Currently reading: Wiper water linked to disease
One-fifth of Legionnaires' Disease cases linked to dirty wiper water
Autocar
News
1 min read
15 June 2010

Windscreen wiper water may be the cause of a fifth of cases of Legionnaires' Disease in England and Wales, according to the Health Protection Agency.

Legionnaires' Disease is a rare but potentially deadly condition which is caused when the Legionella bacterium is inhaled and causes pneumonia. Stagnant, warm water is the ideal breeding ground for the disease.

The discovery was found after records showed that professional drivers are five times more likely to be infected by the disease.

The Health Protection Agency says that adding screenwash kills the Legionella bacteria.

"This is a bug which lives in the environment and will take advantage of warm water systems that are not cleaned out," said Professor Hugh Pennington, an expert in bacteriology.

"Legionnaires' is rare but it kills people and it's an extremely unpleasant disease. If you can prevent it with something this simple then it's a no brainer really."

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theonlydt 15 June 2010

Re: Wiper water linked to disease

Scottish Scrutineer wrote:
The legionella risk associated with air conditioning systems, arises from the water coolers/evaporators which the systems on buildings use. Automotive aircon operates on a different principle so there are not water towers and resviors in which legionella can breed.
I have seen aircon systems in vehicles where water pools from condensation occuring within the system. I'd have to go back and have a proper look, but I am certain there is a possibility for legionnaires to live within an aircon system. Having said that I've looked over the research article and it's pretty decent science - all confidence tested to at least 95%, a biological link made, causal link and then proper multiple regression.

Scottish Scrutineer 15 June 2010

Re: Wiper water linked to disease

theonlydt wrote:
theonlydt wrote the following post at Jun 15, 2010 12:20 AM:

I'd be interested to see the research in full - how did they prove that the problem is not with our aircon systems - which are just at risk, if not more.

The legionella risk associated with air conditioning systems, arises from the water coolers/evaporators which the systems on buildings use. Automotive aircon operates on a different principle so there are not water towers and resviors in which legionella can breed.

It would be interesting to see how the research considered the risk factor that many professional drivers also smoke. Smoking is a contributory factor to being affected by legionella.

TheWizardWeb 15 June 2010

Re: Wiper water linked to disease

Here's the link to the full research, I'm ploughing through it now ! (Been reading Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, so I'm loving all this stuff at the mo.)

http://www.springerlink.com/content/t92532v54003150g/?p=d75c20f288574b48...