42% of people filled their respiratory devices with unsafe water, study finds

Nearly 1 in 4 study participants admitted filling their respiratory devices with tap water, which can be unsterile, according to a CDC study

Microorganisms from tap water have resulted in 120,000 hospital admissions, 7,000 deaths and "billions in direct healthcare costs" every year because of waterborne diseases, the study said. 

In a survey conducted in August 2021, 24 percent of respondents said they filled their respiratory devices, such as CPAP machines, with tap water. More than 40 percent said tap water was safe for using those devices. 

"Although most persons understand what sterile water is and acknowledge that tap water is not sterile, a large proportion of persons responded that tap water can be used" for some medical devices, the researchers wrote in conclusion, adding that public health messaging needs to further teach about the correct use of tap water.

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