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Risks of Exposure to Microbial Contamination in Eyewash Stations

  • Clifford S. Swanson
    Affiliations
    The University of Tennessee, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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  • Justice M. Williams
    Affiliations
    Maryville College, Division of Natural Sciences, Maryville, Tennessee, USA
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  • Qiang He
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Dr. Qiang He, University of Tennessee, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 851 Neyland Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, United States, Phone: +01-865-9746067
    Affiliations
    The University of Tennessee, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

    The University of Tennessee, Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
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Published:November 18, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2022.11.009

      Highlights

      • Eyewash stations are important safety equipment characterized by long water age
      • Significant increases in microbial contamination were detected in eyewash stations
      • Eyewash stations may serve as potential sources of pathogen exposure
      • Proper eyewash flushing was effective in reducing microbial contamination

      Abstract

      Emergency eyewash stations are important safety equipment characterized by long water age. Significant increases in microbial contamination were detected in eyewash stations with water ages longer than 1 day. Enterobacter and Mycobacterium were identified in high abundance in eyewash stations with prolonged water age, suggesting eyewash stations as potential sources of pathogen exposure. Proper eyewash flushing was shown to be an effective practice to mitigate risks of exposure to microbial contaminants from eyewash use.

      Keywords

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