Control, Prevention, Legionella treatment
Legionella is considered an emerging pathogen, and in Italy it is subject to mandatory notification and special surveillance.
Lifestyles and the increase in the proportion of people with physiological immunodeficiencies (for example for ages) or induced (eg concomitant diseases or drug use) multiply the interface between bacteria and its host and consequently the legionella it strikes with more aggressiveness. In fact, in recent years there has been a progressive increase (even if not linear) of cases of pneumonia in industrialized countries, and also in Italy.
Assitec offers a professional service of legionella control, prevention and treatment and other biological agents. A clear and simple protocol, sampling taken following the official guidelines and analysis at authorized laboratories guarantee a virtuous management and more protection for the dental practice operators and their patients.
Assitec relies on accredited laboratories UNI / CEI EN ISO / IEC 17025 and authorized for the “Legionella” test.
Assitec offers a professional service of legionella control, prevention and treatment. A clear and simple protocol, sampling taken following the official Guidelines and analysis at authorized laboratories guarantee a virtuous management and more protection for the dental practice operators and their patients.
What is legionella
It is a small bacterium, capable of surviving the process of making water drinkable and of developing strategies to survive in different environments. It lives in natural aquatic environments and colonises artificial ones by building encrustations, biofilm, stagnating areas. Incidents are increasing in part because those environments from which contagion breaks out have been increasing.
What is Legionnaires' disease
It is a disease presenting itself in two forms: a- serious, as pneumonia; b- light, as Pontiac fever. In its more serious form it has a mortality rate of 15% (50% in hospital infections).
Where is legionella present
Stagnating water points constitute a favourable environment for legionella, which can then infiltrate through the water network. The germ’s survival capabilities are linked to the presence of biofilm and water temperature (25° – 45° C). Every dental chair contains around 6 metres of pipes and ducts, with a surface/volume rate of 6/1, allowing for stagnation. Even the lack of operational activity during weekends and nights constitutes, along with temperatures, a favourable condition to its existence.
How does infection occur
Infection occurs during the inhaling of aerosols containing legionella or dust particles deriving from its desiccation. The most dangerous aerosol droplets are those with a diameter under 5 micron, as they can more easily penetrate the lower respiratory organs. Infection can also occur asymptomatically.
Who is at risk
Practice operators: hygienists, dentists, doctors, nurses and people operating within the dental practice, including patients (especially if having personal risk factors).
Legionella Detection Test
Assitec offers a professional testing, prevention and treatment service for legionella and other biological agents.
Our service comprises:
- Risk evaluation through samples
- Analysis at accredited laboratories
- Sending of results and/or certifications
- The potential reclaiming intervention
Analyses and samplings*
- The collection is performed following well-defined procedures.
- The laboratory has to be qualified for “Legionella” testing
- The results are available after some two weeks from sampling.
*Assitec avails itself of UNI/CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025 qualified laboratories, authorised for “Legionella” testing.
Biological risk prevention service
Prevention of the biological hazard is mainly about applying meticulous hygienic-sanitary maintenance procedures, according to protocol, the performance of which must be documented through the use of specific recordings and whose efficacy must be evaluated. Efficacy evaluation is performed through the measuring of the environmental microbiological pollution, in particular through sample collection*.
- The operations to be performed:
- Evaluating the contamination (and thus risk) conditions
- Adopting preventive and/or corrective measures
- Staff training
- Preparing a record of performed interventions and of analyses’ results to be kept in the dental practice.
Once observed, quantified and classified the presence of Legionella it is necessary to proceed with an immediate intervention.
What the law provides for
The evaluation and the management of the risk of legionella are legal obligations, as per D. Lgs 81/08 “Safeguard of health and safety in the workplace”, being a risk originating from exposition to biological agents (Chapter X – D. Lgs 81/08). Legionella sp and Legionella pneumophila are indeed biological agents classified under group 2 of attachment XLV of D. Lgs 81/08 and subsequent.
To learn more about Legionella and the guidelines on managing Legionella you can click on the following links:
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