The proposed Legionella standaRD from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has been sent back to committee for further revisions. It will likely result in another public review before final approval.
Unfortunately, this delay prolongs the absence of a national standard or guideline for preventing Legionnaires' disease. However, there's no need to wait for the release of the proposed ASHRAE Legionella standard to start protecting the health of building occupants from Legionella infections.
Taking a proactive approach is the key to minimizing the risk of Legionella in utility and building water distribution systems. This can be accomplished by applying simple and fundamental principles of effective water treatment followed by validation of effectiveness by periodic monitoring of disinfectants and Legionella.
Following are a few steps that can help keep building water safe and bring a facility a little closer to compliance with the upcoming standard:
Janet E. Stout, PhD, an infectious disease microbiologist, is director of Special Pathogens Laboratory (SPL) and is a member of the ASHRAE committee responsible for the proposed ASHRAE standard. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. SPL specializes in the detection, control and remediation of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.
Garry R. Boehlert, Esq., is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Saul Ewing, LLP. He is experienced in defending Legionnaires' disease claims and litigation. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For a more detailed discussion of the proposed ASHRAE standard and its expected legal significance, please see New ASHRAE Standard To Prevent Legionnaires' Disease on FacilitiesNet at: http://bit.ly/Legionella
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