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Pokhrel questions connection between chlorine and Legionnaire’s in Flint, Michigan

Lok Pokhrel, assistant professor of environmental health in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was quoted in Science for an article responding to a recent study suggesting a relationship between the Legionnaire’s epidemic in Flint, Michigan, and the low chlorine levels in the city's water supply.

In the article, Pokhrel notes that the temperature of the city’s water, not the levels of chlorine cited by the study, may have a stronger connection to the growth of the Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaire’s disease.  

From the article: “A better solution, says Pokhrel, would be to switch to polyvinyl chloride pipes—Flint hopes to do this by 2020—which don’t release iron when exposed to corrosive water. In the meantime, he suggests managing water corrosiveness before it enters the larger distribution system and creating and enforcing standards for maximum Legionella concentrations in the water to help prevent another outbreak like the one in Flint.”

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Posted:  February 7, 2018