Tap water is generally safe to drink, but it may not be safe to use in your medical devices. Devices like humidifiers, nasal rinsing devices, vaporizers, or contact lens cases are often filled with tap water. However, recent research shows that using tap water in these devices could be risky and even dangerous.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study and found that many people mistakenly believe that tap water doesn’t contain bacteria. More than half of the respondents thought that tap water could be safely used in medical devices. The CDC wants to raise awareness about the dangers of using tap water in such devices. They emphasize that this information is not meant to scare anyone or suggest that tap water is unsafe for drinking, cooking, or bathing. Instead, they want people to be aware that natural pathogens can be present in tap water.
Tap water in the United States is usually safe for drinking, cooking, and bathing. However, there are still some tiny organisms in the water that can be harmful. Breathing in or touching these organisms may not be safe for your body, especially if you’re young, elderly, or have health issues. Devices that push or spray water into your body carry a higher risk compared to devices like humidifiers that only affect a single room or the whole house.
These organisms are responsible for about 120,000 people being hospitalized and 7,000 deaths, according to Health experts. The amount of harmful organisms in tap water depends on how it’s treated, where you live, and how old the pipes are. Many pipes in the US are over 50 years old, and over time, these organisms build up in them. These organisms can change and adapt, which is why more research is needed to understand what might happen in the future.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this issue. Boiling tap water for one minute (if you live below 6,500 feet) or three minutes (if you live at a higher elevation) can effectively kill the microorganisms present in the water. After boiling, you can safely use the water in your medical devices. If you’re uncertain about this process, you can always seek assistance from a medical professional.
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