Windshield Washer Fluid a Source of Legionnaires (ASMevents, American Society for Microbiology, May 19, 2014)
Also discussed here: Windshield washer fluid a source of Legionnaires: Found in most school buses (ScienceDaily, May 18, 2014)
Today we review research by Otto Schwake who established a link between windshield washer fluid and Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. The link is a bacteria, Legionella, found in the fluid which is transmitted to humans in the mist that is formed when sprayed on the windshield and then inhaled. The bacteria can also cause Pontiac fever, a milder illness resembling the flu. More bacteria were found in summer than in winter and in 75% of the washer fluid samples taken from school buses in Arizona. Although most people exposed to this threat do not become sick, seniors and smokers are at most risk. As much as 20% of those affected by Legionnaires’ disease in the UK, outside of those in hospitals, was found to be associated with automobile windshield washer fluid. One more reason to reduce the number of cars on the road and the pollution they cause.
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