Breaking News
April 24, 2019 - Study finds involuntary staying in housing estates to be a potential health risk
April 24, 2019 - Older kidney disease patients starting dialysis die at higher rates than previously thought
April 24, 2019 - Time-restricted eating shows promise for controlling blood glucose levels
April 24, 2019 - Research provides important insight on the brain-body connection
April 24, 2019 - In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care
April 24, 2019 - Researchers study how E. coli clones have become major cause of drug-resistant infections
April 24, 2019 - Bacterial and fungal toxins found in popular electronic cigarettes
April 24, 2019 - Texting helps improve medication adherence, health outcomes for patients with schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Cochrane Review looks at different ways to use nicotine replacement therapies
April 24, 2019 - New review on relationship between COPD and Type 2 diabetes
April 24, 2019 - Brain areas linked to memory and emotion aid odor navigation in humans
April 24, 2019 - Brain stimulation reverses age-related memory loss
April 24, 2019 - Amid Opioid Prescriber Crackdown, Health Officials Reach Out To Pain Patients
April 24, 2019 - $4 million NIH award will help establish UCI Skin Biology Resource-based Center
April 24, 2019 - Cancer drugs reprogram genes in breast tumors to prevent endocrine resistance, finds study
April 24, 2019 - Combination-imaging technique provides new window into macaque brain connections
April 24, 2019 - Researchers identify new allergen responsible for allergy to durum wheat
April 24, 2019 - Researchers define role of rare, influential cells in the bone marrow
April 24, 2019 - DNA rearrangement may predict poor outcomes in multiple myeloma
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis
April 24, 2019 - Combination therapy might be beneficial in schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Blood test can help match cancer patients to early phase clinical trials
April 24, 2019 - Women tend to underreport snoring and underestimate its loudness
April 24, 2019 - Comprehensive molecular test introduced for diagnosis of malaria caused by P. vivax parasites
April 24, 2019 - New range prediction approach increases accuracy, safety and tolerability of proton therapy
April 24, 2019 - Need for Sedation Up for Regular Cannabis Users
April 24, 2019 - Lack of access to antibiotics is a major global health challenge
April 24, 2019 - New study provides better understanding on safety of deworming programs
April 24, 2019 - EEG used to detect impact of maternal stress on neurodevelopment in 2-month-old infants
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray Against Opioid Overdose
April 24, 2019 - A new way of finding compounds that prevent aging
April 24, 2019 - Mechanical training makes synthetic hydrogels perform more like muscle
April 24, 2019 - Study provides new insights into regulatory T cells’ role in protecting against autoimmune disease
April 24, 2019 - Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of preterm birth
April 24, 2019 - ‘Tummy tuck’ can be safely performed in obese patients with no increase in complications
April 23, 2019 - ‘First’ 3-D print of heart with human tissue, vessels unveiled
April 23, 2019 - Which blood-based method works best to detect TB?
April 23, 2019 - Gene therapy cures infants suffering from ‘bubble boy’ immune disease
April 23, 2019 - Chemical-sampling wristbands detect similar exposures across three continents
April 23, 2019 - Management of Residual Limb Pain
April 23, 2019 - Molecular clock influences immune cell responses
April 23, 2019 - On the importance of culture, partnerships and diversity at the Dean’s Lecture Series
April 23, 2019 - Siddhartha Mukherjee Receives Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science
April 23, 2019 - Dengue mosquito poses greatest danger of spreading Zika virus in Australia
April 23, 2019 - Scientists identify 104 high-risk genes for schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - Abdominal etching can help patients to get classic ‘six-pack abs’ physique
April 23, 2019 - Alvogen Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Fentanyl Transdermal System Due to Product Mislabeling
April 23, 2019 - Skype hypnotherapy is effective treatment for IBS
April 23, 2019 - The future hope of “flash” radiation cancer therapy
April 23, 2019 - Bicycling, Recycling, and Beyond: Public Safety to Host Shred Fest and Bike-to-Campus Day 
April 23, 2019 - Skipping breakfast linked with increased risk of death from heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Neuroscientists propose new theory about amyloid precursor protein connection in Alzheimer’s
April 23, 2019 - Mediterranean diet protects against overeating and obesity
April 23, 2019 - NUS scientists uncover novel biomarkers linked with ‘chemobrain’
April 23, 2019 - Novel ECCITE-seq technique expands multimodal single cell analysis
April 23, 2019 - Half of all American workplaces offer health and wellness programs
April 23, 2019 - Hypnosis may offer a genuine alternative to painkillers
April 23, 2019 - Sleep loss greatly interferes with job performance
April 23, 2019 - Study shows how elderberry fruit can help fight against influenza
April 23, 2019 - Parkinson’s sufferers regain mobility with new implant
April 23, 2019 - Perinatal Complications Tied to Childhood Social Anxiety
April 23, 2019 - Research reveals how immune cells help tumors escape body’s defenses
April 23, 2019 - UAB receives $17 million grant to explore immune cells in inaccessible tissues of the human body
April 23, 2019 - Opening blocked arteries may be lifesaver for older heart attack patients
April 23, 2019 - Yposkesi chairman to speak on ‘Manufacturing and the CDMO Perspective’ at Cell and Gene Meeting
April 23, 2019 - Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats, Cheeses in 4 States
April 23, 2019 - Scientists find another way HIV can hide from vaccines
April 23, 2019 - Improved WIC food packages reduced obesity risk for children, study finds
April 23, 2019 - EU ban on ‘meaty’ names for veggie food products would affect public sector
April 23, 2019 - KNAUER self-tests gender pay gap one month after Equal Pay Day
April 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study reports overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - New approach to repair defects in fetal membranes could prevent life-long medical conditions
April 23, 2019 - Reviving the heart’s regenerative capacities using microRNAs
April 23, 2019 - New pediatric blood pressure guidelines can better predict kids at higher risk of heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Second HIV remission patient rekindles cure hope
April 23, 2019 - Sparse Treatment Options Complicate Cancer Care For Immigrants In South Texas
April 23, 2019 - Hole-forming protein could help control cancer growth
April 23, 2019 - Study examines factors associated with low use of hearing aids among older Hispanic/Latino adults
April 23, 2019 - Changes to Medicare rules could support care innovation for dialysis
April 23, 2019 - Cancer patients requiring emergency department care have better outcomes at original hospital
Researchers examine how spray from showers and toilets expose us to disease causing bacteria

Researchers examine how spray from showers and toilets expose us to disease causing bacteria

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

“Don’t drink the water” might be good enough advice to keep you from getting sick in some places, but according to researchers from Arizona State and Drexel University, the admonition should probably be expanded to “…try not to breathe the water either.” In research recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the group takes a closer look at how the spray from showers, sinks and toilets can expose us to the bacteria responsible for the most waterborne disease outbreaks in the country.

“Most people in the United States think we have a handle on our water quality problems and drinking water isn’t something we need to worry about anymore. If anything, the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and frequent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks across the nation have demonstrated that’s not the case,” said Kerry Hamilton, PhD, an assistant professor in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University and former doctoral researcher at Drexel, who led the investigation into how the Legionella pneumophila bacteria can grow and spread in indoor water supplies.

Legionella, the bacteria that causes pneumonia-like Legionnaire’s disease, has been responsible for a number of recent outbreaks and can be fatal in 10-25 percent of infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it is considered one of the deadliest waterborne diseases in the United States, it is actually contracted via inhalation or aspiration. This means to accurately understand environments that could increase one’s risk of exposure, researchers need to examine places where people are exposed to water in the air.

“To protect people from infections, we first need to understand the risks,” Hamilton said. “If we can better model and predict how water quality degrades under different circumstances, we can more efficiently target resources and prevent disease outbreaks.”

The research considered a variety of factors to assess risk of exposure – from any combination of showering, using a sink or flushing a toilet – using water with a range of bacterial concentrations. It also took into consideration that older people or people who already have a health condition are at greater risk of becoming ill from Legionella exposure. And it is one of the first studies to closely examine how water-efficient fixtures, in a green building for example, can affect risks.

“We found that shower risks were highest, likely due to the amount of time a person would be exposed to the water spray. Risk of exposure from water efficient fixtures tended to be slightly less if concentrations are comparable to those at conventional water fixtures, because they produce fewer inhalable aerosol particles due to a less powerful or more distributed spray,” said Charles Haas, PhD, LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering in Drexel’s College of Engineering, who was a co-author of the paper. “However, modeling differences in Legionella concentrations in conventional and water efficient buildings remains a research gap our related work aims to address.”

As one might expect, risk is greater when exposure from multiple sources is considered or when it is adjusted for populations that are less able to fight off infection.

The researchers created their assessment using available data on aerosol particle volume, size and spray for a variety of showers, faucets, and toilets.

While the study focuses specifically on Legionella pneumophila bacteria, it sets a framework for assessing the risk of being exposed to any bacteria lurking in indoor water sources. Thus, it could be used more broadly to guide prescriptions for “acceptable levels” of bacteria in building water systems.

This is an understudied area of water quality, according to Hamilton, because the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory responsibility ends at the property line. So most existing indoor water quality guidelines are not based on risk assessment research.

But that doesn’t mean Legionella can’t make its way into household water supplies. In homes with particularly elaborate systems or where water can rest or stagnate for long periods of time, such as seasonal homes or new homes designed for water efficiency, Legionella colonies can form.

“There are many guidelines in the literature about how to create a ‘cutoff’ value, but none are based on technical reasoning,” Hamilton said. “Most of the guidelines are based on what people are doing in practice. Our research simulates an appropriate concentration limit based on a risk level that is consistent with other water quality policies in order to give better guidance for monitoring water quality in buildings.”

Source:

https://drexel.edu/now/archive/2019/January/indoor-breathing-water/

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles