Tags: Coronavirus | Health Topics | water | contamination | tainted | washing | hands

Washing Hands Could Be a Problem for Millions of Americans

soapy hands are being washing under a faucet
(Patrick Pleul/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 July 2020 06:38 PM

Healthcare experts around the world declared the battle cry against COVID-19: Wash your hands!

But experts say, for the nearly 21 million Americans who depend on water that violates nationwide health standards, washing their hands with tainted water poses a huge health risk, especially for those trying to decrease their risk of getting COVID-19.

According to Medical Daily, lead in our water supply could lead to cardiovascular problems as well as decreased kidney function and reproductive problems in adults. Children are more likely to have lower IQ's and exhibit behavioral problems when their water supply is contaminated. According to a government publication published in 2017, low income families and people of color often live in areas where the water is contaminated, thus increasing the disparity in COVID-19 victims.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said members of racial and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age. The CDC offered new data to show, in America, the death rates among Blacks and Hispanic/Latino people are much higher than for white people, in all age categories.

The CDC suggests possible reasons for this disparity, including long-standing health and social inequities that have put people of racial and ethnic minority groups at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering severe complications. 

Thousands of residents in Detroit and Newark cannot afford to pay their water bills and are relying on donations of bottled water during the pandemic, according to Medical Daily, but stay-at-home orders make even getting the donations difficult.

According to Business Insider, the CDC says its fine to wash your hands with lead contaminated water, but experts warn that people could swallow lead that is left on their fingertips. A Business Insider analyst revealed the COVID-19 case numbers were higher in neighborhoods of Detroit without clean water.

Kristi Pullen Fedinick, director of science and data at the National Resources Defense Council, told Busines Insider that residents in both Newark and Detroit have expressed distrust and frustration with health officials.

"You can't trust the water, how can you trust the public health response to a pandemic?" she said.

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Experts say, for the nearly 21 million Americans who depend on water that violates nationwide health standards, washing their hands with tainted water poses a huge health risk, especially for those trying to decrease their risk of getting COVID-19.
water, contamination, tainted, washing, hands, pandemic, americans
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2020-38-14
Tuesday, 14 July 2020 06:38 PM
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