Quantitative bacterial examination of domestic water supplies in the Lesotho Highlands: water quality, sanitation, and village health.
Reported are the results of an examination of domestic water supplies for microbial contamination in the Lesotho Highlands, the site of a 20-year-old hydroelectric project, as part of a regional epidemiological survey of baseline health, nutritional and environmental parameters. The population's hygiene and health behaviour were also studied. A total of 72 village water sources were classified as unimproved (n = 23), semi-improved (n = 37), or improved (n = 12). Based on the estimation of total coliforms, which is a nonspecific bacterial indicator of water quality, all unimproved and semi-improved water sources would be considered as not potable. Escherichia coli, a more precise indicator of faecal pollution, was absent (P < 0.001) in most of the improved water sources. Among 588 queried households, only 38% had access to an "improved" water supply. Sanitation was a serious problem, e.g. fewer than 5% of villagers used latrines and 18% of under-5-year-olds had suffered a recent diarrhoeal illness. The study demonstrates that protection of water sources can improve the hygienic quality of rural water supplies, where disinfection is not feasible. Our findings support the WHO recommendation that E. coli should be the principal microbial indicator for portability of untreated water. Strategies for developing safe water and sanitation systems must include public health education in hygiene and water source protection, practical methods and standards for water quality monitoring, and a resource centre for project information to facilitate programme evaluation and planning. (+info)
A bacteriological survey of washrooms and toilets.
A survey of the bacterial flora present at various positions in 130 male and female washrooms and toilets is reported. Several bacteria of faecal origin were found in large numbers: the areas likely to be the most important sources of cross-infection from faecal contamination are indicated. The results are used to assess priorities for disinfection. (+info)
Coated bedpans: their cleaning and disinfection.
This paper reports on tests of cleaning and disinfection of stainless steel bedpans which have been coated with either a silicone grease or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The coatings were applied manually using an aerosol spray (silicone grease and PTFE), and by an industrial process (PTFE). Soils used comprised (i) British Standard Soil (B.S., 1966), (ii) human serum albumin labelled with technetium-99m (HSA-Tc), and (iii) a suspension of Streptococcus faecalis in broth. Tests of cleaning and disinfection were carried out in automatic washing and steam disinfector machines. Results show that aerosol spraying impairs the cleaning process but that bedpans coated by the industrial process with PTFE are superior to uncoated bedpans. (+info)
The effectiveness of contingency-specific and contingency-nonspecific prompts in controlling bathroom graffiti.
This study replicates and extends the work of Watson (1996) in which a sign eliminated graffiti when posted on bathroom walls. The present study investigated the effects of three different signs on walls in six men's bathrooms located on a university campus. Posting the signs was followed by the elimination or sharp reduction of graffiti. Removal of the signs was followed by a resurgence of graffiti. (+info)
The role of fomites in the transmission of vaginitis.
A role for fomites such as toilet seats in the transmission of vaginitis has never been proved or disproved. A compilation of clinical data from a university community showed that the organisms found in vaginal cultures of patients with vaginitis were, in order of frequency. Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, beta-hemolytic streptococci, Hemophilus vaginalis and Trichomonas vaginalis. In a concurrent bacteriologic survey of washroom fixtures, staphylococci and other micrococci were isolated most frequently. The overt pathogens associated with vaginitis were never found, and gram-negative organisms appeared to be suppressed by the disinfectant used by the cleaning staff. It is clear that fomites are not an important mode of transmission in vaginitis, although a search for specific pathogens on toilets is to be continued. (+info)
A participatory approach to sanitation: experience of Bangladeshi NGOs.
This study assesses the role of participatory development programmes in improving sanitation in rural Bangladesh. Data for this study came from a health surveillance system of BRAC covering 70 villages in 10 regions of the country. In-depth interviews were conducted with one adult member of a total of 1556 randomly selected households that provided basic socioeconomic information on the households and their involvement with NGO-led development programmes in the community. The findings reveal that households involved with credit programmes were more likely to use safe latrines than others who were equally poor but not involved in such programmes. The study indicates that an unmet need to build or buy safe and hygienic latrines existed among those who did not own one. Such latent need could be raised further if health education at the grassroots level along with supervised credit supports were provided to them. Unlike conventional belief, the concept of community-managed jointly owned latrines did not seem a very attractive alternative. The study argues that social and behavioural aspects of the participatory development programmes can significantly improve environmental sanitation in a traditional community. (+info)
Survival of fecal coliforms in dry-composting toilets.
The dry-composting toilet, which uses neither water nor sewage infrastructure, is a practical solution in areas with inadequate sewage disposal and where water is limited. These systems are becoming increasingly popular and are promoted to sanitize human excreta and to recycle them into fertilizer for nonedible plants, yet there are few data on the safety of this technology. This study analyzed fecal coliform reduction in approximately 90 prefabricated, dry-composting toilets (Sistema Integral de Reciclamiento de Desechos Organicos [SIRDOs]) that were installed on the U.S.-Mexico border in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The purpose of this study was to determine fecal coliform reduction over time and the most probable method of this reduction. Biosolid waste samples were collected and analyzed at approximately 3 and 6 months and were classified based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. Results showed that class A compost (high grade) was present in only 35.8% of SIRDOs after 6 months. The primary mechanism for fecal coliform reduction was found to be desiccation rather than biodegradation. There was a significant correlation (P = 0.008) between classification rating and percent moisture categories of the biosolid samples: drier samples had a greater proportion of class A samples. Solar exposure was critical for maximal class A biosolid end products (P = 0.001). This study only addressed fecal coliforms as an indicator organism, and further research is necessary to determine the safety of composting toilets with respect to other pathogenic microorganisms, some of which are more resistant to desiccation. (+info)
Differential HIV risk in bathhouses and public cruising areas.
OBJECTIVES: This report investigates differences in risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) who went to gay bathhouses, public cruising areas, or both. METHODS: We used a probability sample of MSM residing in 4 US cities (n = 2,881). RESULTS: Men who used party drugs and had unprotected anal intercourse with nonprimary partners were more likely to go to sex venues than men who did not. Among attendees, MSM who went to public cruising areas only were least likely, and those who went to both public cruising areas and bathhouses were most likely to report risky sex in public settings. CONCLUSIONS: Distinguishing between sex venues previously treated as a single construct revealed a significant association between pattern of venue use and sexual risk. Targeting HIV prevention in the bathhouses would reach the segment of men at greatest risk for HIV transmission. (+info)