Hospital drinking fountains?

March 13, 2009

The Hanover and District Hospital in Ontario, Canada is planning to ban the sale of bottle water in favor of tap water available through drinking fountains and water dispensing machines, according to The Post (Hanover, Ontario). The move is part of the hospital’s “commitment to a green environment.”

Water fountains? Ick! In a hospital? OMG!

A November 2008 study by San Francisco Department of Health researchers and published in in Epidemiology and Infections observed that,

Interactive water fountains are established sources of gastrointestinal infections yet most health codes fail to regulate their design and operation.

A February 2006 study by University of Texas School of Public Health researchers and published in the Southern Medical Journal reported that,

… drinking water fountains can be an unexpected and unappreciated source of intake of metal and bacterial contaminants.

Then there’s the trend away from disinfecting drinking water with chlorine — a problem in Ontario not too long ago. As related on the American Chemistry Council web site:

Even where water treatment is widely practiced, constant vigilance is required to guard against waterborne disease outbreaks. Well-known pathogens such as E. coli are easily controlled with chlorination, but can cause deadly outbreaks given conditions of inadequate or no disinfection. A striking example occurred in May 2000 in the Canadian town of Walkerton, Ontario. Seven people died and more than 2,300 became ill after E. coli and other bacteria infected the town’s water supply. [Emphasis added] A report published by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General concludes that, even after the well was contaminated, the Walkerton disaster could have been prevented if the required chlorine residuals had been maintained.

Steve Milloy’s new book Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them spotlights how green will make you life less safe and more inconvenient.

Take action:

Contact Katrina Wilson, President and CEO, Hanover and District Hospital at 519-364-2341 Ext. 206 or by e-mail at kwilson@hanoverhospital.on.ca.

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