Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and monitoring services across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to identify environmental pathogens.
Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the results of a study on the prevalence of Legionella bacteria in cooling towers across the country. According to media reports, CDC researchers found that 84% of the 196 cooling towers tested for Legionella DNA came back positive and viable Legionella was confirmed in approximately 40% of the cooling towers.
This is a serious concern because anytime people inhale water droplets that contain viable Legionella they could be at risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever. This is especially true if they have a weakened or suppressed immune system.
These alarming figures underlie why it is so important to test certain water sources, including cooling towers, which could harbor and aerosolize the bacteria in water droplets. Regular maintenance of cooling towers and other manmade water sources is essential for controlling the growth of Legionella in these systems. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) states that these systems should be properly monitored and maintained according to manufacturers' recommendations to prevent buildup of scale, sediment and bio-fouling.
“It’s not just cooling towers that we need to be concerned about here in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Other common sources of Legionella include potable water systems, hot tubs, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems and decorative fountains. The only way to know if the bacteria is present in any of these is to test it. If results come back positive, the system will need to be treated to prevent it from remaining an exposure risk.”
Working to prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever in Puerto Rico are the dedicated professionals at Zimmetry Environmental. Their experts provide water and air testing, monitoring and consulting services to identify and mitigate Legionella risks. These services help to prevent illnesses and to quickly identify the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.