In more serious situations, individuals can succumb to illness or death due to typhoid fever, cholera and dysentery. Bacteria and disease exists in unfiltered waters throughout the country. Because water is something many individuals consume every day, use to clean, protects germs with proper handwashing and flows throughout the home, if the water is not properly sanitary, individuals’ health can be negatively impacted. Noting the important contribution that plumbers provide to protecting the health of the nation, the British Medical Journal credited sanitation as the most important medical milestone in more than 150 years, surpassing antibiotics and anesthesia. Taking preventative measures regarding healthcare and protecting against known hazards is often much more effective in improving the health of a nation.
Without proper adherence to professional standards, these issues could lead someone to require immediate medical services.
To best see the effect that professional plumbers have on protecting the health of a nation, it is necessary to look at a country that does not have such standards in place or that lacks the resources necessary to provide clean and sanitary water to its people. For example, in India, approximately 7.5 percent of deaths are directly related to water and sanitation cases worldwide. Throughout the world, approximately 88 percent of diarrhea cases are attributed to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and inadequate hygiene. Inadequate plumbing was also found to be the fault of the loss of hundreds of deaths in Asia during the SARS virus outbreak. Water contamination continues to be a leading cause of death in the third world.
Despite the greater amount of resources in the United States, the country has not been without its own fair share of water and sanitation-related health crises. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 57 waterborne disease outbreaks between the years 1981 to 1998 that were attributed to plumbing cross-connections. Nearly 10,000 people became ill due to these causes. Some of the outbreaks were due to bacterial contamination while others were caused by chemical contamination. In another study, it was found that 30.3 percent of waterborne disease outbreaks that occurred between 1971 and 1998 were caused by water contamination in the distribution system. Approximately 50.6 percent of these instances were caused by cross-connection and backflow. These stark numbers demonstrate how prevalent sanitation problems can be that involve the plumbing system. The hard work and dedication of this profession continues to make a dramatic impact on the health of the entire nation.