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Legionnaires Disease, Legionella pneumophila
1.1 The bacterium, Legionella pneumophila,
which causes Legionnaires Disease is widely
distributed in nature and commonly found in surface water and soil. It is not normally
found in mains water but, given the right conditions, can establish itself in any water
system. Conditions which favour the colonisation of water systems include stagnation
and temperatures between 20 o C and 45 o C . The organism can be destroyed by high
temperatures or by exposure to chlorine and other biocides.
1.2 The presence of Legionella pneumophila
rarely leads to outbreaks of Legionnaires'
Disease. However it has been isolated from water in air-conditioned cooling towers,
humidifiers and other water samples from buildings, a few of which have been
associated with small outbreaks of the disease in the UK. Sporadic cases have
occurred where no such association has been demonstrated.
1.3 The predominant route of infection in
Legionnaires' Disease is by inhalation and
outbreaks have been attributed to exposure of susceptible individuals to contaminated
aerosols from cooling towers or from shower-heads. There is no evidence that the
disease is transmitted by ingestion or directly from person to person.
1.4 Health and Safety
Executive Guidance Note HS(G)70 (ref:14.1) should be available on site to key
It is clear the Code of Practice will
require site management
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