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New York Housing Development Under Investigation After Legionnaires Disease Outbreak

EMSL Analytical offers PCR and traditional culturing methods to quickly and accurately identify the pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

The New York Daily News recently reported that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC-DOHMH) is investigating three confirmed cases of Legionnaires disease. All three cases have occurred within the past 12 months and have been linked to buildings in an apartment complex located in Bronx, New York. The buildings where all three patients reside do not have cooling towers and so health officials have sampled the internal plumbing of the building to determine the source. At this time results are still pending.

Current NYC-DOHMH regulations, which went into effect in 2016, are a result of the 2015 Bronx outbreaks focused on cases caused by cooling towers. This is the first time that the NYC-DOHMH will be looking at potable water and not cooling towers as the source of an outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most Legionnaires’ disease cases are in fact caused from potable water sources.

The epidemiological patterns are different for outbreaks caused by potable water or cooling towers. When an outbreak is the result of contaminated cooling towers, there are usually a large number of cases in a short period of time. On the other hand, cases from potable water sources occur sporadically over longer periods of times, sometimes even years apart.

“Rooftop cold water storage tanks should also be tested in buildings especially for cases that occur from mid-spring through fall. In New York State and New York City, rooftop water storage tanks are only required to be tested for fecal contamination and not Legionella,” said Diane Miskowski, Legionella Subject Expert at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Proactive testing for Legionella can help to identify exposure risks so any sources of the bacteria can be treated. Environmental testing is also instrumental for identifying the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.”

To test for Legionella and other water pathogens, EMSL Analytical, Inc. has 20 laboratories that have received the CDC’s Certificate of Proficiency from the agency’s ELITE Program for Legionella testing. In addition, five of these locations are NYS-DOH ELAP certified for Legionella. EMSL offers traditional culturing methods as well as advanced PCR and DNA sequencing methods along with all the sampling supplies necessary to properly collect and submit samples.

To learn more about Legionella or other microbial testing services, please visit or, email  or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 44 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Legionnaires’ disease
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