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Chicago Transit Authority Employee Dies from Legionnaires’ Disease


Deadly, water-borne bacteria have kept EMSL Analytical busy providing important testing solutions.

Westmont, NJ, September 8th, 2009

Last month a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) electrician died from Legionnaires’ disease. The 37 year old male had been diagnosed just a few weeks earlier, but unfortunately succumbed to the bacterial infection. The electrician had been working at CTA facilities at Midway Airport and one other location in the Chicago area.

Although the source of the water-borne Legionella that caused the Legionnaires’ disease has not yet been identified, the CTA did temporarily shut down vehicle washing equipment at both locations the man had been working at before contracting the illness. 800 other CTA employees work at the two facilities and so far no others have come down with the illness.

The disease caused by Legionella, Legionnaires’ disease, got its name after a 1976 outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia that sickened 221 people and caused 34 deaths.

Legionella is commonly found in many environments. The transmission of Legionella occurs via aerosols, when mist containing the bacteria is inhaled. Legionella can be found in nature in such environments as lakes and streams, but most human infections occur from manmade environments involving cooling towers or hot water systems.

Those infected by Legionella may take up to two weeks before they begin to show symptoms. Early on it may manifest its presence with flu-like and fever symptoms which can escalate into problems with nausea, nervous system issues and pneumonia.

EMSL Analytical, one of the largest environmental laboratories and a CDC Legionella proficiency tested laboratory, has made a number of resources available to help educate the public about the deadly bacteria. “A website dedicated to informing both our clients and the general public with information and facts about Legionella can be viewed at,” stated Joe Frasca, Executive Vice President Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “The website even offers a complimentary educational poster about Legionella,” Frasca continued.

To learn more about Legionella please contact EMSL Analytical at (800) 220-3675, email or visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a leading, national provider of environmental, consumer products and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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 water borne bacteria
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