October 12, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Four days ago, a third resident of UAW Senior Citizens Center in Pekin recently contracted Legionnaires’ Disease. Just within the last two months, a man in his 70s died from the disease and a woman recovered but was hospitalized. Tazewell County Health Department’s communications manager said that the Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the building management to mitigate the water issues. There have been 8 cases of diagnosed Legionnaires’ Disease in Tazewell, though the TCHD’s communications managers says the other five cases are unrelated to the UAW outbreak. On September 10, the TCHD issued a public health…

October 2, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Earlier this year, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for reopening buildings that have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because Legionella bacteria is at an increased risk of growing in stagnant water, the CDC published a list of 8 steps business and building owners should take to minimize Legionella growth before opening, which included properly maintaining the building’s water heater to at least 140 Degrees Fahrenheit, cleaning all cooling towers of stagnant pools of water, and flushing out all faucets before use.[1] As of late September, the CDC has updated its guidance for…

October 2, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, NJ recently completed more than $10 million in renovations, revamping almost every portion of the hotel and adding 21 new suits. But the expansion created major issues for the building’s HVAC system’s cooling towers: the old metal-clad tower struggled to provide adequate cooling for the expansion. To ensure comfort for their guests, the Flanders went about updating its cooling tower system. After many consultations with engineers, the hotel’s Director of Operations came across a metal tower alternative constructed out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Little did the Flanders know that this alternative would come with…

October 2, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Last week, Sheboygan County’s health department reported a second death from Legionnaires’ disease. Although the specific source of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, is unknown, cases of the bacterial disease were reported at Millipore Sigma in Sheboygan Falls and Pine Haven Christian Communities’ Oostburg location. A Millipore Sigma representative said in an email last week that a few employees reported flu-like symptoms and tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease after routine cleaning and maintenance of the site’s wastewater facility. The exposure is suspected to have come from a piece of equipment in the company’s wastewater treatment plant. Oostburg Village…

September 17, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Ironically, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has closed several of its buildings in Atlanta because Legionella bacteria have been found in their water systems. These bacteria likely grew because of the pandemic shutdown. Legionella, which grows in warm or stagnant water, causes a deadly form of pneumonia. Left untreated, Legionnaires Disease can kill a person within weeks, and when treated properly can still take more than a year to recover from. The CDC says Legionella bacteria is a problem that people across the country need to be on the lookout for, especially now. The…

August 31, 2020 zacherlaw 0 Comments

For months, many businesses, buildings, and facilities have remained closed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The temporary shutdowns have likely resulted in a reduction of normal water use in the buildings, which can create dangerous conditions for returning occupants, as States are reopening their local economies. One microbial hazard businesses should consider when planning their reopening is Legionella. Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia. It is found naturally in freshwater environments, but can grow and multiply in common, human-made water systems like hot tubs, spas, showerheads, decorative fountains and water features, large plumbing systems, and cooling towers…

November 5, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

Every case involving Legionnaires’ disease that this office has been involved in has always had the defense attorney arguing that the bacteria causing Legionnaires’ disease is ubiquitous (found everywhere). By this the defense attorneys mean that because the bacteria legionella can be found naturally in nature, their clients should not be liable to pay money damages to my clients. What the defense attorneys don’t tell you is that although legionella bacteria may be found in water everywhere, it only causes disease such as Legionnaire’s disease when the property owner does not properly maintain the water system. Failure to properly maintain…

October 25, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

New York City Council enacted a law in 2015 after a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx. The law requires that every cooling tower in New York City be identified, registered and inspected on a regular basis. The city has admitted recently that it is not sure it has found all cooling towers, three years after the legislation was passed (the city health department uses experts on the street and satellite imagery to find cooling towers). This failure to even identify all cooling towers takes on added significance after one remembers that there have been two recent outbreaks…

October 24, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

This office has had numerous inquiries regarding persons contracting Legionnaires’ disease. Often times the person does not know where they acquired the disease. Unfortunately, many times the person acquired the disease from a cooling tower. The cooling tower need not be in the vicinity of the person who acquired the disease,  or  even have been identified by health authorities. Consequently, the person may not know that a cooling tower has caused him or her to get sick. These cases are considered sporadic in nature. On the other hand, when a cooling tower has been identified as the source, as in…

October 12, 2018 zacherlaw 0 Comments

There is no national legislation controlling the propagation of the legionella bacteria in buildings, cooling towers, or jacuzzis in the United States. In fact, there is only one state, New York, that has any statewide legislation to control legionella growth in the state’s cooling towers. Various states have levels of residual chlorine that must be in spas. This haphazard and inadequate approach is very different from that taken by the United Kingdom as indicated in a previous blog. It is time therefore, for Congress to address a national problem and enact national legislation to control the increasing incidence of Legionnaires’…