Despite its exotic name, suggesting it is just present in far-flung parts of the planet, Legionella pneumophila bacteria has a well-established presence in so-called first world countries as well. Between 10,000 and 18,000 individuals america alone are infected with Legionella each year. That’s the reason determining the right legionella risk assessment frequency can be quite important and ultimately save lives.
Legionella bacteria causes several diseases, including Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. These diseases are collectively referred to as legionellosis. Legionnaires’ disease is a form of atypical pneumonia, which starts two to 10 days after the patient continues to be exposed. There is no vaccine against it, and also the disease is treated by antibiotics and the mortality rate is at approximately 10%. It was named so because the first outbreak in the usa was recorded throughout a 1976 American Legion convention in Philadelphia. 221 everyone was hospitalized, and 34 of these died.
Pontiac fever got its name from Pontiac, Michigan, where it was initially observed. In the United Kingdom, it’s called Lochgoilhead fever. Not as lethal as the Legionnaires’ disease, Pontiac fever’s symptoms resemble influenza. Neither of those two diseases is transferable for every person. The Legionella bacteria can enter the human organism through water we drink. Water tanks and reservoirs are its primary breeding grounds. Cooling towers of large air conditioning units will also be a potential risk since bacteria can also be aspirated. Running out of energy come in contact with Legionella without becoming ill, but those unfortunate enough to contract the condition have one chance in ten of dying.
Many countries, the uk included, have regulations dictating mandatory legionella risk assessment frequency. In the UK, this isn’t mandatory just for business, but for landlords and duty holders as well. The risk assessment will help you identify potential threats and cope with them before they be a problem for you or perhaps your employees and clients.
One of the companies that deal with legionella risk assessment is Legionella Control International, found at legionellacontrol.com. They deal with every facet of the danger assessment process and are world leading legionella risk assessment consulting firm. They offer a complete selection of services, including training and Legionella testing. The company also offers a DIY testing kit, which is a budget-friendly solution for smaller companies and residential systems. They are simple to use, require no training and display easy to understand results.
Before the 2019 changes, the regulations recommended testing water systems for Legionella at least once every 2 yrs. This included both cold and hot systems and cooling systems as well. New regulations are stricter, yet they fail to specify the exact interval of testing, only saying that needs to be conducted “regularly.” Since the regulations are vague, it’s much more important to possess a proper assessment, since “regularly” could be available to interpretation.
Regardless of how recent the risk assessment has been done, there are instances where a new assessment is required, s prescribed through the law. These instances include:
- When the site’s population falls within the high-risk category – for example, the elderly or individuals with an impaired immune system
- When changes are created to water system, pipework or assets
- When the water system has had a change of use
- When new information is published with updates to recommendations and procedures
- When current monitoring and management processes are no longer proving effective
- When a Legionella outbreak is suspected or positive samples are recorded
In these occurrences, you’re legally obliged to possess a new risk assessment conducted for the premises. This might appear to be a chore, but obeying these regulations can save someone’s life later on, as well as disobeying regulations has a hefty fine.
One of the very most effective methods for manipulating the legionella bacteria growth is the temperature of water inside your systems. Temperatures between 20 C and 45 C are bacteria’s preferred range, using the ideal point being 37 C. A log book with recorded temperatures inside the system can help you (or even the experts you hired to conduct the danger assessment) determine the perfect measures that need to be taken in case of an outbreak.