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Car Windshield Cleaning Fluid Carries Deadly Bacteria (Legionnnaires)
BI - Popular Science ^ | 5-20-2014 | Douglas Main, Popular Science

Posted on 05/20/2014 11:22:28 AM PDT by blam

Douglas Main, Popular Science
May 20, 2014, 12:40 PM

Washing fluid can carry the bacterium responsible for Legionnaires' disease.

That which cleans your windshield is not exactly clean itself: A new study found that windshield washing fluid can harbor the bacteria that causes

Legionnaires' disease, a severe type of pneumonia that hospitalizes as many as 18,000 Americans every year.

Scientists already knew that there was a link between Legionnaires' and riding in automobiles, but didn't know why--and the fluid may be the reason.

In the study, presented today (May 19) at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, scientists found that 75 percent of washing fluid from school buses in central Arizona carried a variety of the Legionella bacterium that causes the disease.

“Washer fluid has the traits a potentially dangerous source of Legionella exposure needs,” Otto Schwake, a microbiology Ph.D. student at Arizona State University in Tempe and the study’s lead author, told Bloomberg. “It is aerosolized, heated and people are regularly exposed to it. The results from this study support previously demonstrated epidemiological evidence for a link between automobiles and Legionnaires’ disease."

Legionella bacteria can cause the disease when they are dispersed in the air and inhaled, and it got its named from an outbreak at a meeting of the American Legion in 1976. Most people exposed to the pathogen do not get infected, and it most commonly infects the elderly, smokers, and those with compromised immune systems.

(snip)

(Excerpt) Read more at popsci.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bacteria; disease; legionnaires; windshieldfluid
It's Always Something. (IAS)
1 posted on 05/20/2014 11:22:28 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Is it Chinese Window Fluid that is causing this or any fluid...

I would think the washing fluid is already toxic enough to kill bugs in it.... Maybe not...


2 posted on 05/20/2014 11:25:26 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: GraceG

“I would think the washing fluid is already toxic enough to kill bugs in it.... Maybe not...”

It’s got alcohol in it so it won’t freeze. How can the bacteria live in alcohol?


3 posted on 05/20/2014 11:27:33 AM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: blam

I thought windshield washer fluid was full of methyl alcohol. I guess that’s not enough to kill the pathogen?


4 posted on 05/20/2014 11:28:03 AM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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To: blam

If you spill some and slip on it, you can break your neck. Also if you drink it, you have a high probability of damaging your liver. I’m surprised they forgot to mention that.


5 posted on 05/20/2014 11:28:51 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: blam
Gee, just a couple years ago I gave a speech to the American College of Anti-Icing Compound Manufacturers in which I advocated the use of the contents of HVAC cooling tower drain pits as an inexpensive source of windshield cleaning fluid.

I lost track of them right after their check cleared; I had no idea they'd take me seriously.

6 posted on 05/20/2014 11:29:02 AM PDT by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: blam

Does anti freeze ruin the paint?


7 posted on 05/20/2014 11:29:15 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: blam

Is it because of the water sitting in the reservoir for so long?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windshield_washer_fluid

Varieties

Windshield washer fluid is sold in many formulations, and some may require dilution before being applied, although most solutions available in North America come premixed with no diluting required. The most common washer fluid solutions are given labels such as “All-Season”, “Bug Remover”, or “De-icer”, and usually are a combination of solvents with a detergent. Dilution factors will vary depending on season, for example in winter the dilution factor may be 1:1, whereas during summer the dilution factor may be 1:10. It is sometimes sold as sachet of crystals, which is also diluted with water. Distilled water is the preferred diluent, since it will not leave trace mineral deposits on the glass.

Anti-freeze, or methylated spirits, may be added to a mixture to give the product a lower freezing temperature. But methanol vapor is harmful when breathed in, so more popular now is an ethanol winter mix, e.g. PAV[clarification needed], water, ethanol (or isopropanol), and ethylene glycol.

Concerns have been raised about the overall environmental aspects of washer fluid.[citation needed] Widespread, ground-level use of wiper fluid (amounting to billions of liters each year)[citation needed] can lead to cumulative air pollution and water pollution.[citation needed]

Consumer advocacy groups and auto enthusiasts believe that the alcohols and solvents present in some, but not all, windshield washer fluid can damage the vehicle.[citation needed] These critics point to the corrosive effects of ethanol, methanol, and other components on paint, rubber, car wax, and plastics, and groups propose various alternatives and homemade recipes[specify] so as to protect the finish and mechanics of the motor vehicle.

Legionnaires’ disease

On 14 June 2010, the UK’s Health Protection Agency announced the results of a preliminary study of 75 patients, which found an association between the use of plain water as wiper fluid and Legionnaires’ disease, which is spread by breathing in aerosolized bacteria from infected water. It had been noticed that prevalence of the disease was five times higher among professional drivers.[2][3]


8 posted on 05/20/2014 11:33:57 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: blam

Note to self: Do not drink car windshield washer fluid.


9 posted on 05/20/2014 11:40:05 AM PDT by clintonh8r (#Don't give up! The liberals are buggering and aborting themselves into extinction.)
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To: blam; Madame Dufarge; Gabz

” Most people exposed to the pathogen do not get infected, and it most commonly infects the elderly, smokers, and those with compromised immune systems”.

I’m an elderly smoker.

I am doomed.

( According to “studies” there should be no such thing as an elderly smoker.) :-)

.


10 posted on 05/20/2014 11:40:26 AM PDT by Mears
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To: blam

How odd.


11 posted on 05/20/2014 11:41:32 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: blam
My bateria in Rain-X just wipes right off when I'm washing the windshield.

I don't drink it, touch it or bathe in it.

12 posted on 05/20/2014 11:50:01 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Good grief. Never seen so many “citation needed” entries. Looks like some jackass decided that was the next-big-thing to get bent out of shape over.


13 posted on 05/20/2014 11:50:32 AM PDT by TheZMan (Buy more ammo.)
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To: trisham

I was pretty sure that windshield washing fluid contains a significant quantity of alcohol, and bacteria don’t tend to survive in alcohol...


14 posted on 05/20/2014 11:51:29 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: TheZMan

You can never let a crisis or perceived crisis go to waste!


15 posted on 05/20/2014 11:51:38 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

One would think that the most likely source for Legionnaire’s disease for passengers would be the liquid condensation that can accumulate in the AC system.


16 posted on 05/20/2014 11:54:44 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: MrB

I found this, which doesn’t mention alcohol..

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5813733_windshield-washer-fluid-made-with_.html

Could it be that only those formulas that don’t contain alcohol are the problem?


17 posted on 05/20/2014 12:00:10 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: chrisser

No, but it will blind them...

;-)


18 posted on 05/20/2014 12:00:18 PM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: chrisser
I thought windshield washer fluid was full of methyl alcohol. I guess that’s not enough to kill the pathogen?

The research was done in Arizona. In AZ, we don't need no stinkin' antifreeze in our windshield washer fluid.

19 posted on 05/20/2014 12:00:52 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: Kirkwood

Since washer fluid stays contained until it reaches outside of the car I would agree with you that it more than likely would be in the car’s AC system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionnaires%27_disease

Legionnaires’ disease is transmitted by inhalation of aerosolized water and/or soil contaminated with the bacteria. It is not airborne and it is not transmitted from person-to-person. Sources where temperatures allow the bacteria to thrive include hot-water tanks, cooling towers and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems, such as those commonly found in hotels and large office buildings. Though the first known outbreak was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, cases of legionellosis have occurred throughout the world.[5]

Legionella pneumophila thrives in aquatic systems where it is established within amoeba in a symbiotic relationship. In the built environment, central air conditioning systems in office buildings, hotels, and hospitals are sources of contaminated water.[13] Other places it can dwell include cooling towers used in industrial cooling systems as well as evaporative coolers, nebulizers, humidifiers, whirlpool spas, hot water systems, showers, windshield washers, fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, and misting systems typically found in grocery store produce sections.[14][15]

Potential sources of contaminated water include cooling towers (some 40% to 60% of ones tested[16]) used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, nebulizers, humidifiers, whirlpool spas, hot water systems, showers, windshield washers,[15] architectural fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, misting equipment, and similar disseminators that draw upon a public water supply.


20 posted on 05/20/2014 12:02:01 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: Kirkwood

Yes. One would.

But most people would rather drive with a dirty windshield than without air conditioning.

;-)


21 posted on 05/20/2014 12:04:41 PM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: Kirkwood

probably not good to use as an eyewash or a douche, or cook pasta in, either. why they didn’t bring these obvious ones is really beyond me.


22 posted on 05/20/2014 12:08:02 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: trisham; MrB
That's why I use only White Lightnin' brand washer fluid in my vehicles.

It's 190 Proof of pure windshield cleaning power.

I have a reliable supplier in Franklin County - and if he's out of stock I can always import some from nearby West Virginia or Kentucky.

23 posted on 05/20/2014 12:08:09 PM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: Kirkwood

It doesn’t make a very good hair tonic either.


24 posted on 05/20/2014 12:08:58 PM PDT by WayneS (Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.)
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To: dljordan
It’s got alcohol in it so it won’t freeze. How can the bacteria live in alcohol?

Some bacteria is really tough. I have made a lot of fresh plant tinctures using 180 proof (90%) alcohol. The only water is what is present in the plant material yet I have seen stuff growing in jars of tincture that wasn't pressed out soon enough.

25 posted on 05/20/2014 12:08:59 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: WayneS

:)


26 posted on 05/20/2014 12:09:03 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: TigersEye

correction - I used 190 proof (95%) alcohol.


27 posted on 05/20/2014 12:19:12 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: SMARTY

No

Brake fluid does. (non synthetic)


28 posted on 05/20/2014 12:32:11 PM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!! Once again dingy hairball, STFU!!! You corrupt POS!!!)
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To: WayneS

When I saw the mention of Franklin County connected with alcohol I knew you were from Virginia without looking at your profile. :)


29 posted on 05/20/2014 12:35:18 PM PDT by Library Lady (When little men cast long shadows, the day is almost ended. – Paul Harvey)
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To: blam

Don’t lick your windshield


30 posted on 05/20/2014 12:37:06 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: trisham
Could it be that only those formulas that don’t contain alcohol are the problem?

It might also have something to do with the large size of the washer reservoirs on today's cars and trucks, as well as the fact that alcohol will tend to evaoprate out in hot weather. If you don't use the washer often and rarely top it off with fresh fluid, there might be very little alcohol present.

31 posted on 05/20/2014 1:13:26 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Charles Martel

That makes sense.


32 posted on 05/20/2014 1:14:04 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: TigersEye

“The only water is what is present in the plant material yet I have seen stuff growing in jars of tincture that wasn’t pressed out soon enough.”

Good grief! Those bugs must have been pretty tough.


33 posted on 05/20/2014 2:15:44 PM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
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To: dljordan
That's what I thought. It kind of scares me to think what
kind of bug can live in that. Those tinctures get tossed.
34 posted on 05/20/2014 2:25:14 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" is more than an Army Ranger credo it's the character of America.)
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To: MrB

Some bacteria don’t seem to have a problem with alcohol.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42240430/ns/health-infectious_diseases/t/two-thirds-alcohol-wipes-test-contaminated-bacteria/#.U3vLySgkR8E


35 posted on 05/20/2014 2:42:14 PM PDT by gtk
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To: Mears
( According to “studies” there should be no such thing as an elderly smoker.) :-)

Well, if you weren't already deceased because of your smoking, I'd advise you to never drink windshield washer fluid.

I'm sorry I couldn't warn you off sooner...:-(

36 posted on 05/21/2014 8:56:54 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Madame Dufarge

Just got home from my annual physical.

I aced it-—and my terrific doctor just shakes her head and chuckles.

.


37 posted on 05/21/2014 10:57:43 AM PDT by Mears
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To: Mears

Great news, Mears!


38 posted on 05/21/2014 11:29:35 AM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: blam

I’m calling my congressman and demanding that the govt issue antibiotics immediately for all windshield washer tanks.

Set up roadblocks nationwide and have forcible administration!

No religious exemptions permitted!


39 posted on 05/21/2014 11:35:48 AM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: blam

I’ve been wondering if Legionnaire’s bacteria reside in my car’s air conditioning system. Whenever I turn it on, a very sour dishcloth-like stench flows out.

I Googled the make and model of my car to see if others noticed this, and sure enough, there are.

My car is only 1 year old. According to Google, the smell comes from water that’s trapped in the a/c pipes. Took it to the dealer....they didn’t smell anything (of course not).


40 posted on 05/21/2014 1:24:28 PM PDT by EnquiringMind
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To: EnquiringMind

Same here. I’ve got a VW and have access to air return system before it passes over the coil by removing the cabin air filter. Figured it would not hurt to pull the cabin filter, turn on the ac to route the air over the coils and spray some Endbac or even Lysol into the system.


41 posted on 05/21/2014 1:35:12 PM PDT by CodeJockey (Christian, Freeper, Tea Party Member, Bitter Clinger, Creepy White Cracker)
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To: CodeJockey

Thank you so much! Will give that a try.


42 posted on 05/23/2014 3:18:35 PM PDT by EnquiringMind
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