The Water Quality in Rio Highlights the Global Public Health Concern Over Untreated Sewage

Conclusion This situation illustrates the complexity of testing and monitoring sewage in the environment. Standard bacterial indicators were predictive of gastrointestinal illness in one of the few recreational water studies that measured health risks in a tropical setting where sewage is largely untreated (Lamparelli et al. 2015). On the surface, it may seem beneficial and informative to test for viral pathogens, but the additional expertise and resources to conduct these tests may divert resources from routine monitoring without substantially increasing our understanding of the risks or improving health outcomes. The global trends toward urbanization have intensified our need for water and have created new emerging hazards such as antimicrobial resistance. We should, therefore, view the water quality issues highlighted by the media attention to the Rio Olympics as a wake-up call. The Rio condition has also reminded us that the development of the associated sewerage and sewage-treatment infrastructures is a very costly, long-term enterprise that cannot be activated for rapid effect. It is urgent that we invest in improving our management, including the treatment of human excreta and sewage and the development of tools to track and optimize these efforts. References Bartram J, Elliott M, Chuang P. 2012. Getting wet, clean, and healthy: why households matter. Lancet 380(9837):85–86. Baum R, Luh J, Bartram J. 2013. Sanitation: a global estimate of sewerage connections wi...
Source: EHP Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Brief Communication October 2016 Source Type: research

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