Lombard, IL (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
Former Head of EPA’s Drinking Water Standards Division Calls for Action to Reduce Waterborne Disease Risk
A new paper authored by the first director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Standards Division argues that supplemental disinfection of building plumbing systems to reduce incidence of Legionnaires’ disease and other waterborne illnesses should be promoted by federal and state governments, and that slight alterations of current regulations would save thousands of lives without adversely affecting other important water quality parameters.
Joseph A. Cotruvo, PhD, writes in the current issue of the Journal of the American Water Works Association that, “The risk of acquiring legionellosis (the clinical term for Legionnaires’ disease) from waterborne aerosol inhalation exposures is now the most significant waterborne-disease risk associated with drinking water in the United States.” The Centers for Disease Control has reported that 19 out of 33 waterborne-disease outbreaks in plumbing systems or of drinking water supply origin in the U.S. in 2009-2010 were from Legionella, the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ cases reported annually increased 217% from 2000 to 2009, the CDC reported. The disease carries a 40% mortality rate when acquired in hospitals, studies have found.
“As a matter of public health protection, appropriate supplemental water treatment measures must be applied to reduce those risks, especially among high-risk populations,” Cotruvo writes.
Copper silver ionization is one of several supplemental water treatment solutions described in the article as being efficacious in remediating Legionella. Steve Schira, the Chairman and CEO of LiquiTech, a leading provider of copper silver ionization technology and services, applauded Cotruvo’s position that only slight changes in regulation could lead to reductions in legionellosis and other diseases without a significant impact on other important parameters of drinking water quality.
“The colonization and regrowth of Legionella bacteria within a building’s plumbing system wasn’t contemplated decades ago when water treatment measures were originally codified,” said Schira. “The startling increase in the number of legionellosis cases reported to the CDC indicates the need for modifications and conformity between federal and state EPA regulations.”
In an article posted recently on the Forbes website, CDC Errs on Policy As Well As Handling Dangerous Pathogens, Dr. Henry I. Miller underscores this need, noting: “The CDC’s recommendations for preventing Legionnaires’ disease have been predominantly focused on what might termed a disease surveillance strategy – a reactive process that relies on screening for disease after cases are detected, at which time a response is quickly undertaken to prevent further infections. Although this strategy works well for person-to-person transmissible diseases where the source of the disease is another infected individual, it is not well-suited to situations in which the source of disease is in the environment.”
Copper silver ionization represents a systematic approach to combating Legionella. Water passes through a flow cell chamber and a direct current is applied across electrodes creating positively charged copper and silver ions. The ions seek out bacteria throughout the entire plumbing system, providing ongoing treatment. LiquiTech’s copper silver ionization system was the first to be registered by the U.S. EPA as being effective in the prevention and controlling of Legionella pneumophila in commercial drinking water supplies (U.S. EPA Reg. No. 68250-1).
Headquartered in Lombard, Ill., LiquiTech Environmental Solutions provides medical grade water treatment to healthcare, hospitality, commercial, industrial and government facilities, with more than 1,400 installations spanning 10 countries over 20 years. LiquiTech’s copper silver ionization technology is an effective solution for combating waterborne pathogens in an environmentally sustainable manner, without harmful chemical byproducts or unintended consequences. LiquiTech’s proprietary Closed Loop Proportional Control technology is able to adjust itself based on changes in water consumption and quality, thereby providing residual protection from Legionella. LiquiTech’s approach has been validated by more than 100 independent research studies. For more information, visit http://www.liquitech.com.