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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1586-1597; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041586

Bacterial Contamination on Household Toys and Association with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Honduras

1,* , 2,†
1 Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA 2 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Campus Box 7431, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA 3 Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, 6000K Claudia Nance Rollins Building, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 February 2013 / Revised: 27 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
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There is growing evidence that household water treatment interventions improve microbiological water quality and reduce diarrheal disease risk. Few studies have examined, however, the impact of water treatment interventions on household-level hygiene and sanitation. This study examined the association of four water and sanitation conditions (access to latrines, improved sanitation, improved water and the plastic biosand filter) on the levels of total coliforms and E. coli on existing and introduced toys during an on-going randomized controlled trial of the plastic biosand filter (plastic BSF). The following conditions were associated with decreased bacterial contamination on children’s toys: access to a latrine, access to improved sanitation and access to the plastic BSF. Overall, compared to existing toys, introduced toys had significantly lower levels of both E. coli and total coliforms. Results suggest that levels of fecal indicator bacteria contamination on children’s toys may be associated with access to improved water and sanitation conditions in the home. In addition, the fecal indicator bacteria levels on toys probably vary with duration in the household. Additional information on how these toys become contaminated is needed to determine the usefulness of toys as indicators or sentinels of water, sanitation and hygiene conditions, behaviors and risks.
Keywords: E. coli; toys; fomites; household water treatment E. coli; toys; fomites; household water treatment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Stauber, C.E.; Walters, A.; de Aceituno, A.M.F.; Sobsey, M.D. Bacterial Contamination on Household Toys and Association with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Honduras. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1586-1597.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert