Hike in water-linked health risks predicted.
"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"
It is very sad to read the statistics below. What truly makes this industry enjoyable to work in today is the honest and forthright information that is coming available.
Authorities regretably adopted ostrich approaches 20 years ago when confronted with questions relating to water concerns.
Hike in water-linked health risks predicted
WASHINGTON — Researchers from the American Academy of Microbiology say water-associated health risks will increase unless capture-and-count microbial water test methods are replaced with
new technologies. In a report on research sponsored by the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and other entities, Joan B. Rose and D. Jay Grimes outline new tools and strategies: gene probes,
genotyping, antibody and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
They point out that current "indicator" bacteria testing cannot detect viruses such as Hepatitis A or E, Coxsackie, Adenoviruses, Norwalk viruses, indigenous pathogenic
bacteria like Helicobacter and parasistes like Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
According to the authors, enteric waterborne diseases not identifiable by standard testing practices kill as many as 2 million children annually.
"There are as-yet-unidentified microbes that have been suspected to cause human disease, but for which culturing methods have not yet been developed," researchers wrote.
They recommend that professional associations and scientific societies train policy-makers on the new technologies; that communication between scientists and decision-makers be
improved; that international collaboration be encouraged; a "Gold" standard be established; and data-gathering and reporting methods be developed.
They also identify targets for educational initiatives. The report includes a thumbnail evaluation of the tools, including promising but not-yet-available gene chip and solid-state biochip techniques.
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Edited from Tech Bank 6/29/01