Legionella bacteria exists in the aquatic environment. You can't be out of control. That is why it is so important that companies and people act preventively and regularly, since in Portugal we have outbreaks every year. Although this bacterium is seasonal and not contagious, there are mandatory procedures by law that should not be decorred. In the current context, more than ever, since we are exposed to other viruses, public health care must be doubled. Legionella is a bacterium that is found in natural aquatic environments and also in artificial systems, such as property networks of hot water and cold water, cooling systems, among others. Factors such as temperature and humidity favor its development, facilitating growth and multiplication. It is in these conditions that it poses a risk to public health. If uncontrolled, this bacterium leads to the development of severe pneumonia, the so-called legionnaires' disease, caused by the breathing of contaminated aerosols. Maria Manuel Farinha, head of Environment and Safety at ISQ, explains that "although it exists in the aquatic environment, the bacterium cannot be out of control, so it is necessary to develop, implement and comply with prevention and control plans, based on risk analysis; monitoring and treatment of water and also take into mind the procedures applicable in a situation of risk." The ISQ Group develops audits and monitoring of indoor air quality in order to prevent situations that present a risk to public health. It has a network of laboratories and technicians, with extensive experience of acting at this level, being able to meet the above mentioned requirements. »« Where we can find this bacterium: Legionella can be found in different systems and equipment such as heat transfer equipment associated with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems or air treatment units, provided that they can generate water aerosols: Cooling towers; Evaporative condensers; Industrial process water cooling systems; Cogeneration cooling systems; Humidifiers. Systems inserted in spaces for access and public use that use water for therapeutic or recreational purposes and that can generate water aerosols can also present this bacterium, as well as the water networks, namely sanitary hot water. Finally, irrigation or spray cooling systems, ornamental fountains or other water aerosol generators with a temperature between 20°C and 45°C may develop the bacterium.
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