Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- Your windshield washer fluid could kill you.

Arizona State University Ph.D student Otto Schwake discovered the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires' Disease thrives in the cleaning fluid while testing a fleet of school buses in Maricopa County.

"Eighty percent of the buses we sampled were positive," said Schwake. "We've almost a billion legionella in just one bus, so the numbers and positives are a lot higher than I thought they would be."

Schwake said he started the project after reading results of epidemiology studies which credibly links vehicles and Legionnaires' Disease.

Legionella, the bacteria that leads to Legionnaires' Disease, is a water-born pathogen. If it is turned into a mist or vapor and inhaled a person could contract a potentially deadly form of pneumonia.

Parents should not panic about allowing their children onto school buses, the level of risk has not changed and the research is in its infancy.

Sandra Haros , Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.