A move to safer taps?
Who wouldn't have utilized today's firm favorite material for kitchen and bathroom sinks--the popular stainless steel? Since its introduction to the public, this has then been people's first choice when building such fixtures. However, it might need to move out of the spotlight as a new study found that this can put people at risk of a life-threatening disease.
With just some rusty waters and iron pipes, growth of Legionella bacteria is easily encouraged. Such bacteria can cause legionnaires’ disease which usually involves headaches, muscle pain, fever and confusion.
Now, a study of safety engineer Wilco van der Lugt and colleagues showed how different kind of taps also influence legionnaires. They've put three common kinds of tap--steel, brass ceramic, and brass thermostatic mixer taps--to test: each were exposed with clean water, Legionella anisa-contaminated water, or water with rust and the said microbe. This is monitored for more than three years!
Half of the water samples with the rust particles and Legionella anisa ended up infected, with about 20,000 and 100,000 concentration of live bacteria cells per litre! Researchers suggest that this could be due to the degradation of the protective coating on stainless steel taps because of the rusty water.
On the other hand, brass mixer taper could be the safest choice as only a quarter of samples were contaminated regardless of the presence of the rust. Still, no conclusions regarding particular safer tap designs, though, can be drawn as no link on people contracting such disease has been studied. Nonetheless, ECDC still recommends heating water systems from 50 and 60°C, and running taps regularly to avoid catching the legionnaires’ disease.
Wash your hands every now and then but make sure your tap itself won't compromise your health!
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