Guideline: What You Need to Know About Clinical Laboratory Reagent Water
Whether you’re designing a new water system for a clinical laboratory, or if you’re checking the quality of your current system, you’re going to have to know the basics of CLSI standards and guidelines for CLRW. We’ll provide you with an overview, including some ways to prevent problems before they occur.
An international, interdisciplinary, not-for-profit, standards-developing, and educational organization that promotes the development and use of voluntary consensus standards and guidelines within the healthcare community.”
Global in scope, CLSI works with the laboratory community to “foster an excellence in laboratory medicine.” Their process for developing standards relies on input and consensus from industry, government and healthcare professionals.
What are CLSI Standards vs. CLSI Guidelines?
CLSI produces standards, guidelines and reports. When it comes to deionized water in a clinical laboratory setting, most lab managers are focused specifically on the guidelines and how they adhere to the lab’s di water system.
Standard: A document developed through the consensus process that clearly identifies specific, essential requirements for materials, methods, or practices for use in an unmodified form. A standard may, in addition, contain discretionary elements, which are clearly identified.
Guideline: A document developed through the consensus process describing criteria for a general operating practice, procedure, or material for voluntary use. A guideline may be used as written or modified by the user to fit specific needs.
Hardness of Water
In scientific terms, water hardness is generally the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. But in layman’s terms, you may notice water hardness when your hands still feel slimy after washing with soap and water, or when your drinking glasses at home become less than crystal clear. Learn a lot more about water hardness on the Water Science School site.
The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium. You may have felt the effects of hard water, literally, the last time you washed your hands. Depending on the hardness of your water, after using soap to wash you may have felt like there was a film of residue left on your hands. In hard water, soap reacts with the calcium (which is relatively high in hard water) to form “soap scum”. When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, or your laundry
Have you done a load of dishes in the dishwasher, taken out the glasses, and noticed spots or film on them? This is more hard-water residue—not dangerous, but unsightly. Many industrial and domestic water users are concerned about the hardness of their water. When hard water is heated, such as in a home water heater, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form. This scale can reduce the life of equipment, raise the costs of heating the water, lower the efficiency of electric water heaters, and clog pipes. And, yes, mineral buildup will occur in your home coffee maker too, which is why some people occasionally run vinegar (an acid) through the pot. The acidity of vinegar helps to dissolve mineral particles by making them charged. These newly charged particles become attracted to the positive and negative charges in water and can be washed away easily.
But hard water can have some benefits, too. Humans need minerals to stay healthy, and the World Health Organization (WHO) states that drinking-water may be a contributor of calcium and magnesium in the diet and could be important for those who are marginal for calcium and magnesium intake.
Measures of water hardness
Hardness is caused by compounds of calcium and magnesium, and by a variety of other metals. General guidelines for classification of waters are: 0 to 60 mg/L (milligrams per liter) as calcium carbonate is classified as soft; 61 to 120 mg/L as moderately hard; 121 to 180 mg/L as hard; and more than 180 mg/L as very hard.
How to Test Your Drinking Water
As a result, you need to learn how to test your potable water, so you and your family remain safe. Contaminated water consumed on a regular basis can lead to health problems.
Higher than acceptable levels of lead occur in potable water in 41 states, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In 33 states, potable water tainted with industrial chemicals and pollutants has also been linked to health problems including cancer and hormone disruption
What Contaminants Are in Drinking Water?
Sometimes simple nuisance bacteria develop in water and can produce iron and sulfur, two dangerous contaminants. However, other bacteria cause disease. These include E. Coli and coliform which require medical treatment.
Many tests for potable water help determine if the following contaminants are present: arsenic, bromine, carbonate, copper, chlorine, cyanuric acid, fluoride, iron, lead, nitrates, nitrites and residual chlorine. These common elements can occur in safe levels, but the test materials explain what those are and the appropriate safe parameters.
Its Hard to Detect Contaminants
While you cannot see these elements with the naked eye, you can see symptoms of their presence in your bathroom fixtures. For example, iron leaves yellow or orange stains on the bathtub, cement and sinks. Iron creates rust which contaminates your water with long-term consumption of rust causing serious illness. Manganese also stains fixtures, but in black or purple. Long-term consumption of it leads to declines in mental health and psychiatric issues.
Water Quality Results
Beaches and COVID-19 Transmission
Swimming at the City public beaches is not considered to be an important risk for transmission of COVID-19. Water is not a favoured route of transmission for the virus that causes COVID-19. This virus preferentially transmits short distances (up to 2 metres) through the air by respiratory droplets from an infected person (from coughing, sneezing, shouting, singing, talking, breathing), by direct contact with an infected person or by contact with a surface that an infected person has touched (and now, contaminated fingers bringing the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth).
To minimize transmission of COVID-19 when at a public beach or park:
Practice physical distancing from others in changerooms, washrooms and wear a mask for added protection in areas you cannot maintain at least 2 metres from others not in your group.
When in the water, on the shorelines and enjoying the park and picnic areas, practice physical distancing. While the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is much less outdoors than indoors, when there is significant crowding, as there could be at a pool or beach, there is greater concern about spread.
Physical distancing, wearing face masks, staying home when sick, and practicing good hand hygiene remain the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.
Water test results are not available immediately as they take at least 18 hours to process in the laboratory. For this reason, swim advisories are issued based on water sample results from the previous day, as well as our knowledge of water quality at each beach in previous years and how they react to factors such as rainfall and bird activity.
Public Health will not recommend swimming at beaches if:
the geometric mean of 5 water samples taken on the previous day is greater than 200 E. coli per 100mL of water ( water quality standard for beach water quality);
there is a significant rainfall event; or
we are aware of a situation that could impact the water quality at a beach.
Are you concerned about what is really in your drinking water?
Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. The most common standards used to assess water quality relate to drinking water, safety of human contact and for the health of ecosystems
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