Info

Anatoxin A

Probable

Inactivated in days

Unknown

Neurological

Tetrodotoxin

Yes

Unknown

Inactivated 0.5 ppm

N, V, D, neurological

Saxitoxin

Yes

Stable

Resistant at 10 ppm

Neurological

Agents categorized by IP-31-017 as not threats to drinking water, or as an unlikely threat: Protozoa: Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba sp (meningitis), T. gondii (mononucleosis-like); Bacteria: Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli and Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei (diarrhea), Salmonella typhi (flulike); Viruses: encephalomyelitis and hemorrhagic fever (flulike), reoviruses and norovirus (diarrhea).

*Agents added to IP-31-017 list by authors as concerns of health departments. ^Cysts chlorine tolerant, but removed by standard sand filtration.

Data from Medical Issues Information Paper No. IP-31-017, "Biological Warfare Agents as Potable Water Threats.'' U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. Table courtesy of Michael Wagner, MD, PhD.

health standards and then incorporates regional variations that are distinct from the standards of individual municipalities. As a result, higher levels of vigilance are maintained in regions that are perceived of as more likely targets of terrorism. This description holds true for the water surveillance policy for biological agents in the United States Although the threat to our water systems has been recognized, policy making has not yet followed the rhetoric, and the current system ultimately is reactive rather than preemptive. The current state of water surveillance infrastructure serves more in a public health, detect-to-treat mode, compared with a more comprehensive preventative measure. Specifically, federal regulators impose more sophisticated treatment requirements, rather than more sophisticated monitoring requirements, on water utilities with high levels of endemic pathogens. A case in point is cryptosporidium and the enhanced surface treatment rule of 1996, which focuses primarily on filtration (EPA, 1998). Once the utility implements treatment, it focuses on post-treatment monitoring of the source waters (i.e., it monitors finished water).

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