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. coliand 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.
Stauber, Christine E.; Walters, Adam; Fabiszewski de Aceituno, Anna M.; and Sobsey, Mark D., "Bacterial Contamination on Household Toys and Association with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Conditions in Honduras" (2013). Public Health Faculty Publications. Paper 36.
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