Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases or 2400 to 5400 people will die each year as many as 16 deaths each day.
Atlanta, GA – According to Building Operating Management magazine,expert Victor Yu, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; Chief, Infectious Disease Section, VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA disclosed that “Up to 70% of all buildings greater than three stories in the US may be contaminated with legionella.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in 2011, Legionnaires’ disease is on the rise, increasing by 217 percent in the last decade – or 18,000 to 20,000 cases annually in the United States. However, many infections are not diagnosed or reported, so this number may be higher. More illness is usually found in the summer and early fall, but it can happen any time of year. Legionnaires’ disease can be very serious and can cause death in up to 5% to 30% of cases or 2400 to 5400 people will die each year as many as 16 deaths each day. In December, a Texas newborn, who was water birthed, developed Legionnaires’ disease and passed after being exposed to the bacteria.
Dr. Rajiv Sahay, director of laboratory services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab) a CDC ELITE lab stated that our “as a result of our CDC ELITE credentials our clients are assured of the Clients can be assured of highest accuracy scientifically and legally defensible data available.” Dr. Sahay further stated that “we look forward to continuing to work with many facilities staff in helping them build a strong proactive Legionella program in their facilities.”
Under the new ASHRAE 188 standard, facility managers are charged with conducting an annual survey to determine what risk is present in their buildings. Specific risk factors called out in the standard include:
- Multiple housing units with one or more centralized water heaters
- More than 10 stories (including levels below grade)
- Cooling tower or evaporative condenser
- One or more whirlpools or spas within or adjacent to building
- Devices that release aerosols (e.g., ornamental fountains, misters, air washers or humidifiers)
- Incoming potable water containing less than 0.5 ppm residual halogen such as chlorine
- Inpatient health care facility
- Occupants primarily older than age 65
- Occupants receiving chemotherapy for cancer or bone marrow transplantation.
Francisco Aguirre, Director of Building Sciences at Pure Air Control Services stated: “Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as Legionella. It is found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in cooling towers, hot water tanks, plumbing systems, decorative fountains and hot tubs.”
If a facility manager identifies the presence of one or more risk factors after conducting the survey, then a risk management team must be assembled to prepare and implement a HACCP plan to prevent the threat posed by Legionella bacteria.
Dr. Sahay with EDLab is providing a free Legionella webinar will be held and open to the public entitled: Legionella: Detection to Diagnostics Wed, Jan 21, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
For more information on developing a proactive Legionella testing program for your buildings call the Building Scientists at Pure Air Control Services or go to: Environmental Diagnostics laboratory (EDlab) Edlab.org, a CDC ELITE laboratory (contact Dr. Rajiv Sahay 1-800-422-7873 ext 303). DIY Legionella kits are available at: www.INDOORAIRTEST.com and other fine retailers.
About Pure Air Control Services, Inc.
Alan Wozniak founded Pure Air Control Services, Inc. in 1984 as a small mechanical contracting firm. Today, the firm sets the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis and remediation.
Pure Air Control Services nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; EDLab an Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning, HVAC system cleaning and Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services.
The company’s expanding client roster includes the Jones, Lang LaSalle (JLL), FAA, General Services Administration (GSA); Allstate Insurance; CBRE, Carrier Air Conditioning; NAVFAC, DOT, USACE, US Army, and many other Fortune 500 companies, school boards, and city, state, and county governments, making Pure Air Control Services the reliable industry leader.
For more information on Pure Air Control Services, Inc. please contact Alan Wozniak or Dr Rajiv Sahay (800) 422-7873 ext 802 or 303 respectively.