The application of copper and silver ions is regarded as the most effective disinfection method, since it offers long-lasting protection after its application. And this method does not cause corrosion on the pipes, and has proved to be ecofriendly and safe to use.
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Legionella are thermophile bacteria readily found in natural aquatic bodies and some species have been recovered from soil. Legionella is a natural part of fresh-water. In surface-water, there is little danger of infection for human beings, however, if the bacteria enters into the lung, it may cause disease.
The legionalla bacteria enter the lung through inhaled drops or spray mist dispensed by fittings, shower heads, or whirlpools. "Aspiration" is also a common way by which the bacteria enters the lung to cause pneumonia. Aspiration means choking such that secretions in the mouth get past the choking reflexes and enter the lung instead of going into the esophagus and stomach.
According to data provided by the Bernhard-night-Institute Hamburg, approximately every sixth infection causes death. The pathogenic germ prefers humidity and warmness. The organisms can survive in a wide range of conditions, including temperatures of 0 to 63 ° C, pH of 5.0 to 8.5, and dissolved oxygen concentrations of 0.2 to 15 ppm in water. Temperature is a critical determinant for legionella proliferation.
Colonization of hot water tanks is likely if tank temperatures are between 30 and 50 ° C, with highest proliferation rates between 30 to 40 ° C. Only at temperatures starting with 60 ° C and up the bacteria wants.
According to data provided by the Robert-Bosch Institute, the most common sources of legionella are public facilities like public swimming pools, hospitals, retirement homes, office towers, hotels, and airports. The ultimate cause is often an old water system or ventilation systems like air conditioning. However, the danger is often underrated. The natural habitant of Legionella is neither in the ground, nor in the air, but in water. Water temperature influences the occurrence of Legionella considerably. While legionella can be found in cold water, it is not really able to breed there, requiring temperatures between 30 and 50 °C for reproduction in considerable numbers. Ideal breeding conditions are wet surfaces, for example in pipes, fittings, shower hoses, spas, hot springs and inside of air conditioning systems.
The name Legionella pneumophila was derived from the original outbreak at the 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection (pneumonia) caused by a bacterium named Legionella pneumophila. It shows symptoms like cough, high fever, ague, tiredness and headache, as well as bellyache and diarrhoea. The first symptoms occur often after 5-6 days after the infection If the legionnaires' disease is medicated improperly or too late, because it is mistaken for a common lung infection, the disease will disseminate through the whole body, harm the digestive tract and the nervous system and finally cause death. A legionella infection does not always lead to a lung infection, but may as well afflict with the so-called Pontiac Fever. Experts assume that 2500-5000 people die of legionnaires' disease just alone in Germany, with the number of undetected cases estimated much higher.
The application of copper and silver ions is regarded as the most effective disinfection method, since it offers long-lasting protection after its application. And this method does not cause corrosion on the pipes. During application in hospitals, it proved itself as ecofriendly and safe. Besides, the method is easy to apply and very cost-effective.