The research was led by Associate Professor Karin Leder from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in conjunction with Water Quality Research Australia (previously the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment).
"This is the first study of its kind. Until now, there has been no prospective randomised study to investigate the health effects of rainwater consumption, either in Australia or internationally," Associate Professor Leder said.
The study involved three hundred volunteer households in Adelaide that were given a filter to treat their rainwater. Only half of the filters were real while the rest were 'sham' filters that looked real but did not contain filters.
The householders did not know whether they had a real filter. Families recorded their health over a 12-month period, after which time the health outcomes of the two groups were compared.
"The results showed that rates of gastroenteritis between both groups were very similar. People who drank untreated rainwater displayed no measurable increase in illness compared to those that consumed the filtered rainwater," Associate Professor Leder said.
Adelaide was the location chosen for the study as it the city with the highest use of rainwater tanks in Australia.
Associate Professor Leder said some health authorities had doubts about drinking rainwater due to safety concerns, particularly in cities where good quality mains-water is available.
"This study confirms there is a low risk of illness. The results may not be applicable in all situations; nevertheless these findings about the low risk of illness from drinking rainwater certainly imply that it can be used for activities such as showering/bathing where inadvertent or accidental ingestion of small quantities may occur.
"Expanded use of rainwater for many household purposes can be considered and in current times of drought, we want to encourage people to use rainwater as a resource," she said.
The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and Water Quality Research Australia.
To arrange an interview with Associate Professor Leder contact Samantha Blair, Media & Communications Monash University +61 3 9903 4841 or 0439 013951.
Samantha Blair | EurekAlert!
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences