For a long time, detergents were utilized in laboratories for the isolation, through concentration in the foam, of mycobacteria such as the bacillus of Koch (tuberculosis), as reported in the annals of the Pasteur Institute . This phenomenon of extraction by foam points to the danger existing in river waters where numerous such microorganisms may be present due to sewage pollution. The foam transported by wind could possibly serve as the source of a disease epidemic. In fact, this problem limits itself to the mycobacteria and viruses (such as those of hepatitis and polio), which are the only microorganisms able to resist the disinfecting power of detergents. Therefore, waterborne epidemics could also be spread through airborne detergent foams.
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