Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Drinking Water Risks for the Elderly

Study Says Even ‘Safe’ Drinking Water Poses Risks to Elderly

Adopted from an article by Bob Norberg
Published: Monday, September 21, 2009 at 8:40 p.m

Adding water filters such as UV filtration and carbon blocks can significantly reduce the incidence of stomach problems experienced by the elderly, a recent study finds.

Even water that is deemed safe by all American standards can be enhanced by use of relatively inexpensive house water filters.

The difference, 12 percent, could be significant because the elderly tend to be less tolerant to pathogens and get gastrointestinal illnesses more severely, said John Colford Jr., the principal researcher for UC’s School of Public Health.

“It is statistically significant, it is larger than you expect to see by random chance,” Colford said. “It is important.”

Colford, however, said the study is not an indication that Sonoma County Water Agency water, which meets all state and federal standards, is unsafe.

Instead, he hopes the study will become part of an Environmental Protection Agency debate on whether there should be higher water standards for children, the elderly and those with immunology problems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy.

“The study wasn’t about Sonoma. We did it in Sonoma County because the water is so good,” Colford said. “It was to see that when people were getting U.S. standard water, is there additional benefit from this overkill?”

The five-year study cost $2.8 million and was financed by the federal National Institute of Health. It is being published in the November edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Water Agency spokesman Tim Anderson said the agency will be examining the study to figure out what it means for water purity. The agency last conducted 477 tests for e-coli and coliform with negative results.