School conservation & safety

Dave Roberts dmr at
Fri Nov 25 09:57:27 EST 1994

> > Does anyone have any experience of the actual risks being run here?
> I have no experience that correlates directly except that of a clinical 
> microbiologist dealing with legionell and acanthamoeba. I think the 
> scenarario you describe above will almost certainly risk growing acanth. 
> and possibly legionella. However you should realize that so do most 
> mudpuddles and ponds. Unless someone is swimming in this thing, or 
> aerosoling the water and running it through a building's vents there 
> should be no danger. Ask the engineers what they are doing about cowponds 
> and such to rid us of this peril. Sounds like they are so atuned to 
> construction (ventilators and swimming pools) that they have lost their 
> bearings and forgot that nature has been doing stuff like this for eons...
> They'll probably blame thier mindset on lawyers..
> Bob Morrell

There is always a strong sense of paranoia when safety is involved.
I agree about the undisturbed water, of course.  However, small
children throw it about.  Putting it in watering cans might create
the necessary aerosol.  The legislative climate here has changed
recently (end 92) and everyone is feeling their responsibilities
more heavily.  My problem is how to make a responsible answer.

Thanks for the thoughts.  If this is how most people react, then
at least I can reasonably generalise to "microbiological opinion..."

Cheers,   Dave

Dr D.McL. Roberts               Tel: +44 (0)171 938 8790
Dept. Zoology,                  Fax: +44 (0)171 938 9158
The Natural History Museum,
Cromwell Road,                  Internet: dmr at
London              SW7 5BD
Great Britain

More information about the Microbio mailing list