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New Standards Expose Building Owners to Legal Liability for Legionnaires’ Disease

EMSL Analytical is the only commercial laboratory with national coverage for Legionella testing


It is expected that the American Society of Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will pass a new standard (ASHRAE 188) this year for conducting Legionella risk assessments in:
1)       multiple housing units with one or more centralized water heaters
2)       any public or private building that has 10 or more stories
3)       any hospital or nursing home, regardless of the size, where patients are over
           65 years old
4)       any building, regardless of size, which has a cooling tower or evaporative
5)       any building that has one or more hot tubs, whirlpool spas, or water features
           that release aerosolized water
6)       any building that receives incoming water that has less than 0.5 ppm
           residual halogen concentration
The implications for this standard are that any building that meets one of the above criteria—whether it is privately owned or owned by the local, state, or federal government—now has professional guidelines to follow for Legionella risk assessments. Private residences are not included however.
This standard is the first of its kind and now exposes building owners to a certain legal liability for any cases of Legionnaires’ Disease that are contracted from their buildings’ water supply systems.
Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious form of pneumonia that results in long term health effects or a flu-like illness called Pontiac Fever. Most individuals become infected by inhaling Legionella bacteria in the air; it is not spread from person to person. Contaminated mist or water vapor diffuse the bacteria in hot tubs, cooling towers, faucets, showerheads, and other water systems.
“Clients can be assured of EMSL Analytical’s scientifically and legally defensible data, as we have proudly passed the CDC Legionella Testing Proficiency Program in our Cinnaminson, NJ; Houston, TX; San Leandro, CA; Indianapolis, IN; and Manhattan laboratories,” states Diane Miskowski, MPH, Business Development Manager at EMSL. “We are the only commercial laboratory with national coverage for Legionella testing.”
To learn more about EMSL’s Legionella and other IAQ testing services, please visit or, email, or call (800) 220-3675 x 2528.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental 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 agencies. 



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