Mid-West Records High Rate of Cryptosporidium Outbreaks

Cryptosporidium Outbreaks Midwest Region

Just as we learn that a serious outbreak of cryptosporidium has occurred on a local farm this month, April 2022, we are also learning from the Mid-West Department of Public Health that the region recorded 121 outbreaks in 2021 alone. This is three times higher than the previous year and now means the Mid-West has one of the highest rates of cryptosporidium outbreaks in Ireland. The Mid-West Dept of Public Health is advising members of the public, particularly those on or around farms and rural areas, to test and treat their water supplies if they are using well water, in order to reduce the risk of of cryptosporidium infection. They also advise people on or near farms, particularly dairy farms...

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High Nitrate Levels in Drinking Water Supplies

Farm Nitrates in Drinking Water

In a recent report, the Irish EPA has issued a warning that just under half of Irish rivers (47%), just under a quarter of groundwater (24%) and over one fifth of estuary and coastal waters (21%) have nitrogen levels that are too high. It noted that many of the rivers in south of Ireland including the counties of Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford are under pressure with excessive nitrogen caused by intensive farming, including intensive dairy farming and other agricultural activities. There are many private water wells in the intensive farming areas of these counties, particularly in the Golden Vale and Mid-West region, many of which could be affected by high nitrogen levels. To protect your family’s health and ensure...

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Cancer Linked to THM’s in Drinking Water

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Europe, have shown a link (by as much as 5%) to some bladder cancers by the use of chlorination for treating public drinking water in Ireland and some other European countries. In the research, chlorine is shown as being the most common chemical disinfectant used in the purification of surface water for drinking purposes. However, in the chlorination process, free chlorine reacts with organic compounds in the water which then creates byproducts including THM’s (Trihalomethanes), which are being associated with a bladder cancer risk. Countries showing the highest levels of bladder cancer cases linked to THM’s were Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Malta and Spain where chlorination is generally...

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EU Commission Water Contamination Case

In August last year, the EU Commission began an infringement case against Ireland for failure to ensure drinking water was safe for over 500,000 consumers from a chemical linked to cancer and other health issues. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Ireland for failing to fulfill its obligations under the EU Drinking Water Directive by allowing excessive levels of Trihalomethanes (THM) in some Irish drinking water supplies. According to the Commission, the Irish authorities had “not taken appropriate actions” to bring down the amount of THM in drinking water. The Commission is also pursuing the Irish state for failing to notify consumers of the health implications as required under the EU Directive. Read more..

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Microplastics Now Affecting Drinking Water Supplies

New research from the Irish EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) shows that micro-plastics are now entering Irish fresh water as well as seawater. Microplastics in the form of microbead scrubbers are present in some cosmetics and household cleaning products are starting to harm the Irish environment. The research was carried out by researchers in the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). It provides vital national level data and information on the environmental sources and risks posed by microplastics and plastic waste in general which has the potential to become microplastic over time. Consumers can help by checking the product labels of cosmetics, clothes and cleaners to see if they certify they are microplastic free. The...

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EPA Highlights E.coli Contamination in Private Wells

A new report from the Irish EPA claims that the lack of regular monitoring for E coli in Ireland is worrying as users may unwittingly be drinking poor quality water which could expose them to serious illness. This is particularly the case for people who are vulnerable, such as children, older people, or those with low immunity or underlying medical conditions. The report shows also that small private water wells have the worst E.coli contamination levels, much more so than public water supplies or privately-owned group water schemes. One of the safest ways to ensure safe drinking water from a private water well is to install a water filtration system. If you own or get your drinking water from a...

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Limerick Farms Use High Levels of MCPA Pesticide

Pesticides have been listed by the Irish EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as potentially dangerous pollutants that may pose a significant risk to the water environment throughout the Republic of Ireland. Although pesticides and herbicides are a very important tool used by farmers in modern agriculture, they also pose a threat to human and animal health due to off-site migration and their detrimental effects on surface water and groundwater quality. Furthermore, the introduction of new products using new formulas or new ingredients in the manufacture of pesticides could result in diffuse inputs of new pollutants into the environment and the resultant environmental consequences are barely understood. Computed data shows that MCPA, Glyphosate, Chlorothalonil, Mecoprop-P, Chlormequat and Mancozeb are the six most...

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