WATER TESTING $195.00
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DRINKING?
Suburban Water Testing Labs can tell you. A simple water test can restore your confidence in the safety
of you and your family. More importantly, testing may reveal contaminants that you have unknowingly been living with for many
WHAT CAN CONTAMINATION CAUSE?
Some cause immediate
illness, while others can create serious long-term health problems.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I
If this is
the case, our experts can advise you of the best way to solve the problems without the conflict of interest that comes with
using a lab that sells water treatment equipment. When it comes to your drinking water, quality is not optional. Protect yourself
and your family by testing your water at the point of use.
Why should I test my water?
can have a negative affect on the health of you and your family. The effects may be immediate or long term. A USGS survey
found that 70% of private wells were contaminated. EPA recommends that you test for a minimum of coliform bacteria, nitrate
and lead, even if you have public water.
Overview of Legionella
The first recognized outbreak of Legionnnaires' Disease occurred in the US at the American Legion Convention in Philadelphia
during the summer of 1976. There were several hundred people who were stricken. Thirty four people died from the disease.
As a result of the efforts of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this was the first time the bacteria was cultured
and identified. Earlier outbreaks of the disease went undiagnosed. Since that time, there have been many identified outbreaks
in this country and abroad prompting professional organizations and health departments worldwide to implement guidelines for
diagnosing and reporting the disease, and monitoring the organism.
Transmission and Epidemiology
Ubiquitous in all aquatic environments, Legionella bacteria are found in groundwater as well as fresh and marine surface
waters. The bacteria enter our plumbing systems, whirlpool spas, and cooling towers via these water sources. Unless control
measures are conducted properly and routinely, the biofilm, scale, and corrosion that builds up over time in these systems
will protect the organism and allow it to multiply.
Contaminated aerosolized water from cooling towers, whirlpool
baths, nebulizers, faucets, and showerheads becomes airborne. When a susceptible host inhales the contaminated aerosol, legionellosis
can occur. Aspiration of the contaminated water can also cause the disease. Legionellosis can cause two types of illness:
1. a severe form of pneumonia (Legionnaires' Disease) often accompanied by serious long term health effects, and 2. a
mild flu-like illness called Pontiac Fever. Other infected organs, and asymptomatic infections may also occur.
risk factors for getting the disease included age, gender, compromised immune systems, and pre-existing medical conditions
such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, and diabetes. Men over 65 years of age who were heavy smokers and drinkers
were identified as being at greatest risk. While that is still true, recent research from Neil and Berkelman at Emory University
has identified an abrupt increase in the incidence of Legionnaires' Disease in the US in all age groups in the last 20
years. This trend has also been noted internationally by other researchers. They have noted an overall increase in the disease
among all people aged 45 to 64. Rates of disease in males still exceed the rates in females.
There also have been
cases of the disease in healthy, younger people. Pre-mature, immuno-compromised, or ventilated neonates are at risk from hospital
acquired infection. In addition cases have been reported in children aged 15-19 years old.
Although the disease
is under-reported, travel (cruise ships), hotel, and resort related outbreaks are reported each year. These are mostly associated
with the use of whirlpool spas and potable water. While community-acquired outbreaks involving cooling towers and whirlpool
spas receive the most media attention, studies indicate that building potable water sources account for most of the infections.
This is particularly true in hospitals and nursing homes where there are large numbers of immunosuppressed or critically ill
people. For these reasons, many state health departments have guidelines that recommend routine monitoring for legionella
in critical care hospitals and nursing homes. In 2008, the Veteran's Administration promulgated a directive which requires
all VA hospitals and rehabilitation centers to implement monitoring for the bacteria in their potable water systems
What is salmonellosis?
Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella,
which generally affects the intestines and occasionally the bloodstream. It is one of the more common causes of diarrheal
illness with an estimated several thousand cases occurring in New York State each year. Most cases occur in the summer months
and can be seen as single cases, clusters or outbreaks.
Who gets salmonellosis?
can get salmonellosis, but it is diagnosed more often in infants and children. Young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised
are the most likely to have severe infections.
How are Salmonella bacteria
Salmonella are spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or
by contact with infected people or animals.
What are the symptoms of salmonellosis?
infected with Salmonella may experience mild or severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and occasionally
vomiting. Bloodstream infections can be quite serious, particularly in the very young or elderly.
soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
The symptoms generally appear one to three days after contact with Salmonella bacteria.
Where are Salmonella found?
Salmonella can be found in raw or undercooked meats and eggs, unpasteurized milk and cheese products
. Foods can also be contaminated by Salmonella bacteria during preparation or processing. Other
exposures may include contact with infected animals, especially poultry, swine, cattle, rodents and pets, such as reptiles
(iguanas, snakes, lizards and turtles), chicks, ducklings, birds, dogs and cats. Previous outbreaks of Salmonella
in New York State have been associated with peanut butter, frozen pot pies, eggs, pet foods and turtles.
long can an infected person carry Salmonella?
An infected person can carry the bacteria
for a few days or several months. People who have been treated with oral antibiotics and younger people tend to carry the
bacteria longer than others.
Do infected people need to be isolated or excluded from work or school?
infected people may return to work or school when their diarrhea has stopped. Food workers, health care personnel and children
in daycare must obtain the approval from the local or state health department before returning to their normal work activities.
What is the treatment for salmonellosis?
Salmonella infections usually
resolve in five to seven days and often do not require treatment unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection
spreads from the intestines. Those with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids. Antibiotics
are usually not necessary unless the infection spreads from the intestines.
How can salmonellosis be
- Always handle raw poultry, beef and pork accordingly:
- Avoid eating raw eggs or undercooking foods containing raw eggs. Raw eggs may be unrecognized in some
foods such as homemade hollandaise sauce, Caesar and other homemade salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade
mayonnaise, homemade eggnog, cookie dough and frosting.
- Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk.
- Wash fruits and
vegetables before eating.
- Encourage careful hand washing before and after food preparation.
- Wash hands (especially
children) immediately after handling reptiles, having contact with pet feces or handling pet food or treats.
- Do not
keep reptiles as pets in homes with immunocompromised persons or young children.
What Is E. Coli?
E. coli is a common type of bacteria that
can get into food, like beef and vegetables. E. coli is short for the medical term Escherichia coli. The
strange thing about these bacteria — and lots of other bacteria — is that they're not always harmful to you.
E. coli normally lives inside your intestines, where it helps your body break down and digest the food you eat.
Unfortunately, certain types (called strains) of E. coli can get from the intestines into the blood. This is a rare
illness, but it can cause a very serious infection.
Someone who has E. coli infection may have these symptoms:
stomach cramps and belly pain
- diarreha sometimes with blood in it
One very bad strain
of E. coli was found in fresh spinach in 2006 and some fast-food hamburgers in 1993. Beef can contain E. coli
because the bacteria often infect cattle. It can be in meat that comes from cattle and it's also in their poop, called
manure. Cow poop in your food? How does that happen? Not on purpose, of course, but it can happen if the manure is used for
fertilizer (a common practice to help crops grow) or if water contaminated with E. coli is used to irrigate the crops.
Foods to Watch
E. coli can be passed from person to person, but serious
E. coli infection is more often linked to food containing the bacteria. The person eats the contaminated food and
Here are some foods that can cause E. coli poisoning:
- undercooked ground beef (used for
- vegetables grown in cow manure or washed in contaminated water
- fruit juice that isn't pasteurized
(pasteurization is a process that uses heat to kill germs)
Heat can kill E. coli, so experts recommend
that people cook beef (especially ground beef) until it is cooked through and no longer pink. Choosing pasteurized juice is
another way to avoid possible infection.
Lastly, some experts recommend washing and scrubbing vegetables before eating
them. But others say E. coli is hard to remove once it has contaminated produce, such as spinach, lettuce, or onions.
The solution, they say, is to take more steps so that E. coli doesn't come in contact with crops.
Will the Doctor Do?
If someone has symptoms of E. coli poisoning, the doctor will run some blood tests and
take a sample of the person's stool (poop). The blood and stool can be checked to see if a harmful strain of E. coli
is present. Even though diarrhea is one of the main symptoms, the person shouldn't take anti-diarrhea medicines because
they can slow down recovery time.
Some people recover at home, while others need to be in the hospital. In some cases,
E. coli poisoning can cause life-threatening kidney problems.
Adults are the main people in charge of preventing E. coli infection by serving well-cooked meat,
cleaning countertops when preparing meats, and being aware of any recalls affecting contaminated vegetables or other products.
kids can help, too. Here are three ways:
- When you're at a restaurant, order your burger
well done. Eat it only if it's brown, not pink, on the inside.
- Don't swallow lake, ocean, or pool water.
If the water contains any human waste, it can carry the E. coli bacteria.
- Always wash your hands after you
use the bathroom and before you eat. There are plenty of bacteria in your poop. Gross! You don't want to accidentally
eat some of those bad bacteria!