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Outbreak prompts New York to follow ASHRAE’s Legionella standard


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September 7, 2015

New York city council has adopted legislation that requires adherence to part of ASHRAE’s newly published Legionella standard. This change in legislation follows 120 cases of infection due to Legionellosis and 12 confirmed deaths from the infection. New York has declared the outbreak over.

The legislation addresses registration and inspection of cooling towers. It requires owners to create and file a plan to maintain equipment to comply with Section 7.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2915: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

“Although the circumstances surrounding its use are tragic, ASHRAE is grateful that the standard is available to set requirements to manage risk of this bacteria. We are hopeful other governments will follow the lead of the New York city council to help safeguard public health,” said David Underwood, ASHRAE president.

This standard provides minimum Legionellosis risk management requirements for the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement and expansion of new and existing buildings, and their water systems/components.

In Canada, there is a confirmed case of Legionnaires’ disease Dartmouth N.S. in a multi-level apartment building. Previous outbreaks in Canada include Quebec City, which killed 13 people and infected 170 others in 2012, and in 2005 when the bacteria infected a nursing home in Toronto resulting in more than 20 deaths.

Underwood said that ASHRAE is continuing its work on getting the full standard adopted in New York City and in other locations. www.ashrae.org/news.


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