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ASHRAE updates legionellosis standard

USA: ASHRAE has published a revised edition of its legionella standard, providing a more comprehensive approach to preventing its growth and spread.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. The 2018 edition provides clarification of compliance requirements, as well as an update to enforceable, code-intended language to facilitate adoption of the standard for code and regulatory purposes.

The standard was originally developed to assist designers and building operators establish water management plans that include practices specific to the systems that exist in a particular building, campus or health care facility. It is intended for use by those involved in design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and service of centralised building water systems and components.

“Standard 188 was the first industry standard in the US to address legionnaire’s disease prevention,” said Paul Lindahl, chair of the Standard 188 committee. “Since this standard centres on the development and implementation of good design, operations and maintenance procedures, it is important to make updates on a regular basis. The 2018 edition of the standard focuses on improved usability, offering better guidance to minimize the risk of this potentially fatal disease and save lives.”

The 2018 edition of Standard 188 provides:

• A description of environmental conditions that promote the growth of legionella.

• Informative annexes and bibliography with suggestions, recommendations, and references to additional guidance.

• Minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for buildings and associated potable and non-potable water systems.

• Requirements for legionellosis control strategies and documentation.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there are between 8,000 and 18,000 cases of legionnaires’ disease in the United States each year – and more than 10% of these cases are fatal. Legionella can also cause a less-severe influenza-like illness known as Pontiac fever. Most of those cases are the result of exposure to legionella found in building water systems.

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