Cryptosporidium and Giardia safety margin increase in leafy green vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater.Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2018 01; 221(1):112-119.IJ
The presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in waste water is a main concern because water reuse for irrigation can jeopardize human health. Spanish Legislation for water reuse does not oblige to analyze the presence of both pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia in reused water for irrigation. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to determine the influence of wastewater treatment in the increase of the consumer safety margin in relation to the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in leafy green vegetables. With this aim in mind, a total of 108 samples from raw (influent) and treated wastewater (effluent) from three wastewater treatment plants in Spain were analysed according to USEPA Method 1623. Effluent results show that Cryptosporidium oocysts average counts ranged from 1.38 to 2.6/L oocysts and Giardia cysts ranged from 0.6 to 1.7/L cysts, which means a removal values of 2.7 log, 2.5 log and 1.8 log for Cryptosporidium oocysts and 1 log, 2 log and 2.2 log for Giardia cysts in the three wastewater treatment plants analysed. In relation to safety margin the highest probability that exposure exceed the dose response was observed for Giardia. In addition, the sensitivity analysis showed that (oo)cysts concentration present in the leafy green vegetables and the human dose-response were the most influential inputs in the safety margin obtained.