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Environ Int. 2006 Dec;32(8):948-57. Epub 2006 Jul 12.

Risk management for assuring safe drinking water.

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School of Public Health, 10-102 Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3.


Millions of people die every year around the world from diarrheal diseases much of which is caused by contaminated drinking water. By contrast, drinking water safety is largely taken for granted by many citizens of affluent nations. The ability to drink water that is delivered into households without fear of becoming ill may be one of the key defining characteristics of developed nations in relation to the majority of the world. Yet there is well-documented evidence that disease outbreaks remain a risk that could be better managed and prevented even in affluent nations. A detailed retrospective analysis of more than 70 case studies of disease outbreaks in 15 affluent nations over the past 30 years provides the basis for much of our discussion [Hrudey, S.E. and Hrudey, E.J. Safe Drinking Water--Lessons from Recent Outbreaks in Affluent Nations. London, UK: IWA Publishing; 2004.]. The insights provided can assist in developing a better understanding within the water industry of the causes of drinking water disease outbreaks, so that more effective preventive measures can be adopted by water systems that are vulnerable. This preventive feature lies at the core of risk management for the provision of safe drinking water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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