Top 3 Fat Burner Supplements [2020 List]
By Alex Middleton
Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?
Today we will review the three best fat burner supplements we can find in the market to help you decide which supplement to pick up and aid in your fat and weight loss journey.
Below are the three best products we could find in the market as of the moment, and the three we would be discussing in this article.
Top 3 Fat Burner Supplements:
1. PhenQ - Highest Quality Fat Burner
2. Instant Knockout - Best Thermogenic Fat Burner
3. Trimtone - Best Fat Burner Supplement for Women
We considered numerous factors when taking into account in choosing the best fat burner supplement in the market.
- Ingredients- One of the factors when choosing your fat burning supplement is the ingredients in each product. Take into account if the brand has the highest quality ingredients and contains no additives or harmful chemicals to avoid adverse side effects.
- Type- There are different kinds of fat burning supplements that target the various factors of weight loss.
- Suppresses your appetite-A factor in weight loss is your cravings and hunger. Fat burner supplements aim to keep you feeling full and stop you from caving into your cravings.
- Thermogenic Fat burning supplements- Metabolism is your body's way of reducing fats and burning calories. Increasing your body heat helps with the speed of your metabolism.
- Blocks fats- Multiple fat burning supplements block fat cells' production and burn your current fat cells in the process, aiding with weight loss.
- Supplements with no stimulants-If you are a person who is sensitive to caffeine, you might want to choose a supplement that has no stimulants to avoid caffeine side effects.
- Price- Another factor for choosing your fat burner supplement is the price, is the price of the product worth your money? Some brands can be quite expensive as well, not suitable if you are on a budget.
- Form-Fat burner supplements can come in different forms like capsules and pills, powders, and teas. Pick the one you are most comfortable with and the most convenient for you.
Best Fat Burner Supplements
Below is the list of fat burner supplements we recommend and the factors they cater to.
1. PhenQ - Highest Quality Fat Burner
PhenQ is a fat burner supplement made by Wolfson Berg. This fat burner supplement uses natural and organic ingredients that are efficient in weight loss, and their product is made in an FDA-approved facility, ensuring quality.
This supplement targets all five weight loss factors: fat burn, appetite suppression, stopping the creation of fats, increasing your energy levels, and boosting your mood. PhenQ is an excellent overall fat burning supplement for both men and women.
The ingredients in PhenQ are backed up by science and proven for their effectiveness in losing weight. They also provide a 60-day money-back guarantee, so don't be afraid to try out their product.
The recommended dosage for PhenQ is two capsules a day, and each bottle of PhenQ consists of sixty pills, lasting you for a month. They offer discounted packages and free shipping worldwide.
- Capsimax Powder
Capsimax Powder is ground up powder from chili peppers. Chili peppers are one of the ingredients that boost your body temperature, and the speed of your metabolism dramatically relies on your temperature. This effect gives your metabolism a boost.
- Chromium Picolinate
Research shows that Chromium Picolinate is a needed trace element that helps our body absorb the sugar and carbohydrates in our bloodstream, preventing insulin spikes and resistance. This effect helps suppress your appetite and keep your cravings in control.
Keeping your cravings in control helps keep you stick to your diet more consistently.
Many fat burner supplements use caffeine as their ingredient because of its fat-burning properties, increasing your body temperature. Aside from this, Caffeine helps give that energy you need during exercise.
Research shows that Nopal, a plant from Mexico's country, is efficient in reducing fat and stopping new fats' absorption because of its high fiber content. This effect prevents the retention of water in your body, which is responsible for water weight.
- L-carnitine Fumarate
This ingredient is an amino acid that is essential for burning fat and losing weight. L-carnitine Fumarate also boosts your energy levels, giving you the endurance and strength you need when participating in a calorie-deficit diet.
Is PhenQ Effective?
PhenQ's effectiveness is because it targets the five factors of weight loss: fat burn, keeping you feeling full, increasing your metabolism, and giving you that energy and endurance you need during a diet.
By targeting these factors, you would keep to your diet more consistently and help you speed up your weight loss journey. Aside from this, PhenQ only uses natural ingredients that have been proven to be effective in weight loss. They also manufacture their supplement in an FDA-approved facility, ensuring quality.
Aside from targeting these factors, PhenQ also boosts your energy, preventing the fatigue you usually feel when participating in an extreme diet and exercise. This product also boosts your metabolism, burning more calories per day.
And lastly, the reason for PhenQ's effectiveness is its ability to burn fat while preventing the production of new fat cells. This effect prevents weight gain and speeds up your weight loss journey.
- Stop the formation of new fat cells
- Speeds up your metabolism
- Burn current fat cells
- Reduce your weight
- Give increased energy
- Boosts your mood
- May reduce the risk of insulin resistance
- Full money refund for 60 days
- Includes free shipping
- Produced in an FDA-approved facility
- Natural and scientifically proven ingredients
- Has caffeine content not suitable for people sensitive to caffeine
- Only available on their Official Website
2. Instant Knockout - Best Fat Burner for Cutting
If you are a person who has tried all the diets and extreme exercises and still struggle to lose weight, Instant Knockout may be the fat burner supplement for you. This supplement helps increase your body temperature, speeding up your metabolism.
Aside from this, Instant Knockout uses a formula that athletes and MMA fighters use to lose weight before their matches. So, you can be sure that the formula is effective in boosting your fat loss journey.
This supplement is usually used by MMA fighters and athletes to help with cutting cycles, which is the cycle where athletes participate in a calorie-deficit diet to reduce the fat levels in your body.
You must intake four capsules a day to ensure its effectiveness, one in the morning, another before taking your lunch, another in the afternoon, and lastly, before taking your dinner. This procedure ensures the supplement is effective and promotes muscle growth.
- Green Tea Extract (500 mg)
Green tea has numerous health benefits and is in many Asian countries' diets for centuries. The ingredient helps in reducing weight and burning fat because of its natural caffeine content. Aside from this, it is a natural antioxidant and helps detoxify your gut.
- Cayenne Pepper seeds (100 mg)
Research shows that Cayenne pepper increases your body temperature, which is essential in speeding up your metabolism every day. There is no hint of spiciness in the supplement but rest assured that you will still receive its fat-burning properties.
- Glucomannan (1800 mg)
Research shows that Glucomannan is an excellent appetite suppressant that helps reduce your cravings and appetite. This factor helps you fight against your cravings and stick to your diet in the long run.
- Caffeine Anhydrous (300 mg)
Instant Knockout also includes caffeine content to help burn your fats and boost your weight loss journey. Aside from this, caffeine gives you the focus you need when you are doing a diet because a calorie-deficit diet gives you that sluggish feeling.
- Vitamin B6 (5 mg)
Research shows that this vitamin is essential for forming new muscles and reducing weight and burning calories even at rest. This vitamin helps improve your metabolism and give you strength for workouts.
- Vitamin B12 (10 mcg)
Instant Knockout contains Vitamin B12, which is essential for increasing your energy levels and reducing weight. This vitamin helps transform the calories you consume into energy, giving you strength, and boosting your mood.
- GTF Chromium (100 mcg)
Research shows that people are not putting enough GTF Chromium in their diet, which contains numerous vitamins and minerals that help speed up your metabolism and improve your overall mood.
- Zinc (10 mg)
Research shows that zinc is an essential element that increases the body's testosterone levels. Testosterone is a crucial hormone that promotes the growth of muscles and reduces fat. Zinc also helps manage the glucose in your bloodstream, preventing insulin spikes.
Zinc also prevents inflammation and the effects of aging and degeneration. This ingredient also helps improve your immune system, helping you fight numerous illnesses and diseases.
- Piperine (10 mg)
Piperine is a bioactive compound commonly found in black pepper. This compound prevents the production of new fat cells and stops the absorption of fat. This ingredient also helps increase your metabolism.
Piperine also has other multiple benefits like reducing inflammation, improving your gut health, and stopping nausea. This ingredient also helps with poor digestion and prevents constipation.
- Green Coffee Bean (100 mg)
Research shows that Green Coffee has numerous health benefits, including reducing cholesterol buildup in your body, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks. Aside from that, green coffee gives you the energy and endurance for your extreme diet and exercises.
This ingredient helps reduce the risk of cancer and other kidney diseases as well, including fatty liver disease, because it is a natural antioxidant that helps flush out harmful toxins out of your body.
Is Instant Knockout Effective?
Instant Knockout is effective because it uses a formula and blends that athletes use to lose weight and fat levels in their bodies before their matches. It contains ingredients that not only promote weight loss but stop the production of new fat cells.
Aside from this, Instant Knockout targets your basal body temperature and increases its heat to promote and speed up your metabolism. This procedure helps you burn off calories and fat even when you are resting.
Rest assured that Instant Knockout is effective because they use a formula and blend of ingredients for cutting cycles. The components of Instant knockout have been proven by science for their effectiveness in weight loss.
Instant knockout also helps prevent multiple illnesses and diseases by reducing your risk for certain conditions like cancer and heart diseases. This supplement is effective in reducing your cholesterol and cleansing your gut to flush out toxins.
Instant Knockout also contains high caffeine content that may not be advisable for people who have a caffeine sensitivity, but this gives your energy levels an extreme boost and fights off the sluggish feeling and fatigue you feel during workouts.
- Improve your slow metabolism
- Promote and increase muscle mass
- Reduce muscle loss
- Keeps you satiated
- May help manage blood sugar levels
- Increased strength
- Prevent the formation of new fat cells
- Used by athletes
- No shipping fees
- Full money refund for 90 days
- Needs to intake four capsules a day
- High caffeine content
- Only available on their Official Website
3. Trimtone - Best Fat Burner Supplement for Women
Trimtone is a fat burner supplement aimed towards women. It uses thermogenesis, a procedure where your body turns fat into usable energy and increases your metabolism's speed.
Aside from this, Trimtone helps keep you feeling full to help you fight against your cravings and hunger, helping you stick to your diet more consistently. This supplement also requires only one capsule a day to work. Take one capsule before your breakfast and intake the pill with water.
Trimtone also has the highest days of the money-back guarantee, where they offer 100 days money-back guarantee, ensuring your confidence in their product.
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps you gain energy and focus and is essential for getting the needed endurance and strength for extreme exercises. Aside from this, caffeine is known to increase your body temperature, speeding up your metabolism, and promoting weight loss.
- Caffeine also helps improve your focus, keeping you focused for the whole day, keeping up with your workouts and daily tasks.
- Green Coffee Bean
Green Coffee Bean reduces your overall fat content in your body and promotes focus and energy throughout the day. This ingredient reduces your weight and boosts your metabolism because of its caffeine content; it also helps lower insulin levels, preventing Type 2 diabetes.
- Green Tea Extract
Research shows that Green Tea has natural anti-obesity properties that help reduce and prevent obesity by inducing fat burn and weight loss. This ingredient also helps clean your colon and to avoid inflammation.
- Grains of Paradise
Grains of Paradise is an herb that helps increase your body's internal temperature, speeding up your metabolism, and boosting your energy levels. This ingredient also manages your blood glucose levels, fighting your pesky cravings and keeping you energetic throughout the day.
Glucomannan is an excellent type of konjac plant that helps keep your hunger at bay. This ingredient contains high fiber content, helping you feel full throughout the day and stop you from overeating.
Glucomannan is also an excellent laxative which helps regulate your bowel movements, improving gut health, and preventing poor digestion. This ingredient also helps regulate blood glucose levels and reduce cholesterol buildup.
Is Trimtone Effective?
Trimtone aims to burn fat and promote weight loss by inducing brown fat production in women, regulating blood sugar, and generating body heat. These effects help prevent insulin spikes, which is the cause of cravings and hunger.
Generating body heat also speeds up your metabolism and burns calories, even at rest. Trimtone also requires only one capsule in the morning before breakfast to take effect, perfect for busy people who don't have much time.
Trimtone does not contain a lot of caffeine compared to other supplements on this list. Aside from this, Trimtone has the most extended money-back guarantee where they give you a full refund for 100 days if you dislike their product.
Trimtone is effective for women because research shows that women lack brown fat compared to men. Brown fat is a healthy kind of fat that helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevent insulin spikes, which are responsible for hunger.
This supplement also provides discounted packages that include free bottles and free shipping, giving you the best quality product for your money.
- Promotes healthy brown fat
- Speeds up your metabolism
- May help lower blood sugar levels, preventing insulin spikes
- Gives you energy and strength
- Promote weight loss
- Help keep your appetite and hunger at bay.
- Burn pesky fat
- Reduces cholesterol
- Only one capsule needed a day
- Full money refund for 100 days
- Suitable for women
- Free shipping
- GMP Certified
- Packages and discounts
- Has caffeine content
- Only available on their Official Website
Why Are Fat Burner Supplements Effective?
Fat burner supplements help promote weight loss by targeting the five factors that are essential for weight loss.
These factors are:
- Keeping you feeling full and satiated to fight your cravings and hunger
- Increasing your body heat to speed up your metabolism
- Burn fats and preventing the production of new fat cells
- Boost your energy levels to stop the fatigue coming from extreme diets
- Regulate hormones that promote weight loss and improve your mood
These factors help boost and speed up your weight loss journey. However, to get the most out of them and see your desired results, a healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial to achieving your goals.
These supplements are only stepping stones that help guide you to the right path, boosting your body's ability to burn fat and increase your metabolism. Aside from this, fat burner supplements prevent the absorption of fat to your body.
Most Fat burner supplements also help to give you the needed energy levels for workouts and diets. Participating in a calorie-deficit diet and extreme activities can cause you to feel lethargic and experience fatigue. These supplements supply the energy you need and increase your endurance and strength.
Aside from the fatigue, workouts can cause your mood to drop and increase your irritability as well. These supplements help boost your mood and calm you down, reducing the stress and anxiety you feel throughout the day.
The best fat burning supplements are the ones who target multiple factors and promote numerous health benefits that can aid in your weight loss and overall body health, giving the most optimal results.
Who Are Fat Burning Supplements For?
If you are a person who has tried all the extreme diets and participates in intense exercises every day and still see no results, fat burning supplements may aid you. These supplements optimize the result you get from weight loss programs.
Aside from this, fat burner supplements target the speed of your metabolism and ability to burn fat, making it perfect for people who have a slow metabolism and having trouble losing those pesky fats in your body.
Fat burning supplements also help keep you feeling full and prevent insulin spikes, which are the reason for your cravings and hunger. This effect is perfect for people who have bad eating habits and would like to stick to their diet more.
Most fat burner supplements are suitable for both men and women, but other supplements can boost testosterone production and are more suitable for men than women because of the hormones.
However, fat burner supplements can contain caffeine and may not be suitable for people who are sensitive to caffeine and can disrupt your regular sleep cycles. To avoid this effect, take your supplement a few hours before bedtime or as prescribed.
Lastly, any person who would like to lose weight or even just maintain their current weight can take fat burner supplements to boost their weight loss journey. Even if you are just an average person or a sporty athlete, fat burner supplements cater to everyone.
However, if you have underlying medical conditions, under the age of 18 or currently pregnant or breastfeeding, kindly check with your doctor before adding the supplement to your diet.
How to Get Optimized Results When Using Fat Burner Supplements?
As previously discussed, fat burner supplements are just boosters for your weight loss journey and should not be the main component of your weight loss.
Below are some factors you may consider to help with achieving your desired weight:
Ask Your Dietitian
An essential factor for optimized results when using fat burner supplements is asking for advice from a health professional. This method ensures that the fat burning supplement will be effective for you and prevent any adverse side effects.
Consulting your dietitian ensures that the supplement's ingredients do not interfere with your medications if you have underlying illnesses or conditions. Your dietitian can also plan and control the dosages as they see fit for your body type.
Always remember that your dietitian knows your body best, so ensure that you consult them first before adding the supplement to your diet.
Participate in A Weight Loss Regimen
Participating in a weight loss regimen helps you track the progress of your weight loss journey. Besides this, having a regimen enables you to keep your feet on the track, preventing you from straying away from your weight loss plan.
Creating a plan for the times you take your supplements is essential as well. Know the benefits your supplements give and time them correctly in your schedule. It is also crucial to follow the recommended dosage for each supplement carefully.
Supplements who excel in keeping you satiated is suitable for hours in between meals to help avoid your pesky cravings and insulin spikes, which is the leading cause of you not being able to stick to your diet.
Supplements who give you the energy boosts are perfect before your workout regimen to help you go through those intense workouts and give them extra strength. The caffeine content in most supplements helps give you focus as well.
And most importantly, always stick to your weight loss regimen to ensure you get the most optimal results.
Always Eat A Healthy and Balanced Diet
Getting your greens and sticking to a healthy and balanced diet is essential when trying to lose weight. You cannot lose weight if you keep eating unhealthy junk foods that contain a lot of calories.
Eating a calorie-deficit diet where you eat fewer calories than your body can burn is essential when losing weight. The most efficient way to achieve this is to eat veggies that have the low-calorie content.
Healthy greens and vegetables also contain high fiber content, which helps keep you satiated and feeling full for long periods. These vegetables also help prevent insulin spikes and control your blood glucose levels.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet helps with your weight loss journey. It also helps prevent certain illnesses and reduce risks of conditions like heart diseases and cancer, increasing when you are overweight or obese.
Workout Daily and Consistently
Consistent workout regimens are crucial to losing weight. Exercise helps keep your body active and moving, increasing your thermal temperature and naturally speeding up your metabolism.
A fast metabolism is essential in helping your body burn calories even at rest. Aside from this, it also helps promote muscle gain, significant for giving you strength and endurance for workouts, as well as improving your physique.
Daily workouts also help you burn the calories you consume daily and burn fats currently in your body. These factors further help you achieve your weight loss goal and reach your desired and target weight.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is key when it comes to losing weight. Sticking to your weight loss regimens and keeping up with a healthy and balanced diet is crucial if you would like to lose weight.
Do not cheat on your diets by giving in to your cravings and bad eating habits. It is crucial never to skip a workout session as well, to optimize your results and promote weight loss. Aside from these, always take your supplements daily as prescribed and never miss a dose.
Missing a dose, skipping workouts, and eating unhealthy meals not only hinders your weight loss journey but also slows down your progress. Doing these can even make you gain weight, making your progress useless.
Do Fat Burner Supplements Cause Any Adverse Side Effects?
We discussed the fat burner supplements in this article like Trimtone, Instant Knockout, and PhenQ. All of them use natural and organic ingredients that you can recognize easily and provide no adverse side effects.
However, not all fat burner supplements use organic ingredients and cause no adverse side effects. Always look into the product's ingredients to ensure it does not use any chemicals or additives that can cause side effects.
Some supplements may also contain hormonal boosters, which may not be suitable for another gender. Hormones that boosts testosterone may not be ideal for women and should choose supplements that cater to your gender instead.
If you are someone who is sensitive to caffeine, you might want to avoid supplements that contain high caffeine content. High caffeine content supplements can cause disruption on your regular sleeping schedule, causing insomnia.
People who have underlying medical conditions and illnesses and pregnant or breastfeeding women should also take caution when taking fat burner supplements and consult their physician before adding them to their diet.
And lastly, always check the ingredients in the product to ensure their effectiveness and make sure they are perfectly legal and cause no side effects. Natural fat burner supplements like the three brands we discussed are excellent because they only use organic ingredients that are effective in weight loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly are fat burning supplements?
Fat burning supplements are dietary supplements that help boost your body's ability to burn fat and promote weight loss. Most fat burning supplements target the factors that inhibit your body from losing weight.
These factors include the following:
- Speeding up your body's metabolism
- Suppressing your appetite and keeping you feeling satiated to prevent cravings
- Burning your body fat and preventing the production of new fat cells
- Giving you energy and strength for workouts
- Regulating your hormones to promote muscle growth and stop weight gain
Targeting these inhibitors help boost your weight loss journey and promote weight loss. Of course, these are just boosters, and you must still add daily exercise and participate in a healthy diet.
Do fat burner supplements work?
Fat burner supplements show weight loss results when paired with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. The supplements help burn fat, improve your metabolism, keep you feeling satiated, and prevent fatigue during workouts.
The supplements help speed up your weight loss journey by helping you stick to your diet and workout regimen more consistently. Aside from this, taking your supplements daily helps you burn more calories as well.
Are fat burners safe?
Fat burners are nutritional supplements that help promote weight loss. However, not all fat burner supplements in the market are safe. The three fat burner supplements we discussed are relatively safe for anyone to use.
These supplements use 100% organic ingredients, causing no adverse side effects. They do not have any additives or chemicals that may cause harmful effects on your body. To ensure that your fat burner supplement is safe, always research the brand's ingredients and see if it is safe and backed by scientific research.
How long until I see the results?
Each individual's body is different, and it is essential to take your supplements and follow their recommended dosages. Taking your supplement consistently is key to achieving optimized results.
Some people may see weight loss changes as early as the first week, while others may take longer than three weeks. Always use your fat burning supplements alongside a healthy diet and constant exercise.
Should I exercise?
Exercise is key to losing weight and burning off calories, and fat burner supplements are just boosters that help you achieve that weight loss goal. However, constant exercise while participating in a diet can be exhausting.
That is where fat burner supplements come in. These supplements help give you the energy you need and prevent the fatigue you feel after workout sessions. This effect enables you to get through those grueling workout sessions and burn more calories.
If you are a person who has tried all the extreme diet and workout regimens but still struggle to lose weight, our top pick for fat burning supplements such as PhenQ may be for you.
Fat burner supplements help boost your metabolism, increase your energy levels, and keep you feeling full, speeding up your weight loss journey.
However, before adding any supplement to your diet, always consult your dietitian to ensure you do not experience any health risks or issues.
By Frank La Sorte and Kyle Horton
Millions of birds travel between their breeding and wintering grounds during spring and autumn migration, creating one of the greatest spectacles of the natural world. These journeys often span incredible distances. For example, the Blackpoll warbler, which weighs less than half an ounce, may travel up to 1,500 miles between its nesting grounds in Canada and its wintering grounds in the Caribbean and South America.
Blackpoll warbler. PJTurgeon / Wikipedia<p>We used this information to determine how the number of migratory bird species varies based on each city's level of <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/light-pollution" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">light pollution</a> – brightening of the night sky caused by artificial light sources, such as buildings and streetlights. We also explored how species numbers vary based on the quantity of tree canopy cover and impervious surface, such as concrete and asphalt, within each city. Our findings show that cities can help migrating birds by planting more trees and reducing light pollution, especially during spring and autumn migration.</p>
Declining Bird Populations<p>Urban areas contain numerous dangers for migratory birds. The biggest threat is the risk of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-13-090.1" target="_blank">colliding with buildings or communication towers</a>. Many migratory bird populations have <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw1313" target="_blank">declined over the past 50 years</a>, and it is possible that light pollution from cities is contributing to these losses.</p><p>Scientists widely agree that light pollution can <a href="https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1708574114" target="_blank">severely disorient migratory birds</a> and make it hard for them to navigate. Studies have shown that birds will cluster around brightly lit structures, much like insects flying around a porch light at night. Cities are the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2029" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">primary source of light pollution for migratory birds</a>, and these species tend to be more abundant within cities <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.13792" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">during migration</a>, especially in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103892" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">city parks</a>.</p>
Composite image of the continental U.S. at night from satellite photos. NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The Power of Citizen Science<p>It's not easy to observe and document bird migration, especially for species that migrate at night. The main challenge is that many of these species are very small, which limits scientists' ability to use electronic tracking devices.</p><p>With the growth of the internet and other information technologies, new data resources are becoming available that are making it possible to overcome some of these challenges. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-07106-5" target="_blank">Citizen science initiatives</a> in which volunteers use online portals to enter their observations of the natural world have become an important resource for researchers.</p><p>One such initiative, <a href="https://ebird.org/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eBird</a>, allows bird-watchers around the globe to share their observations from any location and time. This has produced one of the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04632" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">largest ecological citizen-science databases in the world</a>. To date, eBird contains over 922 million bird observations compiled by over 617,000 participants.</p>
Light Pollution Both Attracts and Repels Migratory Birds<p>Migratory bird species have evolved to use certain migration routes and types of habitat, such as forests, grasslands or marshes. While humans may enjoy seeing migratory birds appear in urban areas, it's generally not good for bird populations. In addition to the many hazards that exist in urban areas, cities typically lack the food resources and cover that birds need during migration or when raising their young. As scientists, we're concerned when we see evidence that migratory birds are being drawn away from their traditional migration routes and natural habitats.</p><p>Through our analysis of eBird data, we found that cities contained the greatest numbers of migratory bird species during spring and autumn migration. Higher levels of light pollution were associated with more species during migration – evidence that light pollution attracts migratory birds to cities across the U.S. This is cause for concern, as it shows that the influence of light pollution on migratory behavior is strong enough to increase the number of species that would normally be found in urban areas.</p><p>In contrast, we found that higher levels of light pollution were associated with fewer migratory bird species during the summer and winter. This is likely due to the scarcity of suitable habitat in cities, such as large forest patches, in combination with the adverse affects of light pollution on bird behavior and health. In addition, during these seasons, migratory birds are active only during the day and their populations are largely stationary, creating few opportunities for light pollution to attract them to urban areas.</p>
Trees and Pavement<p>We found that tree canopy cover was associated with more migratory bird species during spring migration and the summer. Trees provide important habitat for migratory birds during migration and the breeding season, so the presence of trees can have a strong effect on the number of migratory bird species that occur in cities.</p><p>Finally, we found that higher levels of impervious surface were associated with more migratory bird species during the winter. This result is somewhat surprising. It could be a product of the <a href="https://www.epa.gov/heatislands" target="_blank">urban heat island effect</a> – the fact that structures and paved surfaces in cities absorb and reemit more of the sun's heat than natural surfaces. Replacing vegetation with buildings, roads and parking lots can therefore make cities significantly warmer than surrounding lands. This effect could reduce cold stress on birds and increase food resources, such as insect populations, during the winter.</p><p>Our research adds to our understanding of how conditions in cities can both help and hurt migratory bird populations. We hope that our findings will inform urban planning initiatives and strategies to reduce the harmful effects of cities on migratory birds through such measures as <a href="https://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/index.cfm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">planting more trees</a> and initiating <a href="https://aeroecolab.com/uslights" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">lights-out programs</a>. Efforts to make it easier for migratory birds to complete their incredible journeys will help maintain their populations into the future.</p><p><em><span style="background-color: initial;"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/frank-la-sorte-1191494" target="_blank">Frank La Sorte</a> is a r</span>esearch associate at the </em><em>Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University. <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyle-horton-1191498" target="_blank">Kyle Horton</a> is an assistant professor of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the Colorado State University.</em></p><p><em></em><em>Disclosure statement: Frank La Sorte receives funding from The Wolf Creek Charitable Foundation and the National Science Foundation (DBI-1939187). K</em><em>yle Horton does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/cities-can-help-migrating-birds-on-their-way-by-planting-more-trees-and-turning-lights-off-at-night-152573" target="_blank">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Lynne Peeples
Editor's note: This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, "Thirsting for Solutions," here.
In late September 2020, officials in Wrangell, Alaska, warned residents who were elderly, pregnant or had health problems to avoid drinking the city's tap water — unless they could filter it on their own.
Unintended Consequences<p>Chemists first discovered disinfection by-products in treated drinking water in the 1970s. The trihalomethanes they found, they determined, had resulted from the reaction of chlorine with natural organic matter. Since then, scientists have identified more than 700 additional disinfection by-products. "And those only represent a portion. We still don't know half of them," says Richardson, whose lab has identified hundreds of disinfection by-products. </p>
What’s Regulated and What’s Not?<p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently regulates 11 disinfection by-products — including a handful of trihalomethanes (THM) and haloacetic acids (HAA). While these represent only a small fraction of all disinfection by-products, EPA aims to use their presence to indicate the presence of other disinfection by-products. "The general idea is if you control THMs and HAAs, you implicitly or by default control everything else as well," says Korshin.</p><p>EPA also requires drinking water facilities to use techniques to reduce the concentration of organic materials before applying disinfectants, and regulates the quantity of disinfectants that systems use. These rules ultimately can help control levels of disinfection by-products in drinking water.</p>
Click the image for an interactive version of this chart on the Environmental Working Group website.<p>Still, some scientists and advocates argue that current regulations do not go far enough to protect the public. Many question whether the government is regulating the right disinfection by-products, and if water systems are doing enough to reduce disinfection by-products. EPA is now seeking public input as it considers potential revisions to regulations, including the possibility of regulating additional by-products. The agency held a <a href="https://www.epa.gov/dwsixyearreview/potential-revisions-microbial-and-disinfection-byproducts-rules" target="_blank">two-day public meeting</a> in October 2020 and plans to hold additional public meetings throughout 2021.</p><p>When EPA set regulations on disinfection by-products between the 1970s and early 2000s, the agency, as well as the scientific community, was primarily focused on by-products of reactions between organics and chlorine — historically the most common drinking water disinfectant. But the science has become increasingly clear that these chlorinated chemicals represent a fraction of the by-product problem.</p><p>For example, bromide or iodide can get caught up in the reaction, too. This is common where seawater penetrates a drinking water source. By itself, bromide is innocuous, says Korshin. "But it is extremely [reactive] with organics," he says. "As bromide levels increase with normal treatment, then concentrations of brominated disinfection by-products will increase quite rapidly."</p><p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15487777/" target="_blank">Emerging</a> <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.7b05440" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">data</a> indicate that brominated and iodinated by-products are potentially more harmful than the regulated by-products.</p><p>Almost half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, where saltwater intrusion can be a problem for drinking water supplies. "In the U.S., the rule of thumb is the closer to the sea, the more bromide you have," says Korshin, noting there are also places where bromide naturally leaches out from the soil. Still, some coastal areas tend to be spared. For example, the city of Seattle's water comes from the mountains, never making contact with seawater and tending to pick up minimal organic matter.</p><p>Hazardous disinfection by-products can also be an issue with desalination for drinking water. "As <a href="https://ensia.com/features/can-saltwater-quench-our-growing-thirst/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">desalination</a> practices become more economical, then the issue of controlling bromide becomes quite important," adds Korshin.</p>
Other Hot Spots<p>Coastal areas represent just one type of hot spot for disinfection by-products. Agricultural regions tend to send organic matter — such as fertilizer and animal waste — into waterways. Areas with warmer climates generally have higher levels of natural organic matter. And nearly any urban area can be prone to stormwater runoff or combined sewer overflows, which can contain rainwater as well as untreated human waste, industrial wastewater, hazardous materials and organic debris. These events are especially common along the East Coast, notes Sydney Evans, a science analyst with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG, a collaborator on <a href="https://ensia.com/ensia-collections/troubled-waters/" target="_blank">this reporting project</a>).</p><p>The only drinking water sources that might be altogether free of disinfection by-products, suggests Richardson, are private wells that are not treated with disinfectants. She used to drink water from her own well. "It was always cold, coming from great depth through clay and granite," she says. "It was fabulous."</p><p>Today, Richardson gets her water from a city system that uses chloramine.</p>
Toxic Treadmill<p>Most community water systems in the U.S. use chlorine for disinfection in their treatment plant. Because disinfectants are needed to prevent bacteria growth as the water travels to the homes at the ends of the distribution lines, sometimes a second round of disinfection is also added in the pipes.</p><p>Here, systems usually opt for either chlorine or chloramine. "Chloramination is more long-lasting and does not form as many disinfection by-products through the system," says Steve Via, director of federal relations at the American Water Works Association. "Some studies show that chloramination may be more protective against organisms that inhabit biofilms such as Legionella."</p>
Alternative Approaches<p>When he moved to the U.S. from Germany, Prasse says he immediately noticed the bad taste of the water. "You can taste the chlorine here. That's not the case in Germany," he says.</p><p>In his home country, water systems use chlorine — if at all — at lower concentrations and at the very end of treatment. In the Netherlands, <a href="https://dwes.copernicus.org/articles/2/1/2009/dwes-2-1-2009.pdf" target="_blank">chlorine isn't used at all</a> as the risks are considered to outweigh the benefits, says Prasse. He notes the challenge in making a convincing connection between exposure to low concentrations of disinfection by-products and health effects, such as cancer, that can occur decades later. In contrast, exposure to a pathogen can make someone sick very quickly.</p><p>But many countries in Europe have not waited for proof and have taken a precautionary approach to reduce potential risk. The emphasis there is on alternative approaches for primary disinfection such as ozone or <a href="https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/eco-friendly-way-disinfect-water-using-light/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ultraviolet light</a>. Reverse osmosis is among the "high-end" options, used to remove organic and inorganics from the water. While expensive, says Prasse, the method of forcing water through a semipermeable membrane is growing in popularity for systems that want to reuse wastewater for drinking water purposes.</p><p>Remucal notes that some treatment technologies may be good at removing a particular type of contaminant while being ineffective at removing another. "We need to think about the whole soup when we think about treatment," she says. What's more, Remucal explains, the mixture of contaminants may impact the body differently than any one chemical on its own. </p><p>Richardson's preferred treatment method is filtering the water with granulated activated carbon, followed by a low dose of chlorine.</p><p>Granulated activated carbon is essentially the same stuff that's in a household filter. (EWG recommends that consumers use a <a href="https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/reviewed-disinfection-byproducts.php#:~:text=EWG%20recommends%20using%20a%20home,as%20trihalomethanes%20and%20haloacetic%20acids." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">countertop carbon filter</a> to reduce levels of disinfection by-products.) While such a filter "would remove disinfection by-products after they're formed, in the plant they remove precursors before they form by-products," explains Richardson. She coauthored a <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.9b00023" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019 paper</a> that concluded the treatment method is effective in reducing a wide range of regulated and unregulated disinfection by-products.</p><br>
Greater Cincinnati Water Works installed a granulated activated carbon system in 1992, and is still one of relatively few full-scale plants that uses the technology. Courtesy of Greater Cincinnati Water Works.<p>Despite the technology and its benefits being known for decades, relatively few full-scale plants use granulated active carbon. They often cite its high cost, Richardson says. "They say that, but the city of Cincinnati [Ohio] has not gone bankrupt using it," she says. "So, I'm not buying that argument anymore."</p><p>Greater Cincinnati Water Works installed a granulated activated carbon system in 1992. On a video call in December, Jeff Swertfeger, the superintendent of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, poured grains of what looks like black sand out of a glass tube and into his hand. It was actually crushed coal that has been baked in a furnace. Under a microscope, each grain looks like a sponge, said Swertfeger. When water passes over the carbon grains, he explained, open tunnels and pores provide extensive surface area to absorb contaminants.</p><p>While the granulated activated carbon initially was installed to address chemical spills and other industrial contamination concerns in the Ohio River, Cincinnati's main drinking water source, Swertfeger notes that the substance has turned out to "remove a lot of other stuff, too," including <a href="https://ensia.com/features/drinking-water-contamination-pfas-health/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">PFAS</a> and disinfection by-product precursors.</p><p>"We use about one-third the amount of chlorine as we did before. It smells and tastes a lot better," he says. "The use of granulated activated carbon has resulted in lower disinfection by-products across the board."</p><p>Richardson is optimistic about being able to reduce risks from disinfection by-products in the future. "If we're smart, we can still kill those pathogens and lower our chemical disinfection by-product exposure at the same time," she says.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://ensia.com/features/drinking-water-disinfection-byproducts-pathogens/" target="_blank">Ensia</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649953730#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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