Study: Recreational Water Illnesses

Study: Recreational Water Illnesses2018-05-17T08:56:40+00:00

kids keep out of pool with high bacterial levelsAs public pools and spas begin to open for the summer swim season, it’s important to be aware of the health implications that can affect your family. Recreational water illnesses, or RWIs, are becoming more prevalent in pools across the country, causing health issues such as infections on the skin and eyes, as well as respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. The best way to prevent RWIs from making your family sick is to know the facts.

The team at iONRx recently performed a study on two different pathogenic strains that are commonly found in swimming pools, water parks, or hot tubs. Our team first tested the growth and inhibition of two common bacteria found in bodies of water. The second test analyzed how long it would take to kill the two bacteria using the only free ionic copper-based water treatment solution with antimicrobial properties on the market called AquaCop, the foundation of iONRx.

Background Information 

According to the CDC, recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in. They are spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that turn into gas in the air and cause air quality problems at indoor aquatic facilities.

Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. RWIs can be a wide variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections.

Bacteria #1 – Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive, round-shaped bacterium. Frequently found in the nose, respiratory tract, and on the skin. Although S. aureus is not always pathogenic, it is a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning. Pathogenic strains often promote infections by producing virulence factors such as potent protein toxins, and the expression of a cell-surface protein that binds and inactivates antibodies. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is a worldwide problem.

Bacteria #2 – E. Coli

  1. E. coli is used in public health as an indicator of fecal pollution (as of water or food) and in medicine and genetics as a research organism and that occurs in various strains that may live as harmless inhabitants of the human lower intestine or may produce a toxin causing intestinal illness. E. coli strains are found worldwide and live in significant numbers in human and other animals as part of the normal bacterial population of the large intestines.

Test #1 – Growth and Inhibition of Bacteria

Testing Facility – University Laboratory

Method of Test – Growth & Inhibition

Bacteria Tested – Staph aureus & E. Coli – MRSA

Description of Test 

Growth & Inhibition testing is a useful method of testing how well a product can prevent bacteria from flourishing. Two samples of bacteria are started. At a specific time point in the test, the sample product is added to one of the samples to determine if the product can prevent further growth of the bacteria. The test can also determine if the sample product can eliminate the bacteria over a period of time.

graph showing the growth time and inhibition of S. aureus

Testing Notes:

The Free Ionic Copper solution showed excellent test results in growth & inhibition testing. The technology was able to stop the bacteria from flourishing and over a short period of time the bacteria was lowered by over 99.9%. Testing conditions were normal.

growth time for E.Coli

Testing Notes:

The Free Ionic Copper solution showed excellent test results in growth & inhibition testing. The technology was able to stop the bacteria from flourishing and over a short period of time the bacteria was lowered by over 99.9%. Testing conditions were normal.

Test #2 – Time Kill Test of Bacteria

Testing Facility – Independent Laboratory

Method of Test – Time Kill Test

Bacteria Tested – Staph aureus & E.Coli- MRSA

Description of Test

Time Kill Test is a basic microbiology method for assessment of Antimicrobial Activity of An Antimicrobial Test Material or Disinfectant. The Kill Time Test is carried out to evaluate the microbial reduction by a disinfectant against selected bacteria or fungi. Various organisms are studied depending upon the type of analysis and test material.

graph showing the time it took to kill e.coli in hot tub

graph showing the time it took to fully kill Staph bacteria in spa

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