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Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ Disea

What's the cause?

  • Substandard water processing.

    Votes: 3 42.9%
  • People not cleaning spigets.

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Flawed study.

    Votes: 3 42.9%

  • Total voters
    7

grip

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Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ Disease « CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The data is scary: Nearly half of water faucets sampled across the United States tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

While the study was small — researchers only sampled 67 public and private water sources such as kitchen sinks and drinking fountains – it’s the first one to chart the presence of the potentially deadly bacteria in water taps.

According to the EPA, the organization that conducted the research, 32 taps contained the bacteria, and 11 of those contained it in multiple samples.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia that causes chills, fever, headache, a cough and more. It can be deadly.



Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.

Our food and water sources are NOT optimal, nor are they seriously making us ill. Or are they?
 

clownboy

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

There's not just one reason, depends upon the system at each problem location. Is it urban/rural? Makes quite a difference as to the possible causes of contamination. Generally though, I'd think it wouldn't be the water in this case but the delivery or dispensing device.

What's interesting is that the more these stories are passed around, the more people drink bottled water and stay away from the tap. That means less flouride and more tooth decay. Maybe it's the dentists spiking the water to drum up business. :mrgreen:
 

HonestJoe

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?
I doubt it. The actual study needs registration to access but if it had come close to even half suggesting anything like that, the "news" article would have been all over it (they went out and admitted that their interest is scaring rather than informing us - that gets more hits after all). You'd need a whole load more information about the previous prevalence of this bacterium to even start thinking about any kind of conclusion.

It is worth noting there are only a couple of thousand incidents of Legionnaires disease in the US each year so even if the bacterium is present in half of all taps it's clearly not the only relevant factor.

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.
I don't think Legionnaires disease is especially high on the list of public health concerns and I'm not convinced general sanitation of things like taps is a major issue either.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.
Again, it sounds like the intention was to scare rather than inform. If you try to get your scientific information from TV specials, you'll fail.
 

grip

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

I doubt it. The actual study needs registration to access but if it had come close to even half suggesting anything like that, the "news" article would have been all over it (they went out and admitted that their interest is scaring rather than informing us - that gets more hits after all). You'd need a whole load more information about the previous prevalence of this bacterium to even start thinking about any kind of conclusion.

It is worth noting there are only a couple of thousand incidents of Legionnaires disease in the US each year so even if the bacterium is present in half of all taps it's clearly not the only relevant factor.

I don't think Legionnaires disease is especially high on the list of public health concerns and I'm not convinced general sanitation of things like taps is a major issue either.

Again, it sounds like the intention was to scare rather than inform. If you try to get your scientific information from TV specials, you'll fail.

I know the Media likes to sensationalize, more than inform anymore. They're getting, so bad, you need a PhD in everything to cypher out the crappola.
 

joG

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ Disease « CBS Philly

Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.

Our food and water sources are NOT optimal, nor are they seriously making us ill. Or are they?

I think I'll risk it with my tap.
 

shrubnose

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

[/B]« CBS Philly





Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.

Our food and water sources are NOT optimal, nor are they seriously making us ill. Or are they?




The first thing that I noticed about this report is that it doesn't say that our faucets contain bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease.

It says that they may contain that bacteria.




I'm going to hold off on getting worried about this for now.
 

grip

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

I think I'll risk it with my tap.

The first thing that I noticed about this report is that it doesn't say that our faucets contain bacteria that causes Legionnaires Disease.

It says that they may contain that bacteria.




I'm going to hold off on getting worried about this for now.


To me it's a heads up. If the News suddenly reports a mass sickness, hitting the local hospitals, then I may break out the bottled water for awhile. But otherwise, I'm not overly concerned either.
 

ttwtt78640

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Traveling across the country to take 67 water samples seems very fishy to me. Perhaps the reason for the study was to get funding (and the huge travel overhead) for another study. ;)
 

MaggieD

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ Disease « CBS Philly

Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.

Our food and water sources are NOT optimal, nor are they seriously making us ill. Or are they?

My money puts the blame on the consumers. Water is tested at the water plant. I have confidence in that process, sans human error that there's not much way to get around.

People with private wells often don't test their water . . . even if there are county/town ordinances in place to mandate it.

When's the last time you took off the sprayer on your kitchen sink faucet? Reached inside the pipe and wiped it out? When's the last time you gave your ice bins a good cleaning? Your automatic water dispenser on your fridge door? Anywhere water stands and drips is a petri dish for bacteria.

I'm not worried about the water plant. I'm worried about what's dispensing the water and making the ice. You don't even want to THINK about how often some restaurants clean their ice bins. Like hardly ever...
 

grip

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

My money puts the blame on the consumers. Water is tested at the water plant. I have confidence in that process, sans human error that there's not much way to get around.

People with private wells often don't test their water . . . even if there are county/town ordinances in place to mandate it.

When's the last time you took off the sprayer on your kitchen sink faucet? Reached inside the pipe and wiped it out? When's the last time you gave your ice bins a good cleaning? Your automatic water dispenser on your fridge door? Anywhere water stands and drips is a petri dish for bacteria.

I'm not worried about the water plant. I'm worried about what's dispensing the water and making the ice. You don't even want to THINK about how often some restaurants clean their ice bins. Like hardly ever...

Yeah, but I've noticed a red yeast (fungi) that's supposedly harmless but only been around for the past few years that didn't used to be there. Supposedly, some Water Treatment plants are struggling to keep the standards up because of increased demand and costs.

The pressure on the kitchen sink, usually keeps the trap and edges, fairly clean. But the bathroom faucets and shower heads are more likely to gunk up.

I've worked in some restaurants that were extremely clean and others that would make 3rd world countries cringe. If the restaurant has a dirty appearance out front, where you eat, most likely the back (cooking area) is no better.
 

clownboy

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

It's all that snail darter pee, I knew we shouldn't have saved that little sucker! :mrgreen:
 

Manc Skipper

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Legionella is common at low levels in lakes and streams. Infection occurs when infected water droplets are inhaled. Don't breathe your tap water and you'll be safe. Drinking it's fine since it's killed by stomach acid. The main source of infections are air conditioning systems where a mist of water is used to cool the air.
 

HonestJoe

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

I know the Media likes to sensationalize, more than inform anymore. They're getting, so bad, you need a PhD in everything to cypher out the crappola.
No, you just need a healthy dose of scepticism, a bit of common sense and the willingness to track down primary sources.
 

Dittohead not!

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ Disease « CBS Philly





Is this because of lowered standards at the Water Utilities plants, or are people simply, not scrubbing their nasty spigets?

And is it a serious concern? I had a bad case of pneumonia for 3 months a couple years ago that was never sourced.

I watched a couple of TV Specials, showing the conditions at slaughtering/butcher companies and the FDA banned fertilizers and pesticides, used to grow imported fruits and veggies, and it was scary.

Our food and water sources are NOT optimal, nor are they seriously making us ill. Or are they?


Maybe.

A study of 67 water faucets is hardly definitive, but does raise a question. A random study of a couple thousand water faucets that yielded the same results would be cause for concern.

Legionnaire's disease is caused by a bacterium that lives in water, but is transmitted by water in aerosol form, not from drinking it:

From Wiki:

Legionnaires' disease is transmitted by inhalation of aerosolized water and/or soil contaminated with the bacteria. It is not airborne and it is not transmitted from person-to-person. Sources where temperatures allow the bacteria to thrive include hot-water tanks, cooling towers and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, such as those commonly found in hotels and large office buildings. Though the first known outbreak was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, cases of legionellosis have occurred throughout the world.[5]

Meanwhile I, for one, am not going to start buying bottled water. There is no evidence that it is any better.
 

Moot

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

While the study was small — researchers only sampled 67 public and private water sources such as kitchen sinks and drinking fountains – it’s the first one to chart the presence of the potentially deadly bacteria in water taps.

Imo, the sampling size is too small and the margin of error too wide. So the research says they found a few samples but they don't give a clue how the bacteria got there or where the samples were taken or what people can do about it....except be afraid to drink the water? Please, I've got more important things to worry about, such as....killer bees, west nile virus, flu outbreaks, tainted food, etc, etc, etc.
 

Threegoofs

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Re: Study: Nearly Half Of Water Taps May Contain Bacteria That Causes Legionnaires’ D

Legionella is a common microorganism in nature, especially in room temperature water. No surprise it's in our pipes...tap water is not sterile, you know.

It looks like they were actually using a genetic marker to test, rather than culturing, which will pick up very low levels of bacteria.

No big deal, but worthwhile to know from an epidemiological perspective if there is a outbreak. Increasing tap water chlorination in a locality affected by an empire mic might cut down the reservoir of pathogenic bacteria at low risk and low cost.
 
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