Cinnaminson, NJ, September 14th, 2020
With schools and universities reopening across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently warned that the temporary shutdown, or restricted operation of buildings and reductions in normal water use, may have created hazards for some returning building occupants.
One of the potential hazards listed by the agency that should be considered prior to reopening after a period of building inactivity is the accumulation of Legionella bacteria in the premise plumbing. The bacteria can be found naturally in the environment as well as many man-made environments. These man-made sources include cooling towers, potable water systems, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains.
Legionella is spread to humans when they inhale contaminated droplets of water which may then develop into Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever. Just last month it was reported by several media outlets in Ohio that Legionella was found in multiple samples from the water system of a large high school in the state. One of the positive samples was from the custodian office bathroom sink. Several weeks prior, a custodian from the school tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease. The previous year, another custodian reportedly died from Legionnaires’ disease and other medical complications just a month after leaving his job.
“Older people and those with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems are at increased risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease, which the CDC states can be fatal in about 10% of the cases,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “With schools, universities and other buildings reopening after the summer break and COVID-19 closures, it’s important to flush out water systems and to then test them for Legionella. At EMSL, we have been busy helping school districts, facility managers and environmental professionals proactively sample for this microbial threat. All 20 of our Legionella laboratories have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from its ELITE Program for Legionella testing, another five locations are NYSDOH ELAP Legionella certified laboratories. EMSL’s testing, expertise and sampling supplies provide the resources needed when reopening schools and buildings.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. also recently sponsored an educational video about Legionella and monitoring building water that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/F_Ggg_uaL_s.
In addition, EMSL offers COVID-19 Surface Testing by quantitative RT-PCR technology. As an alternative analysis, EMSL also provides Cleaning Efficacy Testing Services that can determine if the sampled surface area has been effectively cleaned and free of bacteria or fungi. Click here for more information on its COVID-19 laboratory services.
To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit www.LegionellaTesting.com or www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.