Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Water Mist Systems as a Cooling Intervention in Public Places in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia

Version 1 : Received: 11 September 2019 / Approved: 16 September 2019 / Online: 16 September 2019 (12:11:26 CEST)

How to cite: Masaka, E.; Reed, S.; Ooosthuizen, J..; Davidson, M.. Health Risks Associated with the Use of Water Mist Systems as a Cooling Intervention in Public Places in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. Preprints 2019, 2019090167 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0167.v1). Masaka, E.; Reed, S.; Ooosthuizen, J..; Davidson, M.. Health Risks Associated with the Use of Water Mist Systems as a Cooling Intervention in Public Places in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. Preprints 2019, 2019090167 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201909.0167.v1).

Abstract

The exposure of people to opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPPs) such as Legionella, Mycobacterium and Pseudomonas in aerosolised water has been linked to opportunistic infections. Water mist systems (WMS) that are used to cool public places by flash evaporation of tiny water aerosols are gaining prominence in hot climatic regions of Australia. Their potential to be colonised by OPPPs has not been adequately studied. The public health impact of OPPPs is significant, as Legionella caused 63% of waterborne disease case hospitalisations in the United States associated with drinking water systems during 2013–2014, and the incidence of Mycobacterium avium over the same period was 647 cases per 100,000. As WMS are part of premise plumbing, they have structural characteristics that can promote biofilm formation, as well as the presence of free-living amoebae (FLA), low residual disinfection levels, elevated water temperatures and oligotrophic conditions, all of which can promote OPPP inhabitancy. This review highlights the potential public health risks of using WMS as a cooling intervention in public places and advocates for their regulation in places of public assembly and entertainment.

Subject Areas

opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens; water mist system; Legionella; Mycobacterium; Pseudomonas; Acanthamoeba; Naegleria; health risks

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