Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines

Date:
April 16, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The Environmental Protection Agency's recommendations for treating water after a natural disaster or other emergencies call for more chlorine bleach than is necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens and are often impractical to carry out, a new study has found. The authors of the report suggest that the agency review and revise its guidelines.

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) recommendations for treating water after a natural disaster or other emergencies call for more chlorine bleach than is necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens and are often impractical to carry out, a new study has found. The authors of the report, which appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggest that the agency review and revise its guidelines.

Related Articles


Daniele Lantagne, who was at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time of the study and is now at Tufts University, and colleagues note that after natural disasters such as floods, clean water can be scarce. To prevent the spread of water-borne illnesses, the EPA currently recommends "bottle, boil, bleach" in case of a water emergency. That is, people should turn to bottled water as a first resort. If that's not an option, then they should boil available water to disinfect it. As a last resort, they should add "1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water." But, as the researchers point out, 1/8 of a teaspoon is not the same as 8 drops. And both amounts are higher than CDC and World Health Organization recommendations. To further evaluate the guidelines, the team tested different bleach treatment levels at six households around the country using water from various sources.

They found that the range of EPA-recommended doses (8 drops to 1/8 of a teaspoon) were higher than necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens in the samples. In a related project, they reported that even if the guideline were lowered, many people they surveyed would not be able to carry it out. None had the right kind of bleach in the house, and few had the correct measuring devices. The researchers recommend a revision of EPA guidelines and more research into more practical water treatment products.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniele Lantagne, Bobbie Person, Natalie Smith, Ally Mayer, Kelsey Preston, Elizabeth Blanton, Kristen Jellison. Emergency Water Treatment with Bleach in the United States: The Need to Revise EPA Recommendations. Environmental Science & Technology, 2014; 140409120313005 DOI: 10.1021/es405357y

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416112958.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, April 16). Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416112958.htm
American Chemical Society. "Researchers question emergency water treatment guidelines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140416112958.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins