Water quality laws and waterborne diseases: Cryptosporidium and other emerging pathogens

Lawrence O. Gostin, Zita Lazzarini, Verla S. Neslund, Michael T. Osterholm

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Waterborne diseases, such as cryptosporidiosis, cause many cases of serious illness in the United States annually. Water quality is regulated by a complex system of federal and state legal provisions and agencies, which has been poorly studied. The authors surveyed state and territorial agencies responsible for water quality about their laws, regulations, policies, and practices related to water quality and surveillance of cryptosporidiosis related to drinking water. In this commentary they review the development and current status of federal drinking water regulations, identify conflicts or gaps in legal authority between federal agencies and state and territorial agencies, and describe court-imposed limitations on federal authority with regard to regulation of water quality. Recommendations are made for government actions that would increase the efficiency of efforts to ensure water quality; protect watersheds; strengthen waterborne disease surveillance; and protect the health of vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'Water quality laws and waterborne diseases: Cryptosporidium and other emerging pathogens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this