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To the Editor:—
My attention has been called to the editorial "Water Filtration vs. Chlorination," which appeared in The Journal, October 31. The citation of Altona, Germany, as an example of a case in which filtration failed to give adequate public health protection is hardly justified by the reported facts of the classic Hamburg-Altona cholera epidemic of 1892. The Altona experience should properly be cited as a classic example of the public health benefits of filtration and not its limitations. This epidemic preceded both the advent of chlorination for public health purposes and important developments in rapid sand filtration commonly used today.The outstanding record of water filtration in reducing the typhoid and general death rate in cities where water from polluted sources was formerly used is one of the greatest achievements in public health in America, and much of this was accomplished before chlorination was practiced. It is hardly
Gorman AE. WATER FILTRATION VS. CHLORINATION. JAMA. 1936;107(26):2150–2151. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770520052023