Many people mistakenly believe that tap water is safe for medical use at home

May 11, 2022 – Although tap water is generally safe to drink, you should not use it for home medical purposes, such as: sine rinsing, washing Contact lensesFilling of breathing apparatus. But new research shows that many Americans mistakenly believe that tap water is safe for such use.

In a survey of 1,004 adults in the United States, one in three people said it was a knock water does not contain bacteria or other living organisms, և 26% said that water filters removed these bacteria, thus sterilizing the water. Both allegations are false. Tap water can contain some bacteria, և water filters can not remove these living organisms from the water.

Tap water goes through a multi-stage purification process that makes it safe for us to drink; it must meet strict safety standards before leaving the water treatment plant. But germs that are naturally present in the environment can survive.

Because tap water travels miles through pipes to your faucet, it can pick up water microbes, says Shanna Miko of the DNP, CDC’s National Center for Developmental Zoological Infectious Disease Prevention. Bottled water is stored to the same standards and is not considered sterile, he says.

Our bodies are exposed to germs every day, and most healthy people who are exposed to the germs found in the tubes do not get sick. However, some groups may be at higher risk for infection, such as people over the age of 50, children under 6 months, current smokers, and debilitated people. immune systemor diabetics Liver failureor kidney failure.

“When we have a vulnerable population և use this combination [tap water] “With different eggs, for example, putting it in our eyes or nose or inhaling it into our lungs, that’s where the risk comes in.”

The CDC recommends that the water used to flush nasal washes and breaths should be sterile, which means that it does not contain bacteria or other living organisms. Contact lenses should be washed և stored only in fresh contact lens solution, and wearers should avoid touching their lenses with any water that contains: to swim ոգ bath.

However, there are cases where people become infected due to medical abuse of tap water, says Miko. In an extreme caseA woman died of an infection the brain– Eat amoebae using tap water when washing your nose neti pot:.

These types of cases are rare, but it is important for the public to understand how to “minimize their exposure to these bacteria at home,” he says, especially if they are particularly vulnerable to infection.

Survey results:

To capture how American society understands water infertility, how they use tap water at home, Mikon և colleagues designed a survey that they sent to 18-year-olds from August 16 to August 18, 2021. The national sample was then weighed. Introduce the gender, age, region, education, race, and ethnicity of the U.S. population.

The results of the survey were presented on May 5, 2022 at the annual conference of the CDC Epidemiological Intelligence Service.

About 63% of people answered correctly that sterile water did not contain bacteria or other microorganisms, and two-thirds knew that tap water could contain these bacteria. But there was a disconnect about what is safe for home medical use, says Miko.

“Although they realized that tap water was not sterile, they nevertheless agreed that it was normal to use it for nasal rinsing, washing or storing contact lenses, and even breathing apparatus such as home humidifiers, for example. CPAP: “Cars that some people use at night,” he said.

More than half (62.4%) said tap water was safe for nasal rinsing, half (50.1%) said it was safe to wash contact lenses, and 41.5% said it could be used safely. for medical respirators and humidifiers.

But far fewer people have reported using tap water for these problems. About one in four (24%) said they filled their medical respirators with tap water, 12.7% said they used tap water to rinse their nose, and about 9% said they used it. for rinsing contact lenses.

The results show that “there is a real need for public education on tap water,” he said. Rachel Noble, Ph.D., who conducts research on water quality և public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was not involved in the study.

“It is quite clear that many people know that sterile means that nothing grows in your water,” he says. He says the mess is that tap water can be safely used for medical purposes.

Safe, sterile water

“Direct tap water should not be used for these procedures. Boiling water is an easy way to kill any bacteria, viruses or other bacteria, to make it safe to blow your nose or to fill your medical breathing apparatus,” says Miko. The water should be boiled for 1 minute, then left to cool.

If you do not want to boil your water, you can also buy sterile or distilled water, both of which are safe for home medical use. The CDC Healthy water site has information on home cleaning water.

While the survey was intended to show how to use water for medical use at home, Miko says that tap water is cleaned, disinfected, “designed to be safe for drinking, cooking, self-care, such as bathing.” for: tooth: brush և laundry.

While most healthy people will not get sick from germs that can be found in water, boiling it or buying sterilized water for medical use at home can help prevent infections, especially in people at high risk.

“We do not want to intimidate people,” he said. “We just want people to be as healthy as they can be.”

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