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Drinking Water Fact Sheet: Drinking Water and the Elderly

Aging is associated with physiological, functional, and behavioral changes that can result in increased vulnerability to biological and chemical contaminants in drinking water. As a group, the elderly are at increased risk of infection and disease from microbial contamination due to many factors, such as reduced immunity, frailty from malnutrition, or existing chronic illness. In addition, decreased liver and kidney function associated with aging affects how the body processes chemicals, and irregularities of the thirst mechanism alter fluid balance. Exposure patterns for the institutionalized elderly may also differ in important ways from patterns in other populations. As a group, the elderly can suffer more severe consequences from infections such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7, and are at greater risk of dying from waterborne infections.

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Resources

  • Annual Report 2012

    PSR is pleased to present its 2012 Annual Report to our members and other stakeholders. Read more »

  • Toxic Chemicals in Our Food System

    What chemicals are in the food we eat? Chemicals are used in every step of the process that puts food on our table: production, harvesting, processing, packing, transport, marketing and consumption and can be dangerous to our health. Read more »

  • Fracking: Harm on the Farm

    Chemical exposures that harm farm animals and wild animals raise concern about health risks for people living near fracking sites, as the animals use the same water and breathe the same air as humans. Another, indirect concern for human health also exists: in multiple known cases of chemical exposure, cows continued to produce dairy and meat for human consumption, although it remained untested for chemical contaminants. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • July 17, 2014
    Our Best Opportunity to Cut Climate Change
    We need you to take action now! Tell the EPA that its proposed rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants Is vitally important and on the right track – but can be strengthened.