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General Chat Thread, Do you add screenwash? in General; Add screenwash or risk Legionnaires' disease - Yahoo! News UK...
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    Do you add screenwash?


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    witch's Avatar
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    One of my schools has an old fashioned water tank and it is tested every so often for legionnaires disease...they find it every now and again but don't close the school...so what's a bit of dangerous screenwash!

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    Yeah always use screen wash as it cleans the screen better and, depending on the type, doesn't freeze in winter.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Always use it as it gets rid of the bug-splatter better in summer stops freezing in winter.

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    Always use it for reasons above.

    As a legionairre's precaution, we've just been told that we have to ensure all the taps are run for 1min each term, and we need to check that they are outside the 20-45C range. What a chore! I stated (loudly) that I felt that this was out of our remit. Awaiting a reply.

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    Our site manager has to check and log the water temps on a regular basis. When I was sailing regularly I made a simple heat exchanger that warmed the water in a 5l container from the car engine. I used it to sluice myself down if there were no showers. Makes me wonder how I survived!

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    The big risk from the windscreen washer seems to be that you have a fine spray which you can then breathe in. Showering (sort of) with warm water isn't going to be such a big deal (you're not breathing in the spray and you're probably not keeping the water at a steady warm temperature so things can breed)

    I also wonder about the very expensive bottles of mineral water which people leave on their desks all day in the warm weather - how many bacteria are growing in them within a few hours of opening?? Still, at least there are no nasty chemicals in the bottle :-)

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    PeteM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    Always use it for reasons above.

    As a legionairre's precaution, we've just been told that we have to ensure all the taps are run for 1min each term, and we need to check that they are outside the 20-45C range. What a chore! I stated (loudly) that I felt that this was out of our remit. Awaiting a reply.
    Your Union's view on this task would be interesting to see.

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    I'll be honest, I'm a bit naive about all this. I mean I know standing water isnt a good thing, but I never knew that bacteria would breed in a bottle of water?

    As for the car, I dont see why you wouldnt use screenwash tbh, it does a much better job of cleaning

    Anyway with the window washers, surely the spray doesnt come inside the car so where is the risk?
    Last edited by sidewinder; 14th June 2010 at 02:49 PM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    We run regular legionaire's tests on all our water tanks... can't tell you how often, but H&S manager organises it.

    @sidewinder: bacteria can grow in any water; standing or not. Legionaire's prefers static warm (not hot) water and is spread by droplet infection.

    Most car washer bottles get warm, particularly in summer. I can usually faintly smell the washer fluid when I squirt the windscreen. I presume this must come in through the air intake... therefore infection from the washer bottle is perfectly possible. Your car is not a sealed unit.

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    I never bother with screenwash, I rely on the dork in the BMW in front of me at the traffic lights whose spray always seems to go right over their roof and land on my car wind-shield....

  12. 2 Thanks to tech_guy:

    OutToLunch (15th June 2010), speckytecky (14th June 2010)

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    As for the car, I dont see why you wouldnt use screenwash tbh, it does a much better job of cleaning
    I think they are saying we should use it to kill off bacteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    I think they are saying we should use it to kill off bacteria.
    Yes, I meant I imagine most people would be using it anyway because it works better, hence they are already protected

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    We run regular legionaire's tests on all our water tanks... can't tell you how often, but H&S manager organises it.

    @sidewinder: bacteria can grow in any water; standing or not. Legionaire's prefers static warm (not hot) water and is spread by droplet infection.

    Most car washer bottles get warm, particularly in summer. I can usually faintly smell the washer fluid when I squirt the windscreen. I presume this must come in through the air intake... therefore infection from the washer bottle is perfectly possible. Your car is not a sealed unit.
    Thanks, I didnt know much about it. So say I go on holiday, buy a big bottle of water and leave it in the room for a day so its warm, but not boiling. Is that then potentially dangerous?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    Thanks, I didnt know much about it. So say I go on holiday, buy a big bottle of water and leave it in the room for a day so its warm, but not boiling. Is that then potentially dangerous?
    I would think so but I'm not an expert and I don't think the risk is huge.

    As I understand it, there are always bacteria in the air and they breed when you get warmth and moisture so a warmish bottle of water could be a breeding ground. Normal tap water in the UK has small amounts of chlorine in it which kill the bacteria but (generally!) don't affect people. One of the supposed benefits of bottled mineral water is that you don't get that chlorine added but that does mean that bacteria could grow.

    Some countries add more chlorine to the water than we do - this is why the water tastes "funny" but it's normally safe to drink.



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