Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Study survey’s health risk in NZ rivers

18 December 2020

Media Release

A pilot study gathering data on the human health risks posed by New Zealand rivers and streams is getting underway this summer.

Scientists from ESR are leading the pilot study analysing a range of pathogens in freshwater, to begin updating the data that quantifies the risks for people using them for recreation.

The Ministry for the Environment funded Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) pilot project will analyse samples from 16 freshwater sites from Northland to Southland.

The purpose of the pilot is to test methods for a comprehensive nationwide QMRA study, which if funded, is expected to begin in late 2020.

The last study of this type was a survey carried out over 20 years ago. That study informed New Zealand’s recreational water quality guidelines which were established in 2003. These are the principal guidelines used by regional and unitary councils to manage health risks posed by faecal pollution.

Scientists say that since the last national survey there have been significant changes in land use and waste management practises, which may have led to changes in the presence or abundance of pathogens in New Zealand’s freshwaters, or their relationship with the microbial indicators that are used for monitoring.

ESR microbiologist Dr Sarah Coxon says the most commonly recognised risk to human health posed by contact with freshwater is faecal contamination, which can contain a range of pathogenic organisms, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

Dr Coxon says since the last full QMRA survey there have also been significant advances in laboratory analyses that allow more sensitive detection of pathogens, and characterisation of the risk they pose to people’s health.

“We need to ensure that the public health advice in the guidelines accounts for any change, and is correctly estimating the human health risk.”

The pilot will be analysing water samples for a range of pathogens including Campylobacter, Salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, and noroviruses. The samples will be compared with indicator organisms E.coli and enterococci, as well as markers for sources of faecal identification.

The pilot gets underway in late January 2020 and results are expected in June 2020. The results will inform a full QMRA study which is expected to take around three years.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Reserve Bank: RBNZ To Implement $30bn Large Scale Asset Purchase Programme Of NZ Govt Bonds

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to implement a Large Scale Asset Purchase programme (LSAP) of New Zealand government bonds. The negative economic implications of the coronavirus outbreak have continued to intensify. The Committee ... More>>

ALSO:

Elevate NZ: Venture Fund To Lift Productivity

The Government’s new $300 million venture capital fund - announced in last year’s Budget – is now open for business as the Elevate NZ Venture Fund. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says lifting New Zealand's productivity requires well-functioning ... More>>

ALSO:


COVID-19: Case Confirmed In NZ – Expert Reaction

After spreading across the globe for months, the first case of COVID-19 has been reported in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health says the risk of a community outbreak is low, due to their preparedness and the high awareness of the disease. The Science ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: New Legislation To Boost Organics

New organics legislation will boost consumer confidence and help grow an innovative sector, says Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Organics Product Bill, introduced to Parliament this week, aims to increase consumer confidence when purchasing ... More>>

ALSO:

Biodiversity Policy: Misinformation Circulating

Forest & Bird is concerned at misinformation circulating regarding a policy statement aimed at protecting New Zealand’s unique biodiversity. The National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is being consulted on by the ... More>>

ALSO: