Official cause of the water contamination in Blades remains a mystery

Officials with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) were on hand Thursday night in Blades for a public meeting to provide an update on the areas water supply that was found to be contaminated by perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).
While the town of Blades’ water was considered safe to consume, sampling of private wells in the vicinity was continuing, according to DNREC.
Of the 44 private wells sampled so far by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), three have returned PFCs above the EPA’s health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (70/ppt).
Homeowners for all three wells were notified by DNREC and the Division of Public Health (DPH), and were provided with home carbon filtration systems for their water supply.
DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said plating facilities that operated in the area may have used PFCs; however, he declined to name which ones, and cited an ongoing investigation.
"So, from a cautious standpoint, we decided to test the wells in Blades and we got those results back on February 7th.
What I can tell you is we don’t know what caused it.
We know the sources, we just, from a targeting standpoint knew that plating operations tended historically to use PFCs in their operations."
Those filtration systems would be available to those residences both above, and just below, the EPA’s health advisory.
Both DNREC and DPH, in conjunction with the town of Blades, would continue to provide alternative water to any area residents who requested it.

Research unravels mysteries of mouthparts of butterflies

A study by Matthew Lehnert, Ph.D., assistant professor of biological sciences at Kent State Stark, shows that the method in which flies and butterflies ingest liquids into their own bodies for nourishment may be used as a model for delivering disease-fighting drugs to the human body.
Drug delivery systems are engineered technologies for the targeted delivery and/or controlled release of therapeutic agents.
This study also found that there is a limiting pore size from which each individual can feed — butterflies and flies with smaller mouthpart channels will be able to feed on liquids from smaller pores, which might have an advantage for the insects and more broadly for the ecosystem in case of a drought.
Lehnert, three of his Kent State Stark undergraduate student assistants and four other researchers found that flies, butterflies and moths (20 percent of all animals) use capillary action, or the movement of liquids seamlessly from one place to another, as the guiding principle when feeding on liquid films — their primary source of food.
An insect’s proboscis, a body part that allows them to drink liquids, acts like a highly-sophisticated sponge and straw that uses capillary action to send nectar or other liquids to the insect’s diges tive system.
In order to feed on nectar and other liquid films, natural selection has favored the evolution of specialized mouthparts in fluid-feeding insects.
In butterflies and flies, the mouthparts consist of a proboscis adapted for using capillary action to pull thin films of fluid from surfaces for subsequent feeding.
By copying this natural method, scientists say the mouthparts of flies and butterflies can serve as models for developing new devices for improved drug delivery systems.
Journal Reference: Matthew S. Lehnert, Andrew Bennett, Kristen E. Reiter, Patrick D. Gerard, Qi-Huo Wei, Miranda Byler, Huan Yan, Wah-Keat Lee.
ScienceDaily, 13 April 2017.