EPA Publishes Series Of Papers Summarizing Research On Waterborne Disease

EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) and the Office of Water have published a series of papers that summarizes research conducted on waterborne disease in the last 10 years.

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments (SWDA) mandated the agency and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct five waterborne disease studies and develop a national estimate of waterborne disease. EPA and CDC sponsored two workshops in 1998 and 1999 to develop a research plan for the National Estimate and Five Waterborne Disease Studies. The program involved both U.S. and international scientists and was focused on endemic gastrointestinal illnesses associated with microbial drinking water exposures.

EPA, CDC and other authors produced a series of papers that reviews the state of the science, methods to make a national estimate of waterborne disease, models that estimate waterborne illness and recommendations to fill existing data gaps. These papers represent the fulfillment of EPA's SDWA requirement.

The papers also represent the most comprehensive review conducted in the last 25 years and the first publication of models and their results developed to estimate waterborne illness on a national level, agency officials said. The papers have been published in the July/August 2006 supplement of Journal of Water and Health.

The papers include:

  • "Estimating the infectious disease risks associated with drinking water in the United States"
  • "Assessing waterborne risks: an introduction"
  • "Waterborne outbreaks reported in the United States"
  • "The rate of acute gastrointestinal illness in developed countries"
  • "A review of household drinking water intervention trials and an approach to the estimation of endemic waterborne gastroenteritis in the United States"

The papers can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/nheerl/articles/2006/waterborne_disease.html.

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