What Every Building Owner Needs to Know About Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia and an infection of the lungs. This condition is caused by the Legionnaires’ disease bacteria (LDB), and it can occur when someone inhales water mist that has been contaminated. If you’re a building owner, then continue reading to learn more about this disease and how it can relate to your air conditioning unit in Portland. Legionnaires - disease

Types of Locations Where LDB Is Found

In ponds, lakes, streams, and similar areas, LDB is widely present, but in small concentrations. When contamination levels are low, the chances of someone developing Legionnaires’ disease are very slight. However, when this organism is present in high concentrations, the likelihood of someone becoming ill increases. Warm, stagnant water often provides ideal conditions for the growth of LDB, making this disease a concern for any building with an air conditioning unit.

Types of Water That Are of Concern

The Legionnaires’ disease bacteria can multiply at temperatures between 68° to 122°F, and those between 90° to 105°F are ideal temperatures for growth. The presence of other organisms in the water, as well as scale and rust, can promote LDB growth. For these reasons, water mist that comes from contaminated swamp coolers, humidifiers, misters, air conditioning cooling towers, or evaporative condensers is of the greatest concern. Inhalation or aspiration of contaminated water from spas, showers, and faucets can also cause Legionnaires’ disease.

Ways of Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease

The best way to help keep yourself and anyone in your building safe from Legionnaires’ disease is to avoid water conditions that promote the growth of LDB. To do this, regularly maintain your air conditioning unit or evaporative condenser by scheduling cleaning and maintenance of the unit twice per year. Also, address any conditions that allow water to stagnate, keep water storage tanks out of the sun where they can warm, and frequently flush out unused water lines. If you suspect that your water system is already contaminated, then contact a professional about treatment.

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