Effects of dispersed recreational activities on the microbiological quality of forest surface water.
The microbiological quality of forest surface waters in the Greenwater River watershed was examined to investigate the influence of heavy motorized camping in an area with no sanitary facilities. Indicator densities increased during weekend human-use periods when compared to weekdays. Increases in indicator densities were also noted downstream from heavily used camping areas when compared to upstream sites. Seasonal, weekly, and diurnal fluctuations in indicator densities were observed. This study suggests that potential health hazards exist in this watershed during periods of human use. (+info)
Water pollution and human health in China.
China's extraordinary economic growth, industrialization, and urbanization, coupled with inadequate investment in basic water supply and treatment infrastructure, have resulted in widespread water pollution. In China today approximately 700 million people--over half the population--consume drinking water contaminated with levels of animal and human excreta that exceed maximum permissible levels by as much as 86% in rural areas and 28% in urban areas. By the year 2000, the volume of wastewater produced could double from 1990 levels to almost 78 billion tons. These are alarming trends with potentially serious consequences for human health. This paper reviews and analyzes recent Chinese reports on public health and water resources to shed light on what recent trends imply for China's environmental risk transition. This paper has two major conclusions. First, the critical deficits in basic water supply and sewage treatment infrastructure have increased the risk of exposure to infectious and parasitic disease and to a growing volume of industrial chemicals, heavy metals, and algal toxins. Second, the lack of coordination between environmental and public health objectives, a complex and fragmented system to manage water resources, and the general treatment of water as a common property resource mean that the water quality and quantity problems observed as well as the health threats identified are likely to become more acute. (+info)
Tetrachloroethylene-contaminated drinking water in Massachusetts and the risk of colon-rectum, lung, and other cancers.
We conducted a population-based case-control study to evaluate the relationship between cancer of the colon-rectum (n = 326), lung (n = 252), brain (n = 37), and pancreas (n = 37), and exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) from public drinking water. Subjects were exposed to PCE when it leached from the vinyl lining of drinking-water distribution pipes. Relative delivered dose of PCE was estimated using a model that took into account residential location, years of residence, water flow, and pipe characteristics. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for lung cancer were moderately elevated among subjects whose exposure level was above the 90th percentile whether or not a latent period was assumed [ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), 3.7 (1.0-11.7), 3.3 (0.6-13.4), 6.2 (1.1-31.6), and 19.3 (2.5-141.7) for 0, 5, 7, and 9 years of latency, respectively]. The adjusted ORs for colon-rectum cancer were modestly elevated among ever-exposed subjects as more years of latency were assumed [OR and CI, 1.7 (0.8-3.8) and 2.0 (0.6-5.8) for 11 and 13 years of latency, respectively]. These elevated ORs stemmed mainly from associations with rectal cancer. Adjusted ORs for rectal cancer among ever-exposed subjects were more elevated [OR and CI, 2.6 (0. 8-6.7) and 3.1 (0.7-10.9) for 11 and 13 years of latency, respectively] than were corresponding estimates for colon cancer [OR and CI, 1.3 (0.5-3.5) and 1.5 (0.3-5.8) for 11 and 13 years of latency, respectively]. These results provide evidence for an association between PCE-contaminated public drinking water and cancer of the lung and, possibly, cancer of the colon-rectum. (+info)
Alternatives to minimize the environmental impact of large swine production units.
Large swine production facilities have become controversial additions to the agricultural landscape as their numbers and sizes have increased. In addition to being larger enterprises, these units have involved greater specialization, the influx of outside capital, and the employment of labor without extensive investment in the enterprise. Major complaints have included water pollution and odors. Water pollution complaints have been related to surface and groundwater resources. Accidental spills, structural failure, and purposeful discharges have been noted. Odor problems are most often related to manure management techniques. Large anaerobic lagoons and irrigation of lagoon effluent have the potential to emit odors that travel long distances. Fortunately, technology and management alternatives exist to achieve higher levels of environmental acceptability. More effective water pollution and odor control alternatives generally increase construction and operating costs. Producers, regulatory officials, and the local public have an opportunity to interact to achieve progress in establishing acceptable compromises. This article identifies the range of existing and evolving alternative strategies and provides some assistance to producers and neighbors in achieving the necessary equilibrium. (+info)
Diversity of bacteroides fragilis strains in their capacity to recover phages from human and animal wastes and from fecally polluted wastewater.
Great differences in capability to detect bacteriophages from urban sewage of the area of Barcelona existed among 115 strains of Bacteroides fragilis. The capability of six of the strains to detect phages in a variety of feces and wastewater was studied. Strains HSP40 and RYC4023 detected similar numbers of phages in urban sewage and did not detect phages in animal feces. The other four strains detected phages in the feces of different animal species and in wastewater of both human and animal origin. Strain RYC2056 recovered consistently higher counts than the other strains and also detected counts ranging from 10(1) to approximately 10(3) phages per ml in urban sewage from different geographical areas. This strain detected bacteriophages in animal feces even though their relative concentration with respect to the other fecal indicators was significantly lower in wastewater polluted with animal feces than in urban sewage. (+info)
Epidemic and endemic seroprevalence of antibodies to Cryptosporidium and Giardia in residents of three communities with different drinking water supplies.
This study was carried out to compare cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis seroprevalence rates in residents of three communities. Community (Com 1) uses drinking water from deep wells, community 2 (Com 2) uses surface water from a protected watershed, and community 3 (Com 3) uses surface water frequently containing Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts. Unfiltered drinking water from each community was collected at the tap and tested for Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts during the 12 months in which sera were collected for testing. No oocysts or cysts were detected in the water from the Com 1 deep wells; oocysts and cysts were detected intermittently in the drinking water from the other two communities. A waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred in a municipality adjacent to Com 3 six months into this 12-month study. Sera from residents of each of the communities were collected proportionately by month and by population size. Coded sera were tested for IgG to Cryptosporidium using a previously developed Western blotting method. The presence or absence of bands at 15-17 kD and/or 27 kD was recorded for the 1,944 sera tested. Definite bands at 15-17 kD and/or 27 kD were detected in 981 (50.5%) of the sera. A total of 33.2% of sera from Com 1 (community using deep wells) were positive using the same criteria compared with 53.5% (Com 2) and 52.5% (Com 3) of sera from the two communities using surface drinking water. Both bands (15-17 kD plus 27 kD) were detected in 582 sera (29.9%) from the three communities: 14.1% of sera from Com 1 compared with 32.7% from Com 2 and 31.5% from Com 3. These findings are consistent with a lower risk of exposure to Cryptosporidium from drinking water obtained from deep well sources. However, analysis of results by calendar quarter showed a significant (P < 0.001) increase in the number of Com 3 positive sera (compared with Com 1) following the waterborne outbreak. Without this outbreak-related observation, a significant overall difference in seropositivity would not have been seen. We also observed that in sera from the community affected by the outbreak, the presence on immunoblots of both Cryptosporidium bands appeared to be the best indicator of recent infection. Seroprevalence rates using an ELISA to detect IgG to Giardia were estimated using the same sera. Overall 30.3% (590 of 1,944) of sera were positive by the ELISA. A total of 19.1% of sera from Com 1, 34.7% from Com 2 and 16.0% from Com 3 were seropositive. Rates for both Com 3 and Com 1 did not change significantly over time. In Com 2, rates decreased significantly (P < 0.001) during the last half of the study period (third and fourth calendar quarters). The reasons for the decrease in seroprevalence in Com 2 sera are presently not known. These studies show intriguing associations between seroprevalence, outbreak-related laboratory serologic data, and patterns of parasite contamination of drinking water. Further studies are required to validate the serologic approach to risk assessment of waterborne parasitic infections at a community level. (+info)
Potential contamination of drinking water with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.
The world's first documented toxoplasmosis outbreak associated with a municipal water supply was recognized in 1995 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It was hypothesized that domestic cat (Felis catus) or cougar (Felis concolor) faeces contaminated a surface water reservoir with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. An extensive investigation of the Victoria watershed 1 year following the outbreak documented the presence of an endemic T. gondii cycle involving the animals inhabiting the area. Cats and cougars were observed throughout the watershed. Serological evidence of T. gondii infection was demonstrated among domestic cats living in the Victoria area. Cougars were found to shed T. gondii oocysts. Serological evidence of T. gondii infection in deer mice living in the riparian environments of the watershed suggested that T. gondii oocysts were being shed near the water edge. Contamination of Victoria's water supply with T. gondii oocysts potentially occurred during the study period and future waterborne toxoplasmosis outbreaks in this and other communities are possible. (+info)
Discriminant analysis of ribotype profiles of Escherichia coli for differentiating human and nonhuman sources of fecal pollution.
Estuarine waters receive fecal pollution from a variety of sources, including humans and wildlife. Escherichia coli is a ubiquitous bacterium in the intestines of warm-blooded animals and is used as an indicator of fecal pollution. However, its presence does not specifically differentiate sources of pollution. A total of 238 E. coli isolates from human sources (HS) and nonhuman sources (NHS) were collected from the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, from associated sewage treatment plants, and directly from animals and tested for ribotype (RT) profile. HS and NHS isolates showed 41 and 61 RT profiles, respectively. At a similarity index of ca. 50%, HS and NHS isolates demonstrated four clusters, with the majority of HS and NHS isolates located in clusters C and D; isolates obtained directly from human and animal feces also could be grouped within these clusters. Discriminant analysis (DA) of RT profiles showed that 97% of the NHS isolates and 100% of the animal fecal isolates were correctly classified. The average rate of correct classification for HS and NHS isolates was 82%. We conclude that DA of RT profiles may be a useful method for identifying HS and NHS fecal pollution and may potentially facilitate management practices. (+info)