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The New York Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak, which has killed 12 people to date and left 127 hospitalised, is headline news across the world.
As expected, one or more cooling towers were to blame for the distribution of the legionella bacteria into the atmosphere. As seen with many outbreaks, the investigation uncovered less than best practice hygiene processes in several cooling tower operators.
This outbreak follows a warning from the city’s Department of Health published last autumn, where they highlighted a staggering 230 percent increase in Legionella cases from 2002 to 2011. The report stated that “greater effort may be warranted on the upkeep of cooling towers.” It would appear the message didn’t get through!
The New York City Mayor is now sending a strong message that can’t be missed, with the introduction of new legislation regulating the management of cooling towers throughout the city. The new law requires landlords and company building owners to register, inspect and clean air-conditioning cooling towers regularly. There is also a need for them to certify their cooling towers.
These increased levels of regulation follow in the footsteps of the UK’s HSE, who implemented a cooling tower register following outbreaks involving cooling towers.
Now the focus must turn on to the rest of the world to implement such regulatory measures.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]