Health Notes

HEALTH NOTES

December 06, 2006

Health Department expands well testing

After finding traces of the metal thallium in well water at two sites on Route 3, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health plans to extend its well testing in Gambrills to about a half-mile beyond the B.B.S.S. Sand and Gravel Mine.

The levels of thallium did not exceed the Environmental Protection Agency's threshold contaminant level and do not present a public health risk, said Health Officer Frances B. Phillips.

"However," she said, "the Department of Health is expanding its testing to see if thallium and other constituents of fly ash are in groundwater farther downstream from the coal ash fill site."

The well water investigation in Gambrills began this fall after high levels of metals were found in the well water of one home on Summerfield Road. Some samples collected from wells along that road in October showed high levels of aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, manganese, thallium and sulfates. The Department of Health then expanded its investigation to wells in an additional area identified by Maryland Department of the Environment.

The substances that have been found in the well water samples are also found in fly ash.

While the Department of Health is working with the affected homeowners on how to reduce their exposure and protect their health, the MDE last week identified a larger geological area of 25 wells for a third round of testing. The Department of Health has begun notifying those well owners in the newly identified area and will provide free well water testing to them. Most properties surrounding the coal ash fill site use public water, which is tested regularly and meets EPA standards.

Information: 410-222-7189 or www.aahealth.org.

Medical center sets December activities

Baltimore Washington Medical Center will offer the following activities this month:

Tomorrow, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., free blood pressure screenings, main lobby of medical center, 301 Hospital Drive. 410-787- 4367.

Monday, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., prostate cancer support group meets, Tate Center, first-floor conference room. 410-553-8129.

Tuesday , 6 p.m., stroke support group meets. 410-787-4118.

Dec. 19, 11 a.m. to noon, Tate Cancer Center offers information on nutrition for cancer patients. Reservations. 410-553-8129.

Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Joslin Circle hosts a diabetes support group at the Joslin Diabetes Center, 300 Hospital Drive, Suite 223. 410-787-4940.

Information: 410-787-4367.

Hospital in need of blood donors

Anne Arundel Medical Center reports a critical shortage of all blood types, especially O-positive and A.

The blood bank is open for donations:

Mondays, 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8:15 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Fridays, 7:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

To donate, call 443-481-4215 to schedule an appointment.

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