community sheet # 4 of Dr Ma9'i - Mariam Elias

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community sheet # 4 of Dr Ma9'i - Mariam Elias

Post by Shadi Jarrar on 6/5/2011, 4:37 pm

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Chemicals in water:
In addition to biological contaminants of water, chemicals can also contaminate water and cause a problem. Fluor, brome and any chemical which can be soluble in water is considered as an example of chemical contaminant of water.
Sources of chemical in water include: Industries, cities and agricultural activity which can reach water sources and if they are soluble they can be carried to the drinking water.

 Classification of chemicals in water:
1st group include toxic chemicals that can cause harm if they exceed certain level. they can be found in water in certain acceptable level that doesn’t cause harm so it doesn’t necessarily have to be zero although sometimes it is possible to be zero. According to the Jordanian standard of water, many of these toxic chemicals can be seen in water but at a certain level.
Lead, arsenic, mercury and chrome are examples of toxic chemicals that is present in the drinking water without any harmful effect since they are at an acceptable limit.

Sources of lead in water:
1. Gasoline; it was a major source that is declining now. Lead is added to gasoline as a catalyst to regulate burning inside the engine; otherwise, the burning will be in the form of explosion rather than regular smooth burning.
2. Pipes; original pipes that were used to carry water were made of lead because it doesn’t rust until they found that it is dangerous to do so.
3. Pesticides(rodenticides)
4. Paint; lead based paints can cause lead poising in children that is missed by the doctor.
5. Liquid batteries used in cars where cathode and anode are made out of lead are another source of lead in water through manufacturing and recycling these batteries.
6. water coolers are another source of lead in water because they are solidified from the inside using lead which is also used for the solidification of tins.
in our countries there is another source; not in water, and it is unique for this area which is wheat and the reason of having lead in this wheat is the use of R’ha which is an old roman technique that is consist of two huge stones between them an opining where the wheat is placed and a hand on the upper stone that is held in its place using lead. regarding contaminated wheat there was 3 main events two of them are mentioned here:
1. Jerusalem: 100’s of people(children and adult) had acute lead poisoning from bread through the use of this contaminated wheat.
2. Southern part of Cairo: 1000’s of people got sick also from the same event and this happened in the 90’s. any place that uses this technique may have this problem but doesn’t not involve water.
So, lead is found in: food,water and our bodies.

Medical concerns:
1. lead in kohl especially Arabic kohl used for children has high level of lead. In folk medicine, lead is used for two purposes:
a. Making the eyes look larger which is actually not true.
b. Place it with a piece of metal and tight it on the wet umbilicus to make it dry quickly without infection and they also use it to heal some wounds as well , and this technique is dangerous but it is used.
So, as a doctor you might notice that the child has a low level of intelligence because lead can cross the blood-brain barrier and it is chronic because lead is taken up by the human body similar to calcium which means that it is stored in the long bones. This problem is found in the third world countries.
2. In sever cases, the child might have a drop foot which is one of the unique presentation of lead in sever cases of toxication because it affects the prefiral nervous system also; it might affect vision and hearing.
So, a child in the 1st class and he can’t hear well and can’t see the blackboard must be examined, if nothing is found, lead level in blood must be examined which is usually missed by the doctor.

Sources of mercury in water:
1. Pesticides (fungicides).
2. Mercury is used to smooth manufactured leather “hats”. In the medical literature there is a saying “as mad as a hater” because mercury can cause madness through it’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier
In Minamata-Japan;during the 50’s, people where consuming a large amount of tuna and different kinds of fish and they started to have small, micro-retarded offspring because mercury was thrown by one of the industries into the sea and consumed by fish and reached people through eating that fishes. These people stopped eating fish for 10 years. Last year there was a warning in the United States and Brazil for the same problem which is having mercury in fish due to the addition of mercury to the soil in the Amazon regain to separate gold.
3. Thermometer
4. Detergent factors; one way to produce chlore is using a huge cell with cathode and anode filled with mercury and allow a current to pass through, then sodium chloride is added. The electrical current will make the sodium separate from the chlore, this chlore is used for the manufacturing of different kinds of detergents. This old technique is still used in Jordan causing a major problem where several children were severely intoxicated with mercury. In 1989 one of the huge slanders that is filled with chlorine ruptured and 2 tons of chloride were carried out in the form of a large cloud moving towards the people of Zarqa. People in that area started to feel tiried,unable to breath,tearing and choking.
Chlorine is one of the 1st chemicals used as a chemical warfare to kill soldiers. During
the siege period on Iraq, they didn’t allow them to have chlorine in the country because it can be used for 2 purposes; cleaning water and building of mas destructive “chemical” weapons.
in Jordan, mercury was disposed to the sewage water that reaches the Wastewater treatment plant which is surrounded by olive trees arises a problem of mercury in the olive oil of these trees.
So, mercury has different sources; industries, agricultural areas and certain types of paints but not so common as lead.
mercury can be found in 3 forms:
1. Organic; will cross the blood-brain barrier and cause madness.
2. Inorganic
3. Metallic
The inorganic and metallic have the ability to go to the kidney and cause kidney failure also, they affect teeth and gingiva so teeth will fall easily.
by human metabolism, organic mercury is converted to inorganic.

Sources of Nitrate in water:
It can come from certain types of fertilizers and cause methhemoglobinemia in which the hemoglobin will be in the reduced form while methemoglobin is higher than normal.Methemoglobin is an oxidized form of hemoglobin that has an increased affinity for oxygen,resulting in a reduced ability to release oxygen to tissues. lips and fingers will therefore look bluish in color and this problem is usually seen in agricultural areas. Children are more sensitive because their system is unable to remove methemoglobin like in adults.

Sources of Arsenic in water:
1. Herbicides; it was used as a chemical weapon by the Americans against the Vietnams during their war and it was called “morning orange”. The idea of it is to damage the green covers used for hiding.
2. Animal feed.
a one time exposure to arsenic can cause skin cancer called “rodent ulcer”. Arsenic can also cause cancer in the skin of liver and lung that can’t be demonstrated on animals but only in humans due to the difference in metabolism. Arsenic metabolism in humans produce activated materials and the byproducts of this metabolism is worse than the original compound and that’s why it can couses cancer in these different places.
arsenic was used for poisoning in the past, it kills without giving warning signs and it ends up in the nail and hair which are used for the diagnosis of arsenic poisoning.

uses of arsenic:
1. Arsenic makes the hair fall and it has been used in cosmetics to remove hair.
2. Used in industries to clean fur.
3. although it is a killer,there is 4 arsenic compounds that are used by farmers to add weight to the animals quickly. So animal feed represents a source of arsenic in water as mentioned above.
4. it is used as a coloring agent of glass “green colored glass”
5. paints might contain arsenic.
Napoleon was killed by the green paint of his cell where there is no ventilation.
Heavy metals used to color mugs from the inside. Putting hot or acidic drinks might dissolve these chemicals. So, it is better to drink from blain mugs. This habit was the reason of the fall of the roman empire where they used cups made of lead for wine so they started to die at early age.

2nd group of chemicals include those that interfere with the acceptability of water for drinking so they are not toxic chemicals.
Drinking water characteristics; no smell, no taste and colorless.
These chemicals include:
1. Salt; in Libya there was an intrusion of salt in the northern part of the country in the past to underground water from the Mediterranean so, the water become salty. That’s why they have the “great manmade river” that brings water from the southern part of Libya by huge pipes to the northern part.
people do taste salt in water if it was more than 250mg\L
2. Rust; sometimes people keep water in an iron container leading to bad color and taste of the water.
3. Sulfur; gives rotten eggs smell in water.
4. Chlore; it is added to kill germs but if it was used in high levels, it’ll gives bad taste while huge amounts of it is toxic.
5. Detergents; produce foam in water.
Algae in water (not chemical) gives bad taste. this happened in Jordan 10 years ago where the water contained high amount of algae and lead to a very bad taste of water especially in west Amman because this water was from lake Tiberius which was bad and the water stations were not capable of treating it.

The 3rd group includes chemicals that are beneficial in water but cause a problem if they exceed certain levels. These chemicals include:
1. fleur; small amount of it will protect the teeth from carries while increased amounts will cause “dental florosis”.
2. chlore;small amount is good while large amount start to do harm.
3. iodine;sertain amount is good while large amount will cause “goiter” and extra large amount will cause “overactive thyroid gland”.
in Lebanon;there is no enough amount of iodine in water so, they had “benign goiter”. This reduced amount of iodine in their water was treated by iodine replacement.
Syria and southern part of Jordan;people had brocken teeth edges due to increased level of fleur because fleur damages the bone. Caws that were raised near the industries where there is an increased level of fleur,they had florosis and were unable to stand because their bones were damaged and unable to carry their weight.
brome is not a part of this group because it is a toxic chemical that has no use in the body. so, it belong to the 1st group of this classification.

Thank you,
Miriam Elias
Shadi Jarrar
مشرف عام

عدد المساهمات : 997
النشاط : 12
تاريخ التسجيل : 2009-08-28
العمر : 26
الموقع : Amman-Jordan

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