WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 9, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is pleased to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help reduce the risk of Legionella in commercial properties.
According to CDC, the number of people being diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S. grew by nearly four times from 2000 through 2014. Approximately 80 percent of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks that CDC investigated from that same time period occurred in hotels, long-term care facilities and hospitals. Further, almost all of the building-associated outbreaks were caused by problems that could have been prevented with more effective water system management.
Legionella grows in building water systems that are not adequately maintained. CDC is asking building owners and managers to adopt newly published standards that promote Legionella water management programs. These programs reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella in building water systems, thus helping prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
To support the development of such programs, CDC has released a new toolkit: “Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth and Spread in Buildings: A Practical Guide to Implementing Industry Standards.” CDC’s latest Vital Signs also provides detailed information about Legionnaires’ disease, resources for addressing the issue, infographic fact sheets and links to additional information, including ASHRAE Standard 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems June 26, 2015.
“Years of outbreak response have taught us where to find Legionella hot spots,” said Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “The toolkit will help building owners and managers better understand where those hot spots are and put measures in place to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.”
Of the recent cases investigated by CDC, the most common source of building-associated Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks was drinkable water (56 percent), such as water used for showering, followed by cooling towers (22 percent) and hot tubs (seven percent). Other sources included industrial equipment (four percent) and a decorative fountain/water feature (four percent). In two outbreaks, the source was never identified.
About BOMA International
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International is a federation of 91 BOMA U.S. associations and 18 international affiliates. Founded in 1907, BOMA represents the owners and managers of all commercial property types including 10.5 billion square feet of U.S. office space that supports 1.7 million jobs and contributes $234.9 billion to the U.S. GDP. Its mission is to advance a vibrant commercial real estate industry through advocacy, influence and knowledge. Learn more at www.boma.org?.
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