering and a chemical research section, does it not? I've heard this same complaining for enough years now, that we should have a solution by now. To quit taking medications is not the answer - new technology to remove them from waste water is.

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#4
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Re: Water Contamination Footprints

02/02/2017 4:17 PM

PSU isn't the only university that should be doing the "hard research" to solve these issues. Howver, there are more important treatment issues that need to be addressed as well. Phosphates from runoff is a major worldwide water quality issue as an example.

I think university research should be much better targeted. That said, this effort appears to have been made by an Ass't Prof. at a PSU extension and could be useful as a "teaching tool" for other students I guess.

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