Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Technol. 2010 May 1;44(9):3267-72. doi: 10.1021/es903524m.

Hands, water, and health: fecal contamination in Tanzanian communities with improved, non-networked water supplies.

Author information

1
Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Almost half of the world's population relies on non-networked water supply services, which necessitates in-home water storage. It has been suggested that dirty hands play a role in microbial contamination of drinking water during collection, transport, and storage. However, little work has been done to evaluate quantitatively the association between hand contamination and stored water quality within households. This study measured levels of E. coli, fecal streptococci, and occurrence of the general Bacteroidales fecal DNA marker in source water, in stored water, and on hands in 334 households among communities in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where residents use non-networked water sources. Levels of fecal contamination on hands of mothers and children were positively correlated to fecal contamination in stored drinking water within households. Household characteristics associated with hand contamination included mother's educational attainment, use of an improved toilet, an infant in the household, and dissatisfaction with the quantity of water available for hygiene. In addition, fecal contamination on hands was associated with the prevalence of gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms within a household. The results suggest that reducing fecal contamination on hands should be investigated as a strategy for improving stored drinking water quality and health among households using non-networked water supplies.

Comment in

PMID:
20222746
DOI:
10.1021/es903524m
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center