TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Eight people have died and at least 92 have become ill from a recent Legionnaires' disease outbreak in New York City, causing alarm across the country as many discover that they too may be at risk for Legionnaires'. However, this disease can be detected and even prevented, according to Pure Air Control Services, a professional indoor environmental quality firm based in Clearwater.
Caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila, Legionnaires' disease is a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia that can be found in filtered and unfiltered water systems when conditions are favorable. These include HVAC systems, cooling towers, hot tubs, swimming pools, water fountains and humidifiers between 68°F and 145°F with a pH level between 2.7 and 8.3.
"The Legionella bacteria is found naturally in the environment and is often present without anyone ever contracting the disease," said Francisco Aguirre, CIAQP, CIEC, CMA, Director of Diagnostics and Building Sciences, a division of Pure Air Control Services. "However, when susceptible individuals are exposed to Legionella pneumophila, it can create serious health risks."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are between 8,000 and 18,000 cases of LD in the U.S. each year, and more than 10 percent of those cases are fatal. Individuals over the age of 65 have an increased risk of contracting the disease, as do those receiving chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants. Some will develop long-term health effects such as fatigue, neurologic symptoms and neuromuscular symptoms months after contracting the disease.
"Preventing Legionnaires' disease is the goal of the long-awaited Legionella standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers," said Rajiv Sahay, Ph. D., FIAS, CIAQP, Director of Laboratory Services at Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab), a division of Pure Air Control Services. "This is an important standard for building owners, as following these guidelines will help prevent a potentially deadly outbreak of Legionnaires' disease."
Key to preventing the growth of Legionella in building is regular monitoring, remediation and maintenance of all water systems. In addition, building owners should regularly test water sources for the Legionella bacteria using test kits like those available from EDLab. This should be done annually or semi-annually, depending on the size of the building and the number of water sources.
"We highly recommend regular testing of your most critical points in water systems, including drinking fountains, faucets, shower heads and the water entry into the building from the city," said Dr. Sahay. "If the building is maintained and there is a regular monitoring schedule, this problem can be prevented or avoided."
About Pure Air Control Services
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. (Pure Air) is a nationally recognized indoor environmental quality firm that offers a full range of professional solutions. For more than 30 years, Pure Air has provided clients with complete Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) solutions. Divisions include Environmental Diagnostics Laboratory (EDLab), Building Health Check, Diagnostics and Building Sciences and Building Remediation Sciences. For more information, visit www.pureaircontrols.com.
Office: (727) 726-3000
Cell: (727) 212-6720
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SOURCE Pure Air Control Services, Inc.