Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

CDC, EPA Issue Drinking Water Guidance for People with Weakened Immune Systems

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

CDC, EPA Issue Drinking Water Guidance for People with Weakened Immune Systems

Article excerpt

June 15, 1995. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued guidance to people with severely weakened immune systems who may want to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of infection with Cryptosporidium from drinking water.

The CDC-EPA guidance suggests that immunosuppressed individuals discuss their risks with their healthcare provider. Those who wish to take extra precautions to avoid waterborne cryptosporidiosis can bring their drinking water to a rolling boil for one minute. Boiling water is the most effective approach for killing Cryptosporidium, according to CDC-EPA.

As an alternative to boiling water, people may use the following measures:

* A point-of-use (personal use, end-of-tap, under-sink) filter. Only point-of-use filters that remove particles one micrometer or less in diameter should be considered. Among the most effective point-of-use filters are those labeled reverse osmosis or "Absolute" one micrometer filters or those labeled as certified by NSF International under Standard 53 for "Cyst Removal." The "Nominal" one micrometer filter rating is no/standardized and many filters in this category may not reliably remove Cryptosporidium.

* Bottled water. Many, but not all, brands of bottled water may provide a reasonable alternative to boiling tap water. However, the origin of the source water, the types of microorganisms in that water, and the treatment of that water before it is bottled vary considerably. …

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