In June 2011, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released a Public Review Draft – ASHRAE Standard 188, a proposed new standard detailing the prevention of legionellosis associated with building water systems. ASHRAE is an organization focused on building systems, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality within the heating, refrigerating, and air-conditioning industries. Their work includes a vast body of research, education, and standards writing; the standards have no legal weight, but serve as a respected guideline for those in the industry.
The proposed ASHRAE Standard 188 offers guidelines for certain businesses to properly handle potentially deadly bacterial outbreaks. While the goal of the new standard certainly has good intentions, a more aggressive standard would make protective measures both more effective and more efficiently use resources.
ASHRAE Standard 188 lays out guidelines for facility managers to handle Legionnaire’s disease, a potentially fatal infection caused by bacteria from the genus Legionella. These guidelines include recommendations on how to establish Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. HACCP plans have been used widely to prevent the transmission of disease through infectious organisms in food and water since 1996; because of its known success, ASHRAE elected to identify HACCP as the process to prevent legionellosis as well.
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