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Anthrax spores may survive water treatment

xisting in older construction). After 6 hours anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of spores had attached themselves to the surface of the copper and CPVC pipes, 95 percent attached to the iron pipes. When biofilms were present on the interior of copper pipes attachment increased to 80 percent.

"The data seem to suggest that anthrax spores can tolerate water treatment, can attach to pipes or biofilms within the pipes, and could pass through pipe systems to reach the consumer tap," says Calomiris.

In the unlikely event of the release of anthrax spores into the water supply, alternate decontamination protocols (such as exposure to higher concentrations of chlorine or an alternate disinfectant for an extended period of time) may be needed as regular treatment methods may not be effective, he says.


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Source:American Society for Microbiology


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