How You Can Ensure Your Water Is Free of Endotoxins

November 19, 2018

Manufacturing facilities must do their due diligence to avoid endotoxin contamination in their water supplies. This is especially true for any facilities that manufacturer pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food or drink products. It is imperative that water purification systems be implemented to constantly test for endotoxin contamination and properly deal with it if it is uncovered.

But what exactly are endotoxins, and why is it so important to get them out of a water supply?

Here’s some important information to know relating to this critical element of industrial water purification in Cincinnati, OH.

About endotoxins

Most simply put, an endotoxin is a type of bacterial compound that is typically associated with some types of “gram negative” bacteria, which have a peptidoglycan cell wall between the inner and outer cell membranes.

When exposed to violet-colored staining fluids, gram-negative bacteria are known to quickly lose their own colored stain. Some examples of these types of bacteria include E. coli, gonorrhea, chlamydia and the bubonic plague.

Endotoxins are sizable molecules contained in the outer membranes of the microorganisms carrying them. There they stay completely bound up until the bacterial cell gets destroyed, whether it’s through the shedding of the membrane during the reproductive cycle or by being forced through a filter. Once the endotoxins get into water, they stay stable even during high temperatures, meaning they are highly resistant to heat treatment. They are also able to get past many filters that are used to remove bacteria, meaning different methods have to be used to ensure they are removed.

Exposure to endotoxins in large quantities can lead to a number of health conditions and symptoms, such as fever, diarrhea, auto-immune reactions, leukopenia, weakened immune responses to bacterial infections and hemorrhagic shock. In general, these negative health conditions are a result of the coagulating responses caused by exposure to endotoxins in the body.

Water must be tested for endotoxins

With all this in mind, it is obviously critical that water being used in manufacturing facilities be tested for endotoxins. Water is actually at an even greater risk for endotoxin contamination after it’s been treated for contaminants and bacteria, because those endotoxins get released after the destruction of the bacterial organism.

The Limulus Amebocyte Lysate (LAL) test can be used to reliably detect the presence of endotoxins in water. This test has been regularly used since the 1970s. There are a few different types of LAL tests that you can use to detect those endotoxins, but a professional microbiology lab will be able to provide you with more information and recommendations for your needs.

Once testing is complete, treatment for the purposes of removing those endotoxins can begin. While endotoxins are harder to remove from water than bacteria, they can still be caught using a microfiltration system that uses ultra-fine microporous polyethylene membranes, as well as UV light treatment for extra sterilization.

For more information about endotoxins and the importance of ensuring their removal from water sources, contact Ultra Pure Water Technologies about our industrial water purification in Cincinnati, OH.

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